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Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw Reviews

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Festool Kapex KS120
  • FESTOOL KAPEX KS120
  • $$$
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Good for

If you’re looking for a tool that’s able to cut specific angles, a sliding compound miter saw is usually the best choice. These tools can cut through any material with ease as long as you have the appropriate blade mounted. The default blades are mainly used for cutting wood, but some models support blades for cutting metal and other materials.

These saws are good for a vast array of different applications. For example, crown molding can be quite a burden to cut, but with a proper miter saw it’s a piece of cake. Whether you’re renovating parts of your home, or you’re a professional who deals with wood on a daily basis, a sliding miter saw is probably the right tool for you. These units are easy to use, affordable, and most importantly – cost-efficient.

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Not recommended for

These models aren’t recommended for absolute beginners or people who occasionally work with wood. It’s not that these units won’t fulfill one’s expectations, but you probably won’t use the full potential of them if you’re planning on tackling only a project or two. In simpler words, aim for something cheaper if you need it for just a few tasks, especially if you’re paying attention to cost efficiency.

These things can have a hefty price, but it’s for a good reason. Professionals love the accuracy and potential of sliding saws, and that’s why they are willing to pay a bit more. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, try finding something with similar features for less money. Bear in mind, you won’t save a ton of money, but some people find the price difference pretty significant. After all, it’s up to you to decide whether you need a professional power tool for the things you have planned.

Top Rated Sliding Compound Miter Saws


DEWALT DWS780


Our Rating: 4.7

This particular model features a 15-amp motor which can deliver up to 3600 RPM. As you can assume, it has more than enough power to go through the wood of any density. One of the greatest advantages of this saw is that it’s a sliding one meaning you can cut wider and thicker pieces of wood without having to adjust or fine-tune anything.

When it comes to precision and accuracy, the Dewalt DWS780 is one of the best within its price range. The bright LED light that’s integrated into the base allows you to see the values even in dim conditions. The base is made of sturdy and reliable materials meaning you don’t have to worry about the integrity and durability of this unit. The design is pretty standard, but quite neat nonetheless. There aren’t many impressive features design-wise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out. In fact, the simpler the design is, the easier it is to get a hold of that particular machine. Needless to say, it’s pretty easy to use as long as you follow a set of simple rules highlighted in the user manual.

The most surprising element of this unit is its dust-collecting capabilities. Most people are used to seeing subpar dust collection in almost every miter saw on the market. However, the Dewalt DWS780 features an innovative dust-collecting system which is guaranteed to eliminate at least 75% of sawdust. It’s a great addition to an already versatile power tool, and it’s worth mentioning. Therefore, if you’re one of those people who demand quality dust collecting, take a moment and check this one out, it should meet your expectations.

The price is okay. They could have made it a bit cheaper, but considering the overall quality and usefulness of this unit, the price is more than acceptable.

Hitachi C12RSH2


Our Rating: 4.5

Hitachi always manages to surprise us with quality power tools. Needless to say, the C12RSH2 isn’t an exception. This model features a 15-amp motor which has enough power to make any woodworking job easier. The sliding fence is great because it allows you to cut much larger pieces of wood without having to alter anything.

The miter base is well-designed and calibrated nicely. As you may know, a lot of models on the market struggle with the calibration of the miter base, but this one doesn’t. Furthermore, it can lean 57 degrees to the right, and 45 to the left for better flexibility. As you can tell, versatility is one of the strongest points of this particular unit. One of the things that make a difference between this and most other models is the cushioned hand grip. While many people consider it to be pretty irrelevant, it actually has a massive effect on the amount of vibrations coming from the base. With a cushioned grip, there is very little room for uncomfortable vibrations.

As far as the downsides go, there aren’t many. The only thing you might not like is the lack of fence stability. A few people who bought this particular model said that they had some issues with the fence, mainly wobbling. In order to prevent such things from happening, make sure everything is screwed in tightly.

The thing that people like the most is certainly the price. It’s significantly cheaper than some other models on the market that offer the same or even fewer features. However, it’s well-known that Hitachi is a budget brand with more than acceptable prices. You’ll definitely save a dollar or two if you opt for Hitachi. On the other side, they are known for having a somewhat inconsistent quality control department.

Hitachi C12RSH2


Our Rating: 4.5

Hitachi always manages to surprise us with quality power tools. Needless to say, the C12RSH2 isn’t an exception. This model features a 15-amp motor which has enough power to make any woodworking job easier. The sliding fence is great because it allows you to cut much larger pieces of wood without having to alter anything.

The miter base is well-designed and calibrated nicely. As you may know, a lot of models on the market struggle with the calibration of the miter base, but this one doesn’t. Furthermore, it can lean 57 degrees to the right, and 45 to the left for better flexibility. As you can tell, versatility is one of the strongest points of this particular unit. One of the things that make a difference between this and most other models is the cushioned hand grip. While many people consider it to be pretty irrelevant, it actually has a massive effect on the amount of vibrations coming from the base. With a cushioned grip, there is very little room for uncomfortable vibrations.

As far as the downsides go, there aren’t many. The only thing you might not like is the lack of fence stability. A few people who bought this particular model said that they had some issues with the fence, mainly wobbling. In order to prevent such things from happening, make sure everything is screwed in tightly.

The thing that people like the most is certainly the price. It’s significantly cheaper than some other models on the market that offer the same or even fewer features. However, it’s well-known that Hitachi is a budget brand with more than acceptable prices. You’ll definitely save a dollar or two if you opt for Hitachi. On the other side, they are known for having a somewhat inconsistent quality control department.

Bosch GCM12SD


Our Rating: 4.3

If you’re into power tools, then you probably heard of Bosch. It is a well-known manufacturer of heavy-duty units, and a vast variety of professionals opt for products coming from Bosch due to their great reputation. Well, needless to say, the GCM12SD definitely deserves a spot on our list for being one of the best choices for both hobbyists and professionals.

The patented axial glide system is what makes this unit special and worth checking out. In simple words, the accuracy of this thing is on point at all times. Some models require frequent re-calibrations and fine-tuning while this particular one doesn’t. Due to its sliding mechanism, it features an expanded cutting capacity of 14 inches horizontally, 6-1/2 inches vertically, and 45 degree of crown capacity. As you can see, precision is certainly one of its strongest points.

The design is great. Although the aesthetics are a thing of personal preference, we have to mention the look of this particular unit. The thing we liked the most is the position of colors on this power tool. While some consider it quite irrelevant, the coloring scheme is perfectly done. The miter base is well-calibrated and easy to read. The red details integrated into the base helps a lot when it comes to fine-tuning and reading the miter base.

The motor features 15-amps of power with a maximum of 3800 RPM for quick and accurate cuts. As you can tell, it packs more than enough power to cut through anything you put in front of it. Safety features are okay but not as impressive as one would expect. However, considering the affordability of this unit, everything seems in place and worth checking out.

There aren’t many downsides, but you should read the user manual before you turn the machine on for the first time; there are some tips you should consider checking out.

DEWALT DWS779


Our Rating: 4.8

Dewalt has managed to bring innovation to the market once again. This time, they’ve done it with the DWS779 which is a 12-inch sliding compound saw with a ton of useful features. The starting point of every product coming from Dewalt is the precision. This particular model stands as one of the most precise within its price range and category. Therefore, it’s a great solution both for DIY enthusiasts and devoted professionals.

The design is quite good, but it’s not a surprising factor with Dewalt’s machines. You can rest assured that their engineers invest a lot of effort to find the best-suiting design. Luckily, they always manage to do it. What’s surprising about the design is the dust collecting part. While most other models have pretty underwhelming dust-collecting abilities, this particular one works quite well. In fact, the manufacturer guarantees that their system will capture over 75% of dust that gets generated by the machine. It’s great news, even for the ones who don’t pay too much attention to dust collection.

The motor is a relatively standard 15-amp one with a maximum of 3800 RPM. The back fence is of high quality and allows you to cut up to 2x16 dimensional lumber at 90 degrees. As you can tell, massive pieces of wood aren’t an obstacle for this particular unit. The miter base is crafted with pre-set positive stops for easy use. The materials used in the production are quite durable and seem pretty trustworthy. It’s not the lightest unit on the market, but 67 pounds don’t seem as heavy as one would expect. Its portability is not the greatest, but it’s nothing you can’t get used to. As far as the price goes, it’s acceptable. It certainly isn’t a cheap piece of equipment, but it’s certainly a worthy investment, especially for the professionals.

DEWALT DWS779


Our Rating: 4.8

Dewalt has managed to bring innovation to the market once again. This time, they’ve done it with the DWS779 which is a 12-inch sliding compound saw with a ton of useful features. The starting point of every product coming from Dewalt is the precision. This particular model stands as one of the most precise within its price range and category. Therefore, it’s a great solution both for DIY enthusiasts and devoted professionals.

The design is quite good, but it’s not a surprising factor with Dewalt’s machines. You can rest assured that their engineers invest a lot of effort to find the best-suiting design. Luckily, they always manage to do it. What’s surprising about the design is the dust collecting part. While most other models have pretty underwhelming dust-collecting abilities, this particular one works quite well. In fact, the manufacturer guarantees that their system will capture over 75% of dust that gets generated by the machine. It’s great news, even for the ones who don’t pay too much attention to dust collection.

The motor is a relatively standard 15-amp one with a maximum of 3800 RPM. The back fence is of high quality and allows you to cut up to 2x16 dimensional lumber at 90 degrees. As you can tell, massive pieces of wood aren’t an obstacle for this particular unit. The miter base is crafted with pre-set positive stops for easy use. The materials used in the production are quite durable and seem pretty trustworthy. It’s not the lightest unit on the market, but 67 pounds don’t seem as heavy as one would expect. Its portability is not the greatest, but it’s nothing you can’t get used to. As far as the price goes, it’s acceptable. It certainly isn’t a cheap piece of equipment, but it’s certainly a worthy investment, especially for the professionals.

Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw


Our Rating: 4.1

If you’re looking for an all-in one unit, this model is the best possible choice. It’s packed with a ton of auxiliary features, safety, and particularly smooth performance. It has everything from dual laser support for better accuracy to fine bevel adjustments and locks. If one were to say only one word to describe this particular model it would be – versatility.

The precision is at a high level due to the dual laser system. Instead of having to hassle with reading the miter base and find the right spot to cut, all you have to do is calibrate the two lasers and point them in the right direction. It features precise miter and bevel scales which are one of the paramount elements of every compound saw. The motor is powerful, and it lets you control the span of RPM to reduce vibrations. Therefore, it doesn’t always have to be under full stress in order to be effective. As you can assume, it saves a lot of power that is otherwise wasted.

The included blades are of premium quality. In fact, the model comes with specially designed thin blades which reduce noise levels and vibrations. Therefore, even though the hand grip doesn’t have a cushion, the vibrations are at a bare minimum most of the time. When it comes to dust extraction, this unit is near the best on the market with up to 93% of dust elimination guaranteed. It also comes with a pivoting 36mm hose for better performance.

When it comes to the downsides, there aren’t many. The only thing that catches one’s attention is the premium price. It’s safe to say that it’s significantly more expensive than any other model within the same or similar category. However, the high price is justified by the excellent quality of production.

Quick Product Comparison


 POWER SOURCEVOLTAGEWEIGHTPRICE 
DEWALT DWS780

DEWALT DWS780

Corded120V56 pounds$$Check Price
Hitachi C12RSH2

HITACHI C12RSH2

AC/DC120V59 pounds$Check Price
Bosch GCM12SD

BOSCH GCM12SD

Corded120V88 pounds$$Check Price
DEWALT DWS779

DEWALT DWS779

AC/DC0V67 pounds$Check Price
Festool Kapex KS120

FESTOOL KAPEX KS120

Corded120V57 pounds$$$Check Price

Before You Buy: How a Sliding Compound Miter Saw Works?


Before you opt for any one of these models, make sure you comprehend the basic principles of these power tools. In case you purchase a model, and it turns out to be a bust, the only one you can blame is – you. Therefore, in order to avoid such unpleasant scenarios, take a look at this article, and it should help you understand more about compound sliding miter saws.

Motor


These machines usually have a 15-amp motor that delivers somewhere between 3000 – 4000 RPM, depending on the manufacturer. Also, they are all corded meaning the source of power is electricity. Make sure you check out the voltage to see if it’s compatible with your household grid. Many people make a mistake and purchase the wrong one.

The overall quality of the motor depends on few things. The first and most important one is the manufacturer. Furthermore, the materials used for the production of the motor are quite important. However, most models on the market have pretty similar motors with only minor differences.

Dust collection


Some models feature a bag while others have a hose system included. Either way, the sliding compound saws usually have a pretty good dust collecting system. Some manufacturers even guarantee up to 90% of extraction, which is quite impressive, to say the least.

Safety


There aren’t many visible safety measures when it comes to these tools. The most noticeable one is the transparent blade guard which allows you to see through it while cutting. Consequently, you don’t have to worry about chopping off something else but the piece of wood you’re processing.

Accuracy


Most of these tools depend on either the miter base or a laser system. The laser method is much easier to use, but not necessarily more precise. In fact, the difference isn’t as significant as one would expect.

Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw – Buyer’s Guide


In order to make the best possible move when it comes to investing in these power tools, you need to do some research and figure out which model is the suiting one for you. However, if you’re not as experienced, you’ll run into trouble caused by the vastness of the market. What many people don’t realize is that it doesn’t mean something is good if it looks good on paper. There are plenty of elements you need to pay attention to before deciding to part with your budget. Take a moment and check this buyer’s guide out, you’ll find a useful tip or two about what to aim for and what to avoid.

Reliability


The first thing many people look for is reliability. One of the crucial indicators is the combination of materials used for manufacturing a particular model. If there’s a lot of plastic parts involved, you might want to skip it. The materials you should look for are aluminum, steel, and other metals in general.

The overall weight is also a good starting point for reliability checks. If the unit seems too light for your taste – don’t buy it. Even if you aren’t able to hold it in person, look up at the specifications and find out how much does it weigh. Bear in mind; lightweight units usually have issues with stability as well. On the other hand, if you find the heaviest one it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Remember to think about portability at the same time.

Safety


As you may know, safety is the number one thing you need to take care of when buying a heavy-duty tool. The features we recommend getting are electric brakes, fence guards, and quality blade guards. Even though most of the modern compound saws already have these safety features included, make sure you read the specifications online and double-check everything. This way, you won’t have to be stressed out about whether you’re buying a model that’s completely safe to use.

Man working on a sliding compound miter saw

Dust collecting system


Even though a lot of people consider it irrelevant, the quality of the dust collecting system is quite important, especially if you’re working in a tight space. Luckily, a vast majority of modern saws have pretty good dust collecting capabilities meaning you don’t have to worry as much about it. On the other hand, it would be a good idea if you would check the specifications regarding dust collection and make sure it’s at a satisfactory level.

Dewalt sliding compound miter saw

Laser guide systems


This part isn’t a mandatory concern, but definitely a recommended one. There are plenty of models with compatibility issues regarding lasers and other accessories. The thing you should do is research whether the model you like is compatible with a majority of accessories on the market. However, as we said, it’s not a must-do, and many people skip this particular consideration because they aren’t planning on using any additional accessories. Also, it depends on your budget, because laser measuring systems can cost quite a bit.

Cutting capacity and performance


Sliding saws are known for their large cutting capacity. However, it’s a relative term and may lead to confusion. For example, some models cut to 12 inches of width, while others cut up to 16. Make sure you read the specifications before deciding to invest money in these saws.

The conclusion


As we said, the models we’ve decided to cover are all worth checking out. They are all different but share a similar set of features. As you can see, we decided to cover two models made by Dewalt because it’s one of the most respected brands in the industry of power tools. The best thing about this particular company is that they were able to retain affordability on their products while producing high-quality gear. Therefore, Dewalt is one of the favorite brands of both DIY enthusiasts and professionals.

If you aren’t sure about what to look for or how much to invest, take a moment and check out our Buyer’s Guide and other related articles. They are designed to help you overcome some common obstacles such as the budget limit or any other insecurity. The common things between all of these models are affordability, reliability, and high-quality safety features. Precision is something we took into account as well while making the list of best sliding compounds miter saws.

Even if you’re not as experienced with miter saws, these models are pretty straightforward and simple. Remember to read the user manual included in the box to avoid any unpleasant surprises during the first run. Even though most of these units work on a similar or same principle, it’s always best to get familiar with the machine through the manual before plugging it in. As far as the managing of your budget goes, you don’t have to buy a super-expensive machine in order to finish up a couple of projects, but don’t try to spare money because it leads to other issues. Cheap tools end up being more harmful than useful in most cases.

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