There are quite a few questions about the new Craftsman 21226 MiterMate miter saw that we set out to address with a full no-holds barred hands-on review. Is the MiterMate gimmicky? Overly complex? Awkward and clumsy? Or is it as innovative and functional as Craftsman advertises?
Keep reading for our full review of the MiterMate, or skip ahead to the summary for our conclusions and recommendations. You may also want to check out our recent introductory post of the saw for a detailed write-up of its features and specs.
MiterMate Initial Setup
After unpacking the Craftsman MiterMate, as with any new miter saw, our first step was to check the alignment of the fence and blade, and to make any necessary adjustments. To our pleasant surprise, the saw was square and true straight out of the box.
This is not to say that the saw was immediately ready to go, however. During our initial inspection of the saw, we noticed that the left V-fence locking tab was rather tight, while the right fence lock was very loose. This was fairly easy to correct by loosening/tightening the respective adjustment bolts at the underside of the saw.
It is reassuring to know that, should the fence locking tabs loosen up over time, readjustment would be quick and easy.
The main distinction of Craftsman’s MiterMate is its unique V-fence system, which was designed to be used to create perfectly matched miter joints. For such a perfect joint, one piece of molding is cut alongside the left fence, and another alongside the right fence. The two pieces are then installed with a perfect mirror-image miter joint where they meet.
After ensuring that the saw was properly squared up, we turned our attention to examine the MiterMate’s V-fence system. What we found was that both sides of the V-fence are independently adjustable, allowing for quick and easy setup and reconfiguration.