A best miter saw an invaluable tool for any woodworker, is designed for precision and versatility. This power tool allows the user to make accurate crosscuts and miters in a workpiece by pulling a large backsaw or a mounted circular saw blade down onto a board in a swift motion. It’s an indispensable piece of equipment for anyone seeking to create clean, precise angles in baseboards, molding, frames, or any other project that requires an exact degree of angle. The miter saw can address numerous challenges associated with woodworking. Assisting in making precise measurements and cuts, it reduces the risk of errors, saving both time and material. Furthermore, its versatility allows for various cuts such as bevel cuts, compound cuts, and even more complicated decorative cuts. In a nutshell, the best miter saw is a problem-solving tool that can significantly enhance the efficiency of woodworking projects.
Buying Guide for Best Miter Saw
When you’re considering buying the best miter saw, there are several factors you need to take into account.
- Type of Miter Saw: There are three main types of miter saws: compound, dual compound, and sliding compound. A compound miter saw can make angled and beveled cuts, perfect for projects like crown molding. Dual compound miter saws can tilt both ways for bevels, making them more versatile. Sliding compound miter saws can move forward and backward, providing the ability to cut wider boards.
- Blade Size: Miter saws typically come with 8, 10, or 12-inch blades. Larger blades can make longer cuts, but they’re also more expensive. The right blade size for you depends on the kind of projects you’ll be using it for.
- Motor Power: The power of the motor determines how quickly and smoothly you can cut through material. For most DIYers, a 10 or 12-amp motor is sufficient. However, if you’re a professional or plan on cutting through hardwoods, a 15-amp motor might be a better choice.
- Positive Stops: Positive stops enable quick miter cuts at certain angles. The more positive stops a saw has, the more versatile it is.
- Cutting Abilities: Check the miter and bevel range of the saw. Ensure that it can make the cuts you need for your projects.
- Additional Features: Look for things like electric brakes, which stop the blade quickly for safety, and a laser guide line for precision.
- Price and Brand: Lastly, consider your budget and the brand reputation. Remember, a higher price doesn’t always equate to higher quality, and a well-known brand often provides reliable customer service and warranty.
In conclusion, understanding your needs and the features of a miter saw before purchasing can help you choose a tool that will serve you well for years to come.
5 Best Miter Saw Reviews
In the following sections, we’ll be diving into an in-depth review of five top-tier best miter saws from renowned brands that have secured a firm foothold in the power tools industry. Brace yourself for a detailed walkthrough of miter saws from DeWalt, Metabo HPT, SKIL 10, Bosch, and Craftsman. We will assess each product’s key features, advantages, and potential drawbacks, providing you with comprehensive insights to aid in your buying decision. So, let’s delve into these stellar machines and find out what they have to offer.
1. Dewalt Miter Saw Review
The DEWALT Miter Saw, 12 Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound, priced at around $400, is a top-of-the-line power tool that guarantees precision and quality for its users. This miter saw has an average Amazon rating of 4.9 out of 5, reflecting its high customer satisfaction.
The standout feature of this miter saw is undoubtedly its stainless steel detent plate with 10 positive stops, ensuring accurate and repeatable cutting. The precise miter system and machined base fence support reinforce its cutting accuracy.
The DEWALT DWS779 comes with a cam-lock miter handle with detent override, delivering quick and accurate miter angles. This functionality is coupled with a corded electric power source, ensuring consistent operation and eliminating the concern of battery depletion mid-task.
This miter saw is designed to accommodate sizable materials, illustrated by the tall sliding fences that can support a 6-3/4-inch base vertically. It can cross-cut a 2-inch x 14-inch dimensional lumber at 90 degrees and a 2-inch x 10-inch dimensional lumber at 45 degrees. These specifications are a testament to its impressive capacity.
The miter saw offers a bevel range from 0 to 48 degrees both left and right, providing flexibility for various cuts. The dual horizontal steel rails, supplemented by an innovative clamping mechanism and linear ball bearings, contribute to the tool’s accuracy and durability. Also, the DWS779 boasts an efficient dust collection system that captures over 75% of generated dust – a feature that not only maintains cleanliness but also extends the lifespan of the tool.
The DEWALT DWS779 is visually appealing with its silver color and has an oversized, high-visibility bevel scale with positive stops. The brand, DEWALT, is known for its excellent customer service and reliable warranty, adding an extra layer of confidence for purchasers.
Pros and Cons of the DEWALT Miter Saw
- High Accuracy: With the stainless steel detent plate and 10 positive stops, the DEWALT miter saw ensures precise and repeatable cuts, making it highly reliable for professional use.
- Versatile Cutting Capacity: It supports a wide variety of cuts with a bevel range from 0 to 48 degrees, both left and right, and can accommodate large materials.
- Powerful and Reliable: The corded electric power source offers consistent operation, eliminating concerns about battery life.
- Excellent Dust Collection System: Over 75% of generated dust is captured, maintaining cleanliness and extending the tool’s lifespan.
- Brand Reputation: DEWALT is known for its reliable customer service and warranty, ensuring peace of mind for purchasers.
- Price: Priced around $400, the DEWALT miter saw may not be affordable for hobbyists or those on a tight budget.
- Size and Weight: The large size and weight of this miter saw may make it less portable and more suited for stationary workshop use.
- Lack of Battery-Operated Option: Some users might prefer a battery-operated miter saw for improved mobility and convenience, which this model does not provide.
2. Metabo HPT Miter Saw Review
The Metabo HPT Miter Saw, a 10-inch, Single Bevel, with a 15-amp Motor, is a magnificent power tool that blends functionality and affordability. Available for around $120 to $130, this miter saw has an average Amazon rating of 4.7 out of 5, marking its high customer approval.
This miter saw, wrapped in an attractive green hue, is fueled by a corded electric power source, facilitating a consistent supply of power and eliminating worries about battery discharge during work. It’s equipped with a 15-Amp motor that generates a no-load speed of up to 5,000 RPM, ensuring fast and smooth cutting. The blade is made from high-speed steel, known for its durability and cutting precision, especially when used on wood surfaces.
The Metabo HPT Miter Saw is light, weighing only 24.2 lbs., enhancing maneuverability and portability – a boon for users who often need to move their tools around. The miter saw provides a miter angle range of 0 to 52 degrees, both right and left, and a bevel range of 0 to 45 degrees to the left. The versatility of the miter and bevel ranges, coupled with adjustable bevel stops, enables precision cuts, making it suitable for a wide array of projects.
Metabo HPT miter saw features a large table, offering superior material support and an efficient vice clamping system for securing the workpiece. It also includes thumb-actuated positive stops for quick miter adjustments, further enhancing the user’s experience. The horizontal handle provides a secure hold, ensuring comfort and control during operation.
The Metabo HPT Miter Saw also includes an electric brake that halts the rotation of the blade within seconds, preventing unintended cuts, and enhancing safety. This feature is a testament to the brand’s commitment to user safety. The brand, Metabo HPT, is known for its impressive 5-year Professional Tool Warranty, instilling buyer confidence and ensuring long-term support.
Pros and Cons of the Metabo HPT Miter Saw
- High Performance and Speed: The 15 Amp motor powers the high-speed steel blade up to 5,000 RPM, handling even the toughest cuts with ease.
- Lightweight and Portable: Weighing just 24.2 lbs., it’s easy to move and handle, ideal for those needing a mobile miter saw solution.
- Versatile Cutting Range: With a miter angle range of 0 to 52 degrees and a bevel range of 0 to 45 degrees, the saw can handle diverse cutting requirements.
- Large Table and Secure Clamping: The large table and efficient vice clamping system ensure proper material support and secure workpieces.
- Safety Features and Warranty: The electric brake and the 5-year professional tool warranty protect your investment and ensure safe operation.
- Single Bevel: The saw only has a single bevel, which may limit its versatility compared to dual-bevel models.
- Corded Operation: While providing consistent power, the corded design can limit mobility and require access to a power outlet.
- No Dust Collection System: Unlike some other models, this saw does not have a dust collection system, which could lead to a messy work environment.
3. SKIL 10 Miter Saw Review
The SKIL 10 Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw – MS6305-00 is a remarkable power tool that strikes a balance between advanced functionality and cost-effectiveness. Priced between $250 and $260, it boasts a high average Amazon rating of 4.7 out of 5, indicating a high level of customer satisfaction.
Sporting a multi-colored design, the Skil 10 miter saw is powered by a corded electric source, ensuring a continuous, uninterrupted power supply. The 15 Amp motor delivers a no-load speed of 4,800 RPM, providing quick and detailed cuts. The blade, made from high-speed steel, guarantees durability and precision, especially on stainless steel surfaces.
Weighing at a moderate level, the SKIL 10 Miter Saw is easy to handle, making it perfect for varied onsite requirements. Its dual bevel design can perform cuts in four positive stop positions at 48° & 45° left, 0°, and 45° right, increasing its versatility. The LED Shadow Line, instead of traditional lasers, ensures high-precision cuts.
The Skil 10 miter saw features a 2×12 cutting capacity, capable of cross-cutting lumber up to 2×12 at 90 degrees and 2×8 lumber at 45 degrees. It can cut at common angles, up to 50 degrees left and right, with 11 positive stops at most used angles. The SKIL brand is known for its robust design and excellent customer service, further assuring buyers of its quality and reliability.
Pros and Cons of the SKIL 10 Miter Saw
- Powerful Motor: The 15 Amp motor powers the high-speed steel blade up to 4,800 RPM, allowing for detailed, quick cuts.
- Dual-Bevel Design: This design increases the range and versatility of possible cuts, making it ideal for a variety of projects.
- LED Shadow Line: High-precision cuts are achievable with the LED Shadow Line, offering greater accuracy than traditional lasers.
- Wide Cutting Capacity: The saw can cross-cut lumber up to 2×12 at 90 degrees, and 2×8 lumber at 45 degrees, making it suitable for various cutting requirements.
- Known Brand: SKIL’s reputation for robust design and excellent customer service gives buyers added confidence in their purchase.
- Price: While it offers advanced functionalities, the price range might not suit hobbyists or those on a tight budget.
- Corded Operation: The corded design, while providing uninterrupted power, can limit mobility and require access to a power outlet.
- Weight: The weight of this miter saw might make it less portable compared to lighter models.
4. BOSCH Miter Saw Review
The Bosch Miter Saw is a premium tool that brings precision, convenience, and control to the table, with a price tag to match. Typically listed between $590 and $600, the saw has a high average Amazon rating of 4.8 out of 5, reflecting the high degree of customer satisfaction.
The Bosch miter saw features a blue design, with a sturdy metal blade recommended for cutting through metal surfaces. Power is supplied through a 120V source. The Bosch-exclusive Axial-Glide System ensures wider cross-cuts and improved alignment. The bosch miter saw’s compact design replaces the traditional sliding rail system, requiring up to 10 inches less workspace, making it perfect for tight spaces where other saws won’t fit.
The Bosch miter saw offers large, upfront metal bevel controls and Square lock precision fences for quick, easy adjustments. The dust collection chute and vacuum adapter make cleanup a breeze. The saw offers cutting control at all angles, with the crown chop lock locking the head in place for maximum chop-cutting capacity for upright base molding and nested crown.
The bosch miter saw is also built with ergonomic features such as a soft-grip handle and ambidextrous trigger handle for comfortable use. The Bosch brand is known for its high-quality products, with a 1-year warranty included.
Pros and Cons of the BOSCH Miter Saw
- Precision and Control: The Axial-Glide System and Square lock precision fences ensure accurate cuts and easy adjustments, giving users complete control.
- Compact Design: The saw’s compact design saves up to 10 inches of workspace, making it suitable for tight spaces.
- Dust Collection System: The dust collection chute and vacuum adapter make cleanup quick and effortless, maintaining a clean work environment.
- Ergonomic Features: Soft-grip handle and ambidextrous trigger handle ensure comfortable use for extended periods.
- Reputable Brand: Bosch is known for producing high-quality products, giving buyers confidence in their purchase.
- Higher Price Range: The advanced features of this saw come with a higher price tag compared to other models.
- Limited Cutting Capacity: With a smaller cutting capacity compared to other miter saws, this model may not be suitable for larger projects.
5. CRAFTSMAN Miter Saw Review
The CRAFTSMAN Miter Saw Kit, 7-1/4 inch, Cordless, Battery and Charger Included (CMCS714M1) is an excellent power tool from a trusted brand that delivers in terms of power, versatility, and convenience. Available between $250 and $260, it has garnered an average Amazon rating of 4.7 out of 5, signifying high customer satisfaction levels.
The Craftsman miter saw, with its vibrant black and red design, stands out. The blade, made of high-speed steel, is recommended for cutting through wood. The CRAFTSMAN Miter Saw is powered by a battery, which makes it a portable option, free from the limitations of corded models.
The craftsman miter saw powerful 3,800 RPM motor is designed to easily cut through 2X dimensional lumber, hardwoods, baseboard, and trim. The saw features slide capabilities, offering an 8-inch cross-cut at 90 degrees and a 5-1/2-inch cross-cut at 45 degrees. The added cutting capacity allows the saw to cut 3-5/8-inch nested crowns and 3-1/2-inch baseboards vertically. For accuracy and visibility, the saw comes with an LED cut-line positioning system.
The CRAFTSMAN Miter Saw Kit is not only quick but also accurate with 9 casted miter detent stops for adjustments. On a single charge, this saw can make up to 585 cuts in a 3-1/4-inch MDF baseboard. With its lightweight design and side carry handles, this tool is highly portable, ensuring it is a reliable option for a variety of cutting tasks.
Pros and Cons of the CRAFTSMAN Miter Saw Kit
- Powerful Motor: The 3,800 RPM motor is capable of cutting through 2X dimensional lumber, hardwoods, baseboard, and trim with ease.
- Slide Capabilities and Added Capacity: The saw offers an 8-inch cross-cut at 90 degrees, and a 5-1/2-inch cross-cut at 45 degrees, and it can cut 3-5/8-inch nested crowns and 3-1/2-inch baseboards vertically.
- Accuracy and Visibility: The LED cut line positioning system ensures precise cuts.
- Quick and Accurate: The saw offers 9 casted miter detent stops for quick and accurate adjustments.
- Single Charge: The saw can make up to 585 cuts in a 3-1/4-inch MDF baseboard on a single charge.
- Portability: The lightweight design and side carry handles make this saw easy to transport.
- Battery Life: Depending on usage, the battery may require frequent recharging.
- Material Limitation: The blade is designed for wood, so cutting other materials may not be as efficient.
- Price: Despite its advanced features, the price might not be affordable for hobbyists or those on a tight budget.
How to Use a Miter Saw in Woodworking
Using a miter saw in woodworking can greatly increase your efficiency and accuracy. Follow this step-by-step guide to make the most out of your miter saw:
- Safety First: Always wear safety goggles and ear protection when operating a miter saw. Ensure the area is well-lit and clear of any debris that could interfere with the operation of the saw.
- Choose the Right Blade: Ensure you have the appropriate blade for the type of wood and cut you want to make. Carbide-tipped blades are generally a good choice for woodworking.
- Mark Your Cut: Use a pencil to mark the exact spot where you want to cut on the piece of wood.
- Adjust the Saw: Adjust the angle of the miter saw to match the cut you want to make. The angle can be adjusted by loosening the handle, moving the blade to the desired angle, and then tightening the handle.
- Position the Wood: Place the piece of wood on the saw table against the fence. Make sure it’s secure and won’t move during the cut.
- Line Up the Blade: Lower the saw blade to make sure it’s lined up with the pencil mark before you start cutting.
- Start the Saw: Start the miter saw and allow it to reach full speed before you start cutting.
- Make the Cut: Slowly lower the saw blade into the wood. Push the blade through the wood and make sure not to force it.
- Release the Blade: Once the cut is complete, release the trigger and allow the blade to come to a complete stop.
- Remove the Wood: Finally, lift the blade, remove the wood, and inspect the cut to ensure it meets your requirements.
Remember, it’s always best to practice on a scrap piece of wood before making final cuts on your workpiece.
Safe Use and Maintenance of a Miter Saw
When using a miter saw, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and ensure its longevity through proper maintenance.
- Use Safety Gear: Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris. A dust mask and ear protection are also recommended.
- Check the Saw Before Use: Before starting the saw, check for any damage or malfunction in its parts. Never use a damaged saw.
- Secure the Workpiece: Make sure your workpiece is firmly clamped or securely held against the fence during operation.
- Keep Your Hands Safe: Never place your hands near the cutting path. Always keep them at least 6 inches away from the saw blade.
- Don’t Leave the Saw Running: Never leave the saw unattended while it’s in operation.
- Clean the Saw Regularly: After each use, clean the miter saw to remove dust and debris. This prevents buildup which can affect the saw’s performance.
- Lubricate Moving Parts: Maintain smooth operation by lubricating the saw’s moving parts periodically.
- Sharpen the Blade: A dull blade can make the saw work harder and can potentially be dangerous. Sharpen the blade regularly for efficient operation.
- Check and Replace Brushes: Check the condition of the carbon brushes regularly and replace them when they are worn out to prolong the life of the motor.
- Store Properly: When not in use, store the saw in a clean, dry place to protect it from damage and rust.
By adhering to these safety measures and maintenance tips, you can ensure the safe operation of your miter saw and prolong its lifespan.
Frequently Asked Questions About Miter Saws
1. What is a miter saw used for?
A miter saw is used for making precise crosscuts and miter cuts in a workpiece. It’s a valuable tool for woodworking, framing, and carpentry.
2. What’s the difference between a miter cut and a bevel cut?
A miter cut is a cut made at an angle on the face of a piece of wood, while a bevel cut is an angle cut made through the thickness of the board.
3. Can I use a miter saw to cut metal or plastic?
Yes, but you’ll need a special blade designed for these materials. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
4. How can I maintain my miter saw?
Regular cleaning, lubricating moving parts, sharpening the blade, checking and replacing worn-out brushes, and proper storage are key maintenance steps.
5. How do I keep the cut line visible while sawing?
Using an LED cut line positioning system or a laser guide can help maintain the visibility of the cut line.
6. What safety measures should I take while operating a miter saw?
Always wear safety gear, verify the saw is in good condition before use, secure the workpiece properly, keep your hands away from the cutting path, and never leave the saw running unattended.
7. Why does my miter saw kick back?
Kickback can occur if the blade binds with the material or if the material moves during the cut. To prevent this, ensure the material is properly secured and the blade is sharp and running at full speed before cutting.
In conclusion, the DeWalt Miter Saw stands out for its exceptional features, robust build, and reliable performance. It’s an excellent choice for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts looking for a tool that delivers precision and durability. However, it’s also important to note that the right miter saw will largely depend on the nature of your work. The other four miter saws we discussed are also excellent in their own right, each offering unique strengths and features that cater to different woodworking needs. It’s crucial to choose a tool that aligns with your specific requirements for the best results. Remember, the ultimate goal is to find a miter saw that makes your work efficient, accurate, and safe.