The best sliding compound miter saw is a model that has it all. Sliding miters are designed with convenience and cutting precision in mind. They’re often the type of saw that woodworkers tend to rely on the most, namely because they can significantly speed up any cutting task and provide the type of clean cuts you can’t get with a compound miter.
Ask any woodworker or contractor which type of saw they recommend and they’ll tell you a sliding miter every time.
But a sliding miter can be used for more than just woodworking. These versatile, powerful saws can be found at most construction sites and are utilized for their powerful motors and reliable performance.
The DIYer can also use these saws for a wide range of jobs in the home.
As you can see, a sliding miter saw is a power tool you can depend on to make the type of fast, smooth cuts that can give any project professional looking results.
Read on to get an in-depth look at the three leading models of miter saws on the market.
Choosing Only the Best
Weeding through dozens of leading models on the market and narrowing down our choices to the top three models wasn’t easy, but we did it. Our goal was to create a site that showcases the best models on the market to date. We did this by checking out consumer feedback, learning how each saw performed when put to the test, and considering which models were a better fit for home or pro use. We reviewed many top-selling saws, but only three made it to our list. Each of these saws has something special to offer in terms of power, efficiency, cutting precision, and some great extras including miter and bevel detents.
Below you’ll find our comparison chart, which lists the differences between each of our top models. This can help you determine if a particular saw is a good fit for you, right off the bat.
Top Compound Miter Saws Comparison Chart
|Bosch GCM12SD||Dual||12 inch||15||$$$$$||5/5|
|DEWALT DW717||Dual||10 inch||15||$$$||4.5/5|
|Makita Miter Saw||Dual||10 inch||13||$$$||4.5/5|
A Glimpse of Our Top Choices
Below you’ll get a brief look at each of the models that made it to our list, and you’ll learn about the best features each saw has to offer.
We’ll start off now with our top choice by Bosch
Best Sliding Miter Saw-Bosch 120-Volt 12-Inch Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw GCM12SD
This model by Bosch received top honors, offering a solid, powerful performance, low miter saw maintenance needs, and an ease of use that makes this saw very beginner-friendly. But just because it has intuitive controls that allow even the newbie to handle the saw like a pro doesn’t mean it’s lacking in other areas. Quite the contrary. This model features a lightweight, compact design that’s ideal for home use if you need a model that can easily fit in your already crowded workshop. Despite its smaller size, it can handle an impressive fourteen-inch cutting capacity, making it a very versatile power tool that you can use for a wide range of materials, including lumber. The saw’s smart lock fence allows for precise, fast alignment, so you won’t have to waste time lining up the material for a clean cut. The included detents for the bevel, in addition to the angle detents, will ensure you get a perfect cut, each and every time.
A saw to be reckoned with, this model received a perfect score in many areas, making it a must-have tool for the woodworker, contractor, or DIYer.
Beginner-Friendly-DEWALT DW717 Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
This double-bevel sliding miter is one of Dewalt’s leading models for many reasons. This saw allows you to make repeat cuts with precision, comes equipped with a tall fence that makes it easier to get that perfect cut and offers a wide range of features that make this model one of the most beginner-friendly sliding miter saws on the market.
The saw’s bevel detent plate comes equipped with seven stops and a design that can help you save plenty of time in your workshop. This model also offers a decent cutting capacity of twelve inches, which is better than average for a saw in this price range. The adjustable stainless steel angle detent plate comes with a total of eleven stop, making it easy to choose the perfect angle. The beginner will love learning how to use a miter saw like a pro, while the woodworker will appreciate the detents that allow them to quickly make the type of precise cuts that result in a beautifully finished product.
Best Value-Makita Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
If you need a sliding miter saw for projects around the home, Makita offers the best solution at a price you can afford. This model has a reputation for versatility and power. It comes loaded with some great features including a tough motor, a portable, lightweight design, and plenty of cutting power that can allow you to slice through thick lumber in a single pass. The innovative linear ball bearing system is top of the line and promotes smoother operation and improved cutting accuracy. Not only does the saw feature intuitive controls that will allow even the beginner to handle a variety of jobs around the home, the saw’s versatility, built-in detents, and the powerful stock blade will provide the pro with a saw they can rely on to slice through even the toughest materials.
Sliding Miter Saw Buyer’s Guide
The best sliding compound miter saws will offer a crosscutting advantage up to one foot wide, yet they still provide many of the same benefits that their non-sliding counterparts do. But choosing a leading model can be difficult considering there are so many best-selling saws to choose from.
These saws offer blade sizes that range from seven and a half inches up to twelve inches, so choosing the right model can heavily depend on the materials you normally work with and the type of project you’re working on.
Most models will feature detents for the most commonly used angles. However, some detents are clearer than others. On some saws, you have to really tighten up on the miter lock knob in order to ensure the correct angle is locked in. Other models will feature click detents, which are more precise, allowing you to easily click from angle to angle, making them very beginner-friendly. However, the ability to easily adjust and lock in the right angle at just a fraction of a degree can be important, which is why models with no preset detents can also be a popular choice for the pros. Ultimately the choice is yours, but if you have little to no experience with building and woodworking then you should opt for a model that’s easy to use and beginner-friendly.
A laser guide system isn’t exactly essential, but it can come in handy, especially if you’re a beginner. If the laser on your new miter is reliable, it can really help when it comes to easily make an accurate cut. However, the laser guide systems on lower-priced models are usually very inaccurate. So, if you want a laser you can depend on to make clean cuts, you can expect to pay a steeper price.
The motor is what will determine how powerful your saw is and what type of wood it’s able to slice through. Many sliding miters have a motor power that ranges from ten to fifteen amps. Saws with a more powerful motor will come with a higher price tag.
Additionally, the RPM will also affect how clean a cut will be. Saws with a belt-driven engine tend to give out faster than models equipped with direct drive motors.
When you purchase a sliding miter, it will come with the same blade that most standard miters come with. However, there are some types of blades that aren’t a good choice for certain woodworking tasks. Because of this, you may want to consider ordering extra blades for specific situations and projects that require more detail.
If you plan on swapping the blade out frequently then you should also check out the blade changing system to determine how easy or difficult the process will be.
Dust Collection Systems
A dust collection system will remove dirt and debris as you’re sawing, improving your view so you can easily see what you’re cutting. It will also help you to keep your work area clean. Most dust collection systems consist of a bag that attaches to the saw, working to catch any shavings and debris in your saw’s path.
Dual and Single Bevel
Like a compound miter saw, the sliding miter is also available as a single or dual bevel model. The single bevel sliding miter will allow you to make bevel cuts in a single direction. In order to make matching bevel cuts you will have to flip over the material, then reset the saw’s angle in order to ensure that the cut will be accurate before you make the additional bevel cut. With a dual bevel model, you can make a compound cut in either direction without turning over your workpiece or fiddling with the detents. Instead, you’ll use a pivot arm to flip the saw itself. This is a great feature and one most woodworkers love because it provides a more accurate cut on each side, while also saving a lot of time adjusting the saw for the second cut.
Bevel Control Accessibility
Lower priced sliding miter saws will usually only tilt in one direction and come equipped with a knob or lever located on the back that you’ll tighten or loosen. Make sure the saw you choose has controls that you can easily access. You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a new saw that’s difficult to adjust.
Why the Sliding Miter is a Must for Woodworking Projects
The biggest difference between a stationary miter and a sliding miter is that the sliding miter is made with one or two rails, which will allow you to move the saw backward and forward when you’re cutting. Sliding miters can do pretty much anything a stationary miter saw can do, but the sliding ability will significantly increase the saw’s cutting capacity in terms of the type of material it can handle and the thickness.
Models equipped with a twelve-inch blade can be used to cut up a wide range of materials measuring in up to sixteen inches thick. If you need a saw for work around the home, in addition to your woodworking projects, then the sliding miter is the best option because a regular compound miter will not be able to handle heavy-duty tasks. The sliding miter is commonly used to slice through thicker materials including logs, thick boards, and lumber.
One thing to keep in mind before you buy a sliding miter for your woodworking is the actual heft of the saw. These saws are much heavier and bigger than the basic non-sliding models. Which can make them difficult to move and transport. However, if you have the room to accommodate one of these saws and plan on keeping it in a permanent location, then this type of saw can be a total gamechanger for your next woodworking project.
However, if your woodworking shop is already cramped you may want to opt for a different type of miter saw or choose a sliding miter with a more compact design.
Our buyer’s guide and the in-depth reviews of the best sliding miter saws on the market are designed to help you narrow down your choices in order to find the perfect saw that works with your budget and meets your cutting needs. Whether you need a saw for jobs around the home, a model you can use for detailed woodworking projects, or a miter you can take with you to the job site, we’re confident that you’ll find the right saw in our top three lineup.