10 Best Miter Saws | March 2017

We spent 28 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether you are a home woodworker or a construction professional, if you want accurate angles cut into your materials, you've got to have a decent tool. This selection of miter saws includes something for every project size and every budget, so go ahead and take your pick. Skip to the best miter saw on Amazon.
10 Best Miter Saws | March 2017


Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Overall Rank: 3
Best High-End
★★★★
Overall Rank: 10
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
Designed for everyday use and the DIYer, the Delta Homecraft H26-260L is a handy tool that weighs just 25 pounds, allowing it to be easily carried from one workstation to the next without overexertion. The ten-inch blade can be locked for easy replacements.
9
The Metabo KGS305 crosscuts material up to 12.5 inches wide and an impressive 4.75 inches thick. Its user-set miter detent is ideal for repetitive jobs, and a unique dust collection system efficiently removes debris through the base of the unit, resulting in easy cleanup.
8
The Wen 70716 Sliding Compound allows you to bevel anywhere from zero to 45 degrees to the left and miter up to 52 degrees in both directions. Offering most of the versatility you need, it's a great option for the home hobbyist looking for a basic all-purpose saw.
7
The Jet JMS-12SCMS utilizes a patented Xacta laser that can be used to plan out your movements, helping to avoid mistakes and corrections. The handle is ergonomically designed and hangs over the unit, giving you maximum control over your work.
  • dual-bevel capability
  • easy-access controls for safety
  • laser could be positioned better
Brand Jet
Model JMS-12SCMS
Weight 73.6 pounds
6
Tackle home projects and light commercial jobs with the Ryobi 10 inch 15 AMP. The unit features an integrated laser that allows for more precise sawing, as well as cross cut capability and an extended range for making a variety of strokes.
  • features carbide-tipped blade
  • dual-view bezel scale for easier use
  • stand not included
Brand Ryobi
Model TSS102L
Weight 45 pounds
5
With a large table and extended flip fence, the best-selling Hitachi C10FCE2 is made for both the professional and recreational carpenter. The zero to 52-degree miter angle range offers increased flexibility, while the soft, vibration reducing handle provides true comfort.
  • available with or without laser
  • lightest unit in its class
  • good value for the price
Brand Hitachi
Model C10FCE2
Weight 35.9 pounds
4
With a 15 amp motor that makes easy work out of hard lumber, the Milwaukee 6955-20 is a good option for the schooled woodworker. It's built with integrated lights that fully illuminate your project, so it's well-suited for working in darker settings.
  • adjust angles to a tenth of a degree
  • digital readout for extreme accuracy
  • too heavy to carry around
Brand Milwaukee
Model 6955-20
Weight 77.9 pounds
3
The Festool Kapex KS 120 features a litany of professional-quality functions, making it capable of handling even the most demanding of jobs. Its compact, ergonomic design saves space, while at the same time offering increased precision and effectiveness.
  • made in germany
  • dual alignment for left or right cut
  • locking head for improved safety
Brand Festool
Model KS 120 EB
Weight 63.2 pounds
2
The Hitachi C15FB's winning feature is an electric brake that can stop the blade in seconds, preventing unintended cuts. Its sturdy base handles a variety of stock, and its massive 15-inch blade can tackle almost any material you need chopped with a single pass.
  • sturdy extension prevents warping
  • tall enough for vertical moldings
  • wide support rails
Brand Hitachi
Model C15FB
Weight 75.8 pounds
1
The DEWALT DWS780 features a rugged design and a powerful motor, making this a durable option that is built to last. The brand's XPS alignments system enables precise cutting without constant recalibration, allowing you to get the job done quicker and with less hassle.
  • solid workhorse with great reviews
  • new handle design for portability
  • optional rolling stand
Brand DEWALT
Model DWS780
Weight 68 pounds

Making The Cut: The Right Saw For The Job

With the right tools, shaping even the most robust, durable hardwood can be an easily managed task. You simply have to know which saw is appropriate for the woodworking job at hand.

If you're skilled and experienced enough for the dextrous cuts created by a jig saw, then by all means get to work with this deft tool. If you're making rougher cuts on beams used for framing, then a handheld skill saw may be the ideal tool. For ripping boards and sheets of ply lengthwise, it's important to use a good table saw. And for making cross cuts perpendicular to the grain of the wood, or to make angled cuts also called miters, it's imperative you use a good cross cut saw. Or, as they are commonly called, miter saws.

A power miter saw (which is less commonly called a drop saw, for your reference) is a vital tool for any professional carpenters working with framing lumber or finishing work, from cutting moldings to building cabinetry. Some saws that are called miter saws can only reliably create 90 degree cuts across the grain of the wood; their blades go up and down, the cut depth limited by the size of the blade itself. Many miter saws can also pivot to create angles of 45 degrees or even more, allowing for the easier joining of two pieces of wood forming the corner of a piece of furniture, for example.

Choosing The Best Miter Saw

In some limited cases, including but not limited to a tool used in a shop class or for training purposes in a professional setting, it makes sense to choose a cross cut saw with a fixed blade; that is, one that does not pivot to varied angles. A saw that only cuts at 90 degree angles limits versatility, but it also helps ensure that the lumber cut with such a unit will always be at a perfect right angle.

In most cases though, it is the ability to cut those angles -- or miters -- that a saw operator needs. Make sure the saw you consider can swivel enough to cut the angles you need, and also consider whether or not it swings in both directions; some miter saws only allow for angle cuts to one side, though this usually presents only a small issue, as you can simply flip over the piece of wood to compensate for the lack of movement.

If you're going to need to move your saw around a work site and/or to load it into and out of your vehicle frequently, then make sure to consider its weight and its carrying features. Many miter saws have handy built in handles, but many are also too heavy for most people to lift with practical ease. You might have to sacrifice blade size or range of motion for a lighter weight, more compact saw. This trade off will be appreciated every time your back doesn't ache at the end of a work session where you moved the saw from place to place.

Last, consider the work environment in which you'll use your miter saw. If you work outside, then there's less concern about sawdust collection. If you do your cutting in a smaller workshop or garage, then you should absolutely spend the money on a miter saw with superior sawdust collection attributes and keep your workspace, and your lungs, that much cleaner.

Safe Miter Saw Use And Maintenance

One of the best ways to keep yourself safe when using a miter saw is to make sure the blade is always sharp and clean. This helps to prevent the kickback that can ruin a piece of wood or, much the worse, that can send hunks of wood flying through the air and potentially cause serious injury. A sharp blade also helps resist the sudden binding: when a blade gets caught in a knot or other section of material, and pulls on the material and potentially the operator.

It's also important that you clean all the sawdust and scraps produced by a miter saw after each use. A buildup of fibers and debris can prevent the saw from proper function and can also lead to an annoying mess as sawdust and scraps of wood fall all about the saw instead of being directed to its collection port.

When using a miter saw (or almost any other power tool, for that matter) you should be wearing safety goggles and gloves as the minimum level or protection. Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth and prevents particulate inhalation is also a good idea, as is working in a well ventilated area. It's also wise to consider wearing thick clothing, such as denim pants and a work apron.

Always make sure your saw's angle is locked in place before starting up the blade: any accidental shift can ruin a project or cause injury, or both. Also make sure to keep any material you're cutting held or even clamped securely to the saw's fence. This ensures cleaner cuts and reduces the chance for injury.

While any competent carpenter knows that not all woods handle a saw the same way, also be aware that the same type of wood will respond to a miter saw differently given the various conditions. A wet wood, or one that has not fully seasoned and is filled with pitch, will be harder to cut through than dry, aged wood of the same type. Also be wary of wood that may have started to rot, as it will rarely allow for clean cuts in such circumstances.



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Last updated: 03/26/2017 | Authorship Information

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