Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
My old miter box died this spring. A pin fell out, along with a spring, and I could no longer lock the sawblade at a specific angle.
The timing was not ideal. I had just begun to cut the trim required to finish my newly renovated back porch, and my next project; constructing a picture frame, could not be completed without the use of a miter box.
I booted the computer and navigated to Amazon.com. After browsing through their listing of tools, I settled on Stanley’s 20-800 clamping miter box. The price was reasonable, and the reviews were generally good.
The new saw arrived three days later. I assembled the miter box, snapped a few photographs, and then finished off the final touches of my summer project.
The Stanley clamping miter box weighs in at 40 ounces. The base; which appears to be constructed of cast aluminum, is 4.25 inches by 14.5 inches. It is supported by two 8.25-inch plastic legs which, using screws, can be secured to a wooden surface.
This box comes equipped with a detachable saw. The replaceable 22-inch blade features an induction-hardened, 3-sided tooth design.
Two bright yellow plastic pegs, in conjunction with the pegboard-styled base, are used for clamping. The cutting angle is adjustable, and a metal rod that can be extended six inches permits cuts of the same length to be repeated. The blade is fitted with spacers which allow cuts to be made to a specific depth.
- Base: 11 cm (4.25 in) by 37 cm (14.5 in)
- Feet: 21 cm (8.25 in)
- Blade length: 56 cm (22 inch) not including grip
- Blade type: Induction hardened steel with 3-sided teeth
- Clamping: Adjustable plastic pegs
- Angle adjustment: Spring loaded pushbutton
This US-based company came to existence as a direct result of the 1920 merger of Stanley's Bolt and the Stanley Rule and Level Company. Over the years this manufacturer has continued to grow, partly by accumulating a variety of competing tool companies.
In 2010 Stanley merged with another large manufacturer, creating Stanley Black & Decker. Then, in 2017, they purchased Craftsman from Sears.
Ease of Use
Although this device is fitted with rubber pads, to prevent the box from sliding during operation, it is best to attach it physically to a workbench with woodscrews. A miter box equipped with a wooden base would have been more convenient.
Angles are clearly marked, and a pushbutton allows the blade to be repositioned quickly.
The saw can be easily detached from the main unit, and blades are simple to remove and replace.
Plastic pegs can be positioned and swiveled in a manner that clamps the work securely against the miter box’s side.
The saw incorporates plastic sleeves which fit over metal shafts pointing upward from the miter box. While this is an effective system, I would have preferred sleeves composed of metal. Aside from this minor point, I consider the Stanley miter box to be well designed and competently manufactured.
The saw cuts quickly, and the angle adjustment mechanism assures accuracy. When I assembled my picture frame, I noticed that the results, while close, were not perfect. This is more likely due to my lack of craftmanship than to the design of the miter box.
This tool comes with everything you need to cut trim and put together items—such as picture frames—which require perfectly angled cuts. It is well built, easy to use, and replacement blades are readily available. The Stanley 20-800 clamping miter box is recommended.
© 2019 Walter Shillington