Capable of producing the complex cuts that simply can’t be reproduced by an ordinary miter saw, the compound miter saw is the perfect tool for everything from making everything from picture frames all the way to crown molding. Being able to manipulate cuts on two different axes at the same time produces a professional cut that can’t be replicated by any other tool.
Before you can produce professional level results with one of these saws, however, you’re going to have to find a model that has all of the features you need it to have. And that can be quite difficult nowadays because there are dozens of different models available. Therefore, we’ve decided to shed some light on the subject and find the ten best models currently available.
Best Compound Miter Saws – Top List
10Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Saw
This sliding dual bevel miter saw is designed by Milwaukee, a company that’s known for delivering some high-quality tools to the public in the past. This tool features a 15-Amp direct-drive motor that delivers up to 3.3-Hp of power, which makes it suitable for cutting both softwoods and hardwoods as well. This saw is also equipped with dual job site lights that keep the workpiece illuminated for best results. Another feature found on this innovative saw is its digital readout which provides the operator with a repeatable accuracy that’s down to 0.1-degree, which provides the operator with very precise results each and every time it’s used.
9Festool 561287 Kapex KS 120
Carpenters need a tool that’s not only capable of delivering the cuts they need but is also easy to use. Fortunately, this tool does both jobs quite well. It has a rail-forward design that keeps the tool compact but allows the operator to increase their level of precision. Using the tool’s dual lasers, the operator can also easily alight the cuts from either the left or right side, and it has a micro-adjustable bevel angle that’s controlled using a rotary knob located on the front of the tool. All of this allows this tool to cut a miter angle of 60-degrees, a crown molding diagonal cut 45-degrees/90-degrees at 6-5/8th-inch, as well as a number of other fine cuts.
8Hitachi C10FCG 15-Amp Saw
There are few miter saws which are lightweight enough to be taken just about anywhere but also has the features needed by woodworkers. This saw is just such a tool. Although this saw weighs under 30-pounds, it has many of the features that carpenters look for in a compound miter saw. It has a 0-degree to 52-degree miter angle range and has a 0-degree to 45-degree bevel range. It also has a 2.57-Hp motor that delivers a no-load speed of approximately 5,000 RPM. This allows it to make both miter and crosscuts easily and is ideal for woodworkers on the go who demand a precision tool on the job.
7Delta S26-262L 10-Inch Shopmaster
Capable of being used with almost any miter saw stand currently available, this saw is as versatile as it is useful. It’s a corded electric model that has a battery-operated laser which makes it easy for the operator to align the blade against the workpiece. it also features a spindle lock that holds the spindle in place while the blade nut is loosened and it has a powerful 15-Amp motor. This lightweight tool can cut 4×4 pieces of wood at 90-degrees and 2×6 pieces with just one pass. It’s a saw that can accomplish bevel cuts from 0-degrees to 47-degrees quite easily.
6Makita LS1040 10-Inch Saw
Performance, power, and usability all come together in this quality compound miter saw from Makita. It features a 15-Amp motor that drives the blade at a no-load speed of 4,600 RPM for improved performance over conventional saw models available. This saw is also capable of delivering precise bevel and miter cuts thanks to its dual-post compound pivot arm. This allows it to deliver bevel cuts up to 45-degrees to the left or up to 52-degrees to the right. It also features 9 positive miter stops. Additional features found on this tool include a triangular rule, a dust bag, and a vertical vise.
5Bosch 12-Inch Dual Bevel Glide Saw
Just because you have a compact workspace doesn’t mean that you don’t need a tool that can deliver full-size results. Fortunately, this 12-inch dual bevel glide miter saw is capable of fitting into small workshops but can still deliver the control and precision of a full-size saw. It has a 14-inch expanded horizontal cutting capacity, a 6.5-inch vertical cutting capacity, and a 6.5-inch crown capacity. It’s also extremely adjustable, and it has an easy-to-read bevel and miter scale that are marked with roof pitch angled and marked detents. This saw also features a square-lock quick-release fence and a combination dust collection chute.
4Dewalt DW717 10-Inch Double Bevel
The DW717 is just one of the many miter saws that’s produced by Dewalt, and each model seems to get better and better. This particular model features a 45-degree bevel cut capacity and has 7-positive stops that deliver accurate cuts that are instantly repeatable time and time again. This tool also features a steel miter detent plate with 11 positive stops. Another thing that’s exciting about this saw is that it has exclusive crosscut stop positions that improve accuracy during vertical cuts. And finally, this saw features dual horizontal steel rails and linear ball bearings that make operation nice and smooth.
3Dewalt DW716XPS 12-Inch Saw With XPS
This compound miter saw has an integrated XPS crosscut position system with an LED light that allows for the most accurate cuts possible. It also features a cam-lock with a miter detent override, a 15-Amp 3,800 RPM motor and a high-visibility bevel scale. What does all of this mean? This means that this saw is not only extremely accurate but is also extremely powerful. It has a vertical capacity of 6.5-inches and has a nested crown capacity of 6-5/8-inches. Additional features found on this innovative tool includes the ability to bevel quickly from side to side, a tall sliding fence and a 50-degree miter capacity.
2Dewalt DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single Bevel Saw
Sometimes the best thing a compound miter saw can offer its operator is simplicity, which is exactly why the DW715 from Dewalt is such an exceptional tool. This 12-inch single bevel compound saw is designed to allow the operator to not only make accurate and precise cuts but to also do it quickly and efficiently. It features a stainless steel miter detent plate that has 11 positive stops, and it has tall sliding fences that can support crown molding up to 5.25-inches or nested molding up to 6.5-inches. It also features a 15-Amp motor that delivers a no-load blade speed of 4,000 RPM, so it can cut through just about any type of wood easily.
1Dewalt DWS779 12
What makes this saw exceptional among the many compound miter saws currently available is that it has all of the features that woodworkers need to perform professional level cuts. It has an integrated Cutline Blade Positioning System that has an adjustment-free cut-line for improved visibility and precision. It also has horizontal steel rails that are equipped with a clamping system and linear ball bearings, all of which allows it to deliver accurate cuts. The last few features which can be found on this saw include a 3,800 RPM no-load motor, an innovative dust collection system and an exclusive back fence design that can cut 2×12 lumber at 45-degree or 2×16 lumber at 90-degrees.
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Compound Miter Saw Guide
When it comes to cutting angles and using on a multitude of projects, a compound miter saw can be one of the best purchases any woodworker can make. The mounted blade will make light work of different woods and should offer a range of angles to work with. This is only possible when using a quality product and some are better suited to personal needs than others.
Even professionals need to know what to look for so to clear a few things up, we have created this compound miter saw guide.
What To Look For In A Compound Miter Saw
- Power – Without the right amount of amps backing it up, a compound miter saw will find it hard to get through thicker wood. For most quality products this shouldn’t be a problem and a lot of the better models give you at least 10 amps to work with. Professionals will find this limiting and should look for at least 15.
- RPM – Power is one thing but a compound miter saw also needs to turn the blade at a certain rate to create smooth cuts. You won’t get far with much less than 3,500 – 4,000 RPM’s and a lot of the better products will give you even more. A combination of 15 amps and 5,000 RPMs will mean you have a very powerful and capable miter saw on your hands but this isn’t necessary for everyone’s needs.
- Portability – With any job site, a lot of the equipment needs to be easy to pack up and move to the next place. This is why you will find a lot of compound miter saws that weigh under 60lbs and are built to be carried with ease. Even when working at home, you might be grateful for the ability to move it to different areas so you can work in new environments.
- Capacity – The height, length, and width of the baseboard are all going to determine what sort of work your compound miter saw is capable of. Most people using them for DIY will find that crosscutting takes up the majority of their time so only the width is going to be a major factor.
- Blade Size – A professional is going to need to get a compound miter saw with the largest blade possible to open up the number of options the saw can offer. This is where a 12-inch saw comes in handy but DY enthusiasts will find this is an unnecessary size. For most applications, 10-inches is sufficient although there are also portable products that use 7.5-inch blades, these have their limitations.
- Dust Collection – It doesn’t matter how much you use the miter saw, clean up can be a pain. However, there are plenty of compound miter saws on the market that come with great dust collecting capabilities and some even feature a vacuum to keep the area clear.
No one likes dust floating in the air as a lot of it can remain long after you have taken your goggles off so it is best to have a place to collect it.
Single Bevel Vs Double Bevel
There is no doubt that a double bevel compound miter saw is easier to work with and it opens up a lot of new options. A single bevel usually means you can only cut at certain angles and levels.
With a single bevel, you can cut in one direction, usually to the left whilst a double bevel opens up both left and right sides and usually up to 90 degrees. Expect the price to increase when you add extra features such as a double bevel so it is best to consider whether or not you need the convenience.
Find A Compound Miter Saw That Is Easy To Use
Even a lot of professionals will agree that a compound miter saw shouldn’t be difficult to get to grips with. Everything from the adjustments and different cuts should be easy to set up and even the blades need to be easy to replace. After a while, this is a task that everyone faces or you might need to change the blade so it can take on tougher wood.
Compound Miter Saw Safety
A lot of accidents around compound miter saws occur when the user is not concentrating. There is something to be said for always being alert and not getting complacent. Still, accidents can happen which is why it is always good to go for a product that has an electric brake to stop the blade within a couple of seconds.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw Vs Compound Miter Saw
The benefits of a sliding compound saw are hard to argue against as there are more options for different cuts and cutting larger pieces of wood at wide angles.
Because they operate on a rail they are easy to move into multiple positions but this does come at a price. Both make bevel and miter cuts so although a lot of the features are great when working in construction, you might find the benefits are wasted on your needs.