Best Compound Miter saw for Woodwork

If you’re involved in woodwork as a professional or DIYer in your backyard workshop, a miter saw is an essential tool that will come in handy in making smooth cuts at different angles for door frames, window casings, mouldings, and more. Whether it’s the correct chop saw or the best sliding compound miter saw, your specific needs will highly drive what you pick at each price point.

The range covers the best miter saw for specific needs that include those best overall, best budget picks, those best for crafters, best cordless mister saw, best 12 inches, best for trim/baseboards, and best for alternative materials. Here are some of the most durable and trustworthy available in each section.

Related Post: Best Table Saws

Best Miter Saws Available

1. DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 12 Inch Slide (DWS779)

DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 12-Inch (DWS779)
  • Stainless steel miter detent plate of the 12-inch miter saw blade comes with 10 positive stops
  • The mitre saw has a precise miter system and machined base fence support
  • Precise miter system and machined base fence support Cam-lock miter handle with detent override...
  • Tall sliding fences support 6-3/4-inch base vertically
  • Bevels 0 degree - 48degree left and right

If you’re a newbie looking to purchase your first compound miter saw, the DeWalt DWS780 is a superb option. It is suitable for hobbyists and professionals since the DeWalt DWS780 offers every conceivable feature necessary to slice miters and bevels with precision at a wide range of angles and cuts.

Dual bevel sliding miter saws means the blades on miter saws tilt in both angle directions, therefore, allowing you to make precise cuts without needing to calibrate or adjust anything. You can cut up to 2 x 16-inch lumber with the back fence design at 90 degrees and 2 x 12-inch dimensional wood at 45 degrees.

Also, it delivers sufficient precision in which cut quality is brilliantly balanced with the powerful 15 amp motor it harnesses. The robust 15 amp motor has a lot less vibration as compared to most saws.

If you are using a miter saw with a lot of vibration for long periods, it can wear you out, even as a professional. The lower vibration isn’t a necessity, but it’s a great feature to have.

For safety, you get a transparent blade guard that is standard on all miter saws. It has a super-efficient dust collection system that captures over 75% of dust generated. With the push of a button, it swiftly miters right at up to 60° and at 50°.

Overall, it boasts of its outstanding accuracy and speed. Specifications and tool reviews include:

  • Tool dimensions - 17” H x 24.75” L
  • Tool weight - 56 pounds
  • Maximum cutting thickness - 6.75 inch
  • Arbor size - 5/8 inches or 1 inch
  • Pros
  • It is a dual bevel sliding miter saw
  • For increased accuracy, it includes a stainless-steel detent plate with ten positive stops
  • For large projects like crown moulding, it has an extended sliding fence that supports up to 7 1/2 inches
  • Robust 15-amp motor with a lot less vibration as compared to most miter saws
  • Efficient dust collection system that captures over 75% of dust generated
  • Outstanding accuracy and speed
  • Cons
  • LED is sold separately and does not come with a laser cutting guide
    2. Metabo HPT C10FCGS Compound Miter Saw
Metabo HPT 10-Inch Miter Saw | Single Bevel | Compound | 15-Amp Motor | C10FCGS
  • MOTOR: 15 Amp motor delivers high power for the toughest of cuts generating a no-load speed of up to...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Only 24.2 lbs. to facilitate maneuverability and portability
  • MITER ANGLE RANGE: 0-52 degrees, to the right and left for increased flexibility
  • BEVEL RANGE: 0-45 degrees, to the left with adjustable bevel stops for precision cuts
  • LARGE TABLE: Offers better material support with vice clamping system to secure work piece

The Hitachi Power company changed its name from Hitachi Power tools to Metabo HPT, back in 2018, for their full range of fasteners, power tools, and accessories in North America. Notably, nothing has changed about their products besides the name, so customers can still count on the same high-quality products.

 The Metabo HPT C10FCGS is a basic miter saw designed for woodworkers and framers alike. The Metabo line is focused on precision, reliability, and versatility. This saw will allow you to make such impressively precise crosscuts, miter cuts, and compound cuts.

This particular saw is capable of mitering up to 52 degrees to the right and left and beveling up to 45 degrees to the left. There are also positive stops placed at 0 degrees, 15 degrees, 22.5 degrees, 31.6 degrees, and 45 degrees.

The Metabo HPT is lightweight for more comfortable use. It has a 15 AMP motor that generates a no-load speed of up to 5000 RPM, making miter cuts and cross miter saw cuts with such ease.

 It gives clean and accurate bevel cuts by offering a bevel cut range of 0 - 45 degrees to the left.  It weighs 24.2 pounds and is one of the lightest compound miter saws assuring you, that you won’t feel exhausted while using it.

This single-bevel saw uses a 10-inch miter saw blade that has 24-teeth on it. Most brands in this line come with saws between 7 1/4 and 12 inches. These blades are much easier to find in most local hardware stores.

The 10-inch saws have limited cutting capacities. However, many professional woodworkers and hobbyists still use them for a wide array of projects. The miter saws are all about speed, and the Metabo HPT is no exception. It comes as a lovely surprise for a budget pick since the speed combined with the blade's size gives you quite a quick spin.

  • Pros
  •  Portable miter saw
  • 0-45 Degree bevel range
  • AC adapter can work with any Metabo HPT MultiVolt tool.
  • High power 15 AMP motor
  • Thumb adjustment lever and actuated positive stops to easily set the miter angle to the desired ranges (0 - 52 degrees) for quick adjustments
  • Easily accessible and replaceable brush and blade to prolong the lifespan
  • Cons
  • No Laser guide
  • The dust bag collects around 50% of the chips. 
  • However, connecting a dust bag to the dust port can fix this.
  • The adapter to connect the dust bag is sold separately
    3. Bosch Power Tool GCM12SD Corded Sliding Miter Saw
BOSCH GCM12SD 15 Amp 12 Inch Corded Dual-Bevel Sliding Glide Miter Saw with 60 Tooth Saw Blade
  • AXIAL GLIDE SYSTEM: patented glide system allows wider cross cuts and better alignment while also...
  • CAPACITY: expanded cutting capacity, 14 inch horizontal capacity nominal 6 1/2 inch vertical...
  • ADJUSTABLE: provides easy adjustments with a large, easy-to-read uniform bevel and stainless steel...
  • PRECISION: square lock quick release fences lock fence 90 degree to the table and requires no...
  • EASE OF USE: upfront bevel controls all metal bevel lock lever and range selector located upfront...

The Bosch CM12SD corded sliding miter saws were introduced as the latest 12-inch miter saw following the previous axial glide system models released in the past years. Five years on, the Bosch-exclusive axial glide offers users an enhanced alignment, wider crosscut, and such smooth glide. The Bosch has a 15 Amp powerful motor that delivers no-load speeds of up to 3,800 RPM for quick, accurate cuts and can be used in many different materials apart from wood.

 It’s compatible with quite a variety of 12-inch miter blades for added convenience and versatility. It also has a clear lower guard that provides the user unobstructed cutting visibility. The Bosch GCM12SD has an upfront bevel and miter control that detents lock at standard angles providing easy adjustments. The all-metal bevel lock lever and the range selector are located up front to make bevel adjustments more convenient. Specifications include:

  • Bevel and stainless-steel miter scales - marked detents of 52° left/60° right miter capacity and 47° left/47° right bevel capacity and roof pitch angles
  • Adjustable, accurate, and durable design - miter detents: detents at 0°, 15°, 31.6°, 22.5°, 45°, 60° right, and bevel detents: 0, 33.9°, 45° left/right for super-accurate cuts
  • 48 degrees left and right bevel capacity
  • 4 inch x 14 inch cross-cut capacity
  • 6-1/2 inch vertical cut capacity
  • 65 pounds weight
  • Pros
  • Features a smooth cutting motion, accurate performance and uses a space-saving design
  • Miter detent override push-button for easy-to-access thumb actuated control for fine miter angle adjustments
  • Large easy-to-read uniform bevel and miter scales
  • 60% more left-to-right material support for integrated expanding base extensions than competing brands
  • Offers easy-to-read bevel and miter scales, with upfront controls with detents at standard angles and a large cutting capacity
  • Pre-aligned square lock fences help maintain saw precision throughout its span
  • Cons
  • The axial glide design’s ability to continue performing well after sometime around job site debris goes a little lower with time
    4. TACKLIFE Sliding Miter Saw

The Tacklife PMS03A is budget-friendly and is excellent for cutting softwood, metals, and plastics.  For a budget pick, it has impressive functionality and features that you get in much pricier machines. The Tacklife PMS03A sliding miter saws have such excellent precision and are well built compared to competing counterparts in the same price range. However, this machine is not very beginner-friendly.

 It has a solid iron self-retracting saw shield that’s more durable than most plastic and transparent saws. It also creates a dust-free environment by using an additional chip bag that connects directly to the saw. The extension table with vice clamping provides better support and balance for cutting.

Features and specifications include:

  • Two adjustable speed blades - at high speed for wood while low speed for metal, you can switch between the two rates (3200 RPM or 4500 RPM) effortlessly
  • A total of 3 blades - two 10 inches 40T TCT blades for wood and plastic and one multifunctional 10 inch 48T TCT blade
  • The bevel ranges from 0° to 45°
  • The angle of the miter table is 45°/ 0°/ + 45°, and the positive angles in all these directions are 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 30°, and 45 °, respectively
  • A laser guide
  • Pros
  • Quality miter saw
  • Potent and efficient blades
  • Has very high safety ratings
  • It comes with a handful of accessories and features for its price range
  • It has a durable and powerful motor
  • Cons
  • Is not beginner-friendly
  • In brightly lit places, the red guiding laser disappears
    5. Makita LS1019L 10 Inch With Laser
Makita LS1019L 10" Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser
  • 10" slide miter saw with the Crown molding cutting capacity (6-5/8" nested) of a 12" miter saw
  • Linear ball bearing system engineered to deliver "dead-on" accurate cuts
  • Innovative direct drive gearbox and guard system is engineered for increased vertical cutting...
  • Unique 2-steel rail sliding system design offers single slide-glide operation; reducing saw's...
  • Less weight (57.9 lbs.) and the most compact design in its Class for easy jobsite portability

Makita has one of the most extensive lines of power tools on the market and is known for its cordless miter saw line. The Makita with laser delivers next-level accuracy and a large cutting capacity. You get the most compact size which is ideal for fine woodworking and general construction.

It’s powered by a 15 AMP direct drive motor with an electric brake. This gives you smoother start-ups and consistency in power with no belts to replace. Its rail system is what makes it so unique.  While most miter saws have rails in the back which prevent you from using them in confined spaces since the rails hit the wall, the Makita saw has its rails mounted on the side which are perfect even for confined spaces.

 It comes with a larger top size table but only weighs 58 lbs. and has a highly visible red laser with an on/off switch located on the top of the saw to help you see where you are cutting. Another cool feature worth noting is the direct drive motor with an electric brake that is not only powerful and extremely smooth to operate but is overall pretty safe.

  • Pros
  • Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load for quality cutting
  • In-front bevel lock
  • Built-in laser with on-off switch and micro-adjustments for precise cutting
  • Ergonomic rubberised horizontal D-handle designIntegrated 4-3/4" tall fence system
  • Low weight (57.9 lbs.)
  • Large-sized aluminium top
  • Cons
  • The fencing system not being able to slide the fence to support certain types of applications
    Factors To Consider When Buying a Compound Miter Saw

A. Saw Type

Miter saws come in three types, and the price increases with a saw’s design sophistication. These include:

  • The stationary compound
  • The sliding compound miter saws
  • The sliding dual compound is also known as dual bevel

Bevel miter saws cut in only one direction, but compound miter saws make miter cuts to the right and left. Sliding miter saws have the added capacity to move forward and back along rails. The dual-compound sliding miter saw can do everything the other saws can do, plus its bevel cuts both to the right and left.

B. Power Source

Most miter saws are corded with 10-, 12- or 15-amp motors. If you are making a lot of wide crosscuts or use hardwood, consider a more powerful motor. We also have viable battery-powered options.

C. Blade and Crosscut Capacity

Miter saw blades are made in 8 1/4-, 8 1/2-, 10- and 12 inch diameters. A bigger blade diameter allows a longer cut giving you a bigger crosscut, miter, and bevel capability. A 10 inch miter saw blade diameter allows interchangeability with a table saw, and you won’t need to buy two sets of circular blades.

D. Angle Ranges and Detents

 All saws will be able to cut 45°. However, you’ll find some compound saws with a 48° range and some dual compound sliding miter saws with 50° to the left and 62° to the right degrees. 

Saws with positive stop detents at standard angles such as 90°, 45°and 22.5° are recommended. A detent mechanically locks a machine’s movement until it’s released, thus giving accurate angles. Miter saws with front-mounted bevel adjustments are much more convenient.

Frequently Asked Questions about Use of Compound Miter Saw

1. What safety precautions do I follow when using a compound miter saw?

  • Wear safety glasses or a face shield
  • Use a dust extraction system or respirator, or dust mask, especially if work is dusty
  • Use appropriate hearing and footwear protection
  • Attach the saw firmly on a workbench and operate at waist height
  • Secure adjustments before making cuts and only make adjustments when the power is off
  • Keep hands out of the blade path and one hand on the trigger switch while using the other hand to hold the stock against the fence
  • Keep guards in place and remove adjusting keys and wrenches

2. What do I avoid?

  • Don’t operate the saw when on the ground
  • Don’t cut pieces smaller than 8 inches
  • Don’t take your hand away from the trigger switch until the lower blade guard fully covers the blade
  • Don’t force the saw, it cuts better at the rate it was designed
  • Do not leave the saw until properly turned off