CommunityBest Affordable Saw for General Home Improvement Jobs?

Best Affordable Saw for General Home Improvement Jobs?

I'm thinking about buying either a table saw or sliding miter saw. I want a lower priced one since I don't do all that many DIY projects. Something between $100 and $150 would be in my price range. What should I look for in terms of features, and which saw would be best for general projects around the house?

The Money Pit Answer

This is a good question.  Your first decision is whether a table saw or sliding miter is best, considering they're quite different.  If you're working on small projects around the house, a sliding miter saw is all you need.  It can handle cross-cuts of boards a few inches wide, and gives you the flexibility of being able to deliver angled cuts, too.  A table saw, on the other hand, is designed for bigger projects like cabinet-making.  If your plans include built-ins or toy boxes or larger shelving, a table saw is best suited for you. 
Based on budget, you won't find many choices for a table saw.  For a sliding miter saw, there's fortunately quite a good selection of tools under $200.  My gut tells me a sliding miter is what you're after, and in that case, I'd research the most current models and check out reviews online.  You can see a wide selection at a store like Home Depot. 
That said, for greater durability you need to spend more money, so if you plan to use your sliding miter saw every day, save up for a brand like DeWalt or Ridgid or Milwaukee.  Assuming your jobs are more occasional, though, Ryobi has a nice sliding miter saw with a laser guide for less than $200.