Please note: Since this review was
published, Global Machinery Company (GMC) has gone into receivership and
is no longer operating. As such, spare parts or technical support cannot
be obtained directly through them. Their website at www.gmcompany.com
appears to still be available online and offers some product information
and manuals but contacting them will receive no reply. Note that
OnlineToolReviews.com does not work for GMC, nor do we offer any support
or spare parts for their products.
Global Machinery Company (GMC) are currently
experiencing some extraordinary growth in the power tool market worldwide,
thanks to a line of tools offered that are suited to the budget conscious,
re-modeler, or DIY enthusiast. Originally, the company offered a basic
line of tools but has since been on a steady curve upwards in bringing to
the market some better quality tools with some unique features, as well as
a line of tools better suited to the commercial and trade sector.
The company recently released two new sliding compound
miter saws, and we thought we would take a look a look at these and see
how well they perform in common woodworking tasks...
We looked at two models, the LSMS210 and LSMS250.
Essentially, apart from the size and motor specs, both saws have the
same features and build design, so we will review them together
and highlight any differences between the two models as we go. Note that
the models reviewed are wired for Australian power supply, so power specs
may be different if this model is, or does become available outside of
Australia. We used the saws on a folding miter saw stand which we
reviewed previously on the site (this is not included
with the miter saw purchase of course).
Firstly, to highlight some of those obvious differences between the
two models, let's take a look at the specifications list...
|No load speed:
- power rating is given for Australian product. Power rating for
US/International version of product may vary.
|Straight Cut at 90°
||200 x 50 mm
||285 x 70 mm
|Mitre Cut at 90°x45°
||140 x 60 mm
||200 x 70 mm
|Bevel Cut at 45°x90°
||200 x 34 mm
||285 x 40 mm
|Compound Mitre Cut at
||140 x 34 mm
||200 x 40 mm
As we can see from the table above, there is a
difference of 800 W of power between the LSMS210 (8 1/4" saw) and the
LSMS250 (10" saw), the horsepower for the 250 being larger because it
sports a larger blade, and because it can cut thicker stock due to its
larger cut capacity (70mm vs 50mm for non-beveled cuts). In both cases,
the saw is powerful enough to cut to its maximum capacity, so we had no
problems with lack of power from either tool. No load speeds are pretty
much average in comparison to other tools, and perhaps the only major
consideration with this spec is to ensure any blades you buy for the saw
are rated to run safely at the indicated saw RPM figure.
Naturally, larger blades do cost more money, so you will
have to factor overall saw size into the equation if you decided to
purchase either of these models. First determine the maximum cut depth and
width you will need for the majority of your projects and see if the
smaller saw will meet those needs. If not you need to go for something
larger. As you can see from the table, the cutting capacities are
significantly different between the two models.
I will make note at this point that both saw models come with a full
2-year replacement warranty for both home and commercial / trade use! Many other tools
in the GMC range (aside from their platinum series) are only covered for
home use, but both these models are also good for warranty claims with
commercial and trade use as well. GMC are also very good with warranty
claims, and do offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee with all their tools,
so both items offer a "risk-free" purchase option.
One thing that may stick out more than anything else in the spec list
above is the blade. Both saws are fitted with a 24 tooth TCT blade. I am
not sure why this was done. Perhaps to keep the cost down, but a 24 tooth
blade is far from ideal for cross cutting tasks on a miter saw. It is
pretty much a rip blade, and to get good results from your cuts, you will
need something with a little more teeth. I'd recommend a 60 tooth blade as
minimum, and one designed for use with miter saws if you are serious about
good cut quality. You should also factor a replacement blade into the tool
price, because, in my opinion, you will need it, unless all you plan to
cut is rough lumber or make cuts where cut quality is not important or
relevant. The blade supplied is not
a terrible blade as such, it just doesn't have the number of teeth you
need for fine cross-cutting work. It can be used for rough carpentry or framing
cutting successfully however. If you decide to use the included blade, be
aware that the outer egde and teeth are painted, and a few quick cuts
through some scrap material might be required to remove the paint from the
blade's teeth so the sharpness of the teeth underneath is exposed. The first few cuts
are pretty rough, but once that paint has worn off, cut quality does
Sliding Miter Saw
Both the LSMS 210 and 250 models are sliding miter saws. The head
slides forward and back on metals bars to essentially allow a wider/longer
cut to be made. This is very handy if you work with pre-dimensioned timber
or boards with widths that fall under the maximum cutting capacities
listed above. The sliding mechanism allows you to cut boards up to this
width, whereas a fixed (non-sliding) miter saw's width cutting capacity is
The good thing about these saws is that you can still
use them in fixed mode by locking the sliding mechanism. It's the best of
both worlds really. Sliding miter saws are usually more expensive as a
result however, but as we will find out later, GMC retails these sliding
saws at an attractive price.
If you look around at different sliding miter saws, you
will find models with either one slide bar or two slide bars. In almost
all cases, two slide bars or dual-sliders are more accurate and offer
smoother travel than a single slide saw. I have owned a Ryobi single slide
bar saw in the past, and while it was a very good saw and gave me great
service, the single bar slide mechanism was not overly smooth throughout
it's entire range; it had a 'sticky' point toward the end of its range
that didn't allow for smooth saw travel throughout the entire movement
range. Both the two GMC models tested here
feature dual sliding bars. You can see the bars and their position on the
saw in the accompanying photos. Their accuracy is determined in part by
the tolerances of machining of the bar and the slots they ride within, and
the smooth travel dictated by the ball bearings they slide on. I can say
that I was pleasantly surprised with the smooth travel of the saw head
throughout the entire range of motion on both models tested. I had
expected worse, but they are actually quite smooth. I'll fall short of
comparing them to the slide action on the Makita LS1013 (considered to be
one of the best sliding miter saws in recent history), but they will
certainly give you a pretty smooth and accurate cut with good tool
technique. Having dual bars is a great aid in keeping the blade aligned as
you move the saw head, as well as distributing the saw head weight and
load across two bars, as opposed to one, which may have been the reason my
old Ryobi saw did have trouble in a small section of its slide range.
A yellow turn knob behind the head of the saw on the
slide rail casing allows you to lock the sliding feature so you can use
the tool just like a fixed, non-sliding saw.
Operating Handle & Blade Guard
GMC, in my opinion, have made a good choice with incorporating the
horizontal D-handle type design on both saw models. I first used this
design on a Bosch miter saw and found I favored it almost immediately.
Some claim these handle types are more prone to side deflection by the
user, but I have never had a problem. I find this much more ergonomic and
easier to drop the head of the saw and control the slide action than other
types of handles. Your mileage may vary of course. The rubber over-mold
grip helps keep your hand from slipping during use - this is a feature we
would expect to see on all saws these days. If you take a look at the
close-up photo of the handle we have displayed in the right hand column,
you will see a number of yellow controls.
The one on the far left is the blade guard release "button".
When you push this in, the stop preventing the blade guard from opening as
you lower the saw head is moved out of the way and the blade cover is free
to pivot and you can safely lower the saw head to make a cut. The blade
guard, which is constructed of rigid, clear plastic virtually covers the
entire blade constantly as the saw head is lowered, helping protect your
hands and fingers from coming close to or touching the blade. Without
releasing the blade guard stop, you cannot lower the saw head and make a
cut. It's a fairly standard feature on just about every miter saw
available. It is well-positioned if you are operating the saw via the
handle with your right hand. Unfortunately, if you operate the handle with
your left hand, the handle itself and controls are not as easily used. The
handle is really designed for right hand use primarily.
Under the rubber grip you can see the power button.
Nothing fancy here, just push it in to power up the saw and release it to
power down the saw. On the right lateral side of the handle is a small
round yellow push button. This is the power on/off button for the "Redeye"
laser line generator that is fitted to the saw...
"Redeye" Laser Generator
GMC have managed to put a laser on just about every tool imaginable it
seems. Some tools certainly can benefit from them, others might not be as
useful. A laser on a miter saw can be helpful, assuming it is accurate.
The laser on both models tested features dual lines, that is, two
individual laser lines are generated from the laser unit fitted behind the
blade just below the head spring (see photos). Each line is intended to
project the cutting line for each side of the blade, so in theory, you can
get a good idea of where the blade will cut no matter which side of the
blade you wish to use for material alignment. The ability to power up (or
power down) the laser independent of the rest of the tool is a good safety
feature. Other methods of generating a laser line can require the blade to
be powered up and spinning before the laser will switch on. The laser is
also powered via the mains power, so no batteries or power packs to
The primary issue with adding lasers to tools is the
user's ability to see the laser lines in bright, outdoor environments.
Unfortunately, the laser on these models suffers that same problem. In
bright light, it is very difficult to see. It is easier to see if weather
conditions are overcast, or if you work in a shed or workshop with
artificial light sources - these are generally not as bright or have as
much glare as natural sunlight. So outdoors in bright light, the laser
becomes somewhat ineffective, but it is quite visible and much more
effective indoors, even under moderate artificial light.
One thing I do like about this laser generator is that
it is fixed to the lower body of the tool, independent of the saw head, so
even as you lower the saw head, that laser line position does not change
and remains fixed. The laser lines do move with forward back slide motion
accordingly, but your alignment should have already been completed before
this action takes place, and regardless, they dont really move off track
anyway. Additionally, the laser lines are adjustable to
accommodate different blade kerf widths, or if you wish to fine-tune the
laser's position for greater accuracy. The lasers are factory set out of the
box, but even so, I found a little adjustment was in order. The beams are
fairly narrow, but there is still a little ambiguity to them in that they
are not ultra-sharp with sharp beam edges. However, I found that
by adjusting the laser so the outer edge of each laser line marked the
actual blade cut line on each side delivered the best result, plus your
pencil-marked cut line on your material is then not obscured or "hidden"
under the laser line itself. Even at bevel angles the laser line retains
accuracy well, although it is most accurate when using the saw in the upright
90 degree, non-beveled position.
Miters and Bevels
The main body and table of the saw is constructed of a metal alloy,
and certainly strong enough for the task at hand. The table pivots
from 0 to 45 degrees in both left and right directions. A scale is marked
on the right side of the table near the fence, with a red pointer marking
to the current angle setting. Both the fence and angle marker are
adjustable, allowing you to successfully square up the blade to the fence
and "zero" the angle scale if it was not perfect out of the factory. We
did not have to make any adjustments here, but it is wise to check this
before you first use the saw, and every 6 months or so to retain
The miter lock knob at the front of the tool twists to
lock the current setting, or twists to release the table allowing it to
pivot left or right to any angle between 0 and 45 degrees, in 1 degree
increments. There are positive "click" spots at 0, 15, 22.5, 30 and 45
degree points, where the table slots into a small groove to indicate the
tables positioning at that setting. This is so you can quickly set the
table at these common angles, although if accuracy is key for your cut,
quickly visually double-check the angle setting according to the red
marker before making the cut. There is perhaps a 1/4 degree "play" in
these settings. They are not "hard keyed" slots as such.
I made cuts at all common angles marked on the guide to
check accuracy throughout the angle range after I had squared the fence to
the zero degree position. I took my most reliable angle measuring devices
for the specified angles and found the cuts to be angularly accurate to
the naked eye. I verified all angles in relation to a stopped blade and
the fence and they were shown to be pretty much right on the money. You
must perform the setup and alignment steps outlined in the manual to give
yourself the best possible results however.
The bevel cutting feature allows bevels to be made
anywhere from 0 - 45 degrees, however, the saw head tilts to the left side
only, not the right. The bevel angle gauge, like the miter gauge, displays
1 degree increments, however, there are no fixed click spots at common
bevel angles. I rarely make bevel cuts on the miter saw personally
(perhaps because I do own a table saw), but
your situation may be different. I don't think it's a major factor not
having these click spots personally. Regardless, bevel cutting did prove
to be fairly accurate, although there is a greater propensity for
inaccuracy when bevel cutting because more of the saw head's weight is
placed laterally to the saw's natural pivot point center of gravity, and
hence, the saw is in a more 'unbalanced' state in this configuration.
Plus, user-induced force on the saw
head in a plane other than that which matches the
current bevel angle can exacerbate the problem.
This is no different on almost all miter saws. It takes some practice and
user vigilance to make very accurate bevel (compound) cuts.
A combination of bevel (compound) angle and miter angle
settings allow you to make compound miter cuts for specialist tasks or
uncommon applications. Generally you don't see a lot of compound miter
cuts in most woodworking projects, but then again, it depends on what you
are making too.
Fixing points and safety notes
The saw base features four 'legs' that provide a good, wide base of
support for the saw, fully supporting it so it will not tip over under its
own load, no matter what configuration the saw is in. Regardless of this,
the saw should be secured to a solid surface before using it. Each 'leg'
on the base has a milled hole to allow bolts or screws to pass through to
secure the saw to your work surface. There is no guarantee any miter saw
will remain fixed in a position if not secured down if
something like a kickback, blade jam or foreign object is hit while
cutting. Safety first! Secure your saw and avoid personal injury. It also
goes without saying that both eye and ear protection should be used when
operating the saw. The motor is no louder than any other brush motor of
the same capacity in my opinion, and for both, personal protection is
required if you want to keep your eyesight and long-term hearing well into
the future. Remember... accidents can rarely be predicted!
Locking Head and Spindle Lock
For portability, the saw head can be locked in the down position. The
handle on the top of the machine, which is different to the main
operational handle then can act as a carry handle. A small spring loaded
knob located laterally to the main saw head pivot point locks and unlocks
the head via its cross-pin design (pull the knob out and rotate to lock
and unlock etc). For changing blades, a small spindle lock button
will hold the arbor still so you can more easily release and remove blade,
and add and tighten on a replacement blade.
Blade Brake and Drop Action
There are no quick-action blade brakes fitted to the LSMS210 or
LSMS250 saws, so it takes about 4-5 seconds for the saw to power down
after a cut. The drop action on the saw is pretty smooth. Not a lot of
force is needed to lower the saw head to make a cut, but its firm enough
to ensure the head will not drop enough on its own. Again, its not the
smoothest drop action I have ever seen on a saw, but it is much better
than the average drop smoothness factor of miter saws in general in my
collective miter saw experience over the years.
Fence, Clamp and Supports
The fence on both models is rigid, albeit not all that tall. For 90%
of cutting tasks it is fine, but it won't handle crown molding cutting on
its own. You might like to make a taller wooden sub-fence for the tool,
but you will have to drill your own fixing points in the fence itself as
it does not have any (check warranty conditions before making any "mods"
of course, it may be at your own risk). The fence is straight however and
does the job the fence is supposed to do for most cutting situations, and
that is, provide a reference point to which you can butt your workpiece
against to obtain and accurate cutting angle. It achieves this with no
problem at all, but again, ensure the fence is square to the table,
shimming if needed.
A clamp mechanism comes as standard with each model saw.
There are two clamp mounting points, one of each fence section (left and right).
The clamp mechanism drops into these clamp holders and is secured via a
threaded thumb screw. The clamp itself can be raised and lowered on the
clamp support rod as required, and final clamping of the circular clamp
pad/face is achieved by twisting the large yellow knob to lower or raise
the clamp face. There is nothing fancy to it. Everything fits well and the
clamp does its job of securing your material while it is being cut.
Also provided with each saw are two black material
support arms. These are secured to each end of the saw and provide
additional material support beyond that which is provided by the saw table
itself. You can see these in the included photos. They work as they
should, but for longer lengths of timber or material you will require
additional supports so they remain balanced before, during and after a
cut. The last thing you want is a chunk of heavy, long material
unbalancing and sliding off or shooting up from the table as it becomes
unbalanced after cutting it off unsecured. A home-made miter saw stand
with wider extension wings or a portable miter saw stand (as shown in the
photos) with its own roller supports is a good solution.
Depth Settings and Making Trench Cuts
Both GMC saws shown here feature an adjustable saw head depth setting.
This allows you to drop the saw to a pre-determined, repeatable depth
setting so that you don't necessarily always cut right through a piece of
wood. Setting at a higher depth allows the blade to pass through only a
shallower section of the material, and repeated passes at the same depth
and moving the workpiece along after each cut allows trenches/dados to be cut in
material. This is definitely a handy feature if you do not own a radial
arm saw or table saw that can be equipped with a dado set, or where a
router may not be the easiest or safest way to achieve the cut. Bear in
mind though that repeated depth cuts with a single saw blade does not
always give you a smooth-bottomed cut, so these types of cuts on the miter
saw are best reserved for 'rough' joinery, or expect to smooth up the base
of the cut later with a hand plane if you require a perfectly flat-bottomed groove/trench/dado etc.
The depth adjustment setting is by way of a flip-out
metal stop (you flip it out so it has a surface for the depth screw to
hit) and a metal, threaded depth screw. You set the depth screw and lock
it into position to determine the depth of cut for the blade into your
material. Then you push the flip stop out so the depth screw will actually
hit it as the saw head is lowered. When the end of the depth screw hits
the metal flip stop, you are at your pre-determined depth setting and can
make a sliding cut to make the first trench cut. To go back to full depth
'through cutting' you simply slide the stop over again so the depth screw
now falls through a hole in the stop and does not engage, giving you a
full depth cut. It is a pretty basic but effective method of providing
depth stop cutting.
The other issue with the depth stop and cutting
dado/grooves with this saw is a similar issue that presented itself with
the Ryobi EMS1830 saw we have reviewed earlier, and also occurs on many
other sliding miter saws, coincidently, and that issue is that when you go
to make a depth stop cut at almost any higher depth other than a full
plunge through cut, the bottom point of the saw blade does not actually
make it all the way through the material to the back side (against the
fence) before the slide mechanism runs out of, well, slide... This means
that you have a flat bottom cut through perhaps 75 percent of the
material, and then the remainder has a curved cut because the slide
mechanism does not take the bottom most point of the blade past behind the
table fence. This seems to be a consequence of manufacturer's aiming to
provide maximum cut capacity in front of the fence and sacrificing blade
travel behind the fence. I guess it's logical in a way, because most
cutting on this type of tool are of the through-cut variety and it is
perhaps best to provide for the more common cuts the saw will be used for
first. There is a solution of course to this problem, and that is to make
a sub-fence for the saw so that it displaces your material further away
from the original fence. By doing this, the bottom-most part of the blade
can actually make it all they way through your material giving you a
proper, flat-bottomed cut all the way along, but you do end up sacrificing
cutting width by the same amount as the thickness of your sub-fence. It's a compromise I guess,
but it does work. Again however, you will have to find a way to mount the
sub fence to the original fence to achieve this.
On further examination, it was found that when trying to
make a trench cut, the front part of the cut was actually deeper than the
back part of the cut, so there is a small misalignment between the plane
of the slide axis and the plane of the table top. This makes it difficult
to make square trench cuts. Naturally, if you dont plan on making trench
cuts with the saw anyway, it isn't an issue, but if you do and need this
feature, I'd be checking the saw out at the store first if possible to
look for this problem.
A small dust port is located behind the blade, and a small dust bag is
provided to connect to this port. Like most miter saws, the
majority of dust rarely finds its way into the dust port and bag. This is
not simply a problem with these particular saws, its a problem with almost
every miter saw. Their inherent design does not favor dust collection, and
sliding saws are even more difficult to catch dust from. Your best
solution is to use these saws outdoors. Failing that, you should build a
hood around the back of your saw that is hooked up to a 2HP+ dust
extractor. This hood should allow full movement of the saw through its
range of miter settings and bevel cutting settings. There are some good
examples of home-made saw dust hoods available online, and there are also
some commercial hoods available for sliding saws, but the price tags are
Well, I must say that the build quality of the saw in general was
better than I expected. Sure there are some issues with some of the
components, but most can be readily worked around if your saw purchase
must meet a specified budget. When you consider the
retail prices of the saws - the smaller LSMS210 retails for AUD$249, and
the larger LSMS250 retails for AUD$299, these saws offer good value for
money. With an investment in a better quality blade with more teeth, these
saws become a tool that can stand up and be counted, and compared in some
aspects to saws retailing for at least three times the price.
Naturally, the question of durability over time is one
we cannot answer at this stage, having only used the saws for a 6 week
period (we will update the review at a later stage to include information
on this factor), but the 2 year home/commercial/trade use warranty offered
will guarantee at least 2 years of use for your investment in the worst
case scenario. Plus the 30 day satisfaction guarantee means you can
purchase the saw, and if not happy with its features and functions
advertised, return it for a full refund.
For me, the biggest noteworthy aspect of saws of this
type is how well and how accurately they can make both stationery and
sliding cuts at varied bevel and miter angles, and after having used a
better quality blade on these saws for testing purposes, I can say they
are able to achieve high-accuracy cutting results when good tool technique
Both the LSMS210 and 250 are easy to use and adjust and
would suit all types of woodworkers, re-modelers or contractors not
willing or able to spend AUD$800+ on a sliding miter saw in the "pro"
class. On a dollar-for-dollar comparison between these saws and those
costing $800+, these latest GMC miter saws stack up quite well indeed.
The GMC website can be found at
www.gmcompany.com and you can contact them to find
out whether these saws are available to you in your local area.
GMC LSMS210 / LSMS250
All photos copyright onlinetoolreviews.com. Use without prior
written permission prohibited
The smaller LSMS210 saw mounted and ready to use...
The see-through rigid plastic blade guard keeps precious limbs away
Dual slide bars on the LSMS210 and LSMS250 provide a smooth sliding
action for wide cutting.
Solid bevel locking knob at rear of saw keeps that bevel setting from
The miter locking knob at the front of the saw table locks the table at
the desired miter angle setting.
The incremented miter scale and adjustable red angle marker.
The bevel angle scale. Only left tilt bevel cutting on these saws.
Here we see the dual laser line generator unit.
Saw tables are smooth and flat.
Main operating handle with yellow blade guard release "button" (left),
main power switch (center), and laser control button (right).
Flip lever moved over to allow depth stop trench cuts.
Without a sub-fence, the blade doesn't make it all the way through on
Cutting some framing material square to length.
The larger LSMS250 saw mounted. Very much identical feature-wise to the
smaller model. Just a little larger and bigger blade and motor.
Included dust bag attached.
This is the saw head locking knob that allows you to lock the head in
the down position for carrying or transporting the saw.
Included material clamp does its job well.
Extensions provide more support for workpieces.
This is what sliding saws are all about! Making a wide crosscut in
sheet material using the sliding feature.
A 30-degree bevel cut with the LSMS250 saw tilted left.
Test cutting a 45 degree miter for picture frames. Yes, you do need a
better crosscutting blade with more teeth for this task...
It's a little hard to see here, but there are indeed two
laser lines being projected onto this piece of wood. The laser is best
suited to indoor (shed / workshop) use.