Best Miter Saws of 2017 – Reviews & Buying Guide

miter sawAny good workshop should have a miter saw due to its fantastic versatility. This specialized power tool allows you to cut materials quickly and accurately at various angles. This is especially useful for crown molding and door frames, for example. A number of different types of miter saw are available and these come with various features that are certainly worth having a think about.

If you’re cutting wood on a fairly regular basis then a miter saw is most likely a good idea for you. It can save you a great deal of time as it easily cuts through wood whether it’s a straight cut or at an angle. Just as important as saving time is the quality of the cut. Thankfully miter saws are very precise and easily provide an accurate cut. This can save you a great deal of energy over using a manual saw, for example. Needless to say, the best miter saw is a very useful tool to have around and you’ve come to the right place to find out all about it!


The Best Miter Saws of 2017

Compound Miter Saws

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
DeWalt DW715
DeWalt DW715
27.7 x 20 x 18.8 inches
24 pounds
4.7/5
$$
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Bosch GCM12SD
Bosch GCM12SD
31 x 23.8 x 22.5 inches
88.2 pounds
4.5/5
$$$
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Hitachi C10FCE2
Hitachi C10FCE2
23 x 19.1 x 16.1 inches
35.9 pounds
4.5/5
$
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Sliding Compound Miter Saws

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
DeWalt DWS779
DeWalt DWS779
2 x 23 x 18.5 inches
67 pounds
4.8/5
$$
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DeWalt DW717
DeWalt DW717
23.5 x 31 x 19.5 inches
2.5 pounds
4.4/5

$$$
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Evolution Power Tools RAGE 3
Evolution Power Tools RAGE 3
30.8 x 20 x 23.6 inches
1 pound
3.9./5
$
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There are a lot of great miter saws on the market from various brands with a variety of features. Making sense of which are the very best and offer the best value for money can take a long time. If you don’t have hours on end to sift through website after website, take a look at the following reviews. We’ve created a list of miter saw reviews that are up-to-date for your DIY needs in 2017. Following this is a buying guide with more specific tips on which features to look for and more!

Compound Miter Saws

1. Bosch GCM12SD – The Best Compound Miter Saw

Bosch GCM12SDThis 12-inch miter saw was built for trade use and you can see why. It’s a really solid machine that will cut the thickest of timber with ease. As such, it’s probably packing more power than most people will need unless you happen to be working on a very big project! The patented axial-glide system offers large, smooth cuts in tight spaces. Because the GCM12SD doesn’t use a traditional rail setup, it will save you significant workspace. A 15 amp motor will deliver power for hours on end with no-load speeds of 3,800 rpm. Versatility is offered with this miter saw’s compatibility with a variety of 12-inch blades which is great if you want to cut different materials.

A 14-inch horizontal capacity, a 6-1/2-inch vertical capacity and 6-½-inch crown capacity mean that this product is very useful for a variety of cuts. Quick-release Squarelock fences make alignment quick and easy and more importantly, accurate. Requiring no adjustments, the quick-release fences only need one touch to lock and unlock and can be easily slid into the appropriate position by the user. While this is the best compound miter saw, there are a couple of small drawbacks to consider. This miter saw weighs 65 lbs which is fairly heavy for a miter saw. What’s more, it’s quite pricey but this is expected from a high-quality product such as this.

Pros

  • Very smooth cuts

  • Plenty of power

  • Compact

Cons

  • Quite heavy

  • Expensive


2. Hitachi C10FCE2 – Best Compound Miter Saw for the Money

Hitachi C10FCE2One of the biggest advantages of the Hitachi C10FCE2 (aside from the very competitive price) is the compact size and weight. Weighing just over 26lbs, it’s the lightest compound miter saw in its class which makes it easy to transport. There’s also a handle built into the unit which makes transportation even easier. What’s more, the size is just 23 x 19.1 x 16.1 inches. This helps save significant workspace which means more space for your other tools! You might think that because of the size, that the C10FCE2 lacks power but a 15 amp motor suggests otherwise! This can generate an impressive no-load speed of up to 5,000 rpm. This sort of power means faster and more efficient cuts which should leave edges nice and smooth.

We like this miter saw because it is also user-friendly. The horizontal handle has a soft grip that provides comfort, control and reduces vibration when the miter saw is in use. There are 9 miter stops which allow you to easily select a preset point for a particular angle. Flexibility is offered through the 0-52 degree miter angle range and the 0-45 degree bevel range with adjustable bevel stops. Overall this is the best compound miter saw for the money with the only real problem being insufficient dust collection from the sawdust bag. This can result in a rather messy workspace so a small workshop vacuum may be required!

Pros

  • Small and lightweight

  • Surprisingly powerful for the size

  • User-friendly miter saw

Cons

  • Insufficient dust collection


3. DeWalt DW715 – A Compound Miter Saw Worth Considering

DeWalt DW715The DeWalt DW715 is a 12-inch single-bevel compound miter saw. With the 15 amp motor it offers good power for the price and offers clean, precise cuts. A no-load speed of 4,000 rpm will make light work of even the hardest woods yet it should be delicate enough to provide those smooth edges that you seek. If you’re not satisfied with this, keep in mind that this product comes with a 3-year warranty much like most DeWalt products. The DW715 is designed to be mobile. While not the lightest compound miter saw on the market, it comes in at a respectable 42 lbs. A simple locking pin as well as comfortable side handles in the base make this miter saw easy to transport.

Ideal for a number of applications, this compound miter saw can make 45-degree bevel cuts through lumber of up to 2 x 8 inches. The steel bevel stops at 0, 33.9, 45 and 48 degrees which makes setting the most common bevel angles much quicker and easier. While this is certainly a compound miter saw worth considering, there are also a few cons to keep in mind. As in the case of the Hitachi C10FCE2, the dust collection of this product seems to be fairly poor. Furthermore, the saw is not compatible with any DeWalt laser or LED light which would help in providing more accurate cutting.

Pros

  • Smooth cutting action

  • Very portable

  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Poor dust collection

  • Not compatible with DeWalt lasers and LED lights


Sliding Compound Miter Saws

1. DeWalt DWS779 – Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw

DeWalt DWS779Arguably the best sliding compound miter saw, the DeWalt DWS779 packs a powerful 15 amp motor with 3,800 rpm. One of the highlights of this product is the double bevel which lets you cut bevels without needing to turn the material over. In many ways, the DWS779 is ideal for amateurs and professionals alike. That’s because it is both precise and powerful in equal measure. With the back fence design you can cut up to 2 x 16 lumber at 90 degrees, and 2 x 12 at 45 degrees. This is, therefore, a very versatile miter saw that can be used for a wide range of cutting projects.

Unlike a few of the other miter saws we have reviewed, the DWS779 has an efficient dust collection mechanism which is said to collect over 75% of the dust generated. Not only is this good for your lungs, it also saves on cleaning and stops sawdust from entering the machine and causing problems! Despite this, the dust bag isn’t very spacious but it does do its job well. We like this product for its lovely straight cuts and powerful motor. While powerful, the motor is fairly quiet when running, at least in comparison to most miter saws. It’s worth knowing that this product is on the heavy side at 68lbs. As with many DeWalt products, a 3-year warranty is offered for peace of mind.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty

  • Double bevel makes things easier

  • Efficient dust collection

Cons

  • Quite heavy

  • Dust bag is quite small


2. Evolution Power Tools RAGE 3 – Best Sliding Compound Saw for the Money

Evolution Power Tools RAGE 3For a powerful and versatile sliding compound miter saw at a competitive price, the Evolution Power Tools RAGE 3 is a very solid choice. Powered by a 15 amp motor, it has a no-load speed of up to 2,500 rpm. The 28-tooth tungsten carbide tipped blade means that you can cut through not only wood but aluminum and mild steel. The 10-inch sliding compound miter saw produces a fast and clean cut with little heat and virtually no sparks. If you’re planning on cutting through metal, it’s worth taking a look at the various blades that are sold separately as you may struggle to cut some of these with the standard blade that is included.

While the RAGE 3 is versatile and can cut through a range of materials, the result is a motor and blade that don’t run quite as quickly. This means that it’s not exceptional in any one area and cutting is not as quick as with some other miter saws. If anything, it’s a jack-of-all-trades. What’s more, consumers have found that the laser lacks accuracy and is therefore pretty useless. This is not really a saw for industrial use and is best for those who are on a budget and need to save some space. It’s fairly lightweight and therefore easy enough to move around when required.

Pros

  • Versatile and cuts through just about anything

  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Fairly slow cutting

  • Poor laser lacks accuracy


3. DeWalt DW717 – A Sliding Compound Miter Saw Worth Considering

DeWalt DW717Whether cutting baseboards or crown molding, the quick and accurate cuts provided by the DeWalt DW717 will get the job done. A 10-inch blade is backed by a reliable 15-amp motor with a no-load speed of 4,000 rpm. The sturdy build of this product is reflected in features such as the stainless steel detent plate which has 11 positive stops. These allow for an easy set-up and improve overall efficiency. Versatility is on offer with the ability to go 0 to 60 degrees to the left and 0 to 52 degrees to the right. Arguably the best feature of this product is the tall fence which accommodates 6-1/4-inch crown molding. It can also be used to cut base molding of up to 6 inches which is impressive.

With a weight of 51lbs, the DW717 is neither the lightest nor the heaviest compound miter on the market. A built-in carry handle makes the unit easy enough to transport. It’s good to know that this product is compatible with the DeWalt DW7187 laser system which makes the cutting line much easier to see. Please note that this is sold separately. A three-year limited warranty as well as a 90-day money-back guarantee make this a safe option and should remove any doubts. A couple of concerns include the blade saw not being of the best quality and the dust collection being average at best. However, these comments are in the minority.

Pros

  • Excellent fence system

  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Blade saw quality questionable

  • Average dust collection


Factors to Consider When Buying a Miter Saw

Having explored the very best compound miter saws and sliding compound miter saws, it seems only fair that we take a look at each and explore their differences. This should help provide you with a better idea as to which is a better fit for your DIY cutting needs.

What is a compound miter saw?

Compound miter saws are sometimes also referred to as ‘bench miter saws’ or ‘stationary compound miter saws’. They have a pivoting arm which allows you to tilt the blade which can result in a bevel cut. The main advantage of using a compound miter saw is that it has a greater cutting arc since there are no sliding rails to limit it.

What is a sliding compound miter saw?

A sliding compound miter saw is different because it has a rail or rails that allow the user to slide the saw head back and forth while cutting. This sliding motion means that it has a greater capacity for cutting wider materials. However the rails limit the sliding compound miter saw’s cutting arc which has an effect on cutting depth.

So which should I choose?

Unless you’re often working with very wide materials or you’re a professional, it’s unlikely you’ll need a sliding compound miter saw. They tend to be bigger, heavier and more expensive than the compound miter saw. If you do decide you want one, consider 10-inch rather than 12-inch which can save you some space and money. Otherwise a compound miter saw should meet all of your cutting needs!

Things to look out for

There are some specific things to look out for when you’re choosing between different miter saws. These include more obvious parts such as the blade and miter and less essential features such as a laser guide or the handles.

Blades

Blades determine the depth and height of the cut. Most miter saws come with either 8, 10 or 12-inch blades. Take a look online and you can find various types of blades for different materials such as wood, aluminum and mild steel. Some blades are even multi-purpose and while this is useful and can save you from buying multiple blades, it’s not a bad idea to have specialised blades to avoid damaging certain blades. The number of teeth can indicate how fine a cut you’ll get – the more teeth the better! Chances are that the miter saw that you choose will come with a fairly standard blade for wood.

Miter

As we already know, a miter saw lets you cut at different angles. As you’ll have learned from the various reviews above, most miter saws come with various preset angles. These are the most popular angles to cut from and having these available makes your job a little quicker and easier. Most of the saws miter to both sides which again makes your work easier.

Laser Guide

A laser guide is by no means an essential feature but it can be very useful. Not all of the lasers included on miter saws are of a good standard. However the right laser can make a miter saw easier to use and can help you make more accurate cuts. Some miter saws don’t come with any laser at all so you can see why it might not always be a necessary feature.

Dust Collection

While a laser isn’t essential, dust collection certainly is. Many miter saws simply have a dust bag but in many cases, these are not effective and you end up with more dust outside of the bag than in! Be sure to check reviews of products online and find out how effective the dust collection system is. This can help keep your work area nice and clean and prevent sawdust from getting inside the saw and potentially damaging it.

Safety features

While not the most exciting thing to consider, safety is of the greatest importance! Some of the safety features to look out for include a blade guard, safety clamps and electric brake. A blade guard covers the outside edge of the blade and is best transparent so as to see what you’re doing. Safety clamps keep materials securely in place which is particularly important when you’re cutting. This can improve the quality of your cuts too. The electric brake stops the blade from spinning when you let go of the trigger. Miter saws won’t necessarily have all of these safety features but it’s certainly a bonus if they do.

Comfort

Comfort often takes a backseat when it comes to tools but if you’re planning on using your miter saw regularly then it’s something to think about. Comfort in miter saws comes in the form of the handles you use. Good handles should be nicely padded and provide some protection from the vibrations of the machine.

Types of Cuts

You’ve heard about bevel and miter cuts but wouldn’t it be nice to have all of that information in one place? Here you can see the 4 types of cuts you’re like to make:

Straight: The most simple cut you can do is the straight 90-degree cut.

Miter: A 90-degree cut angled across the face of the material on which you’re working.

Bevel: This is when the blade is tilted between 0 and 45 degrees to make an angled cut.

Angled bevel: In this case both the miter and bevel angles are set in order to make an angled cut.


Conclusion

When you’re buying a powerful tool such as a miter saw, it’s important to have as much information as possible in order to make an informed decision. You need to know which type best suits your working needs as well as which features could prove most useful to you. Thankfully we’ve gathered all of this information and put it in one place!

Miter saws have really come into their own over the years and this is why they’ve become such an essential tool for amateurs and professionals alike. This guide should hopefully help you narrow down the options and find a great, high-quality product that’s within your budget. We wish you the best of luck with your mitre saw purchase, whichever you choose!