Best Miter Saws of 2017 – Buying Guide & Reviews

a miter saw in action!The miter saw is a power tool used to make precise crosscuts in material. Usually, the cut is made in a particular or selected angle. Moreover, a great miter saw can make beautiful cuts for picture frames, window casings, and crown molding. Therefore, if you are a creative woodworker or an artisan, then you should own one of these.

One of the distinct features of a miter saw is its miter index. This feature allows the cutting angle to be altered depending the on the position of the fence. Most of the miter saws today can make fine incremental adjustments to the miter index. However, some unique designs use various “stops” so that the miter index can be set to default angles. Some of these angles are 30 degrees and 45 degrees.

Of course, there are a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a miter saw for your needs. It’s a jungle out there with all the different brands and models, which is why we have compiled a buying guide. It consists of a ranking of the top miter saws, and some buying advice that you must know if you’re looking to buy a miter saw.

Our Top 5 Miter Saw Picks

MODELTypeSizeOur RatingPRICE
DEWALT DWS780
DEWALT DWS780 Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Sliding Compound12-inch4.9/5
$$$$$
View Latest Price on Amazon
DEWALT DW715
DEWALT DW715 Compound Miter Saw
Compound12-inch4.7/5
$$$
View Latest Price on Amazon
Hitachi C10FCE2
Hitachi C10FCE2 Compound Miter Saw
Compound10-inch4.5/5
$
View Latest Price on Amazon
Homecraft H26-260L
Homecraft H26-260L Compound Miter Saw
Compound10-inch4.4/5
$$
View Latest Price on Amazon
Makita LS1016L
Makita LS1016L Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser
Sliding Compound10-inch4.2/5
$$$$
View Latest Price on Amazon

Below we have listed our top 5 picks. Each consisting of a small review. We have rated them based on their actual performance, features and price.

#1 DEWALT DWS780 – Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw

DEWALT DWS780One of the best sliding compound miter saws today is the DEWALT DWS780. Actually, we can easily say that it is the best for now. Aside from that, it has a good price too, which makes it one of the best miter saw for the money.

The DEWALT DWS780 is a combination of precision and durability. It is ideal for heavy duty applications, but its smooth operation also makes it perfect for artsy artisans. You can use it for applications like fine woodworking and deck building. In fact, the variety of applications that you can do with this miter saw is virtually unlimited!

Moreover, the DEWALT DWS780 can do precise cuts without recalibration. This is because of its modern XPS Cross-Cut alignment system. This technology discarded the recalibration process which is usual when changing blades from time to time. This miter saw also uses a bright LED light that illuminates your working area. Thanks to this, you can see where the blade is going to cut!

When it comes to durability, this miter saw is truly dependable. It comes with several pieces of rugged guards to ensure the stability of your work. It also includes a set of engineered castings and a bevel system. Moreover, it has tough fences and a miter detent plate that can survive even the harshest working areas!

The precision of this saw is also among the best. With its 15-amp motor, this power tool can run its blade up to 3,800 RPM. That’s very fast already! You can expect that its sturdy blade can cut through even the hardest object. Moreover, the ergonomics of this tool is truly superb. For example, the cord is placed through the rail in the back. Therefore, no wire interferences will happen while you are cutting.

Specifically, the DEWALT DWS780 can make a 6 3/4-inch vertical cut, 13 7/8-inch horizontal cut, and 7 1/2-inch nested crown cut. Furthermore, it can also make a unique back fence cut (2 x 12 at 45-degree angle; 2 x 16 at 90-degree angle). The vertical cutting capacity of this tool becomes simplified, thanks to its rail lock latch. This lock prevents the fence from interacting with the head of the saw!

Its bevel adjustment ranges from 0 to 49 degrees. The positive stops are at 0 degrees, 22.5 degrees, 33.9 degrees, 45 degrees, and 49 degrees. Of course, you can use these stops at either left or right directions. Aside from this, the DEWALT DWS780 also includes a miter detent plate that has ten positive stops. You can fully control the angles between detents using its cam lock miter button!


#2 DEWALT DW715 – Best Compound Miter Saw

DEWALT DW715If you are a wood artisan, then you will definitely love the DEWALT DW715. By far, this is the best compound miter saw that we have seen. Of course, it should not be a wonder, considering the features that it has.

First, you will love how powerful and smart this miter saw when it comes to cutting. As a compound saw, it uses a 12-inch blade to make single bevel cuts. Throughout the cutting process, its 15-amp motor gives a no-load speed of 4,000 RPM. This is even faster than the DEWALT DWS780! However, this is just natural, considering that this is a compound miter saw. Whether you are cutting frames or molding, you can guarantee that this saw will always serve you!

Moreover, the DEWALT DW715 displays its versatility and accuracy in dealing with a variety of applications. For example, its miter system uses an adjustable detent so that the cuts would always be precise. Specifically, the detents come with 11 positive stops so that you can have full control of your job. It is also quick to set up, which increases your work rate and accomplishments!

The DEWALT DW715 has an adjustable cam-lock handle which you can use to create accurate miter angles. This feature also allows you to override the detent. Specifically, you can change the settings of the miter without the blade of the saw slipping into the detents. Meanwhile, the miter capacity of this tool (wide) is from 0 degrees to 50 degrees. You can work it in either direction, too! All of these features enhance the versatility of this miter saw.

Furthermore, this miter saw comes with a tall fence. This fence acts as a support so that you can do a 5 1/4-inch vertical crown molding. At the same time, it will also aid you when you will make a 6 1/2-inch base molding (aligned against the fence vertically). When it is time for you to make bevel cuts, you can just easily slide out the fence!

Overall, the DEWALT DW715 is for quick and accurate bevel cutting. It can serve you for different applications, which makes it a versatile power tool. Specifically, it can do 45 degrees bevel cuts on a dimensional lumber. The cut can go up to 2 inches x 8 inches.

You can also make bevel cuts with this tool that has a measurement that ranges from 0 degrees to 48 degrees on the left. When it is on the right, it is from 0 to 3 degrees. This cutting ratio enables the stability and balance of this miter saw. Therefore, it can efficiently tackle heavy duty jobs with ease and precision!


#3 Hitachi C10FCE2 – A Solid Best Seller

Hitachi C10FCE2We all know how many of you trust Amazon when it comes to almost anything! Therefore, it is rightful to highlight the Hitachi C10FCE2 compound miter saw. Of course, it won’t become a bestseller in the Amazon if it doesn’t have the features that could actually make the cut!

The Hitachi C10FCE2 has a superb 15-amp motor that delivers a no-load speed of 5,000 RPM! That cutting speed is definitely higher than the DEWALT DW715 and DEWALT DWS780. With this power, you can expect that this miter saw can through sturdy objects without breaking any sweat! Of course, you will also love the versatility of this power tool. Specifically, it comes with positive stops that use a thumb-actuation. In this way, you can precisely adjust the miter from 0 to 52 degrees in either left or right direction.

Moreover, this tool can do sharp bevel cuts from 45 degrees to the left. When you are trimming and doing other woodworks, you can definitely trust this miter saw. It uses a blade that has 10-inch tungsten carbide tooth. For big projects, you can use its extended fence that can go up to 4 inches. This feature improves the precision of your cutting, regardless how large the object you are dealing!

You will also appreciate the user-friendly ergonomics of this miter saw. The Hitachi C10FCE2 is extremely maneuverable, thanks to its horizontal handle and anti-vibration elastomer grip. The grip also enhances the control you have with this tool, even for extended usage. It keeps your hands comfortable while effectively reducing fatigue!

The Hitachi C10FCE2 also comes with a built-in clamping system and a large stable guide for delicate works. Therefore, you can confidently use this tool in cutting decorative panels, hardboard, and aluminum stashes.

One of the greatest features of this miter saw is its dust bag. This component easily prevents the saw residues from entering the interiors of the machine. Because of this, you can guarantee that the lifespan of this tool is longer compared to the standard miter saws.

You will not also be hurt by the price of this miter saw. It is great for DIYers and residential artisans who don’t want to spend too much on a power tool. Therefore, the Hitachi C10FCE2 is a guaranteed budget buy!


#4 Makita LS1016L

Makita LS1016LThe Makita LS1016L is another option you have for a miter saw. After all, this tool won’t make it on this list if it doesn’t have the features that make it worth the recognition. In short, it has all the cutter power and precision that you need for a miter saw!

The vertical cutting capacity of this miter saw is pretty impressive. This is due to its patented guard system and direct drive gearbox. Among its class, the Makita LS1016L has the highest crown molding capacity. Specifically, it can do mold materials with a measurement of 6 5/8 inches. On the other hand, its retractable guard also gives this miter saw a vertical baseboard cutting capacity of 4 3/4 inches. When set at 90 degrees, this saw has a baseboard cutting capacity of 12 inches.

Moreover, the Makita LS1016L includes a patented six linear ball bearings. These stainless steel balls improve the smoothness and accuracy of “dead-on” cuts. The same feature also enables an “adjustment-free” when cutting at close ranges. Aside from this innovation, the Makita LS1016L also has the four-steel rail sliding system. This technology amplifies the rigidity of this tool so that it can produce excellent cuts. Specifically, the rails reduce the deflection of the blade when it gets contact with the object being cut.

This miter saw has a unique 4 3/4 sliding fence system. You can adjust the lower and upper fence so that you can give more precision in bevel cuts. With this feature, you can use this saw for a plethora of applications. Specifically, this saw miters at 0 degrees to 52 degrees to the left. When on the right, this saw miters at 0 degrees to 60 degrees. It also comes with specific positive stops.

The Makita LS1016L possesses a dual rear-handle bevel lock. This handle lets you do adjustments from 0 to 45 degrees (both left and right directions). Of course, all of these wouldn’t be complete without the precision adjustment system. You can access this feature using the dual front bevel scales! A one-touch miter lock system improves the ergonomics of this miter saw. With this, you can easily make precise adjustments and for cutting efficiency.

You will also love the power that the Makita LS1016L miter saw has. Specifically, it got a 15-amp motor that delivers a no-load speed of 3,200 RPM. Meanwhile, the gear box of the motor has a protective feature that prevents it from slipping or bogging down! This saw also includes a soft start feature and electronic speed control. Through these, the speed of the blade is always maintained.


#5 Homecraft H26-260L

Homecraft H26-260LOne of the miter saws that got our attention is the Homecraft H26-260L. This saw is made by Delta Power Tools so you can say that it is a pretty decent product. Ideally, this tool is for home applications and small projects in the workshop. However, we cannot deny that it has the power and precision that also suits it for various applications.

For now, let us just start with the downsides. Well, we have to let you know, or else, you might complain that we didn’t give you any disclaimers. First of all, the Homecraft H26-260L requires assembly. Unlike those four miter saws that we featured, this one will need the dexterity of your hands. Specifically, it has five pieces that you need to piece in together to form this tool! Of course, there is a need for you to read the manual.

Another thing that you should know is that this miter saw is too small for crowning. You may also need to practice with the auto stops because they are quite tricky to hit.

Despite all of these, we can still say that the Homecraft H26-260L is worth the shot. You will love that this saw is compatible with all miter saw stands. It comes with four mounting holes so that you can place it firmly on any working surfaces. If you’re on the look for a miter saw stand, we have a comprehensive miter saw stand buying guide here.

The Homecraft H26-260L Compound Miter Saw uses a laser guide system. This component project a bright red laser to increase the visibility of your cutting line. The red light is more efficient than the faint, washed-out LEDs, which may be too bright for some applications.

This miter saw has five miter stops. Moreover, the indicators for locking your angles are easy to see. On the other hand, this saw can make accurate bevel cuts from 0 to 47 degrees. Specifically, it can do nominal cuts, with a dimension of 4 inches x 4 inches. When set at 90 degrees, the saw can cut 2 inches x 6 inches. For bevels, it can do a maximum cut of 2 inches x 6 inches.

It uses 10-inch tungsten carbide blade that can run up to 5,500 RPMs! By far, this is the strongest no long speed in its class! Peculiarly, this cutting power is only generated by a 14-amp motor. This quite drew our curiosity, as most 15-amp motors don’t even have this capability!

Moreover, the Homecraft H26-260L has a user-friendly design. Included on this is its LockOut switch which prevents accidental operation of this saw! It also has an Arbor lock that keeps the blade in position for easier switching!


Miter Saw Buying Guide

You know for yourself that your workshop is not complete without a miter saw. This tool is as valuable as a jigsaw or a circular saw. It can do intricate cuts with precision and accuracy. If you want to shape designs through picture frames and crown molding, this saw is highly essential. Moreover, this tool is one the best buddies of every woodworker and craftsman. Its ability to accomplish various applications makes it a must-need saw for DIYers!

However, choosing the right miter saw is quite tricky. If you want your miter saw to cut through plastics and concrete, you may need the best miter saw with you!

Different Varieties Of Miter Saws

Miter saws come in different styles and designs. The type you choose will indicate what kind of projects you are usually doing. Reversing the logic, you should select a miter saw that can cater your day-to-day needs. Specifically, here are the three different types of miter saws:

Basic Miter Saw

The basic miter saw is best when you are doing projects like cutting trims, crosscutting, and miter cutting. However, you should know that it has limitations when it comes to miter cuts. This is because a basic miter saw does not a have a bevel option. When this feature is not available, you won’t be able to do a variety of cutting styles. On the other hand, you will appreciate the accuracy of a miter saw. They are the ideal tool when you just do simple cutting projects. Moreover, they are very affordable, too!

Compound Miter Saw

Unlike the basic miter saw, a compound design has a bevel option already. Specifically, it is a tilted cut which is necessary for making doors and windows. You can even adjust this tool so that it can do bevel and miter cuts at the same time.

Furthermore, a compound miter saw comes in two varieties, too. They are single bevel and dual bevel. The single bevel miter saw can only make cuts in one direction. Because of this, you still have to move your workpiece so that you can make a bevel cut on the opposite side. On the other hand, a dual bevel miter saw can cut both sides at the same time!

In general, a compound miter saw is ideal for crown molding. This power tool makes the job faster and easier than using a basic design. The accuracy of its bevel cuts is one of the reasons why this saw is ideal for complex cuts.

Sliding Compound Miter Saw

If you are looking for versatility, then you should opt for a sliding compound miter saw. With this advantage, you should already expect that this variety of miter saw is quite expensive. Specifically, all the features of a compound design are present on this tool. In addition to that, it also got a sliding arm which enables wider cut for solid objects. Its improved capacity makes a sliding miter saw very versatile in any applications!

Features Of A Miter Saw

We highly recommend that you watch the video above. It’s very informative.

Blade

Most of the miter saws on the market today use a standard blade. It has a fine design which is perfect if you are making rough cuts. However, a fine blade is not suitable for woodworking projects. Therefore, if you are planning to do some exquisite finishes, then you may need a more powerful blade.

Specifically, the blade will indicate the height or depth of your cut. Usually, the blades of the miter saw have a size that ranges from 8 inches to 12 inches (diameter). Different kinds of materials require different kinds of blades. Some blades are for cutting wood, and there are blades for slicing mild steel. If your blade has a lot of teeth or serrations, it can do finer finishes.

Miter

A miter saw won’t be complete without a miter. After all, this is where the tool got its name. A miter is essential for making angled cuts. Most of them miter saws today have their miter adjusted at 45 degrees.

Slide

The slide is only available to a sliding compound miter saw. We mentioned that a while ago. This component allows the saw to cut materials that are relatively thick. As a piece of advice, you should check first the specs of the saw and the blade and see its capabilities. If you are just cutting a thin material, then there is no need for you to invest in this tool. However, for cutting posts for your fence, a sliding miter saw is all you need.

Other Important Features

Motor
It is essential that your miter saw is versatile for any cutting applications. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible if your tool doesn’t have a motor that can deliver ample cutting power to your blade. As a recommendation, you should choose a miter saw that has an engine that can generate 10 to 15 amps of power. This range of power rating is already capable of producing a no-load speed of 3,200 to 5,500 RPM! If you are just an ordinary woodworker, you may not really need a powerful motor for your miter saw. However, if you will use it frequently, then power is necessary!

Moreover, you should also know that direct drive motors last longer compared to belt-driven motors. They are more powerful, too! Also, you should consider buying a miter saw that has a smooth-start feature. This technology will lessen the “burst” of the blade when the motor starts. Specifically, this feature is helpful you need a smooth and fine cut!

Dust Collection System

A miter saw that has this feature tends to last long than those that don’t have it. A dust collection system prevents the entry of residues in the internal components of the saw. In this way, the integrity of the entire system is preserved and maintained!

Laser Guide System

The laser guide system is just an optional feature for a miter saw. However, they can be very useful, especially in achieving precise and accurate cuts. A miter saw that projects laser is easier to use that those that doesn’t use it. They can keep your area visible in dim conditions. Moreover, they will clearly indicate the path in where the blade should traverse!

Electric Brakes

Most of the power tools have electric brakes. This system reverses the flow of electricity in the machine, which stops the spinning of the blade immediately. Cutting the source of power will halt the momentum of the blade. A miter saw that has this feature is quite safer to use than those that haven’t.

Blade Guards

The blade guards are essential for clearing the stock. In this way, you can have a clear view of the cutting line. Once you start raising the saw, the guards automatically lower to cover the entire blade. Therefore, it is a sort of protective feature, too!

Positive Stops

Woodworking and construction jobs require precision and accuracy. You can achieve this if your miter saw has a set of positive stops for different but specific angles. This feature reduces the time you spend from measuring and setting up the whole saw!

Depth Stops

The depth stops of a miter saw let you control the height of the blade. In this way, you can control how deep the saw is going to cut through your workpiece!


Tips On Buying A Miter Saw

When buying a miter saw, you should also consider its weight. After all, you should realize that this tool is portable in nature. As proof of this, most of the miter saws have mounting features. You can place them on any applicable workbench. If you are going to work on different workshops, then a lighter miter saw will give you more comfort rather than a heavy model.

Once again, we will give emphasis to the blade. This is the most important aspect of any saws, not just miter saws. There are different types of blades that you can use for a variety of applications. When you are planning to buy a new set of blades, make sure they are compatible with your saw. Moreover, they should be suitable for the project that you are going to work!

Not all extension cords are compatible to a miter saw. Using the wrong extension cord might cause fluctuation to the entire system of this tool. Therefore, you have to check the manufacturer’s manual to know the proper wirings for your saw!

Lastly, always consider the price. Some people would say that the expensive ones will give you the most advantage you need. Most of the time, this is true. However, some instance will prove this as impractical. You don’t need to invest in a heavy-duty power tool if you are just doing home-based projects!


Conclusion

A miter saw is one of the core tools of any woodworkers and construction professionals. If you are a certified DIYer, this power tool should be one of your top priorities. It can make a lot of cutting applications, from crowning to making finishes to your home furnishings. Of course, you will need the best miter saw if you really want to have satisfactory results in every of your projects.

When it comes to a miter saw, there are a lot of choices. You can see hundreds to thousands of selections for this tool alone in the market. However, before you are going to go your nearest hardware, make sure that you should consider our recommended products first!

Each of the miter saws we featured has unique qualities. They have user-friendly ergonomics and design, which makes them versatile for any cutting applications. We know this because we tested them. We also let some professionals try the performance of these miter saws on actual job sites. The result turned out better than we expected. And that is the reason why they are all here!

Moreover, we are hoping that our miter saw buying guide had helped you. We all know that choosing the right miter is hard, considering that there are a lot of preferences out there. But with our buying guide, we are in high hopes that you have a better idea now of what will suit your needs!