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Best Compound Miter Saws in 2020 – Information and Reviews

Basic and straightforward, these products are great for those inexperienced users. With a pivoting circular blade, you’re able to move away from the typical 90-degree cut, creating joints up to 45 degrees. As the saw only tilts in one direction, this type is often referred to as a single compound saw. Check out our detailed compound miter saw reviews and advice below.

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Our Top Pick

Things to Consider Before Buying a Compound Miter Saw

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Good for

A compound miter saw is a versatile tool that allows you to process wood and make angled cuts with ease. One of the popular characteristics of most of these models is their portability. Because these units tend to be pretty lightweight, moving them from one place to another is a piece of cake. Common uses for this tool include cutting picture frames, crown molding, window casings, and more. In fact, if you need to make a precise angle cut, a miter saw is just what you need.

Another notable advantage is the tool’s simplicity.

Therefore, even if you’re new to the hobby, you shouldn’t run into any problems when using these machines. However, it’s highly recommended that inexperienced users read the user manual thoroughly before turning the unit on for the first time. Last, but not least, the vast majority of models on the market are easy on the pocket.

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Not recommended for

When it comes to the downsides, the crucial one is the tool’s limited use. T

The first hurdle you’re likely to stumble upon is the width of material you can cut with a standard miter saw. The maximum cut width for most units is around 6 inches. 

Dust collection features are a rarity with these products. Even when they are present, don’t expect them to be efficient, meaning you’ll need to clean up once your work is finished.

Top Rated Compound Miter Saws


The portability of the DEWALT DW716 make this well-respected brand our top-rated choice for you to invest in.

Our Rating: 4.5

Smooth performance is one of the main advantages of the Hitachi C10FCE2. Its 15-amp motor delivers intense power meaning it can cut through wood without too much hassle. The miter range is 0-52 degrees both to the left and right. Needless to say, flexibility isn’t an issue for the Hitachi C10FCE2. The bevel range is 0-45 degrees to the left. It also features adjustable bevel stops for precision cuts.

The design is quite good — the first feature we found impressive was the horizontal handle with a soft gripThis significantly increases precision and stability while decreasing vibration. 

If you’re looking to cut molding vertically, there is an extended flip fence which rises to 4 inches. As you can see, versatility is one of the main advantages of this particular model. The measuring components are also well-designed and precise.

While dust collecting isn’t an accessory in most models, Hitachi decided to include a convenient bag for excess dust.

The mounting process is pretty straightforward. Even though it’s not an impressive dust collecting system – it’s better than nothing, especially when you consider the reasonable price. While it could be regarded as a high-end unit, it’s quite affordable and accessible, even if you’re on a tight budget.

If you’re looking for a high-quality model with a ton of great features, don’t hesitate to check this one out. It will increase your productivity, save you some time, and most importantly – speed up your projects. You don’t have to worry about safety; it’s at a satisfactory level. However, make sure you read the manual before using the saw.

 

Our Rating: 4.7

This 15-amp single-bevel compound saw is great both for DIY-ers and professionals. When it comes to variety and versatility, this particular model is among the best of its kind. Even though it doesn’t have any particularly impressive features, it’s still a useful addition to anyone’s garage.

Miter-cutting jobs such as framing or molding are a piece of cake for the DW715. As you may know, the Dewalt company is well known for manufacturing units of excellent quality and great accuracy.

The materials used in the design are sturdy, reliable, and durable. A large percentage of the base is made of stainless steel which is quite a durable material. Some parts are made of plastic, but it’s hard plastic meaning you don’t have to worry about breaking anything. 

The cam-lock miter handle allows you to fine tune the machine to any angle up to 45 degrees. Furthermore, it has exceptional calibration, which further increases the overall precision of this model. You can also process other materials, not only wood, by installing the correct blade for the material you’re cutting.

The price is acceptablealthough there are cheaper models on the market with similar features to the DW715. However, Dewalt’s engineering and quality of manufacture justifies the extra cost.

Our Rating: 4.7

This 15-amp single-bevel compound saw is great both for DIY-ers and professionals. When it comes to variety and versatility, this particular model is among the best of its kind. Even though it doesn’t have any particularly impressive features, it’s still a useful addition to anyone’s garage.

Miter-cutting jobs such as framing or molding are a piece of cake for the DW715. As you may know, the Dewalt company is well known for manufacturing units of excellent quality and great accuracy.

The materials used in the design are sturdy, reliable, and durable. A large percentage of the base is made of stainless steel which is quite a durable material. Some parts are made of plastic, but it’s hard plastic meaning you don’t have to worry about breaking anything. 

The cam-lock miter handle allows you to fine tune the machine to any angle up to 45 degrees. Furthermore, it has exceptional calibration, which further increases the overall precision of this model. You can also process other materials, not only wood, by installing the correct blade for the material you’re cutting.

The price is acceptablealthough there are cheaper models on the market with similar features to the DW715. However, Dewalt’s engineering and quality of manufacture justifies the extra cost.

Our Rating: 4.7
This model weighs only around 40 pounds. As you can tell, its main advantage is portability. If you’re planning on moving your machine from place to place frequently, this model might be the thing you’re looking for. Apart from being lightweight, it’s also quite efficient and trustworthy. Professionals love its precision, while hobbyists appreciate its ease of use.

The design is a standard one. Although there aren’t many impressive features, the ones included are more than enough for any demanding job, especially tricky angle cuts. You can also connect the Dewalt’s adjustable miter laser system on the unit for improved accuracy. This kind of compatibility is quite rare nowadays meaning you might consider using it to your advantage.

The 12-inch blade is powered by a powerful 15-amp motor. It offers a no-load speed of 3600 RPM. Needless to say, cutting with this power is quick, accurate, and somewhat easy. When it comes to complexity, it’s not a particularly hard machine to master. All you have to know is how to use it properly. Once you master the do’s and don’ts, cutting various angles becomes easy.

One thing people aren’t too happy about is the price. While it’s a matter of your personal preferences, you shouldn’t spare money when investing in power tools. It may have a somewhat premium price, but it’s for a good reason. As we already said, Dewalt is a well-respected brand among both professionals and DIY-ers. It means that even if you find a unit with similar features for less money, it’s probably not worth the effort. You can rest assured that this one performs as advertised and lasts for a long time as long as you pay attention to regular maintenance.

Our Rating: 4.5

Many power tools coming from Makita are a great alternative to other, more expensive brands. Needless to say, this model is no exception. It’s a great entry-level machine with several professional features.

Improved performance is the first thing we noticed. The powerful 15-amp motor delivers up to 4600 RPM which is more than enough for a vast array of applications that require you to cut wood at specific angles. The base moves 0-45 degrees left and 0-52 degrees right. It also features nine positive stops for the most common cuts.

A popular feature of the Makita LS1040 is its portabilityOne of the more lightweight models, moving it from one place to another is no problem. However, the materials used in production could be more durable, especially when you expect high quality that’s normally associated with Makita. It isn’t particularly unstable or easy to break, but the plastic components look substandard and cheap. Nevertheless, there’s no evidence to suggest that it isn’t sturdy enough to withstand demanding projects.

If you’re a devoted professional seeking for impeccable precision and quality, this might not be for you. However, if you’re fine with minimal deviations in order to save a few bucks – go for it. This is a good tool for entry-level enthusiasts who want to expand their expertise and improve their skills. It’s an adequate good machine with some versatility, but it’s certainly not the best one on the market.

Our Rating: 4.5

Many power tools coming from Makita are a great alternative to other, more expensive brands. Needless to say, this model is no exception. It’s a great entry-level machine with several professional features.

Improved performance is the first thing we noticed. The powerful 15-amp motor delivers up to 4600 RPM which is more than enough for a vast array of applications that require you to cut wood at specific angles. The base moves 0-45 degrees left and 0-52 degrees right. It also features nine positive stops for the most common cuts.

A popular feature of the Makita LS1040 is its portabilityOne of the more lightweight models, moving it from one place to another is no problem. However, the materials used in production could be more durable, especially when you expect high quality that’s normally associated with Makita. It isn’t particularly unstable or easy to break, but the plastic components look substandard and cheap. Nevertheless, there’s no evidence to suggest that it isn’t sturdy enough to withstand demanding projects.

If you’re a devoted professional seeking for impeccable precision and quality, this might not be for you. However, if you’re fine with minimal deviations in order to save a few bucks – go for it. This is a good tool for entry-level enthusiasts who want to expand their expertise and improve their skills. It’s an adequate good machine with some versatility, but it’s certainly not the best one on the market.

Our Rating: 4.6

Those looking for a high-end model should definitely consider the DW713. This 10-inch saw is the ideal solution for people who work with wood on a daily basis. It features a 15-amp motor that’s able to deliver up to 5000 RPM under load. In other words, cutting difficult angles is as easy as it gets if you opt for the Dewalt DW713.

The design is okay, but fairly standard. However, the stainless steel detent plate is a desirable feature. It has 11 positive stops to provide maximum accuracy. You can cut a vast array of angles continuously, without worrying about deviation. 

The handle could have been designed better, though — it doesn’t have a cushioned grip. Therefore, the vibration seems to be intensified, especially if you’re working with dense wood. The miter capacity is excellent, with an angle variation of 0-50 degrees — more than enough tilt for most applications.

Safety is quite good, as long as you follow the protocol. The blade guard is transparent, meaning you can watch while you’re making a cut and react if something goes wrong. Regardless of its safety mechanisms, you should always read the user manual before turning any power tool on for the first time.

Maintenance is not a big deal at all. The model requires very little servicing, which makes it great for inexperienced individuals. Professionals also appreciate the minimal maintenance requirements. As for the price, it’s affordable. In fact, many other models offering similar features have a significantly higher price tag.

Quick Product Comparison


 POWER SOURCEMOTORWEIGHTPRICE 
Hitachi C10FCE2

HITACHI C10FCE2

Corded15 amps36 pounds$Check Price
DEWALT DW715

DEWALT DW715

Corded15 amps47 pounds$$Check Price
DEWALT DW716

DEWALT DW716

Corded15 amps53 pounds$$$Check Price
Makita ls1040

MAKITA LS1040

Corded15 amps33 pounds$$Check Price
DEWALT DW713

DEWALT DW713

Corded15 amps35 pounds$$Check Price

Before You Buy: How a Compound Miter Saw Works?


Before you make a final decision and invest money in a compound miter saw, you should familiarize yourself with some basic principles. People who fully comprehend how these things work have less chance of injury. Also, if you know how to handle your saw correctly, you’ll increase productivity and speed up some of your projects.

Motor


Most units have a 15-amp motor with different values RPM-wise. Even though the number of revolutions doesn’t affect the performance much, more is always better. Standard RPM values go from around 3500 up to 5000. Everything within those parameters should be considered powerful enough for the majority of applications.

Blades


These machines usually utilize 10” and 12” blades made of carbon steelSome are coated, but not all. The coating can prolong the blade’s life, but it’s not a significant advantage. If you’re not on a strict budget, you may wish to buy the coated blades, which are more expensive. Be aware, however, it doesn’t improve the blade’s performance or longevity significantly.

Safety mechanisms


There aren’t many safety mechanisms to look out for, as these machines are pretty straightforward and simpleThe most important safety element is the blade guard. Many people take it off because it speeds up the cutting process. However, this is a huge mistake and a dangerous safety hazard. Needless to say, it’s unwise to alter the safety features of any power tool, especially one that can chop off your fingers.

Dust collecting


Dust collection isn’t particularly advanced when it comes to compound miter saws. In fact, many models simply don’t have this feature. The ones that do usually have a bag connected to the exhaust pipe.

The principle is pretty simple – dust travels through the pipe into the bag, thanks to natural air flow. However, the capacity of these bags is often underwhelming.

Finding the Best Compound Miter Saw – Buying Guide


This article is designed to help you find the best-matched unit for your needs. There are plenty of models available on the market, but not all of them are suitable for every application. Some have more power; others offer more precision.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh up the choices and choose the model you think is the best for the projects you planned on doing. Our tips below should aid you in your search, and help you find the ideal compound miter saw.

 

Power


Contrary to popular belief, more power doesn’t always mean better quality. In fact, some units can deliver up to 3500 RPM but work better than those working at 5000 RPM. It’s all about optimization. If you’re looking for high precision, less RPM might be a better choice.

Conversely, if you’re dealing with particularly dense wood, more RPM will help to cut through it. As far as the amperage goes, the majority of models work on 15 amps.

Precision


The most important factor of every unit is its accuracy. There is no point in having a tool that’s not able to make precise cuts. Instead of wrestling with wobbly and worthless cheap miter bases, opt for a stainless steel oneAlso, calibration plays a huge part when it comes to accuracy. Making sure you purchase a quality miter base will avoid deviations and a ton of hassle, especially if you’re a professional.

The precision element varies from model to model — there are no universal rules. Therefore, pay special attention to this particular feature to make sure you end up with a proper miter base.

Wood Sawing on a Dewalt Compound Saw

Safety


When buying a power tool, you should always think about safety firstLuckily, there aren’t many elements you need to worry about when it comes to these saws. In fact, the only thing you should pay attention to is the blade guard. Make sure it’s made of durable materials and is transparent.

Dad and daughter working on a compound miter saw

Durability


Some machines are made of plastic, while others also have components made of hard metal. Either way, if you’re searching for durability, go with stainless steel and other strong metalsTry to avoid products with a number of plastic parts.

Another thing to consider is the overall weight of the unit. Even though most of these products are of a similar weight, some stand out. Many users consider the weight irrelevant, but if you’re looking for portability, a lighter device is an advantage.

Other features


Dust collecting is something many people want as a feature. However, as we already said, the dust-collecting capabilities of these machines are not so great. Those that have a bag included may eliminate a certain percentage of dust from the air, but it’s usually not a significant advantage. Also, the capacity of the bags is quite subpar.

The conclusion


We hope we’ve offered you as much insight about these machines as possible. Now, it’s up to you to choose the one that fulfills your requirements. If you take a look at our brief reviews above, you might get a better idea of what you want in comparison to what you need.

As you might have noticed, we covered three models made by DeWalt. There is a good reason behind that — the company is one the most respected when it comes to producing quality and high-end power tools. There is always an incredible choice of various models, across the price range. In other words, there is something for everyone who’s looking to improve their productivity and precision. Furthermore, they offer great warranty conditions and have an excellent customer support base. You can rest assured that they are ready to help you 24/7, regardless of the issue.

If you’re interested in finding out more about a particular model, don’t hesitate to read our in-depth best compound miter saw reviews. We pay much more attention to details in those articles. Also, you can find some advice on how to use the full potential of a particular model in the full review, as well as pros and cons.

 

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