If you’re looking to make angled cuts, with stability and accuracy, you should consider getting a miter saw. It’s the go-to alternative for people who can’t afford to compromise on quality. The saw’s versatility also makes it ideal for tons of woodworking projects.
However, the biggest challenge that most people face when it comes to miter saws is picking the right one. There are three main types of miter saws, each one with its pros and cons. So it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed when you’re buying a miter saw for the first time.
This review touches on all three miter saws to help you make an informed decision. We spent hours going through miter saw reviews and narrowed down a few options in each category. We aim to ensure that you end up with the best miter saw for your needs by the end of this review.
Miter Saw Reviews
Sliding Miter Saw
Sliding miter saws have rails that make it possible for the saw blade to slide back and forth across the wood. They are ideal for making cuts with greater depth.
For instance, the saw can effortlessly cut through wide pieces of wood, such as a 2 x 12 log. It can cut twice the width that a standard miter saw can handle. You should consider getting one if you’re planning to use a lot of baseboards in your projects.
Have a look at two of the best sliding miter saws on the market.
The Festool 561287 is an advanced miter saw that can deliver the finest trim work and provide professional results. Its one of the best sliding miter saws on the market because it’s chock-full of smart features.
The saw has an integrated dust hood and extraction function that offers up to 91% sawdust extraction. Its design ensures the swiveling dust port directs the dust away while its rubber hood leads it into the dust collection port. That’s how it captures chips at a higher rate compared to other saws. Users like how the feature reduces cleanup time and improves job-site safety.
You’ll have an easy time aligning your cuts thanks to its dual laser design. The lasers offer accurate setups since they clearly define the material. You can fine-tune them using three-axis adjustment controls and even operate them without turning on the saw. As a precautionary measure, the brand also included a two-stage trigger to prevent accidental triggering.
Other features that make the saw safe include its sturdy, non-slip clamp. The clamp is secure thanks to the machine’s lever-actuated cam-lock, and there’s also a rubber pad that will protect the piece you’re working on.
The saw’s rail-forward design also contributes to its accuracy. Its rails ensure smooth cuts since they’re wide enough to prevent head play. This design helps save on workspace since it enables users to place the saw against the wall.
Another convenient feature you can look forward to is the brand’s patented FastFix system. The system is intuitive and allows for fast and easy blade changes. You’ll like how the saw produces clean and consistent results thanks to its constant speed monitoring. Its variable speed ranges from 1,400 to 3,400 rpm, and it also features soft-start technology to prevent jolts and improve control.
This sliding miter saw still has tons of other beneficial features that make it stand out. They include its precise miter scale, fine bevel adjustment, secure lock, and efficient direct-drive motor.
Aside from the saw, you will also get a 60-tooth carbide blade, an angle transfer device, a clamp, and a wrench. The manufacturer offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a three-year limited warranty as well.
2. Bosch CM10GD Compact Miter Saw
Power and versatility are two words that are often associated with the Bosch CM10GD. Its 4,000-rpm motor and increased cutting capacity are part of the reasons why it comes highly recommended.
It features an innovative Axial-Glide System that’s responsible for its smooth cutting control. And stands out because its precision allows users to work productively in tight quarters. The system eliminates any chances of misalignment and is partially responsible for the saw’s compact design.
You’ll find the saw convenient since the adjustments will be quick and easy. It features square lock precision fences and upfront bevel controls to give users an effortless time when they’re adjusting it. You’ll no longer struggle to reach behind the saw just to change the bevel settings.
Other benefits you’ll get from the tall sliding fences include increased molding capacity, flexibility, and ease of use. The Bosch CM10GD was also designed with the user’s comfort in mind. It features an ergonomic trigger handle that makes the saw convenient for all-day use.
The handle is form-fitting and ambidextrous as well. Meaning, anyone can comfortably use it regardless of whether they’re left or right-handed. You’ll also have excellent visibility when working thanks to the handle’s clear lower guard.
Like the previous sliding miter saw, this model also comes with a dust collection chute. You’ll get a vacuum adapter as well, for easy cleanup.
Compound Miter Saw
In addition to their mitering ability, these saws are also capable of making bevel cuts. Compound miter saw blades have pivoting arms that users can tilt to different angles. They are a great fit for people taking on projects that involve wall installations or crown molding.
Here are two of the best compound miter saws that the market has to offer.
1. Metabo HPT Compound Miter Saw
If you’re looking for the best 10 inch miter saw, you should check out the Metabo HPT. Also known as the Hitachi power tool, this saw has a miter angle range that allows for increased flexibility. It also has adjustable bevel stops making it ideal for precision cuts.
The saw comes with a large table and a vice clamping system. These two features provide users with better material support and ensure that the workpiece is well secured. You also won’t struggle with the miter adjustments, since it has thumb-actuated positive stops.
Users can easily replace the miter saw brush thanks to the carbon brush access. Replacing the brush will also prolong the useful life of the saw.
2. SKIL 3821-01 12-Inch Quick Mount Compound Miter Saw
The SKIL 3821-01 compound miter saw has an innovative design that’s easy to use and assemble. It’s considered one of the best 12 inch miter saws thanks to its efficiency, heavy-duty construction, and the accuracy of its Laser Cutline Guide.
One of its popular features include the positive stops, which help set standard miter angles. The saw also has a Quick-Mount system that allows users to set it up on the miter stand.
This model comes with a powerful 4,500 RPM motor and has a table extension for long workpieces. The table also includes left and right extension rails.
Compound Sliding Miter Saw
As the name suggests, this type of miter saw has the capabilities of both the sliding miter saw and the compound miter saw. It uses rails and features a left bevel as well.
What this means is that you’ll be able to make compound cuts and increase the cross-cut capacity if you wish. The only downside is that compound sliding miter saws aren’t as compact as the others, so portability might be an issue from time to time.
1. DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Dewalt offers an exclusive back fence design that will positively impact your woodworking projects. You’ll be able to cut 2 by 14 dimensional lumber at 90 degrees, and 2 by 12 lumber at 45 degrees.
The saw features a 3800rpm motor, a 12-inch blade diameter, and a maximum cutting thickness of 6.75 inches. It also has an efficient system that collects over 75% of the dust generated as you work.
2. Makita-LS1219L Sliding Compound Saw
We close off our review with the Makita LS1219L. This saw features a unique two-steel rail sliding system design that’s responsible for its small footprint and single slide-glide operation. The design also makes it possible to operate the saw against a wall.
You should consider getting this model if you’re looking for a saw with an increased vertical cutting capacity. It’s innovatively engineered with a direct drive motor and guard-system for that purpose. You’ll get an increased capacity for up to 8-inch nested crown molding and 6 to a ¾-inch baseboard. Users can also do 15-inch cross-cuts at 90-degrees.
The saw is designed for convenient operation and even has an in-front bevel lock for easy accessibility. For accurate cuts, the brand incorporated a linear ball bearing system. Its large-sized base also improves the cutting efficiency and the stability of the material. However, the main feature responsible for its cutting performance is the brand’s deep and exact cutting technology.
The tech consists of an innovative direct-drive gearbox, a guard system, a patented 4-steel rail sliding system, and six linear ball bearings, among other things. Other features worth noting include the saw’s high-quality 60T carbide-tipped blade, electric brake, and see-through system for better visibility of the blade when cutting.
This guide highlights what you need to keep in mind when making your selection. Take your time and cautiously go through each of the following aspects to get the option that fits you best.
As you’ve already seen from the above reviews, miter saws come in different sizes. However, there are several things you need to consider before you settle for a specific size. If you’re after portability, you should get a saw that’s less than ten inches. It will be compact and light, but you’ll only be able to cut smaller bases, door trims, and crowns.
Twelve-inch miter saws are excellent for people who want more cutting depth. You’ll also need one if you plan to cut tall vertical crowns. The downside to saws this size is that they’re large and might require a stand.
On the other hand, ten-inch miter saws offer the best of both worlds. They are a great fit for people who want a portable miter saw with a reasonable cutting capacity. Overall, the size you settle for should be one that best suits the material you intend to use and the nature of your work.
Make sure you select a miter saw that has features that will make your work easier. If your project involves making long cuts, go for miter saws with large diameter blades. The blade size could mean the difference between completing a project or getting stuck halfway through it.
If you value precision, opt for a model with positive stops. The stops enable users to make precise cuts on specific angles. Additionally, the stops will allow you to make quick adjustments since you’ll spend less time setting up the cuts you’ll need.
Some have depth stops for managing the blade’s height adjustments. As the name suggests, these stops can help you control how deep you’ll be able to cut into the piece you’re working on. Articulated blade guards are also features you should look into because they’ll give you a better view of the cutting line.
Lasers are just as helpful because they help guide your cuts, making them more accurate. For cutting power, go for a miter saw with a powerful motor. You can check the saw’s Amps to figure out if its motor is powerful enough for you.
Other features worth checking out include electric brakes, spindle or shaft locks, sliding and flip fences, table extensions, dust bags, and digital displays.
3. Corded or Cordless
Corded miter saws have been there for years. You can use them as long as you’re near a power source, and they’re quite affordable. But you’ll need to handle the cord with care because you won’t be able to operate the saw if it gets damaged.
Cordless saws are convenient for people who spend a lot of time on job sites. They require batteries, so you don’t need electricity to operate one. But you run the risk of getting stranded in case your battery dies out.
However, it’s important to note that newer models have a longer run-time and even rival corded saws in terms of power.
Some saws have front controls while others have rear controls. If possible, go for front control designs since they offer more convenience. You won’t waste time reaching around to bevel a cut, thanks to their accessibility.
1. What size should I get when buying a miter saw?
As mentioned earlier, there are two main things that should influence your decision when it comes to picking the right miter saw size; that is, portability and capacity. Opt for a smaller sized miter saw if you’re looking for something that you can transport easily.
Medium-sized saws can offer a great compromise between portability and cutting capacity. However, a large miter saw will provide you with more than enough cutting depth.
2. What’s the difference between a single bevel and a double bevel miter saw?
Single bevel miter saws can make both miter and bevel cuts. They are quite handy because users can make both cuts simultaneously or independently. You should consider purchasing this type of miter saw if your project doesn’t require complex cuts.
The downside to using a single bevel saw is that you would have to flip the workpiece upside down to make bevel cuts on the other side. And that’s where the difference between the two types of saws comes in.
You won’t have to flip your workpiece if you use a double bevel miter saw. It can simultaneously make complex cuts on both sides of the material. That’s why a lot of people find it convenient. The major downside to these types of saws is that they’re more costly compared to their single bevel counterparts.
3. Are there any safety tips for handling a miter saw?
From this review, you can tell that there are many benefits to owning a miter saw. But like many tools, you must handle it with care or risk hurting yourself.
Here are a few safety tips that you should always keep in mind:
- Keep your fingers far from the blade
- Always wear ear protection to avoid any hearing complications in the future
- Wear goggles for eye protection to prevent small pieces of materials from hurting your eyes
- Always operate the saw with one hand. Use the other hand to hold down the workpiece securely.
- Check and tighten the blades regularly
We trust that there’s at least one type of miter saw that has captured your attention. But we wish to remind you that the best miter saw is one that will help you finish your projects effortlessly.