The miter saw is arguably one of the most important tools on any job, whether it’s on a site or in your garage shop. Being able to quickly, accurately, and safely trim a board to length will improve your workflow and save you from excessive fatigue, which will only enhance the quality of your end product.
If you’re shopping for one of these saws and haven’t checked into the Ryobi TSS102L, which made our list of best miter saws, we’re going to give you an inside look at what this saw can and can’t do. We’ll go over features, price, pros, and cons, and get you up to speed on how reliable, accurate, and functional this 10-inch single bevel compound miter saw is.
General Overview of the Ryobi TSS102L
The TSS102L is a sliding compound miter saw from Ryobi. It features a 10-inch blade and a 15 amp motor that runs at 5,500 RPMs. This is a lightweight, single-bevel saw that has a cut capacity that rivals much larger saws thanks to its two finely-machined slides.
It comes with a sawdust bag that mounts to a 1¼-inch dust port, a hold-down clamp, and it features an adjustable laser cutline as well as a blade brake.
Here’s the saw in action.
Types of Cuts
The TSS102L is a single-bevel sliding miter saw. As such, it’s capable of making left and right miter cuts, as well as tilting to the left to cut bevels up to 45 degrees. Equally important, this 10-inch slider has a huge cut capacity. It can handle crosscutting a 2×12 board and mitering a 2×8 at 45 degrees. That’s better than some bigger, far more expensive saws.
Bevel and Miter Features
The Ryobi TSS102L has a respectable miter range. It spans from a maximum of 50 degrees to the right and 45 degrees to the left. The single-sided bevel range is similar, tilting to a maximum angle of 45 degrees to the left only. It also has preset detents at all the important stops; 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, and 45 degrees to the left and right.
Also, if you’re having a hard time setting an angle because it’s too close to a detent, the Ryobi has a detent override to help you dial that blade in just right.
If you’re looking for a lightweight saw that you can lug around the job site without breaking your back, this might be the one. The TSS102L comes in just under 35½ pounds.
While we’re sure a lot of the weight savings is due to some extra plastic and thinner materials, the end result is hard to argue with. It’s light and just about as portable as a sliding miter saw can get.
Dust Collection System
It’s not a secret that most miter saw dust collection systems don’t really collect a lot of dust. The Ryobi’s system is actually one of the better ones available. There will still be a lot of sawdust on the floor around your saw after any prolonged use, but the dustbag fills up faster than most other saws, and that’s a pretty good indication that it works.
If you decide to hook it up to a collection system or a shop vac, the TSS102L comes with a 1¼ inch dust port for easy coupling.
When it comes to taking up valuable workspace, the TSS102L will work with you, not against you. This saw has a relatively compact footprint, with a front-to-back measurement of just over three feet, a width of under 23 inches, and just under 17 inches of height.
It’s small enough to fit in small workshops, as long as you have the clearance behind the saw for the slides.
One of the nice features that most sliding compound miter saws come with are depth stops, and the Ryobi’s stop is simple to use. To control the depth of your cut, you flip the stop into place and adjust the blade depth with a threaded screw. You can use this feature to make dados, rabbets, trenches, and grooves. Once you’re done, flip the stop out of the way and you’re back to making full-depth cuts.
Laser Cut Indicator
The Ryobi features a laser indicator to help you line up your cut for increased accuracy. While we’d prefer an LED work light and shadow line, the Ryobi’s laser does a fair job. It’s worth noting that this laser is adjustable for accuracy and personal preference.
The laser has an on/off switch so it’s up to you to use. If you prefer cutting by eye, you can switch the laser off and line up your cut. The laser will still come in handy when you’re trying to line up the saw’s angle to a scribed line, so you shouldn’t forget it’s there.
Pros and Cons
- The cut capacity rivals or exceeds some 12-inch sliding saws.
- It comes with an adjustable laser cut-indicator.
- The dust collection is quite good for a miter saw.
- It has single-bevel capability only.
- The electric blade brake is known to stop working early into the saw’s life.
- We’d prefer an LED work light with a shadow line over the laser.
This saw features a one-piece adjustable fence, and it’s pretty well designed. If you should find that your saw is lacking some fine-point accuracy, adjustments are simple and easier than other saws with two-piece fences. Once adjusted, these saws are spot-on, experiencing very little deflection or blade wobble issues.
The TSS102L comes with a few features that have user-safety in mind. For one, there’s a blade brake that is supposed to stop the blade quickly once the saw’s trigger has been released.
It’s a great idea in theory, but they’re prone to failure. This is true across all saw manufacturers and the Ryobi is no exception. Also, the Ryobi comes with a full-length clear blade guard that makes lining up cuts easier, whether it’s by eye or by laser.
If the rest of the categories didn’t sell you, the cost might. This saw can be had online and in several stores in the range of $200 to $250. In our opinion, that’s a good deal for a saw this capable, this light, and this feature-rich. There are saws that cost two times as much that are nowhere near twice as capable.
The Ryobi TSS102L is an all-around good purchase for a homeowner and DIYer. Even a contractor could benefit from having a cheap, lightweight saw this good. Our gripes were minimal and our praise is apparent. It’s a small, inexpensive saw that punches way above its weight class in features and cutting capacity.
There are things we’d improve upon, namely doing away with the laser and replacing it with a shadow line as so many other major manufacturers are doing.
Improvements aside, this is a fine saw in its own right. We’d recommend it for any home workshop or for light-duty professional use. It will never be the best sliding compound miter saw, but it is the best in the entry-level price point. If you’re looking to save money but need a quality saw with some serious features, the Ryobi TSS102L will fit the bill.