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Best Cordless Miter Saws – Reviews & Top Picks 2020

a cordless miter sawCordless technology has come a long way, and it’s becoming possible to power larger tools with batteries. Only a few years ago, most of us would have believed a cordless miter saw was possible, but now there are several brands available, and choosing the right one for your shop can be a challenge.

We have chosen eight state-of-the-art cordless miter saws to review for you so you can learn more about the pros and cons of each brand. We’ll also tell you what we like and don’t like about them as well as fill you in on any features they might include. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide where we take an in-depth look at the cordless miter saw to see how they work and what’s important to look for while shopping.

Please keep reading while we take an in-depth look at cordless miter saws and discuss RPM, engine voltage, power, and crosscut size to help you make an educated purchase.

A Quick Comparison (updated in 2020):

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Makita XSL02Z Miter Saw Makita XSL02Z Miter Saw
  • 5700 RPM
  • 18-volt battery
  • Four steel rail sliding system
  • Second place
    Milwaukee M18 Miter Saw Milwaukee M18 Miter Saw
  • 400 cuts per charge
  • Cam locking miter system
  • Shadow cut line indicator
  • Best Value
    Third place
    DeWalt DCS361B Miter Saw DeWalt DCS361B Miter Saw
  • Lightweight
  • 8-inch cut capacity
  • Adjustable miter detent plate
  • Premium Choice
    DeWalt DHS790AB Miter Saw DeWalt DHS790AB Miter Saw
  • 3800 RPM
  • 120-volt brushless motor
  • 289 crosscuts per charge
  • Makita XSL05Z Miter Saws Makita XSL05Z Miter Saws
  • Electric brake
  • Aluminum base
  • 270 cuts per charge
  • The 8 Best Cordless Miter Saws:

    1. Makita XSL02Z Cordless Miter Saw – Best Overall

    Makita XSL02Z

    The Makita XSL02Z features a powerful 18-volt rechargeable motor that can deliver 5700 RPM of cutting power. At just under 30 pounds, it’s extremely lightweight for a miter saw, which allows you to transport it in ways not usually possible with a standard miter saw. It has a large diameter cutting capacity and can cut boards up to 2 x 12 inches in size. A four-steel rail sliding system increases rigidity so you can produce superior cuts.

    The only problem we experienced while using the Makita XSL02Z Cordless Miter Saw was the bearings in the upper sliding rail feel rough, especially when moving it slowly.

    To conclude, we think that this is the best cordless miter saw in 2020.

    Pros
    • 5700 RPM
    • Lightweight
    • Large diameter cutting capacity
    • Four steel rail sliding system
    • 18-volt battery
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Slider bearings feel rough

    2. Milwaukee M18 Cordless Miter SawMilwaukee 2734-20 M18

    The best thing about the Milwaukee 2734-20 might be the M18 battery. That’s not a criticism, either. When you have to take your saw on the hoof, a reliable, high-quality battery is an absolute necessity.

    This model stores plenty of power and can make up to 400 cuts before requiring a recharge. The built-in cam locking miter system is adjustable with 11 different detent locations. A dual bevel has nine detents with an easy access bevel lever. A shadow cut line indicator helps you make straighter cuts with more confidence.

    The only reason it’s no number one is that the engine isn’t quite as powerful and doesn’t produce as many RPM. It’s also a little heavier and not quite as portable as the top model.

    Pros
    • 400 cuts per charge
    • Cam locking miter system
    • Shadow cut line indicator
    Cons
    • Heavy

    3. DeWalt DCS361B Miter Saw – Best Value

    DEWALT DCS361B Sliding

    The DeWalt DCS361B model features an integrated cut line crosscut positioning system that provides an adjustment-free line indication. An adjustable stainless-steel miter detent plate has 11 stops to help you increase productivity and improve cutting accuracy. It’s large enough to cut a 2 x 8-inch board and weighs less than 30 pounds, so it’s easy to take with you.

    The biggest downside to the DeWalt DCS361B is that the battery and charger must be purchased separately if you do not already own other tools made by DeWalt. This extra purchase can add to the expense and reduces its attractiveness as a low-cost solution.

    Pros
    • Integrated cut line crosscut positioning system
    • Adjustable stainless-steel miter detent plate
    • Lightweight
    • 8″ cut capacity
    Cons
    • Underpowered
    • Difficult to change blades

    4. DeWalt DHS790AB Miter Saw – Premium Choice

    DEWALT DHS790AB

    This DeWalt FLEXVOLT miter saw offers complete cordless performance with the option to be plugged in, should the need arise. This is a great feature that can save you when your batteries are all dead at a critical moment.

    The DHS790AB features a powerful 120-volt brushless motor capable of creating 3800 RPM. This brushless motor also runs longer on a charge than the older style brushed moors. You can use the included plug-in adapter, or you can use the 18-volt rechargeable battery. The unique CUTLINE blade positioning system helps you make more accurate cuts and faster adjustments.

    The downside to this saw is its weight, especially when compared to a lot of the other brands on this list. Also, while we were reviewing it, we noticed the plug-in adapter would often trip a fuse when cutting harder woods.

    Pros
    • 289 crosscuts per charge
    • 120-volt brushless motor
    • Cutline blade positioning system
    • 3800 RPM
    Cons
    • Heavy
    • Expensive
    • Adapter may blow fuses

    5. Makita XSL05Z Cordless Miter Saws

    Makita XSL05Z

    The Makita XSL05Z Cordless Miter Saw is an extremely lightweight saw that weighs less than 15 pounds. It’s easily carried and uses a rechargeable 18-volt lithium-ion battery. You can take it with you almost anywhere. The engine is brushless, so you get more cuts per charge, and this model delivers 270 cuts before you will need to plug it in. Automatic speed change technology makes sure you conserve energy while still having the power you need. An aluminum base helps make the saw more stable while an electric brake helps make it safer.

    The downside to the Makita XSL05Z Cordless Miter Saw is that it can bog down considerably when cutting harder woods, and it can only cut about two inches at a time, so this saw is better for smaller jobs. Also, you need to purchase the battery and charger separately ad each can get expensive.

    Pros
    • Lightweight
    • Automatic speed change technology
    • 270 cuts per charge
    • Brushless
    • Aluminum base
    • Electric brake
    Cons
    • Can’t cut anything over 4” wide
    • Blade is very small
    • Battery and charger not included

    6. Ryobi P551 Cordless Mitre Saw

    Ryobi 18-Volt

    Being one of the lower-priced cordless miter saws, it’s easy to see why the Ryobi 18-volt ONE+ is attractive to most DIY consumers. At 17 pounds it’s very light and portable, something you probably want in a cordless miter.

    It’s not the most powerful saw and you will definitely feel it slowing down when it comes time to cut through a 2×4. However, it does make it through, and the cut is fine. The maximum cut length is 4.5 inches, so don’t expect to cut anything larger than a 2×4. It also features a laser alignment system that helps you make straighter, more accurate cuts.

    We like the Ryobi P551 Cordless Mitre Saw ad wish it made larger cuts. As it is, this saw is only suitable for small boards like molding. We also find it frustrating that the battery and battery charger don’t come with your purchase.

    Pros
    • Lightweight
    • 18-volts
    • Laser alignment system
    Cons
    • 4½” max cut length
    • Bogs down cutting 2” thick wood

    7. CRAFTSMAN V20 Sliding Cordless Mitre Saw Kit

    CRAFTSMANS CMCS714M1

    The CRAFTSMAN V20 7¼-Inch Sliding Miter Saw Kit features a powerful 20-volt motor that can produce up to 3,800 RPM of wood cutting power. This saw is lightweight and weighs less than 20 pounds. It’s also capable of 8-inch crosscuts, and it’s one of the few brands on this list to include the battery and charger with your purchase.

    The downside to the CRAFTSMAN V20 saw kit is that we felt it was a little underpowered and would bog down when cutting harder wood. We also though the power drained very quickly, and we were only able to make a few cuts before we needed to charge it again. One last problem we had was that it created a lot of dust as it cut, even when the vacuum was running.

    Pros
    • Sliding miter allows 8” cut
    Cons
    • Doesn’t do proper 45-degree bevel
    • Power is underwhelming
    • Creates a lot of dust

    8. Bosch GCM18V Miter Saw

    Bosch GCM18V-08N

    The standout feature of the Bosch GCM18V-08N is the impressive 10⅝-inch crosscut. This saw features a rechargeable 18-volt battery and the brushless motor lasts much longer than a brushed motor. It also features a laser guidance system that can help you make straighter cuts.

    The bad thing about the Bosch 18V Cordless Miter Saw is that it’s a little heavier than many of the other brands on this list, so it’s not quite as portable. You must also purchase the battery and charger separately, and they are quite expensive.

    the saw is quite usable, we don’t think it’s enough to warrant jumping into the Bosch cordless system when you consider the cost.

    Pros
    • 10⅝” crosscut
    • Brushless motor
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Worthwhile if you’re already invested in a Bosch cordless

    Buyer’s Guide:

    Let’s discuss some of the essential things to look for when finding the best cordless miter saw for your needs:

    Battery Power

    Most cordless miter saws use one of two voltages, 18 or 20-volts. There are a few other voltages available, but you are unlikely to see them used with a high-powered tool like a cordless miter saw.

    There are quite a few advantages to using a battery-powered saw. For one thing, it has never been so easy to transport your miter saw to the job location. There is no need to carry heavy fuel, and you can operate the saw far from any electrical outlets. They are environmentally friendly, and a single battery can last many years, even after you recharge it hundreds of times.

    The downside to battery-powered tools is that they often require you to purchase the battery and charger separately. These components can be very expensive, and in most cases, you will want to buy more than one battery. Even though the technology is getting better, you can still expect battery-powered tools to be slightly underpowered compared to gas-powered tools.

    Battery-powered Pros
    • Portable
    • Environmentally friendly
    • No fuel
    Battery-powered Cons
    • Battery and charger often not included
    • Expensive
    • Underpowered

    Weight

    Since we are talking about cordless power tools, it’s a good idea to consider how much the device weighs and whether or not you can transport it. We have models that range from under 15 pounds to over 60 pounds on our list of reviews. Naturally, heavier tools will deliver more cutting power, but lighter tools will be more portable.

    We recommend purchasing the heaviest cordless miter saw you can manage that fits in your budget.

    Accuracy

    Your saw’s ability to make straight cuts and produce accurate angles is an essential aspect of the saw. Without this ability, you cannot create projects that fit together. Portable tools inherently use cheaper materials to keep them lightweight. These cheaper materials can lead to tools that are not as straight and accurate as the larger machines, but a careful inspection can alert you to any bent or malformed pieces before purchase.

    We recommend looking for cordless miter saws that have a line guide to help you make more accurate cuts. Laser line guides are even better and work well even when there is a lot of sawdust in the air.

    a mitre saw on a tableCrosscut

    The crosscut size is another thing you might want to look at before you purchase your next cordless miter saw. The crosscut lets you know how wide of a cut you can make. For instance, a miter saw with a crosscut of four inches can slice a two by four in half.

    Larger saws will usually have a larger crosscut than light and portable ones. Some saws can have a crosscut of only several inches, and these are best used to cut molding and for hobby projects.

    Safety

    Portable miter saws are still dangerous, and in some ways, they are even more dangerous than stationary tools. You are much more likely to encounter humidity, and improper weather conditions using a portable saw that you would in your shop. You might not get electrocuted, but moisture can make things slippery.

    Besides weather hazards, it’s essential to make sure your miter saw has the necessary blade guards and other safety guards in place. Look for models with electronic brakes, overheat protection, etc.

    The saw doesn’t bear all responsibility for your safety, though. We recommend you always wear all the proper safety equipment while operating the saw. The safety equipment you should wear includes these items.

    • Safety glasses with side protection
    • Earplugs or earmuffs
    • Heavy-duty gloves
    • Breathing mask

    Conclusion:

    The Makita XSL02Z Cordless Miter Saw features extremely high RPM that will make short work of most woods. It can also cut boar up to 12-inches wide and is easily one of the most powerful tools on our list. We appreciate the value of a great battery, however, and the Milwaukee 2734-20 had one with the M18 battery. What we didn’t appreciate about it was its weight, which was heavier than some stationary saws of comparable quality. We found the DeWalt DCS361B a great budget model for occasional use. It’s really portable but powered to its price.

    We hope you find these reviews helpful in sorting out which is the best cordless miter saw for your needs. If you decided you needed more, we included a buyers’ guide and hope that it provided useful suggestions for making the right purchase choice for you. We wish you the best of luck and in your home projects.

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