Although sliding miter saws may look like funny tools to those who haven’t been around them, any professional knows it’s an important part of any workshop. These tools not only feature blades that pivot for angled cuts but they can be tilted for beveled cuts. And since they have a radial arm saw, they can be moved back and forth for longer cuts. All of which makes it a useful tool for woodworking projects.
Before a person can get all of the above benefits, however, they first have to find the best one possible, and that’s not always easy. After all, there are several different models at any one time, and not all of them are great. With that in mind, we’ve decided to deeply dive into the subject and find the ten best sliding miter saws that can be found nowadays and place them in this list.
Best Sliding Miter Saws – Top List
10Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide
Power, convenience and cutting capacity are just some of the features that people will find on this Makita sliding miter saw. It has a strong 15-Amp direct-drive motor that doesn’t require as much maintenance as older drive systems but is still capable of delivering a speed of 3,200 RPM. This saw has a 6.5-inch baseboard cutting capacity and has an 8-inch crown molding and a 15-inch crosscut capacity at 90-degrees. This tool also has a 5.5-inch dual sliding fence system that makes it a lot easier for operators to perform more precise and quicker bevel cuts. Other features include an independent laser, a compact design and an ergonomic handle.
9Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch
Manufactured by a trusted brand in the tool business, this high-quality tool is designed to not only offer performance but to also deliver quality. It features an electronic soft-start that allows the carpenter to slowly come up to the cut-line without the damage that can be caused by ripping full-speed ahead. In 2-seconds, this tool’s blade is up to full speed, and its powerful motor provides a constant speed, even when under constant load. The blade has a speed of 3,250 RPM, so it can cut through just about anything quickly and easily. It will even ensure that clean cuts are maintained at all times with hardwoods.
8Festool Kapex KS 561287
Designed to make the cuts that carpenters need to make and do it without exceptions, the Festool is a compound miter saw that will fit in well with just about any woodworking shop. It has an impressive rail-forward design that helps the operator make more precise cuts and do it while maintaining a compact footprint. With its 10.25-inch saw blade, this tool is capable of performing a variety of cuts on a variety of different materials. And since it has dual lasers, it is extremely easy for the operator to alight cuts from either the left or the right side.
7Hitachi C8FSE 9.2-Amp
Although praise is often heaped upon the Hitachi C8FSe because it’s the most portable and lightest miter saw in its class available today, this tool actually offers a lot more than convenience to its operators. This 31-pound saw has a power output of 1,050-Watts, which gives it plenty to power to generate up to 5,500 RPM of no-load speed on the miter’s blade. And because it has electronic speed control, cuts are always smooth. Additional features which can be found on this quality tool include easy-to-use positive miter adjustments, a compound feature for precise bevels and miters, and a bevel range of 48-degrees to the left and 5-degrees to the right.
6Hitachi C12RSH2 15-Amp
Hitachi has been really releasing tools that are not only powerful but are also easy-to-use, and this one is no exception. It features a compact slide system that allows for zero clearance and has a laser marking system that helps the operator perform the precision cuts that they need to perform. This tool’s 15-Amp motor is capable of cutting through even tough hardwoods quickly and easily. To allow the operator to remain as comfortable as possible during cuts, this tool also has a vertical handle that has a soft elastomer grip that helps reduce vibration and is easy to hold for long periods of time.
5Bosch 120-Volt 12-Inch
This 12-inch dual-bevel glide miter saw is manufactured by Bosch and is designed to give the operator the power and smooth cutting they need for important woodworking jobs. It features a 14-inch horizontal cutting capacity, and offer both a 6.5-inch vertical and a 6.5-inch crown capacity. It has a quick-release fence that is aligned 90-degrees to the tool’s table and doesn’t require an adjustment. This tool also features easy-to-read stainless-steel miter scales and a uniform bevel adjustment. And finally, it has a compact design that allows it to be used virtually anywhere and it only has a width of 26.5-inches.
4Dewalt DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel
The Dewalt DWS780 is a 12-inch double bevel sliding compound miter saw that’s capable of delivering to the operator the power and precision they absolutely need. It features a 15-Amp motor and has an integrated XPS cross-cut positioning system that allows for accurate line indications. This tool’s blade spins at a no-load speed of 3,800 RPM, and it has tall sliding fences that are capable of supporting 7.5-inch nested crowns or 6.75-inch base molding. Although this tool doesn’t come with a stand, it can be used with any number of different stands or benches without a problem.
3Dewalt DW717 10-Inch
The Dewalt DW716 has a powerful motor and the features needed to perform all kinds of jobs. Its 15-Amp motor is designed to provide power to the tool’s saw blade, and its adjustable steel miter detent plate has 11 positive stops for the operator’s convenience. Another feature which can be found on this tool includes a 45-degree degree bevel-cut capacity on dimensional lumber. This tool also features a cam miter lock for accuracy, and an exclusive bevel detent system with 7-positive stops. When everything is taken into consideration, it’s easy to see why so many people enjoy using this saw.
2Dewalt DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch
A durable 15-Amp motor delivers 4,000 RPM of speed to the Dewalt DW715’s 12-inch blade. This single-bevel compound miter saw is designed to give the operator the precision cuts they desire without all of the hassles of lower power tools. It has an adjustable steel miter plate with 11 positive stops, a tall sliding fence capable of handling 6.5-inch vertically stacked molding or 5.25-inch nested molding and it only weighs around 42-pounds. It’s a lightweight, powerful and portable tool that has a built-in carry handle for convenience and it also has a crosscut capacity of up to 2 by 8-inches.
1Dewalt DWS779 12-Inch
Manufactured with a back-fence design that can cut 2×16 dimensional lumber at 90-degrees and 2×12 lumber at 45-degrees, this sliding compound miter saw is a necessary addition to any workshop. It features a pretty powerful 15-Amp motor that can deliver up to 3,800 RPM of power to its saw blade. Another professional feature found on this tool are tall sliding fences which are capable of supporting base molding up to 6.75-inches vertically or crown molding up to 7.5-inches nested. Additional exciting features found in this unit include a dust collection system, an integrated cutline blade positioning system and dual horizontal steel rails.
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Sliding Compound Miter Saw Guide
With so many great products on the market, it can be hard to find the right sliding compound miter saw to fit your needs. To open up a world of angle options and differing power capabilities, you need to know what makes a quality model so good. A lot of this will be in understanding what you can get for your budget and the intended use.
The following guide is designed to clear a few things up so this purchase is a quality one that you use time and again.
What To Look For In A Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- Power – It doesn’t matter what type of miter saw you go for it needs to have the backing of a decent amount of power. Professionals will tell you that 15 amps are a minimum requirement but for those using a sliding compound miter saw for personal use can probably get more than enough out of 10. Tougher woods might be difficult unless you have more amps but if you aren’t dealing with them often, it doesn’t matter.
- RPM – The speed at which the blade can turn will help you create precise cuts with a smooth finish. This is another factor that can vary greatly and depending on your budget, it might be better to consider products with around 4,000 RPM as a minimum.
- Saw Size – If you take smaller, portable products out of the equation, most sliding compound miter saws use one of two sizes of saw. A professional that needs to get through tough wood and use the saw every day will likely opt for a 12-inch saw. This means they can tackle any task. However, anyone looking for a product that is better for personal cutting will probably find 10-inch saws to be more than enough.
- Positive Stops – These are markers at different points to help improve accuracy and depending on the manufacturer, there can be well over ten.
- Blade Tooth Count – Expect more teeth on the bigger blades and the more you get on the blade the smoother the cut. However, thicker woods will be easier to cut through when there are fewer teeth.
- Dust Collection – If you don’t have adequate dust collection with your sliding compound miter saw then you’d better have a decent broom. Some products even have a dust collecting device with a built-in vacuum. Whatever model you go for, the less dust there is in the air, the easier it will be to breathe.
- Added Features – The more you spend, the more features you might get and although these aren’t going to be the first thing you look for, they can sweeten the deal. An LED light at the top of the miter saw will help with accuracy, especially when working in dimly-lit places. Then there are laser guidance tools that help to create accurate lines for you to keep to. This combined with clear cutting guards will go a long way towards adding convenience to functionality.
- Portability – What makes these miter saws so appealing is that they can easily be moved from place to place. This is important for professionals who need to take their work to different jobs and anything that weighs under 60 lbs is considered pretty light in the niche.
- Warranty – The importance of a warranty when buying any power tool should not be underestimated. Because it is such a big purchase you want to protect yourself in case the model lets you down. You’re going to be putting a sliding compound miter saw through a fair bit of graft so it’s always to look for at least a couple of years.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw Vs Compound Miter Saw
The main benefit of a sliding version is the versatility. The movement of the sliding rail allows it to work at a multitude of angles and can make wider cuts than other types of miter saws.
Compound saws can cut at both left and right angles so making picture frames and cutting molding is easier.
What makes a sliding compound miter saw different is it can cut longer boards because the wood moves through it. A sliding version is favored on construction sites because of the world of options it gives you. Both offer great options for anyone looking for a miter saw they can use at home but to give yourself as many cutting options as possible, a sliding compound miter saw always wins.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw and Safety
This is a major factor with any power tool so it is not something you should take lightly.
A lot of safety around any miter saw is on the user as most accidents occur because of a lack of concentration. Getting complacent is never going to keep you safe so always be alert and never wear loose-fitting clothes or jewelry.
When it comes to safety features, a lot of miter saws will be a saw guard which works as a layer of protection when the blade is in motion. Then, an electric brake is important for stopping the rotation within a couple of seconds. This can lessen the severity of an accident.