If you’re cutting molding or doing other projects that require precision cutting, you need a miter saw. However, we all know that not all manufacturers make their tools with the precision that will allow you to have the precision you’ll need on your projects. That can make shopping online very hard, as can be difficult to tell what models are worth the money, and which ones will leave you wishing you had kept your hard-earned cash instead.
We want to help you become a well-informed buyer. Our reviews are designed to show you the upsides and downsides to each model so that you can find the one that works best for your needs and for your budget. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide which is packed full of great information about miter saws and includes some tips for getting great value for your money.
|DEWALT DWS779 12" Sliding Compound Miter Saw|
|Makita LS1018 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw||44 lbs||4.65/5|
(Best for the Money)
|Hitachi C10FCG 15-Amp||18 lbs||4.40/5|
|Kobalt SM1850LW||29 lbs||4.05/5|
The DEWALT DWS779 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw is easily the best miter saw for home use on the market today. It comes with a powerful 15-Amp motor which can provide up to 3,800 RPM for fast, precise cuts. This model comes with a huge capacity. It can cut up to a 2×16 board in a single cut at 90-degrees. That means crown molding is well within its reach. It also comes with a superior dust collection system that is estimated to catch up to 75 percent of produced dust, which improves air quality and lessens the amount of cleanup that you need to do.
This model is backed by a three-year warranty, so you know that DEWALT stands behind this model. It has a reputation for lasting for a very long time without any mechanical problems, but it’s always nice to have that warranty in case something unlikely happens. Keep in mind that this model weighs nearly 70 pounds, so you’ll need a reinforced bench to support it, and a friend to help lift it, too. However, if you want an incredible miter saw that can complete just about any project, you’ll be very satisfied with this model’s performance.
The Makita LS1018 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw is another solid choice for those who need a powerful miter saw for home use. It comes with a 13-Amp motor, which can spin the blade up to an astounding 4,300 RPM, which can make short work of both soft and hard woods. It also comes with soft start. This feature means that the startup will put less stress on the motor, while still allowing it to run full bore while in use, which greatly extends its life. It also comes with a good angle range, as it’s able to miter up to 47 degrees to the left and 60 to the right.
While this model only has a ten-inch blade, it can cut up to 12” at 90 degrees and can cut a board 8-1/2” across at 45 degrees. The one big problem with this model is that it uses a sticker to mark the degrees. That’s poor quality for a machine of this price, and it stands a chance of wearing off with use, which is a big problem, even if the rest of the machine works well enough to earn this model second place.
The DEWALT DW715 is a relatively inexpensive miter saw, and one that provides great performance for the price. Because of this, it is the best model for the money on our list. Beyond its excellent price, you should know that it comes with excellent capacity. You can work on crown molding up to 5-1/4”, base molding up to 6-1/2”, and boards as large as 2×8. That is more than enough capacity for most homeowners and means you can tackle just about any project that you could get done with a miter saw.
This model only weighs 47 pounds, which makes it about as portable as you could expect a model of this size to be. It also comes with a cam lock miter handle, which makes setting the angle fast and easy. What keeps this model out of the top two is the fact that it comes with a poor dust collector. It doesn’t work very efficiently without a shop vac hooked up, and it doesn’t perform very spectacularly when one is attached, either. Still, if you want to save a lot of money and get a tool that otherwise works great, this is the model for you.
The Hitachi C10FCG 15-Amp is inexpensive, and if you’re looking for a product to just get by with, then you could be happy with what this model can do. It comes with a good angle range, as you can go up to 52 degrees to both the left and the right. It also comes with a 15-Amp motor, which provides plenty of power, and can achieve up to 5,000 RPM. Since it weighs less than 25 pounds, it’s one of the lighter models on our list, making it a portable model. This model isn’t very expensive, which makes it a good bargain choice.
However, you shouldn’t expect too much out of this model. It suffers from poor part quality. While you might get months or years out of it, you shouldn’t expect all the parts to last for a decade, and there’s a good chance something critical will break long before that point. It also has poor quality control and often arrives out of alignment, which can be a problem which is hard to fix at home. If you’re looking for a cheap model, this fits the bill, but you shouldn’t expect to be overjoyed with its quality or performance.
The Kobalt SM1850LW is a lightweight, relatively inexpensive miter saw, but it has come problems that greatly lessen its value. Its most distinctive feature is its aluminum frame. It’s sturdy enough, and very lightweight, as the entire machine clocks in at less than 30 pounds, but an aluminum frame isn’t going to have the same durability you can get out of a steel-framed miter saw. This model also comes with a laser guide included, which is something that you often have to buy as a discrete product, raising the overall price.
However, this model doesn’t collect dust very well. That leads to an extensive cleanup project afterwards if you’re using this model indoors. It also comes with poor blade guard quality. It’s a part that often breaks prematurely. That wouldn’t be a huge problem if you could get replacement parts, but for some reason, Kobalt makes it very difficult with this model. It’s probably easier to just buy a new miter saw, even though that’s incredibly wasteful. Overall, this miter saw doesn’t have great overall quality, and given the price, there are alternatives that you can get that would last longer for about the same price.
Hopefully, our reviews already have you thinking about what makes for a good miter saw, and what makes for a model that you’d be better off skipping. This buyer’s guide includes more information about these tools so that you can make a great decision when it comes time to buy.
The range of angles a miter saw can do is very important. The greater this range, the greater the range of cuts that you’ll be able to do. Cheaper miter saws tend may only have a wide angle range in one direction. This doesn’t prevent you from doing every kind of cut, but it may mean that you have to do it backwards in order to get the right angle, which can be tricky conceptually.
A good rule of thumb is that the wider the range of angles which a miter saw can do, the better quality it is overall. This is doubly true if it can do equally-wide angles in both directions, as that feature is rare on models which were cheaply made.
You also need to keep weight in mind. A light miter saw could weigh as little as 40 pounds. A heavy model could weigh twice that much. If you’re going to be working alone, it’s a good idea to favor lighter models that you’ll be able to move around yourself, especially if your miter saw isn’t going to have a permanent home and will need to be moved in an out of storage.
The DEWALT DWS779 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw due to its powerful motor, great capacity, and great dust collection system. The Makita LS1018 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw earns second place with its great capacity, good angle range, and soft start feature, but misses out on the top spot due to its sticker label. The DEWALT DW715 has a good capacity, is lightweight, and has a cam lock miter handle, and since you can get it for a fraction of what you’d pay for the top models on our list, it’s the best overall value for the money. The Hitachi C10FCG 15-Amp isn’t expensive and comes with a powerful motor, but its poor part quality and poor quality control mean it can only rise to fourth place. The Kobalt SM1850LW features an aluminum frame, but its poor blade guard quality and the difficulty of obtaining replacement parts drop it to the last place on our list.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand miter saws and their features. Armed with that information, you should be able to find the model that leaves you happy with your purchase for years to come.
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