Lion Miter Trimmer


Grumbler in Training
Mar 26, 2006
Rochester, NY
Does anyone have any experience with the Lion Miter Trimmer from Pootatuck Corporation? United used to carry it but no longer does. I was considering buying one for fillets and the ability to keep some length moulding in stock. Currently, I only buy chops and am a part-time framer. Space, dust and noise are a major consideration, hence the appeal of the Lion.
Rob, there are fillet trimmers made specifically for that purpose that would give you much better results. As for being able to chop length moulding, look into getting a Morso (or equivalent) foot-operated chopper. You can get very nice results on a good variety of woods, and use it for your fillets too.
Others who have posted here recently about the Lion Miter Trimmer were very disappointed with it for various reasons. Click the search button at the top of the page and do a search for it for more info.
:cool: Rick
Same here on the Lion. I had one, didn't work as I supposed it would, and took it back. Got a Mini-Mitre for fillets. Works great.

United USED TO CARRY IT BUT NO LONGER DOES. I hope this has to do a bit with my miserable (to put it mildly) experience with Lion sold by United.
Believe you me, you don't need that piece of garbage. For the price you pay for a Lion you buy 2 Taiwanese knock offs mitre trimmers that are truly working and give you full satisfaction. I have both, the Lion and the copy, and can prove every single assertion I publicly made in here.
The copy sells for some $150 by Woodtech.
I purchased one about eight or nine years ago, it sits on top of a cabinet gathering much dust. Don't waste your money. I have all kinds of worthless pieces of junk I have accumulated over the years. The lesson I have learned is, save your money, buy good equipment that was designed for the commercial trade. Anything that aims at the home hobbyist is probably going to be a frustration for you.

I bought a Lion trimmer a couple of years ago directly from Lion...I really like it! The blade is so sharp that once I got my thumb near the blade and just brushed it. Cut right through the nail and into the finger. I buy length and I rough cut it with a radial arm saw and then finish it with the Lion. The cuts are like glass. I have not tried it with a fillet. Now, is mine different than the ones sold by United..I don't know, but put one mark in the plus side from me.


PS-if I had a chop system maybe mine would be stored somewhere, but not for now.
Thanks everyone one for the feedback. I think at this point I'll buy something specific for fillets and hold off on a morso. I do know of an older morso sitting idly in a retired framers attic. I may try to persuade him to sell. Previously he only wanted to sell everything together, but most I don't need.
I have had my Pootatuck Lion Mitre Trimmer for more than 15 years. I can't work without it.

I wonder, however, if the tool is the same as the one discussed in a thread here a short time ago. I did not purchase the tool from United, I purchased it tool outlet in Seattle. Mine is a set of double blades set in a cast iron base. The blades look like a sideways guillotine; a detachable handle moves the blades back and forth in a channel. An description in the former thread sounded a bit different. I wondered if there might be another model.

The key is a properly sharpened blade. I can shave translucent layers from my chops so smoothly that no sanding is needed even on the hardest oaks while keeping the angle true. It is the one tool I can use to cut some of the gold finishes without chipping. It champfers and cuts odd angles like hexagons easily. It even cut nicely once after I loaned it to a friend who cut through some hidden nails and took chunks out of the cutting edge.

The mitre trimer is just that...a trimmer. It doesn't replace a saw or chopper. I have not used it for cutting fillets--I think the wood is generally too fragile unless your blade is very very sharp--as in "hair-splitting" sharp. If the blade is not sharp, the fillets tend to mash up rather than cut. I think there are other tools like the FilletMaster system that will do a better job. The other problem I have run into is also one mentioned previously-a moulding rounded at the back has a tendency to roll-altering the angle of the cut. Blocks that hold the moulding steady help counteract this problem.

Put me down as an enthusiastic supporter of the tool, though. It does a great job for me, inside and outside the shop. Hope this helps.
I must say that during the last 4-5 years or so I had bought and used four Lion type mitre trimmers, including one, from United, that was the original, the "proudly made in America" Lion by Pootatuck Co. At the time I bought my Lion I already had in use a Taiwanese Lion knock off trimmer which was working just fine for me. Lion was twice as expensive as the Taiwanese tool so I couldn't suspect anything wrong with it. Consequently, I air shipped my Lion trimmer directly to Romania without inspecting it first for quality.
Now, I hardly can conceive one or two little mistakes being possibly made in producing such a simple machine as Lion is, but this one beside its rough finish, was perfectly useless except may be for trimming on less demanding wood products like fence and crate's parts. I photo documented by email to Mr. Peter Ackerman from United and back to Pootatuck Co. well over a dozen of major machining mistakes rending my tool hopelessly useless. Huge out of square angles, ill fitting parts, asymmetrical moving parts that were so brutally grinded that they were sliding over the built in stops, wobbling cranked gear and handle that were interfering with the body of the trimmer etc. all having as result that trimming molding with that Lion was hopelessly hazardous and unpredictable of an operation.
At first I thought that I was in possession of a collectible item by Pootatuck Co. and I warned them that my unit looks like they were being sabotaged from within the company because their make looks like a broken, ugly and artless artifact being made by drunken workers somewhere in the Third World. After learning from them that for many decades they have not changed an iota in their technology and specifications, I gave up on my hopes to have my unit replaced or repaired by the manufacturer (providing I would bring it back from Romania and have it shipped to the factory on my expense).
Eventually I flew that piece of metal back to USA and decided to keep it here, in order to back my words, instead of having it replaced with a similarly built machine by the same primitive, arrogant and insensitive manufacturer. I am not campaigning against Lion and haven’t developed any obsession against it, but I’ll have my word in here and elsewhere anytime somebody would ask for opinions. And, by the way, for the price of one Lion I bought two more Taiwanese knocks offs which are performing impeccably well.