As an enthusiastic woodworker, there are several tools you need to have if you’re to get the most out of your skills. A miter saw is the least of them, but owning one can still be a worthwhile investment. It, without doubt, is the simplest when making crosscuts and angled cuts of the same length. Hence, the reason for its wide application in laminate flooring, crown molding, door framing, window casing, and more.
Of course, a table saw, band saw, and circular saw can also produce results in this kind of project. But the overall design of a miter saw allows you to effortlessly make cuts at a variety of angles. And as an added advantage, the tool is easy to carry and transport to your job site.
Although available in various categories, in this article we’re going to look at the best miter saw for a homeowner like you. A tool that is budget-friendly, but at the same time highly performing.
Before we come to that, nonetheless, let’s look at the various types of miter saw and their uses. Then, we can sort out the top options for domestic use.
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The Various Types of a Miter Saw
Standard Miter Saws
Of the three types of a miter saw, this is the simplest version, which comprises a blade on a vertical arm, miter table, and fence. The tool can make bevel and miter cuts of angles between -45 and +45 degrees.
It has a characteristic light weight, which makes it so comfortable to use and easy to transport. The miter saw style has most of the basic functions you’ll need to do crosscuts and beveled cuts. And it’s pretty affordable when compared with the other two designs. Hence, can be an excellent choice in your home-based workshop.
Compound Miter Saws
Technically, this type is an upgrade of the standard miter saw, whereby it allows you to do more than you would have. Just as the name, the stool has an extra capability to make compound cuts alongside the bevels, miters, and crosscuts.
In case you’re wondering, a compound cut tends to feature a combination of a miter [angled crosscut] and a bevel [sloped cut]. The cut type is fairly difficult to achieve with the hand-powered saws, but with a miter saw, it’s effortless and more accurate.
With a compound miter saw, both the blade and the arm holding it can be adjusted at an angle. Hence, allowing you to cut at an angle and bevel at the same time.
Needless to say, the compound miter saw blades come in two different styles. Some tilts in only one direction [single bevel], while others can take either left or right [double bevel].
While this tool tends to offer more functionality, it usually comes with a higher price tag than the standard miter saw. So, it’s a worthwhile investment but could be over the odds if you don’t need that extra function.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw
When working with both a standard and compound miter saw, the width which you can cut is limited. This is so as the two have their blades attached to an arm fixed at the base of the saw. Thus, allowing it to only move up and down.
With a sliding miter saw, the blade is often attached to a “telescopic” arm system which can extend horizontally. Hence, letting the blade to move in and out, as well as up and down, increasing the cutting capacity.
In simple words, this means the saw has higher working efficiency than both the standard and compound miter saws. Only bear in mind the tool type is the most expensive of the three. Hence, you might need to thoroughly decipher if you really need it and whether you’ll be using it regularly.
The Best Miter Saw For Homeowner
Every type of miter saw has its capabilities and unique areas of application. As such, you can choose a standard model but it fails to serve your needs satisfactorily because your demands require a compound or sliding type.
With that said, let’s look at some of the best miter saws that you can get for domestic use- starting with the DEWALT [DWS715].
1. Editor’s Choice: DEWALT [DWS715] 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw
As our favorite pick, this piece has a favorable price yet it comes ready for use. It consists of a complete miter saw kit, with a carbide blade, blade wrench, dust bag, and a vertical board clamp.
Like most of the other tools from the brand, it has high-quality construction, with a solid miter table and a stainless steel detent plate. The plate has 14 positive stops that help you achieve maximum productivity for different situations. It has a cam Miter lock that gives the miter table a firm grip for better accuracy, and easy adjustments for easier cutting.
The miter saw has a single left bevel that runs up to 48 degrees. It operates with a 15 AMP motor that runs at a speed of up to 4,000 revolutions/ minute without overheating or bogging down. Hence, durable and economical.
- It features a high-grade construction to enhance durability
- Has tall sliding fences that support up to 6.5” baseboard vertical cuts
- Features a robust detent plate with bold scale markings
- It’s electric-powered, with a 15 AMP motor
- Available with a high-grade carbide blade for both soft and hardwood
- Can make 2×8” miter [90°] cuts and 2×6” 45° cuts
- Comes with predrilled holes for easier mounting on the work table
- The miter saw has a headlock pin to lock the cutting head at the down position for easy storage and transport.
2. Best Budget: Metabo HPT [C10FCH2S] Compound Miter Saw
This is also a single bevel miter saw that can tilt between zero and 45 degrees to the left. It’s an excellent choice to expand your arsenal of tools without having to spend a fortune or drain your pockets.
The miter saw has a leveled table that includes a vice clamping system to firmly secure your stock when cutting. Sturdy and very flexible, this table can rotate to the right and left from 0-52 degrees. It has a solid detent plate that uses a tightening knob to securely grip on the positive stops.
The saw is electric-powered, operating with a 15 AMP motor that provides a [no-load] speed of up to 5,000 revolutions/ minute. It has a tall fence to allow high-precision crosscuts, plus a dust port and collection bag to keep your surroundings with minimal sawdust.
- It uses a 10-inch blade, which can cut 4×4” lumber with ease
- Features a horizontal handle that allows a comfortable control with either hand
- Consists of a single left bevel system with up to 45-degree adjustment
- Includes a tall pivoting flip fence for higher vertical cutting
- Has a large table and vice clamp to secure the board
- Its horizontal handle has an anti-slip grip for comfortable control
- The saw is very light and budget-friendly
The dust collection system is not very effective, especially for the bag. Also, the laser guide is not very helpful in lighted environments.
3. Best Design: CRAFTSMAN [CMCS714M1] Sliding Miter Saw
This is a great piece for your distinguished taste of aesthetics and innovative styles. It features a lovely blend of red, black, and silver colors, plus a sturdy construction to enable high performance and extended longevity.
The miter saw has a well-crafted table, which is flat and strong to provide the best cutting experience. It has a single bevel system that can tilt up to 47 degrees to give you better-angled cuts. That’s not all.
The saw blade attaches to a fine double rail system that helps extend its cutting capacity up to 8 inches [in width]. Moreover, it has a rugged miter detent plate that has 9 positive stops to deliver better accuracy.
As a cordless tool, this sliding miter saw allows you to effectively work without worrying if there is electricity or not. Only make sure you have multiple batteries and keep them fully charged before work.
- It has an innovative design, with a lovely blend of colors
- Allows you cut up to 8-inch width lumber and 3-5/16 thickness
- Vertically, you can cut 3-5/8” crown molding and 3-1/2” baseboard.
- Comes with a high quality 7-1/4 inch carbide blade
- Has a magnified bevel scale to maintain high accuracy
- It features a state of the art battery that has a charge indicator
- The sliding miter saw is durable and very affordable.
Although it does have a dust port and collection bag, the miter saw still leaves out a significant amount of dust. Another thing, the brand offers it with only one battery, which might be insufficient unless you purchase an extra one.
4. Best Bestseller: DEWALT [DWS779] Sliding Compound Miter Saw
DEWALT is one of the most trusted power tool brands, and even with miter saws, it’s no different. For a model, this particular piece is the current bestseller, with more than 1,300 positive reviews on Amazon.
The sliding miter saw comprises a 12-inch blade that you can use to cut a wide range of lumbers, including 4×4”. It has a solid miter table that can rotate up to 60° to the right and 50° to the left. The table allows you to do your cutting comfortably and precisely, courtesy of the added exclusive cam lock mechanism.
As a dual bevel miter saw, this tool allows you to easily make beveled cuts in both left and right positions. Hence, meaning you won’t need to turn the workpiece. It’s electric-powered, with a 15 AMP motor that delivers a cutting speed of up to 3,800 Revolutions/ minute without bogging down.
- It features a high-quality, sturdy construction to offer the best performances and prolonged life
- You can cut 6 inches thickness stock without difficult
- Has tall sliding fences that support vertical cuts of up to 7-1/2 inch
- Features a magnified bevel scale to enable easy and accurate adjustments
- Allows you to make angled cuts from either side
- Comes with an innovative vice clamp to secure the board when cutting
- The sliding miter saw has a highly efficient dust collection system
The saw doesn’t have a built-in LED or laser cutting guide. Hence, you’ll need to purchase separately and set up by yourself. Also, this tool is quite expensive compared with the other products we’ve reviewed.
5. Best Release: Metapo HPT [C8FSHES] Sliding Compound Miter Saw
This is another premium miter saw that you can include in your bucket list when you need to get the most from your woodworking. Its design is for the toughest application, starting with the installed 9.5 AMP motor that cuts through materials at a [no-load] speed of 5,500 Revolutions/ minute.
The miter saw has an exemplary slide system that enables the blade to smoothly move out for an extended width cut. It has a solid and leveled miter table that has 8 positive stops for quick and firmer adjustments.
The tool is largely a single bevel that has a range of up 48° to the left, but it also supports a 5-degree tilt to the right. It does have an adjustable pivot fence to support accurate vertical cuts, and a vice assembly system to secure the lumber when cutting.
- It’s electric-powered, which ensure continuous use without interruptions
- Has an integrated LED work light for brighter visibility
- Includes a laser guide line to enhance high accuracy
- Uses an 8-1/2” blade that cuts a maximum depth of 3-15/16 inches
- Features highly visible markings on both the bevel and miter scale
- It has a vertical handle with elastomer grip for better control
- Comes with a complete dust collection system [including bag]
- The sliding miter saw packs a 5-year warranty
The saw is quite expensive due to the additional features, and you can’t cut a 4×4” lumber at once.
6.Best Alternative: Delta Shopmaster S26-272L Sliding Compound Miter Saw
This is a great alternative sliding miter saw that you can use to make different types of cuts, including miters, bevels, compound, and crosscuts. It has a rustic silver design, with rugged constructions to provide better performance and lengthy durability.
The saw has a double rail system that holds the blade in place, allowing it to slide out and increase the cutting capacity width-wise. At 90-degree, the tool can cut up to 13-inch, whereas 45° gives a maximum cut of up to 9-1/2 inch.
It has fantastic miter capabilities, which include 0-45° left rotation and 0-50° right rotation. The miter detent plate has 8 positive stops that allow maximum productivity and high cutting efficiency without wobbles. It’s electric-powered, running with a 15 AMP motor that cuts at a speed of 4,000 revolutions/ minute.
The saw does come with an adjustable rip fence, laser guide, and work clamp. So, you won’t need to worry about accuracy at all.
- It has a sturdy die-cast aluminum work table for a high cutting efficiency
- Uses 12-inch blade that can cut up to a 4-inch thickness
- Supports up to vertical cuts and 14-inch width cuts
- Has a clear blade guard for optimal visibility on your cutting line
- Includes a miter lock knob to secure the saw at your desired angle
- The sliding saw has a horizontal handle that is comfortable for both left and right-handed.
The only gripes we have with the saw is that the dust-bag is not very effective as expected. You will need to connect with a shop vacuum for the best result.
Buying Guide: Essential Tips to Consider While Choosing the Best Miter Saw For Homeowner
Like we said earlier, every type of miter saw has its capabilities and the areas it’s best suited. As such, you have to make a proper decision before you order any of the products. Otherwise, you will end up buying a product you never required or lesser than your needs.
Even so, here are some of the features you have to watch out for while buying any type of miter saw:
Whether your woodworking is a hobby or fulltime job, the tools you have should always deliver high efficiency and accuracy. For your miter saw, therefore, you have to make sure features like the miter detents [angle stops] and bevel stops are solid.
A laser guide, vice clamp, and a rip fence will also make sure you get to achieve accurate cuts. So, check out for them as well.
After accuracy, you can then check and compare the kind of angles between the various types of saws before you. This will help you discern the model which is the most versatile and fit for your projects.
If it’s the maximum bevel angle, the majority of them have up to 45°, but there are several that goes up to 48°. The miter angles, on the other, do vary a lot and you can find some offering a scale of up to 60°. And as the rule of thumb stands, the greater the maximum miter angle, the better the performance.
For this one, you have to make sure you choose a sturdy and leveled design to enjoy a better cutting efficiency without cracking or inaccuracy. It should align properly with the rip fence and firmly secure the board with a safety clamp.
For the general rule, the more powerful the motor is, the effortless it’s to cut through materials. So consider a motor that delivers a higher cutting speed as it’ll even minimize the likelihood of binding or burning the stock.
This one is more of a safety mechanism to protect you from getting cut. It usually covers most of the blade when at a resting position, and then start retracting upwards as you plunge the saw head to your workpiece.
Even when cutting, a significant part of the saw is still covered for added security. As such, a clear guard can surely come in handy in enabling better visibility of the cut line.
Miter saws usually spin the blade at a speed of several thousand times per minute. For sure, this should take a long time to come to a stop, but with electric brakes, it can take less than three seconds. Thereby, minimizing the risk of losing a finger or nose.
How to use a Miter Saw – A complete beginner’s guide
Which is the best miter saw for the money?
Technically, that depends on several aspects… your preference, budget, and what you need it for. If on a tight budget, a model like the Metabo HPT [C10FCH2S] can be a nice pick for you. And if you prefer quality regardless of the cost, then you can get a model like the DEWALT [DWS715].
Which is better between an 8-1/2 inch and 12-inch miter saw?
The two saws are leveled because they both have worthwhile but unique strengths. For a model, the 12-inch blade can cut a thicker workpiece [more than 5 inches] than an 8-1/2 inch blade [max 3-15/16 inch]. The latter, on the other hand, has a smaller circumference, in which case it will spin faster than its counterpart when both have similar motors. Hence, producing a finer finish.
Is a sliding miter saw really worth it?
If you have more projects requiring it, the saw is surely a great investment. Its extendable blade allows cutting on wider stock, and also its teeth remain sharper for longer since it cuts with lesser resistance.
Will a 10-inch miter saw cut a 4×4” lumber?
When it comes to cutting a 4” thick lumber, a 12-inch miter saw tend to be the best since it has a maximum cut capacity of more than 5”. Even so, a 10-inch saw can also cut but it has a little allowance of 0.6 inch which has a high risk of dangerous kickbacks. So, for your question, it’ not advisable for safety reasons but yes, you can cut a 4×4” wood stock.
While looking for the best miter saw for home use, there are several factors you should consider. These attributes will help ensure you choose a product that is better suited to most of your situations. Hence, making sure your investment is definitely worth it and you’re free of unnecessary disappointments.
From our list, we have shared quite a number of crucial info around a miter saw and even reviewed some of the bestselling products in the market. We hope you now have the solution you have been seeking and that you’re better armed for your endeavor.
Final words, always keep your tool clean and properly maintained to serve you better and for a longer time.