Homecraft H26-260L Review: Is this the right miter saw for you?
With such a wide variety of compound miter saws available in the market today, the Homecraft H26-260L fills the portable and wallet-friendly gap capably. Searching for your new miter saw can be overwhelming, especially when you’re in the market for certain features and specific results. In this review we’ll explore key features, who this saw would work for and any flaws it might have.
For over 90 years, the manufacturers of this miter saw, Delta, have been considered as experts in the field of woodworking. They’ve prided themselves on innovation, precision and reliability. Compounding their years of experience means that Delta is able to offer premium products at a premium price. You can also check out my recent review on the Dewalt dw713.
So, in order to open their market to a wider audience they created the Homecraft range. Thanks to this range the budget conscious or new woodworker can make use of their brand of products too. Enough of the background, let’s see what this saw has to offer.
More about the Homecraft H26-260L
Straight out the box
Your first few moments with a new saw are important ones. How easy is it to assemble? Can I get to work quickly? Is it easy to get to grips with? Well, the lengthy instructions-averse of you out there (and there are plenty of you) will be pleased to hear that the Homecraft H26-260L is nice and straightforward to set up according to users of the saw.
Once you’ve got the surprisingly light 25 pounds out of the box it’s time to get started. Take the short amount of time to get to grips with the instructions and you’ll have the 5 parts that the saw comes in assembled in roughly 10 minutes. Just be sure to read the user manual, not only will this ensure correct set up but you’ll also gain valuable insight into the many different features your new saw can offer.
Thankfully, due to the four mounting holes, the saw is compatible with more or less any saw stand for miters out there. Alternatively, if you’d prefer it could easily be attached to a different work surface or table. If you were to choose this option bear in mind that the saw needs to be securely mounted to avoid any unnecessary accidents happening. A simple selection of hex bolts, lock washers and machine bolts (3/8”) would provide a sufficient and inexpensive solution to secure it and stop any sliding or unexpected movement.
For a saw at this price you wouldn’t be the only one to expect Delta to skimp on the features that it would make available to you. I’m pleased to say that when it comes to the Homecraft H26-260L this isn’t the case. You don’t find precision guidance lasers on every miter saw, including the more premium models, but you do find one here. Designed to improve your precision regardless of job, the battery-operated laser makes child’s play out of aligning the blade with your measurements. Feel confident as you make accurate miter cuts & bevel cuts. That said, we were somewhat concerned to hear that some users were reporting that the laser could misrepresent the alignment when cutting. Take the time to ensure that you’ve calibrated the laser carefully from the offset and it will be an efficient and time saving feature you’ll be thankful for. If you were wondering where to buy the best miter saw, I highly recommend Amazon for its big range of products and their great service.
The clamp is capable of working with a capacity of 4 x 4 or 2 x 6 at 90 degrees. It’s worth noting, however, that some users have mentioned that when you’re working with heavier loads of over 5.5 inches the clamp begins to struggle. When considering the saw do think about the wood that you’ll be using and the cuts you’ll need to make. If you’re regularly working at the higher capacity think how important this feature is to you. The clamp is generally strong and effective with no noticeable shifting in alignment of the stock meaning precision cuts and you won’t be forced to involve your bare hands when cutting.
So, what can it do?
The unit specs are as follows;
- Lightweight at only 25lbs, which is considerably lighter than the majority of the other miter saws on the market.
- A 5/8” arbor and a 10 inch blade
- 14 amp motor operating at 5500 RPM
- Premounted 24 teeth carbide blade
- Battery operated laser guide
- Electric brake, miter stop and spindle lock for safety precautions when using and changing the blade
- Blade guard for enhanced protection
- Onboard dust collection and dust bag to make cleaning up easier
Each of these elements comes together to provide a straightforward, no nonsense experience for the user. The cutting capacity of the saw is decent, it is able to cut 4 x 4s and 2 x 6s at 90 degree angles, with the additional bevel setting at 2 x 6. The miter scale provided can extend from 0 up to 47 degrees, whilst the bevel can skill at 0 to 47 degrees left with stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 30 and 45 degrees.
The 10” carbide blade should make effortlessly cut through tough and wet timber but bear in mind that this isn’t a blade that’s going to deliver the finest of results. If you’re looking for a quality finish then search around for a higher quality blade that can replace the standard. These blades are generally inexpensive and many users find near 5 star blades for a little under the price of a cinema ticket. Upgrading accessories in this manner will turn your miter into an even more efficient, robust machine.
Once cutting the inevitable dust will fly and the onboard dust collection bag will attempt to fulfil its role admirably. It might not completely fulfil this role, but that’s a problem that almost all miter saws have. If you want to make your life easier, be prepared with the vacuum beforehand.
Visit http://sawist.com/best-miter-saw/ to see if this saw made it on my top recommendations
Lighter than the competition
Considering the light weight afforded by the saw you’d be right to think it is near the top of the list in terms of portability. It can easily be moved around the shop and set up in different locations, you could even regularly change sites if you’re so inclined. It’s unfortunate that at such a light weight there’s no battery backup system to facilitate even more portability, but the vast majority of the time that you’ll be using the miter saw you’ll be able to access power outlets. Be wary that the lighter than usual weight of the saw can cause some additional shaking and vibrating when working on more heavy duty wood, again this can be countered through a secure mount and sturdy base. If you read my band saw reviews, you would have learned how important miter saw weight is.
As always when using any miter saw your safety is paramount. Delta clearly had this in mind when creating the Homecraft H26-260L. The blade guard ensures that even when working close to the saw you’ll be protected from any errant particles and the blade itself, whilst the electric brake provides that added piece of mind that you can ensure the miter stops as soon as you require it to.
There’ll also come a time when the blade will need to be changed. This can be a cumbersome and potentially dangerous job, but thanks to the integrated spindle lock the spindle will stick firmly in place so that you can comfortably remove the nut in order to replace the blade.
You’ll also be pleased to hear that Delta have put some thought into your overall comfort when using the saw. With the ergonomically designed handle you won’t notice discomfort, even after hours of cutting and gliding using the miter. Not only does this mean a more pleasant experience it also means that potential user error is diminished allowing a greater precision when making cuts.
Where to buy at the best price
The saw is best purchased through Amazon. At the time of writing the saw was offered with free shipping which increases the overall affordability of this already budget friendly miter. Don’t forget that when you purchase through Amazon you’re also buying piece of mind. As one of the most reputed delivery companies worldwide you can be sure that if you have any issues then their customer service will be able to assist you. It’s also worth mentioning that at the time of writing, Amazon were offering the ability to buy protection plans on a 4 year and 3 year basis for less than the cost of a fast food meal. When investing in a piece of kit that you’ll be using regularly and rely on this added reassurance might be interesting to you.
Homecraft H26-260L: The saw for your miter needs
If you are new to the woodworking world, searching for an affordable budget friendly saw or a hobbyist looking for a miter with quality ergonomics then this is a saw that’s worth consideration. If you’re after a miter for heavy industrial work
or precise quality finishing we’d suggest that you continue your research. Even with the potential flaws mentioned above, with some minor adjustments or alterations this saw will be sure to please and won’t disappoint.