Fresh off our best 12-inch miter saw reviews article, I wanted to put together a more comprehensive guide to the best miter saws…period.
While cordless tools may rule the roost in many circles, miter saws largely remain popular as corded solutions. Still, newer cordless models seem like they may start gaining mainstream popularity. They certainly are in the PTR Shop!
I’ve reviewed, tested, and “driven” dozens of miter saws over the years. Choosing the best miter saw means looking at performance & power, cut quality, accuracy, features, and value. As usual, I gathered together a handful of professionals to help me test and evaluate these tools so I can make some solid recommendations for various use cases.
Unlike your kid’s Little League team, not everybody gets a trophy. If I recommend a miter saw here, it means I (and Pro Tool Reviews) really do recommend it. Just pay attention to the applications and purposes suggested along the way.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Bosch GCM12SD Axial Glide – Buy on Amazon
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- Best Cordless: Bosch GCM18V-12GDCN – Buy on Amazon
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- Best for Woodworking: Festool Kapex KS 120 REB – Buy at Amazon
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- Best 12-inch: Bosch GCM12SD Axial Glide – Buy at Amazon
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- Best 10-inch: Milwaukee M18 FUEL 2734-20 – Buy at Acme Tools
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- Best Compact: Bosch CM8S – Buy on Amazon
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- Best for the Money: DeWalt DWS779 15A 12-inch – Buy on Amazon
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- Best for Homeowners: Ryobi TSS702 – Buy at Home Depot
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- Best for Metal Cutting: Skilsaw SPT62MTC-22 Dry Cut – Buy on Amazon
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Also in this Article
- Best Miter Saw Blade
- Best Selling Miter Saws
- More Miter Saw Recommendations
- Miter Saw Buying Guide
- Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
Best Miter Saw Overall
Bosch GCM12SD Axial Glide
The Bosch GCM12SD Axial Glide miter saw provided the smoothest cutting we’d ever experienced thanks in large part to its axial glide system rather than standard rails.
Our best compound miter saw launched way back in 2010. It still beats nearly every other saw we’ve used for tall standing crown cuts and vertical base clearance. With more clearance than the Festool Kapex KS 120 REB, this saw weighs a bit more but also costs $1000 less. You can also find it in both corded and cordless configurations.
When making this recommendation, we took into account our entire catalog of sliding compound miter saw reviews. The $599 Bosch Axial Glide remains one of the most powerful saws with the best cut quality. Since it also allows for some of the highest trim clearances across the back fence it reigns as the best dual compound miter saw.
If you want to shave some weight off the Bosch GCM12SD (with only minimal capacity loss), consider the Bosch CM10GD 10-inch Glide miter saw at $589.99. You can get a lighter model with the same excellent cutting performance.
Best Cordless Miter Saw
The Bosch ProFactor 18V cordless 12-inch miter saw is an attention-grabber thanks to its Axial Glide sliding system. However, its performance and accuracy are what makes it a keeper. If you’re in the market for a cordless miter saw, we highly recommend giving Bosch’s ProFactor line a shot.
Without the battery, the saw weighs 59.3 pounds, which isn’t bad at all for a 12-inch dual bevel sliding miter saw. Still, if you’re going to take this to the jobsite (which is why you want a cordless saw in the first place!), we recommend using a rolling stand to make it easier on you. There’s not a great carry system built-in and do you really want to heft that much weight around anyway?
There aren’t a ton of quality cordless 12-inch miter saws on the market and Bosch priced the Surgeon pretty competitively. Without a battery and charger, it runs $769. Adding the charger and 8Ah Core18V ProFactor battery brings it up to $929.
Best Miter Saw for Woodworking
Festool Kapex KS 120 REB
We find it hard to overstate the incredible refinement of the Festool Kapex KS 120 REB miter saw. The “REB” model only tweaks minor details on the popular and enduring Kapex KS 120 EB saw.
This 10-1/4 inch miter saw has features you won’t see anywhere else. The rail forward design lets you run the saw against a wall in your workshop. Kapex claims as much as 91% dust collection using the dust hood. You also get incredible clearance off the back fence. Cut crown molding up to 6-5/8 inches in the nested position. Vertically, you can cut trim up to 4-3/4 inches.
Festool also does other things that just make a lot of sense. They give you a dual laser cut line, for example. They also made the base of the saw exactly the height of a Systainer 1. That means you can use your Systainers as material supports when cutting.
Having used this saw, we simply find it smooth, powerful, and nearly unmatched. It’s clearly the best miter saw for woodworking by a long shot unless you want to triple the price and look at commercial solutions.
If you’re serious about your woodworking, buy it for $1599.
Best 12-inch Miter Saw
Bosch 12-inch Axial Glide Miter Saw (GCM12SD)
Considering the Bosch 12-inch Axial Glide Miter Saw is already our #1 pick, it also wins as our best 12-inch miter saw for the reasons we already mentioned. One thing we really want to highlight—the Glide system lets you put this saw right against the wall. That makes this saw perfect for saving precious working space in your shop. Check out the cordless GCM18V-12GDCN if you want a version that operates on a battery.
Best 10-inch Miter Saw
Furniture building and trim carpentry rarely require anything larger than a 10-inch saw. This Milwaukee M18 FUEL 2734-20 10-inch miter saw impressed us to no end. You get integrated “wings” off the table for extended support. The fence measured square out of the box and you get excellent crosscut depth.
All of the slide, bevel, and miter adjustments work smoothly—we really like the oversized bevel lock on the rear of the saw. Milwaukee includes a 60T finish blade—indicating they designed this tool for the trim carpenter. As an added bonus, blade changes have the benefit of a guard that stays up on its own.
The 2734-20 cordless miter saw cuts base up to 5-3/4 inches in height or nested crown up to 5-1/4 inches against the fence. Lay a board down and you can cut through a 2×12 at 90 degrees.
The Bosch CM8S 8-1/2 inch sliding miter saw gave us excellent cutting performance, letting us power through both thick and detailed cuts with ease.
The Bosch also gave us some of the best cutting capacity. It cut 12-1/4″ at 90 degrees and 8-5/8″ at 45 degrees. We also loved the Bosch’s miter detent override. This thumb-actuated feature lets you smoothly bypass the miter stops when you need to cut a non-standard angle.
At 37 pounds, the Bosch CM8S may not seem like a lightweight, but the top handle begs to differ. This became one of the easiest saws to move around the jobsite by hand. Lastly, you can get an 18V battery-powered “clone” of this saw with the Bosch GCM18V-08N.
You will find it hard to beat at $489.
Best Miter Saw for the Money
DeWalt DWS779 15A 12-inch
When we looked for the best miter saw for the money, we sought an all-around workhorse tool at an exceptional value. The tool comes with some street cred and represents yet another iteration of DeWalt’s belt-driven platform. The design gives you more depth and clearance than geared designs. How much? The tall sliding fences support 6-3/4 in. base placed vertically against the back or 7-1/2 in. nested. You can also cut 2×14 material at 90 degrees and 2×10 lumber at 45 degrees.
This saw tackles bevel, miter, and compound cuts easily with a quick-release front lock and easy-to-adjust rear bevel release. About the only thing missing is an LED cut-line indicator. Still, for about $399 we can’t find too much to complain about.
Best Miter Saw for Homeowners
When you can get a sliding compound miter saw for $219—that’s something worth looking into. The 10-amp Ryobi TSS702 miter saw spins the blade at 5,350 RPM and has a 10-inch crosscut capacity. It does this in a 7-1/4 inch saw that weighs just 25 pounds! That makes it very portable—something most homeowners can appreciate when doing flooring or creating shelving or other projects.
You get handy features like an LED cutline indicator and the ability to miter 47° left and right. A 1-1/4 inch dust port connects to many dust extractors to keep your garage or shop area clean. Lastly, you get a 3-year warranty.
We’ve cut with enough Ryobi saws to know that it won’t power through tough material as well as top-of-the-line products. It will, however, give you the ability to tackle DIY projects without fail. For the homeowner who needs an all-around solution, this gets our nod as the best budget miter saw for homeowners.
Best Metal Cutting Miter Saw
We reviewed the Skilsaw SPT62MTC-22 several years ago but it still remains one of our favorites. Technically a chop saw rather than a miter saw (mitering happens at the clamp rather than pivoting the table), this saw quickly proved itself as a massive improvement to an existing metal-cutting setup. We recommend this dry-cut metal saw as an upgrade from an abrasive chop saw or an entry-level dry-cut saw.
The capacity you surrender going with the 12-inch blade over a 14-inch model gets compensated for by its light weight. This saw measures 20-45% less than the competition. It also has a more compact frame and runs on more affordable 12-inch blades.
The soft-start motor and smooth blade guard actuation, paired with the hot-knife-through-butter Diablo blade make this a very smooth saw. The SPT62MTC-22 is so smooth that you have to be careful not to cut too quickly.
Grab this saw for $299.
Best Miter Saw Stand
The Bosch T4B Gravity Rise miter saw stand has been our favorite since the first day we used it. This stand also stands the test of time—as evidenced by its 10+ year run.
The Bosch T4B stand adjusts in length via riser extensions. The risers make an excellent feature. If you set it up correctly, you don’t have to hold the end of the board to make sure you have a true cut.
Making multiple trips to lug an often heavy saw to the jobsite is part of the job. The Bosch T4B miter saw stand makes this less of a chore. It also improves the capabilities associated with making common cuts.
You can get it for around $389.
Best Miter Saw Blade
When it comes to making a cut with a miter saw, the blade makes all the difference. You can go with a number of blades, but we want to highlight the Italian-made CMT ITK Xtreme Fine Finish 80T Blade. For a 12-inch saw using a 1-inch arbor, this 80-tooth blade strikes an excellent balance of cut quality and value. We love the chrome plating that resists rust and the integrated noise and vibration reduction to keep the blade cutting smoothly and as quietly as possible.
Best-Selling Miter Saws
Checking the best-selling router lists at trusted retailers is a great idea when you’re shopping. They’re often the best value, so models that are less expensive or on sale often show up at the top of the list. We dropped links to what was at the front at the time we were writing, but they change often, so be sure to click the buttons to see what’s hot right now.
- Metabo C10FCGS HPT 15A 10-in Compound Miter Saw – $119
- DeWalt DWS715 12-in Single Bevel – $229
- Skil MS6305-00 10-in Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw – $249
- DeWalt DWS780 12-in Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter – $649
- DeWalt DCS361M1 7-1/4 Single Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Kit – $449
- Bosch GCM12SD 12-in Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw – $599
- DeWalt DWS779 12-in Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter – $599
- Bosch GCM12SD 12-in Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw – $599
- Kobalt SM3018LW Compact 12-in 15A Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound – $299
- DeWalt 15A 12-in Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw – $399
- Ridgid R4222 15A 12-in Dual Bevel – $399
- Makita GSL04M1 40V XGT 12-in Dual Bevel Miter Saw Kit – $1499
More Miter Saw Recommendations from Brands We Trust
Best Makita Miter Saw
Makita 40V Max XGT 12-in Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Powerful but expensive full-size Pro miter saw with upfront controls and capacity to cut 3-5/8 x 15 in at 90° and 8-in nested crown.
Price: $1,499 kit
Best Ridgid Miter Saw
Ridgid R4251 12-in Dual-Bevel Sliding Miter Saw
Nearly identical to the Delta Cruzer miter saw, this tool offers exceptional crosscut capacity and excellent clearance for against-the-wall installations…if you can find it.
Best Skil Miter Saw
SKIL 12 in Quick Mount Compound Miter Saw
Laser cut line and table extensions make this straightforward 15A saw a great deal for entry-level Pros and serious DIYers.
Best Ryobi Miter Saw
Ryobi TSS121 12 in Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The homeowner miter saw with a 13-1/4 in. capacity cross-cut that will make your neighbors jealous!
Best Metabo HPT Miter Saw
Metabo HPT C3607DRAQ4 36V MultiVolt 7-1/4 in Miter Saw
Giving Festool a run for its money and weighing a lot less, this cordless professional saw melds portability and power into a single tool. Grab a battery adapter for infinite runtime.
Best Miter Saw Buying Guide
What You Do for a Living Affects Your Choices
We actually wrote a very comprehensive guide on what to look for when buying a miter saw. Things to consider include the type of work you intend to do. Are you a carpenter? Do you work primarily on trim or decking materials? The type of work you do determines the materials likely to hit that miter saw table and fence.
Blade Size Affects Maximum Vertical Cuts
Before much else, look at the expected clearances you want to have when cutting materials like trim—particularly crown and baseboard. If you frequently cut taller trim, you likely want a saw that handles those types of cuts against the fence. Typically, a 12-inch miter saw gives you way more clearance than saws with smaller blades.
Still, we’ve found excellent clearance on some 10-inch miter saws, so it really depends on a number of factors. The biggest one comes next…
Belt Drive, Worm Drive, or Direct Drive
While we can’t say for certain that either of these technologies always beats the others, one thing stands out. Across the board, belt drive saws cut more smoothly in terms of how they feel. They also, however, reduce the clearance on the blade. That means most belt-driven miter saws won’t give you the same amount of impressive cutting height off the back of the blade that you get with gear-driven systems.
On the other hand, the direct and worm drive miter saws we use are more powerful on thick cuts. If you’re cutting 45º miters in 4 x 6 PT for a pergola, you’ll notice you can power through the cut much more confidently.
Sliding Miter or Chop Saw?
The type of miter saw you buy also affects portability and functionality simultaneously. A basic chop saw, for example, can give you miter and bevel cuts in all directions, but may only cut up to a 2×6 at 90-degrees. A sliding miter saw can cut a 2×12 or even a 2×14 depending upon your choice of setup.
That same chop saw also likely weighs a whole lot less than a comparable sliding miter with the same size blade. All these things should come under consideration before you take the plunge.
Corded or Cordless Miter Saw?
The choice of a corded or cordless miter saw gets harder and harder each year. Some manufacturers, like Makita, have released saws in both corded and cordless formats—saws that remain identical in all other features. Other companies, like Metabo HPT and DeWalt, have cordless miter saws with battery adapters that can connect you to 120V AC power.
Believe it or not, the newest cordless miter saws are matching their corded counterparts in power. If you find yourself looking at newer models, you no longer need to worry about premium models having enough power.
No matter what, cordless miter saws cost a lot more than their corded counterparts—often significantly more. But you can’t beat the convenience of battery power when it’s hard to find an outlet. Battery-powered miter saws have also increased run-time significantly in the past 5 years. Using 2x4s as a reference, we’re now seeing hundreds of cuts on a single charge.
Cut Line Indicators
Some saws lack any sort of cut line indicator while others use a laser or LED. The LED-style cut line indicator works better than any other. It uses an LED light (or two) positioned just above the blade. Since it follows the blade down and hits both sides, it produces an exact shadow line where the blade cuts the wood.
The shadow-cut LED works perfectly, never needs to be adjusted, and functions on all blade types. It also works in broad daylight! It doesn’t even matter if you switch to a thin-kerf blade. The shadow never lies, and you always have an accurate “mark” for your cut. Seriously, it’s not our #1 must-have, but we hope all manufacturers switch to an LED shadow cut line system soon.
Front vs Rear Controls and Clearance
Another thing we really love about some miter saws has to do with up-front controls. Up-front controls reduce the need to reach around to bevel a cut. All miter saws include front controls for mitering, of course. Adding a front bevel control steps up the saw to a new level of convenience. Very “worth it” if you do a ton of beveled cuts.
If you find a saw that combines front controls and zero clearance at the back, it’s a big win. There are systems both with and without rails that don’t require any part of the saw to extend behind it as you slide the blade. You can put it right up against the wall and the saw takes up less of your valuable workspace.
Features to Look For
- Soft start motor to avoid that “jump” when you pull the trigger
- LED cut line indicator*
- Adequate miter and bevel crown detents
- Easy-to-use depth stops for cuts requiring sacrificial boards and fences
- Blade brake
- Removable fences
- Dust extraction
- Material clamp(s)
- Front bevel controls*
*We consider these “nice-to-have features but certainly not requirements
To Stand or Not to Stand
Around here, we love keeping our miter saws on stands. We also tend to run with pickup trucks, trailers, and work vans. That makes a wheeled gravity rise-style miter saw stand our top pick. If you need to load and unload into a smaller space, you may find that a smaller saw that removes easily from the stand works even better.
And, of course, for the maximum portability, some forgo a stand altogether. You can always make cuts on a tailgate. You can also whip up a couple of sawhorses and use a piece of 3/4-inch T&G or plywood for a tabletop. Just take a look at your workflow and how you like to move tools on and off the job site.
Disagree with our Choices?
That’s okay! We know personal preferences take a front seat in determining the best circular saw for you, and every Pro is different. Do Pro Tool Nation a favor and tell us what your top pick is and why you love it. Feel free to put it in the comments below or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
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