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Please begin with an informative title:

Welcome to the post-Thanksgiving edition of SMHRB when even the most curmudgeonly among us (count me in on not wanting to see Santa decorations going up before Halloween!) are willing to turn our attention to the upcoming holidays.  Today's topic is tool-buying for gifts.  What is on your own wish list? Do you need any advice on buying tools for someone else on your gift list?

But first we interrupt this program for this important message:

SMHRB is where we gather every week to talk about our homes: how to fix them, how to upgrade them, and what kind of "stupid" the former owner left behind.  For just about any project, there's someone who's done it before and has all kinds of helpful advice.  Everyone is welcome, from the newbie to the professional.  Feel free to ask questions about your current project and offer suggestions for the problems described.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program:  It's tool time!

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

My gift list plea

I'll start out by requesting advice on buying a good saw for Mr. Watt.  I want to buy him a miter saw. All we currently have is a regular circular saw.  We have many projects planned to deal with this stack of lumber that we had milled from the cedar trees that were cut for our building site.  For example, we plan on building some bridges from a design that requires cutting various angles.  However, we aren't planning on any fine woodworking yet (but maybe someday).  This stack of lumber includes 2x4s, 4x4s, and 2x6s.

Why we need a saw
So I'd appreciate your wisdom on
  • What features of miter saws are important to consider? I see terms I only vaguely understand like "compound", "sliding", and "dual-bevel".  How about laser guides and LED lights?
  • What features are over-hyped and not important enough to influence a purchase?  
  • What brands/models would you recommend from your experience?
  • What accessaries are needed?  What do I need to consider in a stand on which to mount the saw?

Also, are there any suggestions on little "stocking stuffer" type of tools that anyone would love to receive?

Your turn

What tools do you hope to get for holiday gifts?  If we get a good discussion going, you can print out this diary and leave it where your significant other will find it as a hint.  Note to Significant Others:  if you find such a printout around the house, you know what to do!

What questions do you have about tools you want to buy (for someone else or for yourself)?

And if you have a home repair problem that is off the topic of tool buying, that's OK too.  Please don't hesitate to ask your question of the collective expertise assembled here.

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