The call was mysterious, “I’ve got something new to show you and we just don’t want to wait for our June show to roll it out,” said Mike Mangan, Craftsman’s main media contact. “Can we stop by your office and demonstrate this new product?”
I’m always ready for a break from my day-to-day routine, so I said sure, but I must admit that the “hot new” product message was not working on me. Solomon’s observation, “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity, there is nothing new under the sun” may well have been directed at the woodworking industry.
Seldom does a new product get much of a rise out of me. I must be getting jaded. And after Mike and his crew set up the sturdy looking 10″ Compound Miter Saw, I was feeling pretty smug in my prejudice. As Brand Manager Mike McQuinn started to describe the features of the all new 15 amp sawa nicely designed ergonomically shaped D handle, a well-rationalized power switch and a highly functional sliding fence system with easy-to-read bevel stops at 0 , 15 , 30 and 45my smugness was vindicated. Oh wow, another miter saw.
Laser Line Up
Then Mike fired up the saw. At the speed of light, a red dotted laser line was projected onto the piece of wood clamped on the saw’s base. Whoops – was I ever wrong, this was pretty cool!
This new miter saw is the first on the market with a laser alignment guide as standard equipment. Talk about taking a competent little saw and adding value.
As the saw blade moved down, the laser line became a solid red line and then disappeared as the blade sliced through the board. As soon as the cut was finished, I started looking for the laser, but I could not find it. I rolled the blade guard back, but there was no laser tube that I was familiar with. This was a mysterious tool.
Craftsman has created a very slick little disk shaped, battery powered laser which is mounted adjacent to the saw’s blade. The Laser Trac disk was three years in development. It is activated by centrifugal force when the blade reaches 1,500 RPM.
I was impressed as I made a couple of test cuts. There is simply no guesswork when aligning your saw cuts. I tried it at various angles and bevels and the laser projection and the saw cut were aligned perfectly every time. Priced at a very reasonable $199.00, the saw will start showing up at your local Sears stores in June. And while there may not be anything new under the sun, this new offering by Craftsman is sure a slick idea with a bright future.