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A miter saw is a real must-have power tool if you plan on having a fully functioning workshop right in your backyard.
Miter saws make it easier to cut a variety of things quickly, including picture frames, window casings, crown molding, and door grams. However, when you set out to buy one, you are going to find several options available, all at very different price points.
So to help would-be miter saw owners find the best sliding compound miter saw, we tried and tested several models to narrow down your options to five of the best sliding compound miter saws available today.
The DEWALT DWS779 Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a solid option for both professionals and do-it-yourselfers. For the hobbyist, this saw is quite easy to use, whereas, for the professional, it offers a smooth operation and a high degree of precision.
The DEWALT DWS779 Sliding Compound Miter Saw is dual bevel, meaning the blade on this miter saw tilts in both angle directions, allowing you to make precise cuts without needing to calibrate or adjust anything. Given the design of the back fence, you can cut up to two by 16-inch lumber at 90 degrees. At 45 degrees, you can cut two by 12-inch dimensional wood.
The motor is a 15-amp motor, and it has a lot less vibration than what you’ll find with other similar saws, especially given the powerful 15-amp motor it possesses. For safety features, you’ll get a transparent blade guard that is pretty standard.
First off, we like that this saw is pretty easy to set up. It does require some assembly, but it’s all quite straightforward and easy to figure it out. The manual is actually really well written, so you can follow it pretty easily. Even a newbie can figure it out.
In addition, the precision in which the DEWALT DWS779 delivers such fine cut quality, seems brilliantly balanced with the powerful 15-amp motor it harnesses. This results in a sliding miter saw that boasts outstanding accuracy and speed.
The limited vibration is a great feature, as well. Even professionals can get really tired of the vibration given off by most saws. This is especially true if you are using the saw for long periods. Lower vibration isn’t a necessity, but it’s a nice feature to have.
Unfortunately, we didn’t like that the grip handle has virtually no cushion to it. You get used to it over time, but it starts out fairly uncomfortable to hold.
The other drawback with this model is that while it comes with a dust bag, it leaves much to be desired in the way of dust collecting. While it does collect a decent amount of dust and it is easy to mount, there is still much to be desired, especially in relation to fine dust.
With that said, we recognize that the dust collector with majority of miter saw brands have their issues, seems like an industry-wide work in progress thing. Keep in mind, the degree of dust also depends on the materials you're working with.
The Makita LS1019L Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser is on our list because it comes from one of the largest power tool lines on the market. Makita is very well-known for delivering quality tools and accessories.
This model is one of the options best suited for do-it-yourselfers or hobbyists. That’s because many of the features are more suited to newer users rather than professionals.
The LS1019L is a 10-inch miter saw as opposed to the more popular 12-inch variation. Nonetheless, it does really rival the larger option when it comes to actual cutting capacity, and has a relatively tall fence for a 10-inch miter saw.
There is a rail system that is quite unique for the sliding action. You can use this in smaller spaces, given that the rails are actually alongside the saw as opposed to extended behind it.
The included laser sight is a standard feature, and it really does help when it comes to making accurate and quick cuts. There are dust collector ports and a tall fence system which is also removable. The ports for the dust collector fit just about any shop vac or dust extraction system.
The blade on this sliding miter saw has 60 teeth and is 10 inches. It makes use of a direct drive motor system. That motor is set at an angle that helps avoid it from getting in your way when you’re trying to make awkward or unusually large cuts. It also comes with a soft start system.
The dust collector on this saw is a great feature, and an improvement over some it's competitors. If you use a dust extractor with it, you really can get rid of just about 80% of all dust. The cutting capacity is great with this saw, even though it is 10 inches instead of 12 inches.
It is also great that you can use a smaller footprint with this saw. The position of the rails means that you can work in smaller spaces. This is great if you find you are working in locations with restricted space or operate a smaller workshop.
With our review, we found that sometimes, the blade will drag just a little on any long sliding cuts. It seems to be a result of the rails being just a little bit off from the square. This can become really problematic over time, especially as you increase use.
The DELTA 26-2241 Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw is another option from a trusted manufacturer. It offers a mix of durability and power and is a good choice for both professionals and hobbyists alike.
This saw has a 15-amp motor that can deliver up to 4,000 RPMs. There is also an adjustable miter detent plate made from stainless steel for added durability. It comes with 14 positive stops, which you can override and then adjust to whatever setting you prefer.
This miter saw has a crosscut capacity of up to two by eight inches at 90 degrees. With an increased crown capacity of 45 degrees, it goes up to seven and half inches. It can bevel to the right up to 47 degrees and to the left for up to 47 degrees as well. It has at total of seven positive stops at 22.5 degrees, 33.9 degrees, 45 degrees, and more of the usual popular positive stops.
In terms of miter capacity for the 26-2241, you'll be working with a range of 50 degrees to left miter, 60 degrees to the with 10 miter detents and positive stops.
The Delta 26-2241 is bulky and well-built miter saw that has some exceptional engineering qualities. You'll notice just how impressive this miter saw is once unboxing it yourself. Once you've actually fired this beast up and grabbed hold of the ergonomically designed molded handle and pulled the highly responsive trigger, you'll almost instantly be in awe.
Delta has also incorporated a 1-1/2" dust port with the 26-2241 miter saw so you can easily hook up a vacuum to the saw and collect dust without the use of the bag. With every purchase of this sliding compound miter saw, you will also get a dust bag, vertical clamp, side handles along the base, a carbide blade, and a blade wrench.
For starters, we like how easy this saw is to set up so that you can get straight to work. The lockdown hold is also really helpful and the stainless-steel adjustable miter detent plate is impressively constructed.
We also like the power in this saw and the many accessories that come with it, including dust bags for easy cleanup.
The safety trigger on this saw requires you to take two steps, which can be cumbersome while in use. The other thing we don’t really like is that it starts very loud. Again, you’re using a power tool, so you should expect some loudness. However, this option is louder than some others we’ve reviewed here.
The Bosch Power Tools GCM12SD Sliding Glide Miter Saw offers a unique design. What’s more, it comes from a trusted name in power tool design and manufacturing.
The first noticeable thing about this saw is that the design isn’t all that traditional. It resembles a transformer more than the saws you are likely to have seen or used in the past. The glide system is a design in a class that is all on its own.
This saw is a bit heavy, weighing in at 88 pounds, though with that weight usually comes a high degree of durability. The base is very stable, making it resistant to any tipping preventing damage to your materials. The motor is a 15-amp motor that delivers up to 3,800 RPMs at a no-load speed.
The blade size is 12 inches, and it has a bevel capacity of 48 degrees going both right and left. The bevel stops are at 45, 33.9, and one degree, right and left. The miter capacity is 60 degrees right and 52 degrees left, with miter stops at 45, 31.6, 22.5, and 15 degrees right and left. Its crosscut capacity is four inches by 14 inches.
For your safety, you will get a clear lower guard. With this, you will have full unobstructed viewing. You’ll also likely enjoy the soft trigger handle.
To be honest, we really like the system on this saw. That axial-glide system prevents dust from restricting movement and causing the slide mechanics to get stuck. All saws tend to get stuck at some point, but this one really does not.
The saw as has a handy push-button detent override setting. The detent override setting allows you to quickly set any adjacent angle to help increase the pace at which you can work.
Aside from that, we also really like the 48-degree bevel capacity in both directions, as well as the clear lower guard that can really help with accurate cutting.
We don’t really like that this saw doesn’t come with the laser feature. We understand that not everyone likes the laser feature, but we’ve found that many times, it can come quite handy.
In our review we found that this model also isn’t ideal for folding up and transporting because it is awkward and heavy. You almost need someone there to help you, which isn’t ideal if you are using it professionally.
The DEWALT DWS780 Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a trusted option because it comes from one of the most reputable and well-known brands in the industry. This model could easily be considered the best available sliding compound miter saw for a professional. In fact, it is quite useful for DIYers, as well.
This saw comes with a new precise miter system. In addition, it has a handle that makes it easy to transport if you are moving from one job site to the next. There is a positioning system that allows you to make adjustment-free cuts. This leads to finishing your job quickly, and it also builds in a lot of efficiency in the job.
Of course, anyone with a bit of construction experience knows that you always want to pay attention to durability and power. This tool offers a high degree of both. This miter saw runs on a 3,800-RPM, 15-amp motor that delivers lightening fast cutting speed.
Aside from the motor, the actual saw is built with durability in mind. The castings are stainless steel, which gives you a rock-solid saw that is going to last you quite a long time. It will also stand up to just about anything the job site can throw at it. If using it for home projects, you also should have no issue with longevity.
In addition to power and durability, you’ll find a lot of unique features with this saw, all of which help you move quicker chopping through angles swiftly. It has a high cutting capacity; you can cut up to two by 16 lumber pieces at a full 90 degrees. You can also cut two by 12 pieces at 45 degrees. Finally, you can bevel from zero to 49 degrees, adding in stops at 49, 45, 33.9, 22.5, and zero degrees in both directions.
The saw also features a linear ball bearing slide rail system for increased accuracy and durability. There is also a decent dust collection system with this saw, which can help you keep your workstation tidier. Again, we know that dust collecting systems aren’t perfect, but this one is actually pretty good.
Above all else, we like that this product comes with a three-year warranty. We also really like that it offers some of the highest durability and power you can find. It is very easy to transport, as well, which is great if you need to bring it to multiple job sites.
We don’t like that this saw doesn’t offer adjustable bearings. It is also the case that the miter saw sliding function utilizing linear ball bearing slide rail system is a little rough. Over time, the function’s unreliability can cause you to lose productivity if this becomes a problem for you.
A sliding compound miter saw is an important investment to make, regardless if you plan to use it professionally or just at home. As such, you should know which features to pay the most attention to when narrowing down your options.
Try to pay less attention to advertising campaigns when contemplating what miter saw to buy as the best brands don't need a whole lot of advertising.
Keep in mind that a saw is a powerful, sometimes dangerous, piece of equipment. You don’t want to buy just any saw. Instead, you want to look for the best one for your particular project. You should also understand that the best miter saw isn't necessarily the most expensive one, but the one that suits you best.
Here, we’ve highlighted the top considerations to keep in mind when choosing a sliding compound miter saw to fit your needs.
Power might be the single most important feature to consider when selecting the ideal sliding compound miter saw for you. Ideally, you want a saw that is going to feel just like you are cutting through butter with a hot knife. That means you need power, which means you need a great motor.
Remember to keep in mind just how much power you think you will individually need for your projects. Also bear in mind that a weak motor is likely not going to give you the results you need.
Ideally, you want to look for a motor that is going to give you a minimum of 15 amps with a rotation of at least 3,500 RPM at no-load speed. This is the minimum if you plan on using your saw professionally.
However, if you are only planning on using it for home projects, you probably don’t need that much power. You’ll want to think about exactly which projects you plan to complete and then match that with the power you think you need.
If you're conducting mostly DIY projects without the necessity for such power, owning a saw with a powerful motor might not be prerequisite. Lets say you're planning on utilizing your new saw to cut crown molding which would revolve more around slicing materials at precise angles, than say, chopping fence posts which would be much more demanding on the motor.
Ultimately, power should definitely be a consideration when purchasing any miter saw, but it shouldn't be the deciding factor when buying a miter saw.
Next up is the blade size. Keep in mind that the larger the blade, the larger the cuts you’ll be making. You might not need a full 12-blade. The average person uses a 10- or 12-inch blade, but you can get them much smaller, even as small as four inches.
To know what blade size you need, you have to know what projects you plan to complete. If you buy a 12-inch miter saw, you are only going to be able to use blades that are 12 inches. You won’t be able to interchange them, so if you think you need something smaller, go for a smaller option.
Blade size isn’t all you want to think about when it comes to the blade. You also want to consider the tooth count. Each saw you look at will have its own number of teeth. The larger blades tend to have more teeth, while the smaller blades have fewer teeth.
In general, as the tooth count increases, so does the smoothness of the finish. For example, a carbide blade delivers a precise cut and have a reduced risk of tear out, due to the blades tooth count. If you plan on cutting through thick material, you want a lower tooth count.
You need the saw to cut things, so cutting ability should really be at the top of your list when it comes to considerations. Yes, you need the right blade and a strong motor, but it’s likely you also want the ability to make cuts that are accurate. You also probably want to do so at a variety of angles.
To start, keep your eye out for positive stops or predetermined positions. These are usually set to the cutting angles that are most common. They allow you to alter your cut fast for these specific angles. There are even some saws that offer switches that are just one-touch, so you can move from one cut to another quickly.
Next, you want to make sure your lock is reliable. When you put it in the lock position, you want to ensure it stays that way. You don’t want to be in the middle of making a cut only to have the saw move out of place.
Locking into place is a really critical function. It not only means that your cut will stay accurate, but it can also be a huge safety concern if your lock feature isn’t working properly.
You also want to pay attention to the bevel. This will let the saw tilt. It also lets the saw rotate the base, which can change the angle you’ll be sawing. Examining the bevel beforehand is important.
A few saws are only able to tilt in a single direction, while other ones can tilt in both directions. Being able to tilt both ways can really decrease your time on a project. It is much harder to be productive or to finish a job quickly if your saw only tilts in one direction.
Everyone knows that saws can be dangerous. However, many manufacturers have now introduced safety measures to make them a bit less dangerous. You’ll want to decide how important it is to you to have some of those features. Many professionals swear by them, while others don’t care much for them.
The first safety feature to consider is what is known as a saw guard. It will help you from having any unfortunate accidents by doing exactly as its name suggests.
Another safety feature to consider when working with any miter saw, is the base in which you will be operating off. This can be assisted by purchasing a quality miter saw stand like the Dewalt DWX726 Miter Saw Stand.
The third feature to consider is electric brakes. They let you halt the blade when needed. With this, you can stop it from spinning, and you can usually do it pretty quickly.
Those saws that come with electric blades usually let you stop the blade from moving within just two seconds. This is a really critical safety feature if you do, in fact, have an accident and need to shut off the saw immediately.
You might not have been too worried about dust collection, but it should be a consideration on your list, especially if you are buying a saw for professional purposes. A worksite can really fill up with dust and other debris very quickly.
You want to cut down on having dust in the air as much as you possibly can. It doesn’t just make for a safe work environment. It is also true that when there is less dust in the area, you can simply see your cutting better.
Many saws offer a dust collecting system. This means that while you are cutting, the dust deposits into an area intended to house the dust until you’re finished. Then, you can clean up more quickly. Some brands will even have hoses that actually blow air. This will clean the area, but truthfully, it will also make a mess at the beginning.
Keep in mind that no system is going to be perfect at collecting dust. Saws produce a good amount of dust, and if you assume you’ll find a dust collecting system to suck up all the fine dust floating around your workshop, you’ll end up disappointed. If this feature is important to you, simply seek out the best one you can find.
Just bear in mind that no dust collecting system is going to be perfect.
There are a couple of features that are unique to sliding compound miter saws that you might not have already been thinking about when preparing for your purchase. These aren’t always standard, so if you want one or more of them, you’ll need to make sure they are an option with the saws you’re considering.
This feature is gaining popularity that so many models now include it. It is usually professionals who don’t care as much for this feature. Most hobbyists or those who are doing projects at home for themselves seem to really like this feature, though.
It lets you actually see where your blade is going to land. This leads to a higher level of precision in your cuts and is often worth the added investment if you aren’t overly confident in your ability to keep your cuts accurate.
Another extra feature you can look for is clear-cutting guards. You can see directly through these, which can make your project much easier to finish, especially when paired with the laser.
You can see the saw move right through the wood as you are actually cutting it. Again, this feature tends to be most useful for those who are less confident in their ability to keep the cut precise on their own while slicing through something requiring finesse like crown molding.
Remember that what is most important is that you choose the saw best suited for your predicted projects. You might not need a miter saw with the most powerful motor or the saw with the greatest cutting capacity.
In addition, know that the most expensive option isn’t always the best. You need to make your decision based on your specific needs, and, in the end, you might not need the fanciest and most expensive saw on the market.
Basically, a sliding compound miter saw gives you the versatility of a compound miter saw, along with a sliding feature. You can move the blade backward and forward, which essentially means that you can increase the length of your cuts.
A 90-degree angle cut is a straight cut. Miter cut is when you make a cut that is angled right across a board’s width.
Most available miter saws will make bevel cuts as well, which is an angle cut that crosses the thickness of the board. You can often use a circular saw to do both miter and bevel cuts, but it isn’t always advised.
It is designed to cut on the push stroke. If you end up pulling, you’ll see that you get a climb cut. That climb cut can cause the blade to rise up and chase after you. Obviously not the best thing to attempt if you're looking to make perfect looking fine cuts.
A table saw is used mostly for making straight cuts. A miter saw, on the other hand, can be used to make both straight cuts and angle cuts.
A table saw can be much more work than it’s worth when it comes to something like a flooring project. The same could be said for really any project that needs you to make several small cuts or to cut angles a lot.
Technically, you can, but you won’t do it as safely. This is because you’re better able to hold your hands at a better distance with a miter saw. You’re also able to sustain better control.
To use a circular saw, you would need to set up a straight edge or jig. In addition to that, you would also have to measure the angle.
Each one of the top five tools highlighted here in our review could easily be considered the best sliding compound miter saw. With that said, if we have to choose just one top pick, it would be the DEWALT DWS780 Sliding Compound Miter Saw. While this saw is similar to some of the other DEWALT miter saws on the list, it's additional features push it over the line.
The DEWALT DW717 is another saw we didn't review that still gets a mention, as the DEWALT DW717 is almost identical, apart from the fact that it is limited in terms of its vertical capacity. This is an issue that the DEWALT DWS780 doesn't have.
DEWALT is a name we trust and has one of the best brand names in the business. They are a brand that have established this reputation not through advertising, but with high-quality products like the DEWALT DWS780 Sliding Compound Miter Saw, and once again, this miter saw delivers among the rest.
The DEWALT DWS780 Sliding Compound Miter Saw has exceptional power, speed, and durability and is even offered along with a three-year warranty if you ever have any issues with it. In addition, it is versatile enough to be used by both hobbyists and professionals, especially given how easy it is to transport.
We hope you enjoyed reading this review of the best sliding miter saws, and please leave a reply if you have any further queries?
My name is Michael McDonnell, and I’m the creator of The Tool Scout. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade with over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. I started The Tool Scout because I love talking about everything DIY related and figured I could help others with the decision-making process when it comes to selecting the right tools for the right job.
Apart from being a blue-collar kinda guy on a relatively noble quest to help others, I’m also a serial entrepreneur and an obvious lifelong Lakers fan. 🏀