Motion-Activated Dual Laser
A laser is an excellent addition to a miter saw, improving both accuracy and safety by showing you precisely where the blade is about to cut. The new model 3800 10-in. compound miter saw from Skil, $180, contains a motion-activated dual laser that turns on as you approach the saw. It shuts off when you're done. On some saws, the laser is on all the time, requiring a separate switch to turn it off. On others, the laser isn't activated until you turn on the saw. This requires you to adjust the position of your material under a spinning blade.
More good news about the Skil 3800: the lasers' position can be fine-tuned left and right. However, you can't shift the dual lasers independently. Depending on your saw blade's kerf, you will be able to get the laser in perfect alignment on one side or the other, but not both. This doesn't bother me too much, since I almost always position my “keeper piece” to the left side of the blade. The Skil 3800 miters left and right to 47 degrees with 9 positive stops. It bevels left to 47 degrees. Cutting capacity is 2-5/8-in. high x 5-1/16-in. wide at 90 degrees, and 2-5/8-in. x 3-1/2-in. at 45 degrees. The saw comes with handy extension tables, a hold-down clamp, and crown-molding stops.
Skil, (877) 754-5999, www.skiltools.com Model 3800 10-in. compound miter saw, $180.