Best Miter Saws Reviews 2017
Miter saws are some of the most powerful, widespread and best-selling saws in the power tool industry. They are loved by craftsmen and home owners of all walks of life because they are convenient, portable and accurate. You can find a miter saw in basically every work shop in America and they're also present in average households because people like to use them for property maintenance. If you’re a home owner and you need a reliable saw to cut around your house casually, you can pick up a miter saw and stash it in your garage until you need it. They get the job done; they're faster than most saws and easier to learn.
The best miter saws are very accurate and you can learn how to use one of these in under a day. If you're an aspiring wood worker you're going to find miter saws efficient because they're the best at making crosscuts when you have lumber pieces and are also great for framing work. You basically place your work piece against the fence and rip it apart with the blade. They function similar to a circular saw and they do have a circular saw blade that spends very fast but the difference is that the force here is projected downward. These tools are very powerful and dangerous.
Types of Miter Saws
There are small variations between different miter saws. They are split in three main groups: standard, compound and sliding. The standard used to be the most widespread because they contain the basic core functionality of miter saws and the sliding variations were and remain the most expensive. The standard miters have blades that move around from left to right and compound saws can bevel cut meaning they can do that + cut from one side or another. These are slightly more expensive than standard saws and this is ironically the reason they're gaining in popularity. Miter saws in general offer greater functionality than basic/standard saws and they're still not that much more expensive.
Sliding miter saws are very similar to compound miter saws except they have large extension rods that push the blade in forward and backward motions. Sliding saws are more complex and have a steeper learning curve but they're the most advanced and reserved for commercial applications. They have the largest cutting capability and the length of the cut is also the largest on sliding miter saws. These tend to be at least 2 to 3 times more expensive than standard miter saws. The reason being is that everything is better on sliding saws. They have greater capacity and they have more technical bells and whistles; providing you with full control over your work pieces.
Miter Saw Reviews - Our Top Picks
Dewalt DWS779 Compound Miter Saw
Dewalt is known for producing some of the most reliable power tools but their sweet spot is usually in the mid range. They produce the best mid range options and their products are usually best-sellers. If you want something that is suitable for an amateur as well as a professional (as a replacement/complementary saw) then you should consider the DWS779. This is their best miter saw and if you're a fan of DeWalt you shouldn't hesitate between this and other brands. It's a very precise unit and you can use it for everyday work on different materials.
There are certain standout features that you'll find on this and other high-end products that are not present in the beginner/starter lineups. For instance, you'll find an LED light that will increase your visibility when you're cutting and it also has a 60T carbide blade. The DWS779 comes with a powerful 15 AMP motor and this is one of the most versatile tools in the market. If you enjoy changing the blade types and trying out different methods for woodworking then this saw will have you covered because it can cut through every type of wood and it's also suitable for larger lumber pieces. You're not restricted to working with small pieces because it's got the size and it's suitable for high-powered work. The DWS779 also outshines other DeWalt saws in the mid range because the vast majority of them restrict you to working with small(ish) items. This is not the case with the DWS779 and the angles are adjustable up to 90° for 16" cutting. You can also cut vertical bevels and standard miters at the same time.
Hitachi C10FCE2 Compound Miter Saw
Hitachi is a power tool giant and their C10FCE2 is the best-selling miter saw of all time. In fact this saw is so popular that if you look at the sales page you won't want to purchase anything else. Other saws can't dream of selling as much of the C10FCE2. The reason being is that it's one of the most reliable saws and it costs about 6x less than the high-end saws on the market. If you had to purchase one beginner miter saw blindly and know you can't go wrong this one fits the bill. It's a standard 10" compound saw and this unit in particular is one of the main reasons compound saws are taking off in the miter saw industry. It's a basic 10" that is comparable in performance to saws the cost twice as much. The blade is a lot larger than other saws in a price range and this is why it easily outclasses them all.
When you're starting out you'll be debating between standard 10" and 20" miter saws. You couldn't go wrong with either but the 10" option is the most popular choice for a reason. That reason is that it's suitable for the vast majority of people - maybe you're not one of them (if you're looking for the best of the best) but if all you need is a basic saw that can be used both casually and professionally without having to replace every few months then this one has you covered. It has a powerful 15 AMP motor that delivers up to 5000 RPM and this means that you'll be able to cut all materials and you can make cross cuts or bevel cuts. Miter saws don't have a reputation for weighing a lot and this one is no exception-in fact it's one of the most lightweight designs at only about 26 lbs. If you find yourself moving around often, this is one of the easiest units to handle and you'll be able to move it around as much as you want. There's also a very solid clamping system for fastening work pieces at the bottom. All you have to do is secure it to your work table and this will increase your stability and allow you to make the most accurate cuts.
Black+Decker M1850BD Miter Saw
The Black-Decker M1850BD has one of the largest capacities on the low end and in fact this is the best starter miter saw that you can get as a beginner. If you go lower than this model you have to settle for sub-par machines and this is not the case with the M1850BD - it's the cutoff point between actually usable and throwaway miter saws. This is the saw you should get if you're on a budget. It has a very lightweight design, in fact it's the most lightweight from the lot weighing only a bit over 20 lbs. It can cut at an adjustable angle of up to 45° when you're cutting 2x6" pieces and up to 90° when you're cutting at 2x8"s.
It's not the most accurate saw but it's definitely the best inside the price range. If you're a homeowner and you want to make use of a miter saw for property work without breaking the bank then you will massively benefit from the M1850BD because it has a very powerful motor and it's suitable for casual work. However, if you plan relying on it for full-time operations and you should invest in the more high-powered and/or precise saws.
Dewalt DW716 Compound Miter Saw
The DeWalt DW716 is another mid range hit by DeWalt and it comes with all the standard goodies such as a 15 AMP motor and 3800 RPM. The DW716 doesn't stand out a lot compared to other mid range options by the company but if you look at it closely you might find it's a great bargain for the price. If you need something that will resemble a high-end tool or a complementary tool for you main saw then this one fits the bill. It's half the price of the most expensive saws but it's not half the functional value.
It has 12" cutting capacity which is standard for high-end options and is definitely better than every starter/beginner option you'll consider. It can not only cut at 12" but it can make 50° miter cuts in every direction. This is why it's a worthy contender and you'll be able to make all the bevel cuts you need.
If you want to upgrade from a basic saw because you're having a hard time cutting accurately then this is one of the best saws to consider. You won't have to upgrade to the most expensive models to get accurate cutting. It makes cutting through hard materials a breeze and if you have to put effort into it you'll now be spoiled because those same materials will slice like butter. There are also numerous safety features such as a blade guard that will keep your hand safe when you're cutting.
Bosch GCM12SD Glide Miter Saw
The Bosch GCM12SD is one of the most expensive if not the most expensive miter saws on the market. The reason it's expensive is not because it's necessarily more powerful than others but because it brings new technology to the forefront and it changed the way miter saws work. It's a sliding saw which naturally makes it among the most expensive but it also has a different way of doing things. Sliding saws are nothing new, but they all share basic functionality.
They basically slide horizontally from the front to the back on a rail system and you have to dedicate a lot of space in order to lay out all those rails. Bosch decided to clean this up and came up with a totally new design that replaced those rails with hinged arms, making the whole sliding process a lot more efficient.
The GCM12SD has the smoothest gliding system from all miter saws. All the controls are conveniently located in one place where you can manage every setting. There also integrated stock supports and you can mount this against a wall to make it usable in commercial settings where you're trying to conserve space. The GMC12SD can be considered a luxurious/high-end miter saw and it comes with exceptional manuals that include all the information you need to set it up on your own. The bevel cutting capacity is 47° in both directions and 52°-60° in miter capacity. It comes with a 15 AMP motor that cuts at 12" with 3800 RPM. The blade is a 62-tooth blade and you also have lots of room for work piece clamping as well as the dust bag inside the default package. Bosch provides a year-long warranty on parts and service.
Craftsman Single Bevel Sliding Miter Saw
The Craftsman 10" miter saw is one of the most reliable mid range saws that are a cut above the starter options and will last you a long time. It's very similar to a DeWalt because it has exceptional build quality and this is actually one of the best 10" miter saws you can get before you're forced to upgrade to the 12" ones. It's basically the best from the mid range. It has advanced functionality such as an integrated laser system that will improve the accuracy of your cuts and if you do a lot of woodworking you'll be to run wet timber and the blade will handle them with ease.
It's mostly aimed at word workers and comes with an exceptional air dusting system. The motor is 15 AMPs and it has all the speed that you need to process hardwoods while the package is loaded and contains a dust bag, blade branch, clamp and numerous accessories.
This is hands down the best saw that you can purchase in the $200 range. If you enjoy hands-on work in your budget is around the price range then this saw should be one of your top considerations because it's going to last you a lot. It has the motor power to do all the cutting work you need and it's very versatile. It's even suitable for beginner woodworkers. If you're coming from the basic models then you'll make great use of the upgraded laser functionality and greater accuracy of this unit.
SKIL 3821-01 Compound Miter Saw
Not a lot of miter saws come close to perfection but this one might when you're comparing transitional saws from the low-end to the mid range. It's affordable enough that he can be considered low-end by miter saw standards but it's got the functionality of full-fledged midrange miter saw that you would expect from DeWalt. SKIL has a track record for producing exceptional power tools and they always over-deliver even on the cheapest tools.
It's not too heavy and it's not too light - it just the perfect size. It's super accurate and this unit the cut off point for miter saws that have more than basic functionality. If you want a reliable saw but don't want to spend too much money you should consider picking up a 3821-01.
This is among the most straight-forward and simplest miter saws because it's powered by a 15 AMP motor with 4500 RPM. You'll have all the power you need to slice through the hardest materials and you won't be forced to do maintenance work the way you would on cheaper saws. The speed is instantly adjustable and it's a very user-friendly design that can be used by both professionals and amateurs. You can easily reduce the speed when you need to increase your accuracy and it provides maximum adjustability. You can cut everything from pipes to plastic and hard lumber. The best part is that saws the cost three times as much will perform at a similar level if all you need is base-level cutting.
Makita LS1040 Compound Miter Saw
If you're a fan of the Japanese giant then you should consider the LS1040 because it's their flagship in the miter saw department. This is another 15 AMP miter saw operating at up to 4600 RPM and considering the price it's among the cheapest mid range options. When you're dealing with Makita you can expect the best quality even when it's not expensive. The biggest standout feature on the LS1040 that you won't find on other saws in the price range is the soft start technology.
Most saws on the low-end/midrange are going to be super loud and the LS1040 is not completely silent but it's definitely a lot quieter compared to saws in its price range. Your ears won't be blowing out when you start it and all you have to do is wear light ear protection if you're cutting all day. It maintains perfect speed and it doesn't waiver - this saw means business. When you consider the brand name and the price tag this is really a no-brainer.
You can never go wrong with a Makita saw. They have the best warranties and their products are consistently best-selling (similar to DeWalt) which means that if you ever run into some issues or you break a part by accident you'll be able to find replacement parts the same day.
Milwaukee 6955-20 Dual Bevel Miter Saw
The 6955-20 by Milwaukee is one of the most expensive 12" sliding miter saws with a powerful high-end design meant for commercial purposes and aimed exclusively at professionals. If you're in the market for high-end saw then you'll be debating between this and saws like the Bosch and Milwaukee doesn't waste a lot of time producing cheap saws - expensive power tools is their territory and they make reliable high-end tools.
This is why it's hard to pass up on their flagship 6955-20 when you consider the value brings. In fact, the 6955-20 is slightly cheaper than identical high-end saws. It doesn't get better than this. For the small difference in price between this and other high-end miter saws you could purchase a replacement blade instead. This is one of the sturdiest and heaviest miter saws one can purchase for a work shop. It has all the important features you need to hone your craft work to perfection and if you pay a lot of attention to detail you're going to benefit the most from the 6955-20 because it has the feature-set to bring your vision to life. This is the only tool you'll need!
If you're doing miter cuts you'll be to cut 60° to the right and 55° to the left. It's highly adjustable and equally responsive, allowing you to adjust the depth for groove cuts and it's filled with visual instructions in the manual to help you with the angle adjustment by including numerous angle charts in instruction manual. It has one of the best written instruction manuals the covers everything you need for advanced miter cutting. There is also a padlock that serves as an anti-theft mechanism and it increases the security of the unit. It weighs a bit less than 80 lbs which means it's one of the heaviest machines but it's loaded with features and it's one of the few serious contenders when you're on the market for a commercial grade miter saw.
Miter Saw Terminology
The following are terms that you'll come across when you're getting started with miter saws. You'll be seeing these terms a lot and they have the same meaning for circular saws thus it's important to understand what they mean before you purchase a saw.
These are the most versatile and a favorite among professionals for commercial-grade work. You could invest one of these for home use but they don't offer a lot of pragmatic value for the average homeowner because they can do away with a much simpler saw. However, they're the only option for people who are serious about their craft and want to experience the most accurate cutting. They are reasonably priced and you can get a great deal on the brand names with the most expensive being around $500-600.
These blades are specifically designed for miter saws and they facilitate extremely smooth cutting across an entire range of materials. You're not restricted to single material and you can basically cut through everything this kind of blade.
The teeth are basically those little sharp edges that you se on the blade that basically do all the cutting when they're being spun. Most of the saws on our list come with super sharp blade teeth by default but you can also purchase separate blades. We have a dedicated section for miter saw blades. The basic principle gestalt here is that the more teeth you have the smoother the cut is going to be because it creates less friction upon contact. Contrary to popular belief, greater speed does not equal greater cutting ability. If anything it can mess up your accuracy when your saw goes too fast. This is why you need something that will hit the sweet spot, not too slow and not overtly fast.
This is the cut from the plate located on your blade right near to teeth that enables swift removal for the pieces you're cutting. If you have large gullets you'll be able to remove more materials while the smaller ones remove less.
The hook angle refers to the cutting edge for each individual tooth. The teeth can spin into 2 directions only: positive and negative. If the teeth on your blades are aligned in the direction on the blade rotation it's called a positive hook angle and if they’re located counter the blade rotation then you have a negative hook angle. The negative hook angle is actually better performing with this type of saw. This is why you want to pick up blades that have a negative hook angle if you'll be buying replacement blades for a miter saw.
The kerf refers to the quantity/amount of material that you're removing when your blade starts spinning. It's usually measured in inches and the standard is around 1/8". If your blade advertises a thin kerf then this is an advantage because you be able to remove more even if you're using a less powerful saw.
History of Miter Saws
The basic gist is that craftsmen and most notably woodworkers had to use table saws in order to get accurate crosscuts and miter saws did the same (they didn't immediately replace them) but there were just more portable. This is how they took off. They can basically do the same maneuvers as a regular saw while increasing your range of movement. The skeptics dismissed them early on because they weren't as accurate but people who wanted more portability started calibrating them and then they became household items. Now it's very common to see these machines everywhere on job sites across the country and they're very popular among wood workers. These are hands-down one of the easiest saws to operate and they're also a go-to tool for different kinds of crosscuts and miter cuts at compound angles. The most recent figures indicate that miter saws are more popular than regular saws and they're the number one tool with massive reliability and very affordable price tags.
These saws are not only ideal for woodworking but you can enjoy a range of cutting with them. You can basically do all kinds of craft work using a single miter saw. You can build furniture, you can make cabinets or you can cut metal. There also used in the roofing industry. The basic miter saws come with about 30 teeth on the blade and some of them can have up to 100.