Multi-Material Miter Saw
Evolution Power Tools’ R255SMS+ 10-in. single-bevel sliding compound miter saw took what I call a “pinball path” to my shop, where it’s here to stay.
Evolution Power Tools R255SMS+
Weight: 34 lb.
Max crosscut at 90° 11-3⁄4 by 3-9⁄16 in.
Max crosscut at 45° 8-1⁄4 in. by 3-9⁄16 in.
Max crosscut 45° bevel 8-1⁄4 in. by 2 in.
Evolution Power Tools’ R255SMS+ 10-in. single-bevel sliding compound miter saw took what I call a “pinball path” to my shop, where it’s here to stay. Part of the allure is that it is “multi-material,” meaning it can cut steel, soft metals, wood, and plastic. The Evolution slider comes in four pieces, assembly is easy, and the result is a surprisingly accurate setup. The first project I used it on was a deck resurface with lots of 5/4×6 PT boards. Cuts were clean, there was plenty of power, and the tool operated as it should, but the only place dust didn’t collect was in the dust bag. The piles got so big around the fence, table, and rail stops that the blade couldn’t travel all the way through a cut.
The laser took a shot from an errant something and was left hanging by a wire, like a Terminator eye—but it was barely visible anyway. On a trim job, I couldn’t cut 51⁄2-in. baseboard against the fence, which meant a much slower process of cutting the baseboard while lying down and using the saw’s bevel. The cuts were accurate, and with less volume of dust to manage, the saw was easier to use. Another thing that bugged me was the saw’s soft start—soft enough to make me wonder if it would ever hit full rpms. For dialing-in miters, cheating the saw up to the cutline, or any on-off activity, it got to me, so I put the saw in a corner of my shop and nearly forgot about it. Then something else happened.
I got a project installing powder-coated aluminum track and balusters for a deck railing. I’ve cut similar materials with a conventional miter saw and metal-cutting blade, but cutting aluminum track with the Evolution was fantastic (which makes sense because the manufacturer has been making saws for the steel and fabrication industry for over 20 years). Cuts were clean, and the chips were much better contained in the saw’s blade guard. I then used it on a variety of remodeling projects and learned to accept its shortcomings, because it’s extremely light and easy to move. While it’s not perfect, I think its metalcutting abilities make it a lightweight companion to your everyday miter saw.
Mark Clement, carpenter and author of The Carpenter’s Notebook.
Photos: courtesy of Evolution Power Tools
From Fine Homebuilding #305