Best Miter Saw in 2018 – Reviews of Compound, Sliding & Other Models

Whether you are a professional cabinet maker or amateur carpentry enthusiast, a miter saw is a must-have addition to any wood working shop. Sometimes referred to as a chop saw or drop saw, miter saws allow anyone to make precision angled cuts on pieces of wood like molding, door frames, or similar pieces of wood that need to fit together perfectly at an angle.

Best Miter Saw

Miter saws come in three varieties:

  • Compound
  • Double bevel compound
  • Sliding compound

10 Best Miter Saw in 2018 - Reviews

With the variety of designs and blade sizes available, choosing the best miter saw is critical for producing the best woodworking products possible. To help you find the best miter saw for your shop, here are some product reviews of miter saws from premier manufacturer DeWalt and several other power tool makers.

5 Best DeWalt Miter Saws 

As a premier manufacturer of consumer and professional grade power tools, DeWalt miter saws are the first choice for carpenters and woodworkers who depend on their tools to earn a living or provide high quality performance necessary to create the finished crafts of their trade.

Here are the top five DeWalt miter saws for amateur and professional use:

1. DEWALT DWS780 Miter Saw

If you regularly make compound cuts at an angle for fitting frames, joints, and cabinets together, the DWS780 is going to be your top of the line option for a powerful and capable miter saw. Not only can it rotate precisely to complete opposing cuts on either end of a piece of wood, but it also features the ability to precisely slide the section closer or further from the saw blade, adding to its versatility.

The bevel has locking position stops at zero degrees, 22.5 degrees, 33.9 degrees, 45 degrees and 49 degrees. These rotation stops make it easy to cut molding and frames to fit together perfectly every time with minimal effort.

Additionally, the 12-inch blade allows for quick precise cuts on full sized sections of lumber or timber, making it ideal for fitting door frames and window frames, or for making rustic furniture.

Finally, the DWS780 also has cam locks to hold your boards and molding in place securely before, during, and after cutting, and the blade and base cam locks make it easy to exchange multiple pieces for multiple precise cuts when you are putting the finishing touches on multiple frames or sections of molding around doors.

Ultimately, this is a professional grade miter saw that can handle just about any kind of wood cutting you can throw at it, whether it’s hardwood, softwood, or pieces of timber. It is a high end product, but when you are uncompromising in the quality of your work, this is the miter saw you need.

What we liked

  • Powerful motor with 12” blade for longer deep cuts
  • Locking blade assembly for precise angled cuts
  • Base has locking cams for secure positioning during cutting

What we didn't like

  • 12” blade and motor draw more electricity
  • Does not include saw stand
  • 12” blades cost more/take longer to sharpen

2. DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw

For those craftsmen who put in a lot of time crosscutting, the DeWalt DW716XPS is the tight miter saw for the job. With a 15 amp motor and a powerful 12 inch blade, this saw makes compound cuts fast and easy without compromising safety or quality. The bevel is left and right adjustable up to a 50 degree angle in either direction, and the cam lock fence in the base keep your lumber or timber in place while you make those precision angled cuts.

The helpful built-in LED accessory light helps you accurately determine the angle of your cut, and helps you keep your cut consistent from start to finish thanks to the increased visibility. The DW716XPS also features a 6.5 inch cutting height and a louvered guard that allows the user to see the blade even when the saw is in use. For most workshops and hobbyists, this miter saw is more than adequate to any task you may put it to, and the power and precision are comparable to many professional grade saws that are also available commercially. So long as your crosscutting needs are fairly straightforward, the DW716XPS is an exceptional value.

What we liked

  • 3800 RPM motor
  • Bevel adjustable to 50 degrees left or right
  • Built in cam locks keep lumber and timber secure

What we didn't like

  • 12” blades and motors use more electricity
  • Bevel does not have locking stops at specific angles
  • Does not include a stand or mounting kit

3. DEWALT DWS709 Slide Miter Saw

Built for easy compound cutting with an adjustable slide for varying cutting depth, the DWS709 is the “little” sister to the top of the line DWS780. Eschewing the double compound cutting feature but retaining much of the high end accessories like the locking bevel and adjustable sliding miter, DWS709 is still a well built and powerful miter saw that will stand up to heavy use in any setting. The 12 inch blade provides fast, clean cuts, and the powerful 3800 RPM motor can stand up to years of heavy use.

The 709’s bevel is adjustable up to 60 degrees on the right and 50 degrees on the left, and it has multiple detents to lock in the most common angles use for cutting molding and frames. Locking cams on the base make it easy to position your board or molding securely during cutting, and the rotating fence also locks into place for common cutting angles as well.

Overall, the DWS709 is essentially a slightly stripped down version of DeWalt’s top of the line DWS780 miter saw, but it doesn’t sacrifice anything in terms of power, reliability, or precision. It’s an excellent choice if you know that you don’t need all the features of the 780 model, but still provides the same performance of the the much more expensive and feature-rich, high-end miter saw.

What we liked

  • Powerful 12 inch blade with 3800 RPM motor
  • Bevel angles to 60 degrees right/50 degrees left
  • Locking cams and rotating miter for peak precision

What we didn't like

  • Does not feature double compound cutting
  • No stand included
  • Locking bevel and miter offer fewer detents than 780 model

4. DEWALT DW715 15-Amp Miter Saw

Even though this is one of the more economical DeWalt miter saws, it is still built to the same exacting standards and provides the same power and performance of their high end product. What sets the DW715 apart is that it has a single direction bevel, and rotates up to 48 degrees to the left from a zero vertical.

Like all DeWalt miter saws, the miter is still fully adjustable with locking detents, and it even has the option to lock in custom angles on the miter that are between or outside standard angle detents. In other words, in addition to locking in preset angles, you can also lock in precision custom angles by sliding and locking the miter down.

The ability to make bevel and angle cuts makes this an extremely useful midrange miter saw, and if you need to make multiple cuts for finishing work on molding, frames, or other complex cutting jobs, this model has the features you need to get the job done without taking up all of your tool budget. Best of all, it also comes with a fine carbide cutting blade that wastes less wood and produces less dust. The DW715 is an excellent value and a real workhorse in the shop, making it an ideal entry level model for hobbyists or Things we liked: that have limited miter saw cutting needs.

What we liked

  • Single direction bevel
  • Carbide cutting blade
  • Locking detents and custom miter angle

What we didn't like

  • Bevel cutting is not bi-directional
  • More limited in its versatility
  • Cannot vary the length of cuts

5. DEWALT DWS779 12" Sliding Miter Saw

Need a miter saw that does it all without the price sticker shock? Look no further than the DeWalts DWS779 12” sliding compound miter saw. This model not only offers dual-direction bevel cutting up to 60 degrees left/50 degrees right, but also has a locking fence that can be rotated to custom cut angles for perfect precision angle cutting every time.

This miter saw also has the added advantage of a sliding saw arm, allowing you to extend or contract the length of each cut for projects that require multidimensional cuts for a proper fit. This is a feature typically only reserved for much more expensive high end models, yet the DWS779 provides all of these features at a value price.

Best of all, the blade on this 12 inch miter saw is also blade of carbide, which lasts longer and requires no sharpening in order to provide maximum performance. The DWS779 is altogether a superior product that can handle any miter saw cutting task with ease, and is an altogether exceptional value.

What we liked

  • Dual direction cutting and sliding arm
  • Cam locking miter and bevel
  • Transparent blade guard

What we didn't like

  • Draws more electricity than 10” models
  • Added features may be overkill for some shops or hobbyists
  • Mounting hardware and stand not included

Others Top Rated Miter Saws - Reviews

DeWalt doesn’t have a monopoly on the miter saw market, and there are many other options to choose from that are still an excellent value. Take a look at the best values other manufacturers have to offer.

1. Homecraft H26-260L Miter Saw

Homecraft H26-260L Miter Saw

One of the drawbacks of 12 inch miter saws is that they are bulky, heavy, and not as portable as 10 inch blade models. That’s what makes the Homecraft H26 an excellent choice for the contractor or carpenter on the go who needs a more portable miter saw option for angled cuts. Weighing roughly 25 lbs (half the weight of most 12 inch models), the H26 allows for quick angled cuts with excellent precision thanks to its locking miter mechanism.

Additionally, the H26 has a laser line sight that shows the user exactly where the saw will come down, allowing for greater accuracy and precision when cutting instead of having to learn how to “eyeball” the cut a few times until they become familiar with the saw’s cutting drop. It also makes bevel cutting significantly easier when the blade is angled at up to 47 degrees.

Best of all, the H26 has an arbor lock that makes changing the 10 inch blade much faster and safer, preventing the spindly from moving when extracting or mounting a fresh saw blade. 10 inch miter saw blades also tend to be easier to sharpen and replace than 12 inch blades, and they also require less power when cutting. All in all, the Homecraft H26-260L is an excellent choice for contractors or carpenters that need a miter saw that can be moved quickly and easily, and that provide a high degree of precision for interior finishing work.

What we liked

  • Significantly lighter and more portable than 12 inch blade models
  • Laser sight for accurate cutting at any angle
  • Exceptional safety features for operation and when changing blades

What we didn't like

  • 10 inch saw blades cannot make longer cuts
  • Miter does not have locking detents for cam lock
  • Bevel angles must be manually locked in place

2. Festool 561287 Kapex KS 120 Miter Saw

Any woodworker or contractor that needs a professional grade sliding compound miter saw is the perfect candidate for the FestoolKapex KS 120. This 12 inch blade miter saw is built for ultra-precise cutting when there is no room for error and every piece must fit together precisely. The Kapex is built with a rail forward design to allow for greater precision when cutting, and the miter is cam locked in the front with detents for specific angles already preset for commonly used bevel angles when cutting molding or frames.

Additionally, the Kapex is equipped with a dual laser sighting apparatus that allows you to determine exactly where the blade will meet the wood on contact, allowing you to make precision cuts without having to figure out the exact point at which the cut will occur. Laser sights can also be fine tuned if necessary, and turn on and off with a press of the conveniently placed power button.

Last but not least, the Kapex provides exceptional dust control via its exhaust and capture bag, which means more time cutting and fitting and less time cleaning up afterward. As miter saws go, you would be hard pressed to find a higher quality, better built power cutting tool than the Kapex. Sticker shock may be something of an issue, but contractors and craftsmen who do a lot of interior finishing will find that the Kapex is well worth the investment.

What we liked

  • Sliding dual bevel saw arm
  • Dual laser sights for peak precision
  • Ultralight construction for improved portability

What we didn't like

  • Draws much more electricity than similar 12 inch blade models
  • 12 inch blades take more time to sharpen and cost more
  • Requires a stand for use in the field

3. Hitachi C12RSH2 15-Amp Miter Saw

With a longstanding reputation for high quality tools that provide significant value versus cost, and the C12RSH2 is no exception. Thanks to its dual bevel sliding arm and cam locked miter with locking fence, the C12RSH2 has all the versatility any woodworker would ever need to make the most complex of multidimensional cuts with a high degree of precision.

The bevel easily swings between 50 degrees right and 48 degrees left for fast and accurate bevel cuts, and the sliding arm allows the operator to easily vary the length and depth of the cut without changing the overall cutting angle. Additionally, this saw comes equipped with a laser sight marking the material that will be removed by thesaw, allowing the operator to better calculate how the cut will look before lowering the blade to cut.

All in all, the Hitachi C12RSH2 is a fully loaded, feature-rich miter saw that can perform even the most demanding cutting and fitting tasks reliably and safely. There are few other miter saws in its class and price point that can make similar claims, and the quality and reliability of this model lives up to the Hitachi legacy. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional looking for the ideal miter saw for finishing interior or exterior trim work

What we liked

  • Intuitive design with locking miter bevel and fence
  • Laser beam cutting guide
  • Offers multi-dimensional cutting for every potential woodworking application

What we didn't like

  • Heavier and less portable than comparable models
  • No variable speed motor
  • Less powerful motor than similar models

4. Ryobi ZRTS1345L 10 in. Compound Miter Saw

If you need a lightweight, portable miter saw for around the shop or the job site, Ryobi ZRTS1345L is an excellent 10 inch blade option that is suitable for most basic miter saw cuts. It’s a compound miter saw, so it can bevel cut 50 degrees in either direction for easy joint fitting on frames, moulding, or cabinetry pieces. Making precise accurate cuts is simplified further by the addition of a laser line to help the operator determine exactly where the blade will fall and how much wood will be removed by each cut.

Additionally, safety features like an electric brake that stops the saw as soon as it is no longer in use and a locking bevel cam definitely ease the learning curve for new miter saw users who may not necessarily be familiar with the best way to make angled and beveled cuts safely. It also comes standard with a dust collector bag that makes keeping your workspace clean much easier when you need to break out the miter saw and do some trim work.

Best of all though, this model weighs less than half what the average 12 inch miter saw weighs, making it ideal for contractors or carpenters on the go, and for hobbyists who don’t need the same power or reach of a 12 inch saw. Overall, this is a great miter saw for the garage wood shop or for use on a job site where you do occasional trim work inside or outside. 

What we liked

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Laser saw guide
  • Cam locking bevel control

What we didn't like

  • Less powerful than comparable 10 inch models
  • Does not include a stand
  • 10 inch blades may take longer to make cuts in harder wood or other materials

5. WEN 70716 10-Inch Sliding Miter Saw

This is a great miter saw for smaller projects on job sites or in hobbyists garages or similar locations. It’s lightweight, easy to mount to a stand or workbench, and has all the features you need to get your trim work done right the first time. The WEN 70716 10 inch model is a sliding compound miter saw that gives you all the power and performance you need without weighing a ton and being difficult to move around safely.

The bevel of the miter is adjusted via a locking cam in the front of the saw, with preset detents at various common angles for easier cutting adjustments. The blade that is included with your 70716 is carbide tipped, and is much easier to change, sharpen and maintain than larger 12 inch blades.

Finally, the WEN 70716 makes keeping the shop clean easy with its dust collection bag and unique saw exhaust system. Setup and teardown takes just minutes thanks to its ultralight and simplified design, and it can travel site to site or sit in shop storage until its needed. It may not look like much, but this little miter saw has everything you need where it counts.

What we liked

  • Compound and sliding miter with 97 degrees rotation are left to right
  • Less than half the weight of many other miter saws
  • Easy to configure and use

What we didn't like

  • No laser guide for the saw blade to make the first cut more precise
  • Cutting depth is shallower than comparable models
  • Motor is not variable speed

Final Verdict 

For our money, the best miter saw you can get for the money is the DeWalt DWS779 12 inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw. It is built to a higher standard of quality and durability, has superior safety features, and offers the best overall value versus cost. Extras like the transparent blade guard, cam locking bevel detents, and heavy duty precision slide-arm make this one of the most feature rich and easy to use miter saws on the market today.

If you are in the market for a miter saw for your shop or garage, definitely give the DeWalt DWS779 a once over first. It’s got everything you could ever need or want in a miter saw, and it’s built to last a lifetime. Get a DeWalt DWS779, and buy yourself the peace of mind that comes with a high quality, high performance power tool.

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