In this post, you will find our list of the 10 best miter saws [sliding & non-sliding compound miter saws] that we picked from the top 100 best sellers in this year 2020.
Our top pick
We recommend the DEWALT DWS779 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw is the best overall in our list of the 10 miter saws.
List of the 10 best miter saws
Sliding Compound Miter Saw
3800 RPM motor
Maximum Cutting Thickness: 6.75 inch
12" Single bevel compound miter saw
15 Amp, 4,000 Rpm Motor
Miter dentent override with 5/8" Arbor
10" Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw
Motor Horsepower 2.57 hp
0 - 52° miter angle with 0 - 45° bevel range
12" Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
15 amp, 3800 rpm motor
10 positive stops miter detent plate
12" Dual-Bevel Sliding Glide Miter Saw
15 amp, 3800 rpm motor
14" horizontal & nominal 6" 1/2 vertical cutting capacity
7 1/4" Sliding Miter Saw
3,800 RPM motor
8" Cross cut at 90° and 5.5" Cross cut at 45°
12" Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
15-Amp, 3800rpm motor
45° adjustable to left and right
10" Compound Miter Saw
15 AMP 4,600 RMP direct drive motor
Miter cuts 0-45 left and 0-52 right
7 1/4" Cordless Compound Miter Saw
18V direct drive motor
0°-45° adjustable level
12" Dual Bevel Sliding Miter Saw
15 amp Dual-Field motor
4 x 14 cross cut capacities
We hope this list of the 10 best miter saws was helpful.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
What to look for when buying a miter saw
A miter saw can make crosscuts, miters, and bevels in trim that locks everything in place, so to speak. It performs intricate work more quickly, precisely, and safely.
Miter saws fall into three categories:
- Stationary compound
- Sliding compound
- Sliding dual compound (also called double or dual bevel).
As you might guess, the price increases with a saw’s design sophistication.
Stationary compound miter saws can make miter cuts to the right and left but bevel cuts in only one direction.
Sliding compound miter saws have the added capability of moving forward and back along rails.
More capable still is the sliding dual compound miter saw that can do everything the other saws can do plus bevel cuts to the right and left.
The two sliding designs are the most popular because the rails increase a blade’s crosscut capacity.
For example, a miter saw blade 12 inches in diameter:
If the saw doesn’t slide, the maximum crosscut capacity for a 90° cut is the blade diameter – 12 inches. Well, short of 12 inches thanks to the arbor getting in the way. But a sliding feature can increase the crosscut by several inches – up to 16 inches or so.
For a 10-inch or smaller miter saw, it can get you a crosscut capacity equal to or greater than a stationary 12-inch model.
Now you might be thinking that you’ve seen saws that resemble a miter saw but neither miter nor bevel.
Those saws are better characterized as chop saws and they’re more often used with abrasive cutting wheels for metal cutting.
While there are a few multi-use chop saws out there, most are either dedicated to woodcutting or metal cutting. The chop and miter saws are best considered as two separate tools given that most run at different RPM and the chop saw is sealed to withstand the hot metal waste produced during the cut.
Most miter saws are corded tools with 10-, 12-, or 15-amp motors. Consider a more powerful motor if you’ll be making a lot of wide crosscuts or using hardwoods. If the saw will cut thinner trim made of pine or composite material, a less powerful motor is adequate.
But corded miter saws are no longer the only option. Viable battery-powered options have given tradesmen and DIYers reason to rejoice. It’s not necessary to be tethered to a cord.
Today’s cordless miter saws are smaller, lighter, and exceedingly useful for medium-duty and punch list work. Even better: they typically have brushless motors that offer longer life, lower maintenance, and several more benefits.
For quieter, smoother startup operation, consider a miter saw with a soft start motor.
Blade & Crosscut Capacity
We talked briefly about the crosscut capacity already, but there’s more to be said (and we’ve never been short on words!).
Miter saw blades have traditionally been made in 8-1/4-, 8-1/2-, 10-, and 12-inch diameters. A bigger blade diameter allows a longer cut – in other words, a bigger crosscut, miter, and bevel capability.
If you intend to cut wide molding or dimensional lumber, make sure either the blade or the combination of the blade and slide capacity exceeds that width.
An advantage of the 10-inch blade diameter is the interchangeability with a table saw.
You won’t need to buy two sets of circular blades if you don’t mind taking the time to swap the blades between your table and miter saws.
The same holds true for your circular saw and cordlessmiter saws that use 7-1/4-inch blades. The 7-1/4-inch blades are more readily available, which is a big advantage in a pinch.
Consider a blade with a higher TPI (Teeth Per Inch) for cuts in hardwoods or clean finished cuts in any material.
The higher the tooth count, the finer the finish. No matter what you choose, make sure to replace the blade when it dulls – it’s safer and much easier on the saw’s motor.
Pro Tip: High tooth count blades cost more than low tooth count, but the best can eliminate the need to sand the edge.
Angle Ranges and Detents
There’s some variability in the maximum miter and bevel ranges but all saws will be able to cut 45°.
You’ll find some compound saws with a 48° range and some dual compound saws with asymmetric ranges like 50° to the left and 62° to the right.
There are some tricks of the trade for cutting odd angles, but that’s beyond our scope here.
For nearly all intents and purposes, except for some odd angles for skilled carpenters, any miter saw will have the necessary angle ranges.
We recommend saws with positive stop detents – which is almost a standard feature, anyway.
A detent is a mechanical catch that locks a machine’s movement until it’s released. In this way, there’s no guesswork about accurate angles.
Miter saws should have detents at the most common angles: 90°, 45°, and 22.5° at least. Look for a saw with an easy, smooth detent override that allows you to move the saw without the detent engaging each positive stop along the way and back.
Saws will likely have fewer bevel detents (and some have none), but it’s nice to have them at least at 0° and 45°.
For years, miter saws have used a laser beam to mark the blade’s path across the material. It’s a premium feature, to be sure, so not every saw has it.
Although they work reasonably well, they certainly don’t make accurate cuts foolproof. First, the red laser diode isn’t tied to the blade, so it’s possible it can be off by a hair.
We’ve had saws that would leave our cuts 1/8-inch short if we didn’t know the blade cuts to the right of the laser line.
Of course, the diode can just malfunction and not shine. But perhaps the biggest drawback is the one we associate with red laser levels in bright light – they are quite hard to see. And the miter saw often sits outside, seriously diminishing the cut line’s usefulness.
It’s the reason some premium laser levels now use green diodes – they are easier to see – but they are much more expensive than red diodes.
So is there a solution? Well, yes, and perhaps ironically, it’s a lot less sophisticated than a laser. Several saws now are using an LED light to cast the blade’s shadow onto the material.
Since the blade creates the shadow, it’s always accurate. Although the LED could go out, it’s easy to see a shadow even on the brightest of days.
Fences and Material Supports
The miter saw’s fence keeps the wood secure during the cut.
Always, always be sure the material is firmly pressed up against the fence. Failure to do so is quite dangerous as the saw blade grabs the material and violently jerks it toward the fence.
We’ve seen smaller stock go airborne with less experienced users.
Fences come in different heights and some even slide out to extend support for longer pieces.
If you plan to cut tall crown molding or other tall stock, opt for taller fences for maximum support.
And speaking of support, material supports on either side of the table are helpful for flimsy stock. But they are limited compared to the extension supports found on many miter saw stands, which we’ll discuss in a moment.