Are you in a hurry and simply want to know which miter saw is the best out there? TACKLIFE EMS01A is our #1 pick.
A miter saw is a tool often associated with the worksite. Hobbyist woodworkers may be surprised to discover that they also have a lot of useful applications in a woodworking workshop. What you can do with them, as well as what to look for, is looked at below.
After this, we will take a look at six products found on the market to determine what the best miter saw might be for you.
Miter Saw: A Dedicated Power Tool
You will hear opinions from fellow woodworkers about the need for a tool with such a focused use in your workshop. Some will claim that such equipment is a luxury item that you can avoid as a beginner. Others, including myself, believe that this saw can improve efficiency and safety to the point where having it in your workshop is a must.
What are the best uses for a miter saw?
The miter saw as the name implies, excels at making angled cuts across boards that will form a miter joint when placed together. This angle is often cut at 45-degrees, but a miter cut can also be made at other angles. You can also make beveled cuts or a combination of bevel and miter cuts, as well as making crosscuts on boards in a similar manner as a chop saw.
The size of these cuts will be limited by the design of the saw and the blade size. You will find that 10 or 12-inch miter saws will handle most beginning and intermediate projects. This includes making cuts on framing timber used for a variety of tasks, as well as making miter cuts on wall trim.
If you are looking to make long crosscuts on panels, or rip cuts on lumber, the miter saw will be of limited or of no use to you. A circular saw or table saw is designed to make those types of cuts.
What are the different types of miter saws out there?
I first discovered a miter saw in my late grandfather’s workshop when I was a boy. Things have advanced a bit since then and today’s market includes various types of miter saws. These include:
Some features to look at
Today’s market is filled with products that offer an endless array of features. While some are nice to have, the important ones I like to look at include:
Electric motor power
I have yet to find a power tool motor that is too strong, but I have found motors that struggled to operate the tool. When it comes to miter saws, the industry standard that seems acceptable will be at least 15 amps.
This will allow your saw to run without bogging down in the cut. It should also provide the blade enough spin to keep the cut clean.
Your miter saw will create plenty of sawdust. Enough debris is generated that dust collection becomes an important feature that will keep your work area clean. Good dust collection will offer removal of debris with a minimal amount of blockage in the port area.
Also, look for connection points that will fit your current shop vac or the workshop collection venting. This will help keep the debris moving through the hose once it is out of your miter saw.
Miter saws will be listed by their blade size. A 10 or 12-inch blade will be the size range you will need to look for. Those sizes are capable of handling most of the jobs a beginning or intermediate woodworker will work on.
Blade sizes smaller than this are very limited in their depth of cut. I would not recommend them for woodworking unless you are building a model airplane or ship out of wood.
Looking for a good blade? Check out the review we did on the best miter saw blades.
The are indents found on your saw angle adjustments that provide quick reference points when you are adjusting your blade. They are often placed at popular angles, such as 45-degrees. Positive stops allow you to make fast angle settings that can save you a lot of time.
Top Rated Miter Saw Reviews
- New precise miter system
- Handle design for added portability
- Integrated XPS cross cut positioning system provides adjustment-free cut line indication
This 12-inch model from DeWalt uses a 15 amp electric motor. It should provide you with plenty of cutting power while it avoids the need for a 220-volt outlet.
There are 10 positive stops locate on the pivoting plate of this model. Those positive stops are located at the most popular angles and can be by-passed should you need to make adjustments close to the stops themselves.
Bosch GCM12SD – Best Dual Bevel Miter Saw
- Axial glide system: The patented glide system allows wider cross cuts and better alignment while also being compact; This saves you 12 inch of valuable work space; Bosch glide miter saw also offers...
- Capacity: Expanded cutting capacity 14 inch horizontal capacity nominal 6 1/2 inch vertical capacity against the fence base 6 1/2 inch crown capacity against the fence 45 spring
- Adjustable: The GCM12SD miter saw provides easy adjustments with a large easy to read uniform bevel and stainless steel miter scales with marked detentes and roof pitch angles; Bevel detents: 0, 33.9...
A patented axial glide system saves you space. It gives you more cutting room on crosscuts. The cuts are made with a smoother motion also.
- Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
- Hitachi's Laser Marker System for increased cutting accuracy
- 15 Amp motor, powerful for the toughest cutting jobs
This entry from Hitachi is a renamed Metabo HPT. That creates a Hitachi product that makes use of the laser marking system found on the Metabo. This unit also makes use of a dust collection system that includes a dust collection bag.
Makita 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
- Powerful 15 AMP direct drive motor for improved performance; 4,600 RPM
- Dual post compound pivoting arm
- Miter cuts 0-45 left and 0-52 right
This lightweight 10-inch saw is highly portable. That makes it a good choice for shops with limited space or those that require tools to be stored when they are not in use.
Metabo HPT C10FCGS – Best For The Money
- 10" Compound Miter Saw
- Same tools. New name. Hitachi power tools has renamed to Metabo HPT
- Miter angle range: 0°-52°, to the right and left for increased flexibility
Those familiar with Hitachi’s version of this model will know the pros and cons for the most part, with the biggest difference in the price tag.
Looking for a budget option? Check out our review of the best budget miter saws.
- 【2 Speeds & Durable Tool】 With the single press of the switch, you can convert between two speeds(3200 RPM or 4500 RPM) with ease for more precise cutting, high speed for wood while low speed for...
- 【Bevel Cutting & Laser Guide】 A free bevel range from 0°to 45° allows you to make beveled cuts for more versatile uses. And angle of miter bench is -45°/0°/+45°with positive stops at 0°,...
- 【3 Blades & Iron Blade Guard】 Richer accessories provide a wide range of choice, two 10" 40T TCT blades for wood and plastic, and one multifunctional 10" 48T TCT blade for versatile use. Solid...
This miter saw is designed to be used on various materials besides wood. That gives woodworkers more options should they need to trim plastics or lighter metals such as aluminum.
The Best Miter Saw That Makes The Cut
While I found great features on all six products, I feel that the TACKLIFE 10-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw EMS01A is the best miter saw for woodworking and construction applications. It offers more versatility than the other five saws due to its two-speed rating. You can make decent cuts into light metals, plastics, and wood.
It is a sliding compound design. This lets you make compound cuts over a wider area. That is impossible for the models above that do not slide. It uses a 15 amp motor that is strong enough to keep the 10-inch blade moving.
While the chip bag has limited space, the 35mm port will allow a shop vac to be connected for good dust removal. All of this at a reasonable price for most beginners.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Check out our review of the best cordless miter saws!