Best Miter Saw for Woodworking – Ultimate Guide 2022-23

Best Miter Saw for Woodworking – Ultimate Guide 2022-23

Like all other tools, miter saws come in all shapes and types, varying in the sizes of the blades, the cutting angles, bevel options, and the prices.

The users also vary in the sense that some want to use these saws to do jobs like cutting plastics and masonry while others use them for wood cutting and trimming, in which case they need the most accurate miter saw for fine woodworking.

Choosing the best miter saw for woodworking can also be tiresome since many options are available in the market. Some are more durable, while others are more powerful. And the users can become confused in choosing the best one for their needs.

With this point in mind, we set out to find the best miter saw out there, which has all the features to do proper woodworking jobs and is also budget-friendly and light on the pocket.

We put our experts to testing a whole array of brands of miter saws available in the market and find which ones were the best among the bunch.

Top Miter Saws for Woodworking At a Glance:

  1. Dewalt Cordless 7-1/4-Inch
  2. Metabo HPT Miter Saw
  3. Makita Dual-Bevel Sliding with Laser
  4. Makita Compound Miter Saw
  5. Metabo Sliding Compound Saw
  6. DeWalt Single Bevel DWS715
  7. DeWalt Dual Bevel DWS716
  8. Bosch Sliding Miter Saw
  9. DeWalt Corded Miter Saw
  10. Makita Zeror Rear Clearance
  11. Jounjip Mini Miter Saw

Here are our Top Five Picks for the Best Miter Saws for Woodworking:


DEWALT (DCS361B)
DEWALT (DCS361B) (Image credit: Image Amazon)

Dewalt Cordless 7-1/4-Inch

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: DeWalt | Blade length: 4 inches | Power source: Li-ion Batteries | Blade size: 7-1\4 inches | Weight: 30 Lbs | RPM: 3750 | Color: Black | Rating: 4.8 / 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Integrated positioning system for accurate cuts

Compact and easy to carry

11 position stops miter dent plate

Best value miter saw

REASONS TO AVOID

The dust collecting system isn’t quite up to the mark

We often discuss Dewalt power tools here and will continue to do so. Dewalt is a company that makes the headlines on most power tool websites due to its high-grade and performing products.

This cordless miter saw is just another example of the everlasting legacy DeWalt is leaving behind.

This miter saw comes with a 4-inch blade, providing the most precise and accurate cuts using an integrated crosscut position system. The nesting crown cupping capacity in this miter saw is 3 ⅝ inches, while the vertical base capacity is 3 ½ inches. The cross-cutting ability is 8 inches across.

The miter angles are improved by the miter handle, which uses cam lock fitting to provide accurate cuts. An oversized bevel scale further enhances the angles. All these features are packed into a compact body of 30 lbs, making the miter saw easy to carry around.

The saw comes with a 20V battery, and the amp-hour options with each saw can be customized. This customization allows us to choose the amp-hour capacity from 1.5 Ah, which is more compact, to about 12Ah, which gives more runtime. Thus the users can choose a specific battery type depending on their personal needs. 

The battery can also be used with other DeWalt power tools. The company claims that this one battery can be used with more than 180 other power tools made by the company.

Metabo HPT C10FCGS
Metabo HPT C10FCGS (Image credit: Amazon)

Metabo HPT Miter Saw

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Metabo | Blade length: 10 inches Power source: Corded Power | Weight: 24.2 Lbs | RPM: 5000 | Color: Green | Rating: 4.7 / 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Laser aid to give precise cuts

Lightweight

Compound miter saw

Integrated dust collector

REASONS TO AVOID

Inaccurate cuts with some models

Blade speeds decrease after some use

Metabo is another company that is quite popular in the power tool market. This company is famous for its world-leading power tool technologies. It knows the importance of its tools in the lives of its users and has strived to make the best products in terms of quality, design, durability, and safety.

This miter saw by Metabo has all the features just described. Coming with a 10-inch blade, this saw can be called the Hercules of the miter saw world.

During our testings, we were blown away by the size of this blade, as it cut through almost all the materials subjected to it.

The 15 amp motor in this saw can generate speeds up to 5000 rpm. With this speed, we can make miters and all types of cross-cuts without breaking a sweat.

The miter angle range in this saw is up to 52 degrees to the right and left, which adds to the overall flexibility of the saw.

The saw also comes with a large table for placing materials, which can be locked in position with the clamping system provided with the saw.

The single bevel range can also be adjusted between 0 and 45 degrees with the help of the bevel stops. For more adjustment options, the thumb-actuated position stops can be used.

Even with all these features, this Metabo miter saw weighs only about 24.2 lbs, which is about 5.8 lbs less than the DeWalt saw we just talked about, making it much easier to carry around different jobs. Thus this miter saw can easily be called the best portable miter saw.


Makita LS1219L

Makita Dual-Bevel Sliding with Laser

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Makita | Blade length: 12 inches Power source: Corded Power | Weight: 65 Lbs | RPM: 3500 | Color: Aqua| Rating: 4.7 / 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Soft start technology to reduce startup reaction

2-steel rail sliding system

Linear ball bearing system

REASONS TO AVOID

Heavy

Low rpm for the motor power

Makita is one of the best power tool companies and shares the top spot with DeWalt and Metabo. With its R&D capabilities, the company has significantly impacted the day-to-day jobs of many professionals.

The tools made by this company are known for their ergonomic designs and deliver more power combined with ease and comfort.

This dual-bevel laser-aided saw also fits among the best-known Metabo products. It comes with a 15 amp motor to deliver cutting speeds up to 3200 rpm. The saw weighs about 65 lbs, which is much more than the previous saws we discussed. But considering the compound sliding quality, the weight is fully justified.

The blade length in this beast is 12 inches. The sliding capabilities in this saw come from the 2-steel rail sliding system. This system allows the blade to move to and fro to provide cuts throughout the wood length.

Our tests found this saw to be very convenient as it comes with an in-front bevel lock, which locks the saw head at the desired position.

The vertical nesting capacity for crown moulding in this saw is about 8 inches, while the most cross-cut length is about 15 degrees at a 90-degree angle of the blade.

This saw also has a linear ball bearing system for accuracy, which is further improved by the large aluminium base of the saw.

The soft-start technology also reduces startup vibration. All in all, this saw does have a smaller set of features than other compound sliding saws.

But these features are perfect for the users to begin their woodworking journey. Thus this saw is one of the best miter saws for beginners.


Makita LS0815F

Makita Compound Miter Saw

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Makita | Blade length: 12 inches | Power source: Corded power | Weight: 31.1 Lbs | RPM: 5000 | Color: Factory | Rating: 4.4 / 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Mounted LEDs for better viewing

Lightweight

Electrical brake

REASONS TO AVOID

Awkward placement of cord wrap

Waiting time for proper cuts only at full speed

Another miter saw by Makita makes our list of the best miter saws for woodworking. This saw is the more powerful cousin of the saw we just talked about – the Makita LS1219L. It has all the valuable features of its cousin, but it also has some extra tricks hidden to make woodworking easy and fun.

The motor features a downgrade in that it is 10.5 amp instead of the 15 amp motor of the Makita LS1219L. But this motor can generate more speed – up to 5000 rpm.

Another plus point of this smaller motor is that it reduces the weight and is easier to maintain. The weight is reduced to about 31.1 lbs only.

This saw also comes with a soft start technology. There is also an electric brake system to stop the blade with one push. The linear ball bearing technology is also included in this saw to provide the most accurate cuts possible.

The cross-cutting capacity of this saw at 90-degree placement of the blade is about 12 inches. The miter angles range from about 50 degrees to the left and about 60 degrees to the right.

There are also positive position stops at about 6 positions to provide accuracy in cutting. All that being said, this Makita sliding miter saw can be used for all types of woodworking jobs, including professional trimming and flooring installation and personal applications like wood finishing. Based on these qualities, this saw can also be called the best miter saw for trim carpenters.

Metabo C12RSH2S
Metabo C12RSH2S (Image credit: Amazon)

Metabo Sliding Compound Saw

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Metabo | Blade length: 12 inch | Power source: Corded Power | Weight: 75 Lbs| RPM: 5000 | Color: Factory | Rating: 4.7 / 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Compact sliding system

Fixed rails for accuracy

REASONS TO AVOID

Heavy

This last saw is an all-in-one package as it has all the good features that the previous saws lack. This should make it the go-to saw for all professional woodworkers. But it also has some downgraded features.

This speed is a little less than the previous miter saw we talked about, but the speed setting is fully optimized to go with all other saw features to deliver maximum power.

The blade length is 12 inches, the same as many other compound miter saws. It comes with a 15 amp motor which can deliver speeds up to 4000 rpm.

The miter range in this saw to the right is about 57 degrees from zero and to the left is about 45 degrees from zero. The bevel angle range is about 45 degrees to the left and right.

One of the distinguishing features of this saw is that it comes with a compact sliding system. This sliding system reduces the space required for traditional sliding systems to work and lowers the body’s overall size. This is crucial when the woodworkers face confined spaces to work in.

This enhances the precision of the cuts, which is further supplemented by the mounted laser. Thus even a beginner can make the most accurate cuts with this saw.

The saw comes with a fixed rail system to improve the cut accuracy. The head of the saw slides on the fixed rails, which prevents swivels when making longer cuts.

The weight of this saw is slightly greater than other saws. At about 75 lbs, the saw is a bit difficult to carry at different job sites. But once you have installed the saw at a designated place, the cutting job becomes as easy as a walk in the park.

All this being said, this saw is one of the most common saws in the shops of most woodworkers, including carpenters and framers.

With all its features and the fact that most woodworkers also use this saw for their daily jobs, it would be safe to say that it is one of the best 12-inch miter saws available on the market.


Types of Miter Saws

Plenty of Miter saws are present in the market, and each is specific for a particular task. Here are the different saw types explained so that you should be able to find out what suits you best for your tasks.

Basic Single Bevel Miter Saw

As its name indicates, it can make a bevel cut along with the miter cut, which all the saws can not do. A single bevel miter saw makes bevel cuts in only one direction, which means the blade can slide in a single direction, whether it is left or right when cutting. It is made purely for starters.

Let’s have a look at one of the best single bevel miter saw out there:

DeWalt DWS715
DeWalt DWS715 (Image credit: Amazon)

DeWalt Single Bevel DWS715

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Dewalt | Blade length: 12 inch | Power source: Corded electric | Blade size: 305 mm | Weight: 36 Lbs | RPM: 4000 | Color: black | Rating: 4.8 / 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Powerful motor for good cutting speed

Dust collection system

14 positive points offer more control

Lightweight

Accurate

REASONS TO AVOID

safety No trigger mechanism

No laser guide

When it comes to any power tool, DeWalt is known as the best in the industry. Though people mostly think these miter saws are for miter cuts yet these are quite capable of making the bevel and compound cuts.

It is equipped with a powerful motor of 15 amp which can rotate at the speed of 4000 revolutions per minute(RPM). It is of corded electric style with a cord of 6m which can be plugged into any power socket with a supply of 120V.

It has a height of 15 inches and is 22 inches wide. It has a blade length of 12 inches which is better than the 10 inches that mostly mister saws are equipped with at this market price. With these specifications, it is still lightweight, weighing 36 pounds


Fixed Dual Bevel Miter Saw

With a dual bevel, miter saw, you don’t have to move the wood to make cuts; instead, change the direction of the saw. Thus it comes in handy when you are working in a congested space or with longer logs and don’t have enough space to move them around. Let’s have a look at the saw that I found best in this category

In contrast to the single bevel, miter saw, its blades can be adjusted to both left and right. Hence it can make cuts in any direction.

DeWalt DWS716
DeWalt DWS716 (Image credit: Amazon)

DeWalt Dual Bevel DWS716

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Dewalt | Blade length: 12 inch Power source: Corded Electric | Weight: 48 Lbs | RPM: 3800 | Color: Black and yellow | Rating: 4.8/ 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Powerful and accurate

Easy to learn and master

Better design focused on safety

3 years warranty

REASONS TO AVOID

Smaller dust-collecting ports

Slightly expensive

As we already discussed how Dewalt had become an industry leader in the power tools field, this double bevel saw also comes from DeWalt, just like the single bevel one we discussed above, asserting the domination of DeWalt in this field. It also has a 15 amp powerful motor to make the blade cut through the wood at 3800 RPM. However, it is not lightweight but still portable. It has a bevel and miter range of 48 degrees to both left and right


Sliding Compound Miter Saw

These saws come with guide rails on which blades can slide back and forth. These are capable of miter and bevel cuts;  they have named compound Miter saws for this reason.

It has an advantage over the same-size saws, allowing much deeper cuts. So get one if you are looking to cut the thick lumber. But if you want something more compact and portable, this saw is not for you.

I have researched and found the following model best:

BOSCH GCM12SD
BOSCH GCM12SD (Image credit: Amazon)

Bosch Sliding Miter Saw

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: BOSCH | Blade length: 12 inch Power source: corded Electric | Weight: 65 Lbs | RPM: 3800 | Color: Blue | Rating: 4.8/ 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Ambidextrous handle

Effective dust ports

Easy to use

Convenient bevel controls

REASONS TO AVOID

Way too heavy

No laser guide

It is a sliding dual bevel saw, meant mainly for tougher tasks. It is based on Bosch’s very own axial glide system, and on using it, I found it the smoothest saw out there in this category.

When we talk about the features, it also comes with a 15 amp motor having a speed of 3800 RPM. Another thing worth mentioning is its ergonomic design with a super soft handle designed for all-day-long usage with ease.


Cordless Miter saw

These miter saws are not the corded electric style; instead, these are powered by a battery. Although corded tools are dominant in the market, dynamics are changing, and cordless tools are taking over them because of their portability.

A cordless miter saw does precisely the same task of moulding and trimming. Now more and more companies are moving towards producing cordless miter saws as the market is booming and everyone is trying to get his market share. Since many brands have many models available, it becomes difficult to choose the right saw. I tested a few saws from well-known companies in the market and found the following model somewhat superior to the others.

DeWalt DCS361B
DeWalt DCS361B (Image credit: Amazon)

DeWalt Corded Miter Saw

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Dewalt | Blade length: 4 inch Power source: Battery powered | Weight: 30 Lbs | RPM: 3750 | Color: Black | Rating: 4.8 / 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Lightweight

Integrated cross-cut system for accuracy

11 positive points for better control

Low battery indication system

REASONS TO AVOID

No laser guide

Underpowered

Its integrated cut line system provides an adjustment-free indication. The stainless steel miter detent plate with 11 positive points guarantees cutting accuracy.

When we talk about the quality, it is highly durable because of its aluminum base, although it has tall ribbing to make it lightweight and portable. It comes with a 20V battery having a maximum drilling capacity of 13mm.


Zero Rear Clearance Miter Saw

It is a sliding miter saw with slight modification. It does not have any railing slides projected at the back of the saw, which is useful when using something like a 24″ tabletop as the saw is prevented from being pushed into the wall. It is done in one of two ways: protruding forward or having a hinge system.

Bosch came up with two folding mechanisms: vertical folding and horizontal folding, allowing the saw to extend and fold back. But I found the following model of Makita the best in this category. Let’s have a look at it.

Makita LS1219L

Makita Zeror Rear Clearance

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Makita | Blade length: 12 inch Power source: Corded Electric | Weight: 65 Lbs | RPM: 3200 | Color: light grey | Rating: 4.7/ 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Efficient dust collection system with two ports

Excellent build quality

Compact

Built-in laser guide

REASONS TO AVOID

The Upper saw doesn’t flush with the lower saw

Cutting efficiency can be improved

It is a typical 12-inch miter saw with an excellent build quality except for the knobs and controls, which are made of plastic but don’t worry, it is not cheap material. When it comes to usability, the thing I most liked was the laser guide along with the ergonomic handle design. There is also the one-step blade change system which enhances the usability. There is a see-through blade that lets you see the cuts

The final words are you should get this one if you have congested space and want to adjust the saw near the wall. Though it is a bit expensive, it is worth the price.


Mini Miter Saw

The mini miter saw, also known as the compact miter saw, is made especially for beginners because it is compact and can be used in a small shop. Though it is not limited to beginners, a pro can also make good use of it for small tasks.

While making them compact, some companies compromise on the tool’s power. It can result in a bit of uneven bevel and miter cuts.

To ease your troubles, I analyzed many models and found the following model from JOUNJIP best for both hobbyists and professionals.

JOUNJIP Mini Miter

Jounjip Mini Miter Saw

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: JOUNJIP | Blade length: 2 inch Power source: Corded Electric | Weight: 2.86 Lbs | RPM: 7800 | Color: Black | Rating: 4.2 / 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Smooth cutting and finish

Affordable

Lightweight and compact

REASONS TO AVOID

Plastic material may be a problem in the long run.

The saw may bend while cutting rigid materials.

Despite its small size, it can cut wood, plastic, and light metals, including brass and aluminum. So it is the ideal piece of machinery for your next DIY task, whether you are making arrow shafts or some model.

When we talk about specifications, it comes with a 2-inch blade and a powerful motor of 15 amp, which has a no-load speed of 7800 RPM, which is very fast compared to other models.


How to Choose a Miter Saw for Woodworking

The market is flooded with miter saws, and one can not decide what to buy. Here I have made a guide about what to look for in a miter saw.

Types

You must be aware of the types of miter saws by now. Each type of saw is made for a particular purpose. But if you are looking for all in one, get the Zero rear clearance saw as it can fit into a small space and make both miter and bevel cuts precisely.

Size

Most saws come with a blade length of 10 and 12 inches. The small size and lightweight saw will have limitations, but it gives you the advantage of being portable. So it depends on the kind of work you do. Either way, you will have to compromise one of the two things.

Motor power

Almost all the saws feature a standard 15 amp motor which is more than enough to make smooth cuts.

Corded vs Cordless

This debate is far from being settled. Everyone has his own needs, and his opinion will be based on that. If you work at places where you may face an electricity availability issue, you should go with cordless as these do not limit you. Otherwise, for normal working, corded saws are still dominating the market.

Chop Saw vs Miter Saw

Chop saws are specialized for cutting metals and making straight cuts. But Miter saws are predominantly used for cutting angles and can cut wood and metal.

User Experience

In my opinion, user experience is the most crucial thing in determining whether you should buy a tool or not. The miter saws with better usability, like having a laser guide, good handles, and being able to cut through the things promised in the advertisement, provide a better user experience. Those saws are not worth buying where you spend half of your working time adjusting them.

Price

With tons of models around having almost the exact specifications, it becomes challenging to choose one. That’s when the price comes into play. So better look for reviews when you are stuck in such a situation. Sometimes the one with lower performs better than the one with the higher price.

Overall performance

You can get an idea of the performance of a particular saw by looking at the reviews of the people on the official website or sites like Amazon. The saw with the highest rating should be your choice without second thoughts, as these ratings are based on overall performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How We Tested the Best Miter Saws?

We subjected the saws to all types of cutting jobs, and based on their performance in each; we determined the best of them. We tested the blade function at 90 degrees and 45 degrees. We cut the wood at all the miter and bevel angles and tested all the extra features like dust collection, LEDs, and compact sliding systems.

Difference between a compound and a sliding miter saw?

The compound and the sliding miter saws can cut the wood at 90-degree angles. But they differ in that the sliding miter saw can also cut by moving the blade forwards and backwards, while the compound miter saw can not.

How can a beginner learn how to use a miter saw?

Practice makes a man perfect. Take guidance from an experienced person when you are starting. Keep on practising, and once you have the hang of the basic work, you can move on to more advanced jobs.

How Do I Control Dust On My Miter Saw?

One hassle with miter saws is that they leave dust flying everywhere. To avoid making a mess when using miter saws, use the dust collecting bags available with the saws. If they didn’t come with the saw you purchased, you should have to make one for yourself to mount on the saw and collect the unwanted dust.

Is A Sliding Miter Saw Worth It?

Miter saws are the most efficient tools for making compound angle cuts on wood pieces. They also cut door frames, crown mouldings and picture frames. They are a must-have tool for all woodworking professionals and DIYers

What is the difference between the dual bevel and compound miter saw?

The blade of the compound miter saw can be tilted to one side, while that of the dual bevel can only be pivoted to the right or left to cut bevels.

Conclusion:

In short, miter saws come in all shapes and sizes, each with different features. We have listed all the main features of some of the best miter saws for woodworking, and it is now for you to decide what features are you looking for.

Don’t hesitate when spending a few extra bucks for the best miter saw out there. These few extra dollars are worth the peace of mind you’ll get. Happy woodworking!

Bahram Shahab
Bahram here! A certified Electrical Engineer who knows his way around using power tools like a professional. My journey of using these robust tools started back when I graduated. Since then, I have finished almost a dozen DIY woodworking jobs. Apart from that, I have developed this habit of jotting down my personal experience about using a specific tool. So, I write on them to help the community in the best possible way.