Ryobi Miter Saw Review: The TSS102L 10-inch Sliding Model

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

When I first bought my sliding miter saw several years ago, it was so inefficient that I started to believe miter saws weren’t any good for quality woodworking. However, these saws have come a long way since then!

These days, sliding miter saws boast eye-catching spots for setting accurate cuts, motor carriages that effortlessly slide back and forth, and robust controls for configuring bevel settings. One such saw is the Ryobi 10-inch TSS102L sliding miter saw.

I’ve put together an in-depth Ryobi sliding miter saw review to help highlight just how much miter saws have improved — and to help you make an informed buying decision in the process.

Presenting the Ryobi 10-Inch Sliding Miter Saw TSS102L

The Ryobi 10-inch TSS102L compound sliding miter saw is a useful tool for the DIY enthusiast or homeowner. This very capable miter saw will serve you well with precise cuts.

Ryobi is popular for its cheap, lower-end models, which are available in big box stores, but with the Ryobi TSS102L, the manufacturer really went above and beyond to ensure it can compete with other brands in the mid-price category of power tools.

Its electric brake system helps to quickly and safely halt the spinning blade. It has detailed measurements at the base, and nine miter stops for improved accuracy and speed. It also has a carbide blade that smoothly cuts through most kinds of woods.

Its built-in laser guide lets you draw a line to follow with the blade, helping you make accurate cuts. On the downside, the laser system doesn’t work outdoors. If you’re old school and don’t like to use a guidance laser, the system can still be great for cutting complex things when set-up correctly, though.

Finally, since it weighs less than 45 pounds, the Ryobi TSS102L is portable, and you can take it with you to any job site.

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The Ryobi TSS102L Review: Features and Benefits

Here’s a rundown of the features and benefits that make the Ryobi TSS102L such a powerful and useful compound miter saw.

Heavy-Duty 15-Amp Motor

At the highest power rating miter saws typically see, the Ryobi TSS102L miter saw will effortlessly cut through harder materials

Miter Stops

These are found at the standard crown molding angles 45°, 31.6°, 22.5°, 15°, and 0° on the right and left for fast cut settings

Sliding Head

Provides up to 12-inch maximum capacity crosscuts

Adjustable Laser Alignment System

Accurately aligns the blade and cut and is powered internally (no batteries needed)

Miter Detent Override

With a quick-action lever, in one motion, you can bypass the meter detent index points

Extended Miter Ranges

These range from 50° on the right to 45° on the left to accommodate various cuts

Horizontal D-handle

Offers improved comfort and visibility

Machined Built-In Miter Scale

For accurate table alignment

1 1/4-Inch Dust Port

Connects to standard dust-gathering systems and improves dust collection for sliding and plunge cuts

The Benefits

Laser Accuracy

The Ryobi TSS102L miter saw comes with a laser and precision guides to ensure the blade cuts precisely where you want it to cut. The laser has an added bonus of being powered internally, so you don’t need to worry about its internal battery being drained.

Improved Comfort

This saw has a big comfortable handle. That helps with bigger jobs when you’re making continual cuts for a long time. In addition, it boasts a powerful 15-amp motor, which easily cuts through any thickness of wood, even a hardwood!

Electric Brake System For Improved Safety And Speed

Once you switch the TSS102L miter saw off, an electricity countercurrent pulses back against brushes, stopping them in their tracks, typically shutting it down altogether in under two seconds. Saws that don’t have this feature take over ten seconds to shut down.

While this feature slightly wears out the motor brush, you’re able to start your next cuts more quickly. That also makes the saw safer to operate.

Pros

  • Built-in laser for precise measuring and cutting
  • Weighs under 45 pounds, making it more portable
  • Electric brake system that quickly and safely stops the blade
  • Miter stops help to make precise cuts
  • Powerful 15-amp motor
  • Effective dust collection system

Cons

  • A little pricey when compared to other compound miter saws
  • Its angle is restricted to only the left side

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General User Impressions

Ryobi 10-inch sliding miter saw review ratings are positive overall.  Many users found that the Ryobi TSS102L is a powerful, smooth cutting tool.

Common praise includes that the angles are easy to read, and the miter and bevel adjustments are user-friendly. In its price range, users describe this saw as an upgrade to the competition.

On the flip side, in many Ryobi miter saw reviews, users found that the saw’s dust collection system doesn’t do much. As such, you’ll likely need to hook up a shop vac to carry out any meaningful dust collection — while that’s typical of saws of all variety, it’s still a drawback.

Our Opinion

The Ryobi 10-inch TSS102L sliding miter saw is a well-crafted saw that’s very pocket-friendly and can help you carry out woodworking projects with more efficiency and speed. As it’s a one bevel saw, you’ll have to carefully consider some cuts, but they aren’t that difficult to make.

All the miter stops are precise and designed to make excellent cuts for crown and trim molding. We used the TSS102L miter saw to set up crown molding. The cuts were great, and the project went far faster than when we’ve used a regular circular saw in the past.

We also have to disagree with user Ryobi miter saw reviews of the TSS102L — we found the dust collection above average. Many miter saws we’ve tested have a bag that looks good but doesn’t do any good.

The TSS102L’s bag worked well to collect dust from the large variety of materials we cut. Also, it worked great when the dust port was attached to a dry/wet vac.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Compound Miter Saw

A sliding miter saw is certainly a useful tool to have if you make a good deal of angled cuts and need a precision tool. However, they also come with some serious limitations you’ll need to consider before buying one.

That being said, here are the factors to consider before purchasing a sliding miter saw:

Purpose

In the workshop, there are two primary kinds of cuts you can make: rips and crosscuts.

Rips cut wood across the width while a crosscut refers to cutting wood across the length. Rips are used when making chairs, tables, fences, and more. Crosscuts, on the other hand, are used to make frames as well as cut tiles and pipes.

Whether sliding compound or standard, miter saws can only make crosscuts. The width they can cut is limited by the fence attached to the bottom of the saw and the surface of the worktable. Typically, a miter can handle a maximum wood size of 2 x 8.

Further, there are four types of crosscuts you can make with a sliding compound miter side, with each denoting the sharpness and angle of the cut.

Types of Cuts

A standard crosscut refers to a simple straight cut that splits wood in half. In contrast, a miter cut involves cutting the length of a piece of wood at a specific angle. This aspect is important for creating square corners for things like frames.

Compound cuts are made when you set a vertical and horizontal angle to your blade. This will let you cut more compound edges for creating precise corners, such as those required to join two moldings, or create joints for pipes.

While a sliding compound miter saw will significantly improve efficiency, a standard miter saw may also achieve this kind of cut with several extra steps.

Lastly, a bevel cut refers to a miter cut made at a vertical angle, instead of horizontal.

Other Factors To Consider

If you’re working on larger projects, you might need a larger and more complete compound miter saw. However, a larger saw is a reasonable expense if you work on many projects, and you’re in construction.

The same case applies to DIYers. The more projects you can handle in your workshop, the more money you can save on furniture, outdoor upgrades, remodeling, and more. Power tools save you money, and it’s important to have a fully equipped workshop.

Moreover, whatever the project, such as making wooden frames, crown moldings, and so on, you’ll need to factor in new costs besides the saw itself.

Laser guides, PVA glue, and nail guns that go with your new equipment, in addition to extra blades, will quickly add to the cost.

In addition, using a new power tool involves some learning curve. While you can pull a project off with an uneven fence or a crooked leg, something like making door or window frames or moldings requires very precise measurements and cuts. If you’re a beginner, a model with good ease of use is recommended.

Ryobi TSS102L FAQs

Does The Ryobi TSS102L Miter Saw Come With A Warranty?

According to the manufacturer’s website, this saw comes with a limited three-year warranty. A valid warranty requires proof of purchase from an authorized retailer.

What Are The Power Needs Of The TSS102L?

This saw is corded and requires an electrical outlet (120V). It does not have a battery power option, nor does its laser guide require batteries.

Can It Cut A 4×4?

Yes, it can. However, it won’t be easy. You’ll have better luck with a circular saw. The TSS102L is designed more for fine trim work–this is definitely a specialty tool.

Final Thoughts

The Ryobi TSS102L Sliding Miter Saw is an excellent choice if you just need a miter saw for occasional weekend projects. It is affordable and powerful enough for most materials.

It features a laser system to help you cut as accurately as a professional, as well as various miter cuts that let you do virtually everything you’d want to do with this type of tool. On top of that, its competitive price provides excellent value, especially when compared to other similar competitors.

Just ensure that you have a shop vac on hand to collect the dust as that’s is where Ryobi TSS102L reviews tend to criticize this model. For us, however, that wasn’t a deal-breaker, and we’d still recommend this saw for users on a budget.

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