Miter Saw Reviews
Miter saws are some of the most accurate, fastest, and cleanest way to cut wood to an exact length with a precise angle. If you are thinking of buying a miter saw and are concerned about making sure you get the exact right one for your needs and budget, learning about miter saws and looking into miter saw reviews are some of the most important steps you can take before making a purchase. Miter saw reviews are a resource which will allow all types of users to make the most educated, intelligent decisions about purchasing the best possible tools for their work or play.
About Miter Saws
Although it is possible to obtain a manual saw which will cut mitered corners and edges, it is an inconvenient and slow process–which is the very reason that power miter saws were created. For those who regularly work in the same place in a shop, a standard radial saw may be slightly more versatile and offer a greater capacity than a power miter saw, but miter saws certainly have strong advantages over radial saws.
Using a power miter saw allows for woodworkers and carpenters to create beveled and mitered edges without as much time or hassle than a manual saw, and with greater portability than a fixed standard radial saw. Compared with radial arm saws, miter saws are smaller and weigh less so they are often more convenient and easier to keep aligned for those who are on the go.
A power miter saw, also know as a “chop saw” or “drop saw”, allows for greater accuracy in measuring and cutting. Standard miter saws have a fixed pivot with a rotating cutting table.
Compound miter saws have rotating vertical pivots which allow the blade, as well as the table, to be tilted. These are often referred to as compound saws because they have the capability of cutting bevels and miters simultaneously, or in a compound manner.
There are some compound miter saws which have arms that slide the power head along rails to which it is fixed so that they are capable of cutting wide boards. While sliding saws provide the opportunity to move the blade forward which allows for wider diameters, smaller saw blades as low as 7″ will allow for more control and precise cuts on smaller pieces.
Best Miter Saw Reviews
To provide the best possible miter saw reviews, these products were used and reported on by actual users who are able to properly use the equipment while having some experience with other miter saws for comparison. The miter saws reviewed on this site are the highest quality tools which are worth purchasing, otherwise they won’t be listed. Customer rating are important and they are taken into consideration with recommendations of these miter saws.
Top Selling Miter Saws of 2016
Factors of Miter Saw Reviews
In order to understand miter saw reviews, it is necessary to understand the various features and aspects of miter saws which are considered when they are being evaluated. Because there is such a wide range of equipment available, miter saw reviews touch on basic, compound, sliding compound, and cordless options. Knowing what to consider when choosing a miter saw is vital to making a choice in purchasing. Basic design features, precision factors, purchase options, and other factors are all part of the process in determining the best possible value in a miter saw for each individual’s purposes.
Basic Design Features
There are some features, whether considered to be benefits or drawbacks to the user, which are basics of all miter saw designs. For instance, the weight, blade, power, and other factors are all present in a miter saw, they simply differ between models and brands. Effectively weighing benefits of each will allow the miter saw reviews to assist in making the best possible decision.
- Single or Dual Bevels – Compound saws may either contain a single bevel which tilts to the left, or a dual bevel which will tilt both ways. Dual bevels which are able to cut both ways are particularly useful for crown molding and other detailed carpentry. These dual bevels provide much more convenience and allow for efficient use of time, effort, and energy.
- Blades – Good quality miter saw blades are typically made with carbide tips in order to remain sharp. Of course, they are more expensive but will last longer as well. Steel blades are also standard for miter saws but are usually not as durable as those with carbide. Blades will range in size from 8-12 inches and will contain between 28 (low quality) teeth and up to 60 teeth (high quality), which will impact the quality of the cut and the durability of the blade.
- Locks – Of course, in order to make an accurate cut, and to maintain the utmost safety, it is necessary to have locks incorporated into the design of miter saws. One of the locks is used in order to set angles and allows for accuracy and precision in cutting. The other lock is often designed as a pin used to keep the head in place for storage and transportation in order to avoid accidents. Some saws have slide locks on the rails that keep the blade from moving as well.
- Weight – Lighter weight than any standard radial saw, miter saws are still quite heavy. Weighing between 35 and 60 pounds, the weight will be affected by the design, the material it is composed of, the size, and various other aspects. Some excessively lightweight saws are made to be extremely portable, but of course are not as functional or capable as a heavier saw might be.
- Power – The amount of RPM for a miter saw may range anywhere between 3200 and 5000 and will determine how much spin is on the blade and the speed at which it can spin. This is measured in Revolutions Per Minute (RPMs). This is partially determined by the size of the motor. In general, most experts in miter saw reviews believe that a miter saw with a higher RPM will function well for a longer amount of time, with greater durability, than a lower RPM model will. Of course, a high RPM miter saw will also come with a larger upfront price tag. This means that blades will need to be replaced less often and so it may end up costing less over the life of the saw. The power of the motor will also affect the quality of the cut for the miter saw. Amps will range from 10 Amps to 15 Amps for electric power motors, while cordless batteries will provide between 18V and 24V.
- Fence – The fence is the part of the miter saw table which keeps the blade in place, allowing for safety in cutting as well as precision. They should be kept level with the table and fine tuned in order to keep the accuracy of the instrument. While miter saws come with fences, they can also be replaced because of wear or upgraded to provide better measurement capability.
- Rails – On certain models of saws, there are some rails slide under the table in order to maintain more balance. Other miter saws are designed with rails that slide out the back of the frame. A stabilizer may be necessary in order to keep the saw from tipping over when the rails come out the back of the saw.
- Cords or Cordless – While most miter saws are still made with cords that plug into the wall, it is also possible to obtain a cordless miter saw. This will allow for more portability and ease of use on job sites. These are typically available in models with either 18V or 24V and this will determine the power capabilities. Of course, this may require extra batteries in order to maintain a charge.
Some of the options for consideration in miter saw reviews have to do with the most usual jobs for which the equipment will be used and how effective a model might be at meeting those needs either in the workshop or at a worksite away from the shop.
- Angle Display and Laser Guides – Miter saw reviews for tools which provide digital angle displays allow the user to have an easy view of the exact angle which is being cut. Laser guides also help the user to be certain that the blade is appropriately lined up with the cut line. Saws may either have a single laser or a dual laser which either shows where the cut should begin or shows the entire width of the cut. Depending upon the model, these laser guides can be adjusted to either the left side or right side of the blade.
- Range of Cut Angles – Typically the range of the bevel for miter saw cuts runs at around 50 degrees. This varies depending on the model and design, but most are slightly over 50 degrees for a miter cut and slightly under 50 degrees for the bevel cut.
- Cut Capacity – Most Miter Saws have a maximum stock thickness cut capability between 3 7/8″ and 6″, depending on the model. Be sure, when comparing miter saw reviews, to check the ability for thickness to make sure that it is able to meet the needs. In addition, the maximum capacity to be able to make a cross cut should be considered when choosing a saw. The cross cut capacities will range from 7 1/2 inches to 10 inches.
- Positive Stops – Miter saws have built-in stops placed at often used measurement intervals in order to allow for more precise measurement. Typically, the more positive stops, the more opportunity for accurate measurement.
- Brand – Some of the best miter saw reviews are given on a variety of tools which include top brands such as DeWalt, Milwaukee, Hitachi, Makita, Bosch, Craftsman, Porter-Cable, Delta. Some people find that they have preferences for one brand of tool over another including several factors such as where it is made, how it is made, and other nuances about the company brand. With DeWalt as one of the most popular and well-liked brands, many reviews are offered for these models.
- Warranty – Certain companies will offer better warranties than others, and the warranty may even vary from model to model within the same brand. Some offer limited warranty for one year, while others may go up to five years as long as it is well maintained. This is certainly an important part of deciding about the quality of the product and the expected longevity of its use.
- Price – Of course, the combination of quality, capability, warranty, and various other aspects is certain to affect the price. Typically, a miter saw will range in price from around $200 up to $700 or more depending upon features, benefits, and details. Basic miter saws will be on the more affordable end while those with dual bevels, sliding heads, cordless options, and compound cuts will be more expensive.
Other Factors for Choosing a Miter Saw
These features may be considered important for some while for others it may not make a difference. The user with a home workshop may be concerned about the noise that is inflicted on the family, while a person who works on site may be concerned about the mess factor.
- Noise level – While all saws are clearly going be noisy, some are louder than others depending on the design. Certain designs function more noisily, depending on the power of the motor, RPMs, and various other model differences.
- Neatness – Dust collectors are an important factor in choosing a miter saw so that it is understood how much of a mess to expect. Dust ports offer the ability to connect a wet/dry vacuum or dust collecting bag in order to keep a cleaner workspace and avoid the mess.
- Handles – Some brands or models offer options for adjusting handles so that the tool is more comfortable and user-friendly, and therefore often more easy to measure and cut precisely.
- Tables or Stands – There are a variety of options for stands for miter saws, including stands that are folding and portable, or tables which are more sturdy and provide extensions in order to provide support to pieces which are longer.
All in all, using the best miter saw reviews offers the greatest possible information and knowledge for the consumer to make an educated purchase decision by looking at every aspect of each power tool. Following these reviews will provide a comprehensive understanding of each piece of equipment, how it is expected to perform, and what the ultimate value might be depending on its anticipated use. For the wise professional with a construction business or the savvy at-home hobbyist, taking these miter saw reviews into consideration will give the finest advantage in securing the best possible equipment for the greatest value.
Drag and Drop Comparison Tool
Drag saws from the list below into the boxes above for easy side-by-side miter saw comparison.
Top Selling Miter Saws of 2016