A compound miter saw is a complex yet versatile tool that every woodworker — and arguably every homeowner — should have. Unlike other activities, cutting is something that needs to be done as often as on a daily basis. You don’t necessarily need to be a professional carpenter or handyman in order to get a lot of use out of one either. It is an ideal saw to have stationed in a garage or shop set up. On this page, B&B readers will find information about miter saws as well as a list of the best compound miter saws currently available.
The 5 Best Compound Miter Saws of 2017
Here are the all around best compound miter saws on the market.
The Dewalt DWS780 is a jam-packed compound miter saw that has taken one of the top positions in the miter saw category. It easily made our list of the best compound miter saws and not just because it is from the rock solid brand Dewalt. It is one of the most durable, functional saws that any professional woodworker would take pride in. It is renowned for its unique ability to make surgical precise cuts using the XPS cross-cut system. The manufacturer was generous enough to include an ultra-bright LED light that helps the user clearly identify the right cutting line. This is our pick of the best sliding compound miter saw.
It is also incorporated a dual bevel system, unlike most models. Despite being driven by a powerful 15-amp motor, it is silent when running. Its no-load blade speed of 3800 rpm is incredible and slices through just about anything like a hot knife through butter. The dust collection system is efficient and captures over 75% of the dust.
Productivity and efficiency are enhanced with the adjustable miter detent plate together with the 10 positive stops. It also employs miter detent override so as to allow adjustment of angles without detents. The DWS780 features a highly visible scale and easily adjustable bevel angle. The saw of this brand miters up to 49 degrees in both left and right directions.
Dewalt is so confident you will love this saw that it backs the DWS780 with a 90 day money back guarantee.
Bosch fully packed this model with several innovative features such as the electric brake. It is suitable for crown moldings and other precise cuts. Powered by a 15-amp motor that delivers no-load blade speed of 4800 rpm, this model is one of the best in terms of producing stunningly clean cuts. Maneuverability is enhanced by the solid heavy cast-iron base that contributes to overall stability and durability.
It features a wide miter range of 52 degrees to the right and left. Most professional woodworkers love working with this model because of the up-front easy-to-reach bevel controls that are smoothly adjustable. In addition to the laser tracking system, this model also incorporates a miter detent override mechanism. It is all wrapped in a solid sturdy construction that will serve your needs to old age. The Bosch CM10GD has it all and is one of the best compound miter saws for the money.
The Makita LS1016L is a game changer and is up there with Bosch’s CM10GD when it comes to baseboards, door and window trim, and crown molding. This 10 inch is arguably the best 10 inch miter saw available right now. It is a compact in design and features the patented 4-Steel Rail Sliding system. This system is the reason it is one of the most efficient vertical cutting machines. Its drive system is a 15-amp motor that delivers 3200 rpm. It is also incorporated with soft start and speed control features that deliver uncompromising control over your cuts.
Apart from being a professional-grade cutting machine, the Makita has an ergonomic, compact ad lightweight design that makes transportation and maneuverability easy, for both novice and pro users. The saw miters 60 degrees to the right and 52 degrees to the left. It is integrated with a retractable rear gear that provides an outstanding vertical cutting capacity. Another incredible feature of this LS1016L is the 6-linear ball bearings that, combined with the laser tracking, deliver dead-on precision.
For the price, this Hitachi unit is hard to beat. This is the best budget compound miter saw. The C12RSH2 is a revolutionary model with a compact dual bevel slide system that eliminates the need for rear clearance, unlike some of the other, cheap models. Whether you are dealing with plywood, crown molding, decorative panels, or hardboard, the Hitachi C12RSH gets the job done flawlessly. Powered by a 15amp motor that delivers 1520 Watts, this model eats wood like nobody’s business.
Accuracy and precision are top-grade; enhanced by innovative features such as the laser marker and the micro-miter knob. The brand miters a maximum of 45 degrees to the left and 57 degrees to the right. In addition, the positive stops are user-friendly and allow the operator to make easy and quick measurement settings.
The innovative GCM12SD from Bosch is a compact 12 inch unit. The GCM12SD is our top pick for the title of the best 12 inch miter saw. It is a durable model that delivers unmatched smoothness in cuts. The 15 amp motor does an amazing job by delivering a no-load speed of 3800 rpm. It has an axial-glide system patent and works fine in a compact space. It has a square-lock that aligns the fence by 90 degrees to the table and doesn’t require adjustments.
The uniform bevels and the miter scales are highly visible for quick reads and adjustments. In addition, Bosch GCM12SD has an ambidextrous grip handle and a dust chute; a unique combination that elevates user-comfort. The cutting capacities are expanded to increase the comfort and security of the user. The Bosch has a 6-1/2 inch vertical capacity, 14-inch horizontal capacity, and a 6-1/2 inch crown capacity. The model works great in cramped workshops or jobsites.
General Thoughts on Compound Miter Saws
A Compound miter saw is found in many a man’s workshop and garage. It is one of the best cutting tools every homeowner dreams of having. It will help you save time, energy, and money whenever you are carrying out your next home improvement or woodworking project. One great advantage of this tool is that you move the blade through the wood unlike in the case of table saws and band saws, where you feed in through yourself. That means it’s a little safer and less likely to take a finger or two off in the process of getting your job done. Whether you’re on the hunt for the best miter saw for homeowners or the best sliding miter saw there’s something for everyone on the market today.
In fact, of all the cutting tools that exist on the market, a compound miter saw is one of the most efficient when carrying out advanced cuts, remodeling or improving your home. It is undeniable many DIY projects can’t be completed without making vertical, bevel, or miter cuts. You may not see the need of a compound miter saw when executing straight cuts but if you’re doing the advanced stuff, it’s a lifesaver. There are many tools out there that can make angled cuts but the reason many individuals opt for the compound miter saw is because of its ability to make clean angled cuts with surgical precision.
It is certainly a lot easier, and less strenuous, than purchasing a miter box and using a hand saw. While that may work for smaller projects, if you’re doing something like replacing the baseboards on your home, you don’t want to use a miter box. No sir.
Some examples of woodworking projects that will require a compound miter saw include crown modeling, shoe modeling, baseboards, construction of shades, chicken coops, remodeling, etc.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Compound Miter Saw for You
Just like other tools, compound miter saws have advanced in terms of performance, power, and ease of use. Manufacturers are keen to differentiate their products from the pack. That’s why it makes sense to take your time researching your options before making an investment, these bad boys aren’t cheap.
Compound miter saws range from $100 to as high as $1000 depending on the quality and features.
Therefore, there are technical factors you should look into. You don’t want to choose a saw just based on its brand name alone.
Motor Horse Power
This is the engine of your miter saw. If it doesn’t produce enough vigor to cut through hard materials, it simply means you’ve got the wrong tool for the job. Depending on the amount of work and how often you will run the machine, buy accordingly. The power of motors mostly range from 10 to 15 amps. If you have a lot of professional time-consuming projects or own a workshop, it is advisable to go for a powerful unit that can handle high volume.
Cutting Angle Adjustment
Most miter saws are adjustable to 60-degrees on both sides. Most quality saws also have adjustable miter detents at 0, 15, 31.6, 22.5, 45, and 60 degrees.
The safety of any tool deserves attention. Unlike the case with old saw models, today, the modern ones have been modified to protect the user. Features such as the electric brake help bring the blade to an instant stop in case of any emergency. It is, therefore, important to consider safety measures when buying a compound miter saw.
Easy of Blade Change
A good miter saw should have an easy to operate blade replacement mechanism. Especially if it is being used every day or even weekly, you’ll be changing blades now and again.
Some believe this is a very important feature, and the only way to accurately make advanced cuts. Not everyone loves the laser guide but some swear by it. The laser guide helps the user to follow a cutting line and ensure that the precision of the cuts is true.
This is an incredible safety feature that helps bring the blade to an instantaneous stop. It works by reversing the flow of electric current. Experienced professional carpenters can tell you how spinning blades can take a long time to lose momentum which exposes the operator to more risk.
User-comfort is another major factor in determining the quality of the final product. The same principle applies to compound miter saws. It is advisable to visit a nearby retail shop and try out the miter saws that you intend to buy and determine whether the operating mechanisms are right for you.
Support from the Seller or Manufacturer
It can be very annoying if you buy a very expensive machine only to realize that you can’t get the spare parts or access warranty service. It is, therefore, advisable that you do thorough research on the seller before buying the product. You should confirm the availability of support, technicians, and spare parts just in case any issues arise.
Benefits of Compound Miter Saws
Compound miter saws have much to offer whether you intend to use them in your busy workshop or for home improvement purposes. They are simply one of the best cutting tools for the price.
- Bevel Adjustment. These saws will help you out if you are making bevel style cuts in your work. The adjustment features have become very user-friendly for even novice woodworkers.
- Quick and Easy Blade Changing. Changing and using different blades is a simple and an easy process. It will take you a maximum of 5-7 minutes changing a blade.
- Saves Time, Energy, and Money. We do agree that compound miter saws may cost you a good sum of cash upfront but they pay dividends down the road. You will be able to manage your DIY and home improvements without needing to run to a nearby workshop or renting a saw from someone else.
- Variety of Cuts. It is possible to tilt the blade to the right and left unlike in other models. You can come at that wood at whatever angle you want, you’re only bound by your creativity.
- High Levels of Accuracy and Precision. This is probably the sole reason why most woodworkers prefer to use compound miter saws. The integrated features such as the laser guide help the operator make clean and accurate cuts time and again.