Most 12-in. sliding miter saws will set you back $450 to $650. So when I saw this Chicago Electric model for under $200, I wondered: What do you sacrifice for that unbelievably low price? The answer is: Surprisingly little. The Chicago bevels left or right 45 degrees; most of the expensive models tilt beyond 45 degrees. It crosscuts boards up to 12 in. wide; that’s an inch or two less than some models. The fence isn’t tall enough for wide crown molding, but I usually screw on a wood “auxiliary fence” for crown anyway. In terms of power and quality of cut, the Chicago’s performance is similar to that of other models I’ve used.
Overall, the Chicago feels a little less beefy than expensive saws, so I suspect it will need adjustments more often and won’t stand up to abuse as well. If I needed a saw that could take daily job site beatings, I’d probably shell out for a more expensive model. But for the weekend workshop cutting I do these days, saving $400 sounds pretty darn good. Get more details on the Chicago Electric 69684, buy it online or find a local retailer at harborfreight.com.