A miter saw is an essential tool for anyone looking to make angled or precise cuts. If you’re someone who will be working with wood often, and you plan on combining different pieces, a miter saw is definitely a tool you should have in your arsenal. These tools can make or break a project, so making sure that you have the best miter saw you can find is very important.
This buyer’s guide will show you exactly which miter saw you need, and we’ll even go over the features and designs that you need to look out for. Every miter saw is different, so keep your preferences in mind when choosing which one to go for. We’ll be helping you discover what you need, and which miter saw to buy.
- Features to Consider in Good Miter Saws
- Top 10 Best Miter Saws 2021
- 1. Best Overall Miter Saw Dewalt 12 inch
- 2. Best Budget Miter Saw Metabo HTC
- 3. Metabo HTC Laser
- 4. Best Premium Miter Saw Bosch 120 Volt Dual bevel
- 5. DeWalt Cutline
- 6. Tacklife Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- 7. Best Miter Saw for Beginners Delta Power Equipment
- 8. Makita LS1040
- 9. Skil 10 Inch Quick-Mount
- 10. Best Cordless Miter Saw DeWalt cordless
- Guide to Buying the Best Miter Saw
- Final Thoughts
Features to Consider in Good Miter Saws
The size of the blade is always important when looking at miter saws, because a different blade can make all of the difference on certain projects. Therefore, before you buy, make sure you know what the size of the blade will mean for your project.
Miter saw blades primarily come in two sizes. You’ll find either a 10 or 12 inch blade. The 10 inch blade is relatively standard, and will give you a great cut. Also, hardware stores are far more likely to carry 10 inch blades due to their commonality.
The 12 inch blade is rarer. Considering miter saws, bigger is not always better. However, a 12 inch blade will allow you to take on more demanding projects as it offers better cutting and power capacity. However, if you’re not making long or large cuts, a 10 inch blade will typically be enough to get the job done.
Sliding or Compound? How About Both?
Not all miter saws are built in the same way, which means that you’ll come across both sliding and compound miter saws on our list. The difference is actually quite simple, and it all comes down to the different types of cuts that you’ll be making.
A compound miter saw is designed to cut precisely on angles. For example, a compound miter saw is a great tool to assist you with a project like molding or framing. This is due to the fact that the blade will pivot to either the right or the left, and it will do so in one simple pass. Think of a compound miter saw as a simple tool for a simple job.
The sliding miter saw is a bit different. This is due to the fact that sliding miter saws can move to the right and left, but also forward and backwards. This gives the blade a bit more versatility, and is better for making larger, longer or more complex cuts. The sliding saw is capable of making any cut that a compound miter saw can; the main difference is length. For example, a sliding miter saw is better equipped to deal with bulk lumber than a compound miter saw.
When looking at some of the best miter saws, you’ll always want to look out for saws that combine both of these features. A miter saw that is able to slide along an axis, and also make compound cuts, is definitely one of the better miter saws you can have.
The power output of a miter saw is more important than you think, because the more power you have the better your cuts will be. This can also make a miter saw a bit more difficult to handle, so more power is not always better. It really depends on the project that you need it for.
Miter saws are measured in amps, and tend to range between 10 and 20 amps of power. Some miter saws may have more or less, but that range is typically a safe range to go with. Also, keep in mind that some miter saws will be either cordless or corded, which can have an impact on the overall power output. For example, if a battery is almost dead, you might want to avoid making further cuts until it’s fully charged.
Finally, the last thing to consider with a miter saw power is the revolutions per minute (RPM) of the saw. The RPM number is important, because this determines how fast the blade will actually end up spinning. The faster the blade spins, the easier your cut will be, and you also want to make sure that your miter saw is properly applying its amps.
Top 10 Best Miter Saws 2021
1. Best Overall Miter Saw Dewalt 12 inch
Blade size: 12 inches
Type: compound and sliding
Power: 15 amps and 3,800 RPM
The DeWalt Compound Sliding Miter Saw comes with everything you need. You’ll be able to make cuts as thick as 6.75 inches with the 15 amp motor, and the dust collection system makes sure that 75% of the dust created is collected. Even if you make a messier cut, the DeWalt Compound Sliding Miter Saw has you covered.
What really sets this miter saw apart is the fact that it can cut lumber at a lot of different angles. For example, this miter saw can cut lumber up to 2×16 at 90°, and lumber up to 2×12 at 45°. While that’s an impressive feat by itself, the cutting prowess does not end there. The DeWalt Compound Sliding Miter Saw can also miter 60° to the right and 50° to the left. When it comes to versatility, this miter saw has you covered.
All of this cutting is thanks to the back fence piece, which can fit molding up to 7.5 inches tall. This exclusive back fence unit is also what allows all of the cuts mentioned to be made. The DeWalt Compound Sliding Miter Saw is powered by long cord, and weighs in just above 50 pounds.
The DeWalt Compound Sliding Miter Saw is definitely not cheap, but that’s exactly the point. With this miter saw, you get exactly what you pay for; a quality miter saw with enough versatility to complete most household projects.
- This miter saw is highly customizable, and you can fit it with most DeWalt attachments (lasers, cutting guides, gauges)
- It comes with 3 additional blades, which makes it simple to choose the right blade for the job
- The saw comes with storage for the blade changing wrench that it comes with
- The cuts are very accurate, even after prolonged usage
- It is a bit heavy, which means that it would be better if paired with a rolling miter saw table
2. Best Budget Miter Saw Metabo HTC
Blade size: 10 inches
Power: 15 amps and 5,000 RPM
The Metabo HTC Compound Miter Saw delivers on all the essentials you’re looking for in one of these saws. You’ll be able to make miter cuts from 0° to 52°, and this works for both the right and the left. These cuts are backed up by 15 amps of power, which means that this miter can cut through some of the toughest materials. Also, if you notice that the motor is beginning to wear down, the Metabo HTC Compound Miter Saw comes with carbon brush access to replace the brushes within the motor.
Another important feature to look at with the Metabo HTC Compound Miter Saw is the bevel settings. This is due to the fact that you can actually make bevel cuts with a range that fluctuates between 0° and 45°. The Metabo HTC Compound Miter Saw comes with a 10 inch blade that works well with a large table size and effective clamps to hold your projects in place.
The price is really where the Metabo HTC Compound Miter Saw shines. This is due to the fact that it’s one of the most affordable miter saws on the market. This might cause you to think that it’s made with cheap parts, but for the price, you really can’t beat the Metabo HTC Compound Miter Saw.
- It's very lightweight, only weighing in at 25 pounds; this makes it very portable
- The horizontal handle design makes it very easy to hold and guide the blade, all without putting your hand in harm's way
- Thumb stops allow you to make very quick miter cut adjustments
- If the saw blade comes into contact with a hard material it can jolt
- The blade guard can become loose over time
Blade size: 10 inches
Type: compound, single bevel
Power: 15 amps and
The Metabo HTC Compound Laser Maker Miter Saw comes with everything you need to get the job done. This miter saw comes with plenty of attachments, including: a 10mm wrench for blade changes, a dust bag, vise assembly, and a pivoting fence. For the features alone, the Metabo HTC Compound Laser Maker Miter Saw is an excellent product.
This miter saw comes with a motor that’s backed by 15 amps of power, which makes cutting a breeze. This motor powers a 10 inch blade that can be guided with a laser marker, which makes it very easy to make precise cuts. If you’re more of a beginner, this miter saw is an excellent choice. Also, if a laser marker is not enough, this miter saw comes with thumb actuated stops to make miter cuts all the more precise.
As for the cuts themselves, the fence allows you to raise the saw up to 4 inches. This is important, because if you’ll be cutting vertical molding you’ll need all of the extra height you can get. This miter saw also features a single bevel with a range of 0° to 45° to the left, and miter angles of 0° to 52° to the right and left. This is definitely a versatile compound miter saw.
This is a top notch Hitachi miter saw, and this is reflected in the price. It’s a bit more expensive than the more basic Hitachi models, but you really do get what you pay for. For anyone who will be traveling to different job sites, this miter saw is excellent value.
- Material support extension allows you make larger cuts on larger materials without needing a 12 inch blade
- The rubber grip located on the horizontal handle reduces vibration to help you make accurate cuts
- The laser can be turned on and off, and it's excellent to help beginners make accurate cuts
- If out in the sunlight, the laser can be a bit dim and hard to see
- This miter saw works better when attached to a bench, for added stability, but it does not come with one
Blade size: 12 inches
Power: 15 amps and 3,800 RPM (1hp)
The Bosch miter saw is very powerful. Not only does this saw come with a 12 inch blade designed for cutting large materials, but it also comes with a 60-tooth blade right out of the box. This means that it can rip through most materials with little to no problem. Also, this massive blade is backed up by a sturdy motor that puts out 15 amps of power.
The Bosch Miter Saw also works by gliding across an axis, which allows you to maximize the amount of room you need to cut. This is reinforced by square cut features that allow you to lock the blade in place, and precise measurements along the rail to make sure that you know exactly what you’re cutting. If you’re someone who needs a miter saw for multiple projects, the Bosch Miter Saw is a great option.
The fence allows you to cut up to 6.5 inches vertically, and even 6.5 inches horizontally. This makes the Bosch Miter Saw great for any type of cut you need, and this is all done against a 45° spring based fence. As for cutting on a bevel, you’ll find great settings of 0, 33.9°, and 45°. Also, this works both to the right and left, and the Bosch Miter Saw comes with an impressive dust collection system that’s rated to suck up 90% of the dust this saw creates. It’s a professional miter saw for serious work.
The Bosch Miter Saw is very expensive. This is a miter saw that is designed for professional usage, and works great in any workspace due to its compact design. So if you’re someone who needs a professional grade miter saw, this is definitely a great option.
- The bevel controls are located on the front of the saw, which allows you to make adjustments without having to reach behind it
- You can manually control the glide controls, which allows you to set up the miter saw in a way that best fits your project requirements
- The axis on which it glides makes this miter saw great for compact usage
- Weighing over 80 pounds, it's not the most portable miter saw
- The United States version does not come with the laser attachment
- Very expensive
Blade size: 12 inches
Power: 15 amps and 3,800 RPM
The DeWalt DWS716XPS Miter Saw is an excellent saw for any professional. This is a tool that is built with high quality parts, LED guidance, XPS technology, and much more. If you’re looking for a high end miter saw that won’t cost you a fortune, the DeWalt DWS716XPS miter saw is a perfect fit.
The features you’ll find are quite impressive. Aside from a 12 inch blade that can cut through most large lumber, you can make bevel cuts up to 48 degrees to both the right and left. This means that you can actually cut most lumber without moving it, and if you’re having trouble getting the blade to sit still, you can always utilize one of the 14 miter stops that this saw comes with.
The DeWalt DWS716XPS also comes with an optimized gearbox and a belt based design, which makes vertical cuts very easy. This is reflected in the fact that the DeWalt DWS716XPS can make vertical cuts on molding up to 6.75 inches, and the 3,800 RPMs you get from the 15 amp motor make the entire process as simple as can be.
The DeWalt DWS716XPS is expensive, but with everything you get, the price is definitely fair. You’ll be getting a professional grade miter saw for your money.
- Miter detent override allows you to override miter stops easily
- Built in carry handle and headlock pin make this a very portable miter saw
- The blade guard is built out of high quality plastic
- The LED light is not as accurate as laser guided cut assist systems
Blade size: 12 inches
Type: sliding and compound
Power: 15 amps and 3,500 RPM
The Tacklife Sliding Compound Miter Saw offers you the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to use a 12 inch blade along with a laser guidance system to ensure that your cuts are accurate, even on larger materials or lumber. This cutting system is also backed up by a dust removal system that absorbs up to 70% of the dust that you create. Plus, you can even attach this unit to your vacuum for an even cleaner workspace.
The Tacklife Sliding Compound Miter Saw also comes with double bevel technology, which means that you can make bevel cuts up to 45° on both the left and right sides. This is backed up by a guided fence that allows for a wide array of common cuts. Therefore, no matter the project, the Tacklife Sliding Compound Miter Saw can handle it.
This saw also comes with a lot of attachments to make your life easier, and you get them right out of the box. You’ll be pleased to hear that you’ll receive clamps to make cuts remain in place, a 40-tooth blade, the ability to extend your cutting space, and even extra carbon brushes to prolong the life of your motor.
This miter saw truly comes with enough features and attachments to be considered a professional saw. Considering is wealth of features, it’s very reasonably priced.
- This miter saw is both sliding and compound, which means it's not limited when it comes to cutting on specific angles
- The clamps and tools for table extension that it comes with allow you to adjust the saw to fit your workplace needs
- A soft grip handle is paired with 3 meters of cable to make it a very comfortable saw to operate
- Can be used on wood, metals, and plastic
- The bracket that it slides on tends to wear itself out
7. Best Miter Saw for Beginners Delta Power Equipment
Blade size: 10 inches
Power: 15 amps
The Delta Power Equipment 10 inch Miter Saw comes ready to go straight out of the box. As the name implies, it’s a 10 inch blade, and you’ll also find beginner ready instructions. Even assembling this miter saw is simple, but the cuts that it makes are far from simple.
The Delta Power Equipment 10 inch Miter Saw has a left bevel that allows cuts to be made up to 45 degrees. Also, the maximum capacity for these cuts is 2×12, which is actually a large piece of lumber for only 10 inches of blade. Along the blade rail you’ll find 10 miter stops, which makes getting the perfect precision cut very simple. Also, if you’re having a tough time eyeballing your cuts you can turn on the laser guidance system.
The Delta Power Equipment 10 inch Miter Saw also comes at a light weight, which is under 20 pounds (15 pounds to be exact). This means that portability is no issue, and the cord is positioned promptly behind the unit. The cord is positioned in the rear so you don’t accidentally cut it, making this saw a lot more beginner friendly.
- The blade can be stopped within seconds thanks to the electric brakes
- This miter saw comes with extensions to help support larger materials, and can be fastened right to a table
- It's almost impossible to cut the wire with the blade
- The dust bag is not the best quality
- Due to weighing only 15 pounds, when under pressure this miter saw can become a bit wobbly
Blade size: 10 inches
Power: 15 amps and 4,600 RPMs
The Makita 10 inch Compound Miter Saw is a great saw all around. The 10 inch blade is enough to cut most common household materials that need cutting, and the 15 amp motor is an absolute powerhouse. The positive miter stop also comes with 9 stops, and you get all of this at under 30 pounds. So not only is this saw powerful, but it’s portable.
As for the actual cutting capabilities, this miter saw comes with bevel cutting at 45° to the left. Also, the dual pivoting arm allows this miter saw to perform compound cuts with a lot of diversity. The Makita 10 inch Compound Miter Saw also comes with a vise, and tool kit to change the blade, which will have you doing more cutting and less worrying.
The Makita 10 inch Compound Miter Saw is also very durable, and made with high quality materials all around. This means that you’ll find an aluminum base and machines aluminum rails. So when it comes to quality, this miter saw brings you only the best. It is more expensive than its competitors, but it comes with a one year warranty for peace of mind.
- Little to no plastic parts
- Comes with a triangular ruler for professional cuts
- A shaft lock is included to make changing out the blades a simple process
- It's priced a bit high for what you get
Blade size: 12 inches
Power: 15 amps and 4,500 RPMs
The Skil Compound Miter Saw is a very powerful saw, and this is supported by the 15 amp motor that puts out 4,500 RPMs. With a blade spinning that fast, even some of the strongest materials can be cut with ease. This is why the Skil Compound Miter Saw is a great tool to cut hardwood, plastic, and even aluminum.
The Skil Compound Miter Saw also makes your life easier with table extensions, which allow you to cut larger pieces of lumber without sacrificing room. This also increases the portability of the miter saw, and makes it a much more well-rounded product. It also features a clamp to hold your material in place, and can cut up to 45 degrees with its bevel.
Then, once you’re done, clean-up is very minimal. This is due to the fact that this miter saw comes with a handy dust bag that sucks up almost 80% of the dust from your current project. Also, if you do happen to have the compatible stand for this miter saw, it comes with a built in system to make combining the two very easy. Finally, if you need the extra guidance for your cuts, you’ll find a very helpful laser assist system built right in.
The price of this miter saw is definitely average, but you do get a lot of great features. Therefore, for the price, you can definitely do a lot worse than the Skil Compound Miter Saw.
- 4,500 RPMs is very high and can cut through most things
- It can reach up to 7 inches on a vertical cut at 0 degrees of bevel, which is great for most household applications
- The laser cutline technology is very accurate
- It only has 9 positive miter stops, which is a bit less than the average
10. Best Cordless Miter Saw DeWalt cordless
Blade size: 7.25 inches
Power: 20 volts
The DeWalt Cordless Miter Saw is everything you need it to be. It’s powered by a 20 volt lithium ion battery that’s good for over 150 cuts, and it can be recharged in about 30 minutes. While this is a great feature, this battery system is paired with a lightweight 30 pound design that makes it very useful for craftsmen on the go. If you need a portable miter saw, the DeWalt Cordless Miter Saw is as good an option as any.
The DeWalt Cordless Miter Saw comes with XPS guidance, which makes cross cuts extremely simple (even for beginners). While this miter saw does not come with a laser for guidance, it does feature an LED light that can be used in a very similar way. As for the cuts themselves, this miter saw can make cuts from 3° to 48° with a single left bevel, and boasts an impressive 3.25 inch vertical cut. Also, this miter saw can make 2×8 horizontal cuts with ease.
The DeWalt Cordless Miter Saw will handle most common cuts that are needed, and this is due to the fact that it has an oversized bevel scale. The cuts are also easy to monitor and control thanks to the 10-stop detent miter plate. Plus, this miter saw comes with plenty of accessories to make working on the go even easier. These accessories include a material clamp, the charger, an extra blade, and even a wrench to switch the blades out.
The DeWalt Cordless Miter Saw is reasonably priced. This means that it’s not a bargain buy, but you are getting a professional grade miter saw. If you’re someone who uses a miter saw for a lot of projects, the DeWalt Cordless Miter Saw is a great option.
- This miter saw is extremely portable and easy to use, even for beginners
- XPS guidance improves the accuracy of cutting
- The 7.25 inch blade is great for making small and targeted cuts
- The battery takes about 30 minutes to charge, which means that your project can come to a halt if the battery ends up dying
- The 7.25 inch blade is not great for cutting large materials, and does make this miter saw a bit limited in use
Guide to Buying the Best Miter Saw
Buying a miter saw that fits into your project is very important, and while it may be important, knowing how to use a miter saw to the best of its ability is also valuable. Therefore, we’ll be breaking down some of the key components of the best miter saws.
What Do I Need a Miter Saw For?
A miter saw is an essential tool to have around the house, and there are actually a lot of uses for it. It might seem like a bit much for some projects, but having a miter saw can actually be a difference maker. Here is a look at some of the projects that miter saws are commonly used in.
If you have a few boards that you need to cut in half, you could do a whole lot worse than a miter saw. A miter saw is very easy to use, and all you need to do is lower the handle to cut a board clean in half. This is one of the more basic cuts.
Molding is one of the biggest reasons to use a miter saw. This is due to the fact that molding will need to be cut on an angle in order to fit around the corners properly. This is why a miter saw is great when used to cut molding, because it will help your molding look flush. Here is a quick tutorial that will show you how to properly cut molding.
If you plan on doing some DIY work around the house, it’s always a good idea to have a miter saw. This is a saw that can be used to cut flooring, tiles, and more. If you need to redo some key areas of your home, using a miter saw can help you get the right angles with ease. Here is a video that will show you some of the common miter saw applications for around the house:
When you encounter a miter saw, you’ll hear all about the number of positive stops that they have. This may sound odd, but it’s actually a good indication to just how versatile a miter saw is for cutting. This is due to the fact that these positive stops will allow you to customize the angle in which you want to cut. The more positive stops you have on a miter saw, the more angles you can cut at. Also, positive stops allow you to make these adjustments very quickly.
The best miter saws on the market will typically come with an electronic braking system. This is a system that’s designed to slow down the blade speed, allowing it to come to a stop much easier. This is a great safety feature, because you’ll be able to stop your blade without letting it spin itself out. These brakes should always now be standard when you consider a miter saw.
Miter saws are easy to cut with, but sometimes using only the positive miter stops can become a bit confusing. Either the numbers are hard to read, or maybe you lack the appropriate lighting to get a good look at your cut mark. This is where guidance systems come into play, and if you’re more of a beginner, you should always consider looking into a miter saw that comes with an attached laser marker.
The Types of Cuts and the Material You Can Cut
Cutting with a miter saw is very easy to do. You simply line the blade up, and push the saw arm down onto the material. While this may be the case, there are actually a lot of different cuts that you can make with a miter saw. Also, depending on the blade that you have, you can cut through both wood and metal; wood is always a bit easier.
A cross cut is the most simple cut that you can do with a miter saw. This is due to the fact that all it requires you to do is cut an object into two pieces. It’s simple; drop the blade, and watch it cut. While it may be a simple cut, here are some tips to get the most out of your cross cutting.
Miter cuts are where this saw gets its name from. A miter cut is when you cut a material on an angle, and each miter saw will usually have present positive miter marks to help you get a better idea of what you’re cutting. Some common angles to cut at are: 45 degrees, 50 degrees, and 33 degrees. Here is an example of what a miter cut will look like, and what it can be used for.
A bevel cut is a cut that is done on a specific angle. This differs from a standard miter cut, because you’ll also be adjusting the blade’s angle as well. For example, if you’ll be laying wood down onto two diagonal pieces, you would use a bevel cut to make sure that it comes together flush. Keep in mind that these cuts and angles are a bit more advanced, so we definitely recommend watching this tutorial.
How Do I Choose the Right Blade Size?
The size of your blade is going to make or break any project. This is due to the fact that smaller blades will only cut smaller lumber, and the opposite is true for larger blades. A larger blade will also be able to cut smaller materials, but you sacrifice a bit of accuracy.
8 Inch Blades
8 inch blades are definitely on the small side, and they won’t hold up well against large lumber. This means that you should always consider the project you’re working on before you buy one. If you’ll be working with small projects, like building a picture frame, then an 8 inch blade will make your life very easy.
10 Inch Blades
A 10 inch blade is the average blade size. This works well with regular 2×4s, but will struggle with anything a bit bigger. So if you’ll be working on molding, frames, or any other small home based projects, a 10 inch blade will typically be enough to get the job done.
12 Inch Blades
A 12 inch blade is the biggest blade. You’ll be able to cut deep, wide, and even tall. If you’ll be using a miter saw for professional usage, you should always consider getting a miter saw with a 12 inch blade. These blades will struggle with a smaller project, so just make sure that you know exactly what your project requires.
When choosing the best miter saw for your project, or even multiple projects, quality is always important. Some miter saws are more expensive than others, but this is generally justified by the quality of materials used. Therefore, if you’ll be using a miter saw often, going with a miter saw that’s a bit more expensive is actually a good idea. While this may be true for those of you who need to use a miter saw often, for the average hobbyist at least, a lower end miter saw is not a bad purchase.
There is always a lot to think about when you look at a miter saw. We know that we went over a lot of information, but it’s important to understand how these blades work. Choosing the right blade size, and the amount of miter stops or fence space, may seem mundane, but it’s very important. So be sure to read carefully, and make sure that you choose the best miter saw for the specific needs that you have.