If you are in the market for a miter gauge with amazing accuracy then the incremental tools miter 5000 is something to consider. My friend told me the typical woodworker makes about 3 different angled cuts 90, 45, and maybe a 72 degree if they make a 5 sided frame, but I tend to require more than that myself and if you do as well then you will want to have a look at this tool.
Now it’s no secret I am a fan of incremental tools, I have several of their units in my shop but I was always looking to up my game when it comes to all my angle cuts. Heading into segmented bowl turning projects I needed to be able to adjust my accuracy to near perfection for these advanced projects.
Looking at the Miter 5000 gives me the impression of very intricate workmanship. The three panel sled is smooth and rugged. Made from MDF and hold the miter guage. 2 T tracks allow you to lock down your work using the Incra hold down clamp. The clamp is a typical t-track clamp, so no surprises here but as I always say why reinvent the wheel.
These clamps work well and hold your piece in place. The 2nd t-track lets you lock the opposite end of miter in place for even more security.
Turning to the Miter itself I find the 364 precision angle teeth remove’s the guessing involved in a lot of miters that do not have the indexed teeth. The Incra Miter 5000’s teeth are laser cut according to the manufacturer and cut in every 5 degrees on the main dial. With the addition of a 2nd lock down behind the main dial you can dial in ½ degree adjustments. I guess if having ½ degree control doesn’t meet your needs then yes I guess you would have to ease the miter into place then lock it down without using the teeth but I don’t think I will ever run into a case where I need to adjust it less than ½ a degree.
Underneath the sled is an adjustable miter bar called The GuideLOCK Miter bar by the company. It allows you to adjust the width of the bar eliminating any slide slop in the travel when cutting.
From the Incramental tools site
“The Miter 5000's adjustable miter bar will fit square-sided miter slots measuring 3/4" wide, 3/8" deep, and with or without a 15/16" T-slot at the bottom. The miter bar's adjustment range accommodates actual slot widths between 0.740" and 0.760".
The main fence of the Miter 5000 is 36” but if that’s not enough fence there is a telescoping arm that extends the fence to 64”. This is actually not a feature I got to really use because when extended fully it hits my bench but it’s nice to have it should I ever need that length.
The Incra Flip Shop Stop is a nice feature. Allowing you to set it to a measurement and after locking it in place you can make repeat cuts. I did my best to shift it out of place once I locked it down. I hit it several times with my wood, trying to simulate a bit of a careless woodworker who might slide their wood into place to hard and dislodge the stop. But it locks into place solidly and I never did get it to move. The Flip Stop had 2 arms that can operate independently giving you 2 different stop positions as long as they are within a few inches of each other. The Flip Stop even comes with the hardware necessary to attach a zero clearance sub fence to bring the stop in right by the blade.
I did some online research to see what other people were saying about the Miter 5000 and some of the main complaints were about how heavy it is. Well yes this is a beefy fellow and it is a little work lifting it on and off the table saw but I hardly feel this is a reason to take points off the tool. The other concern raised by people is the fact that when extending the miter out past 18” to cut longer boards the miter bar is not engaged enough into the slot to keep it from moving around if you have a straight sided miter slot in your table saw. Most modern saws have a T slot these days and with the addition of their end cap it locks into the slot and lets you extent the Miter sled to its full 36” cutting capacity. Lastly the other concern people had is the durability of the unit. I bought this sled from my friend who had it for a few years before I got it and it is still in perfect shape. None of the panel laminates are loose, there is no slop in the movement and the accuracy tested out perfectly so I am not sure how much abuse is needed to make it fail. My main issue with the Miter 5000 is the hold down, although
Now I understand that the $329 investment might seem steep but this kind of accuracy will take your projects to a new level and every dollar of that investment will show in the final results you are able to achieve. Compared to the competition the Miter 5000 has the features and adjustability that outperform the others. I own a few miter gauges but if I tried to assemble all these features and parts I quickly find that the cost for the Incra 5000 is really a decent price for this kind of tool. I have used it to build a display for the cub scouts, as well cuts for my turning projects. I am learning segmented bowl turning and I think this gauge will give me the accuracy to make the various angled cuts I will need to piece together some very intricate designs.
Have a look at the complete line of Incra miter guages i think you will find one that will meet your needs. If you are looking for something as advanced as the Miter 5000 you won't be dissapointed in my opinion. www.incrementatools.com
The Old Nerd