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Best Compound Miter Saw Reviews

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Good for

A compound miter saw is a versatile tool that allows you to process wood with ease and make angled cuts. One of the characteristics of a vast majority of models is their portability. Because these units tend to be pretty lightweight, moving them from one place to another is a piece of cake. Most people use this tool to cut picture frames, crown molding, window casings, and more. In fact, if you need to make a precise angle cut – a miter saw is your safest bet.

Another notable advantage is the ease of use. Therefore, whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, you shouldn’t run into any problems when it comes to properly using these machines. However, it’s highly recommended that you read the user manual first, before turning the unit on for the first time. Last, but not least, a vast majority of nowadays models that are available on the market are affordable and easy to get a hold of.

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Not recommended for

When it comes to the downsides, the crucial one is – limit. The first limit you’re going to stumble upon is the width of material you can cut with a standard miter saw. The max cut width for most units is around 6 inches. Even though not many people need to cut a wider piece of wood than 6 inches, the ones who do can’t utilize a miter saw for that particular operation.

Apart from the limitations, there aren’t many other shortcomings. You can use this tool for almost any woodworking application without worrying about precision and quality. Cutting an angle with anything else but a miter saw usually ends up in a disaster precision-wise. Truth be told, these are not recommended for absolute beginners. However, comprehending the basic principles isn’t as hard as one might think. Therefore, even if they might not be recommended for inexperienced individuals, it’s not hard to master using a compound saw.

Top Rated Compound Miter Saws


Hitachi C10FCE2


Our Rating: 4.5

Smooth performance is one of the main advantages of this particular model. 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.

As far as the design goes, it’s quite good. The first thing we’ve noticed is the horizontal handle with a soft grip. It significantly increases precision and stability while decreasing vibrations. If you’re looking to cut mold 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. Many other models struggle with precision due to incorrectly calibrated miters. However, this unit is flawlessly engineered.

While dust collecting isn’t a primary concern for 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 none, especially when you consider the price of this thing. Speaking of price, that’s what people like the most about this model. While it may be regarded as a high-end unit, it has a price of a standard one. In simpler words, it’s quite affordable and accessible even to people with 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.

DEWALT DW715


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. Even though it doesn’t have any particularly impressive features, it’s still an excellent addition to anyone’s garage.

Miter-cutting jobs such as framing or molding are a piece of cake for the DEWALT 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. As long as you follow some simple rules and maintain your machine in good condition, it should last for years.

The cam-lock miter handle allows you to fine-tune the machine to any angle you want. Furthermore, it’s calibrated exceptionally which further increases the overall precision of this model. The blade can tilt left up to 45 degrees. The best thing about this model is the fact that you can process other materials instead of only wood. The only thing you need to do is install a proper blade for other materials.

The price is acceptable, to say the least. Even though there are other cheaper models on the market with similar features, the quality of production is quite different. Needless to say, Dewalt usually takes the win when it comes to engineering and quality of manufacture. If you have a dilemma, it’s always recommended that you invest in a respected brand, even if it costs a bit more. You’ll get much better warranty conditions, and overall a better unit. It’s not worth saving a couple of dollars to buy a unit of lesser quality.

DEWALT DW715


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. Even though it doesn’t have any particularly impressive features, it’s still an excellent addition to anyone’s garage.

Miter-cutting jobs such as framing or molding are a piece of cake for the DEWALT 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. As long as you follow some simple rules and maintain your machine in good condition, it should last for years.

The cam-lock miter handle allows you to fine-tune the machine to any angle you want. Furthermore, it’s calibrated exceptionally which further increases the overall precision of this model. The blade can tilt left up to 45 degrees. The best thing about this model is the fact that you can process other materials instead of only wood. The only thing you need to do is install a proper blade for other materials.

The price is acceptable, to say the least. Even though there are other cheaper models on the market with similar features, the quality of production is quite different. Needless to say, Dewalt usually takes the win when it comes to engineering and quality of manufacture. If you have a dilemma, it’s always recommended that you invest in a respected brand, even if it costs a bit more. You’ll get much better warranty conditions, and overall a better unit. It’s not worth saving a couple of dollars to buy a unit of lesser quality.

DEWALT DW716


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.

Makita ls1040 10-inch Compound Miter Saw


Our Rating: 4.5

A vast majority of power tools coming from Makita are a great alternative for some super-expensive brands. Needless to say, this model isn’t an exception. It’s a great entry-level machine with quite a few professional features.

Improved performance is this model’s middle name. The powerful 15-amp motor delivers up to 4600 RPM which is more than enough for a vast array of applications that include cutting wood to particular angles. The base moves 0-45 degrees left and 0-52 degrees right. It also features nine positive stops for the most common cuts. Another thing people like a lot when it comes to the Makita LS1040 is its portability. Because it weighs only around 28 pounds, moving it from one place to another is a piece of cake. However, some people compare light weight with low-quality parts. Gone are the times when weight meant quality, it’s all about reducing the weight as much as possible nowadays.

The materials used in production seem pretty underwhelming, especially when you expect high quality. Consequently, one of the most notable downsides is the integrity of this unit. One cannot say it’s particularly unstable or easy to break, but the engineers could have used sturdier materials, to say the least. The plastic components look subpar and cheap. On the other hand, there is no evidence nor indications that it isn’t durable enough to withstand demanding projects.

If you’re a devoted professional seeking for impeccable precision and quality, you might want to keep looking. However, if you’re fine with minimal deviations in order to save a few bucks – go for it. This is a great model for entry-level enthusiasts who want to expand their expertise and improve the learning curve. It’s a good machine with a good dose of versatility, but it’s certainly not the best one on the market.

Makita ls1040 10-inch Compound Miter Saw


Our Rating: 4.5

A vast majority of power tools coming from Makita are a great alternative for some super-expensive brands. Needless to say, this model isn’t an exception. It’s a great entry-level machine with quite a few professional features.

Improved performance is this model’s middle name. The powerful 15-amp motor delivers up to 4600 RPM which is more than enough for a vast array of applications that include cutting wood to particular angles. The base moves 0-45 degrees left and 0-52 degrees right. It also features nine positive stops for the most common cuts. Another thing people like a lot when it comes to the Makita LS1040 is its portability. Because it weighs only around 28 pounds, moving it from one place to another is a piece of cake. However, some people compare light weight with low-quality parts. Gone are the times when weight meant quality, it’s all about reducing the weight as much as possible nowadays.

The materials used in production seem pretty underwhelming, especially when you expect high quality. Consequently, one of the most notable downsides is the integrity of this unit. One cannot say it’s particularly unstable or easy to break, but the engineers could have used sturdier materials, to say the least. The plastic components look subpar and cheap. On the other hand, there is no evidence nor indications that it isn’t durable enough to withstand demanding projects.

If you’re a devoted professional seeking for impeccable precision and quality, you might want to keep looking. However, if you’re fine with minimal deviations in order to save a few bucks – go for it. This is a great model for entry-level enthusiasts who want to expand their expertise and improve the learning curve. It’s a good machine with a good dose of versatility, but it’s certainly not the best one on the market.

DEWALT DW713


Our Rating: 4.6

The ones looking for a high-end model should definitely take a look at this particular one. 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 it’s a fairly standard one. However, the stainless steel detent plate is what makes it desirable. It features 11 positive stops which provide maximum accuracy. The best thing about it is the fact that you can cut a vast array of angles continuously without worrying about deviations. The handle could have been designed better. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with the design, but it doesn’t have a cushioned grip. Therefore, the vibrations sometimes tend to increase, especially if you’re processing dense wood. The miter capacity is excellent. The 0-50 degrees angle is more than enough tilt for the vast majority of applications.

Safety is quite good. One can say it’s an absolutely safe machine 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 a power tool on for the first time.

Maintenance is not a big deal at all. The model requires very little maintenance 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 are significantly more expensive but offer similar features. As we already said, Dewalt is one of the most respected brands on the market meaning you can’t go wrong with their products.

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 miter saw, you should inform yourself about some basic mechanical principles. People who fully comprehend how these things work have less chance of injury. Also, if you know how to handle a saw properly, 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 values can be considered powerful enough for a vast array of applications.

Blades


These machines usually utilize 10” and 12” blades made of carbon steel. Some are coated, while others aren’t. The coating can prolong the blade’s life, but it’s not a significant jump forward. People who are not on a strict budget tend to use the coated ones, but it doesn’t improve the performance as much as one might think. They are also more expensive than the standard blades.

Safety mechanisms


There aren’t many safety mechanisms because these machines are pretty straightforward and simple. The most important safety element is the blade guard. Many people tend to take it off because it speeds up the cutting process. However, it’s a huge mistake and a dangerous safety hazard. Needless to say, don’t alter the safety features of any power tool, especially the one that can chop off your fingers in a matter of seconds.

Dust collecting


Dust collection isn’t particularly advanced when it comes to compound miter saws. In fact, many models simply don’t have dust collecting capabilities. 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 the natural air flow. However, the capacity of these bags is often underwhelming.

Best Compound Miter Saw – Buyer’s Guide


This article is designed to help you find the best suiting unit for your needs. There are plenty of models available on the market, but not all of them are foreseen for the same applications. Some have more power; others offer more precision. Therefore, it’s up to you to make a difficult choice and choose the model you think is the best for the projects you planned on doing. Take a look; these tips should help you a lot, save some time, and most importantly – save your budget from collapsing.

Power


Contrary to popular belief, more power doesn’t always mean more quality. In fact, some units can deliver up to 3500 RPM but work better than the ones with 5000 RPM. It’s all about optimization and your requirements. If you’re looking for high precision, less RPM might be a better choice. It’s not a big deal, and you won’t see much of a difference, but that’s how it is. Furthermore, if you’re dealing with particularly dense wood, more RPM does help in the said situation. As far as the amperage goes, a vast majority of models work on 15 amps.

Precision


One of the important, if not the most important factor of every unit is its accuracy. There is no use in having a tool that’s not able to make precise cuts. Instead of hassling with wobbly and worthless cheap miter bases, opt for a stainless steel one. Also, calibration plays a huge part when it comes to accuracy. Make sure you purchase a quality miter base so that you can avoid deviations and a ton of hassle, especially if you’re a devoted professional.

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

Wood Sawing on a Dewalt Compound Saw

Safety


When buying a power tool, you have to think about safety first. As you may know, safety is of utmost importance. Luckily, 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 metals. Truth be told, there is always going to be some plastic parts included, but you should minimize the amount of those parts as much as you can.

One other thing you should think about is the overall weight of the unit. Even though most of them have a similar weight, there are some that stand out. Many people find the weight irrelevant, but we think you should always go with the lighter ones, especially if you’re looking for portability.

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 tried to offer you as much insight about these machines as possible. Now, it’s up to you to choose the one that you think can fulfill your requirements. If you take a look at our reviews, you might get a better idea of what you want in comparison to what you need. The key is in finding the sweet spot somewhere in the middle. Also, affordability should be one of your priorities.

As you might have noticed, we covered three models made by Dewalt. There is a good reason behind that – Dewalt is among the most respected companies when it comes to producing quality and high-end power tools. They always offer an incredible choice of various models from the ones that cost up to a thousand dollars to the ones for a couple of hundreds. In other words, there is something for everyone who’s looking to improve their productivity and precision. Furthermore, both professionals and hobbyists love purchasing Dewalt’s power tools because they offer great warranty conditions and have an excellent customer support department. 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 check our full reviews out. 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. The common factors of all of these models are affordability and high-quality performance. As you can assume, those two factors are what you should be looking for in any power tool in the first place.

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