Whether you are on a job site or working on weekend projects around the home, compound miter saws are incredibly useful tools for your woodworking needs. With an ability to cut wood at a variety of angles, the compound miter saw is your best friend for crown molding projects, door frames, picture frames, and more. Don’t forget to check out our complete Miter Saw Resource with the Best Of, How To and Projects.
In this article, we’ll be mapping out what kinds of miter saws exist on the market and our top choices to satisfy your woodworking needs.
Table of contents
- Best Compound Miter Saws
- Compound Miter Saw: Dewalt DWS780 12-Inch Sliding Miter Saw
- Compound Miter Saw: Makita LS1016L 10-Inch Sliding Miter Saw
- Compound Miter Saw: Dewalt DW715 12-Inch Single-Bevel Miter Saw
- Compound Miter Saw: Hitachi C10FCH2 10-Inch Single Bevel Miter Saw
- What Are Compound vs. Sliding Compound Miter Saws?
- What Jobs Are Well-Suited for Compound Miter Saws?
- Who Should Use a Sliding Compound Miter Saw?
Best Compound Miter Saws
We’ve broken down our two favorite sliding compound miter saws and two compound miter saws on the market right now.
Compound Miter Saw: Dewalt DWS780 12-Inch Sliding Miter Saw
Across the board, this double bevel saw comes in at the top of almost all miter saw rankings for its quality and precision. A great choice for both professionals and DIY (do it yourself) projects, this saw provides incredibly accurate cuts on a variety of wood lengths. With 3,800 RPM motor speed, this saw can cut through almost all materials, making it a versatile tool for almost any project. You might consider a stand, we did a full review on the new Dewalt miter saw stand.
What We Like
- LED light technology casts a shadow of the blade to mark the exact cut location
- A new design has moved power cord out of arm space for easier cutting and movement
- One of the most versatile saws on the market for all project types
- Ability to cut horizontally and vertically at the same time, allowing for more advanced cuts
What We Don’t
- Not the easiest to store as it takes up a lot of space and is heavy (56 lbs.)
- Poor dust collection technology may lead to a greater mess after multiple cuts
Compound Miter Saw: Makita LS1016L 10-Inch Sliding Miter Saw
After the Dewalt model, there are lots of brands that come close to taking second place. In our rankings and comparisons, this Makita model takes the spot for its accuracy and easy to use features. It’s incredibly powerful motor allows it to cut through almost all materials, and it provides a stable platform to easily and safely line up your work.
>>More Comparisons: Makita vs Festool Miter Saw
What We Like
- Laser technology allows for precise cutting location and can easily be switched from side to side
- The blade guard is transparent, allowing for an important safety feature without compromised vision
What We Don’t
- Heavy saw makes it difficult to transport
- Standard blade is not of the highest quality, should be adjusted based on project material
Compound Miter Saw: Dewalt DW715 12-Inch Single-Bevel Miter Saw
Dewalt is known for its quality, top of the line products, making it no surprise that their compound saw also made our list. With a large thin blade and powerful motor, this saw can cut through almost anything. The Dewalt compound miter saw allows for easy adjustments from cut to cut and is very safe with a full blade guard to protect yourself. This saw ranks highly among experienced woodworkers and DIY beginners. This is our top choice for those looking to get a job done effectively.
>>More Comparisons: Dewalt DWS709 vs DWS779 Miter Saws
What We Like
- Lightweight compared to its class, making it very portable
- 11 positive stops increase productivity, speed, and accuracy of projects
- Impressive quality cuts and project variety at a lower price point
What We Don’t
- No guide system to perfectly align the cutting location
- Dust collection technology is poor
- Standard blade included with the saw is not of the same quality as other saws
Compound Miter Saw: Hitachi C10FCH2 10-Inch Single Bevel Miter Saw
This compound miter saw ranks highly for its quality, especially at its low price point compared to larger and more professional choices. With a slightly smaller saw, it is lighter and may be easier to manage. This saw may be more suitable for those not working with a miter saw on a consistent basis or not working with a wide variety of cutting projects. It gets the job done by making precise cuts and meeting top performance metrics compared to other top brands.
What We Like
- Laser technology allows for exact cutting by indicating cut location
- Very powerful motor can cut through variety of materials and make clean cuts
- Quality at an affordable price point compared to similar performers
What We Don’t
- The saw is made of less durable and fragile metal, making it prone to cracks if dropped
- Poor dust collection technology
What Are Compound vs. Sliding Compound Miter Saws?
Miter saws are important tools to make cuts of wood. They come in multiple varieties to complete different types of cuts, depending on the project. Compound miter saws come in two varieties: compound and sliding compound.
The compound saw not only gives you angled cuts, but allows for a beveled cut, or one that slopes. This feature allows you to tilt the blade for more complex cuts than a standard saw. More advanced compound miter saws can tilt left or right. The double bevel feature allows for more cuts without significant saw adjustments. Learn how to cut those tricky trim angles, our step by step guide.
Sliding compound miter saws provide even more functionality. The sliding saw gives you the freedom to move the blade up and down as well as in and out (unlike compound) to increase your cutting abilities.
What Jobs Are Well-Suited for Compound Miter Saws?
Compound miter saws are well-suited for users who do not need their saw frequently or do not complete a wide variety of work. These saws are the simpler of the two, making them great for completing jobs but not as efficient as its sliding counterpart.
The double-tilt saw works well for those who do baseboard or crown molding work. This allows for left and right angles to be easily adjusted without having to flip the entire piece of wood.
Who Should Use a Sliding Compound Miter Saw?
Knowing the difference between compound miter saws is important in choosing the best one for your needs and price range.
Sliding compound saws are going to be your most advanced and provide the most versatility.
They can be used for similar jobs as a compound miter saw, but are generally used for much larger cuts of wood. This allows for one cut rather than two made on a non-sliding saw.
These are typically preferred by professional contractors and woodworkers but also are the more expensive and often much heavier.
You should consider your compound or sliding compound choice by determining:
- How often you’ll use the saw
- Variety of projects and materials
- Need in transporting saw
- Efficiency and productivity needs
Picking The Right Miter Saw
Choosing any of the saws, we suggested in this article will ensure a clean and precise job. If you’re looking for the top of the line product and have little price sensitivity, go with the Dewalt Sliding Compound Miter saw. If price is a consideration and you are willing to sacrifice versatility and advanced technology, Dewalt’s Single Bevel Compound Saw will satisfy almost all woodworking needs.
Choices like these can be difficult, but with ensured quality and backed by many professionals and homeowners, you won’t go wrong with any of the products we’ve researched and selected for you.