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Best 12-Inch Miter Saws 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide

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My favorite mitre sawLet’s be honest. Most miter saws, quite frankly, suck. There are so many options, and most of them simply don’t pass muster. Finding the best 12-inch miter saw can be a difficult challenge due to the many options that are available, and the fact that it seems as if so few of them are worth the money.

As any good handyman knows, your tools are the most important part of the job. Without the right tools, ones that work effectively and efficiently, your job is so much more difficult and uselessly laborious.

Given the difficulty of finding the right 12-inch, we’ve compiled a list of the top-five 12-inch miter saws for you to read.

A Quick Comparison (updated in 2020):

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Makita LS1216L
Makita LS1216L
(Top Pick)

Check Price
75 lbs5.0/5
DEWALT DWS780
DEWALT DWS780

Check Price
56 lbs4.8/5
DEWALT DW715
DEWALT DW715
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
47 lbs4.7/5
Hitachi C12FDH
Hitachi C12FDH

Check Price
59 lbs4.3/5
Chicago Electric 12 Inch Miter Saw
Chicago Electric 12 Inch Miter Saw

Check Price
52 lbs3.9/5

The 5 Best 12-Inch Miter Saws:

1. Makita LS1216L Miter Saw – Top Pick

Makita LS1216L

Coming in at number-one on our list is the Makita LS1216L! This miter saw is the best on the market right now.

The Makita LS1216L allows you to cut with extreme precision and accuracy, and to do so without affecting your speed or workflow. This is due to the extraordinary cutting capacity of up to fifteen-inches wide, as well as the six linear ball bearings and 4-Steel Rail Sliding System, essential elements that allow you to cut with immense accuracy and precision.

On top of this, there is the fact that all of these features are easy to use right out of the box. Features such as the large trigger switch and ergonomic, rubberized horizontal D-Handle help you cut with simplicity and ease, and to do so in a fluid manner that does not disrupt workflow.

Using the powerful 15-amp direct drive motor, you will find that there is far less maintenance required then when it comes to most other 12-inch miter saws. This 15-amp direct-drive motor never slips or bogs down, unlike many other belt-driven saws, and the Electronic Speed Control lets you maintain a good, steady speed under heavy loads.

Pros

  • Extremely easy to use
  • 15-amp motor requires no maintenance
  • Extreme precision and accuracy when cutting
  • You can cut very quickly
  • Ergonomically designed

Cons

  • Slightly expensive – but you pay for the best


2. DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Miter Saw

DEWALT DWS780

The DEWALT DWS780 is the runner-up. Make no mistake, the DEWALT DWS780 is an excellent miter saw with a precise, powerful system of cutting. Additionally, it has excellent speed, adjustable plates, and a powerful motor. However, there is a reason that it is not number-one.

You see, the reason that the DEWALT DWS780 is not our first choice is that it lacks certain necessities that every good miter saw should come with. When you purchase this model, you don’t receive a stand that you can use to hold and balance the DEWALT DWS780, and this is a shame because it really needs one. And honestly, we think this should be a given for any manufacturer of miter saws. The other problem is that it simply isn’t that easy to use, nor is it a particularly well-designed piece of equipment.

Nonetheless, the DEWALT DWS780 is an amazing product that has many outstanding features. One of the things that it excels at is the high-capacity cutting that it can do. You can cut lumber that is up 2 X 12 at 45 degrees, and up to 2 X 16 at 90 degrees. Not only that, but the DEWALT DWS780 is an immensely durable piece of equipment that consists of precise castings, rugged guards, and miter detent plates made of stainless steel that are made to withstand some rigor. So, if you are looking for something that works very well, it falls into that category.

Pros

  • Withstands intense rigor and stress
  • Excels at high-capacity cutting
  • Made of durable stainless steel
  • High-quality motor

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a stand
  • Difficult to use at first


3. DEWALT DW715 Miter Saw – Best For The Money

DEWALT DW715

This is the best chainsaw for the money due to its affordability and great price, along with the fact that it offers many of the best features that other, equally great, chainsaws offer. However, you get everything for cheaper, which ends up being a lot of awesome things for the price!

For less than most chainsaws, you get a variety of great features such as a crosscut capacity of up to 2 X 8-inch lumber, a 15-amp motor that delivers great durability and allows you to run the saw for extended periods of work time, along with a built-in carry handle that lets you take the saw where you need to with ease.

Using the DEWALT DW715, you can work on lots of smaller projects, but not very many big ones. This is due to the limited cutting capacity of the miter saw, and the fact that it really isn’t made for complex projects. The other big flaw is, it isn’t the easiest saw to use. The setup can be a little tricky to figure out.

All in all, the DEWALT DW715 is a decent, inexpensive miter saw. But, it lacks certain features that would really put it in our top two. It is by no means a bad piece of equipment, just one that may not be very useful to you as it lacks things such as cross-cutting capacity and other useful features that newer miter saws have.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Easy to carry and take around
  • Very durable
  • Powerful motor

Cons

  • Difficult to use
  • Hard to set up
  • Limited cutting capacity


4. Hitachi C12FDH 12 Inch Miter Saw

Hitachi C12FDH

The Hitachi C12FDH is not a bad miter saw, but it isn’t anything special either. Sure, it’s inexpensive and Hitachi is a fairly trusted brand, yet that isn’t quite the point. You see, the problem with the Hitachi C12FDH is that it just doesn’t really give you anything new. It works well enough, but it doesn’t work as good as the other models on this list. And really, it doesn’t do that great of a job on complicated projects.

However, the best thing about the Hitachi C12FDH is that it is simple to use, and you really can’t go wrong in buying this one if you’re new to miter saws or power tools in general. There is a large base for support, a 15-amp motor that generates speeds of up to 4,000 RPM for quick and efficient, but accurate, cutting, along with a handle and grip that allow for you to safely guide the blade where you need it to go.

Ultimately, there is simply nothing new in this particular model. The accuracy is certainly questionable at times, plus Hitachi is known for having poor customer service. This isn’t a bad miter saw, but it certainly isn’t a great one, either.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • User friendly
  • High-quality motor

Cons

  • Nothing unique about this model
  • Not very accurate
  • Poor customer service/support


5. Chicago Electric Miter Saw

Chicago Electric 12 Inch Miter Saw

This is not a good product. Let’s just get that out of the way. Chicago Electric may have made good products at one point in time, but that time appears to have passed.

Not only is the Chicago Electric 12 Inch Miter Saw a poorly designed product, but it also suffers from a very big problem. When people order the product, they often find that it is actually missing parts that they need in order to actually use it. It isn’t that the product isn’t supposed to come with these things, because it says that it does on the box. Somehow, though, they just aren’t in the package, so you can’t use it unless you go and buy the spare parts.

However, this is the least of your concerns. If you do get the product to work, and you get all of the missing parts and pieces, you’ll find that it is one of the most inaccurate miter saws on the market. You can hardly make a straight cut. If you do somehow manage to get all of that stuff working, then you’ll find that the product breaks after two or three uses.

Simply put, the Chicago Electric 12 Inch Miter Saw is a poorly made, poorly designed miter saw. It is not worth your money or time, and it’s clear that the manufacturers have shipped a product that is, essentially, incomplete. Do not buy this product.

Pros

  • It’s relatively cheap

Cons

  • Poorly designed
  • Hard to use
  • Doesn’t come as advertised
  • Very inaccurate
  • Breaks after only a few uses


Buying Guide

Ultimately, when purchasing a 12-inch miter saw, there are several key factors you need to consider. Factors that we’ve considered thoroughly and in-depth as we wrote this article and compiled our reviews. Take note of these factors and how they contribute to the overall product. Chances are, if the product is good on all these fronts, then it is definitely worth the money. These factors are as follows:

  • Durability
  • Ease Of Use
  • Accuracy
  • Cutting Capacity

Durability 

Durability is very important because many miter saws are rather expensive, and as such, you plan on using them for some time. So, if a miter saw is not durable or able to withstand frequent use, then it is simply not worth the money. And who knows, will it even fare well with bigger projects? Without strong durability, then the product really isn’t that great.

Ease Of Use

You can have all kinds of fantastic features and the product can be super durable, but if it takes forever to learn how to actually use it, and even longer to figure out how to maneuver it for a project, then it isn’t worth it. And that is because a miter saw must be easy to handle and simple to maneuver, so that you can get the cuts that you want, when you want them, for whatever project you set your sights on. 

Accuracy

How accurate are the cuts that this miter saw can deliver? This is a good question to ask because accuracy is crucial to any miter saw – or any saw in general – and if that saw is unable to deliver a cut that is precise and accurate, then it isn’t worth purchasing. You need a product that can cut swiftly and efficiently, with precision. Otherwise, your boards will look crooked, and it simply won’t look or feel right.

Cutting Capacity

Chances are if you’re buying a 12-inch miter saw, you’re going to be cutting things that are a little larger than most other saws can handle. Therefore, it is expected that the saw in question will be able to adequately meet those needs and that it will be able to cut things of fairly large size, allowing you to work on the projects that you wish to work on. If the cutting capacity is simply too small or ineffectual, then, again, the product isn’t worth the money because this kind of flexibility is very important. Even if you won’t be cutting things that are that big, flexibility is important in a miter saw, and you will have options if you need to cut bigger things.

Conclusion

You’ve read our reviews of the best 12-inch miter saws. The bottom line is that the Makita LS1216L is the best on the market, and the best miter saw for the money is, of course, the DEWALT DW715. These are good, high-quality 12-inch miter saws.

Over the years, the quality has been pushed due to new products, and it has gotten harder to find the best ones. We hope that we’ve helped you in your search of finding the best 12-inch miter saw!

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