5 Best Miter Saws (Compound and Sliding)

Even though I find it difficult to choose my favorite power tool, I admit that my miter saw is a tool I keep returning to. After all, I believe a miter saw can be highly effective and helpful in many situations, so having one in your arsenal is essential.

But this is where you could run into a problem. If you look at the market, it always appears to be flooded with different options regarding miter saws. That does, in turn, make life so much harder when trying to choose which saw to purchase.

working with miter saw jobsite

But don’t stress because I have you covered.

What you will find below is a list of five different miter saws that you can go out and purchase right now. However, these miter saws are not just five random saws out there.

Instead, I’ve used my extensive experience dealing with power tools and carrying out different projects to create this list.

But that’s not all. I also know that people who are new to using a miter saw may not even know what to look for when buying one. So, if that sounds like you, then I have you covered.

After checking out my list, you will find some tips and a guide on what to look for when making that purchase. I aim to ensure you have all the information you need to reach your decision.

How I Made My List

With so many miter saws to choose from, I had to formulate a plan to reduce the options to something easy to manage. That meant each miter saw had to match up to specific criteria to then qualify for my list.

I wanted to be sure that each saw was very easy to set up and use. I hate using tools that appear determined to make life more difficult. Also, I have only included models where it’s very easy to change the blade. You want the base machine to be something that can last for a long time, so knowing how to change the blade without struggling to do so is also important to me.

But there was also the functionality. How good was it at cutting through the material? What was the cutting depth like? 

Finally, I looked at what current owners had to say about the model. Were they happy with it some time after their purchase, and did it continue to perform as they hoped?

Once I had finished looking at all that, I was left with these five different miter saws.

Before we dive into in-depth reviews of all the five miter saws on the list, here are my top 3 picks:

PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Lightweight.
  • Miter Angle Range.
  • Thumb Actuated Positive Stops.
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  • Axial Glide System.
  • Capacity.
  • Adjustable.
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  • Compact, portable saw for cutting accuracy.
  • Idea for Crown and base molding jobs.
  • Use for trim, framing and craft projects.
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Best Overall Miter Saw – DeWalt DWS779 12-Inch

cutting large board dewalt miter saw
  • Blade Size: 12”
  • Cutting Depth: 6.75”
  • Bevel Angle: +48 degrees to -48 degrees
  • Power: 15 Amp

For me, the best miter saw on the market right now is the DeWalt DWS779. This miter saw is an absolute beast, and one of the things I love is the fact it offers a bevel angle on either side.

You see, so many miter saws will only allow a bevel on one side. That clearly restricts what you can do, so this miter saw opens up a whole host of new possibilities.

It comes with a 12” blade and can cut through material up to almost 7” thick, which is impressive. It also has a 15 Amp motor, so it packs a real punch from a power perspective. 

But the model also comes with sliding rails, which means it can go ahead and cut through lumbar up to 16” wide, which is more than most options on the market. It means you feel you can work with larger projects, which is a huge advantage.

But DeWalt has managed to think of everything with this model. For example, they allow you to move the fence out of the way to give the blade even more space. That is useful with those larger pieces of wood as it gives you a clearer view of what you are cutting.

Overall, I feel this powerful miter saw over-delivers in what it can do. It doesn’t complicate matters, and that double bevel option is just an added bonus.

Pros

  • It has a powerful 15 Amp motor
  • The double bevel angle means more opportunities to use the saw
  • It has a fantastic dust collection system included
  • Setting up the miter saw is exceptionally easy
  • It can deal with larger pieces of wood compared to most models

Cons

  • It is a large and heavy saw, so space becomes an issue

Best Compound Miter Saw – Metabo HTP C10FCGS 10”

Metabo HPT Compound Miter Saw, 10' Miter Saw with Large Table Saw for woodworking, Power saw with 15-Amp Motor, Accurate Miter Angles, 0-45° Bevel, 24T TCT Miter Saw Blade, Positive Stops, C10FCGS

  • Blade Size: 10”
  • Power: 15 Amp
  • Speed: 5,000 RPM
  • Miter Angle: 52 degrees
  • Bevel Angle: 45 degrees to left

If you want a 10” compound miter saw, then this model by Metabo should appear on your list. I find it to be relatively compact, at least compared to a 12” model, and yet it still packs a serious punch when it comes to its power.

The power comes from a 15 Amp motor capable of delivering speeds of up to 5,000 RPM. That means the 10” blade will make short work of the lumbar, but remember that a 10” blade cannot cut the same thickness as a 12” blade. So, it slightly restricts the projects you can use this miter saw on.

I feel that this saw works best on material up to 2 x 6. Anything beyond that size will result in it either struggling or just incapable of cutting through it due to those size limitations. However, it certainly won’t struggle with anything smaller than that size.

One thing I do love about this model is the fact you can even cut metal. However, you do need to swap the original blade out to do this, but at least the saw has the power capabilities.

I also appreciate that the 52-degree miter angle works to both left and right. However, the bevel angle, which sits at 45 degrees, only works to the left. In saying that, most miter saws only work in that one direction, so it’s not a big deal.

Overall, I think this miter saw is a fantastic example. It’s lightweight and compact in size, which means one thing: portability. Also, I believe this miter saw would be perfect for people new to this power tool.

Pros

  • It is indeed lightweight and portable
  • It offers a reasonable miter angle
  • It can cut metal if you change the blade
  • It’s straightforward to use and perfect for beginners
  • It’s powerful enough to cut through 2 x 6

Cons

  • The smaller blade size does mean some restrictions on what it can cut
  • Lightweight.
  • Miter Angle Range.
  • Thumb Actuated Positive Stops.
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Best Premium Miter Saw – Bosch GCM12SD 12”

BOSCH GCM12SD 15 Amp 12 Inch Corded Dual-Bevel Sliding Glide Miter Saw with 60 Tooth Saw Blade

  • Blade Size: 12”
  • Power: 3 HP
  • Bevel Angle: +45 to -45 degrees
  • Speed: 3,800 RPM

If you feel like going for a premium model, then this miter saw by Bosch is the one I would choose. It comes with a 12” blade and has 3 HP of power behind it. That does mean it won’t struggle to cut through most materials.

What I love about this model is the absolute control you have over the saw at all times. It comes with a glide movement controller, meaning you have a firm grasp of the movement when in use. Also, there is a soft trigger handle with this model. That means it sits comfortably in your hand and doesn’t require excessive pressure to trigger the saw into action.

I also like the fact it has two slider arms, and that does extend things out to a total of 40”. Basically, you can work with larger panels with this saw, so it has little in the way of limitations. You are looking at it cutting up to 14”, and that’s huge for a miter saw you can then have in your home workshop.

Add in an easy to use dust chute, where you need to attach your own vacuum system, two quick-release fences, and a large base to work on, and this miter saw is an absolute dream. 

Overall, this model comes packed with power, can cut through almost anything, and remains easy to use, so there’s a lot to love about it.

Pros

  • It has a tremendous amount of power
  • The extending arms increase its capabilities
  • It has a bevel angle on both sides
  • The dust chute works well and reduces dust
  • It has a clear guard, so it’s easy to know what’s going on

Cons

  • It’s heavier than most at 88lbs
  • Axial Glide System.
  • Capacity.
  • Adjustable.
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Best Miter Saw for Small Budgets – Black & Decker M1850BD

Black+Decker M1850BD 7-1/4' Compound Miter Saw,

  • Blade Size: 7 ¼”
  • Power: 9 Amp
  • Miter Angle: 45 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Angle: 45 degrees left

If you plan on sticking to a lower budget, then don’t stress about not finding a suitable miter saw. This model by Black & Decker comes with a low price tag, but I’m still impressed with what you can achieve.

Sure it has a smaller blade size than most at just over 7”, but as long as you plan on sticking to smaller projects, then it will still work. Also, due to the size of wood it can cut, I wouldn’t stress about it only coming with 9 Amps of power. With what you will use this tool for, you don’t need to ramp up the power to the same as a 12” miter saw.

The only thing I struggle with is the fact they have kept the miter angle to 45 degrees. I prefer when it pushes up over 50 degrees left and right simply because it opens up more possibilities. Also, the bevel angle is at 45 degrees to the left, but that’s standard.

But back to the cutting size. At a 90-degree angle, you can still cut a 2 x 4, while a 45-degree angle will cut a 2 x 3. That’s good enough with a blade of this size, in my opinion.

Finally, the last thing I like about this model is its weight. It only comes in at 17lbs, and that’s due to the aluminum base. So, portability is never an issue with this model.

Pros

  • It’s lightweight and portable
  • It’s easy to line up and make accurate cuts
  • It’s quick to change the blade
  • It’s perfect for small projects
  • People new to miter saws won’t have any problems with this model

Cons

  • Its blade size clearly leads to restrictions with cuts
  • Compact, portable saw for cutting accuracy.
  • Idea for Crown and base molding jobs.
  • Use for trim, framing and craft projects.
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Best Value Miter Saw – DeWalt 12” DWS715

DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, 15-Amp, Single Bevel, Compound (DWS715)

  • Blade Size: 12”
  • Power: 15 Amp
  • Speed: 4,000 RPM

If you want to own a name you can trust but where you still get real value for money, then this miter saw by DeWalt is one to look out for. It comes with a 12” blade and is equipped with 15 Amp of power, leading to the blade reaching speeds of 4,000 RPM.

I love this miter saw for all those trimming and simple cutting jobs around the house. It’s quick and easy to set up, and even though it only bevels to the left, I don’t see that as a significant issue considering what you would purchase this tool to do.

However, I also appreciate the sliding fences. That does increase its capabilities somewhat, and I feel the sliding mechanism is easy enough to operate. 

But DeWalt also makes sure this tool is safe to use. It has an auto-lock on the arm when it’s in the down position. That means nothing can pop up, and you can be sure of making that cut safely.

Overall, I feel this saw makes life very easy for you. It’s lightweight, quick to set up, and produces accurate cuts every time.

Pros

  • This model is lightweight and portable
  • It has more than enough power for most projects
  • It has a 48-degree bevel angle
  • The sliding fences are easy to operate
  • The safety mechanisms are fantastic

Cons

  • The arm for locking wood in place is not in the best position making life harder
  • Stainless-steel miter detent plate.
  • The mitre saw features the precise miter system.
  • Tall sliding fence of DEWALT miter saw.
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How to Choose the Perfect Miter Saw

jobsite miter saw

While the five models listed above will prove to be fantastic in their own individual right, I know that choosing a miter saw that fits in with your own personal needs is not always easy. It becomes even more challenging when you have never owned a miter saw. 

So, if that’s you, these tips on what to look out for when choosing a miter saw should make life that bit easier.

Blade Size

The blade size clearly determines what you can cut; the bigger the blade, the bigger the wood. Typically, I see the following applying to the blade sizes.

If you purchase either a 7 ¼” or an 8 ½” miter saw, this is ideal for small cuts around the home. It means you can cut a 2 x 4 at 90 degrees with this particular size.

A 10” blade size will allow you to cut a 2 x 6 with ease at 90 degrees, along with a 2 x 4 at 45 degrees.

Finally, a 12” blade size allows you to cut a 2 x 8 at 90 degrees and a 2 x 6 at 45 degrees. A 12” blade is the preferred choice for builders and also serious DIY’ers.

Slider Miter Saws

You may have noticed me mentioning slider arms, and if you plan on working with wider boards, I would always get a miter saw with this option. It means you can increase the size of the board you work with. For example, a 10” blade with slider arms can be used to cut a board of up to 2 x 12.

Power

Power plays a key role as it does determine the ease with which a miter saw can cut through the material.

You should look for either 15 Amp or as close to 15 Amp as possible. However, it becomes less important when considering a miter saw with a much smaller blade size.

The more power, the easier it is for the saw to cut through tougher materials. 

Safety

Safety is always important, but you are helped by the fact a miter saw is not generally regarded as one of the most dangerous power tools. However, you still need to ensure your model has certain things in place.

Each model comes with a blade guard, and I prefer it to be clear. Being transparent makes it easier to see what’s going on with the blade and to ensure you get an accurate cut.

Also, look to see if your model has a trigger brake. This does not appear on every model, but it’s helpful to have if you intend to make a series of cuts one after the other.

What happens here is the blade will stop spinning as soon as you release the trigger. That way, if something happens, you know just to let go, and the saw will stop.

You should also find that your model comes with a safety clamp. That’s used to stop the material from sliding around, and these clamps should prove easy to apply. 

Dust Collection

I would also pay attention to the dust collection option with your miter saw. You want to ensure it removes the dust from your line of sight and also that it doesn’t blow the sawdust up into your face. It may involve connecting your own vacuum system, but it does need to come with a dust collection option.

Overall, know what you intend to do with your miter saw before buying. If you don’t plan on working with larger boards, then a compound saw may be satisfactory. However, those slider options do increase the options available to you.

Just ensure the blade is easy to change and has ample power to cut through that wood. Look at how the miter is adjusted, which should be in simple increments, and be aware of the bevel angle. If possible, get a bevel angle of more than 45 degrees, even though they prove hard to come by.

Overall Conclusion

And those are the five miter saws I find to be the best on the market and available to purchase right now. As you can see, the different saws cover different experience levels and capabilities, so there should be something there for you.

Also, remember to check out my tips and guide for extra information on how to select the best miter saw for your own individual needs. That should make life so much easier for you if you find yourself struggling to work out which one to choose.

There’s no doubt in my mind that owning a miter saw is key for any individual who plans on working with wood in pretty much any project. It will change how you tackle a project and also lead to you being able to complete things in a shorter period of time. If you have never owned a miter saw before, then now is the time to change.


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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

3 thoughts on “5 Best Miter Saws (Compound and Sliding)”

  1. I guess you over looked the new 10 inch sliding mitre saw by Ridgid. Best saw I have ever owned. Bevels both ways can do a 70 degree cut has a light and it’s light. I love mine

    Reply
  2. Thank You for your list. It certainly helps me make a decision as a rookie on all this. One question, is the Black & Decker the same as Craftsman since they are now made by B&D / Stanley. I was thinking of the 10″ slider Craftsman @ $230.00 with the shadow light. Is this saw good?

    Reply
    • You’re welcome! I’m glad the list was helpful for you.

      To answer your question, while Black & Decker and Craftsman are now owned by the same parent company (Stanley Black & Decker), they are still separate brands with their own product lines.

      As for the Craftsman 10″ slider with shadow light, I haven’t personally used that specific saw, but it generally has positive reviews among the woodworking community.

      The shadow light feature is especially helpful for making accurate cuts.

      However, some people reported issues with the blade not being square out of the box, so you may want to double-check the saw’s calibration before using it.

      Overall, it seems like a decent option for the price point.

      Reply

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