Being a person working with wood all the time, I have multiple tools that allow me to do certain jobs. One very common tool that is used among woodworkers all over the world are saws of course. There are multiple saws to many types of jobs such as the scroll saw, a table saw, a band saw and many others. However, there is one saw in particular that every woodworker should have and that is the miter saw. Many miter saws are compact and transportable which is very handy. The miter saw is more commonly used for framing operations such as in the process of manufacturing picture frames. Of course, there are many types of miter saws to choose from, and really, when it comes to choosing a miter saw, it comes down to what a person needs in a miter saw.
Types of Miter Saws
Generally, before buying any equipment it is necessary to ensure that it fits the required use. This is the first step towards ensuring that all you are resourcefully equipped at all times. Consequently, there are many types of miter saws in the market, which means it would be appropriate to understand the differences in order to choose the right tool for the job.
The three types of miter saws in the market are: standard, compound and sliding miter saw. These three categories have different prices, therefore, it is noteworthy to set poles apart when the need arises.
For home usage, the standard miter saw more than suffices, but they have their own limitations. However, they are the least expensive of the three categories of miter saws. These types of miter saws can be either manual or power driven saws. They work best when mounted on a firm surface so that they can cut through the correct angle perfectly.
The compound miter saw is best known for cutting angles at a more inclined or skewed angle, for ,more precision. The single-bevel and double bevel miter saw are the two types of compound saws available in the market. The difference being that the single bevel tilts in one direction thus when cutting the piece of wood has to be turned round since the blade only tilts on one side contrary to the double-bevel miter saw. These types of miter saws can tilt at an angle between 0 to 50 degrees, thus, more expensive that the standard ones.
Sliding miter is the most expensive of the miter saws. However, they allow cutting of wider boards because of the forward and backward movements. Their functionality resembles that of compound miter saws and therefore most professionals have a choice to make between these two categories.
The intended usage determines the type of miter saws to buy. The usage also determines the size of the blade, which come in 8, 10 and 12 inches. The blade size directly influences your precision when cutting, hence the bigger the better.
Buyers should know that there are many types of miter saws from different manufactures. These means each saw has some features that relate to specific brands. Ensure to choose the best by shopping around and knowing all about the different brands and their performance records. This should fit perfectly into your user specifications and budgetary concerns. This goes a long way into the maintenance and durability; hence, you should be on the lookout for warranties and availability of spare parts when the need arises.
In general, buyers should always spend their money after making sure that the equipment purchased satisfactorily meets their preferred usage, sometimes manufactures can even demonstrate how the equipment works in order to determine how well it fits into your specifications.
Features of Miter Saws
The features of miter saws are an important part of this tool because they make the miter saws safer and easier to use.
First we will start with the carbide-tipped blades on the miter saw. They last a lot longer and cut faster than ordinary steel. The blades tend to be flatter and more heat resistant, have smoother cuts and wobble less than standard blades.Most miter saws provide convenient storage for the wrench which is used to change the blade.
The electric brake is used to stop the blade instantly when you push the off switch. This helps to reduce or avoid possible injury when speeding up the miter saw. Extensions help to support wide and long pieces of wood. Some miter saws have side supports. The miter adjustment on the miter saw is a crosshair sight glass over the scale which works better than a simple arrow. The miter adjustment features help to improve setup and accuracy.
It also features an on and off switch. It has a handle and some can be rotated to make it easier to move. The holding clamp attaches itself to the miter table to hold itself to whatever you are cutting to improve accuracy and keep your left hand away from the blade. The laser cutting guide project a laser where you want to cut. When using this feature, you still need to draw a line and use a steady hand. The spindle lock is a button or lever on miter saws that keeps the motors shaft from turning when you change blades.
The cut-line indicator is situated in front of a table saws blade and it helps line up the material you are cutting. The notched blade guard is located on the upper blade guard so you can keep an eye on the blade and the cutting line without leaning over the saw. The retained miter fence feature is a T-slot channel that holds the cutting guide so it won’t lift out while you are positioning the wood. Make sure that the fence is sturdy enough to stay in position. The rip-fence adjustment is a fine adjustment for the table-saw fence and improves accuracy. The miter saw also feature a pair of headlights that are built into the upper arm located one to each side of the blade. They line up with the blade to make the cut lines very easy and accuarate.
How To Choose The Best Miter Saw
After looking over the many types of miter saws and narrowing down the choices, the size, features, quality, and specifications and price are the next things to consider in deciding how to choose the best miter saw.
The quality of a good miter saw can usually be defined by its warranty. How the miter saw was built is very important to choosing the best kind of miters saw. Check the materials used in making the miter saw. Make sure, if able, to look at models in stores to see how they fare just from the use in the store. If the store model seems banged up and not very reliable, the model can be disregarded and the list of miter saws narrowed down even more.
The price of the miter saw is where great deals can be made. After looking over all the parts and the specifications with which the miter saw comes, makes sure the the miter saw being purchased is able to do the jobs needed and is within a reasonable price range.
Finding the right miter saw may seem like a difficult task, but in choosing the best miter saw, the rewards will be most beneficial. Much investigation is needed as well as persistence in waiting for the right one. Such an investment in choosing the best miter saw takes time.
Check out the 9 Best Miter Saws on the market right now:
#1. Hitachi C15FB Miter Saw,15 Amp, 15-Inch
- The only 15-inch miter saw in the industry, the Hitachi C15FB is built to handle tough jobs and cut through wide stock, including various wood materials, plywood, decorative veneer, soft fiberboard, hardboard, and aluminum products
- Its superior depth of cut and powerful motor allow for optimum material handling, and its 11 miter stops make the C15FB a precise tool that’s incredibly easy to use
- The C15FB runs off of any standard 115-volt power supply and features a robust 15 Amp single-phase motor that spins the 15-inch blade at no-load speeds of up to 3,400 RPM
- To get the motor going, use the trigger switch that’s located on the comfortably designed handle
- A lock-off button provides safety by locking the trigger when the saw is not in operation
- When the trigger switch is released, an electric brake will stop the blade rotation to help prevent accidental cuts
- When you’re cutting long pieces, the included extension guides that extend out from the base will give you the stability you need
- Also, gear-case center beam support will help increase cutting accuracy as overall tool life
- Additionally, a stopper feature will allow for precise continuous cuts in lengths that you preset
- The C15FB has positive miter detents at 0, 15, 22.5, 30, 45, and 57 degrees to the left or right
- The easy-to-read miter index lets you quickly find the correct angle for the job, and a side handle makes it easy to adjust the table angle
- A 4-3/4- x 7-9/32-inch depth of cut allows this saw to cut through trim and molding while standing vertically
- This is useful for cutting crown molding without ever having to lift the workpiece off the table to get the proper angle
Pros: saw is very versatile, very powerful, very smooth cutter, worth every penny, very good price, it is for high-end professional trim work, no other saw in its range can compete with it, carbide blades seem to work better than factory blade, the 15″ blade cuts deeper than any other saw, best features on this saw is the window in the housing that lets you see the exact blade position, extremely accurate miters …
Cons: it is a very heavy saw and blades are pricey, the large blade wears down brakes much faster…
#2. Milwaukee 6955-20 Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw, 15 Amp, 12-Inch
- The Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw (with Digital Miter Angle – Fine Adjust) features a miter angle fine adjust with detent override which makes it simple to dial-in precise miter angles
- This allows the user to quickly adjust for a non-square environment
- The fine adjust allows for single hand operation; (1) hand on material, (1) hand making fine adjustment
- The miter angle fine adjust features a self zeroing system and it works on the ENTIRE miter angle range
- Also features dual integral jobsite lights that fully illuminate the work piece and cut line from either side of the blade
- This makes it easier for the user to see the blade enter the material
- It also eliminates the hassle of buying and setting up independent lighting
- These lights are especially beneficial on pre-finished millwork
- The Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw also features an electronic soft start that allows the carpenter to sneak up on the cut line without damaging material
- The blade takes less than two seconds to get up to full speed, but that makes all the difference in ensuring a smooth start
- The Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw has a motor that features constant power technology which provides constant speed under load
- The RPM (3,250) of the blade is the same at both no load and during loaded cutting
- This ensures a quick, clean cut even in hardwood materials
- The Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw contains an integral dust channel that captures up to 75% of the dust and debris cut by capturing dust near the cut on both sides of the blade and directing it to the back of the saw
- This maximizes airflow and allows waste to flow through the back elbow and into waste container
- The result in the Best Dust Collection in the Industry!
- This saw has an oversized single lever bevel adjustment with (9) positive bevel stops which allows the saw to easily bevel left and right 0 degrees 48 degrees
Pros: it is well built, operates extremely smooth, very accurate, very powerful, vibration free, runs quiet, rolls with ease, easy to use, the soft-start is wonderful, the electric brake is nice, digital angle readout with micro adjust, cuts 2x12s no problem, no jumping around, folds up pretty compactly for storage, dust collection is great, depth paw stop for switching back and forth from full to partial depths …
Cons: it is a little heavy, right fence doesn’t slide, its hard to use the bevel part of the saw then get it back to square …
#3. Bosch GCM12SD DB Glide Miter Saw, 15 Amp, 12-Inch
- The New and Innovative GCM12SD Glide Miter Saw delivers durable precision, compact workspace, and unmatched smoothness of cut!
- This saw features the Axial-Glide system which operates by folding the articulated arm flush with the back of the saw, saving up to 12-Inch of workspace versus a traditional sliding compound miter saw and enabling the saw to be operated with almost no clearance behind it
- Ideal for jobsites and cramped workshops
Pros: this saw is the “Rolls Royce” of the miter saws, it is a great buy for the features, it definitely worth the money, design is excellent, great space saver, all the setup was right on out of the box, no adjustments necessary, easy to use, adjust, the operation is smooth as silk, it cuts like a dream and clean, you will like the built-in extensions, dust control is excellent …
Cons: the saw is a bit pricey but its well worth the extra cost, it is very heavy, it doesn’t lock on the bevel at 0 degrees …
#4. DEWALT DWS709 12-Inch Slide Compound Miter Saw, 15 Amp, 12-Inch
- The DEWALT DWS709 12″ Slide Compound Miter Saw features a powerful 15 Amp, 3,800 rpm motor that delivers extended power and durability
- It has tall sliding fences that support crown molding up to 5-1/2″ nested and base molding up to 4-1/2″ vertically against the fence, while easily sliding out of the way for bevel cuts
- An exclusive back fence design cuts up to 2×14 dimensional lumber at 90 degrees, and 2×10 at 45 degrees
- This saw offers an adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate with 13 positive stops which improves productivity and ensures cutting accuracy
- Miters 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left providing increased capacity
- The oversized bevel scale makes bevel angle adjustments accurate and easy
- This saw also features a compact, lightweight design (51 lbs.) that allows for easy transport and storage
- It has dual horizontal steel rails with linear ball bearings that deliver an accurate, durable and compact saw
- The precise miter system and machined base fence support optimize it’s durability and cutting accuracy
- Includes: Carbide Blade, Blade Wrench, Dust Bag, Users Guide, Material Clamp
Pros: great saw for the price, makes fast and accurate cuts with the original blade, cut smooth and quiet, you don’t have to adjust it, the slider is a big time saver, dust collection is pretty good for a slider, it has big knobs to adjust miter angle and the bevel …
Cons: it doesn’t have a laser sight …
#5. Bosch 5312 Dual Bevel Slide Compound Miter Saw, 15 Amp, 12-Inch
- The Bosch 12-Inch Dual-Bevel Slide Miter Saw provides the precision and performance your projects require
- Ideal for a range of jobs including crown molding and framing, this saw makes quick, clean, and precise cuts for reliable results
- It comes with a durable, 60-tooth blade, wrench set, tool-free vertical work clamp, and dust bag
- Powered by a 15-amp motor, the Dual-Bevel Slide Miter Saw can accommodate a range of material sizes
- It features a 25-1/2-inch base with built-in cast sliding extensions for a total length of 40 inches, as well as tall 4-1/2-inch speed-track sliding fences for easy bevel setups and increased crown molding cutting capabilities
- For quick, repetitive cuts, an electric brake stops the blade in seconds. The 60-tooth, thin-kerf, carbide-tipped blade provides more precise cuts and stays sharper longer
- An up-front bevel lock lever and range selector knob are easy to access for quick and accurate bevel settings
- The saw offers bevel stops and detents at 0, 33.9, and 45 degrees on the left and right
- A wedge-and-slot miter detent system ensures consistent and precise miter angles, and a dual sliding rail design provides accuracy cut after cut
Pros: tool arrived accurately in perfect condition, easy setup, its super smooth, a little quiet, slide is nice and smooth, cuts through oak like butter, can cut 4×8 and 4×12 beams, the stand is sturdy, great solid saw and extremely accurate, best two handles in the industry, well put together, incredibly well built, well designed, you do not use any of the bevels only ninety degree cuts …
Cons: the saw is large, heavy and awkwardly shaped, the dust collection system doesn’t work well …
#6. Hitachi C12RSH Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser, 15 Amp, 12-Inch
- The Hitachi C12RSH 12-Inch Sliding Dual Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker provides smooth, accurate miters and crosscuts in a variety of workpieces, including wood, plywood, crown molding, decorative panels, soft fiberboard, hard board, and aluminum sashes
- A top-of-the-line tool for trim carpenters, framers, and woodworkers who demand precision and reliability, the C12RSH features a compact slide system, Hitachi’s exclusive Laser Marker System, and more
- Hitachi designed the C12RSH for versatile, easy use
- The miter scale ranges between zero and 46 degrees to the left and zero and 57 degrees to the right, and a micro-miter knob lets you dial in precise angles
- Additionally, positive miter stops allow you to easily change the angle of the cutting blade for creating miters in crown molding and other trim pieces
- The bevel scale ranges from zero to 45 degrees to the left and right, allowing your material to stay in place while you flip the saw head to make opposing cuts
- After your major bevel angle is secured, a micro-bevel adjustment knob can be used to dial in a precise angle, while positive stops allow for quick and easy measurements and settings
- The 12-inch TCT saw blade (included) makes easy work of delicate trim and other woodwork, and the pivoting fence raises a height of 4-11/16 inches to allow for accurate vertical cutting of crown molding and other large workpieces
Pros: powerful saw, the laser is easy to adjust from saw blade edge to saw blade edge, the sliding mechanism is extremely smooth, the sliding mechanism gives a small footprint, it is accurate and steady, the handle on this unit is ambidextrous, the 0 and 45 left settings came exact out of the box, the blade that came with the saw is pretty good and provides clean smooth cuts, cross cutting large stock is perfect every time …
Cons: it’s a bit heavy, the table is too short to each side and has an inefficient shape, turning the saw for bevel cut is slightly hard, small dust bag …
#7. Makita LS1221 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw Kit, 15 Amp, 12-Inch
- Makita’s LS1221 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw combines power, performance, and ease of use for common miter cuts, including a range of applications in woodworking, cabinetry, deck building, framing, and more
- The LS1221 has a dynamically balanced 15-amp direct-drive motor with 4,000 rpm for improved performance and is engineered to never slip or bog down like belt-drive units
- The electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load
- The LS1221 has a large capacity (3-7/8 inches x 6 inches at 90 degrees), with a 4-1/2-inch tall pivoting fence for cutting up to 5-1/2-inch crown molding and a pivoting fence for supporting larger stock
- The saw has 9 positive miter stops at 15, 22.5, 31.6, and 45 degrees (left or right), and 0 degree (90-degree cuts)
- The engineered aluminum base ensures accurate cuts
- Ease-of-use features include a horizontal D-handle design for easy and comfortable operation and a compact size (weighs only 37 pounds) for easy portability
Pros: shipping fast, excellent quality for the price, a lot lighter, extremely well-made, heavy but not too heavy to move to site of cutting, unbelievable power, very accurate right out of the box, rips a 4×4 like a hot knife through butter, it is much more accurate, the blade that comes with cuts great, the cuts are very clean with minimal chipping …
Cons: the motor is not angled up for easier viewing of the work, it’s missing is a laser…
#8. Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 13 Amp, 10-1/4-inch
- The Festool Kapex miter saw comes with Festool’s high-quality 60-tooth carbide blade for use when cutting woods or soft plastics, an angle transfer device, a hold-down clamp for securing material, and a wrench for unit adjustments
- Compact and lightweight at 21.5 kg (47 pounds), you can use the fine adjustment knob to control bevel angles in fractions of a degree
- The bevel knob has three settings: positive detents at 0 and -45 degrees, free movement between -45 and +45 degrees, and free movement up to +/- 47 degrees
- Bevels can be made to the left or right, and the bevel gauge appears on both sides of the saw
- The Kapex blade creates a thin kerf which reduces load on the motor and improves the cut quality
- The blades are specially designed to reduce noise levels and dampen vibration
- The large 30mm arbor hole reduces blade deflection
- A special cutting position allows the Kapex to have a cutting capacity as large as 4-3/4-inches (120mm)
- The deck height of the Kapex matches the height of our systainer 1 storage containers
- On the job site, you can use one or more systainers to support the material being cu
- The difference in height between the MFT/3 and MFT/3-Kapex multifunction tables is also equal to the height of the deck providing optimal work flow and support
- The Magnesium alloy base of the Kapex was designed to be extremely rigid and durable yet very lightweight
- Rubber feet in each corner provide useful traction and fit into the grid hole pattern of any Festool multi-function table
- Features Festools patented FastFix blade change system
- Turning the FastFix knob locks the arbor, mechanically locks out the trigger, and allows the blade to be changed with a single hand
- Dual-line lasers define the entire cut area
Pros: highest quality, great professional saw, expensive and worth every dime, no setup required out of the box, it can nest nicely against a wall since the rails are fixed, very lightweight, actually makes no noise at all, cuts are super clean, super accurate, it will measure and line up your cuts, it cuts precisely with minimal deflection, the dust collection is amazing, manual is very well thought out …
Cons: saw doesn’t come with the table extension …
#9. Hitachi C10FCH2 Miter Saw with Laser, 15 Amp, 10-Inch
- Weighing just 26.5 lbs., this 10″ compound miter saw offers the ultimate in form and function
- With its aggressive design, there is no doubt that this saw is designed for the professional
- The C10FCH2 features a powerful 15 Amp motor, vibration reducing horizontal handle, and Hitachi’s laser marker system
- “Great saw, great price- that sums up the Hitachi” – Popular Mechanics Magazine, Feb 2014
Pros: arrived as promised, good saw for the price, it for a small project, light weight, very functional, it has all the basic features to cut straight and compound cuts, cuts are very accurate and repeatable, miter stops are generally good and give positive feedback, it has a 5 year warranty …
Cons: laser is not very accurate out of the box, the bolt to adjust the bevel angle to 45 degrees is inoperable, poor instruction manual …