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Best Miter Saw Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

If you’re looking for a high-quality miter saw, you’re in the right place. We are here to offer as much insight as possible so that you can have some information about a particular model before you decide to invest. A miter saw is a great tool for people who process wood on a daily basis. To find a suitable one for yourself, you must first know what to look for.

Categories to Choose from

basic

Basic

Even though it is a category, there are no more basic miter saws on the market. In fact, it’s been a while since we’ve seen one. Nowadays, even the most basic saws are regarded as compound ones. Therefore, it’s worth mentioning it as a category, but it’s obsolete.

Hitachi C10FCE2

Compound

These saws will cut a variety of angles and also tilt in one direction (usually to the left.) Therefore, you can make cuts at two different angles. It’s useful for a vast array of applications such as installing crown moldings, and more. These units are suitable both for DIY-ers and professionals.

DEWALT DWS779

Sliding compound

This type is quite similar to the compound one, but with one significant difference – the saw can move back and forth (slide.) The main advantage of this type in comparison to the compound is the fact that you can cut larger pieces of wood. Therefore, if you’re planning a big project, consider checking these out.

DEWALT DCS361M1

Cordless

Models from this category usually use batteries as a source of power instead of electricity. The most obvious benefit is their portability. You can carry and install a cordless saw wherever you want without any issues. The main disadvantage is the fact that they can run out of battery at any moment if you don’t pay attention.

Top Rated Miter Saws from Each Category

Hitachi C10FCE2


High Quality and Powerful Tool

Our Rating: 4.5

This particular model features a 15-amp motor with enough power even for the toughest jobs. The miter range of the Hitachi C10FCE2 is 0-52 degrees both to the left and right. As you can see, versatility is one of this unit’s strongest points. When it comes to precision, the 0-45 degree bevel range allows you to make highly precise cuts without too much hassle.

As far as the design goes, it’s neat. The horizontal handle is coated with a soft grip which improves the control and comfort. Also, the level of vibrations is at a bare minimum thanks to the elastomer grip. A large extended flip fence is integrated into the base for vertical crown molding cuts, and it rises to 4 inches. Adjusting the blade is a piece of cake, even for the absolute beginners. All you have to do is set the angle by adjusting the built-in gauge.

Dust collection is at a satisfactory level, although far from impressive. It does work well, there is no question about that, but it could have been designed a bit better. At least, they could have made it a bit bigger. Even though the machine does require some assembly, it’s nothing you can’t handle within an hour or two, especially if you already have some experience with these tools. On the other hand, make sure you read the user manual before turning the machine on for the first time, just to make sure everything is okay.

The safety is okay. There aren’t many safety features, but that doesn’t mean it’s not safe to use this model. The blade guard is the primary safety mechanism, and it works quite well. Many people have praised its performance and smooth operation. The key is in the decreased vibrations and sheer power of the motor. Whether you’re a professional or a DIY-er, it doesn’t matter; you’ll find this particular model useful, trustworthy, and most importantly – efficient. Don’t worry about complexity too much; the C10FCE2 is quite easy to use. On top of that, the price is more than acceptable, even for people on a tight budget.

DEWALT DWS780
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

DEWALT DWS780


Great and Accurate Saw

Our Rating: 4.7

As you may know, DEWALT is a well-respected brand among both professionals and hobbyists. They manufacture high-quality tools that are precise, smooth, and affordable. Needless to say, this unit isn’t an exception. It’s a great addition to your work space if you’re processing wood frequently. It features a powerful 15-amp motor that can deliver up to 3800RPM under full load. Obviously, you won’t have an issue with the lack of power if you opt for this saw.

The DWS780 is made of durable materials, mainly stainless steel and hard plastic. You can rest assured that it will last for years as long as you maintain it in good condition. Many people tend to cause damage to their tools accidentally, and that’s when the materials used in production become evident. Cheaper models usually consist of plastic parts which are not a good thing because no matter how hard the plastic is, it is going to break at some point. However, when you combine plastic with stainless steel, it’s a whole another story.

The design is pretty good. The dual bevel system is quite easy to use thanks to the great visibility of the measuring scale. As you may know, many saws struggle with the measuring components, but this one doesn’t. In fact, it’s one of the more precise ones on the market. The safety features are not bad. The blade guard is well-designed, and it keeps you safe during operation.

One of the most notable things about this model is its lack of weight. Obviously, it improves the overall portability of the saw. In simpler words, you can carry the unit whenever and wherever you want without thinking about fatigue and pain. The dust-collecting capabilities of it are incredible. It features an advanced dust-collecting system that is able to eliminate up to 75% of the debris. The cam-lock miter button allows you to lock any angle with ease.

The price is what most people like about this model. It’s quite affordable and accessible to people on a strict budget. The only thing you might not like is the fact that it doesn’t come with an included stand.

DEWALT DWS780


Great and Accurate Saw

Our Rating: 4.7

As you may know, DEWALT is a well-respected brand among both professionals and hobbyists. They manufacture high-quality tools that are precise, smooth, and affordable. Needless to say, this unit isn’t an exception. It’s a great addition to your work space if you’re processing wood frequently. It features a powerful 15-amp motor that can deliver up to 3800RPM under full load. Obviously, you won’t have an issue with the lack of power if you opt for this saw.

The DWS780 is made of durable materials, mainly stainless steel and hard plastic. You can rest assured that it will last for years as long as you maintain it in good condition. Many people tend to cause damage to their tools accidentally, and that’s when the materials used in production become evident. Cheaper models usually consist of plastic parts which are not a good thing because no matter how hard the plastic is, it is going to break at some point. However, when you combine plastic with stainless steel, it’s a whole another story.

The design is pretty good. The dual bevel system is quite easy to use thanks to the great visibility of the measuring scale. As you may know, many saws struggle with the measuring components, but this one doesn’t. In fact, it’s one of the more precise ones on the market. The safety features are not bad. The blade guard is well-designed, and it keeps you safe during operation.

One of the most notable things about this model is its lack of weight. Obviously, it improves the overall portability of the saw. In simpler words, you can carry the unit whenever and wherever you want without thinking about fatigue and pain. The dust-collecting capabilities of it are incredible. It features an advanced dust-collecting system that is able to eliminate up to 75% of the debris. The cam-lock miter button allows you to lock any angle with ease.

The price is what most people like about this model. It’s quite affordable and accessible to people on a strict budget. The only thing you might not like is the fact that it doesn’t come with an included stand.

DEWALT DWS780
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

DEWALT DCS361M1


Best Portable Miter Saw

Our Rating: 4.8

When portability is in question, the DCS361M1 takes the win. In fact, it’s probably your safest bet if you’re looking for a highly portable power tool. It utilizes a 20V battery which delivers enough power for 183 cuts of 2x4 pine wood or 275 cuts of 3-1/4-inch pine baseboards.

The max crosscut capacity is 8 inches. It’s a decent number, but far from impressive. However, because it uses a single battery as a power source, it’s a pretty good cut width, to say the least. The adjustable miter detent plate features ten positive stops so that you can adjust and fine-tune the unit with ease. Also, it’s made of stainless steel meaning you don’t have to worry too much about the durability of it. The overall weight of this product is around 31 pounds. As you can tell, it’s a pretty lightweight model which further alleviates the transport and storage.

As far as the design goes, it’s quite good. Everything is within reach and pretty straightforward. In other words, even if you’re not as experienced with power tools, there shouldn’t be any major issues with this one. Remember to read the user manual, and you’ll get a better idea of the working principles of this machine. The price is affordable, but slightly higher compared to some competitors. However, it’s an expected outcome because it’s made by a respected brand. Warranty conditions are also great. You can even prolong the warranty by paying a small fee.

The safety mechanisms are acceptable. There are no impressive ones, but the built-in ones are more than enough to keep you as safe as possible. Needless to say, safety should be your primary concern, and you’re the one responsible for any predicaments. As long as you use it properly, you’ll be safe. Dust collection is surprisingly well-designed. Many models struggle with this parameter, but this one doesn’t. Therefore, you shouldn’t have any issues with sawdust and debris flying around while you’re cutting a plank. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, this unit will improve your results and speed up some of your projects.

Finding the Best Miter Saw – Buying Guide

Before you purchase a particular saw, you have to know what to look for. Quality is one thing, but the usefulness of various features is a whole another story. The key is the combination of high quality and effective usefulness. In other words, there is no use in having an expensive, high-quality unit if it doesn’t meet your expectations and needs.

Different Types of Miter Saws

Compound


If you’re looking to cut a variety of angles, the compound type is probably your safest bet. Jobs like cutting crown molding can be quite stressful and exhausting because they require high precision. However, those projects are a piece of cake for a compound miter saw because it’s foreseen for such applications.

compound

The main characteristic of compound saws is the tilting upper part of the base. In simpler words, the blade can tilt to a particular angle and cut two or more at the same time without you having to move the plank. As you may know, moving the wood while processing it is going to affect the overall precision of the cuts you make. These units aren’t as expensive as one might expect; therefore, they are suitable even for people on a tight budget.

Some models are single bevel, while other are double bevel. If a unit is a double bevel one, it means it will tilt both to the left and right side. As we said, the main benefit of this tilting is the fact that you don’t have to move the wood at all. If you’re looking to buy a compound saw, make sure you’re considering a respected brand. These tools have to be of high quality or else they aren’t worth the effort. Because of the complexity of moving, there is more potential for things to go wrong. Therefore, a high-end unit is the thing you should look for.

Sliding compound


As you can guess, the main difference between these and regular compound models is in the sliding feature. This feature allows the blade to move forward and back. The main benefit is the fact that you can cut much bigger pieces of wood than with a regular compound unit. Therefore, if you’re a devoted professional with a ton of massive projects in mind, don’t hesitate to check this particular type out.

One of the greatest advantages is the price of these units. Many people expect a hefty price due to the high quality of these machines, but it’s not the case. In fact, they are quite affordable and accessible to people on a strict budget. One of the main reasons why people usually opt for sliding saws is their price.

The things you should look for are safety, affordability, and usefulness. If you find a unit with all of these three elements included – consider buying it. On the other hand, if you can’t find a suitable model for your needs, don’t hesitate to check our reviews out. People who work with particularly wide pieces of wood love having a sliding saw in their garage. Even though it is possible to do it with a regular compound one, but the sliding type is a much better solution, especially because it’s foreseen for such projects.

Avoid cheap and no-name models. They might have a pretty alluring price, but it’s not worth the effort. Once it starts failing and malfunctioning, there’s no going back, and repairs will cost you more than a new machine.

sliding compound

Cordless


As the name suggests, these units use a battery as their source of power. It has its benefits, but it also has a few shortcomings. The first and most obvious benefit is the portability. If you’re planning on moving the machine frequently, cordless units are the thing for you. Also, these tools are quite light meaning you won’t have to think about fatigue and other factors while you’re moving it from one place to another.

cordless

As far as the downsides go, the lack of power and battery life are the two major ones. Even though many people argue about how powerful these things are, they still need a bit more. However, thanks to the modern technology, it will be solved within a few years. The battery life is always a special story. High-end models usually offer around 200 cuts with a single charge, while the cheaper ones offer significantly less. Either way, one can say it’s not a particularly high number, especially if you’re a professional who’s in a hurry.

The cordless models are good for small repairs or quick and easy projects. If you have a massive one in mind, avoid using battery-powered machines. The reason is quite simple – it will slow down your project, to say the least. As far as the pricing goes, it’s okay. However, avoid buying cheap models because they do more harm than good, as usual. Buying a spare battery is always a good idea.

Thing to Consider When Choosing the Best Product

There are a few things you need to consider and think about before opting to buy a particular model. Make sure you go through all of them because you’ll end up with a machine that doesn’t meet your requirements. Instead of relying on your instinct and superficial knowledge, take a look at this guide, and you’ll get a much better idea of what to look for when buying a miter saw.

The blade

As you can assume, the blade is one of the most important parts of every unit. Luckily, it’s an easily replaceable component. Therefore, even if you make the wrong choice, fixing the issue is a piece of cake. However, to avoid spending more money than you should – buying a proper blade is the way to go.

The blade is a component that determines the depth and height of the cut. Usually, miter saws come with 8, 10, or 12-inch blades. There are several different types of blades, but the most common ones are for cutting wood, aluminum, and steel. The general rule of thumb is the more teeth a blade has, the finer the cut.

Brand

It is extremely important that you find a model made by a respected brand. Getting no-name units is always a hit or miss, and it’s simply not worth the gamble, especially because most no-name models are indeed worthless.

Conduct research and find the most respected brand in the industry. Furthermore, read the consumers opinions about the said brand. If everything checks out, don’t hesitate to take a look at the available models coming from their factories. Contrary to popular belief, not all famous brands put a hefty price on their products. There are several affordable ones available on the market; all you have to do is find them.

Budget

We are all looking for the best possible solution money-wise, but you shouldn’t spare money. The first thing you should do before you even start looking is – determine the budget. Once you have a particular number in mind, the search gets much easier. However, don’t hesitate to go slightly over the budget if you think it’s necessary. Remember, it’s always better to invest a few dollars more if it’s a worthy investment. Avoid particularly cheap units and copies of famous brands because you’ll end up with a piece of junk in your garage. If you’re looking for high quality, you’ll have to pay for it.

Important Features to Look For

Here are some of the most important features you should look for:

miter

Miter

As you already know, these machines cut miters (angled cuts.) Most saws are preset to adjust to different angles such as 45 degrees. However, the important thing is – are they calibrated well?

The answer is – it depends. The crucial factor in the whole equation is the quality of a model. If it’s made by a well-respected brand, you can rest assured that it’s calibrated right. However, some cheaper models tend to deviate a bit when it comes to the angle precision. Overall, when you’re purchasing a saw, make sure the angles are calibrated and accurate. There is no use in having an inaccurate scale at the base of your saw because then you’re dealing with a worthless piece of equipment.

dust

Dust extraction

If you’re planning on using the machine frequently, a dust extractor or vacuum is a must-have. The principle on which these things work is quite simple. All you have to do is connect the extractor to a port on the base of the unit, and that’s it. Many newer models do a great job when it comes to collecting dust, but a vacuum is always the safest way. In fact, we should expect some laws soon that turn the extractor into a mandatory piece of equipment. Luckily, it doesn’t cost much.

motor

Motor

Power is something you should always have in mind. However, it’s not a particularly complicated step at all. The more power a machine has, the better it is – it’s as simple as that. Needless to say, it’s a simplified point of view, but it works most of the time. On the other hand, if you have any special demands, you might want to research the power ratios available in today’s models.

When it comes to cordless models, seek for as many cuts with one charge as you can. The average value is around 200 cuts per charge.

safety

Safety

Safety should be one of your primary concerns. Even though a vast portion of the available models can be considered quite safe, there are some that aren’t as safe as one would expect. The first thing you should look for when safety is in question is the blade guard. Apart from that, the materials used in the production are also important. If a unit is made of weak materials, there’s a good chance that your safety is jeopardized.

Miter Saw Injury Prevention – Safety First


As you can assume, these saws can be quite dangerous if not used properly. Many people make a mistake and start using their tool as soon as they get it delivered, which is a huge mistake. The first thing you should do upon its arrival is – read the user manual. Even though a vast majority of these machines work on a pretty similar principle, there are always some minor differences. To avoid accidental injuries, take a look at this article, and you’ll get a much better insight into some of the crucial safety elements.

Stay focused


One of the main causes of injuries is the loss of concentration. Many people get carried away by an outside influence such as music or conversation. It’s an extremely dangerous thing because losing focus might lead to losing fingers. Needless to say, you probably don’t want to lose any fingers during work.

The solution for the issue is quite simple – think about work. Avoid talking to people while working; it’s one of the most dangerous situations. Listening to music is quite a popular thing among DIY-ers. While it can shorten the project and create a better experience for you, it’s also potentially dangerous. You can listen to music, but don’t shift your focus on it because you’re risking severe injury.

Equipment


Quite a few people recommended using gloves. DON’T use gloves while working with saws. Gloves cause a slight loss of sensation in your hands meaning there is a higher risk of injury. On top of that, even if the glove comes in contact with the blade, it won’t help you much; it will get chopped to pieces in a matter of seconds.

Earplugs are a must-have for every devoted professional, especially if you’re using the machine for several hours a day. Apart from reducing noise, earplugs also prevent debris from flying in. The next thing you should wear is safety goggles. The reason is quite obvious – sawdust will get into your eyes if you don’t wear safety glasses. As soon as you get distracted by something, the risk of injury increases by a lot.

bosch miter

Don’t alter the mechanisms


Quite a lot of people mess with the safety mechanisms in order to speed up their projects. However, it’s the worst thing you can do. The most popular thing among inexperienced DIY-ers is taking the blade guard off. We cannot emphasize enough how dangerous it is to take the blade guard off. After all, it’s there for a good reason. Taking it off does speed up the process by a bit, but it’s definitely not worth it. Don’t gamble with your life for a slightly better efficiency; it’s not worth it.

One other thing people tend to do is change the On/Off button. Many models saws have a delay once you press the button. In simpler words, once you turn it on, the blade needs a couple of seconds to start spinning. A lot of people don’t realize that it’s intentional. Consequently, some consumers like installing a switch that turns on the blade in an instant. As you can assume, it’s a very dangerous thing – don’t do it.

miter

Off-hand injury prevention


If you thought you could only injure one hand while working – you were wrong. In fact, the hand you’re using to move and adjust the wood is the one that’s in danger. For example, if the wood gets pulled in by the saw, you can lose a few fingers in a matter of milliseconds. Therefore, always look to make some distance between the blade and the palm of your hand. However, the more distance you make, the less stable a plank gets. In simpler words, you have to find the optimal “sweet spot” for your hand. Some other off-hand injuries occur when the On/Off button is actuated accidentally while the hand is near the blade. Needless to say, don’t mess with the On/Off button if your hands are near the blade.

The conclusion


It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist; a miter saw is definitely a useful tool. There are plenty of models to choose from, but you need to know what to look for in order to make an optimal purchase. Luckily, you should have a base understanding of these units after you read our articles. As far as the reviews go, don’t hesitate to check them out. Most of them are sufficiently insightful so that you know what to expect from these machines.

As you know, safety should be your primary concern. If you’re an absolute beginner, make sure you read our article about safety and prevention. It takes only a couple of minutes, but it can save your life. One of the things we thought about is affordability. Therefore, you can rest assured that all models we’ve covered are affordable. One cannot say they are cheap, but they are a worthy investment, especially if you’re planning to use the full potential of these units.

The key is in finding the best miter saw for your personal preferences. It might be a tough task if you’re on a budget, but it’s possible. The main thing you should look for is a good price-to-quality ratio.

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