Sliding compound miter saws are versatile must-have woodworking equipment for avid DIYers like myself. They come with a sliding head that moves forwards and backward, allowing you to make bigger cuts. The Ryobi TSS102L, for example, manages cross cuts of up to 12″ despite its 10″ blade.
Here, we look at what this Ryobi has to offer and what other potential rigs you may want to consider if this saw doesn’t make your cut.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Sliding Miter Saw
The greatest disadvantage of the typical compound miter saw is its limited cutting length. Manufacturers added a sliding feature, creating the sliding miter saw, to overcome this limitation. This feature gives them a reach that’s typically twice as long as what their non-sliding equivalents have to offer.
If you plan to work with thick materials, like fence posts, you’ll appreciate this increased length of cut. That said, this saw is probably too heavy for the workman that moves a lot.
However, the weight issue is not unique to the Ryobi TSS102L: All sliding saws need more operational space than non-sliders because of the increased head movement.
You should also consider the kind of projects that you’ll be working on. If you plan to move around with your saw, you’re better off going for lighter non-sliders.
On the flipside, increased mobility usually comes at the expense of power and sturdiness. If these two properties are important to you, you’re better off sacrificing mobility for a heavy saw that’ll be mounted in your workshop.
Ryobi Miter Saw TSS102L
This miter saw is made of high-quality aluminum, a very durable material. It’s moderately priced for it’s built, offering great value for money.
It can cut in multiple angles, thanks to its extended miter ranges, making it excellent for working with baseboards, door casings, trim work, and crown molding projects. This versatility makes it ideal for DIYers, hobbyists, and professionals alike.
Things I Like
- It’s excellent for DIY use.
- Produces very smooth cuts.
- It’s moderately weighted.
- Proprietary EXACTLINE™ Laser System enhances accuracy.
- Comfortable horizontal D-handle.
- Miter stops at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, and 45° for enhanced accuracy
Things I don’t Like
- The bolts may need to be loosened for better fence alignment.
Blade Size and Cutting Capacity
This saw has a 24-tooth, 10-inch carbide-tipped blade that offers fast and smooth cuts. It has a clear louvered plastic guard over the blade to keep the cutting plane visible, while also doing a bit of dust-control.
The blade, coupled with its 12-inch horizontal capability, can cut through most kinds of woods. However, if you plan to work extensively with thick 4x4s, the Bosch GCM12SD would be a better choice. The Ryobi’s 12-inch crosscut capacity is excellent if you plan to do a bit of crown molding.
The Ryobi TSS102L uses a heavy-duty 15A motor that delivers speeds of up to 5,500rpm. This is usually enough power to cut through hardwoods for a considerable amount of time. If you plan to work with larger and harder materials, which requires longer cuts, this saw is something you should consider.
The accuracy and precision of this saw are top-notch thanks to the EXACTLINE™ laser system. This laser is powered internally, meaning you won’t have to replace batteries every now and again.
The Ryobi has miter stops at crown molding friendly angles: 45°, 31.6°, 22.5°, 15°, and 0° respectively: both to the right and left. These stops are precise and are designed to give you an easy time when making crown cuts. Its extended miter ranges 45° to the left and 50° to the right, accommodating a wide range of cuts.
Miter detents can be overridden for enhanced accuracy: You bypass the miter detent index points with a quick-action lever, in one motion. You’ll find this useful when you need to make quick micro-adjustments to a miter angle. This, coupled with the fact that this Ryobi is cast in a miter scale, helps enhance the saw’s overall accuracy.
The saw’s slide action is incredibly smooth. Its handle automatically returns to the top after cutting through the material at hand. This eliminates the need to pull the handle upwards, making it less strenuous to your arm.
You should find the Ryobi TSS102L sliding mechanism sufficiently convenient for DIY and home craftwork.
Ease of Use
This saw is very easy to use. It comes with easy-to-read angles and user-friendly bevel and miter adjustments.
This saw weighs about 36 pounds, not too heavy. The weight, coupled with its comfortable horizontal D-handle, makes it relatively easy to move around with.
On the flipside, it has a larger footprint than other equivalent 10-inch miter saws. It’s 36.10 x 22.82 x 16.92 inches, a size that may make it a little bit awkward for you to carry it around. If you’re after a smaller sized unit, the Dewalt DWS780 may be a better option.
It has a 1-1/4-inch dust port that connects to standard dust collection systems, which improves dust-management. This helps keep the air dust-free.
The saw also comes with a clear plastic blade guard. This guard will prevent dust from striking your eyes, while still being clear enough to allow you a clear view of where you are cutting. The sturdy holding clamp further adds to the overall safety of this unit.
This Ryobi comes with responsive triggers and automatic brakes. As soon as you let the trigger go, the electric brakes stop the blade: This minimizes the risk of injury.
Warranty and Support
This saw has a 3-year limited warranty. For the most part, it’ll only cover manufacturer defects. If you want to take extra precautions for anything that may happen to the unit during this period, you’re better off looking into a third-party arrangement.
Alternative Compound Miter Saws
Click here for a full rundown of what I consider to be the best miter saws on the market in 2020. Alternatively continue reading for three alternative options that I think give the Ryobi TSS102L a real run for its money.
Bosch GCM12SD 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The Bosch GCM12SD’s Axial Glide system provides a nice smooth cutting action, with enhanced alignment and wider crosscuts. This saw, however, doesn’t have a laser guide system. If you are going for precision, the Ryobi will be a better choice.
The Bosch GCM12SD has a 14-inch horizontal cutting capability compared to the 12-inch of the Ryobi TSS102L. Its weight is about 90lbs, which is more than double the weight of the Ryobi. It’s also significantly costlier than the Ryobi.
Compared to the Ryobi TSS102L:
- It uses an Axial Glide system rather than slides.
- Lacks a laser guide system.
- Has a 14-inch horizontal cutting capacity.
- It’s heavier and costlier.
The Bosch GCM12SD is powerful, and one of the best miter saws I have ever reviewed. For a closer look check out my detailed Bosch miter saw review. Or click below to check the latest price and full spec, it might be what you have been looking for.
Dewalt DWS780 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw
This saw comes in DeWalt’s yellow and black color combination. It weighs in at 56 pounds, meaning it’s not the lightest saw around. The weight is not too ideal for the mobile workman.
Even though the TSS102L is lighter than the Dewalt, the latter would still be my option carrying to professional job sites because it accommodates more cuts: It miters 60° to the left and 50° to the right. It also has a higher vertical cutting capacity than the Ryobi TSS102L.
On the flipside, resources dust collection capacity is inferior to Ryobi’s.
Compared to the Ryobi TSS102L:
- It’s better suited for professional job sites.
- Has a less efficient dust collection system.
- Has a higher vertical cutting capacity.
As demonstrated, the DWS780 does a couple of features that are slightly better than the Ryobi TSS102L. It’s also very durable and has a 3-year limited warranty, which is a good motivator to greenlight its purchase.
Hercules Professional 12″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Miter Saw
This is an impressive miter saw. It’s a lightweight unit but can still cut through fiberglass, resin, plastic, wood, and a couple of metals. It is an excellent option if you plan to cut and craft light materials. It’s also very easy to use; I’d recommend it to first time miter saw users.
The Hercules offers 14 inches in horizontal cut capacity. This is better than the Ryobi, and pretty impressive for a saw that weighs only 56 pounds.
Compared to the Ryobi TSS102L
- It has a better horizontal cut capacity.
- It has a greater miter range.
- It accommodates a wider variety of cuts due to its extended miter ranges.
If you have a couple of small jobs, or are planning to do some hobby crafts, this saw may just be what you need. Check out my full Hercules miter saw review, or take a closer look by clicking the link below.
Ryobi’s EXACTLINE™ laser alignment system is pretty accurate. It makes this one of the better rigs, if you plan to do some precision work. It has a powerful motor and a decent number of extra features, especially for its price point. The dust collection feature on this unit was also pretty impressive, making it a worthy consideration next time you are out saw shopping. To check out the Ryobi TSS102L 10″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw for yourself click the link below.