7 Best Miter Saw Reviews – Top Picks for 2017

Looking for the best miter saw? Read our in-depth miter saw reviews, comparison charts and top picks for 2017 to help you make the right buying decision.

Are you looking at embarking on a major home improvement project and need a miter saw in addition to your circular saw to help you complete a variety of tasks? It can be somewhat intimidating trying to sort through the selection of saws at your big box home improvement store or to shift among all the options online.

We’ve compiled some of the best performing miter saws currently available and found the ones that are best able to get the job done or perhaps save you a few dollars along the way.  Read on and find out the miter saw that has all the power, adjustability, and versatility you are looking for in a quality addition to your workshop.

Top Recommended Miter Saws for 2017

 

Miter SawMiter TypeBevel TypeBudgetRating
DEWALT DWS780Sliding Compound
Miter Saw
Double Bevel Premium4.9/5
Makita LS1221Compound Miter SawSingle BevelPremium4.7/5
DEWALT DW716Sliding Miter SawDouble BevelPremium4.4/5
Hitachi C10FCE2Compound Miter SawSingle BevelBudget4.4/5
Bosch GCM12SDSliding Miter SawDouble BevelPremium4.2/5
Homecraft H26-260LCompound Miter SawSingle BevelBudget4/5
WEN 70712Sliding Compound
Miter Saw
Single BevelPremium3.8/5

Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw: The Winners


#1 Pick: DEWALT DWS780 Miter Saw

DEWALT has long been respected by hardworking Americans as a quality manufacturer of reliable tools and construction equipment.  All their tools come with a three-year limited warranty and free one-year service contract and are known for providing good customer support.  If you are shopping for a new compound miter saw, you looking in the right place when you start with a DEWALT product.

DEWALT DWS780

Professional Grade Features

The DWS780 was built with the busy contractor or serious handyman in mind, packing tons of features into this portable unit.  It has a 15 amp motor that spins up to 3,600 and is readily able to complete miter cuts on 2×12 boards with its long horizontal design.  Even 8-inch tall moldings pose no serious challenge as its tall fence provides excellent support.

Makes Precision Cuts at Any Angle Desired

Most quality compound miter saws come with a laser light site to help you line up your cuts.  The DWS780 includes the XPS-cross-cut alignment system includes a brilliant LED light that throws a precise spotlight where the blade will cut into the wood. It never requires recalibration, allowing you to continue working long whereas other models will make you stop and make adjustments.

It comes with multiple stops at the most common cut angles for quick and accurate switching.  If you need an uncommon setting, the adjustable miter detent plate locks into place precisely where you need it without slipping to one of the stops.

Lightweight for Easy Portability

While the DWS780 comes with all the professional options that you require, it does so in a unit that is highly portable, weighing just a little over 50 lbs.  The available rolling miter saw stand sits on casters allowing you to move it about the job site while providing support for extra-long lumber.  The whole system can be readily broken down and stashed in your truck or van for easy transport to the next job.

For the hardcore home improvement nut or a hard working contractor, the DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is an excellent investment able to stand up to all the abuse you will send its way while completing accurate and quick cuts time after time.


#2 Pick: WEN 70712 Miter Saw

It can be so tempting to purchase a product that is offered for less than half the price of the name-brand competitors, but as so often is true, you get what you pay for.  The WEN 70712 is one of these.  The product description up front describes that it is able to do all the work a saw priced for hundreds more can.  But can it?  This is when it is important to check user comments and determine if there is a common thread of complaints.

WEN 70712

Quality Features without Quality Performance

The WEN 70712 comes with a full-sized 12-inch blade and a 15 amp motor.  However, users comment that the motor appears to be underpowered–an indication that it may not make use of all 15 amps. The blade has been found to dull after completing a dozen cuts and then requires replacement with a blade designed for the work you are intending it to do.

It comes with 9 positive locks for the most common angles, but once again what it says and does are two different things.  The locks are not properly positioned and the accomplished carpenter must continue to recheck the angle alignment with each cut as it seems to wobble out of position quite often. It bevels only to the left, but should you line up your vertical angle and then tilt, it is likely you will have to reposition on the vertical again.

Extending Saw Blade Makes Deep Cuts, but not Tall

The head does extend, allowing you to cut boards up to 12 inches wide, but the fence is not particularly deep.  So you may struggle to cut moldings that are taller than four inches. It features an extending side fence, providing support for boards up to 32 inches long, which is a nice add-on.

In the end, you will struggle to get this bargain basement buy to do everything you need.  Yes, it will cut compound angles, has a 12-inch blade, and has a one-year limited warranty.  But any casual handyman may find this purchase more challenging in the beginning.


 Best Sliding Miter Saw: The Winners


#1 Pick: DEWALT DW716 Saw

Once again DEWALT has the accomplished home improvement hobbyist in mind when they built the DW716.  They left all the power and adjustability of their professional model on board and simply dialed back some of the functions that a part-time carpenter may not need as often.  Meanwhile, all the accessories that are available for the pro model still fit on the smaller unit, helping you to build a truly versatile workshop that can be packed up and taken to your buddy’s house for a weekend project when needed.

DEWALT DW716

Same Cutting Power for Smaller Projects

The biggest difference between the DW716 and the DWS780 is the depth of the saw’s ability.  With the DW716, you will be able to horizontally cut a 2×8 board, but not the 2X12 its big brother can.  The fence is sized to cut down a 6-inch tall piece of molding, which is likely as large a piece as you will need to install in your home.

It features the same 15 amp motor spinning at 3600 RPM designed for years of service without a problem and you benefit from the standard DEWALT manufacturer warranty. Meanwhile, you save a few hundred dollars on the overall setup.  Most residential projects will be readily handled by the DW716’s abilities.

Dual Angle Bevel Cuts Save You Time

It has the 11 positive stops that help you find the right common angle quickly and accurately.  The saw can be tilted up to 48 degrees in both directions, which is a unique accomplishment among compound miter saws.  Many other products have a limited movement on one side, preventing you from making mirror cuts quickly without moving your lumber.

Line up your cuts using the onboard adjustable laser sight system. It weighs just 44 pounds, allowing a single person to be able to set it up for the job,  The available DEWALT rolling miter saw table is a perfect addition, as it has an adjustable width to support long pieces of wood and collapses down when you need to store the whole unit for transportation.

If you are looking for an excellent compound miter saw to complete your personal wood shop, the DEWALT DW716 15 Amp 12-Inch Double-Bevel Compound Miter Saw is an excellent option as it delivers all the functionality you will likely need with the power and reliable construction for years of service.


#2 Pick: Bosch GCM12SD Miter Saw

Bosch has been manufacturing durable and innovative tools for many years now and with the GCM12SD it just further improves its reputation as a high-quality brand even though the GCM12SD is slightly pricier.

There’s a common problem with sliding miter saws, you need plenty of clearance at the back to integrate the rails but Bosch with its GCM12SD aims to solve the issue. This model comes with 2 hinged arms that do not extend out of the machine thus making it the ideal miter saw for woodworkers with small spaces.

Bosch GCM12SD

A quick and convenient to use saw

The 15-amp motor that can reach no-load speeds of about 3800 rpm helps to get the job done in quick time. Adding to the convenience and versatility is its compatibility with other 12-inch blades. It has a horizontal cutting capacity of 14-inches, vertical capacity of 6.5-inches and a nested crown cutting capacity of 6.5 inches thus offering you the versatility of a wide variety of cuts while clear cut line ensures a pinpoint cut each time.

The Quick-Release Square lock Fences are a standout feature and come aligned at a 90-degree angle by default and need no adjustment. The one-touch lock/unlock feature makes aligning materials accurately easier as the fences easily slide into the perfect position.

Axial Glide System

The Axial Glide System eliminates the need for a standard rail setup which in turn clears about 12-13 inches of workspace making it a compact machine and provides greater control over the cutting, in turn, helping you get smoother, more accurate cuts.

Easy access to Bevel Controls and Marked Detent

Adjusting the bevel level is simple as the all-metal bevel lock lever and range selector are conveniently placed right in front of the machine and thus are easy to access. The bevel level can be adjusted from 0 to 47 degrees on either side while bevel detents are available at 0, 33.9, and 45 degrees.

For any woodworker with no budget constraints looking for a convenient miter saw with all important functionalities and high durability the GCM12SD is the right buy.


Best Compound Miter Saw: The Winners


#1: Makita LS1221 Miter Saw

Makita has been found alongside more familiar tool names for decades offering competitively priced options for those looking to save a few dollars on the tools and equipment designed for the professional carpenter.

You can expect your Makita compound miter saw to do most of the cuts you need to be completed when trimming out a room, along with a few larger cuts. The 15 amp motor with a top speed of 4000 RPM sounds like it can outperform some of the other competitors, but all that power is wasted with the limitations of its more compact design.

Makita LS1221

Heavy Duty Blades Cut Variety of Materials

While the LS1221 comes with a 12-inch blade, its foundation will only support cuts for molding up to 5 1/2 inches tall, which can be limiting when tackling a large renovation job around the house.  It has 9 positive stops for quick switching between angle cuts up to 45 degrees. It is capable of completing beveled cuts as well, for a truly professional finish to your woodworking projects.  The carbon-tipped blade is able to cut through a variety of materials including wood, aluminum, vinyl and other trim finishes.

Electric Brakes Provides a Safer Workshop

For safety, the saw features an electric brake which actively stops the blade from spinning within two seconds of releasing the handle, protecting you and your family from accidental injury.  The articulated blade shield slides out of place as you cut down and slides back in place as you release.  The well-balanced unit will sit on most work tables without toppling and can be bolted down for a more permanent installation. It is fairly heavy for its size, but still manageable at about 50 pounds.

For everything the Makita LS1221 does do, it falls short of the competition in several areas.  The housing only tilts to the left for bevel cuts, instead of both ways. There is no laser sight to help you line up each cut and the blade does not extend in order to cut through extra wide pieces.  You will be switching to your circular saw more often as the LS1221 won’t be able to do everything a busy carpenter needs it to do.


Budget Pick: Hitachi C10FCE2 Miter Saw

Hitachi is not always found on the shelves of the big box stores, so may not be as easily recognized by weekend warriors, but this company has been building quality tools and machinery for decades.  The Hitachi C10FCE2 is a bargain priced compound saw that is able to deliver all the function the casual woodworker is looking for without breaking the bank.  It is not intended for the professional contractor, so you can’t expect it to do absolutely everything, but you should be pleasantly surprised with all that it can do.

Hitachi C10FCE2

Compact and Powerful Design Easily Handles Weekend Projects

It is a smaller unit with a 10-inch blade and weighs in just over 35 pounds, making it easier to store when not in use and to lift up onto your worktable. It does come with a powerful 15 amp motor that actually performs as advertised, providing enough muscle to cut through siding, trim and even floorboards without complaint. The usual 9 positive stops help you line up those common cuts but can open up to 52 degrees, allowing you to make those wide cuts that are sometimes needed to get the perfect angle for an aging home without square corners.

Tilting Head Makes Beveled Cuts

It offers the ability to tilt to the left to make beveled cuts, as well.  The handle features a soft grip and vibration-resistant mounting, which helps you keep a strong grip for drawing the saw down through the cut repeatedly throughout the day without experiencing fatigue in your hand and arm.  The flip fence offers back support for moldings up to 4 inches tall, which should be sufficient for most trim jobs.

Available Add-on Laser Sight Increases Versatility

It does not come with a laser sight but is designed to accommodate one for an added cost.  For most people, the extra dollars spent on the laser is worthwhile.

The 10-inch blade can pose a challenge for some projects, but if you are patient, it can power through a decking project if need be.  Best of all is backed up with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, so you know you can look forward to years of building with this latest addition to your toolbox.

In the end, the Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw is an excellent choice if you need a compound saw able to stand up to most small home improvement projects and can be relied upon for years to come.


#3 Pick: Homecraft H26-260L Miter Saw

Homecraft has been producing budget-friendly yet durable home tools for hobbyist and professionals since the 1990s and while the H26-260L may not offer the high-end features or convenience of some of the other mentioned models, for any budget conscious buyer, it’s a decent buy.

Homecraft H26-260L

Powerful yet portable and convenient

The 14 amp motor which delivers a speed of 5500 rpm teamed together with the 10-inch carbide blade can saw through most woods with great ease. The laser system that lights up the cut line helps you get a precise cut every time.

The saw has 5 stops that are 0, 15, 22.5, 30, and 45 degrees, while it can bevel from 0 to 47 degrees. Also, the angle locks are clearly marked for a quick and easy change.

It weighs only 25 pounds and thus can be carried from one place to another with great ease and is ideal for any DIYer with jobs to do at multiple places and it is compatible with most miter stands.

Affordable but not for professionals

While the saw boosts of good features and an affordable price, it isn’t the saw a professional would find handy especially because of its restricted cutting range of just 4.5 inches and neither does the blade provide the high-quality finish you’d expect.

Another drawback of the model is the poor dust bag which makes little attempt to keep your area clean. If you really want a quick and easy clean up check out our range of the best canister vacuums and get one today.


About the Author Dennis

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