For some people, shaping wood is not only a job but also a passion and to get the most out of the experience, you should be looking for the best miter saws.
The good news is that there are numerous power tools available on the market to help you do that safely and accurately.
You can find band saws, jig saws as well as miter saws which help you cut wood and other types of materials at different angles with utmost precision. In this article, we will talk about miter saws which are a highly specialized power tools that can be used by almost anyone who wants to cut wood and similar materials.
A miter saw is different from other types of woodworking tools because it can make cuts at custom angles and you have a lot of control over the cutting process, making bevel cuts, compound cuts, and others.
These tools can be either corded or cordless and the best thing is that they come with comprehensive instruction manuals which basically help you make accurate cuts, even if you’re a total beginner when it comes to woodworking.
Keep reading this article to learn more about miter saws, what can they be used for, their particular specifications and features, and how to choose a good one within your budget.
How to Choose a Miter Saw
Cordless or corded
There are moments when you might need a portable tool to cut through different types of materials including wood, steel or aluminum. That’s why manufacturers have created both corded and cordless miter saws, to cater to all the needs of their clients.
Corded miter saws are usually more powerful and they can be used 24/7 in a workshop or garage, so if you cut wood at home and you don’t need to go to clients for various projects, you might be better off with a corded tool.
On the other hand, if you are usually on the go, a cordless miter saw might be more suitable for you. These tools have lithium-ion batteries which can be charged quickly and allow you to work for several hours straight.
How do you know if you need a miter saw?
Well, they are usually used to make picture frames, to make cuts for crown molding, for door and window frames, etc.
Even if woodworking is a hobby for you at the moment, you’ll be surprised by how useful and practical this tool can be.
If you go for a cordless miter saw, the power of the motor will be represented in volts.
If you go for a corded one, its power will be reflected in amps. Obviously, the higher the number, the more powerful your tool is. Here’s a guide on how to use a miter saw.
This is one of the most important aspects because it influences the length of the cut. The circular blade can have diameters of 8, 10 or 12 inches in most cases. The larger the blade, the longer the cut too.
Keep in mind that you can also set the blade at a different angle to make cross cuts or diagonal cuts as well, so make sure you choose the blade diameter properly. The blade also comes with a guard which prevents accidents. Here’s a guide on how to choose the right blade size.
Some miter saws allow you to incline the blade at a 15, 30 or 45-degree angle (or something in between), so you can make an accurate angle cut. This will be particularly useful for making picture frames. Adjusting the bevel settings can be done very easily by operating a small handle which repositions the blade in the direction you want.
Dust blower and dust bag
Especially when cutting through wood, there is going to be a lot of dust spreading around your workshop.
To prevent this dust from getting in your eyes or from making your cuts less accurate, most miter saws come with a dust blower and/or a dust bag. This will basically collect most of the dust in a special bag and prevent it from getting in your way.
A positive stop is a factory set point which allows you to make extremely precise cuts with minimal effort and time spent. Most miter saws come with at least 5-7 positive stops which help you quickly select the desired angle and make excellent cuts, regardless of your level of experience.
There are also depth stops which adjust the height of the blade and give you more control over the cutting process.
Especially if you are going for a cordless version, its height is an important consideration factor before buying. For example, most cordless miter saws can weigh around 30 pounds which is usually ideal for everyone.
This means that your hands will not get tired that quickly while operating the saw and you can carry it with little to no effort to and from your clients. When it comes to corded models, these are a bit heavier (because they are not specifically designed to be portable), but most of them don’t weigh more than 40-50 pounds.
Laser and light guides
To help you make extremely accurate cuts, some miter saws come with laser guides which cast a small line on the surface of the material, so you know exactly where the blade will land when you cut.
If you’re slightly off, you can make adjustments to the table/blade and ensure a more accurate cutting process. Similarly, some models come with lights. The LED lights will illuminate the material you want to cut, so you have more precision and accuracy, not to mention that it will make the cutting process safer.
You can always retrofit a laser on your miter saw, in case yours doesn’t have one.
Warranty and accessories
All manufacturing companies offer a reassuring warranty period for your miter saw which can stretch from one up to 5 years or more. The warranty policy usually covers parts and labor costs and protects your investment n the long run.
Lastly, remember that your tool can come with accessories such as batteries, chargers, table extensions, dust bags, and others, so remember to always check the package before buying.
I have wrote a separate detailed article on how to choose a miter saw, make sure to check it if you need more details.
Here’s a video that explains things:
Now that you know more, let’s take a look at some reviews of a couple of interesting and practical miter saw models which are very popular on the market today.
Best Corded Miter Saws 2018
My rating: 4.9/5
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Dewalt before as this is a leading manufacturer of power tools and accessories for them.
The DW715 model is a powerful miter saw which can be used particularly by DIY people and woodworking beginners, but it is also useful for more experienced handymen.
Let’s take a look at its benefits:
1. 12-inch blade diameter – the diameter of the blade is large enough to produce long cuts and the blade itself is made from carbide which is a highly durable material. You can adjust the inclination of the blade and take advantage of 11 positive stops to create the cuts you want.
2. 15 amp motor – the motor is a very powerful one which can spin at speeds up to 4,000 rotations per minute. This allows you to quickly and easily cut through some of the toughest materials out there, including wood, steel, aluminum, plastic, and ceramics.
3. Multiple bevel options – this unit can turn up to -48 degrees to the left and from 0 to -3 to the right, allowing you to make extremely precise and attractive cuts.
4. Built-in carrying handle – your Dewalt miter saw also comes with a carrying handle which allows you to easily transport it from place to place as well as manipulating the blade with little to no effort. The on/off button is incorporated into the handle which makes your cutting process very easy and intuitive.
5. Available in multiple buying options – you can have this power tool in various colors, with or without blades and in different package options. This gives you the opportunity to buy exactly what you need for your project.
6. 3 years warranty – the manufacturer offers a warranty period of 3 years on parts and labor with a one-year free service policy. If you ever encounter problems with your device, make sure that you contact Dewalt right away and ask for replacements or repairs.
When it comes to disadvantages, there were a few people who reported minor problems with the fence which is incorporated into this miter saw. If this happens to you as well, contact Dewalt as they can quickly send you a replacement.
My rating: 4.9/5
Bosch is another important manufacturer of power tools and woodworking tools. This company makes some of the most reliable and innovative products on the market when it comes to manipulating and shaping woods and similar metals.
Here are more interesting details about the GCM12SD model which is highly popular among consumers.
1. 12-inch blade diameter – the blade has a diameter of 12 inches which makes it ideal for both small and large projects. It comes with 60 teeth which can cut through materials such as wood, plastic, aluminum or even steel.
2. 15 amp motor – you can connect this appliance to a 120V power outlet to make the 15 amp motor perform at its peak. This impressive motor can spin the blade at up to 3,800 rotations per minute and it can quickly slice wood pieces regardless of their size or toughness.
3. Dust bag included – when you receive the package, you’ll be surprised to find out that the manufacturer has also included a dust bag which basically collects the dust and prevents it from getting in your way or in your eyes. However, make sure you always use safety glasses when cutting your materials, just in case.
4. 48-degree bevel – you can incline this miter saw both to the left and right to an angle of up to 48 degrees. This allows you to make super attractive cuts, shaping up door frames, picture frames and other types of objects.
5. Ambidextrous handle – the handle is cleverly designed to be used by everyone, whether they operate with the left or right handle. It also incorporates the trigger button and provides additional cushioning to stop vibrations from compromising your cutting process.
6. Available in 2 buying options – you can have this tool as a standalone item with accessories such as blade wrench, material clamp, and others, or you can buy it in a combination with a strong and durable stand. The stand will help you make cuts in virtually any place in your garage, workshop or yard.
There were a few complaints regarding this tool which basically mentioned that it can be a little bit difficult to make square cuts. If this happens to you as well, make sure you read the instructions manual carefully and learn how to adjust your miter saw to fit your needs.
My rating: 4.8/5
If you are interested in another exquisite manufacturer, take a look at the products offered by Makita. This brand specializes in power and woodworking tools and its products are available at affordable prices.
The LS1216L is a stunning miter saw which has multiple useful features and can perform different types of cuts on various materials.
Let’s take a closer look at it:
1. 12-inch blade diameter – the blade is large and durable enough to serve you for years to come. It is made from a very tough combination of metals and allows you to make vertical, horizontal and cross cuts with little to no effort.
2. Built-in laser guide – yes, this miter saw has lasers! It casts a red line on the material you want to cut, so you know exactly how precise you are. The laser doesn’t only make your cutting process more efficient, but it also makes it more exciting.
3. 15 amp motor – this tool comes with a powerful 15 amp motor which can spin the blade at speeds up to 3,200 rpm. This is a direct drive motor which requires little to no maintenance and can be used for years to come.
4. 5 1/2 inch fence – the fence allows you to make accurate vertical cuts and can be adjusted to fit the particular needs of your project.
5. Dust bag included – we all know how annoying it can be to have dust in our eyes or in our work environment. This machine comes with a dust bag which collects most of it, so your workspace remains clean, allowing you to make more accurate cuts in a safer manner.
6. 45 degrees bevel – you can also incline this blade 45 degrees to the left or right to make more complex cuts. The inclination can be done by adjusting the bevel system (takes just a few steps) and it can be done very easily.
When it comes to disadvantages, some customers complain that the saw is a bit difficult to set up at first. Make sure you carefully read the instructions manual before proceeding with the cutting process. The manual offers detailed instructions on how to install the saw and operate it safely.
My rating: 4.9/5
If you’re interested in a budget-friendly miter saw for your daily cutting tasks, I’d like to redirect your attention towards the C10FCH2 model from Hitachi.
As you probably already know, Hitachi is a renowned manufacturer of power tools and it sells them at reasonable prices.
Let’s find out more details about this miter saw and what its particular advantages are:
1. Multiple buying options – you can have this miter saw in different options such as coming with a 10-inch blade, with or without a laser marker, with or without a stand, etc. This basically gives you the opportunity to get the right tool without spending a lot of money on unnecessary accessories.
2. 15 amp motor – although this model is more compact than the other miter saws found on the market, it still has a powerful motor which can spin the blade very quickly and help you cut through materials such as wood and steel. The rated power output of the motor is 1950 watts which is really impressive.
3. 0-45 degree bevel angle – you can adjust the saw up to 45 degrees to the left to make different types of inclined cuts. The range of the miter saw is also from 0 to 52 degrees on both left and right. You can make quick adjustments depending on the complexity of your cuts.
4. Dust bag included – the dust bag will be very helpful in keeping the dust away from your workspace, so you can cut with more accuracy. You’ll find the dust bag in the package box and it is very easy to attach it to the miter saw.
5. Laser marker – this model also casts a laser on the materials you want to cut, so you know exactly where the blade will land. Users can make incremental adjustments to the miter to improve cutting accuracy as well.
6. 5 years warranty – yes, this miter saw from Hitachi comes with a generous warranty period which spans up to 5 years from the moment of purchase. You can use it to obtain free part replacements or repairs if necessary.
As a downside, some customers reported that they received a faulty miter saw when they opened the package. This happens very rarely and Hitachi quickly replaced the defective unit with a good one. Contact the manufacturer right away if you have encountered a similar problem.
My rating: 4.9/5
If you require a more professional tool, let me present you a model from Dewalt which is a brand that makes a whole range of quality miter saws.
The DWS780 model comes with multiple features and it is capable of making accurate compound cuts. It is suitable for both small and large cutting projects.
Here are its benefits:
1. 15 amp motor – the powerful motor installed into this power tool can spin the blade at up to 3,800 rotations per minute which is impressive, given the compact design of the product. You’ll be able to easily cut wood pieces as well as other types of materials.
2. Vertical material clamp – the clamp is necessary to pin down the material to the table, so you can make the cut more accurately and safely. This clamp can be installed and adjusted with little to no effort and it will keep the material stable while you work.
3. 0-49 degrees bevel angle – this model can also cut at bevel angles up to 49 degrees on both sides. There are preinstalled positive stops you can quickly switch to if you want to save time and effort. Thanks to this amazing beveling feature, you will be able to make a plethora of interesting inclined cuts.
4. Dust collection system – apart from the dust bag which is included in the package, this miter saw also incorporates a dust blower which basically captures up to 75% of the dust resulted from the cutting process. This is a great thing because the dust won’t get in your way or in your eyes while working.
5. Protected power cord – the electric cable is positioned away from the moving components of the machine, so it won’t stay in your way if you want to change the cutting angle or make other adjustments.
6. 3 years warranty – Dewalt is a prestigious manufacturer which offers a warranty period of 3 years for this miter saw. You also benefit from a window of 90 days for returning the product if it doesn’t rise to your expectations, so you basically have nothing to lose from trying this tool for 3 months.
No product is perfect and sometimes even big names such as Dewalt can make mistakes. It happened for a customer who received a refurbished miter saw instead of a brand new one. He quickly contacted the manufacturer which apologized and sent a new unit right away.
My rating: 4.9/5
Since Makita is such a prestigious and reliable manufacturer of power tools, I want to include another of their superb products on my list.
The LS1221 model comes with plenty of features, a 12-inch blade which can cut through a wide variety of materials and a blue blade guard.
Here are more details about this product:
1. 15 amp motor – this model also boasts a powerful 15 amp motor which can spin the carbide blade at speeds of up to 4,000 rotations per minute. The motor also comes with an electric brake which basically helps to stop the blade quickly and efficiently.
2. 9 positive stops – the miter comes with several positive stops positioned at certain angles such as 15, 22.5, 31.6 and others. You can quickly toggle between those popular cutting angles and save a lot of time and effort while making your cuts.
3. Ambidextrous handle – the handle of this machine is made from a durable material and can be used with both the left and right hand with the same precision. It is designed to reduce vibrations and improve the cutting efficiency.
4. Pivoting fence – each miter saw comes with a pivoting fence which basically lets you cut through larger pieces of material. You can adjust the fence to improve cutting accuracy and to keep the material stable while cutting.
5. Dust bag – this model also incorporates a dust bag which helps to reduce the amount of dust from your workspace. As a result, you can make more accurate cuts and your health is protected because less dust will get in your eyes or lungs.
6. 1-year warranty – Makita offers a warranty period of 1 year on parts and labor for this product. On top of that, they also offer a 30-day money back guarantee which you should take advantage of. If you use the product and for some reason, you don’t like it, you have a full month to replace it or get your money back.
There were a few complaints from past customers that the unit arrived with minor defective components. Makita can replace this as soon as possible, so make sure you contact the manufacturer right away if this happens to you.
Best Cordless Miter Saws 2018
My rating: 4.9/5
Now we can move into cordless miter saws which are easy to transport and ideal for professional handymen who need to go to clients to execute cutting jobs.
Here is the DCS 361B from Dewalt, a cordless miter saw which comes with multiple interesting features.
Let’s find out more about it:
1. 7 1/4 inch blade – although this is not as big as a corded miter saw, the blade’s diameter for this model is 7 and a quarter inches which is usually sufficient for both small and large cutting jobs. Your miter saw is powered by a 20 volts motor which can deliver up to 250-300 cuts on every single charge.
2. Lightweight – this entire miter saw weighs just 31.6 pounds which is really impressive, considering the number of features it offers and its cutting power. It also comes with a handle which allows you to move it from place to place with little to no effort.
3. 11 positive stops – the steel plate of this saw comes with 11 different positive stops you can choose from when making cuts. These stops adjust the blade at certain angles which are usually used by woodworkers, so they will actually save you a lot of time in the long run.
4. -3 to 48-degree bevel angle – this saw allows angling to the left from -3 up to 48 degrees, helping you to make inclined cuts with little to no effort.
5. Dust bag included – although this is a portable miter saw, it also comes with a dust bag which basically collects most of the dust from your workspace and improves your cutting accuracy. The dust bag can be easily installed and can be cleaned/emptied after each cutting project.
6. 3 years limited warranty – Dewalt makes excellent products and they back them up with reassuring warranty periods. This model comes with a warranty policy of up to 3 years on parts and labor. Dewalt also has excellent customer service if you’re interested in getting help using or repairing your unit.
As a drawback, some customers complained that this is just the bare tool, without a battery included in the package, but this is how the manufacturer sells this product and it is clearly advertised to be so.
Make sure you read the product description before buying, so you know exactly what you pay for.
My rating: 4.8/5
This manufacturer also makes cordless miter saws, not only corded ones, and the XSL06PT is an excellent model in this case. It comes with multiple accessories, it has a reasonable price and it can be used by both DIY homeowners and professional handymen.
Here are more details about this product:
1. Multiple buying options available – you can have your Makita miter saw as a bare tool, in combination with 4 additional batteries or with or without a laser kit which improves your accuracy while cutting. Obviously, the price differs for each package, so if you already have a battery, you can just buy the bare tool and save money.
2. 4,400 RPM – this model is powered by two lithium-ion batteries which can make the 10-inch blade spin at speeds up to 4,400 rotations per minute. This is really impressive for a device which runs on batteries and is totally portable.
3. Can deliver up to 334 cuts per charge – if you are going to cut 2×4 spf boards, the two batteries can deliver up to 334 cuts before they get depleted and need to be recharged. If you are cutting 2×12 spf lumber, you will be able to make up to 192 cuts per charge.
4. 0-48 degrees bevel angle – this model is capable of bevel angling up to 48 degrees on both left and right sides. When it comes to miter angles, it can support from 0 to 60 degrees on both left and right sides. You can make a wide variety of compound cuts using this machine.
5. 12 positive stops – you also have the possibility to choose between multiple positive stops situated at angles such as 15 degrees, 30 degrees, 45 degrees, etc on both left and right sides. Using these stops is very easy and can save you a lot of time in the long run.
6. 3 years warranty – Makita stands behind its product and offers a warranty period of up to 3 years for this particular model. The warranty covers the tool, batteries, and charger, so you can get free repairs or replacements if they become defective during this timeframe.
The only disadvantage with this product, as mentioned by a few customers, is that it weighs about 78 pounds and it can be transported with difficulty.
However, this happens because it houses 2 battery packs and a powerful motor, so basically, this compensates for the increased weight.
My rating: 4.9/5
Milwaukee is another important manufacturer of power tools and I’d like to include one of their products on my list.
The 2734-21HD model features a 10-inch blade, it is very easy to use and it has a lightweight design which makes it very portable.
Here are the main selling points of this miter saw from Milwaukee:
1. Powerful brushless motor – the motor of this power tool can deliver up to 400 cuts per charge, according to the manufacturer. It is specially designed to offer utmost performance and it can prolong the battery life as well. The maximum number of rotations per minute for this product is 4,000.
2. 9 positive stops – this model has up to 9 positive stops you can choose from to make cuts at popular angles such as 30 degrees, 45 degrees and so on. You can easily access these detents during your cutting process and they will help you save a great deal of time.
3. Dust bag included – although this is a cordless model, the manufacturer has included a dust bag which can be installed with little to no effort and it can collect up to 75% of the dust resulting from the cutting process.
4. Top and side carrying handles – this model is relatively lightweight in comparison with other types of miter saws available on the market. For example, it weighs just 45 pounds and it comes with top and side handles, so you can easily carry it with you wherever you go.
5. 0-48 angle bevel – you can also choose the bevel angle on both left and right sides from 0 up to 48 degrees, depending on your needs and preferences. This allows you to make complex compound cuts on a wide variety of materials, particularly wood.
6. 5 years warranty – your Milwaukee product is backed up by a warranty period of 5 years which is more than what other brands are offering for similar power tools. If you ever encounter a problem with your device, contact the manufacturer right away and claim free repairs.
There are little to no disadvantages for this product. If it were to nitpick, some customers complained that it can be a bit difficult to set up at first, but if you read the instructions manual carefully, that shouldn’t be a problem.
My rating: 4.8/5
I want to include yet another miter saw from Dewalt in my review and this is represented by the DCS361M1 model which comes with a 7 and a quarter inch blade which is very durable and sharp, allowing you to cut through different types of woods like a hot knife through butter.
Let’s explore the main advantages of this product:
1. 20-volt motor – the engine which powers this device is capable of making up to 183 cuts of 2xp pine boards and up to 275 cuts of 3 1/4 pine baseboards. The motor is designed to conserve energy and increase battery life while still offering utmost performance during your cutting projects.
2. 11 positive stops – the positive stops incorporated into this miter saw will help you make cuts quickly and more efficiently, as you can easily adjust the miter to the desired angle. Make sure you use these stops frequently to save time.
3. Lightweight design – this tool weighs just 31.6 pounds and it can be carried with a single hand if required. It is made from a combination of durable metals and aluminum components which are known to be light and easy to maintain.
4. -3 to 48-degree bevel – this model has a single bevel on the left side with a range from -3 degrees up to 48 degrees. You can quickly choose the desired angle and make compound cuts to create wood frames for pictures, doors, windows, etc.
5. Multiple accessories included – the manufacturer put a lot of interesting and useful goodies in the package such as the battery pack, charger, material clamp, blade wrench, user guide and several other practical accessories. You actually get a lot for your hard earned money which makes this product the best bang for your buck.
6. 3 years warranty – Dewalt offers a warranty period of 3 years for this product which is sufficient in most cases. The warranty policy covers component replacements and labor costs. Feel free to contact Dewalt if you ever encounter a problem with your product.
When it comes to disadvantages, there were a few people who reported that the actual runtime of this device is rather short.
This depends on a wide variety of factors such how much energy is in the battery while you start working, what types of materials you cut, etc. Overall, most clients are satisfied with this product.
My rating: 4.9/5
Finally, the last product in this list comes from Makita. We are talking about the XSL05Z model which is a superb cordless miter saw that doesn’t come with a battery, so it has a reduced price.
This model comes with an automatic system which adjusts the cutting speed, so it can save battery life and allow you to cut more wood boards in a single charge.
Let’s find out more details about this product:
1. Brushless motor – the motor has 18 volts and works in combination with a lithium-ion battery to provide you with several hundred cuts per charge. It is designed to be efficient and offers utmost performance while operating quietly and effectively.
2. 0-46 degree bevel angle – this product can bevel up to 46 degrees on both left and right sides. At the same time, the miter can be adjusted at angles ranging from 0 to 52 degrees on both left and right sides. This means that you can make a lot of complex cuts with little to no effort using this miter saw.
3. LED light – you’ll love the fact that this product comes with its own LED light which basically means that you will enjoy better visibility while cutting. As a result, you can make more accurate cuts and save a lot of time over the year.
4. Dust bag – you will also find a dust bag in the package which is highly recommended to use to catch most of the dust and prevent it from getting in your way while cutting. In the box, you will also find a protective guard which is transparent and improves safety while using this machine.
5. Star protection – this is a type of technology developed by Makita which monitors the current state of the motor and other electronic components inside the miter saw. This system can make adjustments to prevent overheating, overdischarging and other types of accidents. It will basically ensure that your tool remains in tip-top condition all the times.
6. 3 years warranty – Makita also offers a warranty period of 3 years for this device which is great to have. The policy can cover repair and component replacement costs.
A few customers have complained about the high price of this tool which weighs approximately 15 pounds, but it also comes with numerous accessories and features, so the cost is somehow justified in my opinion.
Only Work with The Best!
It is up to you now to choose the right miter saw, depending on your preferences and needs. First of all, decide if you need a cordless or corded tool because this will definitely impact your experience in the long run.
If you are a professional and need to travel to clients to make cuts, go for a portable tool. If you have your own workshop and cut materials in your spare time, you’d probably be better off with a corded version. Also make sure you select the right size for the blade diameter (if you cut larger pieces of materials, go for a larger blade).
The bevel and miter angles are also very important. For example, if you want to be more efficient while cutting, you can go for a unit which bevels in both directions, not just on the left side.
You might also want to get a product which comes with a laser marker because this can greatly improve your efficiency and gives you more peace of mind.
At the end of the day, it is mandatory to read the instructions manual, even if you’re a professional handyman because it contains vital information on how to use and maintain your miter saw correctly. Good luck!