Ridgid 12 in Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser and MS UV Stand
Although the dust collection needs more than just a slight tweak and there is some question among detail oriented woodworkers to the accuracy, the simple fact is that you won't find a miter saw or mobile stand in this class with this kind of feature set close to this price point.
Synergy is the term used when the interaction or cooperation of two or more resources produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. This is certainly the case with Ridgid’s MS1290LZA 15-Amp, 12 inch, Sliding Compound Miter Saw mated with the AC9945 MS UV Stand.
Like many other miter saw users, I can say I’ve had my share of success and failure, all of which I would like to blame on the equipment I was using at the time. The sad reality is, however, that some of it was due to user error, but also in my purchase methodology. As I’ve hinted at previously, my final purchase decision was typically based on how much can I get for the least amount of money. This shopping method is commonly used by DIYers, pros, and everyone in between.Unfortunately, this technique has a tendency to leave users with tools, which are undersized, underpowered, and simply under-everything. Like you, I’ve taken my medicine and learned from mistakes made along the way.
While coordinating the request for the Ridgid 15 amp, 12 inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw, I got to thinking and asked my Editor if he could arrange to add the complimenting Ridgid Mobile Miter Saw Stand. dubbed the Ridgid MS UV Stand. The 12-inch miter saw, like most others of this size, is a large and heavy machine. I rarely used my existing 12-inch miter saw because it was too heavy and awkward to maneuver in and out of my small workshop. In lieu of using the miter saw, I’d resort to using a handsaw or fumble with a circular or jig saw. Additionally, without a stand, I’d often be crouching down on the ground, resulting in a sore back, knees and an often-underutilized piece of equipment. Lesson #1: When you buy a miter saw, buy a stand, if not for the weight, for the height. Lesson #2: Apply Lesson #1 and when you buy a miter saw stand, buy one with wheels.
The Ridgid 12 inch miter saw and MS UV stand arrived well packed in two separate boxes. They are sold separately, though The Home Depot has packaged them together for promotions. Unpacking was relatively simple, however, having another pair of hands is handy for the miter saw when removing from the box as well as when bolting it to the stand mount. Past that, the assembly was fairly intuitive with the exception of the bolt applications. It took me a little thinking and trial and error to discern which bolts were used for the handles and a frame joint. It wasn’t a showstopper, but it was interfering with my playtime. Fit and finish was nice and the quality was very apparent as parts mated easily and smoothly. As the assembly continued, I noticed there was a lot of lean engineering applied. No over-kill, no apparent waste, no over-engineering. This approach resulted in weight minimization, strength maximization and cost and price consideration. Total unpack and assembly time was right around 90 minutes.
Ridgid MS129LZA 12 Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser
Ridgid’s MS1290LZA 15-Amp, 12-inch, Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a nice looking tool and possesses ergonomic features such as a comfortable handle, reasonably arranged safety switch and trigger placement and well-balanced spring tension on the saw head. Positioning the saw in its variety of available angles is relatively easy and intuitive. With a saw this large, not everything can be managed single-handed, however, all the actions were smooth and detents were precise. A feature that is not present on all 12-inch miter saws, the dual bevel capability of 47 degrees left and right, provides some relief from having to flip material when making left and right cuts. With a full 61-degree left and right miter swing, this saw has the full geometric settings you’d expect in a saw of this caliber.
Setting up the laser line guide was not difficult. It appeared to be in pretty good position upon arrival. I will say, however, that this is my first experience with a laser sight and I was not sure why it’s even made available. After cutting several times with the laser and my pencil marked lines, it appears the saw head has to be at rest in the up position for the laser to be in the calibrated location. As you lower the head, the laser line inevitably moves as it approaches the wood. Frankly, it was more simple and reliable to bring the blade to the wood and line up the wood as needed based on the blade to line touch point. In bright sunlight, the laser is not even visible. Perhaps the laser would come in handy at night. I can’t help but think this is a gimmicky item that sadly took hold and has become “standard” in order to compete. I don’t believe this is a Ridgid company issue, but a laser issue, in general. Bottom line is that I wouldn’t pursue a purchase strictly based on whether or not a laser was included.
The saw has plenty of power and was able to breeze through a variety of woods including a wet pressure treated 4×4 at a 35-degree bevel. My other 12-inch saw would have struggled and bound a bit resulting in a less than straight cut. The sliding feature of the saw is very smooth and easy to use. There is a very small, but capable thumbscrew on the slide yoke, which does a great job of holding the saw, fixed in position when sliding is not required. Adding to the pros of this saw, a crown molding angle guide table has been attached to the base of the saw. Anyone who has cut crown molding knows the benefit of having one of these printed out and handy to ensure angles and saw settings are done right the first time. Cuts made using detents and the attached linear and angle scales were precise. No worries about the cutting and precision of this saw based on my experience.
A “foot” is supplied to hold the wood vertically against the base, which serves as a third hand if you will. This clamping feature is transferable to the left or right side of the saw with a simple rotation and release. To add to the simplicity and speediness of the foot, it has a thumb button which bypasses the thread and turn knob. The speed button allows quick advance and retract of the foot/rod assembly. This can easily be done with one hand while the other is free to hold the wood to be cut. Once the foot is in the general vicinity of the wood, you resume turning the threaded rod to tighten up and get to work. A slight turn to loosen up and you can speed release the foot from there.
Startup and the electric brake were responsive with no apparent issues or problems. The smooth brake of the blade followed the expected positive and smooth electric start. The dust collection aspect of the saw, however, was less impressive. Given the size of this saw, I didn’t expect much from a non-vacuum dust collection approach, however, there was more than expected airborne dust while cutting a 2×6 pressure treated board. The dust port fitting and bag are oddly coupled, where the fitting is angled down to the base of the bag. A design like this encourages clogging and blow by, which was definitely experienced in my trials. Attaching a Shop-Vac helped a little bit, but the sawdust port is an odd diameter so there was some gap between the hose and the port. A quick online search for a vacuum or dust collector fitting for the Ridgid was not available. My thought here is while a dust port is part and parcel to a dust-generating tool; this big guy really needs a custom shroud to better direct chips and dust to a full-blown dust collector, if not at least a Shop-Vac.
I will say that there are some finish work pros out there that have found some accuracy issues with the sliding mechanism. My work with the saw has not included any trim or crown molding work yet, so I can not attest to the validity of these claims at the moment. My overall take away on the saw is very positive. To add icing to the cake, however, Ridgid has what appears to be an exclusive free lifetime service support plan. Simply register your tool as directed.
Ridgid MS UV Stand
Having the Ridgid AC9945 MS UV Stand to compliment the MS1290LZA 15-Amp, 12-inch, Sliding Compound Miter Saw was a major benefit. We’re talking two peas in a pod, peas and carrots, love and marriage…. You get the idea. Ridgid has a label with the acronym MS UV on either side of wheeled stand. This thing really works as suggested. My workspace is limited and I always bring my miter saw outside the shop to limit the sawdust pileup within the shop. Hauling the saw and the sawhorses to serve as stands was never a positive experience. Let’s face it. We already prove ourselves capable by having the woodworking skills, why should we have to be further tested and drain ourselves of time and energy by lifting and maneuvering heavy equipment? Honestly, it’s the stupidest and least efficient part of any job. Work smarter, not harder.
The Ridgid MS UV Stand is a sturdy, yet relatively light weight structure. The saw is fixed to the stand by a clamped base, allowing the whole saw and clamping mounts to be removable (which also makes it much easier to install). Maneuvering the MS UV stand will be proportional to the size of the saw you have onboard. In my case, the MS1290LZA 15-Amp, 12 inch, Sliding Compound Miter Saw and all its massive greatness challenged me a bit, but not the stand itself. Since the rig is assembled fully opened, my first step was to close the stand. A simple press on the release with my foot, followed by a lift of the handles, and I was in vertical position. The whole unit felt like I was wheeling a hand truck with an appliance on board. At no point did I feel like the unit was unequipped to handle the task.
Driving the unit to a storage position in my shop was very easy, relative to the total weight of the saw at 70 lbs. It is very simple to handle and maneuverability was precise. After that test, I proceeded to “open” the saw. Using the same foot release latch, the stand began to spread and then the work began. Overcoming the over-center weight of the saw was not difficult, but does require some heft to accomplish it. The hard work only lasts but a second; the stand then compensates and leverages the load to your advantage as it approaches the standing position.
Once standing, the saw can be slid to the left or right as needed. The side material supports or “wings” are easily extended with the flick of a lever and a simple pull. The wings on the Ridgid MS UV Stand are of a decent strength for trim, but 2x material will cause them to flex a bit in which case a stand my be required. The wings are designed with onboard positive stops to speed multiple piece cutting of the same size; another nice and useful feature. The wheels of the stand are a rubber like compound, which absorbs some bumps and shock when traveling and are useful when moving and turning upon edges or uneven surfaces. I quickly started to think about how I could adapt this stand to other equipment I have.
A sturdy frame with well engineered motion features along with well designed wheels and materials make this Ridgid MS UV Stand a cut above others in the marketplace. No pun intended.
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