How to Choose a Miter Saw

When in the market for a miter saw, many people wonder how to go about choosing which one to purchase. There are a variety of factors which should be considered when taking on a new tool in the shop, and a miter saw is no exception.

Which Miter Saw To Buy?

how to choose a miter sawJust like with any tool, in order to decide which one to buy you need to know what needs you are specifically trying to meet with your miter saw. There are several questions you will need to ask yourself before you make a decision.

Are you planning to use your miter saw in the workshop or on the job site? Will you be using it predominantly for repeated miter cuts which are similar in size, or will you be doing more custom work which requires changing the measurements often? Do you need a miter saw which is more powerful for heavy jobs or lighter weight with more flexibility?

These and other questions are all related to the factors below when you are deciding which miter saw to buy.


Amps and RPMs (Revolutions per Minute) are the two measurements of the power that a miter saw has. RPMs typically range between 3200 and 5000 and that determines how fast the blade is spinning. A miter saw with a higher RPM will typically be more of a work horse and would likely function for a longer amount of time before needing to be replaced. Amps for miter saws typically run between 10 and 15 for electric power motors. The higher the power motor, the stronger it is likely to be. But that also means it is likely to weigh more as well.


The most accurate cuts are what you want when you are purchasing a miter saw. Precision cuts can be made quickly, whether 90 degree cross cuts, 45 degree miters, or various other angles you’ll need for custom work. Basic miter saws will make cross cuts and miters but does not have accommodation for bevel.


While the most common size for saw blades on a miter saw is 10 inches, they are also available in 12 inch models, and even some 7 ½ inch options. Larger blades allow for faster cutting, but smaller miter saw blades provide more accuracy in cutting. So the question on the size of blade is whether you are going for bulk or precision. This is probably why the 10 inch is most popular because it is a decent compromise between both of those factors. Steel blades are the most basic of blades, but carbide tipped blades are much better and longer lasting. Although more expensive, carbide tipped blades last long enough to make it worth the investment in higher quality.


If you want to increase the cutting reach, you can purchase a miter saw with a sliding arm. Some sliding arms also tilt in two directions in order to simplify cuts that may be otherwise very complicated. The fence is the part of the table that keeps the blade in place for accurate cutting. Fences may vary in size, and may be upgraded in order to accommodate greater capacity. Rails are an option on some miter saw models which allow the table to keep better balanced. Some of them slide under the table while others slide out the back of the frame, and they are helpful in maintaining accuracy. Locks provide options for accuracy by allowing angles to be locked in and set, while a pin lock is often used to avoid accidents which might happen during travel or storage. Miter saws with rails might also have locks there as well.


Any features that you add to a saw are likely going to make it heavier to carry around. That’s why deciding up front whether you are using it in a workshop or carrying it to jobsites will very much affect your purchasing decision. I actually think it is great to have two different miter saw options, one that is a permanent fixture in the workshop and another that is useful for travel—lighter weight with a carrying case. Of course, if you are staring out buying your first saw, you may not have it in your budget to get two! So do your best to predict where you will be using it so that you can know what choice to make.


Everyone has a budget, and you’ll need to figure out what yours is before making a final decision. Of course, it’s great to dream about all of the things you want, but then you’ll need to prioritize which features are the most important to you depending on how much they cost.  Making a list of your favorites side by side will allow you to do a cost comparison along with Amazon reviews to determine which features are most cost effective for your needs.

At Miter Saw Reviews, I have a list of a variety saws that I prefer which are also recommended by Amazon Reviews, including DeWalt, Ryobi, Hitachi, Festool, and Makita. Once you have asked yourself the questions which will determine what you need related to these topics, you’ll be able to choose exactly which miter saw to buy that is best for your uses and within your price range.

What Others Are Saying

How to choose the best miter saw

In order to avoid frequent visits to market purchase the best miter saw available there, you ought to make sure that the miter saw you are buying, has a big blade. That helps you cut within one flow and you don’t have to flip the wood every now and then.

Another aspect of your consideration must also be that the saw you are going to buy has a saw dust bag. This saw dust bag gathers all the dust that piles up as you work and dumps it in a bag so that the saw dust does not hinder you in your work. Read more here…

A Guide to Choosing the Right Miter Saw

When constructing, making renovations or completing woodworking tasks, you need to consider a Miter Saw that can reduce correct angles along with mitered corners. It is a multipurpose device that quite simply makes correct cuts. This is a piece of equipment just right for chopping the suitable perspective when outlining corners for stuff like baseboards and crown molding. It is high-quality for picture frames. Read more here…

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Peter Miller via Flickr

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