Ridgid MS1290LZA Miter Saw Review
RIDGID 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw – Model MS1290LZA
RIDGID 12" Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Model number: MS1290LZA
Power source: 120V
Motor size: 15 Amps
Weight: 70 lbs
Before I dive into my review, the following are the basic features:
- 15 Amp Motor – heavy duty motor powers through the most difficult cuts
- 2-1/2 in. Dust Port – provides connection to standard dust collection systems to help keep work area clean
- Quick Release Miter and Bevel Locks – provides users with easy access to make quick angle adjustments
- Bevel Stop Pin – quick action levered pin releases or bypasses bevel detent index points with one simple motion
- Work Clamp with Quick-Release Lever – securely holds material in place
- Dual Bevel and Extended Miter Range – 0° to 47° dual bevel and 0° to 60° miter capacities with crown molding stops to accommodate a wide variety of cuts
- Repeat-A-Cut™ Marking Surface – allows user to mark fence for repetitive cuts
- Large Expanded Table – gives extra material s upport for the increased demands of a sliding miter saw
- Zero Clearance Adjustable Throat Plate – gives material maximum cut through support
- Miter Detent Thumbwheel – quick action thumbwheel releases or bypasses miter detent index points with one simple motion
Rugged & Powerful
The Ridgid MS1290LZA 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw is well built and powerful. Weighing in at almost 70 lbs this saw isn’t the most portable in the category but it’s certainly built to take abuse! The large extended table on this saw provides a solid working surface and surely accounts for a large portion of the weight. A majority of the table and fence are all metal parts with a very nice finish.
The 15 amp motor provided more than enough power for all the test cuts I performed including: framing material, Pine, Maple and Walnut from 3/4″ thick up to almost 2″ thick. From my use I’d say the MS1290LZA is on par with other 12″ miter saws in this category with respect to power. The belt drive provides a smooth operation and the electric brake works well.
One category that the Ridgid MS1290LZA impressed me was cut capacity. This miter saw will rotate 60 ° both left and right! Many of the competing saws on the market only do 60 ° to the right (not the left) which is a nice feature. The saw will bevel right and left to 47 ° which is similar to others on the market. The saw offers the following cut capacities:
- 90 Degree Crosscut Capacity = 13.5″ (2×12 or 4×4)
- 45 Degree Crosscut Capacity = 9.5″ (2×10)
- Baseboard Against Fence = 5.5″
Miter Saw Fence
The fence on this saw is adjustable on both the left and right. Both sides come with a cool feature that I haven’t seen on a miter saw before and that’s the Repeat-A-Cut™ Marking Surfaces. In the photo above you can see and oval area on the fence that has a writing surface that accepts pencil really well, is easy to read, and easy to clean. Anyone that’s ever used a miter saw has undoubtedly marked the fence with a pencil, but most times it’s hard to read. With the Repeat-A-Cut™ Marking Surface the pencil line shows up very well. The fences also have holes in them so you can easily attach a sacrificial fence.
Other Notable Features
There are a couple other features worth noting. The miter detent thumbwheel takes some getting used to but works very well. With a single hand you can quickly rotate through pre-set detents or set the miter to a custom angle. With the same hand you can also lock the miter gauge into place. I also really like the adjustable throat plates which allows you to cut thin pieces without them falling down into the table (just be sure to re-set them if you’re making bevel cuts as you’ll surely destroy the plate if you’re not careful).
One feature that might as well not exist on the Ridgid MS1290LZA is the dust collection. The miter saw comes with a 2-1/2″ dust port, 90 degree fitting, and dust bag. This allows the user to either use the included dust bag or hook the saw up to a standard 2-1/2″ dust collection vacuum hose.
I tested this saw in both configurations. First I installed the unusual dust collection bag and then I hooked up my shop dust collector (by the way, we’re talking 3HP show rated dust collector!). In both configurations the dust collection was nearly non-existent. As you can see from the picture above when cutting wood with the full size dust collector attached the saw dust just passes the port and lands all over the place. Considering how important dust collection is today I wasn’t impressed and for that reason I’m knocking the rating pretty significantly.
Overall Impression of Ridgid MS1290LZA Miter Saw
The Ridgid MS1290LZA 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a well built, rugged and powerful miter saw with very good cutting capacity. The saw produced very accurate, repeatable results with both miter and beveled cutting applications. I really like the Repeat-A-Cut™ Marking Surface and the adjustable throat plate and wish these features were offered on other similar saws.
However, there are a few things I’d like to see improved on this saw. First and foremost the dust collection simply doesn’t work and needs to be completely redesigned. Secondly I didn’t like the laser guide as it only really works when calibrated to a specific thickness of wood. Lastly I think this saw is too heavy for most jobsite applications (I also say this about the every popular Bosch 12″ Glide Saw) because it’s difficult to move without a mobile stand.
Overall I think the Ridgid MS1290LZA is a very well built miter saw. The Ridgid 3 Year Limited Warranty and Lifetime Service Agreement are hard to beat in the industry which makes this saw very appealing from a warranty point of view.
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