When it comes to cutting wood or metal, a good saw is your best friend. The best way to make precision cuts on your next woodworking project is to use a compound miter saw. While there are many varieties of power saws out there, none gives you the accuracy and performance of a compound miter saw.
Today I’ll be talking about what makes these machines so great, as well as show you some of the best compound miter saws on the market.
The most important features of a compound miter saw are the size and material of the blade and the power of the motor. However, there are other functions that are nice to have on hand. These are:
First on our list is the DeWalt DW715 Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw. DeWalt has a long history of making high-quality power tools, and the DW715 is no exception. As the name suggests, this is a single-bevel saw, so you are limited in your cutting options.
The DW715 has a twelve-inch carbide blade and a stainless steel miter detent plate. The plate has eleven positive stops, providing you with versatility and performance. This is a single bevel unit, so you can angle the blade on one side for extra cutting options. The angle of the bevel can be moved up to 48 degrees on the left and three degrees on the right.
This saw comes with a dust bag to collect shavings and dust, as well as a blade wrench to adjust or swap out blades.
A key feature of this unit is the miter detent override, which allows you to customize the miter stops to your settings without the blade slipping into the detents. This feature gives you greater control and versatility.
Next on our list is the Hitachi C10FCE2 Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw. What's important to know about this model is that it has the option to come with a laser marker. While this feature is not necessarily a deal breaker, it is nice to have it for precision cutting.
The C10FCE2 has a ten-inch steel blade and is powered by a 15-amp motor, which operates at up to 5000 rpm. For horizontal measuring, this saw moves up to 52 degrees from side to side with precise miter measurements. For horizontal bevels, the Hitachi can move up to 45 degrees on the left.
Other features of this model include an ergonomic grip that helps keep things steady, as well as a built-in clamping system to hold your piece in place. This unit also comes with a dust bag and carbon brushes to keep your saw clean.
Here we have another saw from DeWalt, the DWS780 Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw. Unlike the other models we've seen so far, the DWS780 can cut bevels on both sides.
The DWS780 has a twelve-inch carbide blade and uses a 15-amp motor that can operate at up to 3,800 rpm. What sets this saw apart from other models is both the fact that you can bevel on either side and that it comes with a highly accurate marking system. Unlike laser sights, which need to be re-calibrated from time to time, the DeWalt XPS Cross-Cut alignment system illuminates the back of the blade, creating a sharp shadow cast onto the piece. Because it uses a shadow instead of a laser, you won’t ever have to recalibrate or adjust the light to make it accurate.
This saw has a stainless steel miter detent with ten positive stops for greater accuracy. Horizontally, the saw moves up to 60 degrees on the right and 50 degrees on the left. Vertically, you can bevel on either side up to 49 degrees, with four stops in between.This saw also features a carrying handle and weighs only 56 pounds for relatively easy transportation.
When you’re cutting materials with a miter saw, sometimes you only need to cut a relatively small piece. However, if you have a full-size saw, it can sometimes be overkill for just a little wood block or piece of metal.
Thus, for smaller jobs, we have the TruePower 919 Mini Miter/Cut-Off Saw. With only a two-inch blade, this unit is perfect for tiny pieces and making detailed cuts.
The 919 model uses a miniature two-inch blade that operates at up to 7800 rpm. The high speed coupled with the small, durable blade makes this saw perfect for wood, brass, and steel. It can adjust the miter detent up to 45 degrees for more accurate cuts.
This model also comes with a built-in clamp.
When it comes to high-quality power tools, several brands come to mind. We’ve already looked at DeWalt, but another top-tier company is Bosch, and here we have the GCM12SD Compound Miter Saw.
Like DeWalt’s DWS780 model, this saw is a double bevel so that you can make angled cuts from either side. Along with versatility, this unit has some pretty awesome features.The GCM12SD has a 12-inch steel blade and uses a 15-amp motor that operates at up to 3800 rpm. It also features a dual bevel, which you can adjust up to 45 degrees on either side. There are preset stops, but you can guide the blade precisely where you want it to go.
Another main feature of this unit is the patented Axial-Glide system. Unlike other miter saws, this blade slides up and down, rather than at an angle. What this means is that the machine takes up less space, giving you more room to work.
Using and locking the blade in place is easy with ergonomic, padded levers and controls. The fences can be adjusted with the push of a button and lock into place for better stability.
Here at the halfway point on our list is the WEN 70716 Sliding Compound Miter Saw. Unlike the Bosch, this is a single-bevel unit, so you are limited in the amount of range you can cut. Nonetheless, the 70716 is a powerful and reliable saw.
This unit has a 10-inch carbide-tipped blade and uses a powerful 15-amp motor that can operate at up to 5500 rpm. Even though it has a lot of power and versatility, this saw weighs only 30 pounds, so transporting or moving it is much easier than with other models. When it comes to the range of motion, the 70716 can move up to 52 degrees on either side. Likewise, this single-bevel unit has a vertical range of up to 45 degrees on the left.
For stability, this model has two support arms on either side, a built-in clamp to hold your piece, and a locking fence to keep everything in place. It also comes with a dust bag and blade wrench. Another safety feature is the retracting cover, so you won’t have any nasty accidents while you’re working.
Much like Bosch or DeWalt, Makita has a long history of making the best power tools. Today we have the LS1016L Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw, and it is a perfect testament to Makita’s commitment to excellence.
This saw has a 10-inch carbide blade and uses a 15 amp motor that operates at up to 3200 rpm. This is a dual-bevel saw, so you have a full range of motion to make your cuts. Horizontally, this unit can move up to 50 degrees on either side, with five positive stops for accuracy. Vertically, you can make bevel cuts at up to 45 degrees on either side with four stops in between.
Another great feature of this is the inclusion of a laser marker. When cutting, accuracy is critical, so the laser helps guide your blade with pinpoint precision. You can even adjust the laser to sit in front of or behind the blade, depending on your personal preference.
Next, we have the Homecraft H26-260L Compound Miter Saw. When comparing this model to the others on this list, the Homecraft saw is designed more for at home projects and personal use, rather than commercial or industrial purposes.
However, it is a lightweight and capable saw that can perform well in a variety of circumstances.The H26-260L has a 10-inch steel blade and uses a 14-amp motor that operates at up to 5500 rpm. This is a single-bevel unit, which can cut at up to 47 degrees on the left side. Horizontally, this saw moves 45 degrees on either side, with ten total positive stops (five on each side).
Other features of this model are a laser marker to make precise cuts, a lockout mechanism for the power switch for safety, and a spindle lock to expedite blade changes.
Much like the TruePower 919 model, this compound miter saw is designed for small jobs and detailed cuts. The Ryobi ZRTS1143L has a much smaller blade than most other models, so it’s ideal for items that need more precision cutting.
This Ryobi saw has a 7.5-inch carbide blade and uses a 9-amp motor which operates at up to 5800 rpm. This is a single bevel unit which can cut at an angle up to 45 degrees on the left with five positive stops for accuracy. Like other models on this list, the Ryobi has a laser marker so you can make precise cuts every time.
One important thing about this unit is the fact that it is factory reconditioned. What that means is the saw was returned to the factory where it was built and then conditioned to be like new. What this also means is that the saw will have slight cosmetic defects. Regardless, it will still work just as well as a brand-new model, but it will look used.
Finishing off our list is the Makita LS1018 Dual-Bevel Compound Miter Saw. As I mentioned above, Makita is well-known for making high-quality products, and like the other model on this list, the LS1018 delivers on Makita’s commitment to excellence.
This miter saw has a 10-inch steel blade and uses a 13-amp motor that operates at up to 4300 rpm. Like the other Makita saw on this list, the LS1018 is a dual-bevel so that you can make up to 45-degree cuts on either side. As far as horizontal movement, the range of this saw is 47 degrees on the left and 60 degrees on the right.
Another great thing about this saw is the design. It’s lighter than other models (only 43 pounds) and comes with ergonomic handles and levers to make your operation that much smoother. Also making your cuts smoother is the soft startup function, so you can ease into your cuts instead of blasting at full speed right out of the gate.
When it comes to compound miter saws, most of the time performance comes standard, no matter what brand you get. Personally, I like having a laser sight or some kind of marker so I know exactly where I’m cutting. I also like dual-bevel, but in my experience, it’s just as easy to use a single-bevel machine.
With all that in mind, I would highly recommend either DeWalt or Makita saw, as I have always had positive experiences with these brands and I know that the companies provide excellent customer service. Personally, I would choose either the Makita 1016L model or the DeWalt DWS780 since they have a full range of motion and some handy extra features. If you are looking for something small and lightweight, however, I would recommend the Ryobi model instead of the TruePower,
Hopefully with this information in mind, you will pick the right saw for your needs and will be more than satisfied with the results. Thanks for reading!