Recently I purchased a budget friendly (sub $300) 909 branded 12″ compound miter saw.
First up I have to say I am very impressed with this unit, keeping in mind this is a sub $300(AUD) unit it is packed full of features that are usually only seen on the more expensive models.
Like anything there are things that could be improved or changed to make the saw suit my specific needs but really at the end of the day these things are easily overcome by doing some simple DIY mods or additions such as attaching an auxiliary fence.
Lets talk about some things that made this saw have a positive first impression. I guess the first thing would have to be the way the saw comes out of the packaging, right out of the box this saw came pre-assembled and ready to go, all that was needed was a quick once over to make sure everything was tight and where it should be, and to power it up!
Not only was it ready to go out of the box, it was properly tuned! The blade was dead on 90 degrees to the table, the table was dead on 90 degrees to the fence, the laser line was dead on, etc etc.
On-top of this the features this saw has is impressive to say the least, I wont list all of them as they are all available on the 909 website (link posted bellow) but the ones that really stood out to me is as follows:
* Left and Right tilting blade to 45 degrees – my old saw only had left tilt
* Dual slide rail system – make the whole saw feel more sturdy and accurate
* Laser sight – don’t have to lower blade onto the work piece to see where its going to cut anymore
* tench cutting ability (groove/rebate cutting) – don’t think I would use this feature often but good to have
* 2400w motor –
* horizontal handle – makes it a whole lot more comfortable and feels safer
These things may be fairly standard features in saws today but the CMS (Compound Miter Saw) I had been using for the past 4 years had none of these features so to me its a big step up.
As mentioned earlier I do feel there are a few things that could be improved. Ill start with a small detail I feel would make this saw even better, adding a couple of holes in the fence to accommodate an auxiliary zero clearance fence. This is something that is easily fixed with a power drill and a nice sharp drill bit but there is something about drilling into new shiny tools that doesnt quite feel right to me.
An additional area I see room for improvement in is the table. It does the job for narrower boards (upto about 190mm wide) but when you get to those wide 310mm wide boards I see support becoming an issue, This is easily fixed with some wide roller supports off to the side or a custom made miter saw cabinet but when I compare the physical size of the table on the 909 unit to its more expensive brothers there was a substantial difference in size. Personally this isn’t a huge issue as I plan to build this saw into a cabinet but it is something to keep in mind.
There is only one other thing that I will mention, in fact it’s the only thing that I would label as an negative point.
I noticed while performing a trench cut (or a groove/rebate) on a piece of scrap, the back of the cut has an upward lip caused by the blade not extending far enough back on its rails. I’m not sure if this is an oversight in the design process resulting in the fence being placed too far back or what, but I see it as an reassurance for my idea of adding built in auxiliary fence support as a I believe a sacrificial fence would most likely fix this issue.
Overall I’m very happy with my purchase, it was within budget, has all the features I need and then some, and it appears to be of good quality. Obviously I haven’t owned it long enough to comment on things like reliability but first impressions are very good.