Fresh off our best 12" miter saw review article, we wanted to provide our readers with a more comprehensive guide to the best miter saws…period.
While cordless tools may dominate in many areas, miter saws remain largely popular as a corded solution. Still, it looks like newer cordless models may be starting to gain mainstream popularity. They are definitely in our store!
We've reviewed, tested, and "driven" dozens of miter saws over the years. Choosing the best miter saw means considering performance and power, cut quality, precision, features and value. As usual, we've rounded up some pros for a test run so we can come up with some solid recommendations.
Unlike your child's little league team, not everyone gets a trophy. If you see the best miter saw recommended here, it means we really recommend it. Just be mindful of the applications and purposes we suggest along the way.
Blade recommendation: If you're only going to be cutting wood, a spare blade is probably fine. However, for most trimming and finishing woodworking uses, we recommend an upgraded miter saw blade. Look for a higher tooth count for nice, smooth cutting edges.
The best sliding compound miter saw
Bosch GCM12SD Axial Slide Miter Saw
The Bosch GSM12SD Axial Slide Miter Saw offers the smoothest cuts we've experienced, thanks in large part to its axial slide system instead of standard rails.
Our best compound miter saw was introduced back in 2010. It still outperforms almost every other saw we have for tall vertical crown cuts and vertical bottom clearance. Bosch still makes this sliding miter saw, and its latest model seems to focus on a more maneuverable 8.5-inch saw. These also come in wired and wireless models.
We considered the entire catalog of sliding compound miter saw reviews when making this recommendation. The $599 Bosch Axial Glide is still one of the most powerful saws, with the absolute best cut quality. Since it also allows for some of the tallest pruning clearances on back fences, it has been hailed as the best dual compound miter saw.
If you want to reduce the weight of the Bosch GCM12SD (with minimal loss of capacity), consider the $589.99 Bosch CM10GD 10-Inch Glide Miter Saw. You can get lighter models with the same great cutting performance.
best cordless miter saw
Bosch GCM18V-12GDCN ProFactor Cordless 12" Miter Saw
The Bosch ProFactor 18V Cordless 12" Miter Saw is an eye-catcher thanks to its Axial Glide sliding system. However, its performance and accuracy make it a keeper. If you're in the market for a cordless miter saw, we highly recommend giving Bosch's ProFactor line a try.
Without the batteries, the saw weighs 59.3 pounds, which isn't bad at all for a 12-inch dual-bevel sliding miter saw. Still, if you're going to be taking it to the job site (which is why you want a cordless saw in the first place!), we recommend getting a rolling stand, which is easier on you. Do you really want to carry that much weight without a good built in carrying system?
There aren't a ton of good quality cordless 12" miter saws on the market, and Bosch has priced the Surgeon very competitively. It costs $769 without battery and charger. Adding a charger and an 8Ah Core18V ProFactor battery brings the price up to $929.
- Milwaukee 12" Cordless One-Button Miter Saw
- DeWalt DHS790AT2 FlexVolt Miter Saw
The Milwaukee 2739-20 Cordless Miter Saw can make up to 330 cuts on a 3-1/4" baseboard using a single 12.0 Ah high output battery. Thanks to the direct drive motor you get excellent clearance. In fact, you can cut a 6-3/4" speed base and a 7-1/2" nesting crown. All of this works because of the high clearance provided by the direct drive motor.
Get it for $699
Essentially, the DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw is built on the flagship DWS780 platform. For a premium of about $200, you can upgrade to cordless capability with a pair of batteries, a dual-port fast charger, and an AC adapter for when you're close to a power source.
Get this one for $799.
Best 12 Inch Miter Saw
Bosch 12" Axial Slide Miter Saw (GCM12SD)
Considering the Bosch 12" Axial Slide Miter Saw is already our number one choice, it's also rated our best 12" miter saw for the reasons we've already mentioned. One thing we really want to highlight – the Glide system allows you to lean this saw against a wall. This makes this saw ideal for saving valuable workspace in your shop. If you want a battery-operated version, check out the cordless version above.
More Full-Size Sliding Miter Saw Options
- Makita LS1219
- Hacksaw SPT88-10
Another good 12-inch miter saw option is the Makita LS1219. It has all the features of the cordless Makita XSL07Z, except it uses wires instead of 36V battery power. This miter saw has a lot of clearance, allowing you to make all adjustments and cuts in front of it.
Get this one for $799.99, or the cordless Makita XSL07Z for $879.
As a premium option, the cordless Makita XSL08Z costs $939 and comes with Bluetooth and support for the Makita AWS system.
Also high on our list is the Skilsaw SPT88-01 12 Inch Worm Drive Miter Saw. This powerful, precise saw moves easily around the job site. It's perfect for framers and modders, and it's powerful. Carpenters and woodworkers will want to replace the spare blades.
You can get it for $649.99.
best 10 inch miter saw
Metabo HPT 36V MultiVolt C3610DRA
This Metabo HPT C3610DRA MultiVolt 10-Inch Miter Saw really impressed us. The fact that it runs on dual power sources (36 volt battery or AC adapter) alone makes for a great selling point. You get integrated "wings" on your desktop for extended support. The fence measures square out of the box and you get excellent depth of cut.
All slide, bevel and miter adjustments work smoothly. We speak highly of this miter saw, although the integrated laser had some issues adjusting and maintaining our cutting line. The 10-inch blade makes the Metabo C3610DRA very compact at 45.5 lbs.
We like to leave it plugged in at the shop and use the 36V battery pack at the job site. Keep in mind that a 10" saw is best for 3-1/2 bases and smaller.
It costs $539 bare-bones, or you can buy it with an AC adapter for $699 and a 4Ah battery for $619. Look for deals that pop up.
- Delta Kluzer 26-2241
The Delta Cruzer miter saw uses a "robot" guide arm similar to the Bosch Glide miter saw. We found the articulation system produced a very smooth and stable cut, save for only a small amount of movement when fully extended. You also get plenty of power, rake control – and you can crosscut a 2×16!
Buy it online or get the 12-inch model for $499).
Best Compact Miter Saw
The Bosch CM8S 8-1/2" Sliding Miter Saw gave us excellent cutting performance, allowing us to make thick and fine cuts with ease.
Bosch also provides us with some of the best cutting capabilities. It cuts 12-1/4 inches at 90 degrees and 8-5/8 inches at 45 degrees. We also love Bosch's miter brakes. When you need to cut non-standard angles, this thumb drive feature allows you to smoothly bypass miter stops.
At 37 pounds, the Bosch CM8S may not look lightweight, but the top handle is different. This becomes one of the easiest saws to move manually around the job site. Finally, you can get an 18V battery powered "clone" of this saw with the Bosch GCM18V-08N.
You'll find it hard to beat it for $489.
The Best Miter Saws for Professionals
Metabo HPT C12RSH2
Sometimes you stick to what works. We call the Metabo HPT C12RSH2 (formerly the Hitachi C12RSH2) the best miter saw for the money, and our best budget miter saw for professionals.
The tool comes with some street cred as well as some great shoes. This is the second (and possibly third renamed) iteration of the original Hitachi C12RSH. When Metabo HPT (Hitachi) originally designed the C12RSH, they gained a loyal following among woodworkers by offering forward-looking features.
Now, this saw continues to deliver. We love the fine-adjustment knobs for miter and miter settings, the vertical handle, and the zero-gap rail system that made the original saw so important in 2006.
Zero-clearance rails allow you to place this saw very close to walls. It saves shop space or valuable space in the garage. In the end, it cuts like a dream—smooth and punchy.
It's also only $449.
The best budget miter saw for homeowners
If you can snag a 10-inch sliding compound miter saw for $269, it's worth a shot. The 15-Amp Ryobi TSS103 Miter Saw spins the blade at 4,600 RPM and has a 12-inch crosscut capability. You get handy features like an LED cutting line indicator and a work light to illuminate your material. You can tilt 47° left and right, and a 1-1/4" dust port connects to many dust collectors to keep your garage or shop area clean. Finally, you get a 3-year warranty.
We've used enough Ryobi saws for cutting to know it won't power through tough materials and top notch products. However, it will enable you to successfully tackle DIY projects. For the occasional user, we think this is the best budget miter saw for homeowners.
Get it at Home Depot for as low as $269—no kidding!
- DeWalt DWS713
If you're looking to upgrade, we couldn't overlook the powerful DeWalt DWS713 as another great option. This 10" single miter saw provides up to 4-1/2" of vertical crown or bottom clearance. We also found it to be an extremely portable miter saw. It weighs just under 31 lbs.
Remember, this is not a sliding miter saw. You can crosscut 2×6 lumber at 90° and 2x4s at 45°. If you need more, consider using a slider.
You can get this miter saw for under $218.
best woodworking miter saw
Festool Kapex KS 120 REB
We find it hard to overstate the incredible refinement of the Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Miter Saw. The "REB" model is a fine-tuning of only the small details of the popular and enduring Kapex KS 120 EB saw.
This 10-1/4" miter saw has features you won't see anywhere else. The rail-forward design allows you to run the saw on workshop walls. Kapex claims that up to 91% of dust can be collected using a dust hood. You also get incredible clearance from the rear fence. Cut crown molding up to 6-5/8 inches in nested position. Vertically, you can cut up to 4-3/4 inches of trim.
Festool also does other interesting things. For example, they offer you a double laser cutting line. They also made the base of the saw exactly the same height as the SYSTAINER 1. This means you can use the SYSTAINER as material support while cutting.
Having used this saw, we simply find it smooth, powerful and unmatched. It's clearly the best woodworking miter saw in the long run, unless you want to triple the price and consider a commercial solution.
If you're serious about woodworking, get it for $1,599.
- Metabo HPT C3607DRAQ4M (36V Wireless)
The Metabo HPT MultiVolt 7-1/4″ Dual Bevel Miter Saw is one of the best, smoothest, and most accurate miter saws we’ve had the pleasure of testing. It comes with a premium price tag, but it’s great for those who really need portability Definitely makes sense for woodworkers and carpenters.
Buy this miter saw if your skill level and reputation lean toward high-end work and you can benefit from portability. If you don't need that precision or need the ability to cut deeper, pass it by.
Get it for $1049.
Skilsaw SPT62MTC-22 Dry Cutting Metal Saw
We reviewed the Skilsaw SPT62MTC-22 a few years ago, and it's still one of our favorites. Technically a chop saw rather than a miter saw (the miter cut occurs on a jig rather than a rotating table), this saw quickly proved to be a vast improvement over existing metal cutting gear. We definitely recommend this dry cutting metal saw as an upgrade from an abrasive saw or an entry level dry cutting saw.
The capacity forgone with the 12" blade is compensated by its lower weight compared to the 14" model. That's 20-45% less than competitors. It also has a more compact frame and a more affordable 12-inch blade.
A soft-start motor and smooth blade guard drive, paired with a hot knife through buttery Diablo blade, make this saw incredibly smooth. The SPT62MTC-22 is actually quite smooth, in fact, you have to be careful not to cut too fast.
Get this saw for $399.
- Evolution R255SMSDB
If you do need a more traditional miter saw-like solution, consider the Evolution R255SMS+ Multi-Material Saw. This dual-bevel sliding miter saw uses an Evolution blade to cut through wood, metal…even wood with nails. This is a great solution if you want flexibility or find yourself juggling metal and wood cutting tasks.
You can get it for $249.99.
Best Miter Saw Stand
Bosch T4B Gravity Rise Miter Saw Stand
The Bosch T4B Gravity Rise Miter Saw Stand has been a favorite of ours since the first day we used it. The stand has also stood the test of time – its more than 10 years of operation is proof.
The Bosch T4B stand has adjustable length and riser support. Risers are a great feature because if you set it up correctly, you don't need to hold the end of the board to make sure you're actually cutting.
No one wants to lug all their equipment around the house multiple times at the end of the day. The Bosch T4B Miter Saw Stand makes this a chore.
You can get it for around $389.
- Ridgid AC9946 Universal Miter Saw Stand
We really can't ignore the mention of Ridgid AC9946. For $219, you can get a very functional scrolling miter saw stand that operates in a similar fashion to the Bosch Gravity Rise. While not as refined, we do like the oversized wheels and easy-to-remove clamps. With these, you can pull the saw off the stand as needed by simply turning a few levers.
You can get it for $249 at Home Depot.
Best Miter Saw Buying Guide
What you do for a living affects your choices
We actually wrote a pretty comprehensive guide on what to look for when buying a miter saw. Things to consider include the type of work you intend to do. Are you a carpenter? Do you mainly work with trim or trim materials? The type of work you do determines the materials that are likely to strike the miter saw table and fence.
Blade size affects maximum vertical cut
Most importantly, look at the expected clearance you want to get when cutting trim material (especially crown and baseboards). If you often cut taller trim, you may need a saw to handle these types of fence cuts. Typically, a 12-inch miter saw will give you more clearance than a saw with a smaller blade.
We've found some 10" miter saws to have pretty good clearance though, so it really depends on a number of factors. Next comes the biggest…
Belt drive, worm drive or direct drive
While we can't say for sure that either of these two technologies will always beat the other, one thing stands out. Overall, the cut feels smoother with belt drive saws. However, they also reduce clearance on the blade. This means that most belt-driven miter saws won't give you the same impressive height of cut on the back of the blade as a gear-driven system.
On the other hand, the direct and worm drive miter saws we use are more powerful for thick cuts. If you are cutting a 4 x 6 pt 45º miter for a pergola, you will find that you can do it with more confidence.
Sliding miter saw or saw?
The type of miter saw you buy can also affect both portability and functionality. For example, a basic saw can miter and miter cuts in all directions, but only up to a 2×6 at 90 degrees. Depending on the settings you choose, a sliding miter saw can cut 2×12 or even 2×14.
The same chop saw is also likely to be a lot lighter than a comparable sliding miter saw with the same size blade. All of these things should be taken into consideration before you venture out.
Cord or cordless miter saw?
The choice between a corded or cordless miter saw gets harder every year. Some manufacturers, such as Makita, have released saws in both corded and cordless forms – these remain the same in all other features. Other companies, such as Metabo HPT and DeWalt, have cordless miter saws with battery adapters that can be connected to 120V AC power.
Believe it or not, the latest cordless miter saws are comparable in power to corded miter saws. If you find yourself looking for a newer model, you no longer need to worry about whether the premium model has enough power.
In any case, cordless miter saws cost much more than corded miter saws—often much more. But in those situations where finding an outlet is hard, the convenience of battery power can't be beaten. The run time of battery powered miter saws has also increased significantly over the past 5 years. Using 2x4s as a reference, we're now seeing hundreds of cuts on a single charge.
Some saws don't have any type of cut line indicator, while others use lasers or LEDs. LED style tangent indicators work better than any other. It uses one (or two) LED lights located directly above the blade. Since it follows the blade down and hits the sides, it creates a precise shadow line where the blade cuts the wood.
The shade cut LED works perfectly, requires no adjustments and works with all blade types. It also works in broad daylight! It doesn't even matter if you switch to a thin-cutting blade. Shadows never lie and your cut always has an accurate "mark". Seriously, this isn't our #1 must-have, but we hope all manufacturers switch to LED shadow cutting line systems ASAP.
Front and rear controls and clearance
Another thing we really like about some miter saws has to do with upfront control. Upfront control reduces the need to reach for miter cuts. Of course, all miter saws include front controls for miter cuts. Adding a front bevel control takes the saw to a new level of convenience. Very "worth it" if you do a lot of beveling.
If you can find a saw that combines front controls with zero clearance in the rear, that's a huge win. There are systems with and without rails that don't require any part of the saw to extend behind it as you slide the blade. You can place it against a wall and the saw takes up less valuable work space.
features to look for
- Soft start motor to avoid "jumping" when pulling the trigger
- LED thread trimming indicator*
- Proper miter and beveled crown detents
- Easy-to-use depth stop for cuts requiring sacrificial boards and fences
- blade brake
- movable fence
- Dust removal
- Material fixture
- Front Slope Control*
* We consider these "nice features, but certainly not a requirement
to stand or not to stand
Here we like to put the miter saw on the stand. We also tend to use pickup trucks, trailers, and work vehicles. That makes wheeled gravity rise miter saws our top choice. If you need to load and unload in a small space, you may find that a smaller saw that can be easily removed from the stand works better.
Of course, some people forego the stand entirely for maximum portability. You can always make cuts on the tailgate. You can also whip up a couple of sawhorses and use a piece of 3/4" T&G or plywood for the tabletop. Just look at your workflow and how you like to move tools up and down the job site.
Disagree with our selection?
It doesn't matter! We know that personal preference comes first in determining the best circular saw for you, and every Pro is different. Do Pro Tool Nation a favor and tell us what your top picks are and why you like them. Feel free to drop it in the comments below or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
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