12 inch Miter Saw Buying Guide

12 Inch Miter Saw Buyer's Guide

12 Inch Miter Saw: The Workhorse of Jobsite Cross Cuts

When I talk to contractors, I’m always curious to know what kind of tools they can’t live without on the jobsite. Almost every one that I talk to mentions a miter saw at some point in the conversation – usually very early in it.  After all, 12 inch miter saws are the workhorses of jobsite cross cuts. We’ve pulled together information on the most popular and readily available miter saws from the most popular brands. All of these saws bring 15 amp power along with mitering, beveling, and sliding capabilities to the table. Aside from that, they all bring unique features in a wide range of price points to choose from. We’ll break through the advertisements to look at the most important features and see how the specifications line up.


Bosch CM12SD 12 Inch Dual Bevel Glide Miter Saw

Highlight Reel (AKA Noteworthy Features)Bosch CM12SD - 12inch Miter Saw

  • Newer product – no customer review yet
  • Metal bevel lock lever on bevel post side
  • Crown chop lock position
  • Integrated base extensions
  • Adjustable front stabilizing foot
  • Electric brake

Bosch CM12SD Specifications

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • No Load Speed: 4000 RPM
  • Bevel Range: 47 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Stops: 0, 22.5, 33.9, 45 degrees right and left
  • Miter Range: 52 degrees left, 60 degrees right
  • Miter Stops: 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45 left and right, plus 60 degrees right
  • 90 Degree Cut Capacity:not listed by manufacturer
  • 45 Degree Cut Capacity: not listed by manufacturer
  • Weight: 65 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price: $599

We got to see Bosch’s CM12SD 12 Inch Miter Saw at Bosch’s Media Event back in February. It is similar to their axial glide model (GCM12SD) with a little bit higher RPM’s. Bosch has a tendency to build heavy miter saws. This is due to the amount of metal they use in the construction and results in one of the most durable builds you’ll find. The miter adjust mechanism on this saw is outstanding. We also like the fact that the bevel adjust lever is on the side so we don’t have to reach all the way around the saw to adjust it.

DeWalt DWS780 12 Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Highlight ReelDeWalt DWS780 - 12inch Miter Saw

  • Customer Rating – 4.9/5 based on 75 user reviews
  • LED based XPS cross cut positioning system
  • Oversized bevel scale
  • Cam lock miter handle with detent override
  • Gearbox and belt-drive design increases vertical cutting capacity

DeWalt DWS780 Specifications

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • No Load Speed: 3800 RPM
  • Bevel Range: 0 – 45 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Stops: 0, 22.5, 45 degrees left and right
  • Miter Range: 50 degrees left, 60 degrees right
  • Miter Stops: 0, 15, 22.5, 30, 45 degrees left and right
  • 90 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 2 x 16
  • 45 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 2 x 12
  • Weight: 65 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $599

DeWalt’s flagship 12-inch miter saw has been around for several years now. While they have come out with other 12-inch models, the DWS780 is still one of the most popular among professional users. We really like the XPS feature that uses an LED light to cast a shadow for the cut line instead of using a laser that has to be calibrated. Our original review of the DeWalt DWS780 also noted that it eliminated the issue of a slight belly that’s often created by blade flex at a 45-degree miter. We haven’t heard any whispers of this saw being replaced soon, so count on it to continue pressing on as DeWalt’s top miter.

Metabo HPT C12RSH 12-inch Sliding Dual Compound Miter Saw

Highlight ReelHitachi C12RSH - 12inch Miter Saw

  • Customer rating – 4.7/5 based on 263 user reviews
  • Compact slide system
  • Laser marker system
  • Micro miter and micro bevel adjustment knobs
  • Easy user carbon brush access
  • Vertical handle with soft, vibration reducing elastomer grip

Metabo HPT C12RSH Specifications

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • No Load Speed: 3800 RPM
  • Bevel Range: 0 – 45 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Stops: 0, 22.5, 45 degrees left and right
  • Miter Range: 46 degrees left, 57 degrees right
  • Miter Stops: 0, 15, 22.5, 31.62, 45 degrees left and right
  • 90 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 4-3/16″ x 12-1/4″
  • 45 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 4-3/16″ x 8-5/8″
  • Weight: 63.9 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Price: $419 (also available reconditioned for $299.99)

The Metabo HPT C12RSH 12-inch miter saw has been around for several years and has enjoyed a solid reputation. Pricing that’s well under several top brand name options and Hitachi’s reputation for accuracy keep it relevant. This can be seen with the addition of micro-adjustment knobs for both the bevel and miter. Hitachi developed an innovative rail system for this model. It has vertically aligned rails that slide the saw and rails along as usual.

It also gives the user the ability to lock the back of the rail system in place and slide just the saw on fixed rails. The difference is that it the rails are locked in place instead of the saw and rails locked together. Since it is only the saw sliding and not the rails, it eliminates the need for back clearance when you place it against a wall.

Kobalt SM3017LW 12-inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Kobalt SM3017LW 12 Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Highlight Reel

  • Customer Rating – 4.4/5 based on 91 user reviews
  • Upfront bevel lock
  • Quick cam miter lock
  • Quick-release extension wings
  • Multi-positive miter and bevel stops
  • Quick-release hold-down clamp
  • Dual steel rail system with linear bearings
  • Adjustable, vertically mounted laser guide

Kobalt SM3017LW Specifications

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • No Load Speed: 4200 RPM
  • Bevel Range: 0 – 47 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Stops: not listed by manufacturer
  • Miter Range: 55 degrees left, 60 degrees right
  • 90 Degree Miter Cut Depth: 3.5 in.
  • 45 Degree Miter Cut Depth: 3.5 in.
  • Weight: 52.2 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $299

Kobalt’s value-priced SM3017LW 12-inch miter saw has the sliding compound features that pros demand at a price DIYers can reach. We really like that Kobalt put the bevel adjustment to the front.  With most miter saws placing the lock on the back, we appreciate those manufacturers that make it a little bit easier.  Kobalt does not list the specific miter and positive bevel stops.  However, they do indicate stops for most used angles. Most of the time with value-priced saws, the trade-off will be in accuracy and torque to confidently push through tough cuts. It’s a great option for DIY projects, but pros who require perfection in their angles may be disappointed.

Jet 707212 12 Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Compound Miter Saw

Highlight ReelJet 707120 - 12inch Miter Saw

  • Newer product – not enough customer reviews to be objective
  • Multiple rubber carrying handles
  • Integrated cord wrap
  • Hold-down clamp
  • Innovative Green XACTA Laser
  • Dual bevel capability
  • Quick cam miter lock
  • Ergonomic, D-shaped, over-molded handle
  • Easy-slide fence extends farther

Jet 707212 Specifications

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • No Load Speed: 4200 RPM
  • Bevel Range: 0 – 45 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Stops: 0, 33.9, 45 degrees left and right
  • Miter Range: 45 degrees left, 60 degrees right
  • Miter Stops: 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45 degrees left and right, plus 60 degrees right
  • 90 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 4″ x 12-1/4″
  • 45 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 4″ x 8-3/4″
  • Weight: 72 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Price: $584.99

Jet’s flagship 12-inch miter saw is no lightweight when it comes to physical weight or price. It brings some innovative features to the table though. One of the most notable is the green laser. This wavelength is much easier to see at distances where red fades away. The difference is so significant that rotating laser manufacturers have started including green lasers on their premium models. Jet is another manufacturer that brings the bevel lockout from behind the saw. We also appreciate that Jet included a cord wrap. This is a feature that’s surprisingly lacking on most miter saws.

Makita LS1216L 12 Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw

Highlight ReelMakita LS1216L - 12inch Miter Saw

  • Customer rating – 4.4/5 based on 22 user reviews
  • Compact design with a 4-Steel Rail Sliding System
  • Exclusive 6 linear ball bearing slide system
  • Independent laser
  • Retractable rear guard and triple gear system
  • Electronic speed control
  • Soft start
  • Rubberized horizontal D-handle design with oversized trigger switch
  • Fully enclosed bottom throat plate

Makita LS1216L Specifications

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • No Load Speed: 3200 RPM
  • Bevel Range: 0 – 45 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Stops: 0, 22.5, 33.9, 45 degrees left and right
  • Miter Range: 52 degrees left, 60 degrees right
  • Miter Stops: 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45 degrees left and right
  • 90 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 3-5/8″ x 15″
  • 45 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 3-5/8″ x 10-1/2″
  • Weight: 58.6 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Price: $589.99

Makita’s 12-inch miter saw boasts several features that you’re not going to find on most other models. We know that direct-drive motors are smooth. When we did our best compact miter saw article, we saw just how smooth Makita’s motor is compared to belt drives. Their 12-inch model shares that design. The 4-steel and 6 linear ball bearing rail system is designed to provide smoother, more rigid, and more accurate cutting. This member of Makita’s DXT line also has incredible cutting capacity. It will handle a 15-inch cross cut and an 8-inch vertical cut.

Milwaukee 6955-20 Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Highlight ReelMilwaukee 6955-20 - 12inch Miter Saw

  • Customer rating – 4.7/5 based on 92 user reviews
  • Miter Angle Digital Readout
  • Miter Angle Fine Adjust with Detent Override
  • Dual Integral Jobsite Lights
  • Constant Power Technology with Soft Start
  • Dual Horizontal Steel Rails with Three Large Linear Bearings
  • Oversized Single Lever Bevel Adjustment

Milwaukee 6955-20 Specifications

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • No Load Speed: 3200 RPM
  • Bevel Range: 0 – 48 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Stops: 0, 22.5, 33.85, and 45 degrees left and right
  • Miter Range: 55 degrees left, 60 degrees right
  • Miter Stops: 0, 15, 22.5, 31.62, 45 degrees left and right
  • 90 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 2″ x 14″
  • 45 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 2″ x 10″
  • Weight: 65 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Price: $749

Milwaukee’s only miter saw may have been out for a while, but it’s still getting great reviews. When we took a close look at our best 12-inch miter saw article, it was praised on several levels. First, the Milwaukee 6955-20 is built like a tank. It also benefits from an unusual motor orientation that eliminates blade jump that can occur at the start of a cut. Tom also really likes the digital angle meter that is accurate within 0.1 degree. While on the pricey side, Milwaukee has given us no indication that this model is going to be replaced in the next year, so they must be happy with it.

Ridgid R4222 12 Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Ridgid 15 Amp Corded R4222 12 in. Dual Bevel Sliding Miter Saw

Highlight Reel

  • Customer rating – 4.4/5 based on 177 user reviews
  • Tool-free Blade Depth Adjustment
  • Quick Release Miter and Bevel Locks
  • Bevel Stop Pin
  • Work Clamp with Quick-Release Lever
  • Dual Bevel and Extended Miter Range
  • Repeat-A-Cut Marking Surface
  • Large Expanded Table
  • Zero Clearance Adjustable Throat Plate
  • Miter Detent Thumbwheel

Ridgid R4222 Specifications

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • No Load Speed: 4000 RPM
  • Bevel Range: 0 – 48 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Stops: 0, 22.5, 33.9, and 45 degrees left and right
  • Miter Range: 70 degrees left and right
  • Miter Stops: 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45, and 60 degrees left and right
  • 90 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 2 x 16 in.
  • 45 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 2 x 12 in.
  • Weight: 64 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $299

Ridgid packs a lot into their flagship 12-inch miter saw. It’s one of the heavier models thanks to the oversize base, but that base makes offers a lot of cutting support. It’s also one of the most generous saws with miter angles going out to 70 degrees left and right as well as 48-degree bevel angles left and right. It also cuts through a 2×16 at 90 degrees.

When Mike Hurta reviewed the Ridgid MS1290LZA earlier this year, he paired it with Ridgid’s MSUV miter saw stand. This clearly made portability a greater reality. We’ve seen Ridgid work with The Home Depot to offer them in combo for a discount at various times throughout the year. If you’re not in a hurry, you might see if there’s a holiday offer coming. Even without the sale, this saw offers an excellent value at its current price.

Ryobi TSS120L 12 Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser

Highlight ReelRyobi TSS120L - 12inch Miter Saw

  • Customer rating – 4.6/5 based on 5 customer reviews (newer product)
  • Miter stops located at the most common crown molding angles 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, and 45° left and right for quick cut settings
  • Internally powered adjustable exact line laser alignment system
  • Extended miter ranges from 45° left to 50° right to accommodate a wide variety of cuts
  • Sliding miter fence
  • Machined cast-in miter scale
  • 1-1/2 in. fixed dust port

Ryobi TSS120L Specifications

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • No Load Speed: 4000 RPM
  • Bevel Range: 0 – 45 degrees left
  • Bevel Stops: 0 and 45 degrees left
  • Miter Range: 45 degrees left, 50 degrees right
  • Miter Stops: 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, and 45 degrees left and right
  • 90 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 2 x 14 dimensional lumber
  • 45 Degree Miter Cut Capacity: 2 x 10 dimensional lumber
  • Weight: 26.83 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $299

Ryobi’s TSS120L 12-inch Miter Saw is another targeted to DIYers and homeowners. It’s also the only single bevel saw and by far the lightest of the group. Like other value-level miter saws, you’re likely going to find some accuracy discrepancies. You also are likely going to want to upgrade the blade. However, this should be great for framing and crown molding right out of the box (though your crown may need a little touch-up). We like that the Exactline laser isn’t battery-powered. This seems like a no-brainer on a corded saw, but we’ve seen batteries required for the laser before.


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