Best Ryobi Miter Saw 2021: Which One Should You Buy?

One of the first power tool purchases many woodworkers make is a power miter saw. Power miter saws are a big step up in power and precision from hand miter saws, but it can be confusing to sort through the many options available.

Ryobi Miter Saw

Ryobi makes a number of different power saws that serve different needs. All models are compatible with the Ryobi miter saw stand and Ryobi miter saw parts. To decide which saw is right for you, it helps to know a little more about each model. Check out our buying guide on the best miter saw overall.

Ryobi Miter Saw 7 ¼ Inch Review

This little guy is the best choice for a saw buyer on a budget. The 7 ¼ inch miter saw uses a 7 ¼ inch cutting blade.

Things we like:

  • It is the least expensive Ryobi miter saw model
  • At just 16 pounds, it is among the lightest Ryobi miter saws
  • It is it easy to align boards before cutting with the laser guide
  • The 9 amp motor gives plenty of power for cutting

Things we don’t like:

  • Small blade size means that cuts are limited to 2×4 lumber and smaller trim sizes
  • Not big enough for some crown molding or framing jobs

Ryobi Miter Saw 10 Inch Review

The Ryobi 10 inch miter saw provides the best combination of price and power. It is an affordable saw that can tackle big jobs.

Things we like:

  • 14 amp motor gives plenty of cutting power
  • 10 inch blade can miter cut 2×4 lumber and bevel cut 2×6 lumber
  • Price is not much more than the 7 ¼ inch model for a much more powerful saw
  • Electric blade brake for added safety

Things we don’t like:

  • The Ryobi 10 inch miter saw is a big saw and really needs the Ryobi miter saw stand to work at its best
  • Won’t tackle the biggest jobs

Ryobi Miter Saw 18-Volt 7 ¼ Inch Cordless Review

The Ryobi 18-volt 7 ¼ inch cordless miter saw is Ryobi’s lightest and most portable miter saw. This saw is the best choice for jobs that require the saw to be moved around a lot, or jobs where electric power isn’t available.

Things we like:

  • At only 15 pounds, this is Ryobi’s lightest miter saw
  • Cordless motor means the saw is portable and can work anywhere
  • Excellent for jobs that require mobility like adding trim to every room of a house

Things we don’t like:

  • The Ryobi 7 ¼ inch cordless miter saw has the same limited cutting capacity as the 7 ¼ inch miter saw, but at a higher price point
  • Does not have pre-set stops for common cutting angles like other models have
  • Batteries are sold separately
  • Not a great choice for heavy-duty framing work

Ryobi Miter Saw Sliding 12 Inch Review

The Ryobi 12 inch sliding miter saw is the top of the line from Ryobi. It is the most expensive Ryobi miter saw, but it is also the most powerful. This saw is the best choice for cutting larger pieces of lumber. This saw features a sliding arm that lets the blade move back and forth to cut much bigger pieces of wood.

Things we like:

  • Can make 90 degree cuts in lumber as big as 2×14 or 4×6, and 45 degree cuts in lumber as big as 2×10
  • 15 amp motor is Ryobi’s most powerful miter saw motor
  • Table extensions make it easier to handle long boards for cutting
  • Electric blade brake for safety
  • This is the saw for taking on big jobs

Things we don’t like:

  • Much more expensive than other Ryobi miter saws
  • Extra cutting capacity may not be worth the cost for most projects

Miter Saw Basics

Miter saws are sometimes called chop saws, but there is a difference. Chop saws can only make 90 degree cuts. They only go up and down, like a karate chop. Miter saws make 90 degree cuts, but the blade alignment can be changed to make miter cuts as well. Are you questioning if you need a miter saw? Check out Miter Saw vs Circular Saw: Do you Really Need Both? for more information. 

Cross cuts are used to shorten long boards to the correct length. Miter cuts are used to cut lumber at an angle across the width of the board. Some miter saws also cut bevels—angles relative to the narrowest dimension of the board. It’s recommneded that you have a miter saw stand. Check out our guide on the best miter saw stand.

Making Miter Cuts

Since miter cuts are made at an angle, the blades on miter saws are adjustable. Look for a saw with clear angle markings to indicate the cutting angle. Even better, some miter saws have built in settings for common cutting angles. The most common presets are 0 degrees for a square end, 15, 22.5, 31.6, and 45 degrees.

Miter Saw Blades

Ryobi Miter Saw

Miter saws come in a variety of blade sizes. Always use the correct blade size for your saw.

  • 7 ¼ inch blades are best for cutting trim.
  • 10 inch blades are a good all-around choice for trim or light framing.
  • 12 inch blades can cut large dimension framing lumber

Sliding miter saws have an arm that allows the cutting head to slide back and forth. This allows the saw to cut bigger lumber than a non-sliding saw using the same size blade.

There are a wide variety of aftermarket blades available for miter saws. Blades with many fine teeth are best for making smooth cuts in trim work. Blades with fewer, bigger teeth cut faster for bigger lumber.

What Size Boards Can I Cut?

The size of board that you can cut depends on the size of the saw blade, the angle you are cutting, and whether or not the saw has a sliding arm. For more information on sliding vs. non-sliding miter saws check out this guide.

Both of the Ryobi 7 ¼ inch miter saws (corded and cordless) can make square cuts in boards as wide as 4 ½ inches and 45-degree cuts in 3-inch stock.

The 10 inch Ryobi miter saw can cut 4×4 or 2×6 lumber on the square and make 45-degree cuts in 2×6 lumber.

The Ryobi 12 inch sliding miter saw can crosscut lumber as large as 2×14 or 4×6 and can make 45-degree cuts in 2×10 lumber.

Cutting Crown Molding

Compound miter saws make cuts that feature an angle and a bevel in the same cut. Installing crown molding requires compound miter cuts. If you are installing crown molding, look for a saw with a 31.6 miter stop and a 33.9 degree bevel stop. These two settings are needed in combination to get proper corners in crown molding.

Ryobi Brand Info

Ryobi power tools are made built by the same company that makes professional-grade Milwaukee brand tools. Ryobi tools designed for hobbyists and DIYers.

Choose Ryobi tools if you are working on a specific large project, do small projects on the weekends, or are just building a tool collection. If you are a contractor or professional builder, Ryobi tools may not be the best choice.

Our pick is the Ryobi 12 inch sliding miter saw. It is a powerful miter saw that can handle any cutting task from trim to framing.

If price is an issue for you, the Ryobi 10 inch miter saw is almost as powerful, but at a much lower price point. Which will you choose? Let us know in the comments.

About Russ Thompson

Hey I'm Russ and I have been a contractor for over 20 years. I know what the cost of having the right tools and materials for the job. My passion for woodworking and helping others by workshops in my wood shop. I have beginner classes all the way up expert trade classes. Check out my bio for more.

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