There are several types of power saws that you should have in your workshop. Woodworkers would appreciate the classic miter saw – sliding-compound or otherwise – to get the job done. However, if your line of work calls for cutting both wood and metal bars to size, then you’ll need a more multipurpose saw. A multi-cutter saw is a tool that every wood and metalworker needs to get the job done without investing in multiple tools.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at two very different multi-cutter saw models from two popular power tool manufacturers: the DW872 from DEWALT and the RAGE3 from Evolution Power Tools. In a nutshell, the DEWALT packs more power and has a larger cutting capacity, but the EPT is more versatile and designed more as the classic miter saw. Between these two, which of these models would work best for you in the workshopLet’s find out.
Like the traditional miter saw, a larger blade translates into the ability to chop larger stock with a single plunge. It’s always safer to complete a cut with a single pass than having to turn the wood stock or metal bar over, so a larger blade is always preferable. The DEWALT comes with a large 14-inch carbide blade that can cut as deep as 5-3/16 inches. This should be more than enough for most DIY projects and even professional jobs.
The carbide blade that comes with the EPT is slightly smaller than the DEWALT’s. It comes with a 10-inch, 28-tooth blade that can cut to depths of 3 inches with each plunge. Due to the smaller size, this tool would be more appropriate for DIY-ers whose projects revolve around slicing wood and metal (ferrous and non-ferrous) to size.
Conclusion: Only the user can determine whether a large 14-inch blade is more appropriate for their line of work than a 10-inch one. The shallower cutting depth of the EPT can be overcome by flipping the material over to complete the cut, but we highly recommend getting a saw that can complete a cut with a single pass.
Weight and Portability
Lightweight power tools are best for contract workers who need to bring their equipment to the job site. The DEWALT, fully assembled, weighs in at around 55 pounds, so it’s easy to carry and lift onto your truck. Unloading it and locking it down is also a breeze if you have the muscle.
The EPT’s smaller blade significantly reduces the weight of the multi-cutter saw. With the blade attached, the EPT weighs roughly 39 pounds, making it one of the lightest 10-inch miter saws available.
Conclusion: Although the EPT is lighter, we can’t forget that it has a shallow cutting capacity. The DEWALT can cut 5-3/16 inches deep, but it weighs 16 pounds more than the EPT. In the end, we feel that even though the DEWALT is heavier, it packs a greater punch. Honestly speaking, lifting a 55-pound saw isn’t going to tear your back and shoulder muscles.
Like a miter saw, a multi-cutter saw should have the ability to make angled cuts by swinging the head or rotating the position of the stock. With the DEWALT, you can make angled cuts by clamping on the wood or metal piece and positioning it at 15°, 30°, or 45°. Precision when cutting at other angles is not guaranteed.
The EPT has a mitering range of up to 45° to the left and right. There are nine positive stops between 0° and 45° to both sides to help with making a wide range of different angled cuts. A clamp keeps the stock in place while the head plunges downward at one of the nine different angles.
Conclusion: The most common angles for mitered cuts are 0°, 22.5°, and 30°, and 45°. The DEWALT’s setup gives you the options to cut at three of these four angles, whereas the EPT provides positive stops for all of them – both to the left and right. Even though you can freehand a 22.5° cut on the DEWALT, it’s not entirely safe, and there’s no way to guarantee precise, repeatable cuts.
Miter saws also come with the ability to bevel the head at angles other than 90° to help produce compound cuts. The DEWALT does not have the ability to tilt the head left or right so making compound miter plus beveled cuts is impossible.
It’s an entirely different story with the EPT. Apart from being able to miter the head 45° to the left and right, the head can also bevel 45°, albeit only to the left. This should help you with crown molding, picture frames, and joining.
Conclusion: The DEWALT is a simple tool with hardly any bells and whistles, so it’s understandable that it doesn’t come with the ability to bevel the head in any direction. However, compared to the EPT with its mitering, beveling, AND sliding abilities (more on the sliding head later), it’s easy to see that you have more flexibility with the EPT than the DEWALT.
The main benefit of having a sliding head on a miter saw is that you can increase the length of the cut. Instead of plunging the head downwards into the stock, you can pull the head toward yourself before plunging pushing it back to its starting position. The DEWALT – a simple tool with hardly anything on it – doesn’t come with a sliding head.
The same can’t be said about the EPT. The sliding head on the RAGE3 increases its cutting capacity to slice through boards as wide as 11-13/16 inches. The maximum cutting capacity of the EPT (90° bevel, 0° miter) is 3 x 11-13/16 inches. For a multi-cutter saw, this is mighty impressive.
Conclusion: The EPT wins by default. The lack of movement with the DEWALT really sets it back when compared to the range of movement you get with the EPT. Of course, you can overcome such issues by rotating your stock and repeatedly loosening and tightening the safety clamp before plunging the head into the material, but it’s a hassle.
DEWALT vs Evolution Power Tools: Verdict
We’ve compared the DEWALT DW872, and the RAGE4 from EPT and the DEWALT came out on top. However, when faced head-to-head with the RAGE3, we can see that the strong points of the DEWALT – e.g. 14-inch blade and lightweight – really don’t shine against the flexibility and impressive cutting capacity of the EPT.
Even though making deeper cuts per plunge is an important factor, it’s not a perfect substitute for the wide range of angled cuts you can produce on the EPT RAGE3. In conclusion, DEWALT is best for those who need a tool exclusively for cutting metal at very specific angles, but if you’re in need of a multi-cutter saw for use on both wood and metal, the Evolution Power Tools RAGE3 is definitely the way to go.