You might be wondering: should you purchase one of these? I am sure that you are curious, and you want to know; what is a compound miter saw? What can you, as a starter, do with it? Is this saw really so good and must- have as they are saying?
Well, yes! A miter saw is an invaluable tool for DIY people, and must have tool for any workshop!
In this price range there aren’t many cordless options, so in this text, we will focus mainly on corded variants.
Our top 3 miter saw picks:
Makita LS0815F 8-1/2″ Slide Compound Miter Saw
This tool is the perfect combination of compact and lightweight design with a powerful direct-drive motor. It`s portable and powerful and simply ideal for cutting solution for applications from woodworking and carpentry to room-to-room applications like finish, trim, and flooring installation.
It is featured with a direct drive motor (10.5amp) with soft start. This is a great advantage as users will experience smoother start-ups and constant power with no belts to slip or replace.
It has an electric brake, for added convenience. It`s lightweight and very portable.
This model is a part of Makita’s best-in-class miter saws. This expanding line is providing capacity, accuracy, and portability for a variety of cutting applications. It is perfect for crown molding installation, finish carpentry, cabinet and furniture making, wood floor installation, deck building, general construction…
There is also a cheaper option, a bare-tool without additional batteries. You can check it out HERE.
- This machine has powerful 10.5 amp direct drive motor which requires less maintenance
• Miters 0°- 50° left and 0°- 60° right, with positive stops at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, 45° and 50° (left and right) plus 60° (right)
• This saw is great for job site portability because it`s compact and lightweight (31.1 lbs.)
• It cuts up to 12″ at 90-degress and 8-1/2″ at 45-degrees
• Linear ball bearing system engineered to deliver “dead-on” precise cuts
• It is featured with dual-rear knob bevel lock which is easily accessible and adjustable to 0°- 48° (left) and 0°- 5° (right) with positive stops at 0° and 45° (left)
• This machine has soft start feature for smooth start-up
• L.E.D. light built-in illuminates the line of cut for better accuracy
• With special 2-1/2″ tall fence system it provides increased vertical cutting capacity
• Ergonomic rubberized D-handle design for better fit and added comfort
• Large precision machined aluminum base supports material for more efficient cutting
• This miter saw has electric brake for maximum productivity
• With blade guard system for visibility of the line of cut
• Oversized trigger switch for better fit, added comfort and easier operation
Makita XSL06PT 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless 10″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser Kit (5.0Ah) with 4 5.0Ah Batteries
This is a cordless option for the miter saw. It’s featured with two 18V Lithium-Ion batteries for 36V power and performance. It is featured with a brushless motor which is engineered for up to 50% longer run time, increased power and speed, and longer tool life.
This tool is capable for anything the corded version can, and with ease. Capable of being fine-tuned to zero tolerances with a little effort. If you need to cut the cord, this tool is the perfect solution for you. This should be a carpenter’s first choice saw.
Now, we know what are the advantages of being cordless and
We like cordless very much, but the price for cordless miter saw is a way to higher than corded one!
Good thing is that the charger is very fast and batteries last long.
- This machine is powered with two LXT batteries; x2 LXT technology delivers more power, speed and run time without the hassles of a cord
- With a Makita built electronically controlled BL motor you will receive 4400 RPM for faster and smoother cutting
- The featured brushless motor eliminates brushes, enabling the motor to run more efficiently and gives it longer life
- Automatic speed change technology adjusts cutting speed and torque during cut for optimum performance
- Double LXT technology delivers up to 334 cuts per charge in 2×4 and up to 192 cuts per charge in 2×12 lumber using two 5.0Ah batteries
- Built-in laser indicates cut line whether blade is turning or not;
- On-off switch and micro-adjustments for precise “left-of-blade” or “right-of-blade” cutting
Hitachi C10FCH2 Miter Saw with Stand and Blade
We can say that this saw is fully recommended even to professionals, as the only thing you have to do is get it out of the box and start cutting. Beginners will also like this miter saw as it’s pretty easy to use and comes as a complete package – accessories and safety devices included.
The cuts are very accurate thanks to the laser system which is great. It also comes with a fair number of accessories which is excellent for a start.
Amazon has a great offer for you. For an excellent price, with the tool, you will get a stand and blade.
- Laser Marker System for increased cutting accuracy
- 15 Amp motor gives strong power for the toughest cutting jobs
- Durable steel construction can support up to 400 lbs
- Material support extensions (extend 8′) for supporting longer material
- This miter saw is ideal for hardwood, softwood, high quality lumber, plywood and MDF
- It weighs 26.5 pounds
- In the box you will get: 10-inch TCT blade, extended fence, dust bag, hex bar wrench and assembly document
What is a compound miter saw?
Miter saw is designed to cut crown molding, door frames, window casings, and picture frames. You can also make straight cuts for general woodworking projects that you are planning to do.
Now, we can say for sure that you will use a compound miter saw for lots of uses and applications in the workshop. If you need to crosscut lumber, but fast, for cutting of crown moldings and decorative trim works, a compound miter saw is the best tool by a distance for the job.
Types of Compound Miter Saw
Now get this: You can choose between three main types of the miter saw. They all have a saw blade that can make cuts at a variety of angles. But a few key features are available for users with specific needs.
You can choose between three variations of miter saw:
- Compound Miter Saw– this saw is featured with a blade that rotates left and right for angled cuts and roll in a single direction for beveled cuts. Manipulating the saw on both of its axes at once yields a compound miter cut. This type will be of great help if you are cutting picture frames, crown molding or if you are doing any project that requires angled cuts in two planes. The advantage of this saw is making the compound cuts in one pass.
- Dual Compound Miter Saw– well, it functions as a compound miter saw, but while compound miter saws roll in only one direction, dual compound miter saws can roll both left and right. They are great if you need to make quick bevels at any angle.
- Sliding Compound Miter Saw-has the versatility same as a compound miter saw but they also have a sliding feature. This is allowing you to move the blade forward and backward. The main advantage of the sliding feature is the increased length of cut it provides.
Should I use a 10 inch or 12-inch miter saw?
Blades for a miter saw typically come in 10 or 12-inch sizes. 10-inch would be our preferable option if you don’t have a frequent need for 12-inch.
Now: What is the difference between 10-12-inch? Apart from the evident difference in size, each one also has different capacities and different uses for which they are ideal.
10-inch blade is faster, while 12-inch spins slower because the blades have a larger radius. For example, 10-inch saw will spin at 5000 rpm, while 12-inch will spin 4000 rpm at the same speed. With more speed, you will have smoother cuts.
There is a great and large selection of 10- inch blades, they are more affordable and the cost to sharpen a 10-inch blade is lower than for sharping 12-inch blade. For the same quality cuts as 10-inch, you will have to buy 12-inch blade with more teeth, and this means that you will have to pay more money.
What we can say is cons for the 10-inch blade is that they have a limited cutting capacity. Let`s say that you can usually cut 6 inches of material, but if you are not doing large projects this won’t be a problem for you.
Now, if you are planning to do larger projects, and you need a 12-inch blade, but you also want fast cuts, there is good news for you. You can find on market 12-inch miter saw with more power than 10-inch saw. You can check this by the number of amperes, the 15-amp motor will give you a lot of power for cutting large and thick materials.
Also, you have an option, on some 12-inch models to put a 10-inch blade. Maybe you can consider this option.
And, the advantage of having a 12-inch miter saw is that they have a higher tooth speed, which is more likely to give you smoother cuts. This can be especially helpful if you are doing fine woodwork. 12-inch miter saws are also normally more durable and, therefore, more likely to last longer.
Also, if you are not cutting large materials you don’t need a 12-inch saw.
It gets better: Many manufacturers are producing 10-inch tools which are interchangeable. This is absolutely perfect because it will save you a lot of money!
Advantages/Disadvantages of Compound Miter Saw
Just like any tool, a compound miter saw has its own advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss here what we have found as advantages:
- Miter saw gives precise and accurate cuts. This will make your project look more professional than using other cutting tools.
- You can use a miter saw for crown and base moldings. Everything you need to do is to install the right tool so you can use it to your project.
- You can rotate miter saw to make different angle cuts. This is a great benefit if you are gutting large piece of material.
- It can make a cross-cut. The pivot can rotate and it is easier to make a cross-cut especially with a sliding compound miter saw.
- Another great benefit of this saw is that it gives smooth cuts. It doesn’t matter how tough the wood is, you will still receive a smooth cut.
- The compound miter saw is the only miter saw that has a lock feature. With this lock, you don’t need to readjust the tool from time-to-time while using the cutting equipment.
- This tool gives you the possibility to cut wider and thicker materials.
From our side main disadvantages are:
- Miter saw uses electrical power for running. This is very inconvenient. You need quite a lot of power which will affect your budget if you are using it a lot.
- Many of these machines don’t have a bag or container for wood dust or chips or if they have one it`s too small. This means that you will always have a mess around you during your work.
- A cordless miter saw is a very expensive toy!
How to Choose the Right Compound Miter Saw?
Well, how to choose? Hm…
We advise you to think first what will you do with the miter saw? How often will you use it? How fast and smooth your cuts have to be? What types of cuts you will usually make?
Of course, your budget is important! Think about how much money you are ready to pay, and also think about the prices for blades, blade sharpening, and any additional costs that may come out in the future.
A very important thing to think about is the weight. Make sure that you are purchasing the handy tool if you are going to carry it with you on sites.
Where to Buy a Cheap Compound Miter Saw?
When you start searching for the right machine for you on the internet, you will see that there are many different online stores. Take some time and try to pick up as much info and different offers as you can.
One of the online sites that we know with best offers is Amazon.
Best compound miter saw
Here is the kicker: there are many different brands which are offering compound miter saw.
We found as the best brands Makita, DeWalt and Hitachi. Each of them is trying to satisfy all customer needs. And, trust me, they have great success in that! We will give you just one for each brand that we consider as the best.
This is compound miter saw and the best choice for the homeowner. Lite, precise, high quality tool which will help you to enjoy your work. With this saw, you will receive clean and smooth cuts. It is a very powerful tool. This machine can be used for different types of wood projects such as framing, cabinetry…
This is a single-bevel compound miter saw. It’s a premium choice, and it will completely satisfy your needs. It is featured with adjustable stainless-steel miter detent plate with 11 positive stops which improves productivity and ensures cutting. This machine has perfect, accurate cuts. This machine comes with a robust carbide blade, a dust bag, and a blade wench. You can check out the full review for this miter saw here.
This saw provides smooth, accurate miters and crosscuts in a variety of workpieces. You can cut many different materials including wood, plywood, decorative panels, soft fiberboard, hard board, and aluminum.
It has flexible miters which provides versatility on the job. If you are looking for precision and reliability, this is the perfect saw for you.
Small tips for miter saws
As we said, a miter saw is an excellent choice for your workshop. You have learned: what is compound miter saw and we will give you some tips for easy handling with your tool:
- If you need more small pieces of the same size, you can make a stop block. Attach scrap piece to the fence to create stop block. Enjoy cutting many pieces to the same length easily.
- Attach a wood fence to the back of your miter saw. This will help you to prevent tear out when cutting molding and trim
- Keep cuts slow and steady; Slow cuts are smooth cuts
Hope that we helped you with making your miter saw choice. Now, you know the answer to: what is compound miter saw. You can purchase the best choice for you.
Guess what, you will now be able to chat about miter saw with your DIY friends.
Remember that safety is very important. Follow the producer safety instructions before you start using your new best workshop friend.