No outdoor workshop is complete without the best sliding compound miter saw sitting proudly on display.
It’s an essential tool because you’ll use it all the time. You’ll save dozens (or hundreds) of hours over the years. I bet you’ll enjoy working on projects a lot more too.
It’s like a golf buggy. Can you play golf without one? Sure, but it’s a hundred times more enjoyable with the right equipment.
The Best Sliding Compound Miter Saws
There are a huge amount of sliding compound miter saws on the market. All your favorite power tool brands have their own models. Choosing the right one isn’t an easy task. It’s so hard is because they all come with lots of interesting features.
Luckily, a few sliding compound miter saws are more popular than others. We’re going to examine them today so you know what you’ll be getting.
Keep In Mind: Click on a link if you see anything you like. On Amazon you can read hundreds of unbiased reviews from past customers, which should make your job a bit easier.
When was the last time you wandered onto a building site? I bet there were lots of DeWalt tools lying around. There is a good reason why everyone seems to love them. The company continually manufacture some of the best products in the world. Does the DeWalt miter saw fall into that category?
It does if you ask anyone who uses the DeWalt compound miter saw, which is good enough for professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. The tool excels when it comes to the 2 biggest features you want to see on a 12 inch sliding compound miter saw:
- Extreme Power
- Pinpoint Accuracy
Extreme Power – The powerful 15 amp motor inside the DeWalt DWS715 single bevel miter saw delivers a no-load speed of 4,000 rpm (revolutions per minute). Combined with a durable 12 inch carbide miter saw blade it will cut through anything you throw at it.
Pinpoint Accuracy – Accuracy comes down to a few things when you’re using a 12 compound miter saw. The tool should be completely stable. We’ve touch on power and a good blade. You must be able to make micro miter and bevel angle adjustments too. Let’s look at each one in a little more detail:
Bevel – The DeWalt sliding miter saw allows you to make bevel cuts 48 degrees to the left. Even though it’s only a single bevel compound miter saw you can move the bevel 3 degrees to the right too. If you want to save time there are hardened steel bevel stops at:
0, 33.9, 45, and 40 degrees.
Those are the most common bevel angles you’ll find yourself using again and again, so it’s nice when you can switch between them in a few seconds. The bevel measurement scale is easy to read so you can set your compound miter saw at an exact angle.
Miter – The miter system on the DeWalt DWS715 miter saw has a few standout features, which includes:
- Adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate (14 positive stops)
- An easy-to-adjust cam-lock miter handle
- Wide 50 degree capacity to the left and right
You don’t want to waste lots of time messing around with the miter angle. The quality miter detent plate means you’ll be able to find popular angles much quicker. You can move the tool from side to side easily thanks to the cam-lock miter handle, which will prevent the cheap miter saw from falling into any detents.
The 50 degree left and right miter capacity makes the DeWalt DWS715 saw extremely versatile. A large 12 inch blade obviously helps too. Here is a quick example of how much wood your 12 inch miter saw will be able to handle:
- 45 Degree Bevel Cut Capacity = 2 x 8 inches
- 45 Degree Miter Cut Capacity = 4 x 4 inches (max height)
- 45 Degree Miter Cut Capacity = 2 x 6 inches (max width)
- 90 Degree Crosscut Capacity = 4 x 6 inches
- 90 Degree Crosscut Capacity = 2 x 8 inches (max width)
Tall sliding fences on the DeWalt sliding compound miter saw support crown and base molding too. The fences will move out of the way when you’re making bevel cuts. Let’s take a quick look at exactly what they support:
- Crown Moulding = 5-1/4 inches (nested)
- Base Moulding = 6-1/2 inches (vertical)
Everything sounds great so far, right? There are still a few things that will impress you. We’re brush over them quickly before moving onto a 10 inch sliding compound miter saw:
- Only weighs 42 pounds
- Built-in carry handle
- Convenient dust bag
Makita opened up their doors a few years before DeWalt, so they’re slightly older than 100 years old. It’s very easy to trust a company making billions of dollars per year. No wonder people love the Makita LS1018 dual bevel sliding compound miter saw. Let’s see if you’ll feel the same way too.
We’ve talked about how power and accuracy are crucial when you’re trying to find the best miter saw. The Makita LS1018 has major features that help with each one:
- Soft Start Motor
- Linear Ball Bearing System
Soft Start Motor – The Makita 10 inch dual bevel sliding miter saw has a 13 amp direct drive motor under the hood. It has a top no-load speed of 4,300 rpm, so it’s powerful enough to tackle any task. Until the belt slips or breaks down.
That is why the soft start feature is so important. Smoother starts mean your 10 inch miter saw is a lot more consistent. The engine will keep performing at its peak for longer. Despite the name it’s unlikely you’ll even notice the difference.
Linear Ball Bearing System – You won’t be able to make accurate cuts if the 10 inch 40T miter saw blade isn’t straight when it comes down. Makita engineered a linear ball bearing system to deliver dead-on accurate cuts every single time.
Also, it’s worth pointing out the Makita miter saw has a see-through blade guard system. It’s always nice to see where you’re cutting even if you are confident the tool will hit the right spot.
The best sliding compound miter saws include the same standard features, but some models stand out among the crowd. We’re going to discuss even more qualities built into the Makita sliding miter saw that we’ve not covered yet:
- Electric Brake
- Oversized Trigger Switch
- Dual Bevel
Electric Brake – Once you stop cutting, electric brakes stop the blade from spinning so it will come to a halt much much quicker than usual. It’s beneficial for 2 massive reasons. Firstly, it will help keep you safe. Even though it’s unlikely you’ll accidentally touch the blade it won’t hurt you when it’s not spinning.
Perhaps more importantly, you’ll become a lot more productive throughout the day. Imagine how long it will take to complete jobs if you need to keep waiting for your 10 inch compound miter saw to stop spinning after each cut.
Oversized Trigger Switch – An oversized trigger allows you to control the Makita compound miter saw easily. It’s a feature you maybe won’t appreciate until you’ve operated one with a subpar trigger. Due to the fact it fits perfectly in your hand you’ll feel a lot more comfortable.
The ergonomic rubberized D-handle design adds to your overall comfort too. If you plan on using your 10 inch sliding miter saw all day you don’t want to run into any fatigue issues.
Dual Bevel – The Makita LS1018 is only a 10 inch double bevel sliding miter saw, which means it drops to the left and right. Here is a complete list of the bevel and miter angle capacities:
Bevel = 45 degrees to the left
Bevel = 45 degrees to the right
Miter = 47 degrees to the left
Miter = 60 degrees to the right
- Bevel Positive Stops = 0 + 45 degrees (left + right)
- Miter Positive Stops = 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, and 45 degrees (left + right)
The Makita 10 compound miter saw has the ability to cut 4×4 lumber even though it only comes with a 10 inch blade. The maximum cutting capacities are as follows:
Up to 12 inches @ 90 degrees
Up to 8.5 inches @ 45 degrees
Includes a blade, dust bag, triangular rule, vise, wrench, and extension wings. Plus the Makita sliding miter saw is a lightweight 43.7 pounds.
In 2017 (fiscal year), Bosch earned approximately 100 billion dollars. Excellent German engineering plays a huge part in their accomplishments. The company was founded in 1886 and it’s now one of the biggest brands on the planet. If they have a massively popular power tool you know it’s superb.
Enter the Bosch GCM12SD compound miter saw. There is one massive reason why it’s the best compound miter saw to keep in your garage workshop:
Patented Axial-Glide System
How much space do you have in your workshop? If you live in a normal home like us mere mortals space is usually at a premium. Even the best 12 inch miter saw is huge compared to other tools. Will you be able to fit anything else on your workbench?
The Bosch miter saw doesn’t use a traditional rail system like other brands. Instead, they’ve patented their own axial glide system. It reduces the amount of space your tool eats up by a foot (12 inches).
As usual, it’s got a large selection of other useful features too. Here are a few of the main ones you could get your hands on very soon:
- Powerful Motor
- Ergonomic Trigger Handle
- Dust Collection Chute
- Squarelock Quick-Release Fences
- Bevel + Miter Scale Detents
- Sliding Material Support
Powerful Motor – 15 amp, 3,800 rpm, 3 hp
Ergonomic Trigger Handle – A soft trigger handle provides you with extra comfort, which is always nice when you’re working. Sometimes people feel uncomfortable holding a 12 inch sliding compound miter saw with their prefered hand. The Bosch GCM12SD comes with a large ambidextrous handle.
Dust Collection Chute – Cleaning up debris is a total pain, but it’s a safety hazard too. Can you honestly say you’ll always wear PPE (personal protection equipment)? If not, you’ll be breathing in sawdust non-stop. It will find its way into your eyes until you can’t stop rubbing them.
The dust collection chute on a Bosch compound miter saw collects 90 percent of the dust, which will help keep you considerably more safe. Here are a few more mini safety features:
- A clear lower guard
- Tip resistant stable base
- Upfront bevel lock
Squarelock Quick-Release Fences – Extra help is a bonus if you want to ensure accurate cuts. You’ll get all the support you need thanks to the quick-lock Squarelock fences. One touch and they’ll slide straight off. The Bosch sliding miter saw fences are also built to last forever.
Bevel + Miter Scale Detents – The bevel and miter scales come with built-in detents at multiple common angles. An upfront bevel lock (which we touched on a few seconds ago) makes things simple too. Don’t worry if you have bad eyesight because the GCM12SD miter saw scales are easy to read.
The angles, 12 inch (60 tooth) blade, and glide movement controller give you an impressive cutting capacity. Let’s look at how it compares to other 12 inch compound miter saws:
Horizontal Cutting Capacity = 14 inches
Vertical Cutting Capacity = 6.5 inches
Sliding Material Supports – If you look closely you’ll see an integrated sliding material support on each side of the Bosch GCM12SD miter saw. When pulled out they’ll be able to support materials up to 40 inches long. It’s a nice bonus even though it’s not the most essential feature in the world.
Pro Tip: It’s hard to move the Bosch 12 compound miter saw around because it weighs 88.2 pounds. If you plan on using it in various places pick up the package with a Bosch portable miter saw stand.
We’re starting to see a pattern when it comes to the best power tool brands in the industry. Milwaukee is roughly 100 years old. It was formed towards the end of World War One, but wasn’t rebranded until a few years later. It’s now one of the biggest and best brands in the power tool industry.
Milwaukee always aims to achieve one thing. To create innovative heavy duty power tools for professionals. The Milwaukee 6955-20 compound miter saw delivers when it comes to 2 big features:
Accuracy – If you’ve read other sliding compound miter saw reviews you know what goes into guaranteeing a tool is accurate. The Milwaukee 12 inch double bevel miter saw has gone above and beyond every competitor at the moment by adding one thing:
Miter Angle Digital Readout – 0.1 Degree Accuracy Rating
Instead of reading miter angles on an easy-to-read scale, you’ll be able to get the information directly from a digital readout display. Imagine how much quicker you’ll be able to set angles from now on. You can definitely trust the Milwaukee sliding miter saw is giving you the correct reading.
It has a +/- 0.1 degree accuracy rating. I know it’s not 100 percent perfect but nothing is. You won’t end up making any costly mistakes when cutting expensive materials. The motor will give you extra reassurance.
Power – Once you test the Milwaukee miter saw you’ll realize the motor is better than figures suggest. The 15 amp direct drive motor has 3.3 horsepower under the hood, but it’s only rated at 3,250 rpm. Thankfully, it includes constant power technology with soft start.
It maintains the exact same load while you’re cutting to give you quick and clean cuts, even when you’re working with hardwood.
Soft start isn’t really noticeable because your 12 inch sliding miter saw will reach full speed in under 2 seconds. However, it will give you a chance to sneak up on the cutline to avoid mistakes. This technology will extend the life of your motor considerably too.
The Milwaukee 6955-20 is the gift that keeps on giving. Here are some other main features you’ll get to experience for yourself:
- Dual Integral Jobsite Lights
- Integral Dust Channel
- Oversized Single Lever Bevel
Dual Integral Jobsite Lights – Lighting conditions aren’t always ideal when you’re working on jobsites. Maybe you can’t switch a light on like you can inside your garage. The dual integral lights will illuminate the area where you’re working.
More importantly, it will illuminate the cutline on either side of your 12 inch carbide tipped blade. Depending on where your light is inside a home workshop this feature could come in extremely useful. Conditions aren’t usually ideal inside dim and dingy garages.
Integral Dust Channel – A Milwaukee sliding compound miter saw maximizes airflow to let debris through from the back elbow into a waste container. The dust bag will capture 75 percent of the dust and debris on either side of the blade. It will keep you healthy and save you lots of time.
Oversized Single Lever Bevel – There isn’t a digital readout display on the bevel adjustment, but it’s still a pretty impressive feature. It moves 0-48 degrees to your left or right + it’s got 9 detent stops built into it.
The oversized arm is easy to adjust. Dual horizontal steel rails with 3 large linear bearings gives you a smooth sliding action. It feels very comfortable when you’re operating the best 12 miter saw.
Hitachi started manufacturing motors in Japan a few years before World War One. The brand is now one of the largest in the world and operates in almost a dozen industries, but they still focus an enormous amount of effort on power tools. It’s probably why they’re so popular with workers everywhere.
The Hitachi compound miter saw comes with lots of quality features, but we’re going to discuss a few bigger ones first:
- Laser Marker Technology
- Vibration Reducing Handle
- Lightweight + Portable
Laser Marker Technology – You know soft start motors are good because you’ll have a few seconds to see where the blade is going to strike. When using the laser marker system inside a Hitachi sliding miter saw you’ll already know.
A bright red line will appear on your material where it’s going to be cut. You’ll be able to get through jobs quicker and every cut will be deadly accurate.
Vibration Reducing Handle – It doesn’t hurt when you have a big handle on the best 10 inch miter saw. But it’s even nicer when you have a vibration reducing handle. When working for hours and hours you are less likely to suffer from fatigue.
Lightweight + Portable – The Hitachi miter saw weighs 26.5 pounds. You wouldn’t build any muscles lifting that much weight in the gym, so you won’t have a hard time moving it around. If it’s not going to sit in your workshop full-time it’s ideal.
Keep In Mind: If you plan on moving the top rated sliding compound miter saw around it’s wise to invest in a miter saw stand. The Hitachi UU240R or Hitachi UU240F will help keep it stable when you’re in the field.
Let’s go into more detail about a few key figures:
- Motor Power
- Miter Angle Range
- Bevel Angle Range
Motor Power – The 15 amp motor comes with a maximum 5,000 rpm no-load speed. You’ll be able to make miter and crosscuts with ease. Also, it’s easy to reach the carbon brushes inside the Hitachi C10FCH2 motor. If you look after them properly it will increase the lifespan of your tool.
Miter Angle Range – You will be able to move between 0-52 degrees on either side. There are thumb actuated miter stops to help you switch between angles as quickly as possible.
Bevel Angle Range – The Hitachi C10FCH2 single bevel sliding compound miter saw only drops to one side. In total, you’ll be able to move it 45 degrees. Look at the scale and you’ll see it’s easy to set up accurate cuts.
Finally, the best 10 miter saw comes with a few little features that will make your life more enjoyable:
- Vice clamping system to keep it stable on your workbench
- The horizontal handle is much easier to hold and control
- A dust collector attachment will minimize airborne particles
- Large extended flip fence for cutting crown molding
- 10 inch TCT saw blade, box wrench, and hex bar wrench
- It’s backed by an industry leading 5 year warranty
The Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The time has come to choose the best sliding compound miter saw for you. One or two of them must have caught your eye. Even though they’re all exceptional they don’t all come with the same features. Do you need any extra help coming to a final decision?
If so, click on the links to read hundreds of unbiased reviews on Amazon. Past customers have been kind enough to leave feedback telling you exactly what they think about their purchases. Don’t pick anything until you’ve done a little more research.