There isn’t a tool in the workshop that is as versatile as a halfway decent miter saw – let alone the best miter saw money can buy!
Capable of making almost every single cut imaginable (and then some), the right miter saw – or chop saw – is going to completely transform your ability to work with wood and cut (and construct) more efficiently.
With the power miter saw in your workplace, you’re going to be able to turn out project after project a lot faster and with a lot more precision than you would have been able to before. This is exactly the kind of upgrade that you’re going to want to make to your collection of tools ASAP!
In order to select the best one, you’re going to need good information. That’s what out comprehensive, fact-based reviews will give you. The chart below is a great place to get started comparing makes and models right now!
|Makita LS1016L||Sliding Compound||10-Inch||4.6|
|DEWALT DWS780||Sliding Compound||12-Inch||4.8|
|Bosch GCM12SD||Sliding Compound||12-Inch||4.4|
When it comes to power tools, few names in the industry have the same kind of the legendary reputation that DeWalt does.
Responsible for making game changing power tools for decades and decades now, their 15 amp 12 inch single bevel compound miter saw is going to be a picture perfect addition to your workshop.
The 12 inch blade is going to be able to rip through most any with material you’re going to be working with on a chop saw, and its ability to bevel cuts is going to make trim work, cabinetry, and finish carpentry a lot easier as well. The tall sliding fence gives you the confidence you need to know that each cut is going to be perfectly square, and the machined base fence is going to give you incredible precision so that you are able to “lock in” and he bevel between zero and 48° (to the left) and zero through 50° (on the right). (full review)
- Legendary DeWalt reputation for dependability and reliability
- 15 amp “power plant” is heavy-duty enough to read through most anything
- 12 inch blade offers extreme cut capacity
- Beveled action increases the versatility of this miter saw considerably
Want to get the best deal on the DEWALT DW715? Check out the prices on Amazon.
Though it might not have the same kind of “name brand” recognition around the house that tools like DeWalt, Mikita, or Rigid have, the fact of the matter is that Hitachi have been responsible for putting out some pretty incredible tools – and they are compound miter saw is no exception.
Even though it has a 10 inch blade (as opposed to a 12 inch one) it still offers a tremendous cut capability that you’ll find useful in most every project you tackle. You’ll be able to handle anything up to 8 inches wide without any trouble, and can even handle larger pieces of material if you’re willing to “rip and flip”.
The bevel gives you the opportunity to cut up to 45° angles in just about every which way but loose, and you are going to be able to lock in those angles using the proprietary stop and lock mechanism that Hitachi takes advantage of. The carbon brush access allows you to remove, maintain, or replace the carbon brush as necessary to increase the longevity of this saw – a big benefit for those that don’t feel like dropping a couple of hundred bucks every 10 years or so on a new chop box.
- Amazing durability and performance from high-end Asian brand Hitachi
- Large extended flip fence to help guide material for precision cuts
- Single bevel (upwards of 45°) offers a lot of range and versatility
- 10 inch blade makes it lighter weight and easier to manipulate
Want to get your hands on this super miter saw? Check out the Hitachi C10FCE2 on Amazon and get the best deal.
If you’re really looking for a miter saw that will contend for the top spot as the very quality miter saw on the market today, you’re going to want to look closer at the Makita LS1016L. It has everything you need AND everything you want from a chop saw, though it could do with a 12 inch saw blade upgrade (but that’s really nitpicking).
A 15 amp motor is going to drive this saw through pretty much any construction material you can imagine – including pressure-treated 4 x 4’s, cement board siding, and a whole host of other construction materials that most other underpowered 10 inch chop saws would start to choke just looking at.
The proprietary six linear ball bearing mechanism provides what Mikita calls “dead on accurate cuts”, and when you combine that slide system with a laser precision aiming mechanism, you’re really looking at something special.
12 inch cross cuts at 90° are possible with the slide compound system, and the fence mechanisms make sure that each and every cut is as precise as the last.
- Heavy-duty and well-made chop saw that can handle pretty much anything you throw at it
- 10 inch blade with slide dramatically extends capability and cut capacity
- Proprietary bearing system and laser aiming mechanism make this easy to use for everyone
A few different types of miter saw options
When it comes to finding the top rated miter saw out there, you’re going to have a couple of different types that you’ll be able to pick and choose from.
For starters, you’ll have the simplest of all the miter saw options – the traditional miter saw.
This offers a variety of different cuts at a variety of different angles, and you’ll usually be able to cut between 0° and 45° on both sides of the saw, moving, manipulating, and locking the saw into different angles along the way.
A compound miter saw is the next “step up”, and it offers blade angles that can pivot left and right as well as side to side – really opening up quite a bit of flexibility that you wouldn’t have had with a traditional job box. This is going to help you make compound cuts with one swoop of the saw blade, speeding things up dramatically.
Finally you have dual compound miter saws and sliding compound miter saws. These are the “big kids on the block” as far as chop saw power tools are concerned, and are going to provide you with the most versatility of the bunch.
Dual compound saws tilt in both directions (left and right) to create bevel edges at any angle, while a sliding compound miter saw does the same thing but goes back and forth to extend the cut capacity of the saw at the same time.
If you’re looking for the quality miter saw money can buy (and budget is no question), you’ll want to get your hands on a sliding dual compound miter saw. They offer the most capacity and the most versatility – though they might be a bit “too much tool” for most common applications.
Consult the following chart for help in determining which miter saw is best suited to your needs. [via homedepot]
|Saw Type||Bevel||Cuts||Key Benefits|
|Basic Miter Saw||None||
|Compound Miter Saw||
|Sliding Compound Miter Saw||
|Cordless Miter Saw||
What to Look Out for When Choosing a Miter Saw
At the end of the day, there are a couple of different things you’re going to want to focus in on when hunting for the good miter saw for your specific needs.
Type of Blade
A blade is a key component of using a miter saw. You need to ensure that you get it right the first time. The blade will vary in size starting from 8 to 12 inches. You can check out what the vendor has and choose the blade based on your cutting needs. Remember that there are different types of blades for cutting different styles for any design. Consider getting a blade that is multipurpose to help you cut down on the costs of buying many blades.
The Angle Adjustment
From the name miter, it simply means at an angle. You need to know just how much angle can you get from the miter saw. In most cases, you will be cutting wood through a given angle as per the design. The saw should be flexible enough to go through various angles to achieve the best precision. Most of the miter saws can go up to 60 degrees on either sides whether it is left or right. Some models will only miter on one side, consider choosing one that can do for both sides for quicker use.
The sliding capability has quite a number of advantages that most people would want. The sliding action will help you to cut the pieces with greater widths. You should check to see if the model you are interested in can provide the sliding action. The sliding action helps in a number of designs that your clients might have. The same technique can be used if you need to make bigger fencing posts that have large width. Also, such saws would have a large capacity, which is what you need for such a function. Check out our top picks of sliding compound miter saws.
Bevel or Compound Miter Saw
Bevel in this case means that the saw will be able to cut at angled bevel into the wood. This action allows for cutting 2 angles into the wood at once. The mechanism works by the head saw tilting to one side as well as rotate the saw table. You will find that some saws will be single bevel while the others are double bevel. For the complex furniture making and crown molding, you need something that can offer complex angled cuts. Choose a respected brand that offers the best compound miter saw.
As part of enticing the users to buy their products, some companies will have some additional features to make their miter saws to stand. Some additional features might include coming with lights all over the machine. The lights help when working in some bad-lit workspace. This is where your visibility is limited. You can now easily see the wood and work on it easily without any issues.
Some manufacturers create adjustable rear fences, extension arms and clamps. The aim is to help provide a surface for you to support your wood while working on it. Also, it creates a way of working on large wood without straining.
Accessories Provided by Manufacturer
Accessories are what will make your working easier or harder. Most manufacturers will provide such power tools with impressive design and styles. Due to the number of accessories included, this will affect how the machine is used, transported or clamped to a workspace. Some accessories might include adjustable legs for better height, long power cords for easy reaching to different sides of the wood with the machine, different types of blades among many others. Such accessories are seen to be perfect for sites that might be always require a lot of cutting and it has to be made as simple as possible.
Dust Collection, Extraction and Management Methods
You can expect that there will be a lot of dust generated whenever working with a wood. You need to find a machine that has the best dust collection. If your workspace is not kept clean, not many people would want to work with you. Some machines will come with their own dust collection and extraction methods while others might need a person to install them manually. You can decide whether it would be better to have your own dust collection method installed or rely on the one provided by the machine manufacturer.
Ease of Use for the Machine
Ease of use is quite important for those who need the best machine they can buy. The ease of use will depend on the number of features available on the machine. Some manufacturers might have complex machines, but still easy to operate. Such machines will have easy controls that will help largely when it comes to controlling it. Consider reading reviews first about the machine operation before picking one. The reviews will help you make a decision on the best machine that will work for you based on your skillset that you might have.
Speed and Motor Considerations
The speed of the machine will determine just how much work you will do within a specific amount of time. Some people would want a machine that provides more speed because they have a lot of work to handle. Still, the motor power is what will determine what you can gain from the machine. Working at high RPMs will depend on the strength of your motor. Strong motors can deliver the best speeds that anyone would want today. Take the time to learn more about the different machines and the amount of speed that it offers before making a decision on which looks the best.
The safety of anyone operating power tools is very important. You will want a machine that can be turned off easily in case of disaster. Most machines now have an emergency stop that will cut the power to the machine and stop it immediately. You can be sure that the manufacturers take the safety measures very seriously. It would be better if you check out the different models and learn about the safety measures included. It is only then that you can choose the best machine that guarantees safety at all times. If you are unsure, ask friends who are in the same business to offer guidance.
Know Your Saw
If you are looking to make the best cuts with your miter saw, then it is important that you get to understand what is needed to keep it working properly. Sometimes the saw might make perfect square bevels, but the miter is not always in great condition, you will always have to make a few adjustments to keep it working just the way you want. In order to know more about your saw, you have to keep on practicing with it and making the changes where necessary.
Blade tracking is a common problem you are likely to encounter when using a miter saw over a long time. This problem is prevalent in the sliding saws. To avoid making the worst cuts with such a problem present, you need to ensure that the saw blade and rods are adjusted to be parallel to each other. If the adjustment is not made, you will end up with a saw blade that cuts more wood than needed as it goes through the miter kerf. (Check This Video Out)
Sometimes you might get the blade plate ending up to burn or rub the woods when cutting it. This simply means that your blade is within the same it should be with the machine’s saw head. Most of the saws would have been machined with CNC equipment with a bit of tolerance. If the saw starts to have issues with tacking, then there should have been some changes to the saw after buying it. It is common when the head bends or when you have a sawing accident.
Unfortunately, the blade tracking problem does not have adjustment solutions. The best options would be replacing the parts or just buying a new saw.
Well, as much as it might seem that you have no option when there is blade tracking issue, you can try to be creative and see where it leads. You can clamp the bent head on a vise and keep pushing until you hear a popping sound. If it is harder than you thought, you could ask a friend to help out with the process. Keep closing the vise around the bend area trying to straighten it out. Some people have been lucky with such a method and ended up using the model more than they had expected.
You should now be in a position to know some of the things that can easily make your saw not to work effectively. The best way would be making sure that you give more attention. You need to be checking it out on a regular basis to ensure that any problems are caught in time and dealt with. If you give the miter saw the right maintenance it deserves, then you should have no problem using it for a long time.