For all you handy readers out there who may need just another essential part of their workshop, this is a rundown of the mitre saw from Evolution Power Tools. Whether you enjoy the occasional DIY project as a hobbyist or you are a full-time luthier/carpenter we reckon this review will be of interest to you.
What Types of Evolution Mitre Saws Are There?
A mitre saw is an indispensable piece of equipment, a valuable tool for any DIYer, and a must-have tool for a fully functional workshop. They quickly and efficiently cut crown moulding, door frames, window casings, and picture frames and that’s by design. These saws are also capable of making accurate straight cuts for general DIY woodworking projects.
There are four kinds of mitre saws (broadly speaking):
- Compound – These saws offer versatility by allowing you to cut at a variety of angles while also being able to tilt to the left to cut a bevel. One scenario where that would be useful is when installing crown moulding because you need to cut at a pair of unequal angles.
- Dual-bevel Compound – These are a subset of the compound type, but these offer the ability to tilt bidirectionally (both left and right), allowing you to be cutting bevels at any angle without having to take the time to flip your workpiece to change cutting angles.
- Sliding – These are similar to compound and dual bevel compound but they slide. This sliding feature allows for saw movement both forward and back. A sliding mitre saw is perfect for pieces of wood that are on the longer side, thanks to sliding blades. Not only longer workpieces are perfect for cutting with a sliding mitre saw, but also much wider ones too.
- Mitre Box – This is more of an honourable mention rather than it being a subset of a class of mitre saws. These usually are inexpensive and allow for a few angled cuts to be made using a hand saw. Usually at 90 or 45 degrees.
What To Look For In a Mitre Saw
Unless you are a full-time pro contractor, you can walk right past the dual- bevel sliding compound mitre saws as if you haven’t seen them. They are very bulky and will set you back quite a lot for the average home workshop owner. So that is one elimination you can make.
As a general rule of thumb, 255mm sliding compound mitre saws hit the sweet spot for most home DIY enthusiasts and home workshop owners. They boast powerful 15A 2000W motors while at the same time maintaining affordability. They also often have a table saw interchangeable blades so your blade collection doesn’t have to magically double overnight thanks to a purchase of a single item.
If you are a fan of portability and would favour that over a fixed bench mitre saw, there exists a smaller more mobile class of these saws that utilises 18-20V rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (the same kind of batteries found in a battery-powered drill). These cordless compound mitre saws have blades that come in a smaller 185mm size as that is one compromise to going cordless. But this should present no big issue on its own as they pack quite a bit of power (more than you might think).
However, if your budget is a little tight and just need to make a few simple cuts here and there at 90 or 45 degrees, you can always go for the frugal-friendly mitre box which will include a box and saw. Going for this option would guarantee that your wallet will thank you at a price tag of as low as a tenner but only if your desired use is really that simple. For more complex cuts at other angles, this might seem redundant and unhelpful to say the least.
So as a recap:
Dual-bevel Compound: Professional, convenient to work with, but bulky and expensive.
Sliding Compound: A mixture of affordability and relative convenience. Powerful. May be expensive if you have a tight budget.
Battery-powered Compound: Even more affordable, mobile, uses the same saw blades as table saws and runs on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. May not be as powerful as the other classes but still packs more than enough oomph for the average DIYer. Great for those who need and/or appreciate portability.
Mitre Box: Very cheap but impractical for any other purpose that excludes a few simple cuts at 90 degrees or at 45 degrees.
With so many choices on the table when it comes to saws, choosing one can be quite the taxing task. So, we’ve decided to break this decision down into 3 easy fail-safe steps to make the process a tad easier for all you concerned shoppers.
Step #1: Consider the setting and application?
Before shopping for an appropriate table saw, take a moment to think about two very important things:
1- how the saw will be used, and
2- where would you use it.
The first thing you take into consideration is what you are planning to achieve with it. Sure, you may just be searching for a DIY saw to make a crown moulding, but there are all sorts of levels and types of DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists. Are you a home-renovator that makes basic cuts like ripping wooden boards to length and width and then cross-cutting the stock?
Or, are you the furniture DIYer making coffee tables and wooden closets and will use the saw to make things like bevels, box joints, dadoes, raised panels, etc.? You should buy a saw that is in the very least adequate for the most complex operation you plan on performing.
Then, you ought to be considering the location and space available for this particular saw you have in mind. Will it be in a luxurious spacious dedicated home shop? Will it be stored away in the garage or a closet after you’re finished with using it? Or do you favour mobility, e.g., take it to remodel a home by the river?
Step #2: Pick the most appropriate category
Now that you know the how and the where to using your potential saw, you can review these main categories of table saws to make an informed decision. Broadly speaking, there are three main categories: benchtop/job site, contractor, and cabinet saws. (With their own subcategories within them)
Tabletop saws which often are called portable/job-site saws among other names, are perhaps the smallest and lightest category on our list, and often used by DIY hobbyists and enthusiasts who focus on the making of construction cuts, and those who want and favour portability and easy storage.
Most won’t draw much power and can be operated on a portable workbench or a stand. These portable saws are used by DIYers who suffer from limited workspace.
One drawback, however, is that they may not be as powerful as the saws in the other categories and can very well labour while cutting thicker workpieces. Moreover, the tables tend to be smaller and don’t support larger workpieces.
Contractor Table Saws:
These are quite a popular choice for many DIYers. Most come equipped with 1 or 2 hp motor that is sure to provide enough power for almost every task there is.
At 100 to 150 kgs, they contain very bulky heavy-duty parts that are sure to provide much-needed durability and precision.
The tables are also quite spacious and they provide well enough support for larger-scale projects. Many of them come included with these great fences as an included standard feature.
Cabinet saws are the giants of the workshop and the serious woodworking DIYer. In a nutshell, these saws can do everything. They are typically quite powerful (around 3 -5 hp) and are highly accurate.
There is a world of choices for large table extensions and outfeed tables. These machines require a substantial amount of dedicated space on the workbench, because at 200+ kg, it’s most definitely immobile.
Step 3#: Decide which features do you need.
If you’ve already made up your mind on the saw category, it’s now time to choose a specific saw.
This all boils down to what personal preferences and product features you might need.
Here’s a list of the most commonly available features for you to consider:
- Flat top
- Fence type
- Mitre gauge
- Dust collection
- Wing additions
- Blade factors
- Bevel capability
A brief rundown of the specifications and features is as follows:
These cutting-edge saws allow you to make accurate laser sharp cuts at a plethora of angles anywhere from -50 to 50 degrees mitre (-45 to 45 degrees if you get the base model) in no time using a spinning disc. Known for their versatile tech, allowing almost all materials to be cut and shaped without ever needing to swap the blades meaning that you would have not a worry in the world about any pesky nails buried deep in the wood you deal with.
Not only that but it comes with an optimized gearbox and blade system that boosts motor and blade longevity guaranteeing that you will be cutting through steel, aluminium, wood with embedded nails, plastics, and almost every other material you throw at it.
This is all thanks to the multi-material 28 tooth multi-material tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) cutting blades included with the 255mm 15.5 kg unit which come with 3 years limited warranty when purchased anywhere within the UK.
This particular brand offers several configurations you can pick from. At first, it might seem difficult to make an informed decision but upon closer inspection, you will begin to notice certain key differences that might make or break your choice and we are here to highlight these crucial elements.
Below is a comparison between all of them (arranged in increasing order of price).
Best Evolution Mitre Saw Options & Reviews
This is the base model for this line up of mitre saws and our very first contender. It offers a not so humble blade size of only 210mm and a maximum cross-cut of about 125mm x 55 mm. Its mitre angles range from -45 to 45 degrees which is the smallest range of angles offered by Evolution.
It features a powerful 1200W hi-torque motor with optimised gearbox & blade system.
It comes with Japanese 28 tooth multi-material Tungsten-Carbide-Tipped (TCT) 210mm blade included. These blades utilise Multi-Material cutting technology as in you can use a single saw with a single saw (compatible with table saw blades) to cut any material you need to cut, may it be hardwood, polymer, PVC, metal, or wood with embedded nails without breaking a sweat.
This particular model does not have a laser sight so you’ll have to be slightly more careful with your workpiece.
Unlike the other models for this line-up, the R210CMS does not come with a rear ergonomic carry bag handle nor does it come with a dust bag or a slide rail protector either.
Keep in mind that this is a compound mitre saw that does not slide.
SIZE: 210 mm
POWER: 1200 W
Pros: powerful 1200W hi-torque motor with optimised gearbox & blade system, Japanese 28 tooth multi-material Tungsten-Carbide-Tipped (TCT) 210mm blade included, affordable.
Cons: does not come with a rear ergonomic carry bag, a dust bag or a slide rail protector. does not have a laser sight, no sliding mechanism either.
This is by far the smallest in the Evolution sliding line up, which is ideal for those who value portability, weighing only a little under 9 kilograms. This model is superb for working in confined areas without any compromises on versatility, quality and of max cut capacity of 210mm x 56mm and it is designed to be compact, lightweight & robust.
Bevelling angles offered range from 0° – 45° bevel tilt and -50˚ – 50˚ mitre which would cover all common cutting angles accurately & easily.
Evolution also promises a smooth, reliable, square cut every time in a wide array of materials all thanks to the Japanese 28 tooth multi-material tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blades and the powerful 1000W battery-powered motor.
It’s interesting to note that this model allows for cross-cutting and the depth of cut is very conveniently adjustable as there are 9 positive mitre stops. It is also provided with an ergonomic trigger handle grip designed for both left and right-handed (ambidextrous) use.
SIZE: 185 mm
POWER: 1000 W
Pros: versatile, compact, lightweight (weighs only 8.8 kg) & robust. depth of cut is easily adjustable. Provided with Japanese 28 tooth multi-material tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blades and an ergonomic trigger handle grip designed for ambidextrous use. Runs on rechargeable batteries. Mobile.
Cons: Some users may be willing to compromise on portability/mobility for a more rigid practical mitre saw. 1000W motor may not be as powerful for all applications the saw is subjected to.
This model offers more to the table than the ones mentioned above, at the same 210mm blade size. But the motor is slightly more powerful at 1500W. The maximum cross cut of about 230 x 65 mm; so, we do see an upgrade in that regard.
Also, you’ll notice the maximum bevelling angles on this model and up range from -50 to 50 degrees which may not seem like much of a difference to most people but it never hurts to have a bigger range of angles in case you need one. This model utilises a sliding mechanism as opposed to the vanilla compound mitre saws in the CMS line up.
This particular model does however have a laser sight so that is a plus when compared to the sans laser 1200W R210CMS base model. Moreover, the 1500W motor while more powerful than the 1200W model still can be slightly underpowered for heavy users so that might be a compromise for certain people.
SIZE: 210 mm
POWER: 1500 W
Pros: powerful 1500W motor, larger cross cut dimensions, a larger range of bevelling angles, sliding mechanism implemented, 650nm laser for precise cuts
Cons: May not be powerful enough for heavy professional use
This model is very similar to the R210SMS+ so for all intents and purposes, might as well be exactly the same in every other aspect apart from the maximum cross cut dimensions being 300 mm x 65 mm as opposed to 230 mm x 65 mm in the R210SMS+. (Hence, the 300 in the name.)
One important question you should be asking is:
Are the larger max cross-cut dimensions worth the additional £30.00?
TYPE: SLIDING (same as the R210SMS+)
SIZE: 210 mm (same as the R210SMS+)
POWER: 1500 W (same as the R210SMS+)
Pros: powerful 1500W motor, larger cross cut dimensions, a larger range of bevelling angles, sliding mechanism implemented, 650nm laser for precise cuts (same as the R210SMS+)
+ larger cross cut dimensions
Cons: May not be powerful enough for heavy professional use (same as the R210SMS+)
+ slightly more expensive
For this review, we got our hands on the R255SMS+ model which packs quite the punch for a mitre saw at this price range (£200) with a high-torque 15A 230V/60Hz rotary high-power motor capable of delivering 2000 Watts at 2500 rpm. This allows you to cut through up to 3mm of mild steel like a hot knife cutting through a block of margarine.
This model has a blade size of 255 mm which is by far the largest blade size Evolution has to offer. It can cut a maximum cross section of about 300 mm x 80 mm which is slightly larger than the R210SMS-300+ model and all the other predecessors this allows for larger workpieces to be cut at mitre angles that ranges from -50 to 50 degrees.
It also utilizes a 650 nm laser sight (much like the R210SMS+ and the R210SMS-300+) to allow you to make extremely precise cuts on the workpieces.
SIZE: 255 mm
POWER: 2000 W
Pros: Powerful, precise, comes with a wide array of accessories
Cons: Tends to be on the expensive side of things, heavy, immobile
This is the R255SMS+’s dual bevelling twin and is the highest priced class Evolution has to offer. It also offers a larger workpiece dimension to be cut (up to 300 mm x 90 mm) at any angle between -50 and 50 mitres. The dual bevels allow for two bevelling angles from -45 to 45 degrees.
It’s interesting to note that unlike the R255SMS+, the R255SMS-DB+ does not include a slide rail protector; much like the R210CMS / base model for some odd reason. It does however come with all the other accessories and cool features like 650 nm laser sights, rear ergonomic carry bag handle, dust bag, etc.
TYPE: SLIDING, DUAL BEVELS
SIZE: 255 mm
POWER: 2000 W (same as the R255SMS+)
Pros: Professional, convenient to work with, cuts wide workpieces at many angles, can cut bevels at two angles simultaneously
Cons: Expensive, bulky, overkill, no side rail protector included.
The Evolution brand has a lot to offer in terms of variety in their product line ups. There is a mitre saw out there designed for your needs.
For instance, if you favour portability and relative affordability, the R185SMS may be a great fit for you. If you favour both power and affordability but you don’t mind missing out on the sliding, then the R210CMS may be just the right saw for your needs. Another might favour the ability to slide and power but is willing to compromise on portability so to them the R255SMS+ might just be an ideal match. A professional contractor might be interested in something powerful and more than capable of cutting at two bevelling angles at the same time, to them the dual bevelled R255SMS-DB would fit their needs.
However, as mentioned earlier dual bevelling mitre saws can be bulky and expensive for the average home-owned workshop as they are geared more towards professionals who actually need those features and would not mind going the extra mile or paying the extra buck. So, steer away unless you prefer an overkill and overspending in that case, by all means, go ahead, we can’t stop you anyway.