Best Miter Saw in 2020 – Ultimate Buying Guide!
Are you planning to get a miter saw for your workshop? It could be a great decision as miter saws are great for certain jobs like different angled cuts especially making crown moldings and critical cuts for furniture. But how could you get your hands on the best miter saw that your budget allows you to have?
We have the best solution for you. Here’s the plan, we will suggest you some of the best miter saws you can get yourself with a comparison table. Finally, we would share some great tips that you help you find the right option.
So, let’s not waste any more words and jump straight to the point!
- Comparison Table of the Best Miter Saw
- Top 10 Best Miter Saw Reviews
- 1. Makita LS1040 10” Compound Miter Saw
- 2. Makita LS1018 10” Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
- 3. Makita LS1221 12” Compound Miter Saw
- 4. Bosch CM10GD Compact Miter Saw
- 5. WEN 70716 10” Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- 6. Ryobi ZRTS1143L 7 ¼” Miter Saw
- 7. Makita LS0815F 12” Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- 8. Craftsman 21237 10” Single Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- 9. Hitachi C12FDH 12” Dual Bevel Miter Saw
- 10. Hitachi C8FSE 8 ½” Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- Buying Guide – Best Miter Saw
- Final Thoughts
Comparison Table of the Best Miter Saw
|Image||Model Name||Power Factor||Blade Size||Type||Single vs Double Bevel||Our Rating|
|Makita LS1040||15-amp, 4,600 RPM||10”||Compound Miter Saw||Single||5|
|Makita LS1018||13-amp, 4,300 RPM||10”||Sliding Compound Miter Saw||Double||4|
|Makita LS1221||15-amp, 4,000 RPM||12”||Compound Miter Saw||Single||4|
|Bosch CM10GD||15-amp, 4,800 RPM||10”||Gliding Compound Miter Saw||Double||4|
|WEN 70716||15-amp, 5,500 RPM||10”||Sliding Compound Miter Saw||Single||4|
|Ryobi ZRTS1143L||9-amp, 5,800 RPM||7 ¼”||Compound Miter Saw||Single||4|
|Makita LS0815F||10.5-amp, 5,000 RPM||12”||Sliding Compound Miter Saw||Single||3|
|Craftsman 21237||15-amp, 4,800 RPM||10”||Sliding Compound Miter Saw||Single||4|
|Hitachi C12FDH||15-amp, 4,000 RPM||12”||Compound Miter Saw||Double||5|
|Hitachi C8FSE||9.2-amp, 5,500 RPM||8 ½”||Sliding Compound Miter Saw||Single||4|
Top 10 Best Miter Saw Reviews
1. Makita LS1040 10” Compound Miter Saw
When it comes to power tools, Makita is a brand that you can trust with all your heart. They have gained so much popularity among the users due to their build quality.
Considering every single factor, Makita LS1040 comes to the top of the list. You can get to have a premium miter saw at affordable pricing.
Let’s discuss the power delivery of the saw. You will get a high quality 15-amp motor that can give you a no-load speed of 4,600 RPM at best.
If you think about it, the saw surpasses the basic requirement of 9-amp and 3,500 RPM benchmark quite well.
The unique feature of the saw is the dual post compound pivoting arm. Then, there is the ShaftLock feature to easily and safely change the blade. Very few 10” miter saw is as light as Makita LS1040 as it weighs only 27.3 pounds. Mainly, the credit goes to the aluminum base.
The saw comes with nine positive stops at 15⁰, 22.5⁰, 30⁰, 45⁰ on both sides and at 0⁰. The maximum mitering capacity is 52⁰.
Among the attachments, you would get vertical vise, spare blade, a wrench, and a triangular rule for better precision. Then, there is the trust of the “Made in USA” tag.
The only downside of this great saw is the single bevel mechanism and the non-sliding arm. However, we think it is just fair at this price point. Otherwise, the price could reach beyond the reach of a regular user.
- Great motor with a 15-amp power rating
- No-load speed of 4,600 RPM
- Dual post compound pivoting arm
- ShaftLock feature
- Extremely lightweight
- Nine positive stops
- Fine build quality
- Great pricing
- Single bevel instead of dual
- No sliding arm
2. Makita LS1018 10” Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
Makita LS1018 has everything that was missing from the previous model. So, let’s start with that. So, the best feature of this saw is the double bevel capability with an arm that can slide forward and backward.
Although, it doesn’t have as much powerful motor as Makita LS1040. It comes with a 13-amp motor. As a result, the no-load speed falls to 4,300 RPM.
However, the metering capacity greater in this model as you get a mitering capability 0⁰ to 47⁰ in the left and 0⁰ to 52⁰ on the right side.
Just like the previous model, you will get nine positive stops but the angles differ from that one.
So, how much accurate is Makita LS1018? You will get a pin-point accuracy as it comes with a linear ball bearing system that has the finest quality engineering in this class.
You must have heard about the ergonomic D-handle that fits comfortably in hand.
Is there even a negative side?
Well, the saw is much heavier than Makita 1040 but still quite light. You should not complain about it as it has a sliding arm which adds up the weight. Still, the saw very much portable.
So, you shouldn’t worry about that as the brand name of Makita is there to make you feel comfortable.
- Great motor with a 13-amp capacity
- Above-average max RPM of 4,300
- Double bevel saw
- Sliding arm for more flexibility
- Nine positive stops
- Linear ball bearing mechanism for better accuracy
- Laser guiding is missing
- Below average dust collection port
3. Makita LS1221 12” Compound Miter Saw
Among the miter saws, a 12” blade option is considered quite big. This is the first 12” variation coming again from the trusted name of Makita.
As it has a bigger blade, you will get a strong 15-amp motor. Although, the no-load speed is lower than the previous options – only 4,000 RPM.
But shouldn’t worry too much as the lower RPM is mainly because of the larger blade.
The best feature about Makita LS1221 is the 4 ½” tall pivoting fence. With this tall pivoting fence, you can handle much larger workpiece compared to others.
Just like the previous two models of Makita saw, you will get nine positive stops and the very much attractive D-handle. Although the saw is designed for the larger workpiece, the weight unbelievably low – only 36.4 lbs.
Another unique feature of the saw is the electric braking mechanism. So, you can call this saw very safe.
We have to brag about the blade as it is much superior compared to others. It comes with a fine carbide-tipped blade that is reinforced with polycarbonate and aluminum coating.
Sadly, you can bevel it in only one direction and it doesn’t have a sliding or gliding arm. However, it can handle large workpieces quite easily and offers a smoother operation.
- Unbelievably lightweight
- Strong 15-amp motor
- Tall pivoting fence for bigger workpieces
- Has two support wings
- The superior dust collection port
- Bigger blade with a great quality
- Price is comparatively higher
- Laser guiding is missing
- Single bevel with no sliding arm
4. Bosch CM10GD Compact Miter Saw
Bosch’s CM10GD could be the finest quality miter saw loaded with features. We don’t think we have to introduce it with the name Bosch!
Why are we calling it the finest miter saw?
This is the only saw with an axial gliding system in our list of the best miter saw. You would probably get the smoothest cutting experience the advanced gliding mechanism.
The saw comes with a very powerful 15-amp motor that can offer you about 4,800 RPM at best. So, there is nothing to worry about the power delivery.
There are some other features that make the saw stand apart.
We have to tell you about the high-end miter and bevel scales. Not only it has positive stops but also there is a crown/chop locking mechanism. That mean’s you can fix the blade at a certain angle and make fixed cuts.
It also comes with a fairly tall sliding fence of 4 ¼”. Bosch literally boasts of the dust collecting bags they offer with a saw.
So, doesn’t the saw have any negative side?
Well, you might call it an expensive option. It could be even out of the reach of many users.
- The unique axial gliding mechanism
- Great motor with a higher RPM rate
- Finer cut quality
- Double bevel system
- Tall sliding fence
- Has a dust collection bag
- Wider miter and bevel angles
- Locking mechanism
- Quite expensive
5. WEN 70716 10” Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Now let’s talk about a miter saw offers the highest no-load speed having a 10” blade – WEN 70716.
You must give credit to the manufacturer as they can offer such high speed and it comes with a great motor that has a 15-amp power rating.
You will get a great surface finish as it has a 60-tooth carbide-tipped blade. As you know, the more the teeth count the smoother the finish quality.
You will get to have great accessories with this fine sawdust collection bag, supporting arms, tall fence, and clamps for holding down.
These were some of the great features of the saw. However, there are two things that we loved the most about the saw – the unbelievably low price and the feather-light weight.
If you don’t have a high budget but still looking for a fairly good miter saw, WEN 70716 should undoubtedly be your go-to option.
- Standard motor
- Great for making thicker cuts
- Compact and reliable
- Finer accuracy and precision
- Sliding arm
- Extremely Lightweight
- Issues with heat insulation
- Single bevel
6. Ryobi ZRTS1143L 7 ¼” Miter Saw
Ryobi ZRTS1143L could be the simplest option on our list today.
It has a comparatively smaller blade of only 7 ¼” size. As it comes with a smaller blade, you will not need that much power motor.
It has only a 9-amp motor but it can offer a no-load highest speed of 5,800 RPM. If you look closely, Ryobi ZRTS1143L has the highest RPM count of all the miter saws on our list.
While some big brands don’t have a laser guiding system, Ryobi being a new name has an EXACTLINE laser alignment feature.
If you are looking for something simple with a low price tag, Ryobi could be a great option for you.
- Highest no-load speed of 5,800 RPM
- Great budget option
- Weighs only 16 lbs.
- EXACTLY laser guideline
- Positive stops and hard to lock
- Average surface finish
7. Makita LS0815F 12” Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Again, we are back to Makita! We think we are being a bit biased towards them. What could we do? They such a wide range of great quality miter saws.
This is a sliding compound variant that offers single beveling capability. Despite having a 10.5-amp motor, the saw can deliver 5,000 RPM output speed.
Just like other Makita saws we have mentioned, it has the linear ball bearing mechanism for the smoother and more accurate cutting experience.
It doesn’t have a laser guiding system but it has an LED light that helps the user to see the cut line.
The wider miter angle of 0⁰ to 50⁰ on the left side and 0⁰ to 60⁰ on the right side. Overall, it’s a great buy.
- Great power output
- Considerably lightweight
- Superior motor quality
- Robust and ergonomic design
- LED light for cut lines
- Average sliding mechanism
- Issues with blade guard
8. Craftsman 21237 10” Single Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
You must have been looking for the name “Craftsman” all along. Well, here we are with a Craftsman miter saw.
It comes with a fairly strong motor with a 15-amp power rating. We think the maximum no-load speed of 4,800 RPM is also a great thing that Craftsman should be proud of.
The eight preset positive stops are great for precision cuts. You should be happy about the wider miter and bevel angles.
You are getting a sliding arm at this price point from Craftsman 21237 which great to be honest.
The last thing we want to say about this saw is about the modern and precise stand. It could be the finest quality stand you have ever seen.
With a wide variety of accessories, Craftsman 21237 is a great miter saw and you should definitely consider buying this one.
- Powerful motor with a high no-load speed
- Better butting support
- Great pricing
- Has a sliding arm
- Fairly lightweight
- Fine cut quality
- Mixed customer reviews
- Average surface finish
- Single bevel
9. Hitachi C12FDH 12” Dual Bevel Miter Saw
Lastly, we will talk about two fine quality saws from the brand Hitachi. This first one is the Hitachi C12FDH which a double bevel compound saw.
The first thing that you would notice is the above-average motor of 15-amp. We are still not sure why such a powerful motor can offer only 4,000 RPM no-load speed.
It has a wide miter angle ranging from 0⁰ to 52⁰ on both the left and right sides. As it is a double bevel saw, you will get a bevel angle ranging from 0⁰ to 48⁰ on both sides. The nine positive stops give it great accuracy.
As it has a 12” blade setup, you can easily work with large workpieces.
To offer you better comfort while cutting, Hitachi has added a vibration-damping elastomer grip. This grip will give you better control and give safety against slipping.
- Great pricing
- Powerful motor
- Superior build quality from Hitachi
- Double bevel
- Great blade quality
- Dust collection bag is offered
- Issues with a vice clamp
- No sliding arm
10. Hitachi C8FSE 8 ½” Sliding Compound Miter Saw
As we have said, the last option on our list also comes from Hitachi. Hitachi C8FSE is a popular name among DIY enthusiasts.
There are two reasons for that – unique 8 ½” blade size and 5,500 RPM output speed.
Due to the smaller blade size, the saw doesn’t need that much powerful motor. The 9.2-amp motor is quite enough.
It even has a wider miter angle than the previous Hitachi saw – 0⁰ to 57⁰ on the left side and 0⁰ to 45⁰ on the right side.
Unlike the previous model, this one has a sliding arm. Although we were expecting a double bevel capability, it could too much to ask from them.
All the other features are almost the same compared to the Hitachi C12FDH.
- 5,500 RPM maximum no-load speed
- Wider miter angles
- Vibration damping grip design
- Linear ball bearing slide system
- Fine workmanship from Hitachi
- Great safety features
- Has a dust bag
- One-sided beveling capacity
- Smaller blade
Buying Guide – Best Miter Saw
Getting a miter saw could a great decision as it could give a whole lot of versatility. It doesn’t matter whether you are a DIYer or a professional woodworker, a miter saw is always handy.
For example, getting that perfect crown molding or critical furniture building is very much dependent on a good miter saw. Other than these two tasks, small household construction and home remodeling are also quite simple with a miter saw.
But what things should you look for while buying a miter saw?
Of course, you would buy one with better build quality with a fair price tag. But what else?
Check out these factors before you make up your mind on a particular model. You don’t want to regret the purchase!
Types of Miter Saws
The first thing you should consider is the type of miter saw. Not every model is suitable for every job and they have a distinctive difference in their pricing.
Some consider the chop saws to be a variation of miter saws. However, chop saws don’t have the ability to cut at an angle other than 90 degrees. In short, they don’t have the “mitering” ability.
Commonly, you can find three kinds of miter saws –
- Standard Miter Saws
- Compound Miter Saws
- Sliding Compound Miter Saws
Let’s check out their details.
Standard Miter Saws
A standard miter saw has the simplest construction among the variations. There is an arm attached to the circular blade. It can only make cuts from -45⁰ to +45⁰ angle.
These simple miter saws can help you get the job done. But remember, they don’t have the advanced features or additional abilities like the other options.
So, why should you pick this variant?
Simple! They are the cheapest option among the three. So, if you are running low on budget and don’t have a plan to increase the budget even in the future, Standard miter saw is the option for you.
Compound Miter Saws
This is by far the most popular option among the experienced woodworkers. It can help you make compound cuts. That means you can make both the miter cuts and the bevel cuts at the same time.
Beveling means the ability to tilt the blade in either left, right, or in both directions. This ability opens up the door of huge possibilities.
Even if you don’t have the budget right now. We suggest you wait a bit longer and buy this variation.
It can make –
- Miter cuts
- Bevel cuts, and
- Compound cuts
The ability to make the bevel and the compound cuts make a huge difference. So, compound over standard!
Sliding Compound Miter Saws
It the most advanced miter saw you can find. A compound saw can do almost everything but it has a limited capacity.
A compound miter saw or a standard saw has a stationary blade handle that can move only up and down just like a chop saw.
However, a sliding compound miter saw has a blade handle that can slide forward and backward too. So, you can have much more flexibility while cutting.
You can say that a sliding compound miter saw is everything the previous two models have but with an extra benefit.
As this saw is the most advanced option with every single feature you could expect, the price is quite high. If you are planning to make your workshop loaded with features and versatility, you should go for it.
The only negative side of this type is the price. Other than that, it works like magic.
When you are using a power tool, you might want to feel the sheer raw power out of the motor. Just think of it, you are cutting down woods which could be very hard at times.
You don’t want to struggle while you are in the middle of the cutting operation. So, no matter what, try to choose a model that offers the best motor available.
But what can be considered as the optimum quality motor for your miter saw?
The answer is simple, you shouldn’t go below the 9-amp standard motor power. With this motor rating, you can easily expect your miter saw to give you a no-load output of 3,500 RPM.
If you are lucky, you can even expect 5000 or even more RPM with such high-quality motors.
With a lower quality motor, you can get disappointed at times. Just remember, a miter saw should serve you for at least 10 years and you should bargain with the quality of the motor. It is the most important parameter while you are choosing.
Even if the saw doesn’t have interesting features, you can still be happy with a saw with great power outcome.
Blades are Important
When you are choosing the blade there are two things that you consider – the diameter of the blade and the material of the blade.
Let’s start with the very first thing the blade diameter. The diameter of the blade is completely dependent on your wish.
There is no particular rule saying that any particular diameter is good or bad. You should keep in mind which size should match your usage.
The average size of the blade is 10” or a 12”. You can easily use this blade to cut any common workpiece. There is another blade size popular among the users – the 4” variant.
In most cases, DIYers go for the 4” option as they have to make delicate cuts. A woodworker would choose the larger 10” or a 12” blade as they have to make furniture or large house elements like doors or windows or even a crown molding (the perfect use case of a compound saw).
Secondly, you should make sure you have got a blade material suitable for your purpose. You can’t expect a poor blade with lesser quality material to perfectly working on metals like steels.
The tip of the blade should contain harder and tougher material like tungsten or carbide. A carbide-tipped blade should good enough for woodworking.
The last thing you should be aware of is the teeth count. The teeth count plays a vital role as it determines the quality of the smoothness.
With a blade with higher teeth count, you can expect a smoother surface finish. If the teeth count is low, the cuts might best quicker but the surface finish will not be up to the mark.
So, choose the teeth to count that is good for you.
Cutting Ability and Precision
Now we will be talking about the special features that make a miter saw so special. There are two things that make the saw so efficient.
Yes, you have guessed it correctly, it’s beveling and mitering.
Whenever you are thinking about these two things you should be thinking about angled cuts.
To give your cuts extra precision, modern miter saws come with “positive stops.” A positive stop is a predefined angular position so that you can make more precise cuts at a certain angle.
A great thing about the modern options is that they offer not only positive stops but also offer incremental adjustment options with many customizations.
You could even get an automated saw that can help you choose the desired cut angle with just a push of a button.
In most cases, the positive stops have a range from 0⁰ – 45⁰ which can extend from -1⁰ to 47⁰ in some cases.
Single Bevel vs Double Bevel
This is a crucial factor that new woodworkers should keep in mind. It might not seem too much but when you are using your compound miter saw every now and then, this feature would mean so much more.
A single bevel miter saw can tilt its head in only one direction – either right or left. On the other hand, a double bevel miter saw can tilt the head on both the left and right sides.
With a double bevel, miter saw you will not have to flip the whole workpiece for making symmetrical cuts on both sides. With a single bevel miter saw, you will have to flip the whole workpiece.
It might not seem too much when you are working on a small workpiece. However, if the workpiece is too big, you will have to go through a lot of hassle.
As you can have much more flexibility with a double bevel variation, you will have to count a lot more money to get one. So, the decision is again up to you.
If you have the budget and often handle larger workpieces, go for the double bevel miter saw. You would thank us later.
Working with woods could get messy sooner than you think. Especially when you are using power tools like a saw, you will see wood grains covering everything.
If you have your workshop adjacent to your house, your house would become a mess-land quite soon.
So, make sure all your saws have a dust collection port. This is not true just for a miter saw but every kind of saw.
Always go for the option that comes with a dust collection port.
It doesn’t need an expert to say that working with power tools quite risky. You don’t want to be a victim of a “chainsaw massacre!”
Make sure your miter saw comes with enough safety options. Today, you could find saw loaded with tons of safety features.
It’s not a must to have all of them on your miter saw. But a few of them is mandatory.
For example, a blade guard is the MUST element that you need. A blade guard could save you from nasty accidents. You could even lose your limbs with a blade guard!
Then comes the braking mechanism. A braking system will not only just save you from accidents, but it can also prevent going extra inches and help you reduce wastage.
Some of the modern miter saws have a one-push stop button. It’s a great feature and you should definitely consider having one.
Each company has its own signature safety feature. You should look into the detailed specification of them.
We have only one suggestion for you guys – never compromise with safety!
We hope we have helped you with the process of deciding on the best miter saw. If you are still confused, we would suggest you pick a saw that has a great power delivery, has a wide range of miter and bevel angle and offers a better surface finish.
Other factors are not as much as important as these three crucial factors. We really hope that you could find your perfect miter saw that can TRULY serve you in the long run!