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Whether you are a professional carpenter, a skilled hobbyist or simply someone who likes to do a bit of constructing DIY projects from time to time, a compound miter saw is a tool which can make many jobs you may encounter much easier.
A miter saw's ability to let you cut pieces of wood accurately, and at precise angles is why it is one of the most sought after pieces of equipment for any workshop.
Choosing the a quality and yet affordable miter saw can be tricky, so here are reviews of 5 of the very best and reasonably priced mitre saws available, plus a useful buyer's guide and some FAQs to help you make the right choice when choosing the best budget miter saw.
The Tracklife Sliding Compound Miter Saw is ideal for those who need to be able to transport their saw to multiple jobs thanks to it being lightweight. That said, this doesn't not mean this saw it is not powerful enough to cut through wood with ease.
If you are looking for a compact and portable miter saw, then the Tracklife Sliding Compound Miter Saw should be a prime candidate for you, given that it weighs only 31 lbs and is easily transportable. The dimensions of 30.7 x 22.8 x 17.7 inches should also tell you that it is diminutive enough for you to transport around.
While this Tracklife miter saw might not be big in terms of its size, it's 10-inch, circular blade, with 24 teeth, is more than powerful enough to cut through any wood materials. This is enabled by the 15 amp, 2.57 HP motor that powers it, and this can operate up to 4,500 RPM, which is impressive for any budget miter saw.
In terms of cutting specifics, it can be set to bevel up to 45° to the left, and to both the left and the right it can be used to miter up to 52°. You can also make use of the stops which are positioned at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.°, and 45°, which are the angles most frequently used by woodworkers.
To allow for speedier adjustments, the Tracklife Sliding Compound Miter Saw has thumb-activated stops, and another excellent feature is the clamping system for holding the piece you are working with.
Finally, and to ensure that the amount of dust and debris is kept to a minimum, the saw has an attachment for dust collection.
Any tool with adjustable parts which are easy to move is one which is to be admired, so you will be pleased to know that bevel or angle adjustments on this Tracklife miter saw can be done with the minimum of effort.
While it is not always possible for a miter saw blade to be designed to stop instantly, the one on this Tracklife miter saw does seem to spin for a long time after you finish a cut.
You can certainly make accurate angled cuts with Tracklife Compound Sliding Miter Saw, although, this saw is only a single bevel sliding miter saw. So while you can still make all the necessary angled cuts, it lacks the convenience of what dual bevel models offer.
It is often said that the less complicated a tool is, the better it performs. That's exactly why the simple and compact SKIL 3821-01 12-Inch Quick Mount Compound Miter Saw with Laser should prove to be a great addition to your workshop.
We mentioned simplicity in the intro, and our first impression of this Skil Power Tools miter saw was how basic it appeared which we saw as a positive, not a negative, especially when considering that for many of you, this might be the first miter saw you purchase.
Specifically, in terms of ease of use, the handle has been ergonomically designed to make it easier and more comfortable, and this also means that as you operate the saw, you should be able to do so with more accuracy.
For safety, there is a lockout power switch feature which prevents the motor from operating when not in use. Further safety is provided by a blade guard that ensures that not only are you protected from the blade, but also from particles of wood during the operation of the saw.
When cutting your wood, the angles and bevels are obviously done by making adjustments to the saw. Its 12-ich blade can be set to cut bevels up to 47 degrees with the common stops of 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 30°, and 45° all available to you too. Incidentally, should you ever need to sharpen or change the blade, the saw has an arbor lock to make removing the blade a much easier task.
This is more of a robust and durable miter saw as it weighs 46 pounds and with dimensions of 28.3 x 18.1 x 20.5 inches, you can depend on this reliable workhorse to get the job done.
The SKIL 3821-01 12-Inch Quick Mount Compound Miter Saw is fitted with a powerful 15 amp motor showcasing 4,500 RPM unloaded. We also like the face that it comes with laser cut-line guide system to help produce more accurate cuts
While the blade guard is a very welcome feature, unfortunately, it has been made from what appears to be cheap plastic, which can be easily broken and is not very easy to replace.
For those of you who prefer to have the assistance of a laser as a cutting guide, then you will want to consider the Genesis GMS1015LC Compound Miter Saw as it can make cross cuts, miter cuts and bevels very precisely for your crown molding or fancy picture frames.
The Genesis GMS1015LC Compound Miter Saw is a powerful tool with a 15 amp 120v motor which allows it to spin the blade at no less than 4600 RPM. If that is not enough, the blade has 60 precision cut teeth, which means every cut should quick, easy and most importantly, precise. That precision is enhanced by the laser guide, which is simple to set up and allows for more accuracy when you are cutting.
The array of cuts that you can make with any miter saw is governed by the settings and adjustments that are available, and these are well provided for with the Genesis GMS1015LC. There are 9 position stops at the most used angles, and these can be adjusted up to 45 degrees on both the left and the right.
The base of the miter saw is made from die-cast aluminum to provide stability but at the same time allows for the saw to be transported whenever the need arises, such as a job in another location.
Once you have finished a cut, the very responsive electric brake ensures the blade stops almost immediately. Should you ever need to replace the blade, then the arbor lock enables you to do this without any delay or risk.
Other features include a dust bag to reduce the number of particles floating around the room you are working in, plus the base has an adjustable clamp for holding the piece of wood you are cutting.
A blade which continues to spin once it cuts through a piece of wood is not only a safety risk, but it can compromise the preciseness of the cut. Thankfully, Genesis has addressed that issue with an excellent brake which stops the blade spinning in an instant.
While the clamp is a useful feature, it seems to have been given less attention compared to the rest of the saw in terms of durability, plus it can get in the way of the motor in certain scenarios when cutting on the right side which isn't the best thing while operating a high powered saw.
Delta's S26-262L 'Shop Master' miter saw is going to appeal to woodworkers and carpenters at all levels due to its portability, meaning it can be moved from job to job, its powerful motor, for quick cuts, and its laser guide, for accurate alignment of the blade.
As you may have gathered from what we have said in the intro, this 'Shop Master' miter saw from Delta has many features which will appeal. The most obvious can be noticed before it has even been switched on, and that is how light it is in terms of its weight. It weighs only 25 lbs. so it will be suitable for those who work on jobs in multiple locations and need to be able to take their miter saw with them. Size wise it is 14.5 x 17.5 x 22.1, so it should fit in even the smallest of workshops.
Setting up cuts is made easier by the laser guide which is powered by 2 AAA batteries that are included. The laser guide allows for better and more accurate blade alignment, and thus, the cuts you make should be more precise. The cuts you can make are fairly standard with a bevel on the left from 0 to 47 degrees, and mitering cut angles at the traditional stops of 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 30°, and 45° on both the left and the right.
When a cut has been completed, you can stop the blade instantaneously by operating the electric brake, which you do when releasing the operating switch. The 10-inch blade spins at an impressive 5,500 rpm, which is one of the fastest blade speeds we have seen with this type of miter saw.
The base on this miter saw is excellent with one of its main benefits being how stable it is. This means the amount of vibration you feel is almost negligible, which delivers meticulous accuracy, even when cutting things like crown molding.
The dust chute and bag are poor. The debris tends to clog in the chute and worse than that a lot of it is missed meaning that you will have shavings and wood dust floating around your workshop.
With Metabo HPT being the new name for Hitachi Power Tools you should know that the Metabo HPT C10FCGS is the same saw as the Hitachi C10FCGS. The Hitachi C10FCGS had built quite the reputation throughout the years, and now the torch has been passed to the newly branded Metabo HPT C10FCGS.
You can certainly be confident that this miter saw will have all the attributes, reliability and quality that you would normally associate with such a highly regarded and reputable brand.
It may come with a new brand name, but there is no denying that this miter saw has some very recognizable and highly desirable features. The first of those is one you will become aware of the second you first hold it, given that it weighs less than 25 lbs. It is 24.2 lbs. to be precise, making it one of the lightest saws of its type and means you should be able to move or transport it anywhere you need to work with it.
The 10-inch blade is powered by a 15 amp electric motor which operates at a speed of 5,000 RPM, which should allow you to make miter cuts, crosscuts, and bevels with the minimum of effort. In terms of cutting angles, this miter saw can be set to cut bevels in a range between 0 and 45 degrees to the left. For miter cuts, the range is between 0 and 52 degrees for both the left and right, with thumb actuated stops in both directions at the customary 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6 and 45 degrees.
To make the job of cutting wood even easier and more precise, the large table on this miter saw provides a stable platform which is further enhanced by the clamping system it has. The fact that the saw incorporates a horizontal handle for operating the blade provides a secure hold and promoters clean and accurate cuts every time.
While we are sure that this Metabo HPT miter saw is of high quality, the manufacturers have backed that up further with an amazing warranty period of 5 years. In comparison to some warranties which are only for one year, it bodes well for the durability of this product.
Many people who do DIY or are carpenters by trade have a fair level of technical know-how, however even they are likely to be perplexed by the poorly written instruction manual which made the simple setup process appear to a lot more complex than it needed to be.
If this is the first time you have bought a miter saw, you may be wondering what features you should you be looking at when it comes to comparing the many products that are available for sale.
There are several we could go through in this review, but instead of creating a book on the subject, we have this buying guide which will cover 5 of features which you may want to compare or have a more detailed explanation so that you can decide whether it is important to you or not.
Just as there are multiple types of all sorts of DIY tools when it comes to miter saws, this is no different. For our purposes, and the answer you will get from most experts is, there are basically three types of miter saw. These are Standard, Compound, and Sliding Compound.
This is the easiest to use and can be used for crosscuts and miter cuts of between 0 and 45° on both the left and the right. This type is normally lightweight, so is ideal if you need to use it in multiple locations. They also tend to at the lower end of the price scale.
These can do everything the standard miter saws can do, but they are more versatile and have the additional functionality of being able to make bevel cuts. This can be done up to 50° on some saws, with others having a double bevel, which means you can make angled accurate cuts in both directions without having to flip over the piece of wood.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw: While a compound miter saw is versatile, due to the fixed arm mechanism the distance the blade can move is limited which in turn limits the maximum width of the piece of wood you are working on.
With a sliding compound miter saw, the blade and arm are attached to a sliding mechanism, which is normally a metal rail. This allows the blade to move up, down, in and out, so the size of the workpiece can be as much as three times as big as on normal compound saws due to this miter saw sliding function.
Unfortunately, you won't find too many budget miter saws available sporting the dual bevel feature. These types of miter saws command a higher price tag than what's listed here with these budget models. But if you are in the market for dual bevel compound sliding miter saw, we highly recommend taking a look at the DEWALT DWS780 which we recently conducted a review of.
In our opinion, the DEWALT DWS780 is the best compound sliding miter saw in the entire dual bevel range. It makes short work of complex projects like crown molding, and delivers clean precise cuts regardless of the materials you're using. But, you have to consider if you'll make use of a saw with a dual bevel feature, and this all depends on the projects you'll be pursuing.
Amperage or amps is basically a measure of how much power anything which runs on electricity is drawing. This tends to be a standard feature on miter saws with almost all blade motors rated at 15 amps. Having said that, there are some which are rated as low as 13 amps, so if this is something which is important to you, then seek them out.
On most miter saws there will be a blade guard which is curved and follows the circular shape of the saw blade. It is located on the side closest to you, and its main purpose is to prevent anything, or more importantly, anyone, coming into contact with the blade, especially when it is spinning. It tends to be made from clear plastic, and in many cases, it can be replaced if cracked or broken.
This is a feature that will find on most miter saws, although there are big differences in how effective they are. Their principal job is to collect dust and small shavings so that they are not floating about where you are working and being breathed in. They normally work in a similar fashion to a vacuum cleaner in that the dust is sucked into the bag, and the bag can be emptied when full. While they're not the best at collecting fine dust, they're much better than a saw without one.
Whenever you finish a clean accurate cuts, for the reason of safety, you'll want the blade to stop spinning as soon as possible. On many miter saws, this is achieved using an electric brake. It works by reversing the polarity of the electricity to the blade's motor when you release the saw's operating trigger, and this stops the blade spinning instantaneously.
A compound miter saw is a miter saw which allows you to crosscut, make miter cuts, and also bevel cuts. The angles which these cuts can be made at differ in certain saws, but they generally range from 0° to 45° to the left and the right. Most compound saws require you to flip your piece of wood to cut in both directions, although dual head and sliding compound miter saws eliminate that.
If you like to dive a little deeper and get a better understanding of how to use a miter saw, we explained this in great detail in a recent post.
Miter saws do not really have a vast range of size differences so most of the sizes you see for sale should be alright. Although there is a different in both cutting capacity and of course price with different sizes. If this is something you'd like more clarification on, you can read more about what size miter saw to buy in our recent article.
A miter box is simply a tool which is used to guide a standard hand saw so that it cuts precisely. It usually comes in the form of an open box with three sides into which slots have cut at the most common angles such as 45 degrees, for example. While homemade miter boxes can be made of wood, modern miter boxes are more likely to be made from metal or molded plastic. They can be a bit of a nuisance to use and obviously aren't the best for larger projects like say crown molding.
One size you do need to consider is the blade size that the saw uses which will tend to be either 10 or 12 inches in diameter. The 12-inch blade saws are the best option, but are more expensive. They have the advantages, like being able to cut thicker and longer pieces, whereas the 10-inch is more common for beginners. This make the 10-inch the best choice if you're starting out as they considerably cheaper than the alternative 12-inch models.
You can use a miter saw to cut most materials, including metal, but it is not ideal, and many experts will warn against it If you choose to do use it, you must ensure that you fit your miter saw with the correct blade for that material. For metal that blade is likely to be an aluminum oxide composite. This is another subject matter we covered in great detail and you can read more about whether you can cut metal with a miter saw if you'd like.
This depends on where you'll be utilizing your saw and whether you'll be dealing with a space constraints in your workshop. Typically, it's best to consider buying a stand part of your budget, but also within your budget. A quality miter saw stand won't burn a hole in your pocket and you can check out some affordable options in our review of the best miter saw stands of 2020 if you're interested.
All the miter saws we have reviewed have lot more positive aspects to them than negative, so our decision for crowning the best budget miter saw was tough.
But after much debate, we have gone for the Metabo HPT C10FCGS Compound Miter Saw for this review of the best budget miter saws, and for several very good reasons. It has a very impressive range of cutting features, has a large and secure table, it is portable, it’s backed by a highly regarded brand in Hitachi, and comes with an outstanding warranty period of 5 years.
Well there you have it. You're hopefully now on your way to potentially buying a compound miter saw that is right for you, and at the right price too.
All the best, and we hope this post has helped you make an important decision for your next DIY project.