In a hurry? DeWALT DWS779 is the best miter saw you can buy. Keep reading to find out why.
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..
This article will teach you how to buy the best miter saw for your needs. 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 Buying Guide
Miter Saw Types
Your first consideration when looking for the best miter saw will be the type of saw design, which can be:
Today’s market is filled with products that offer an endless array of features. While some are nice to have, the important ones I’d look at include:
Outside of the miter saw design, the most critical feature is the size of the saw blade. It determines the maximum depth and length of cut you can make with the miter saw.
The most popular saw blade sizes are 8, 10, and 12 inches. You can mount a smaller saw blade on a miter saw than what it is rated, but you should never try to use a larger saw blade than the recommended size.
10-inch miter saws are the most popular amongst DIY enthusiasts since its blade will be interchangeable with a table saw. Having a 10-inch miter saw and a table saw means that you can save on blades, as long as you have the patience of going through the hassle of swapping blades between the two tools.
A minimum electric motor size will be at least 15 amps for the best miter saws. Higher is better, of course, but 15 amps will cut through lumber without bogging down in the middle of a cut.
Your miter saw will create plenty of sawdust. Good dust collection is 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.
An LED guide can project a line where the blade will cut, allowing you to line up the workpiece quickly. Laser guides are a premium feature that doesn’t come included with all miter saws. If you value accuracy, consider paying extra for a miter saw with a laser guide.
With that said, keep in mind that there are aftermarket solutions that you can use to add a laser guide to a miter saw:
Positive stops, or detents, allow you to quickly position the saw blade at the desired angle without having to check the marking gauge closely. The feature may prove more beneficial in the field, but it can save time in the shop when switching cut angles from one side of the saw blade to the other.
They are often placed at popular angles, such as 0 degrees, 22.5 degrees, 33.9 degrees, and 45 degrees. Dual compound saws will come with detents in a wider range of angles like 48 degrees both to the left and right. Positive stops allow you to make fast angle settings that can save you a lot of time.
Safety locks prevent accidental startups, and electric brakes stop spinning blades in an instant. A working blade guard and proper operator safety are your best injury prevention, though.
Best Miter Saws: The Reviews
1. DEWALT DWS779 – Best for the Money
- Stainless steel miter detent plate of the 12-inch miter saw blade comes with 10 positive stops
- The mitre saw has a precise miter system and machined base fence support
- Precise miter system and machined base fence support Cam-lock miter handle with detent override delivers quick and accurate miter angles for DEWALT miter saw
Full Review: DEWALT DWS779 Review
This 12-inch model from DeWalt uses a 15 amp electric motor. A 110-volt outlet is all it needs to provide plenty of cutting power.
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 bypassed should you need to make adjustments close to the stops themselves.
More Options: Best 12-Inch Miter Saw Review
2. Bosch GCM12SD – Best Dual Bevel Miter Saw
- AXIAL GLIDE SYSTEM: patented glide system allows wider cross cuts and better alignment while also being compact, saving you 12 inches of valuable work space
- 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: 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 degree, 45 degree...
The Bosch design takes up less room than similar-sized sliding miter saws thanks to its axial-glide system. It can save up to 12-inches of space, giving this model dimensions of about 31 inches L x 23.8 inches W x 22.5 inches H. It is rather heavy, though, at 65 pounds.
A 15 amp electric motor generates up to 3,800 RPMs under no-load, and that rotational speed is maintainable through most cutting conditions. A feature I like on Bosch’s miter saw is the ergonomic handle that absorbs vibration and provides comfort.
The manufacturer’s one-year limited warranty is underwhelming, but the build quality does not indicate shortcuts or inferior parts. Also, the 14-inch cutting capacity and extendable material support that reaches 40-inches are impressive.
Learn More: Single vs Double Bevel Miter Saws
3. Makita LS1040 – Best 10-Inch 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
The standard design of the LS1040 produces a smaller footprint than compound or sliding miter saw designs. It is only 20 inches L x 10 inches W x 21 inches H. A weight of only 27.3 pounds makes it easy to carry around your shop or transport around the job site.
It uses a 15 amp direct-drive electric motor. That should provide greater motor longevity and consistent output. In addition, you should be able to maintain up to 4,600 RPMs through most materials.
It uses a soft start technology, and a lack of belts means fewer parts to wear down or replace over time. You can cut up to 45-degrees to the left of the blade and 52-degrees to the right. The simple design also provides up to 45-degrees of beveling to the left of the saw blade.
4. Metabo HPT C10FCGS – Best Budget Option
- MOTOR: 15 Amp motor delivers high power for the toughest of cuts generating a no-load speed of up to 5,000 RPM
- LIGHTWEIGHT: Only 24.2 lbs. to facilitate maneuverability and portability
- MITER ANGLE RANGE: 0-52 degrees, to the right and left for increased flexibility
The 10-inch miter saw by Metabo measures approximately 23 inches L x 18.5 inches W x 21.5 inches H. It weighs 24.5 pounds due to the cheaper materials used in its construction. You will pay far less for this model than for other miter saw designs, making it a great way to introduce a specialty power tool into your workshop.
Its 10-inch saw blade spins on a 5/8-inch arbor. A maximum RPM range of 5,000 is higher than many other products but is well within range for a 10-inch blade.
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.
More Options: Best Budget Miter Saw Review
5. DEWALT DWS716
- Stainless steel miter detent plate with 14 positive stops delivers repeatable accuracy and worksite durability for the 12-inch miter saw blade
- Tall sliding fences of the mitre saw support crown molding up to 6-5/8-inch nested and base molding up to 6-1/2-inch vertically against fence
- Double-bevel design of DEWALT miter saw allows saw to bevel 0 degree - 48 degree to the left and right with positive stops at 0 degree, 22.5 degree, 33.9 degree, and 45 degree
DeWalt has made the footprint of the DWS716 smaller than that of its DWS779. The 12-inch miter saw measures about 27.17 inches L x 22.44 inches W x 19.88 inches H. It weighs only 41 pounds, making it easy to carry to the table and back to storage.
The saw blade attaches to either a 5/8 or 1-inch arbor and can reach up to 3,800 Rotations Per Minute (RPMs) under no-load conditions. The 15 amp electric motor will maintain those speeds in all but the thickest boards or tight wood grains.
Its sliding fence is tall, capable of supporting base molding 6.5 inches tall.
6. Skil MS6305-00 10 Inch Miter Saw
- POWERFUL 15 AMP MOTOR - Delivers 4,800 RPM for quick, detailed cuts
- DUAL BEVEL – Perform cuts in four positive stop positions at 48° & 45° left, 0°, and 45° right
- LED SHADOW LINE - Provides high precision cuts with greater accuracy than lasers
While I had difficulty located exact measurements for the 10-inch Skil miter saw, it does ship in a container measuring 35.5 inches x 22.5 inches x 14.35 inches and weighs 48.8 pounds in the box. Surprisingly, a subsidiary of Chevron lacks this critical information in a market where these details matter.
One thing that stands out for me on this 10-inch sliding design is the LED cutting guide. It casts a shadow line on your workpiece and offers accurate alignment that most LED laser guides can not. You will need this guide during the cut as the blade guard is hard to see through.
7. Makita XSL06PT Cordless 10 Inch Miter Saw
- Powered by two LXT batteries; x2 LXT technology delivers more power, speed and run time without the hassles of a cord
- Makita built electronically controlled BL motor delivers 4, 400 RPM for faster and smoother cutting
- The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
Makita is world-renowned for its innovations in the cordless power tool market, so I wanted to add this 10-inch sliding miter saw that uses two 18 volt batteries to create 36 volts of cutting power.
The power tool measures 22.44 inches L x 32.69 inches W x 21.65 inches H. It weighs 60 pounds with batteries installed, which compares to some corded models.
You can get up to 4,400 RPMs from the brushless electric motor. A brushless design is less likely to overheat and has fewer parts that can break.
8. Craftsman CMCS714M1 7.25 Inch Miter Saw
- POWERFUL MOTOR: 3,800 RPM motor of CRAFTSMAN miter saw is made for cutting 2X dimensional lumber, hardwoods, baseboard and trim with ease
- SLIDE CAPABILITIES: The mitre saw has 8-inch cross cut at 90-degree and 5-1/2-inch cross cut at 45 degree
- ADDED CAPACITY: The sliding miter saw cuts 3-5/8-inch nested crowns and 3-1/2-inch baseboards vertically
If you need only light workloads done and work with framing lumber or smaller items, the 7.25 inch saw blade on this cordless Craftsman is worth considering. It measures 23.0 inches W x 21.25 inches L x 12.0 inches H. The miter saw weighs 21 pounds, which is understandable with a smaller product.
A maximum 8.0-inch crosscut and a 3.5-inch verticle cut allow you to work with two x framing lumber and several molding designs. Its battery should provide near the 3,800 RPM no-load speed in most woods, and you can get up to 585 cuts per charge on the battery pack.
9. Milwaukee 2734-21HD 10 Inch Miter Saw
- Has a durable design
- Side carrying handles
- Provides more Run-Time
Milwaukee’s 10-inch cordless design measures 34.5 inches L x 27.5 inches W x 27.0 inches H. It weighs 45 pounds, which compares favorably to many corded 10-inch miter saws. It is bulkier due to the battery pack placement and sliding dual-bevel design.
An 18 volt M18 Lithium-Ion battery performs up to 400 cuts before needing a charge. You can make 12-inch crosscuts and verticle cuts on molding at 5.75 inches.
A shadow line cut indicator makes lining up workpieces fast, and several positive stops at the most-used miter angles speed up cuts as well.
More Cordless Options: Best Cordless Miter Saws of 2023
10. Kobalt SM1816LW 7.25 Inch Miter Saw
- This Certified Refurbished product is manufacturer refurbished, shows limited or no wear, and includes all original accessories plus a 90-day limited hardware warranty.
KBLT provides this 7.25-inch miter saw with measurements of 23.5 inches L x 22.0 inches W x 18.5 inches H. It comes in under 23 pounds, making it lightweight and compact. That might make it an option for cramped shops with limited bench space for your miter saw placement.
I have seen power ratings listed at 10.0 amps, but I believe that the electric motor is rated at 15 amps while generating up to 4,800 RPMs under no-load. It can create a maximum 45-degree bevel cut and a 50-degree maximum miter cut.
You will get an 8.0-inch crosscut at 90-degrees and a 6.0-inch crosscut with a 45-degree miter.
11. Wen MM1011 10 Inch Miter Saw
- Powerful 15-amp motor cuts boards up to 12 inches wide and 3-1/2 inches thick
- Miter 45 degrees in either direction (featuring 9 miter stops) or bevel 45 degrees to the left
- Onboard Class II laser guide illuminates your line of cut
Wen’s 10-inch single bevel miter saw is a simple design that measures about 17.5 inches L x 28.0 inches W x 16.5 inches H. It ships at around 38.7 pounds, and Wen covers the miter saw with a two-year warranty.
The 15 amp electric motor creates RPMs that max out near 4,500. You can make up to 12-inch crosscuts and 6.75-inch base molding nestled against the fence.
Your purchase would include a material clamp, dust bag, dust port adaptor, and a 40-toothed carbide-tipped saw blade.
12. Hitachi C10FCH2
- 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.
13. TACKLIFE EMS01A
No products found.
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.
What Is A Miter Saw And What Will It Help You Do?
A miter saw (also referred to as a mitre saw) is a dedicated power tool used for crosscutting boards. It uses a circular saw blade to sever the wood fibers. The crosscuts made by a miter saw are accurate and repeatable, features that have made it a favorite power tool for carpenters and manufacturers since the early 1970s.
A miter saw uses an arm to hold the circular saw blade in position. That arm allows the saw to drop from above the workpiece in the edge or face of the board. The power tool supports the wood on top of a cutting surface and a fence that prevents it from moving as you cut.
You can cut a 90-degree edge on your lumber or adjust the circular saw blade to make a mitered cut. The saw blade can also be tilted on its side, allowing you to make beveled cuts on the edge of your board. Combining these features creates a compound miter cut that is easy to repeat on the end of several pieces of wood.
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 limited or of no use to you. The best circular saws or a table saw is designed to make those types of cuts.
Who will benefit from using a miter saw?
All woodworkers can make cross cuts quickly using a miter saw. If you work with lots of framing lumber or wood with similar dimensions, this tool makes an accurate replacement for your hand-held circular saw. Woodworkers that need to make several repeated crosscuts can also improve their workflow using a miter saw.
Who might want to pass on this dedicated saw?
DIYers and hobbyists that use panel goods and plywood sheets will find limited uses for the miter saw. Furniture makers can use the power tool for cutting framing lumber or boards with shallow faces, but glued panels and rip cuts are beyond this tool’s capability.
Is a miter saw worth it?
My grandfather used to say that you can always make more money but you can never make more time. Power tools save time in the shop, and a miter saw will save you time laying out a crosscut. Add the ability to quickly set a miter cut angle or tilt the blade for a beveled edge, and you can begin to understand how efficient the best miter saws can be.
If you make repeated crosscuts on your DIY or woodworking project, a miter saw eliminates the need for marking and layout for individual boards. Instead, you can use the time saved on other aspects of the project, like joinery or finishing.
The Final Cut
While I found great features on all thirteen products, I feel that the DEWALT 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS779) is the best miter saw for woodworking and construction applications. It offers more versatility than the other five saws due to its versatility and the ability to host larger blades. In terms of features, it is very similar to Bosch’s GCM12SD miter saw while being less expensive. With this miter saw 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 12-inch blade moving at high speeds.
While the chip bag has limited space, the 35mm port will allow a shop vac to be connected for good dust removal.