Whether you work professionally in carpentry or construction, or you’re more of a woodworking hobbyist who enjoys completing projects on the weekend, investing in the best miter saw for your particular needs is a wise choice as they provide important woodworking cuts. Unlike other saws, miter saws were designed to cut at a variety of angles.
Miter saws involve a blade mounted on a swing arm that pivots to the right and the left in order to produce as many angles as possible. The base of the saw will have marks, known as “stops”, that help you find the angle you need, so you don’t need additional tools or to have to rely on guessing. Most models have 0, 45, and 90 degrees marked, however some models have more than these basic ones. You can use miter saws for a wide variety of projects, and applications. This tool is especially helpful for projects like creating window casings, frame cuttings, and crown molding.
If you’re curious to learn more about specific miter saws on the market as well as read through other valuable miter saw information, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll discover a comparison chart followed by miter saw reviews of some of the highest rated units on the market. After, we’ve provided various sections on these saws, including how to maintain one and what to specifically look for when buying.
Miter Saw Comparison Chart
|Brand/Model (Click Item Text to Scroll to Review)||Rating|
|1. DeWalt DWS779 12" Sliding Compound Miter Saw|
Our Top Pick for 2019
|2. Bosch GCM12SD 12" Dual-Bevel Sliding Glide Miter Saw||9.7/10||CHECK PRICE|
|3. DeWalt DWS780 12" Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw||9.7/10||CHECK PRICE|
|4. Makita LS1040 10" Compound Miter Saw||9.6/10||CHECK PRICE|
|5. Hitachi C10FCH2 10" Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw||9.5/10||CHECK PRICE|
|6. Genesis GMS1015LC 10" Compound Miter Saw||9.4/10||CHECK PRICE|
|7. Delta S26-271L 12" Sliding Single Bevel Miter Saw||9.2/10||CHECK PRICE|
Best Miter Saw Reviews
1. DeWalt DWS779 12″ Sliding Compound Miter SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This miter saw by DeWalt is our team’s top pick. With a powerful motor, unique position system that provides precision, and long term durability, this saw is the perfect addition to any woodworker’s shop. The core of the tool is its 15 amp, 800 RPM motor, which provides extended power. It’s also unique given its dust collection system, which is extremely efficient and has the ability to capture more than 75% of the dust you generate, keeping your workspace completely clean.
The saw comes with DeWalt’s integrated CUTLINE Blade Positioning system. This system provides an indication for the cut line so you get better visibility and accuracy as you’re making a cut. The steel rails have a clamping mechanism that is innovative and aids with delivering an accurate performance. With the back fence design, you can also cut up to 2X16 lumber at 90 degrees. The saw miters 50 degrees to the left and 60 degrees to the right. Its sliding fences are tall enough to support crown molding up to 7.5 inches.
Some users of this saw experienced issues with wobbling in the blade and cracks to the saw’s frame. The blade may also cut into the base of the saw if the user is not careful. However, it’s a popular product and a top choice due to its accuracy, power, consistency, and ease of use. This sliding compound miter saw is also backed by DeWalt’s unique three year limited warranty.
2. Bosch GCM12SD 12″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Glide Miter SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This Glide miter saw is second on the list due to its well known smooth cutting motion and consistent performance. Bosch is unmatched when it comes to the smoothness of its cuts, and this saw is no different. Squarelock fences that are pre aligned contribute to the durability and precision of the saw no matter how long you’ve been using it for. With Squarelock, you can align your fence quickly and easily, without needing to make an adjustment. The saw also features a large capacity for cutting, combination dust chute, bevel and miter scales that are very easy to read, and upfront controls that are easily accessible.
This sliding miter saw comes with one of the features Bosch is most well known for: the company’s patented axial-glide system. It’s what ensures smooth cuts and can actually save space. The glid system allows you to make wider crosscuts and achieve better alignment, while keeping the entire tool still compact. This can save you up to a foot of workspace.
A common complaint with this saw is that it does not provide a laser line. Some users also had issues with the fencing and had trouble making adjustments if square cuts were not being made. However, this is one of the most user-friendly and dependable miter saws out there. Whether you consider yourself a professional or not, you’ll find smooth, precise cuts easier to make than ever with Bosch’s sliding miter saw. Its cutting capacity is 14 inches, and crown capacity is 6.5 inches.
3. DeWalt DWS780 12″ Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Another saw by DeWalt makes the top of our list, this time their double bevel sliding compound miter saw. Like our #1 pick, this 12” saw has DeWalt’s powerful 15 amp motor that provides extended power to your tool and ensures clean, quick cuts every time. With a new precise miter system and integrated XPS crosscut position system that indicates lines without requiring adjustments, this may actually be a step up for some woodworkers. It has a high capacity for cutting and can support crown molding up to 7.5 inches. It can cut 2X16 lumber at 90 degrees and provides you with increased capacity, which means you can complete more projects.
This saw ensures that all your woodworking is hassle free and has a unique handle so portability is easier than ever. It includes stops not just at 0, 45, and 90 degrees, but also at 22.5, 33.9, and 49 degrees both to the left and the right. Its plate locks so you can make the same cuts repeatedly. If you need to make adjustments, they’ll only be simple ones.
According to some users, this saw is excellent for small jobs but not larger ones, and the blade tends to hit the kerf plate. However, many serious woodworkers invest in this saw for its power and the wide variety of cuts and stops it provides. With this saw, you can do anything. DeWalt believes you’ll be satisfied and backs this saw with a 90 day money back guarantee.
4. Makita LS1040 10″ Compound Miter SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This miter saw by Makita provides you with consistent performance and power for common miter cuts. The saw is perfect for a wide variety of applications such as framing and cabinetry, and it’s highly rated for its ease of use. It’s another one that has a powerful 15 amp motor that ensures improved and consistent performance for any cut you need to make. In fact, this saw is highly recommended for smaller or more simple jobs and is a tool that will do the job quickly and easily; not only is it very easy to use, but it also weighs just under 28 pounds and is perfect to take from location to location.
With a dual compound pivoting arm, you can cut up to 45 degrees to the left and 52 degrees to the right with stops at an impressive nine settings: 15, 22.5, 30 45, and 90 degrees to the left and the right. You can perform any compound cutting operation you need accurately, and it comes with a shaft lock so you can easily switch out the blade if necessary. It’s all backed by Makita’s one year warranty.
Some users had difficulty locking in their adjustments to make straight cuts, and with the aluminum base, felt as if this saw was cheaply made, providing for poor performance. However, this is an excellent saw for beginners and many people enjoy how lightweight it is. Many users also praised its dust collection capability and said it helped keep their workspace clean much better than other saws.
5. Hitachi C10FCH2 10″ Single Bevel Compound Miter SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Weighing in at just under 27 pounds, this compound miter saw offers you excellency in function and was designed for professionals. It features Hitachi’s well known Laser Marker System, which shines a laser onto your wood to use as a guide for alignment. You can make accurate and quick cuts every time for a variety of workpieces including plywood, hard board, aluminum sashes, and wood. Its 15 amp motor provides enough power to help you tackle tough cutting projects.
You get a lot of versatility with Hitachi’s saw thanks to its compound cutting capability and flexible miter angles. It provides 52 degrees miter range to the left and the right and a 45 degree bevel angle range with adjustable stops. The stops are thumb actuated, so you can make adjustments quickly and easily as you cut and it won’t slow your timing down. The large fence can raise up to 4 inches vertically for crown molding.
Common issues are that the materials for the base crack easily, and the fence may become bent. In general, it’s great for woodworkers who create trim and frames and need a reliable tool for precise cuts. Its handles are also soft and were designed to reduce vibration for better control and comfort, which was a big plus for many users.
6. Genesis GMS1015LC 10″ Compound Miter SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This saw by Genesis makes the list because it allows clean and precise cuts with ease. It’s best for compound cutting and for projects such as crown molding, picture framing, and creating shadow boxes–any DIY project a serious woodworker would like to take on. The saw comes with a laser to guide your cuts so you can align your workpiece quickly and perform accurately. With the laser, you can see where the cut is ahead of time. Unlike many other brands, Genesis provides batteries for their laser; this might not always be included.
With the Genesis Compound Miter Saw, you can create precise cuts up to 45 degrees to the left and the right with nine stops at angles that are commonly used. There’s an arbor lock so you can change the blade quickly and efficiently. The blade included is a 60 tooth one that efficiently cuts carpentry so you don’t need to bother investing in a high quality blade. Hold down clamps are included so you can keep your workpiece in place and operate safely. With an aluminum base, this unit is lightweight and has great portability.
For as versatile as this saw is, it’s surprisingly inexpensive. Many people enjoy this, but arguably there are some issues and some users believe it is of low quality and unfortunately cheaply made. Others thought the clamping devices weren’t efficient. Keep in mind that as with many other tools, you get what you pay for.
7. Delta S26-271L 12″ Sliding Single Bevel Miter SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This miter saw was developed by Delta Power Equipment, a brand that is well known for its reliability and affordability. Delta also believes in the performance of its products and provides a three year warranty with this saw. With this purchase, you’ll get the sliding miter saw, a dust collection bag, work clamps, and a built-in laser that allows you to see where the cut will be made and helps guide your work smoothly and accurately. The saw includes a powerful 4,000 RPM motor that can tackle tough projects and deep cuts easily.
With a 12 inch blade (one of the few on this list), you can make cuts up to 13.5 inches wide. The included miter stops occur at common angles including 0, 22.5, 31.6, and 45 degrees to both the left and the right. The capacities of the saw’s miter angles go up to 45 degrees to the left and 50 to the right. Whether you’re cutting crown molding or plywood, this saw can help you get the job done.
As with the other saws, there were some common problems with Delta’s miter saw. Users had difficulty with the extended arm and found that it was not durable over time. The unit also comes with a sudden-start motor, which jerks the machine around as it starts up and may be unsafe.
Basic vs Compound vs Sliding Compound Miter Saws
Your workshop isn’t complete if you don’t have a miter saw. But there are different types–and it’s important to understand the differences if you want to find the best saw for your needs. There are three main types: basic miter saws, compound miter saws, and sliding compound miter saws, and they each have something to offer for your projects.
Basic Miter Saw
The basic version of this saw is simply a tool that allows you to make cuts at different angles. It’s comprised of a blade that’s mounted on an arm which pivots to the right or the left to provide cuts that are angled. You can use miter saws to quickly cut picture frames, door frames, window casings, crown molding, and more. The cuts the basic version provides you are miter cuts and crosscuts.
The key benefits to this version is that the cuts are accurate, fast, and easy. Basic miter saws will be more lightweight and are perfect for simple tasks. They also tend to have a lower cost, which requires only a small investment on your end for a functional tool.
Compound Miter Saws
With this version of the miter saw, you’ll have a blade that not only pivots right and left for angled cuts, but can also tilt in one direction to provide beveled cuts. You can adjust the saw at both of its axes simultaneously to obtain a compound miter cut. These saws are great for projects where you need angled cuts in two planes, and you can make compound cuts in just one pass. With a compound miter saw, you can make miter cuts, bevel cuts, and compound cuts (which are miter and bevel combined).
The key benefits to this version is that you get great versatility and opportunity. You’ll also be able to choose between single bevel compound saws, which tilt to one side, or dual bevel, which allow you to cut in two directions without needing to readjust your wood. These are not as lightweight and are a little bit more of an investment.
Sliding Compound Miter Saws
This version is a compound miter saw with an additional sliding feature. This feature allows you to move the blade backward and forward, with the major advantage of being able to create cuts of long lengths. With this saw, you can create crosscuts, miter cuts, bevel cuts, and compound cuts.
The key benefits to a sliding compound miter saw are that you get great versatility and you can make any type of cut you need. With the sliding head, you can also cut through wide workpieces with ease. If you consider yourself more of a serious woodworker, this is a great investment, although they are more expensive and are the heaviest of the list.
Configuring a Miter Saw
When it comes to making great cuts, it’s important to not only invest in a great miter saw; it’s also absolutely essential that you set up the unit correctly to ensure a precise cut. Miter saws are excellent tools, but just like anything else you have in your garage or shop, it requires careful setup so you can use it to its full potential.
One of the first things you should check is whether the blade is completely square to the base. An easy way to test this is to position a square tool between the base and the blade and look for gaps. If there are gaps, no worries; it’s a simple fix. Take a test piece of plywood and quickly cut it in half. This is for reference; use a square to measure the cut. If the cut is open along the front, you need to adjust the fence of the saw further out. If the cut’s open along the back, you need to push the fence in a little bit. Often, the fence only needs to be tapped so it moves a few millimeters. By making a test cut and adjusting the fence, you should be good to go.
To make smooth and safe cuts that are precise for your particular project, pay attention to the blade being used. Miter saws generally come with a 10” or 12” blade. Whether you invest in a blade other than the one that came with your miter saw will mainly depend on what wood you’re cutting and how smoothly you would like your cuts. You can purchase specialized blades to cut lumber, plastics, and veneered plywood. The number of teeth will also determine how smooth the cut is; in general, the more the teeth, the smoother and cleaner the cut. For most projects, however, the general purpose blade that came with your saw will make all types of cuts.
Maintaining a Miter Saw
Miter saws are handy tools that get the job done. Over time, however, you may notice that its performance isn’t the same. Usually, this is simply due to improper use and all you need to do to prevent this is to maintain your saw on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to be in the habit of inspecting and cleaning your miter saw once every two or three months.
One of the most important aspects of your miter saw to keep an eye on is the blade. You should inspect your blade once every couple of months regardless of how often you use your saw. If you notice that the blade may not be quite as intact or performing as well, simply replacing it will enable you to get back to your woodworking projects. You can also sharpen the blade by removing it, cleaning it with a cloth, applying a sharpening oil, and sharpening it with a sander.
Beyond the blade, you should continually inspect the whole miter saw and ensure the whole unit is performing properly. It’s important to regularly clean all parts of the saw and lubricate its joints (once they are cleaned) by applying lubricant with a brush or cloth. You should also clean the dust exhaust system. To do this, remove the hose from the vacuum, clean the interior of the hose thoroughly, and reattach.
By consistently maintaining your miter saw, you’ll get as much as you can from the saw and can boost its usability. When you check the blade every two to three months, take the time to clean the entire unit. Not only will it be more effective and make cleaner cuts, but you’ll have it for quite a while, providing a return on investment.
Best Miter Saw Buyer’s Guide
Each of these seven miter saws will help you get the job done and they offer different innovative features as well as functionality. Depending on your situation, however, it may be more worth your investment to focus on specific aspects. Consider what is important to you, what your intents are with the saw, and which projects you will use the unit to complete.
Two main features people look for in their miter saw is its power (ability to tackle tough jobs) and its capability for crown molding, as crown molding is a common project for woodworkers. If this matters to you, saws that have 15 amp motors such as the Makita and the two DeWalts listed will provide you with the power to cut through thick wood and complete a variety of projects. When it comes to crown molding, the Hitachi can accommodate 4 inches of crown molding vertically, while the DeWalt 12” double bevel can accommodate 7.5 inches. If you work a lot with crown molding, this is something to consider.
Ease of use and portability are also great features to consider for your situation. Would you like a miter saw that’s easy to handle and which you can bring from location to location all by yourself? The Hitachi at under 27 pounds and the Makita at under 28 are among the most lightweight on the list, yet still powerful and functional. The Genesis is remarkable in its ease of use, and our listed Bosch saw has the company’s patented glide system which provides consistent, smooth cuts. However, the Bosch does not have a laser guide. Lasers are great for ease of use as they show you where the cut will be and can help you make accurate cuts every time.
Keep an eye on warranties, as well. If something happens to your unit, a warranty to back it up will give you peace of mind. DeWalt provides a three year limited warranty, while most others provide one year. It’s important for power tools to have warranties, especially if you are planning on using yours all the time. If you’re a serious woodworker, your miter saw needs to hold up to consistent use and tough projects.
Keep in mind that in the end, you will get what you pay for in terms of consistency, performance, and durability. Consider what you would like to get from your miter saw and how much you’re willing to invest to find the best one for you.
Summing It Up
Miter saws are a must have in any woodworking shop or garage. Whether it’s your profession or you’re a passionate DIYer who’s always cutting wood on the weekends, the best miter saw for your particular situation is a great–and necessary–investment, as they allow you to make cuts from all types of angles. With a miter saw, whether it’s a basic, a compound, or a sliding version, you can get practically any project done. Thanks for stopping by; we hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this miter saw reviews article!