If you are looking for miter saw reviews before you buy, you have come to the right place. We have tested the latest miter saws and can give you up to date information on which ones are fit for the job, and which ones to avoid. We can also offer advice on how to get the best out of your miter saw, that will save you time and money.
- 1 What is a miter saw ?
- 2 Best Miter Saws for Each Type
- 3 Miter Saw Buyer’s Guide
- 4 So what is the difference between a Standard Miter Saw and a Compound Miter Saw?
What is a miter saw ?
Miter saws are very versatile tools and every carpenter should have one. Read the miter saw reviews and make your choice today. They are able to make angled cuts by pulling the circular blade down onto a piece of wood or molding with a short, precise plunge. Some people think miter saws are very varied and complex, but there are basically only three types. The type of miter saw you need depends on what type of your woodworking you will be doing.
Best Miter Saws for Each Type
Best miter saw overall
DEWALT DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
With a rating of 4.9 out of 5 and over 650 reviews, the Dewalt DW715 is the top rated miter saw overall. It has 11-positivestops that deliver durability and accuracy for your work-site. You get Dewalt quality with this product. It supports crown molding for up to 5 and a quarter inches and base molding up to 6 and a half inches vertically. It is also very lightweight and has easy portability. The motor has a speed of 4000 RPM and 15 amp. 4 Hardened steel bevel stops, tin and sharp saw and an awesome price. You can recreate projects you see on the internet at a record pace. The only downside we see is that it doesn’t have a LED to cast a cut-line shadow but customers are happy even without this feature.
Best miter saw for Homeowners
Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw
If you want a miter saw for your home, the Hitachi C10FCE2 is the choice for you. It provides accurate, smooth crosscuts and miters in a variety of work-pieces including plywood, soft fiber-boards, decorative panels, wood, aluminum sashes and hard board. It is an ideal power tool for woodworkers, farmers and trim carpenters. C10FCE2 is one of, if not, the lightest compound miter saw. The features of this tool include positive miter stops, 45 degree Bevel, elastomer grip, dust bag and a box containing a 24 tooth 10 inc TCT saw blade, vise assembly, box wrench, extended fence.
Best Compound Miter Saw
DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw with XPS, 12-Inch
The DEWALT DW716XPS has the integrated XPS Cross Cut System with a high intensity LED light that is used as a laser to casts shadows of the blade. It has a 15 amp powerful motor that delivers 3600 RPM and high visibility bevel scale. All the settings are solid and the angle cuts are precise, cutting miter joints are easy with this tool and compound cuts are simple to create.
Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw
DEWALT DWS779 12″
The DEWALT DWS779 includes the CUTLINE Blade Positioning System which gives adjustment free cut line indication for visibility and best accuracy. It has a motor with 3800 rpm and 15 amp which delivers durability and of course, power. It also features an efficient dust collection system, it usually captures 75% of the dust. There is not LED cut line on this model but you should check out the similar models. Customers say it’s well built and can withstand serious work. What else can we say? it’s an excellent saw that delivers perfect cuts and has excellent quality and material.
Best 12” sliding compound miter saw
WEN 70712 12-Inch
This product is the second best after the DEWALT DWS779, it is also cheaper. This is very good for an average DIY’er without paying too much. For some people remodeling their homes this miter saw is the top choice. This tool slides like a radial arm saw. It has a decent blade and it’s very accurate. The maximum cut is 12 inch, 8 inch 45 degrees will cut 4 inches thick. For this price this is solid good quality.
Best 12 inch Miter Saw
SKIL 3821-01 12-Inch Quick Mount Compound Miter Saw with Laser
If you are a woodworker or an intermediate DYIer this is the perfect power tool for you. This model features the Quick Mount System, extension rails, laser and a powerful motor with 4500 RPM and 15 AMP. This product will cut thought 4×4 posts but doesn’t come with a stand. The controls operate easily and no adjustments are required out of the box. You can always trust SKIL to make great products of high quality, it also has a great price and is easy to work with.
Miter Saw Buyer’s Guide
Types of Miter Saws
A Standard or Basic Miter Saw is the least versatile of the three variations, but will still do a great job if you do not require bevel or compound cuts.
The Compound Miter Saw is much easier to use than the standard saw as you can position your workpiece flat for cutting, and it can adjust simultaneously for both bevel and miter cuts. A compound miter saw is suitable for jobs that require cutting of stock that is not very wide or tall, like a picture frame or door or window trim.
The Sliding Miter Saw is the most versatile of all the models available. Its motor and blade assembly is mounted on an extendable arm that accommodates wider and longer stock. The saw works like an basic fixed-head model for smaller workpieces. Some models can only have the blade pivoting in one direction, but the dual sliding compound miter saw enables the blade to tilt to the left or right.
Common Miter Saw Features
Though miter saw models of will vary from brand to brand and within different designs, there are some more commonly found features that should help you when choosing an ideal miter saw for your workshop.
Blade Guard: Most miter saws feature a safety blade guard that automatically retracts when the saw is lowered for operation, and then reappears when it is raised.
Laser Guide: This gives you a precise visual guide of where the cut will be on your stock.
Shaft Lock: This immobilizes the shaft and the blade for simpler, quicker blade changes.
Dust Bag: This helps collect sawdust at the back of the saw, keeping it clean and giving you a more tidy work space.
Electric Brake: An important safety feature that stops the blade quickly in an emergency by reversing the flow of electricity when you release the saw’s trigger.
Table Extensions: These extensions fit onto both sides of the saw and help balance longer work pieces or wood or molding and stop them from rocking.
Miter Saw Blades
Miter Saw Blades are available in different sizes, grades and materials. There are three main types of miter saw blade: steel blades, high-speed steel blades, and carbide-tipped blades.
Steel Blades are inexpensive and great for cutting plywood or soft woods. As you would expect, the sharpness reduces quickly when used on harder materials.
High-Speed Steel Blades are more sturdy than steel blades, and can cope with cutting tougher materials.
Carbide-Tipped Blades are the most expensive of the miter saw blades but they are worth it because they are a lot more durable and maintain their sharpness for a lot longer.
So what is the difference between a Standard Miter Saw and a Compound Miter Saw?
A power miter saw has a hinged frame that lets you make repetitive and precise vertical cuts, either straight down or at an angle in small boards, timber or molding. The advantage is that repetition needed in your woodwork is a piece of cake, because the power miter saw saves a whole lot of time.
Compound saws not only cut at an angle, but also let you position the blade to the side, which basically gives you two angled cuts simultaneously. This feature makes the compound miter saw excellent for cutting moldings, especially crown moldings.
When using a standard miter saw, a crown molding would need to be placed on the saw table or stand upside down at the exact angle that it is going to be installed at before an angle cut can be made. This is not very practical and it has the added disadvantage of tall crown molding not fitting underneath the blade. Even if it did fit, the raised guide along the back of the saw’s frame will often be too short for the molding to lean against it. This means you will need to make your own custom support to lean the molding against. Again, not very practical, as the reason you bought the miter saw in the first place was to save time, not increase your workload. However, it is a possible solution if you have enough patience and diligence.
The compound miter saw makes these problems history. The blade’s angle can be set enabling you to make the compound cut by having the molding lying flat on the base of the saw. This makes the whole operation much easier and a lot more accurate. Wood Magazine has very helpful software that lets you work out the compound miter angle for items with up to 50 sides. Very few jobs will require you to need anything with quite that many sides and angles, but it’s nice to know that the facility is there if you need it!
Wide and Thick Boards
The sliding compound miter saw does not only hinge to make the cut, but also hinges as well as slides or just slides on its own. The main advantage of the sliding miter saw is that much wider and thicker boards can be cut using it. This is the obvious choice for the professional, because it is extremely accurate in cutting angles on most popular sizes of lumber, boards and moldings.
You will generally pay more for a compound miter saw than you would a standard one, and more still for a slide compound miter saw. But if you are planning to do a lot of moldings or are prepared to pay a little more for the best tool for the job, it will definitely be worth investing in one.