What am I trying to build? Some custom cabinets for my weird sized kitchen number one. After that, I want to build an "around the ceiling model railroad" for my S-gauge train collection in my too small house. I want to build a lot of new crawl space covers that go all around my property. If that goes well, I want to try extending the loft in my garage so I can have more storage space and a proper space for my model railroad (I've got an architect friend to help on that).

I would say I'm much better at woodworking than your average person - I went to a trade school and I've been a landlord for 17 years, so I've repaired, fabricated, and installed a ton of things. Having said that, I'm definitely not a professional.

Anyways, I was looking at Home Depot. I've had good luck with DeWalt power tools, but man they can get expensive. I saw a nice DEWALT 15 Amp 12 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw for $600, which I guess isn't too bad for a quality tool that will last you a lifetime.

But for $200 I saw a Ryobi 13 Amp 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser . Is the DeWalt worth three times as much? They also carry Bosch, Rigid (is that a Home Depot brand?), and Makita.

What should I look for? What features do I need? Which features can I skip? Up until now I've made do with a hand saw and a miter box, and my dad's old GE sabre saw. Do I need a 12", or can I get away with a 10"?

Heck, is a miter saw even the best tool for the job?