The Craftsman MiterMate 21226 takes a lot of the guesswork out of compound cuts. Reviewers say adjusting the MiterMate's innovative V-fence for the right angle is fast and uncomplicated -- even when you're trimming imperfect corners. With included accessories like an angle-finder tool, the MiterMate is a great value and ideal for amateur woodworkers and home improvement projects.
Effortlessly cuts imperfect angles. Craftsman has redefined the miter-cutting process with the MiterMate 21226's V-fence system. (A miter is a 90-degree joint made between two pieces of wood.) Experts say this unique process takes the guesswork out of cutting the right angle, even for amateurs. Instead of rotating the head and blade, the MiterMate 21226 uses two adjustable railings to set the proper angle. Tool reviewer Paul Sikkema at ToolBoxHero.com finds the 10-inch saw makes "accurate miter and angle cuts the first time, every time." He adds, "For most homeowners who install typical trim, the 21226 has enough depth to make your cuts." The MiterMate can cut 4.25-inch crown molding against the fence and chop a 6-inch wide slab lying flat.
Setup is fast and easy. Reviewers say adjusting the MiterMate is fast and effortless, even for cutting imperfect angles. "Users simply transfer the angles of wall intersections and the saw does the rest," explains Stuart Deutsch at Popular Mechanics. The saw automatically adapts the other fence to hold the matching trim piece. Reviews say the biggest disadvantage of the MiterMate is the amount of room it takes to accommodate the lumber, which is positioned to line up with the fence. Owners also find it difficult to mount the MiterMate on a universal stand. "This design issue makes the saw difficult to use on a crowded jobsite where space can be hard to find," say editors at ToolSnob.com, although this is a moot point for those intending to use it only at home.
Consumer-grade quality. Reviews say the MiterMate is sturdy -- with solid detents and overrides -- but still not as "robust" as the DeWalt DW713 (Est. $220) . According to Deutsch at Popular Mechanics, "Angle measurements and markers are easy to read, but the fact that the gauges are glued-on strips of plastic is a huge letdown." However, owners still get plenty of bang for their buck: "For the price, you get a reasonably well-built saw, a hold-down clamp that can be used as a crown molding stop, a laser guide, and workpiece-support extensions," he declares. The MiterMate includes a one-year warranty; though common for power tools, it's shorter than DeWalt's coverage.
1. Popular Mechanics
Popular Mechanics tests the Craftsman MiterMate 21226 alongside the DeWalt DW713. They conclude the Craftsman is a better value, with a straightforward setup for fast, accurate cutting and convenient features, but that it doesn't have the same durable construction or jobsite friendliness as the DeWalt.
Review: Can Craftsman's New Mitermate Take on a Traditional Miter Saw?, Stuart Deutsch, April 27, 2010
Using workshop and jobsite tests, editors evaluate the MiterMate to see if the V-fence system is accurate and user friendly. They say, "The MiterMate doesn't care what the angle is, it just makes the cut." But the extra room required to manipulate lumber was difficult to find on their crowded jobsite.
Review: Craftsman 10" MiterMate - Review, Editors of ToolSnob.com, Feb. 17, 2010
This single-product review includes hands-on testing and plenty of photographs. Tester "Brian" concludes the MiterMate is "solidly constructed," calling its movements "smooth and fluid." He notes fence adjustments could possibly pinch fingers and says extra space is needed all around the saw to accommodate the lumber placement.
Review: Hands-On Review of the Craftsman MiterMate Miter Saw, "Brian", Jan. 26, 2010
About 20 owners comment on the Craftsman MiterMate 21226 here, and most recommend it for cutting accurate angles effortlessly. It has a 4-star score (out of 5), though a few complain the MiterMate doesn't mount on a universal stand and takes a lot of room to operate.
Review: Craftsman 10'' MiterMate Miter Saw (21226), Contributors to Sears.com, As of September 2013
Paul Sikkema reviews hand and power tools at ToolBoxHero.com, and includes this single-saw review of the MiterMate 21226. He details how to find an angle and transfer it to the saw, calling the process quick and easy. He says the MiterMate is accurate, but limited by the 10-inch blade.
Review: Craftsman MiterMate -- Model 21226 Review, Paul Sikkema, Jan. 21, 2010
6. Wood Magazine
Editors pick the Craftsman MiterMate 21226 as one of the best tools for 2010, saying it "eliminates the middleman when it comes to cutting trim." This brief review doesn't compare the MiterMate with other miter saws or mention testing techniques.
Review: Top New Tools for 2010, Editors of Wood Magazine, Not Dated