The Best Power Miter Saw [What You Need To Know]

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What’s the best power miter saw you can get? What’s the best bang for your buck and … do you really need one? Let’s find out.

The world of power tools gets more complex by the day, with more brands, more options and harder to find concrete information. The world wide web has made it that much easier and that much harder to find out what you really need and I want to really cut the crap and get to the heart of it.

If you don’t wanna do a lot of reading today, these are the two I’d recommend depending on your budget.

In A Hurry

Now, let’s get into it.

BOSCH GCM12SD 12 Inch Saw Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw

The BOSCH 12" Power Miter Saw (GCM12SD) Is The Best

This is well and truly the best, biggest bang for your buck you are going to find under $1,400.  Anyone who says otherwise is nitpicking it’s problems, or doesn’t actually understand the process that goes into setting up a power miter saw.  

Lemme tell you why.

A word about the accuracy, before we get any further.  This machine is very accurate, and even has good settings for all your common angles right out of the box.

Here you can see how the BOSCH's angles go.

That said, there hasn’t been a single tool I’ve gotten that I haven’t had to tweak and refine the accuracy on long-term.  Especially for work that goes beyond casual builds.  So, while it’s great out of the box, you might need to make final adjustments.  And that shouldn’t really be a deterrent for any tool, let alone a power miter saw.

The one downside is that it doesn’t come with it’s own laser guide, but that is very easily remedied. You can add-on a laser guide if it’s something you need.

Size and weight-wise, it’s a bit hefty at about 65 pounds, but definitely not so heavy I’d consider it something that couldn’t be easily worked with.  It’s just something to keep in mind when handling.  It is lightweight enough to move around a bit AS NEEDED, but beware, it is bulky.

The noise level on the BOSCH GCM12SD isn’t bad, especially if you’re upgrading from an older machine.  Still, I’d recommend hearing protection.  But then, I recommend that when working with any powered equipment.

And it has a power cord, this plugs into your wall and isn’t battery operated.  That isn’t a downside or an upside, just depends what your needs are. Just remember it will always have plenty of power but be less portable. 

Learn More About Woodworking Safety Here.

Related: Best Rated Laser Guides For Miter Saw

Metabo HPT 10-Inch Miter Saw

The Metabo HPT 10" Power Miter Saw is the best miter saw if you're working on a budget.

If you are working on a tight budget, or perhaps you’re more of a DIYer looking for some beginners tools as you learn more about woodworking, the Metabo HPT is the miter saw I’d recommend for you.

Here’s why I think this is the best budget power miter saw you’ll find.

The accuracy on this might not be as good as the BOSCH, or any more “professional” oriented miter saws, for that matter.

Here you get a quick view of the Metabo miter saw's specs.

That said, it’s just fine for your average home project or larger build where very fine cuts and measurements won’t make or break what you’re doing.  If you’re wanting to make a jewelry box or similarly finicky thing, you’ll be better off with something else, since this isn’t a finishing saw.

It’s a single bevel, able to do bevel cuts with a 0-45 degree range. And it’s miter angle range is 0-52 degrees.

It’s very lightweight design, only 25 pounds.  Pretty much anyone could handle moving this puppy around, meaning it’d be good for “on-the-go” cuts or a workshop where you’ll be moving from spot to spot for some reason.

That said, it has plenty of power and doesn’t have a soft start (it has a 15 amp motor) so you will want to make sure it is VERY secure to your bench.  Use those safety clamps, don’t mess around with this.  Don’t underestimate it, better safe than sorry.

Skil 10″ Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

This SKIL 10 Inch Dual Bevel Miter Saw is a nice solid good quality saw for a good price.  It's what I'd qualify as mid-range.

This is what I’d consider to be the runner up to the two top contenders.  It’s a solid miter saw, but just can’t quite hold up to the BOSCH, and it’s more expensive than the Metabo HPT.  I’d throw it solidly into the mid-range, good quality for a good price category.

The accuracy on this one is better than the Metabo, but it’s also in a higher price bracket so that makes sense.  It was alright out of the box, with only minor adjustments being needed.  

This SKIL uses a shadow line to help you get accurate cuts.

It’s got very clear bevel and miter measurements.  The miter detents were also nice and accurate.  It uses a shadow guide, which tends to be a bit more accurate than your average laser guide.

In terms of it’s size and weight, it’s a perfect middle ground between the BOSCH and Metabo, about 40 pounds.  Not something you’ll be throwing around, but still easy to move around and heft as needed.

The miter saw blade it comes with does dull rather quickly, but that’s to be expected from blades that are included with saws like this.  Replace it with a Diablo (trust me, you won’t regret spending the extra on the blade) and you’ll be good to go.

DEWALT Miter Saw, 10 Inch with Single Bevel & Compound

This DEWALT 10 Inch Power Miter Saw is reliable and not too expensive.  It's a DEWALT, they are a household name for a reason.

What is there to say about this other than it’s a DEWALT.  They’ve been a staple in power tools for years, and with good reason.  The name of the game with these guys is reliability, and they continue to deliver.

The accuracy on this machine is just fine, and perfect for the handyman around the house.  It’ll get the job done, every time without fail.  Keeping in mind the normal adjustments you have to make at the beginning. 

While this might not be a what I’d recommend for people who are trying to make a career in fine craftsmanship items (think jewelry boxes, grandfather clocks, ect), it’s perfect for the average project.

You won’t have any problem with compound cutting angles.  And the miter detents are great, and don’t pose any problems when setting them to miters.

It doesn’t come with any laser though, but laser guides a very easy thing to add-on later.

Makita LS1019L 10″ Sliding Miter Saw

Makita LS1019L 10" Sliding Miter Saw is an amazing saw, but comes with a big price tag to go with it.  So be prepared to pay for that quality.

This Makita compound miter saw is in the upper tier of price ranges we’re featuring today.  It’s a little more pricy than the BOSCH, .  It’s a great saw, with the price comes high quality but… Well, a higher price.  But, still, it’s not Festool prices.  (We’re talking $1,500 for a Festool miter saw).

You can set this Makita up in the room your working in if you really needed to.

The accuracy on this compound miter saw is excellent.  It’s usually decent out of the box, but once you’ve made the proper adjustments it’s a thing of beauty.  It’s also buttery smooth to operate and make cuts with.

Weight-wise this comes in just under the BOSCH too, at about 58 pounds instead of 65.  Now, if you’re upgrading from an old model you’ve had for 10 or 15 years, this is still very likely an upgrade and won’t be too heavy for you.

But, if you are a little on the petite size and planning to move this from site to site, you should be aware of it’s weight.

With that weight comes a large amount of sturdiness though, so there’s the tradeoff. 

If you are setting this up as a stationary unit in your shop, the dust collection is pretty great.  On par with the Kapex from Festool.

Ryobi 7-1/4″ Miter Saw Cordless Miter Saw

Ryobi 7-1/4" Miter Saw Cordless Miter Saw is the perfect lightweight, around the house miter saw.

Ryobi is another mainstay brand that everyone, including your average household handyman has heard of.  It’s the kind of good quality you’ll get from a lower to mid-tier product like this.  Absolutely perfect for around the house work.

The accuracy of this type of miter saw is never going to rival a BOSCH or Makita, but it’s great for things like bits of trim around the house, cutting wood for your new deck and the likes.  

And, due to it’s lightweight design and being battery operated, that makes it very easy to transport wherever you need it.  But, please note that this cordless miter saw runs a LOT better when it’s fully charged than when it starts to get low. 

It’s dust collection is good enough to be used indoors too, making it incredibly convenient. 

FAQ Section

Let’s talk shop.  There’s a lot of questions I see floating around about miter saws, so I thought I’d take the time to answer them properly.  We’ll do a more in depth article on everything you could ever wanna know about a miter saw, but for now this will cover everything basic.

What On Earth Is A Power Miter Saw Used For?

A power miter saw, and compound miter saw are used for various things.  Mainly working with trim, molding (yes, this includes crown molding too), rafters, decks, ect.  It has plenty of other applications, but those are the simple ones off the top of my head.

Is It Worth Buying A Miter Saw?

This is a slightly more complicated question.  Are you an experienced woodworker looking to expand your workshop or replace one of your old compound miter saws?  Yes, absolutely it is worth it.

Are you a home DIYer and novice woodworker wanting to make miter cuts, something that bevels and will help you out without having to pull out your miter box?  Yeah, this is probably worth investing in.

Are you a beginner wondering what kind of tools you’ll want in your workshop, without a lot of practical experience?  I’d say if you are wanting power tools, this is a good place to start.  I wouldn’t start off with something expensive, opt for a Metabo or the Ryobi.  

You can make a lot of simple projects with a miter saw, it’s a good beginner saw.

If you’d rather stay away from power tools in the beginning, but want a way to precisely cut on and angle, consider a miter box.  Less expensive, no big engines.

Can A Woodworking Beginner Use A Miter Saw?

I think I just answered that above, but in short.  Yes.

I’d say a miter saw is very good for beginners wanting to expand into power tools, it’s great for a variety of projects.

What Are The 3 Types Of Miter Saws?

  • Standard Miter Saw
  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Those are the three different types, and we’ll go in depth on their uses in another article.  It’s outside the scope of what we’re talking about at large here.

Well, to recap what I think is the best miter saw you can get is the BOSCH, if you have the money and are looking to invest.  If you want a little something for your workshop or are looking to get started, the Metabo HTP is what I’d recommend you get!