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Evolution-R210CMS-Compound-Mitre-Saw-Review

Evolution R210 CMS Compound Mitre Saw2022 Review

Famous for their all-consuming blades and rock bottom price tags, Evolution have carved a good name for themselves in the DIY world. The R210CMS is a small and basic chop saw that is well put together but comes without the fun features you might find on a more expensive tool.

Evolution R210 CMS Compound Mitre Saw Review

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Design
    Performance
    Power
    Noise
    Safety
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4.1666666666667
  • BEVEL
    Single
  • POWER
    Mains - 1,200W
  • BLADE SPEED
    3,750rpm
  • BLADE DIAMETER
    210mm
  • MAX STRAIGHT CUT 90X90°
    125 x 55mm
  • MAX BEVEL CUT 90X45°
    125 x 35mm
  • MAX MITRE CUT 45X90°
    85 x 45mm
  • MAX COMPOUND CUT 45X45°
    85 x 35mm
  • WEIGHT
    5.8kg

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How I Tested The Evolution R210 CMS Compound Mitre Saw

The only proper way to assess the best mitre saw for the UK market was by head-to-head testing. Because this sort of saw is designed to make accurate and repeatable cuts, it’s exactly what I did. Making a series of 0° and 45° cuts into standard softwood timber came first, followed by testing the bevel action with some compound cuts too.

One thing that’s certain when buying even the best mitre saw is that it’ll need a bit of an adjustment to cut perfectly straight. The final test then was to see how easy it was to adjust the blade as well as the fence. The best chop saws make it easy to fine-tune the cut for when it gets knocked out of alignment.

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Our Verdict of The Evolution R210 CMS Compound Mitre Saw

Out of all the mitre saws I’ve tested out, the Evolution R210CMS wins in a few of the categories. It’s the lightest, the smallest, and the least expensive. It doesn’t have much in the way of features except for a dodgy mitre action, but it doesn’t stop it from cutting through timber like it isn’t there.

I think that if you’re looking for a basic saw that won’t take up lots of room on your workbench, this is perfectly decent. If you’re a keen woodworker that wants to make complicated compound cuts often, then you might want to go for something more professional.

There’s a lot to like about this little saw though. It’s made from decent materials and will cut through steel alongside timber without complaining. If you want a mitre saw that you can take to the job with you, and you don’t mind going without a work light, then this is not a bad choice at all.

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Design

Evolution-R210CMS-Compound-Mitre-Saw-Review-design

I was immediately struck by the compact size of this little beast. It’s small enough and light enough to be a jobsite saw, which makes it incredibly handy if you want to use it outside of the workshop.

This compact frame does come with an immediate downside for some users though. Lacking a slide-out section, the maximum cut dimensions of this saw are far smaller than, say, the Metabo KGS216M. You can only tackle pieces of timber up to 125 x 55 mm with a single cut. You can always flip the workpiece to cut larger bits of wood, but it’s a bit of a pain to do that all the time.

If you’ve ever used Evolution saws before then you’ll be familiar with their excellent multi-material blades. The tungsten carbide tip (TCT) blade is made in Japan and doesn’t just cut through wood and plastics, it can also make short work of soft metals like copper and even 6 mm mild steel plate!

Even though swapping out the blades is a simple process, the Evolution R210CMS is an ideal saw if you know you’re going to be tackling lots of varied materials. It also makes this the right saw for the casual DIYer that doesn’t want to fork out for different blades that they’ll only use occasionally.

If you do want to swap the blade out, they’ve included a 6 mm hex key for the job. It’s not a massive thing, but I’d like it if they’d provided some onboard storage for this rather vital accessory. Compared with the handy hex key holder in the Metabo saw, I’m sure I’ll lose this little tool before long.

All the locking knobs have rather rough plastic handles on them. They’re not the most comfortable to use, and a couple had burrs left on them from the mould. It’s not a huge deal, but it does make it more awkward to use.

Even though it’s small and doesn’t weigh too much, it’s a really solid piece of kit. The chopping action is as smooth as silk, and the aluminium base and blade guard are well cast without any rough edges or missing paint. Compared with the plastic blade guard on the DeWalt DWS774, it just feels a bit more professional.

Weighing in at just 5.8 kg, it’s the lightest saw on my list, making it easy to carry around with the big top handle. It’s so light that it doesn’t even need to be that well balanced when carrying around. Compared with the heavy Bosch GCM8SJL, I know which saw I’d prefer to carry up several flights of stairs!

Adjusting the mitre angle is not quite as easy compared with the Metabo saw. You don’t get a front handle to make quick adjustments. If you want to lock the mitre angle in place you need to tighten a little screw behind the fence, which is a bit fiddly really. Thankfully, there are positive stops on 15°, 22.5°, 30° and 45°.

This is where I ran into a serious issue, however. Even when the mitre bed locks into the positive stops, there’s about 3° of play. This means you can’t count on the positive stop to be anywhere close to correct without double-checking on the scale or using a set square. Even after tightening the nut underneath the mitre bed, there was still too much slop for this to be an accurate saw. Disappointing!

The other issue I had with this saw is with the fence. Similar to the Metabo KGS216M, the bevel and mitre action has forced Evolution to make the left side fence in two parts. This is to hopefully stop you from cutting into the fence with the saw blade when it’s on a hard angle.

Unfortunately, it’s left the fence feeling thin and flimsy. The real problem is that it’s only held in place with a single fastener on one end. This means that no matter how much you tighten it down, the other end flops about. A solid fence is essential if you want to reach a certain level of accuracy.

My other little issue with the fence is the lack of holes machined into it. These holes allow for a longer or sacrificial fence to be added to cope with big bits of material. Found on all the other saws on my list except the Einhell, this is a bit of a disappointment. You could always drill your own holes, but that’s not the point!

This may be a matter of personal preference, but I found the safety paddle and trigger to be a bit awkward to use. I would normally expect to release the safety, lower the blade, and then turn it on. However, thanks to the position of both plastic paddles, you end up turning on the motor before you can drop the blade down.

As for the handle, you might struggle to get a comfortable grip on it if you’ve got big hands like mine. Evolution have flattened the shape of the top handle to cut down on the overall size, but it makes the grip a bit tight for me. The trigger and safety paddles are large enough though, and even though they’re plastic they don’t feel flimsy. Unless you’re really rough with it, they’ll hold up fine.

A couple of things missing from this saw are a work light or other cut guide accessories. There are some users who think lasers are a gimmick and more of a fiddle than they’re worth, but a work light is essential. Having a properly illuminated workpiece shouldn’t be a luxury.

Performance

 

Evolution-R210CMS-Compound-Mitre-Saw-Review-performance
Harry testing the Evolution R210CMS

As for fine-tuning the blade, it was necessary straight from the box. The blade was out of alignment by a couple of degrees, but luckily the manual dedicates a fair amount of space to getting it right.

According to Evolution, the adjustment of precision angles requires just a reliable set square, but you need to read on a bit to find out you also need a 10 mm spanner and 3 mm hex key. Neither are included but getting the R210CMS saw to lay straight and true didn’t take long at all.

When it came to chopping into the CLS timber, it was almost too simple! Compared with the Bosch and Metabo saw’s huge sliding sections, the Evolution just goes up and down and straight through the wood. It’s probably thanks to Evolution’s excellent multi-material blades that it makes such smooth cuts. And there’s no worrying about finding a nail stuck in the timber either, as it’ll just chew right through it!

This saw doesn’t compare well with the more professional tools on my list when it came to making mitred cuts though. The slop in the mitre table, even when tightened down, wasn’t awful but made selecting the correct angle more difficult than it should have been. It’s frustrating that this saw doesn’t lock into place well enough as the cutting action is smooth and satisfying.

Power

Evolution-R210CMS-Compound-Mitre-Saw-Review-power

The cutting action in the Evolution R210CMS Compound Mitre Saw comes from a 1,200 Watt brushed motor. It’s the lowest Wattage on my list, but it doesn’t seem to negatively affect the saw’s performance. It can put out up to 3,750 rpm under no load, which is probably enough for a little saw like this.

Compared with the huge blade speed of 5,500 rpm put out by the Bosch GCM8SJL, this little saw is left in its dust. The lower blade speed might make for slower cuts and slightly more tear-out, but it’s also an awful lot less expensive!

I also need to keep in mind that this is a capable mitre saw, but in a tiny package. For something that could be stored in a cupboard or under a workbench, it opens a lot of new possibilities for the DIYer. It’s only when comparing this saw to other, much bigger ones, that the blade speed seems too low. On its own it’ll deal with almost any material you throw at it!

Noise

Even though this little mitre saw doesn’t take up much room, it certainly makes a lot of noise! With a sound power rating of 110 dB, which is similar to the noise a motorbike engine makes, it’s loud and would be deafening without proper ear defenders.

The quality of the noise is great for the least expensive saw on my list. There’s not grinding brush noise or anything else, just a smooth ramp up of the motor until it’s at full rpm. It’s quite impressive really, compared with the odd noise the Bosch makes.

Safety

Mitre saws are only as dangerous as any other power tool if you follow the correct safety instructions and wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Even a small saw like this needs to be bolted down or clamped to a solid workbench to avoid it tipping over.

One of the best things about the R210CMS compound mitre saw compared with the other ones on my list is the material used for the safety guard. There’s no flimsy plastic here, but a cast aluminium guard that will stop even the most determined bits of material from flying up into your face.

It’s probably down to the multi-material capabilities of this saw that this saw has such a beefy guard on it. Even a tough polycarbonate guard wouldn’t stand up to steel sparks over time, so it’s thanks to this saw’s versatility that makes it safe!

Value for Money

I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable this saw was. It’s by no means a lightweight, and it’s portable enough to be useful in a workshop or even on the jobsite. For the money, it’s ideal for DIYers and even tradespeople that want to save a bit of space on the workbench.

If you want to buy a saw that cuts incredibly accurately for fine work, it’s going to cost you a lot more money than this saw will. It’s not going to replace a large or expensive chop saw, but if you double-check your angles it’ll get the job done.

Overall

6 4.1666666666667

Out of all the mitre saws I’ve tested out, the Evolution R210CMS wins in a few of the categories. It’s the lightest, the smallest, and the least expensive. It doesn’t have much in the way of features except for a dodgy mitre action, but it doesn’t stop it from cutting through timber like it isn’t there.

I think that if you’re looking for a basic saw that won’t take up lots of room on your workbench, this is perfectly decent. If you’re a keen woodworker that wants to make complicated compound cuts often, then you might want to go for something more professional.

There’s a lot to like about this little saw though. It’s made from decent materials and will cut through steel alongside timber without complaining. If you want a mitre saw that you can take to the job with you, and you don’t mind going without a work light, then this is not a bad choice at all.

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Product Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Evolution R210 CMS Compound Mitre Saw Found Today

Prices last updated: 17 May, 2022

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