A miter saw is a tool that cuts miters, otherwise known as angled cuts. As one of the most popular, most versatile tools in any handyman’s workshop, a miter saw (also called a chop saw) is an indispensable and handy tool that can make almost any kind of cut imaginable.
Once you learn the magic behind what this powerful miter saw can do, let’s face it: this will transform your life forever. When in the market for the best miter saw tool, there are several different types you can choose from.
- Basic miter saw that bevels in one direction.
- The compound miter saw, which features blades that pivot left and right and tilt for leveling.
- The dual compound miter saw, which can also tilt the blade in two directions.
- And, finally, the sliding compound tool. This features all the above but allows better application extension by moving the material or the cutting blade forward and back.
Let’s take a closer look at our review of the top miter sawing tools.
View the Best Miter Saw on the Market, Below.
- DEWALT DWS715
- Bosch GCM12SD
- Hitachi C10FCG
- DEWALT DWS779
- TACKLIFE 10-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- Makita LS1018
- WEN MM1214
- DEWALT DWS709
- Milwaukee 6955-20
- Craftsman CMCS714M1
1. DEWALT DWS715
Best Sliding Miter Saw for Easy PortabilityRead Customer Reviews →
This sliding miter saw delivers quick, precise 45-degree bevel cuts through dimensional lumber. It features 11 positive stops and an adjustable stainless steel detent plate. And not only that - this saw also provides repeated accuracy and durability on the worksite.
The tall sliding fence supports crown moldings up to 5 1/4-inch nested. It also supports base molding up to 6 1/2-inch vertically against the fence and slides out for beveled cuts. At only 42 pounds, this is a lightweight model with a built-in carrying handle for easy portability.
This saw comes with a DeWalt warranty package that includes a three-year limited warranty and a one-year free service contract, plus a 90-day money-back guarantee. It also comes with a vertical clamp!
This well-built saw comes out of the box, ready to go. It produces accurate and beautiful cuts. Perfect for custom work, the DeWalt DWS715 has a great bevel angle adjustment and runs clean and smooth. The portability helps us move this tool wherever needed, and the shop vac attachment makes cleaning up so much easier.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Bosch GCM12SD
One of the Best Miter Saws for Keeping a Clean ShopRead Customer Reviews →
This 12-inch dual-bevel glide miter saw features a powerful 15-amp motor that delivers a smooth, accurate cutting performance. The space-saving design is exclusive to the Bosch Axial-Glide System. The square lock fences are pre-aligned to maintain accurate cutting for life.
This power tool sports a soft-grip handle and a combination dust chute and vacuum adaptor for user comfort and a clean operation. The no-loads speed of this durable saw delivers quick cuts in many different materials. If you need larger blades, this tool is for you. It's compatible with a variety of 12-inch blades. The clear lower guard provides clear, cut-line visibility.
The Bosch GCM12SD is sure to impress - not only with its clean, precise cuts but with the powerful motor. It makes cutting through material a breeze. The miter settings are intuitive to use, and having them upfront makes them so much more convenient. The built-in extensions are great to have, along with the dust control that keeps the work area relatively clean.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Hitachi C10FCG
A Basic and Trustworthy Miter SawRead Customer Reviews →
If you need the best in precision and crosscuts with a variety of materials, including wood, panels, soft fiberboard, hardboard, plywood, and aluminum sashes, look no further. This power tool does it all. Cutting materials has never been easier.
Powerful and reliable, this saw includes positive angle stops to let you select preset points at specific angles. It has a 45-degree bevel for more precise cuts. This saw also includes a dust collector to help keep the interior components clean. The nice, comfortable elastomer grip reduces vibration and helps maintain control at all times. Hitachi stands behind this miter saw with a five-year professional warranty. The warranty is longer than what other miter saws offer.
We like the fact that this tool isn't too complicated. It provides exactly what you need in a miter saw. Ready to go out of the box, it's a solid, powerful, and versatile tool that performs well on several materials. The included blade makes clean, sharp cuts and isn't too heavy - the soft grip makes it easy to carry around.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. DEWALT DWS779
Best Budget Miter SawRead Customer Reviews →
This power-packed tool with a 15-amp motor and a no-load speed of 3,800 RPM delivers quick, accurate cuts. It can handle a wide range of applications straight out of the box. There’s an easy-to-adjust cam-lock handle, convenient miter and bevel stops, and a tall fence for handling oversized decorative moldings.
This tool also comes with a sturdy carbide blade, a blade wrench, and a dust collector to keep everything clean and tidy. Weighing in at just 56 pounds with a convenient carry handle, you can easily lift and move it around as needed.
With a name like DeWalt, what isn’t there to love? This miter tool delivers a beautiful performance at a budget-friendly price. Easy to set up, this sturdy tool exceeds our expectations with accurate calibration and easy controls. The instructions are clear and concise, making this one of the best budget miter saws for novices and professionals alike.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. TACKLIFE 10-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Best Portable Miter SawRead Customer Reviews →
This tool is a perfect fit for every day or DIY use. It features a powerful 15 amp motor that will cut right through wood like butter and spins at a highly impressive 4500 RPM, working well with virtually all miter stands.
The red laser light provides ample visibility, making your precision cutting that much better. There are five miter stops with clear-cut degrees for locking in your angles. They'll make bevel cuts up to 45 degrees. At only 31 pounds, this miter saw is very portable without much trouble.
This impressive TACKLIFE 10-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw tool provides a quality machine for an affordable price. The assembly is straightforward with easy instructions. Get it done within a few minutes.
We love how crystal-clear the red laser beam is, giving the best precision cutting. This is refreshing when comparing it with the fainter beams on other saws. Get the exact angle you're looking for. The incredible 4500 RPM rotation is faster than other miter tools on the market, cutting through wood like it's nothing.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Makita LS1018
Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw For the DIY-erRead Customer Reviews →
Right out of the box, the Makita LS1018 delivers accurate cutting performance. Get everything you've ever wanted in a miter saw, but in a lightweight, compact design. A 13-amp direct drive motor powers this versatile tool. It features a soft start, which means a smoother startup.
This corded model provides constant power and is ideal for finer woodworking, carpentry, and general construction. It features five miter stops with bevel cuts to 47 degrees and a linear ball-bearing system for "dead-on" accurate cuts. Not to mention - a convenient electric brake, making it one of the best sliding compound miter saws for safety.
This Makita compound sliding miter saw cuts precisely and slides smoothly to handle any woodworking project. The 13 amp motor provides more than enough power to handle any application. The blade cuts precisely and sharp. The saw is easy to adjust and set up. We recommend it for the average woodworker and DIY’er for a variety of applications.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. WEN MM1214
One of the Best Miter Saws for VersatilityRead Customer Reviews →
This reliable and versatile tool provides straight, angle, dual bevel, and compound cuts in one compact machine. With 15 powerful amps and a highly impressive 3800 RPM, this machine can easily slice through anything put in front of it. The spacious work table will provide ample room for boards up to 12 inches in depth. It comes with a 60-tooth carbide-tipped blade for sharp, precise cutting and the handy dust collection bag helps minimize sawdust cleanup.
Combine all this with a lightweight design and a generous 2-year warranty, and you have a miter table saw that's hard to resist. Most miter saws make decent cuts, but this tool cannot be beaten in its versatility. It's adaptable to many materials and multiple uses, and we found that it is also quieter than other models as it cuts.
8. DEWALT DWS709
Model with the Best Add-OnsRead Customer Reviews →
DeWalt does it again with a powerful 15-amp motor that delivers durability and power to your cutting project. The tall sliding fences will cut crown molding up to 5 1/2-inches nested and base molding up to 4 1/2 -inches vertically. It easily slides out of the way for bevel cuts. A stainless steel detent plate adjusts to 13 positive stops, improving the cutting accuracy and performance. The miter system and base fence support provide optimal, durable precision in cutting. It also includes a carbide blade.
This saw has proven to be a real workhorse when it comes to precision and durability. It's built well and packed with plenty of power to get the job done. It provides fast and accurate cuts.
DeWalt engineers have thought of the finer features that make this miter saw one of the best on the market, including an oversized, easy-to-read bevel scale. It also features protective pads on the stainless steel plates to lessen wear.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Milwaukee 6955-20
Best Saw for ProfessionalsRead Customer Reviews →
Designed to make setting precise bevel and miter levels easy, this Milwaukee tool lives up to its brand with an angle fine adjust. The detent override digital display shows you the correct angle down to one-tenth of a degree. This feature ensures accurate repeat cuts, even with odd angles. The angle fine adjust has a self-zeroing system that works on the entire angle range. It comes with dual integral job-site lights that fully light up the workpiece and cut line. The 15-amp motor provides high-performance power.
10. Craftsman CMCS714M1
One of the Best Cordless Miter Saws for ReliabilityRead Customer Reviews →
Craftsman does the job well with many features. This cordless miter saw includes a powerful 20-volt motor that delivers high torque and speed up to 3800 RPM. It will perform well and slice seamlessly through all densities of wood. Like most sliding miter saws, this model provides precise, smooth cutting with laser-guided protection.
It uses a smaller blade size compared to other saws. They're easier to maintain but still deliver the capacity to spin through boards up to 7-1/4 inches wide. The 0-45 degree miter adjustment includes common positive stops, and the blade guard protects he cordless miter saw from accidental bumps during use.
In minutes, this sliding miter saw is assembled and ready to use. It has a solid-sturdy build, and the saw head moves consistently smooth along the rails. The rails themselves slide nice and smooth as well, and they have enough resistance that they remain sturdy.
The laser adjusts well, and with a 3800 RPM, this tool cuts fast and accurately well. This cordless miter saw is one of the best additions to anyone’s workshop.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Buyer’s Guide Questions
What Does A Miter Saw Do?
A power miter saw, also known as a chop saw or drop saw, is a specialized saw designed to make various cuts at different angles. Invented by Ed Niehaus in 1964 for Rockwell, the miter saw’s blade is mounted on a pivoting swing arm that moves left or right to make angled cuts. You can use this tool as a fast saw for crown molding, picture frames, door frames, casings, and more.
Because Rockwell never patented the design, manufactures have applied many different innovations and technologies to the design, including radial arc spring action, blade brakes, dust collecting, and more.
Miter saws come in several different variations, but they essentially all do the same thing. Each saw makes a cut by pulling a spinning circular miter saw blade down onto the material in a short, controlled motion.
The material, or workpiece, is held down by a fence. This provides a cutting angle measured precisely between the plane of the blade and the plane of the longest edge of the workpiece. In a standing position, this is a 90-degree angle. The miter index is a feature that allows the miter angles of the blade to change relative to the fence. While there are precise one-degree increments to the index, many miter saws will also provide “stops” that quickly set the miter index to the most common angles.
The Different Variations of Miter Saws:
- Standard miter saw – These miter saws make straight cross-cuts on lumber at a wide range of angles. They’re commonly used for cutting framing lumber at straight 45-degree angles. They’re good chop saws if you’re looking for a budget miter.
- Compound-miter saw – Compound miter saws have blades that will pivot left and right and tilt in a single direction for bevel cutting. Controlling the saw on both axes at the same time produces a compound cut. These miter saws are useful for cutting crown molding, picture frames, or any other project that requires dual-plane angles. The advantage of compound miter saws is that they will produce two angle cuts in one pass.
- Dual compound-miter saw – These function like compound miter tools, but while those will only tilt in one direction, the dual-compound saw will tilt both left and right. These chop saws can create bevels at any angle quickly.
- Sliding compound miter saw – Sliding miter saws have all the features of a compound saw, but similar to a radial arm saw, this allows you to move the blade forwards and backward. This provides the potential for cutting at an increased length.
- Laser LED sliding dual compound miter saw – These types of compound sliding miter saws feature a disc-shaped washer laser that attaches to the blade. This shows where the blade will cut, illuminating the area.
Features of a Miter Saw:
- Amps: This measures the power of the motor. Just how much power a saw has depends on the number of amps.
- Blade size: There are many different sizes of blades; each size is important to its functionality and material. The most common sizes for a miter saw are 8, 10, and 12 inches. The larger diameter of a blade, the longer cut it will make.
- Positive stops: These are the preset points where you can quickly make cuts. Some saws have thumb-activated stops for quick adjusting.
- Depth stops are for controlling the height and how deeply the blade cuts into the workpiece.
- Articulated blade guards help protect when the blade is in use. When you raise the saw, the guard lowers to cover the blade completely.
- Electric brakes stop the saw in seconds by reversing the flow of the saw’s electricity when you release the trigger. Reversing the current stops the blade’s momentum quickly.
- Spindle or shaft locks keep the shaft and blade from moving, making it much easier to change the blade.
- Dust chutes and blowers help remove sawdust from the cutting area.
- Dust bags collect sawdust. They’re mounted directly to the saw.
- Table extensions are connected to the sides of the saw and support longer material to give an accurate cut.
- Sliding and flip fences provide added support to taller materials for standard miter cuts.
- Laser guides and guide lights shine a beam or cast a shadow onto the workpiece that helps you accurately guide your cuts.
- Digital displays provide easy-to-read bevel and miter setting information.
Which Compound Miter Saw is the Best?
Compound miter saws offer two bevel options (single and dual), making them more flexible with angle varieties. The blades pivot left and right and also tilt in a single direction for bevel cutting. Controlling the saw on both axes at the same time produces a compound cut. These saws are useful for picture frames, crown molding, or any other project that requires dual-plane angles. The advantage of compound saws is that they will produce two angle cuts in one pass.
This kind of saw is harder to operate and a bit more expensive than a basic miter saw, but the result is worth the extra effort. Compound saws are ideal for those who use their miter saw often for making bevel cuts and work well with pieces that are harder to maneuver.
For the best compound saw, we suggest the DEWALT DW715 12″ Bevel Compound Miter Saw. The thin kerf blade makes precision cuts easy as pie and works great with finer woodworking projects like crown molding.
Thinner cuts ensure that there is less wasted material and time. The beveling capability allows precise cutting of any angle, beveling up to 48 degrees. It has 11 positive stops at the common trim angles to ensure accuracy in measuring without excess. These saws also do a great job at keeping up with different materials and different sizes of wood. This compound saw meets demands, delivering durability and precision over and over again.
For optimum operation safety, a saw guard covers the entire blade so it’s not exposed. The miter detent override allows for customized adjustments beyond the stops, which prevents the miter from dropping into a preset detent. This makes cutting so much easier, eliminating any guesswork.
Another compound miter saw we recommend is the Hitachi C10FCE2 10″ Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw. This is a name you can trust in power saws, including miter saws, for innovation and technology. It’s also at the top of its class for warranties.
The 10-inch blade spins faster than other larger miter saws, meaning a smoother cut at less capacity. This 15-amp saw delivers a 5000 RPM speed, which ensures beveling and cross-cutting capacity. The bottom clamps make it nice and easy to secure this miter saw to the work table for cutting accuracy, and the handy clamps secure your workpieces in place.
This saw features an innovative laser alignment that makes cutting a breeze. It’s super easy to position your cuts accurately. The dust collector is an improvement over previous models when it comes to sufficiently trapping sawdust. Weighing in at under 27 pounds, the C10FCE2 is one of the lightest 10-inch saws on the market, making this a good miter saw to tote around your work area. Along with a powerful motor and a whopping five-year warranty, this saw is well worth the money.
Which Miter Saw is the Best For Homeowners?
Do you remember back in the old days when you were new to the world of sawing and sweated for hours using a hand saw for your projects? Even then, the end result left much to be desired. But today, thanks to a lot of amazing tutorials on the internet, it’s possible for the average Joe to learn how to work with power tools! You can perform just about any DIY project, saving months – or even years – of learning from the hard, old-fashioned way of blood, sweat, and tears.
There are several kinds of power tools that create angled cuts in material. However, miter saws are the greatest tools to use because they’re exact in cutting angles. This makes them a precise miter system for most cuttings. The blade of the miter saw allows for ultra-fine tuning. You can tune the cut up to a fraction of a degree, ensuring a perfect result every time. The arm of the miter saw is a defining feature of the overall quality of the tool, so when choosing a saw, you should keep this characteristic in mind.
Also, you’ll need to be aware of the limitations of this saw. Even though this power tool cuts angles in many directions, it isn’t perfect for handling other types of work – for example, ripping lumber. This is best done with a table saw, or band saw. Cutting wider stock is very difficult to do with a miter saw as well. If you need a saw specifically for cutting metal, please head over to our guide on metal cutting saws here.
That said, there are a few tricks you can use to increase the cutting reach, such as sliding arms. When you’re looking for the greatest of miter saws, it can get a little tricky. The best miter saws depend on many different factors.
There are advantages and disadvantages of the several types of cuts. The easiest way to understand the differences is by knowing what cuts you can make with each one. After you have this basic knowledge, everything else will fall into place. Here are a few types of miter angles and cuts we’ll be reviewing today:
- A cross-cut is the most basic cut. This is when the saw blade drops down at exactly 90 degrees, and you’re left with a perfectly straight cut. If you need a 90-degree cut, look for a saw with a crosscut capacity.
- Miter cuts are where you cut along an angle at the width of the wood. The blade will still drop down vertically but will cut through at an angle for beveling or joining two frames, for example.
- A bevel cut is made by tilting the blade at a specific angle. Instead of cutting along the width of your wood, you cut diagonally against the thickness of it.
- A compound cut makes both bevel and miter cuts, meaning you’ll be left with two different angled cuts. This cut is almost impossible to do without a compound saw.
Different types of saws perform these different types of cuts:
- A basic miter saw – This power tool makes straight cross-cuts on lumber at a wide range of angles. It’s commonly used to create 45 degree straight cuts for framing.
- Compound-miter saw – Compound saws have blades that pivot left and right. They also tilt in a single direction for bevel cutting. Controlling the saw on both axes at the same time produces a compound cut. These saws are useful for picture frames, crown moldings, or any other project that requires dual-plane angles. The advantage of compound saws is that they will produce two angle cuts in one pass.
- Dual compound-miter saw – These function like compound miter saws, but while those will only tilt in one direction, dual compound miter saws will tilt both left and right. They can create bevels at any angle quickly.
- Laser LED sliding dual compound miter-saw – This includes a disc-shaped washer laser that attaches to the saw blade. This shows where the blade will cut, illuminating the area.
- Sliding compound miter saw – Sliding miter saws have all the features of a compound saw, but similar to a radial arm saw, it allows you to move the blade forwards and backward. This provides the potential for cutting at an increased length.
This is just the basic run-down of miter saws. The best one for you will perform what you need. We hope this will serve as a starting point as you make an informed decision. For sure, whatever saw you choose, you’ll love how easily and accurately it will get a seemingly impossible job done, producing beautiful results.
Which Sliding Miter Saw is Best For DIY?
A sliding miter saw (click for our guide) offers all the advantages of cross-cutting boards up to 12 inches wide while providing all the other benefits of non-sliding miter saws.
Sliding miter saws are available with 7-1/2 to 12-inch blades. They can cost up to $1000, depending on what brand you buy and how it functions. If you’re looking for a good saw at a low price, we’ve featured the best budget miter saw in our reviews!
Today’s sliding saws have impressive technology. This includes solid locking detent stops for spot-on cuts, tilting controls for dialing in precise bevel settings, and motor carriages that smoothly glide back and forth. All this makes the sliding miter saw an excellent choice for your DIY projects!
Here Are a Few Features to Look For in a Sliding Miter Saw:
- A powerful motor, durable enough not to bog down.
- A tall fence to support angle crowns.
- Adjustable fences.
- Adjustable bearings.
- Vertical capacity.
- A material clamp to support your workpiece.
- Built-in table extensions to support longer boards.
- Angle markings that are easy to read.
- No-hassle angle adjustments and up-front controls.
Check the miter box for the instruction manual on how to use these features!
Miter saws will either be corded or cordless. If you take your saw out on jobs, we recommend going for cordless miter saws, as they’ll give you the freedom to move around. But if you’re working in the shop, corded will do the trick.
Based on our reviews, we have a couple of sliding saws we highly recommend for performance, accuracy, and value.
We highly recommend the Makita LS1018 10″ Dual-Bevel Slide Compound Miter Saw. This Makita miter saw delivers accurate performance when cutting large surface areas. It has pretty much everything you could want from a saw. It’s lightweight and compact. It’s powered by a 13 amp direct drive motor, which includes a soft, slow start for a smooth start-up delivery. This corded model is ideal for working with finer wood, providing consistent power. For even finer woodworking, click here for our review on jigsaws, carpentry, and general construction.
The WEN 70716 10″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a reliable and versatile saw. It provides straight, angle, bevel, and compound cuts all in one compact machine. With 15 powerful amps and a highly impressive 5500 RPM, this machine can easily slice through anything put in front of it. The spacious work table will easily provide ample room for boards up to 11 inches in depth. The model comes with a 60-tooth carbide-tipped blade for sharp, precise cutting and the handy dust collection bag helps minimize sawdust cleanup. Combine all this with a lightweight design and a generous 2-year warranty, and you have a saw that’s hard to resist.
What Size Miter Saw do I Need?
Miter saws feature a circular saw blade for effortless cutting. Circular saws spin very fast to make clean cuts. When comparing a lot of different saws, you’ll find the vast majority of them either have a 10-inch or 12-inch blade. Let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages to each:
The 10-inch Miter Saw Blade:
- Spins faster – 12-inch blades tend to spin slower because of their larger radius, but more speed means smoother cuts. A 10-inch blade that spins at 5000 RPM will create a smoother cut than a 12-inch blade that spins at 4000 RPM. For example, the DeWalt DW713 is a power-packed miter saw with a 15-amp motor and a no-load speed of 5,000 RPM that delivers quick, accurate cuts.
- Easier to find on the market – 10-inch blades are more prevalent than 12-inch blades. It’s likely your local hardware store will have these in supply. This is a great thing to know if you suddenly need to replace your blade and don’t have the time to shop around.
- More affordable – These are cheaper to buy than 12-inch blades. The cost to sharpen a 10-inch blade is lower than sharpening 12-inches. In addition, a 12-inch blade will require more teeth to get the same quality cut as a 10-inch blade with the same structure.
- General Physics – Because of its larger size, a 12-inch blade will deflect or wobble easier than a 10-inch blade.
The 12-Inch Miter Saw Blade:
- Larger cutting capacity – Ten-inchers can be used to cut up to six inches of material, and for most woodworking projects, this will work just fine. However, if you tend to do larger projects frequently, like decking, then having a 12-inch blade may be ideal for you.
- Versatile – Many 12-inch saws will allow you to mount 10-inch blades, which means you can have your cake and eat it too in terms of cutting versatility.
- Higher tooth speed – 12-inch saws normally have a higher tooth speed, which means smoother cuts. This is especially helpful when doing fine woodworking – read this study for safety tips.
Unless you’re regularly working on larger, more specialized projects and need a specific size miter saw, we recommend going with the 10-inch miter saw. It has excellent overall performance with most DIY and professional cutting projects.
We hope this article has been helpful in your quest to find the right size miter saw for your needs, and you can make an informed decision.