If you’re in a hurry, go directly to the DEWALT DWS779, it’s a great miter saw! While not as essential as some other tools, a miter saw is one way to make your life a whole lot easier when you’re undertaking larger DIY projects. Also called chop saws, these seemingly simple tools come in a wide variety of configurations that make them super useful for any kind of angled cutting you might want to undertake.
We’ve dug up five of the best, so let’s take an in-depth look at each and answer any more questions you might have right afterwards.
If you want the absolute top of the line, you won’t be disappointed with the DWS779. The price reflects the value, but it’ll make your DIY life a whole lot easier.
Top 5 Best Miter Saw Reviews
|Name||Saw Type||Maximum Capacity|
|DEWALT DWS779 12″ Sliding||Sliding Compound Miter Saw||16” @ 90°||Check Price|
|Bosch GCM12SD 120-Volt 12-Inch||Sliding Compound Miter Saw||14” @ 90°||Check Price|
|SKIL 3317-01 10-Inch||Double Bevel Compound Saw||5 ½” @ 90°||Check Price|
|Homecraft H26-260L 10-Inch||Single Bevel Compound Saw||5 ½” @ 90°||Check Price|
|Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-inch||Single Bevel Compound Saw||5 ½” @ 90°||Check Price|
1. Best Overall
DEWALT DWS779 12" Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The DeWalt DWS779 is a wonderful saw, and one which any professional would be glad to have grace their workbench or truck. The powerful motor is one thing, but the slide which will easily allow you to cut lumber up to 16” is the main draw here.
The nested fence will allow you to make short work of molding tasks up to 7 ½” tall as well, this is truly a beast of a saw. The main thing that most people will notice about it, upon their first cut is how smooth and easy the action of it works.
The dust collection system here isn’t a gimmick either, it’ll snag up to 75% of the saw dust created by your cut in ideal conditions and still make a dent in your clean up time when things aren’t perfect.
What most people don’t realize about the DWS779 is that it’s actually a complete version of the best saw that DeWalt produces, the almost legendary DWS780, minus the guide light.
Unfortunately, the newer versions of the DWS779 also lack the attachments for the light, but it’s also a couple of hundred dollars cheaper and an aftermarket laser can make up for the difference at a fraction of the price. The entire saw is a fantastic piece of work, and the price reflects it.
Pros and Cons
- Smooth sliding mechanism allows you to cut out to 16”
- Double bevel
- Amazing build quality
- 12” blade takes both 5/8” and 1” arbors
- Amazingly smooth cut
- Too heavy to really be considered “mobile”
2. Best High-End Option
Bosch GCM12SD 120-Volt 12-Inch
The Bosch GCM12SD is a professional quality tool with few equals. This 12” gliding, double bevel saw is exactly what a professional is looking for.
The unique Glide ability means that you can move the blade back and forth without anything extending over the back of the footprint of the piece. This makes it great for those limited on space in their workshop or who find themselves in cramped quarters on job sites.
This is a precise, powerful tool, make no mistakes. The only area it’s truly lacking in is the fact that it doesn’t come with a laser sight from the factory. If you’re willing to shell out the money to pay for this saw, however, the sight of your choice is probably easily within your reach.
Apart from the unique “arm” for the slide, this saw features a double bevel and a vacuum port to allow you to pick up most of the dust generated during its use.
There’s also a depth stop, so you can use it to make dado cuts if you opt to pick up the blade to do it with.
This is an expensive, professional quality saw that’s ideal for both the jobsite and smaller workshops. Pick it up if you can afford it and the accessories you’ll need to be able to maximize it’s usage.
Pros and Cons
- Depth stop
- Great build quality
- 12” sliding blade with a double bevel
- Unique slide allows it to be used anywhere it fits
- Vacuum port
- Very heavy
3. Best For The Money
SKIL 3317-01 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
Sometimes you just need a simple tool which will allow you to quickly and easily expedite your projects. While the Skil 3317-01 isn’t the fanciest or highest-quality miter saw on the market it’s a convenient way to get light jobs done.
Don’t take us wrong here, it’s a solid piece of work but the main draw for most people is the fact that it’s hard to find a saw at this price that comes with a double bevel. For lefties and anyone who doesn’t want to spend a bunch of time flipping their workpiece over that’s a double bonus.
It also has a laser guide to keep you on target and it’s designed to be used easily by people with either hand orientation with a dual lock-off switch.
The fence will allow you to clamp pieces to it as well, so you don’t have to get your hands anywhere near the blade as you bring it down. This makes it ideal for molding and trim.
The build quality is only middling, unfortunately, so you probably shouldn’t pick this one up if you’re planning on cutting 2x4s seven days a week.
Where this saw absolutely shines is as a cheap and easy way to get the angles you need for trim jobs without any of the hassle you’d have to deal with using a single bevel saw.
Pros and Cons
- Double bevel
- Made for usage for both left and right handed people
- Fence clamps included
- Laser sight
- Quick mount system
- Middling build quality
- Laser sight is mediocre
4. Best Portable & Light Weight Miter Saw
Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-inch
The Hitachi C10FCE2 is a powerful compound miter saw with a single bevel and a great laser guide to ensure that you make accurate and clean cuts.
One of the first things most craftsmen will notice about this saw is the high fence. The four inches will allow you to cut molding and other trim pieces vertically in order to place them in corners if you’re uncomfortable working with the bevel.
It only weighs a little bit more than 25lbs as well, meaning it’s portable enough to take pretty much anywhere. Despite the light weight it’s still a well-built tool, although it compares unfavorably with some of the truly great miter saws available.
Once again the dust bag is fairly useless, but it’ll pick up a little bit so that you don’t have to. The center of the table is also plastic, which makes cutting metal a bad idea even with the right blade since the heat is likely to warp or melt parts of it.
This is a solid, dependable saw that will give you the best value for your dollar. If you’re looking for a professional tool then read on, but if you want something for your weekend projects then Hitachi has you covered.
Pros and Cons
- Precise laser sight
- Well-built plastic casing
- Extra high fence
- Single bevel
- Great value for the money
- Instructions aren’t great
- Center of the table is plastic
5. Best Budget Miter Saw
Homecraft H26-260L 10-Inch
The Homecraft H26-260L is the perfect miter saw for the beginning home handyman who isn’t planning on heavy usage. It’s cheap and lightweight, and still allows you quite a bit of performance.
The 10” saw blade is suitable for most purposes and the single bevel still allows you to make compound cuts although you’ll have to flip the work piece around on occasion.
It has a cheap laser sight which will make work quite a bit easier, although it’s not as exact as some of the more expensive models out there. This sight takes separate batteries from the main power source of the saw so pick up some AAA batteries if you go for this one.
It has a sawdust collection bag attached which sucks up some of the dust, but don’t expect it to nab everything. It also features an electric brake which helps to slow the saw blade down more quickly after you’ve let off the trigger.
It’s a solid, powerful saw but it does suffer somewhat for the low price. The parts on it are fairly cheap and it’s unlikely to stand up to extra heavy usage but for occasional projects it’s a nice piece.
For a beginner on a budget, this is a great saw to use but experienced DIY craftsmen or those who plan on using it will be better served with something a little bit more expensive.
Pros and Cons
- Powerful saw chops cleanly
- Light and portable
- Single bevel for compound cuts
- Laser guide
- Mediocre build quality
- Sawdust catch isn’t up to par
What is a Miter Saw?
A miter saw is a vertically oriented motor powering a saw blade that you bring down onto the lumber that you’re planning on cutting. They can make quick work of most wood and with the right blades can be used on a wide variety of materials.
They’re an extremely useful part of the home carpenter’s arsenal, especially since any miter saw worthy of the name will also allow you to make exact measurements as to the angle you’re planning on cutting at.
Essentially, you orient the wood how you want to cut it, angle the saw, and bring the blade down after powering it on. This allows you to get exact cuts in a remarkably small amount of time.
What are the Advantages of a Miter Saw?
The primary advantage of these saws is their ability to cut both horizontal and vertical angles at the same time. In doing so, you can save a lot of time on projects where this is frequently necessary like crown molding or even smaller projects like picture frames.
The ability to cut angles without having to break out the miter box is another advantage. “Miter” cuts are almost impossible to do with any other power tool due to their nature and it offers you a big advantage in a lot of projects.
Compound cuts and the ability to make miter cuts without having to work with a hand saw are some pretty hefty benefits and make a good argument for why every home handyman should have one somewhere around their home or shop.
What Types of Miter Saw are There?
There’s a few different types of miter saw available.
Standard miter saws just cut angles along a horizontal axis. They’re pretty rare nowadays, since technology makes more complex saws available cheaply to just about everyone. They still have their uses, but there are simply better options.
Compound miter saws are capable of making cuts along the vertical and horizontal axis at the same time. By positioning both the wood and the saw blade in the correct location you can make these cuts extremely easily. Provided, of course, that the saw can chop through the entire piece of wood in one go.
Sliding miter saws allow you to move the saw blade along the length of their rails. This allows you to make cuts along much longer pieces of wood than you would normally be able to with any other kind of miter saw. Most of them are also compound, making them the handiest type but also the most expensive.
What Should I Look for in a Miter Saw?
Like every other tool on the market, it can be hard to decide just what you need to look for in a miter saw. The natural inclination is to just fit things into your budget, but you should instead envision the projects you’ll be performing with it and keep the following qualities in mind.
Single bevel saws are cheap, but they have some drawbacks. Since the blade only tilts to one side you can end up having a hard time working with pieces that need to be flipped over frequently.
For trim and molding, a double bevel saw can save you a lot of time. By allowing you to make the angles you need with each cut instead of having to reposition the piece you’re in good hands.
Compound saws are best for serious lumber work. While they come at a higher cost, they really are best if you’re planning on cutting wide pieces of wood for decks and other actualy construction purposes.
10” blades are cheaper, but they won’t cut as wide. You’ll be able to get about 5 ½” without a slide using a 10” blade. They’re quite a bit cheaper than their bigger cousins, however, and the saws are generally much smaller and lighter.
12” blades should be used for “workhorse” purposes. With one of these you can make short work of much larger material in both dimensions of the cutting surface. This makes them ideal for large products. Unlike with some types of saw, you really don’t lose any precision with a larger blade either.
That said, they are more expensive when it comes time to replace them or if you need to switch them out frequently for different materials.
Tall fencing is ideal for trim and moulding. Really, a taller fence is a good feature in most cases but if you’re planning on mostly working with taller pieces then this might be your go-to feature.
A lower one is fine for cutting lumber, however, since the thicker pieces will generally be laid flat rather than on end.
This is where the differences in a saw can shine.
Laser guides allow for quick and accurate cuts, but they’re not required by any means. If you’re worried about precision, then you can actually pull the saw blade down without engaging the motor and touch it to where you’ve made your mark to make sure you’re positioned correctly.
Depth stops are great for dados, but add a lot of expense to the saw. If you’re not planning on cutting joinery with your miter saw then they’re really not needed. In any case, routers and table saws are often a much more versatile choice for those who are cutting joinery.
Slides will add a lot to the cost of the saw. Sliding saws are simply much more expensive than simpler ones due to the added mechanisms needed to make them smooth and useful. The fact is, however, if you’re cutting lumber then the slide is indispensable.
Other than that, you’ll want to get the best saw you can afford in most cases, but match it to your needs rather than just your budget for the best results.
Miter saws are a great piece of hardware to add to your home workshop and they’ll make formerly complicated cuts an absolute breeze. Make the investment in the one that you think is right for you, rather than looking too hard at the price tag, and you’re likely to end up with something that’ll help you make formerly frustrating cuts downright enjoyable.