Best Miter Saw Reviews: Revealing the best 2018 has to offer
Because the best miter saws can be used for so many different applications, there’s a lot of competition in the market with various makes and models all offering their own unique set of features and, naturally, their own drawbacks.
Some not only offer wood and plastic cutting applications but can even handle metal, tiles and even concrete – but more on that later.
In fact the amount of options around can be a bit overwhelming, so here we’re going to look at our top five suggestions for compound miter saws. Essentially the only difference between a standard miter saw and a compound miter saw is the ability to make bevel cuts, or ‘tilted’ cuts.
They can be adjusted to create both bevel and miter cuts, and come in two standard types – single and dual bevel. A dual bevel compound saw is especially useful for applications like crown molding.
A sliding compound miter saw is the most versatile, and naturally lives at the more expensive end of the range. The addition of a sliding arm in these saws allows the saw to cut wider or thicker pieces of lumber – so you would only really need to consider investing in one of these options if you regularly work with larger stock.
For a professional carpenter or contractor that works with large pieces like door frames on a daily basis, these can be a necessity.
Compound Miter Saws at a glance:
Compound: Cut at a variety of angles but also tilt left to cut a bevel.
Dual-bevel: These tilt both left and right, so you can cut bevels without having to flip your work piece
Sliding Compound: The sliding feature allows the saw to move forward and back. Because the blade can move, it can cut wider pieces of wood.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at five of the very best, and hopefully you’ll find the one that’s just right for you!
DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Weight: 56 pounds
Dimensions: 33 x 24 x 19 inches
What comes in the box?
The Dewalt DWS780 includes a 60T carbide blade, blade wrench, dust bag and vertical material clamp.
- Powerful 15amp motor delivering 3800 RPM
- Miters 50 degrees left, 60 degrees right
- Adjustable detent plate with 10 positive stop
- Rail lock latch keeps fence good distance from the head
- Back fence design
- Cross cuts made simple with innovative XPS alignment system technology
While a bit pricier than DeWalt’s smaller models, the DWS780 offers exceptional accuracy with its innovative XPS cross cut alignment feature. A strong LED backlight casts a shadow exactly where you’re going to be making your cut, which makes your job a lot less stressful. Another huge bonus is not needing to recalibrate the alignment system when changing out the blade.
The mix of horizontal, nested crown and vertical cuts makes this a very versatile saw, and the special design of the back fencing means angled cuts of 90 degrees (2×16) and 45 degrees (2×12) are achievable.
The powerful motor is excellent for both light weight and more complex tasks, and the overall build is rugged and durable with a quality stainless steel detent plate. Cleverly, the power cord has been routed through the bail rails which means less change of tangling and eliminates interference with the slide.
Another excellent feature is its dust collection capacity – the DWS780 offers great performance, collecting up to 75% of workplace dust – a region where many other miter saws struggle.
This is definitely a pro-level piece of equipment – so we wouldn’t recommend it for your first saw.
Three year limited warranty when purchasing through DeWalt on Amazon.
Makita LS1016L 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser
Dimensions: 28.3 x 25.2 x 26.4 inches
- 15-Amp motor offering no-load speeds of 3200rpm
- Excellent capacity for crown molding cutting
- Patented Four-Steel Rail Sliding system
- Built in Laser
- Ergonomic handle and oversized trigger switch
- Electronic Speed Control
The LS1016L is the king of cutting crown moldings with the largest capacity in its class – so while it’s not the cheapest model out there, if cutting crown moldings is something you do regularly it may well be worth making the investment as the crown cutting capacity is 6-5/8 inches (vertically nested).
The LS1016L has a built-in laser that ensures cuts are straight and true, and the saw’s patented Four-Steel Rail Sliding System increases rigidity to deliver some really precise cuts time and again. Quiet and relatively portable, it’s a good all-rounder saw as well, from modeling and trim work to furniture and cabinet making applications.
Dual front bevel scales make for simpler precision adjustments due to greater visibility, and the simple miter lock system allows for accurate adjustments and improved efficiency. The six linear ball bearings unique to this saw are designed for smooth, adjustment-free, accurate cuts.
While the build quality on this saw is excellent, the user manual is extremely difficult to decipher, especially for those new to miter saws. If you’re struggling, rather check out some videos and how to’s online – the manual might just confuse you further!
One year warranty when purchased through Amazon.
Weight: 24 pounds
Dimensions: 27.7 x 20 x 18.8 inches
What comes in the box?
Includes carbide blade, dust bag, blade wrench and base side handles
- Crown molding up to 5-1/4 in.
- Nested and base molding up to 6-1/2 in.
- Cam lock miter handle with detent override means you don’t need to twist the handle to lock an angle in
- Bevels to the left up to 48 degrees and to the right up to 3 degrees
- Positive stops at 0,45 and 33,9 degrees for cutting crown
Driven by a 15 amp motor and fitted with a 12 inch carbide blade spinning up to 4000 RPM, the DW715 offers great additional support with its clever machined base fence. While not quite as packed with features as its ‘big brother’, the DWS780, this highly portable saw offers surprising power and accuracy. It’s small weight and built in carry handle make it super easy to move between job sites.
Speed is another strong point with this saw, the clever and quick to adjust bevel makes finding and setting bevel angles a lot quicker and simpler. Bevel cuts at a 45 degree angle can be made on timber measuring up to 2 by 8 inches. It also enables you to place bevel cuts between nought and 3 degrees to the right and nought and 48 degrees to the left, adding extra capacity for larger projects.
With all that power in such a small package – it’s great to know that the DW715 also offers some superior safety features. The blade guard covers the blade completely when raised, and the guard lifts out of the way as you lower it to allow you to cut your materials safely. It’s also fitted with an interlocking trigger, which prevents the blade from starting unintentionally.
There really aren’t many with this versatile little machine – but some users might find the lack of a laser to be a drawback. Luckily the miter lock system and bevel stops mean this isn’t really necessary to achieve accuracy – but if you have your heart set on a laser there are always compatible models available that can be purchased separately.
90 Day Money Back Guarantee, 1 Year Service Contract, 3 Year Limited Warranty when purchased through Amazon.
Evolution Power Tools RAGE3 10-Inch Multipurpose Cutting Compound Sliding Miter Saw
Weight: 39 pounds
Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 25 inches
90 degree Miter: Maximum cut width – 11-13/16 in
45 degree Miter: Maximum cut width – 8-1/4 in
90 degree Bevel: Maximum cut depth – 3 in
45 degree Bevel: Maximum cut depth – 1-1/2 in
- It cuts more than just wood! Multipurpose cutting technology lets you slice through aluminium, mild steel, plastic and even wood including embedded nails with just one blade. It’s like a metal and reciprocating saw built into a miter saw housing.
- 45 degrees left and right miter system with nine positive stops
- 0-45 degree bevel tilt offers accuracy for virtually any common cutting requirements
- Grooving or trenching can be achieved by adjusting cutting depth
- One inch blade arbor
If you’re looking for a little more from a miter saw, then this ultra-portable and versatile tool is a great one to add to your arsenal. The most obvious stand out feature is the ease with which is handles all sorts of materials, with minimal sparking off metal surfaces. It delivers smooth, clean cuts with impressive accuracy.
The laser guide system is useful, but not always easy to see in bright daylight – but luckily being so portable, it’s easy enough to move the shade if you need to. It’s also extremely durable, able to handle up to 750 cuts before you need a replacement blade. And speaking of blades, you can even convert this miter into a tile cutter, adding yet another layer of versatility.
Not much extra room for your tools, and the lack of a fence clamp is a pity when you’re working with metal and would like a little extra support. The excellent value for money you’re receiving at this price range however we feel more than makes up for this omission.
Three year limited warranty when purchased on Amazon.
Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Weight: 57.4 pounds
Dimensions: 29.5 x 22.8 x 20 inches
What comes in the box?
- Thin Carbide Kerf Blade, 60 tooth
- Hold Down Clamp
- MiterFast Angle Transfer Device
- Accurate alignment from either side with dual laser system
- Precise bevel and miter locks and scales to ensure accuracy
- Reliable, direct-drive motor
- FastFix blade change technology
- Excellent built in dust extraction
If anyone loves precision, it’s the Germans – and this miter saw is so packed with accuracy features that it really stands out from the rest – and not just for the slightly eye watering price. The dual lasers coupled with an extremely precise miter scale allow you to make precision cuts. Angles are clear, easy to read and set extremely accurately to within a fraction of a degree.
The 60 tooth carbide blade manages wood and soft plastics easily, and the design is compact and portable. The large 30mm arbor hole of the Festool reduces blade deflection, which results in cleaner and more precise cuts. Dust extraction is extremely impressive, possibly the best of any miter saw on the market.
The dual lasers are also a real treat, and best of all are electrically operated, so you never have to worry about having a spare set of batteries with you. The lasers are easy to fine-tune using the adjustment controls, and can be turned on or off without having to turn the saw on as an additional safety feature.
For what you pay for this saw, you would probably expect it to be handle tough wood and hard plastics with ease – but you’d be wrong. The Kapex KS 120 may be the dream tool for many a carpenter, but if you’re looking specifically to be able to work with hard materials you might need to consider a heavy duty saw.
However, if you’re looking for the ultimate in precision, accuracy, nifty features and loads of extras – this miter really is in its own class.
3-Year Limited Warranty when purchased through Amazon.
The very best way to make sure you invest in the right miter saw for your specific requirements is to set out with a clear idea of the features you need, and keep those in mind when doing your research.
What are your priorities? Safety? Dust extraction? Maybe the ability to work with large lumber or cut particularly hard wood?
I can guarantee that if you have your goals clear – the best miter saw is out there waiting!