A compact miter saw is a tool with a blade diameter less than 10 inches. These models are perfect for jobs that involve smaller workpieces. Even the slide models can make 12″ crosscuts on 2x material. However, keep in mind that 4x material cannot be cut in one pass with a 7-1/4″ to 8-1/2″ blade. To accomplish this, you would need to rotate the workpiece. Nevertheless, the best compact miter saws are still powerful tools that professionals can rely on.
Interestingly, battery-powered chainsaws are becoming more and more popular than corded ones due to their improved run times. You might notice this trend in some of our top picks.
Table of Contents
- Best Compact Miter Saw Overall
- The Best Compact Woodworking Miter Saw
- The Best Compact Miter Saw for Construction Sites
- The Best Cordless Compact Miter Saw
- The Best Compact Miter Saw for the Money
- The Best Compact Miter Saw for Beginners
- Best Craftsman Compact Miter Saw
- Best Dewalt Compact Miter Saw
- Best Festool Compact Miter Saw
- The Best Makita Compact Miter Saw
- What We Look for in the Best Compact Miter Saw
- To Stand or Not to Stand
- Disagree with Our Selection?
- Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
When it comes to cutting, two components matter the most: the blade and the motor that powers it. Any motor can have different levels of speed and torque, so we can’t simply award accolades based solely on the biggest motor or fastest no-load speed. The Bosch CM8S 8-1/2″ Sliding Miter Saw provided us with excellent cutting performance, allowing us to make both thick and fine cuts with ease.
In addition, Bosch offers impressive cutting capabilities. It can cut up to 12-1/4 inches at 90 degrees and 8-5/8 inches at 45 degrees. We also appreciate Bosch’s miter brakes, which allow for smooth maneuvering around miter stops when cutting non-standard angles.
Despite weighing 37 pounds, the Bosch CM8S is surprisingly portable thanks to its top handle. It is one of the easiest saws to manually move around the job site. Furthermore, when connected to a dust collector, it collected significantly more wood dust compared to other models tested. Lastly, Bosch offers an 18V battery-powered “clone” of this saw with the Bosch GCM18V-08N.
At just $489, it’s hard to beat the value this saw provides.
- Makita LS0815F
The 8-1/2″ Makita LS0815F Miter Saw is known for its power, performance, and ergonomic design. It easily cuts through 2x12s while maintaining good rigidity for more delicate miter crown cuts. This versatile miter saw quickly rose to the top of our list. It is priced at $499.
The Best Compact Woodworking Miter Saw
Metabo HPT C3607DRAQ4
We thoroughly enjoyed testing the Metabo HPT C3607DRAQ4 MultiVolt 7-1/4″ Sliding Miter Saw. It boasts exceptional build quality and precise performance, making it one of the best miter saws we’ve tested. While it is a premium-priced tool, woodworking professionals and carpenters who value performance are willing to pay for its capabilities.
One outstanding feature is its clearance. The Metabo HPT MultiVolt 7-1/4″ Miter Saw utilizes a zero clearance rail system, allowing you to position the saw against a wall for maximum crosscutting capability. Despite being a 7-1/4″ Miter Saw, it offers reliable cutting capacity, with a maximum depth of 2-9/32″ and a slide cut of 12-13/64″.
If you can afford it, this premium hybrid corded/cordless sliding miter saw combines power, precision, capacity, and functionality. It is a perfect match for high-end job skill levels and reputations. However, if you don’t require this level of accuracy, there are plenty of other options available.
Before adding batteries or an AC adapter, this saw retails for $1,049.
The Best Compact Miter Saw for Construction Sites
The Milwaukee 2733-20 Miter Saw stands out with its top rail design, which significantly improves dust removal. The dust port is now situated closer to the blade, resulting in greatly enhanced dust removal effectiveness.
This saw offers dual miter capability with stops at 45° and 48°. It can cut up to 48° in both directions, featuring cam lock brakes. With the base against the fence, it has 3-1/2 inches of vertical cutting capacity and 2-5/8 inches of nesting crown capability. All this from a 7-1/4″ blade! It can also crosscut 2×8 material at 90 degrees.
Weighing just 28 pounds, the bare tool is incredibly light and offers impressive performance for cutting and trimming. It also features LED tangent indicators that work in broad daylight. This best cordless compact miter saw left a lasting impression on our team.
The bare tool sells for $449, and the kit with accessories is $549.
The Best Cordless Compact Miter Saw
We’ve already mentioned the fantastic Milwaukee M18 FUEL 7-1/4″ Miter Saw above, which remains our favorite compact cordless model. However, another great option is the Bosch 18V Cordless 8-1/2″ Miter Saw (model GCM18V-08N). Both saws offer excellent portability and have ample framing and pruning capacity.
Bosch GCM18V-08N 18V Cordless 8-1/2″ Miter Saw
The Bosch GCM18V-08N 18V Cordless 8-1/2″ Miter Saw is built on the powerful CM8S platform, and it shows. Weighing 31.5 pounds, it offers decent cutting capacity for its size. It can crosscut 2×10 material at 90 degrees and handle nesting crowns of up to 3-5/8 inches. The saw can miter to 47 degrees in both directions and achieve a 45-degree beveled cut.
This saw’s power is outstanding, especially when paired with a Bosch Core18 battery and its brushless motor. With its excellent runtime, you can cut over 350 2x4s on a single 8.0Ah battery. Additionally, the saw comes with a laser guide system to assist with alignment during indoor use.
The bare tool costs $519, while the kit is priced at $619.
The Best Compact Miter Saw for the Money
Metabo HPT 8-1/2″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw C8FSESM
The Metabo HPT 8-1/2″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw C8FSESM is a compact Craftsman saw that offers all the essential features you need for light-duty mitering tasks. With its 7-1/4″ blade, it can cut 8 inches across at 90 degrees and 5.5 inches across at 45 degrees. This battery-operated miter saw runs on a single Craftsman 18V battery. Additionally, it features a shaded cutting line and the ability to cut nesting crowns up to 3-5/8 inches.
This saw is highly durable and perfect for jobsite use. It’s lightweight, weighing only 36.2 pounds, and offers a smooth slide and bevel system for effortless cutting. The Metabo HPT C8FSESM is widely used for trim work, decorating, and more, making it a versatile solution across various trades.
It is priced at $329, providing excellent value for the money.
The Best Compact Miter Saw for Beginners
The Ryobi TSS702 is an ultra-compact 7-1/4-inch sliding miter saw that offers some of the most basic features you need in a light-duty mitering solution. It can crosscut 2×10 material and tilt left from 0-45 degrees. Additionally, it improves on the sliding fence and table dimensions of the older TSS701 model.
This miter saw is incredibly lightweight, weighing only 25 lbs. Its top handle makes it highly portable, making it one of the most convenient saws to carry around. The Ryobi TSS702 is a great option for DIYers and entry-level professionals who primarily work with smaller speed bases and crown moldings. However, power users may opt for something with a brushless motor for maintaining speed under heavy loads.
The saw is priced at just $219, available at The Home Depot.
Best Craftsman Compact Miter Saw
Craftsman CMCS714 Cordless V20 7-1/4″
The Craftsman CMCS714 Cordless V20 7-1/4″ Miter Saw offers basic features that are perfect for light-duty mitering tasks. With a 7-1/4″ blade, it can cut 8 inches across at 90 degrees and 5.5 inches at 45 degrees. This battery-operated miter saw runs on a single Craftsman 18V battery and provides a shaded cutting line. It can cut nesting crowns up to 3-5/8 inches.
In terms of battery life, Craftsman claims that you can make up to 585 cuts on a 3-1/4″ MDF baseboard with a single 4.0 Ah battery.
The bare tool is priced at $249.
Best Dewalt Compact Miter Saw
The DEWALT DCS361B is the best compact miter saw among Dewalt’s offerings. It is also their smallest cordless model and the oldest. According to Dewalt, you can cut 2×4 pine up to 183 times on a single 4.0 amp-hour battery. Based on our experience with various materials, we have to trust this claim. The DCS361 saw delivers smooth and powerful cuts, providing ample cutting power. It is capable of cutting 3-5/8″ nesting crowns vertically and 3-1/2″ bases vertically.
The DeWalt 20V Miter Saw boasts aggressive stops at all common angles, with secure locks. Odd angled cuts are also easily achievable. The chamfer function requires you to utilize the standard range of locking or unlocking.
Though the saw’s glide may not be as smooth as desired, its lightweight and user-friendly design make it perfect for entry-level decorative carpenters and floor installers. It is priced at $349 for the bare tool, with kits available for as low as $299.
Festool KSC 60 EB KAPEX
The Festool KSC 60 EB KAPEX is a cordless 8-1/2″ miter saw that offers all the features of the corded 10″ KAPEX saw but in a more compact size. This saw is particularly known for its precision. It can make a 60-degree bevel on each side, a 46° right bevel, and a 47° left bevel. Festool claims that the dual rails with dual bearings prevent any noticeable wobble or deflection. Additionally, the dual 18V battery system matches the power of its corded KAPEX saw. The variable speed control feature surprised us the most, as Festool designed it to work with a wide range of blades, offering higher cut quality and precision.
The bare tool costs around $999, and the kit is priced at around $1,298.
The Best Makita Compact Miter Saw
The Makita LS0815F 8-1/2″ Miter Saw is an oldie but a goodie, offering the perfect combination of portability and functionality. If you frequently work on high-value homes, you might prefer a larger saw. However, Makita’s 8-1/2-inch models offer a lightweight and flexible option for jobsite users who require less cutting power.
It seems like the entire industry has recognized the value of compact saws. However, if you’re still lugging around a 12″ miter saw, you may find that the lighter and more flexible Makita saw is a better fit, saving your back in the process.
This saw is available for $499 both online and at Makita dealers.
What We Look for in the Best Compact Miter Saw
When evaluating the best compact miter saws, we prioritize the following factors:
Accuracy and Power
To determine the accuracy and power of these compact miter saws, we tested them on various materials, including base and crown molding, untreated 2×2, untreated pine 2×4, and pressure-treated 2×8. We paid attention to the smoothness of the cuts and the level of vibration. Additionally, we examined the cleanliness and precision of the cuts, including 90-degree cuts to fences and miter cuts.
Portability is a key feature of compact miter saws. We considered the weight of each saw and its ergonomic design for easy transportation. While the heaviest saw we tested weighed 37 pounds, we found it manageable to load and unload from a truck bed. Several saws weighed as light as 25 pounds, providing exceptional portability.
Despite their smaller size, the best compact miter saws still offer impressive cutting capacity. Professional-grade saws retain most of the mitering and beveling capabilities of their larger counterparts. These saws excel at cutting case, base, and crown molding, as well as full crosscuts on up to 2×12 material and 45-degree miter cuts on 2×8 material.
Mitering and Beveling
We expect compact miter saws to offer aggressive stops for common angles and reliable miter locks for odd angled cuts. We also prioritize user-friendly controls that facilitate easy and fast adjustments.
Lasers and LED Cut Line Indicators
While lasers mounted above or to the side of the blade can cause precision issues, we found that lasers mounted below the blade work more effectively. Additionally, LED cutting line indicators placed above the blade and casting shadows from the left and right offer exceptional visibility, even in broad daylight.
Dust collection is a common challenge with compact miter saws. However, improved shield designs have enhanced their wood chip collection capabilities. While all these saws can be connected to a dust collector for maximum containment, we also evaluated their performance using their respective collection bags.
Value is not solely determined by price. We considered performance, features, weight, and compared them to the price point to determine the best value. Some saws may not be the cheapest but provide excellent performance, making them great value for money.
To Stand or Not to Stand
For traditional full-size miter saws, using a stand is recommended. However, when it comes to compact miter saws, we typically forego the stand to prioritize weight reduction and portability. Depending on your workflow and specific needs, you can easily make cuts on various surfaces, such as backsplashes or with the help of a pair of sawhorses. Adding a 50 lb miter stand to a 32 lb compact miter saw is unnecessary and defeats the purpose of its portability.
Disagree with Our Selection?
It’s completely alright! We understand that personal preferences vary, and every professional has different needs. Feel free to share your top picks and the reasons behind your choices in the comments section below or on our social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
We pride ourselves on providing trustworthy and reliable tool reviews. Unlike other review sites that simply recommend Amazon bestsellers without actually testing the tools, our team puts each product to the test. We won’t recommend anything that we haven’t personally used, and we don’t prioritize major retailers. Our goal is to offer sound recommendations and honest opinions based on our hands-on experience.
Since 2008, we have been covering tools, writing reviews, and providing industry news coverage for the construction, automotive, and lawn care industries. Our professional reviewers work in the industry and possess the skills and experience to thoroughly test each tool in real-world scenarios.
We introduce and review over 250 individual products each year and consult with innovators in tool technology and design to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements. We also collaborate with specialty contractors across the United States, who review products for us on real job sites and provide valuable insights.
Our commitment to providing you with trustworthy information is unwavering. We offer over 500 new pieces of content each year, including objective tool reviews. Our team draws on editorial, scientific, and real-world professional experiences to provide you with information you can rely on.