The Sliding Miter Saws
Buyers Guide Questions
What Is A Sliding Compound Miter Saw?
Here you are, perusing your favorite hardware store like a kid in a candy store, drooling over the selection of saws and your wallet is burning a hole in your pocket because you know you must have one… but you’re not sure which one to get. You know you want the most bang for your buck, and the ability to make both angle and bevel cuts, so you know it has to be a compound miter saw.
But even narrowing it down to that selection there are still so many options from which to choose, and it can get quite daunting. From there, you ask yourself: Should I get a stationary compound saw, or go all out for a sliding compound model? And what is the difference between the two? Well, fret no more. We are here to guide you through this seemingly overwhelming process so you can go forth with the joy of buying a new toy — um — saw — for your workshop. Let’s review:
Stationary compound miter saws, or simply, “compound miter saws”, (similar to circular saws) are specialized saws that do more than just cut simple angles – they have an arm that pivots which allows the blade to be tipped to the side, resulting in a “bevel” cut.
Typically, these saws are referred to as “compound” because having the tilted angle and the angle planes make it possible to cut two angles at the same time. A big advantage to having this type of saw is that you are not limited by any rails, and you have a greater cutting arc than with a sliding compound miter saw.
This is an important factor to take into consideration, especially if you are cutting corner joint moldings like crown molding or framework. However, there is a limit to the width of material that can be cut with a compound saw. For example, a 10-inch compound miter saw can only cut up to six inches wide – which really isn’t a bad thing because most woodworkers will rarely need to cut anything wider than that.
All in all, a compound miter saw will most likely be able to handle most of the work you throw at it, and they are best for projects like crown molding. If you’re looking for a more precise cut, check out our Jigsaw reviews here.
Should I get a Sliding Miter Saw?
These types of miter saws have all the versatility of compound miter saws, but with more flexibility in that, it has an arm or arms that allow you to move the blade both forward and backward and provides an increased cutting length. The notable difference between a sliding compound miter saw and a stationary compound miter saw (whew – long words there) is that the sliding saw has rails which allow you to slide, or glide the saw head forward and backward while cutting.
Having this “sliding” function increases the overall cutting capacity of the miter saw greatly, in terms of how well it handles the material’s thickness. For instance, when cutting a thick material like a fence post, a sliding compound miter saw handles this much better than a regular compound miter saw. These miter saws are also used frequently for cutting other thicker woods like lumber, boards, and logs.
Both of these types of miter saws are available in single or dual level models, and this review so far has applied to single bevel models, which means they only allow you to make bevel cuts in one direction, left or right. So to make matching cuts you would need to flip over the workpiece and reset the angle to make sure it’s accurate before moving on to the second bevel cut.
But with a dual bevel miter saw, you are able to make compound cuts in both left and right directions without having to turn your piece over – instead, you just use the pivoting arm to accurately flip the miter saw. To summarize, this miter saw is best for those larger, heavier duty jobs and for cutting wider materials, and you will be able to do much more with a larger cutting capacity, and a larger price tag to go with it, but makes one of the best investments for its value.
Sliding compound miter saws have all the versatility of compound miter saws, but with more flexibility in that it has an arm or arms that allow you to move the blade both forward and backward, and provides an increased cutting length. These types of compound miter saws are used for cutting thicker materials like lumber, boards, and logs.
Why Use A Sliding Miter Saw?
There are several miter saws out there that can create angled cuts. That being said, miter saws are the best choice for this job because they provide a high level of precision. The miter saw’s blade is positioned in such a way that you can cut in a very fine tuned way until you manage to get the desired result.
The arm’s stability is one of the defining features of the miter saw’s overall quality, so you will need to take this into consideration when searching for the best type of miter saw.
There is no such thing as the best-rated miter saw, no matter what it’s capabilities are. For example, it is impossible to rip the width of lumber with this miter saw, this job is generally done with a table saw or band saw. However, there are some tricks of the trade you can apply to increase the cutting capacity, including a sliding miter saw. A sliding miter saw has all the features of a compound miter saw, but similar to a radial arm saw, this allows you to move the blade forward and backward.
This provides the potential for cutting at an increased length. There are a number of these outstanding saws available on the market, and here are just a few of the hard-hitting models we have researched and reviewed to make your work – and life – easier.
Best Sliding Miter Saw For Home Use?
1. DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Compound Miter Saw
With a solid construction and a powerful, 15-amp motor that delivers 3800 RPM, this miter saw is made for the best performance, with its durable guards, precision-built castings, fences, and bevel system. The steel miter detent plate is built tough to withstand abuse on the job site. The power cord is conveniently routed through the back for convenience, and the miter saw offers a variety of industry-leading cutting capacities, along with a rail lock latch for holding the head away from the fence.
The high-visibility scale and easy angle adjustment make the dual bevel system easier to see and use on the construction site. The XPS positioning LED is an ingenious feature and provides a super-sharp, precise cutting by shining a light down on the blade, casting a shadow from the blade that provides the guide. DeWalt continues to provide an exceptional miter saw with smooth, accurate cuts and has received a high-star rating for its performance and value.
2. Festool Kapex KS 120 Compound Miter Saw
Compact and lightweight, weighing only 47 pounds, this easy to handle Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw delivers professional results, and comes with a high-quality 60 tooth carbide blade for cutting woods or soft plastics with ease. The dual lasers help clearly define for more precise cutting and align cuts from the left or right side. Fine-tuning the lasers are a breeze with the three-axis, electrically powered adjustment controls. The center-positioned handle allows ambidextrous cutting, and a two-stage trigger helps prevent accidental triggering.
Once you have set a bevel angle, you can be assured it will stay in place before you engage the dependable bevel lock with the rack-and-pinion based rotating knob. The hold down clamps are a genius feature to this saw, and the dual laser is ultra-accurate, making this miter saw well worth its value. This Festool Kapex KS 120 miter saw is very convenient and portable, and best for furniture work, cabinetry, and crown molding projects.
3. Hitachi C10FCG 10″ Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw
With a 15 amp motor that delivers a 5000 rpm speed, the Hitachi C10FCG provides ample power for all your beveling and cross cutting work. The laser alignment technology provides super-precision to your cuts, and the 10 inch blade spins faster than larger miter saws, which means a smoother cut with more torque. There’s an ingenious laser alignment that helps position your cuts down to the fraction, and there are bottom clamps that secure nicely to the work table, providing more control over your cuts, with handy clamps to secure your workpieces in place.
Hitachi is a trusted name in miter saws, and this model lives up to its name in durability, precision, and power. At just 27 pounds, this compact miter saw is easy to maneuver and transport, and comes with an impressive 5-year warranty. Overall, the Hitachi C10FCG s the best value miter saw, well worth the cost.
Which Sliding Miter Saw is Best?
A sliding miter saw offers all the advantages of crosscutting boards up to 12 inches wide, while still providing all the other benefits of a standard miter saw. These are available with 7-1/2 to 12-inch blades and can cost up to $1000, depending on what you buy and how it functions. Today’s miter saws have impressive technology applied, including solid locking detent stops for the spot on cuts, tilting controls for dialing in precise bevel setting and motor carriages that smoothly glide back and forth. Here are a few features to look for in this type of saw:
- A powerful motor that is durable enough not to bog down.
- A tall fence to support angle crowns.
- Built-in table extensions to support longer boards.
- Angle markings that are easy to read.
- No-hassle angle adjustments and up-front controls.
Well renowned for it amazing flexibility and versatility, a sliding compound saw is an essential miter saw for many professional and DIY woodworkers. It multitasks with a blade that swivels for miter cuts, and a head that tilts for bevel cuts. To make those compound cuts, all you have to do is swivel the blade and tilt the head. The big difference between this miter saw and a standard compound miter saw is in the capacity – A typical sliding miter saw will easily cut a 12-inch wide board, which is three to four inches wider than the largest board a standard miter saw can cut.
In addition, a sliding compound miter saw will easily make cuts that are normally very difficult on a table saw. For example, being able to accurately miter the end of a long, wide board is just about impossible with a table saw, because the miter gauge is too small, and the table is insufficient to support the angled board during the cut. However, using this miter saw, simply position the board, swivel the blade, align the laser guide and you’re ready to roll.
It’s easy to switch from one type of cutting to another, so going from big timber crosscutting to compound miter cutting for delicate trim work will take only seconds to complete. When shopping for the best sliding miter saw to handle your specific needs, there are a lot of factors to consider. Before choosing a saw, it is good to know the unique features of miter saws.
- Designed for crosscuts and miter cuts: The purpose of miter saws is to perform these types of specialized cuts.
- Laser guides that help guide position: These will show you how your blade will place on the material before you cut, helping you avoid any mistakes.
- Many diverse models: There are three main types of miter saws to fit your specific needs: The basic saw, the compound saw, and the sliding compound saw.
- Miter saws are measured by the size of their blades: The common sizes are 7 ½ inches, 8 ½ inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. For wider cuts, the larger sizes are the best options. For more advanced features, the smaller sizes are the best choice.
- Dust collection is imperative: Most of these miter saws feature a dust bag or some sort of collection system, but they don’t capture all of the dust. You should choose a saw with a hookup adaptor for shop vacs.
- Locked-in angle technology: For more precise angle cutting, your miter saw should have custom positive stops at certain angles.
- Built-in clamps: Larger saws usually come with upgraded clamps attached that will help hold your material in place, or have a place designed to install your own clamp.
- Shock-absorbing handles: Look for a saw that has vibration-reducing handles – these are much more comfortable in handling through long-lasting projects.
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- Size ( inch )
Sliding miter saws are available in many sizes, according to the diameter of the blade – either 10-inch or 12-inch. Read below for our extensive review on our recommendations for the best sliding miter saws based on performance, accuracy, and value.
Makita LS1018 10″ Dual-Bevel – Everything you have ever wanted in these saws, but in a lightweight, compact design, the Makita LS1018 doesn’t disappoint with its accurate delivery and optimum cutting performance.
This versatile miter saw is powered by a 13-amp direct drive motor with soft start, which means a smoother startup. This corded model provides a consistent power that remains constant with no parts to replace and is best for finer woodworking, carpentry, and general construction. There are five stops with bevel cuts to 47 degrees, and a linear ball bearing system made for “dead on” accurate cuts, plus a convenient electric brake.
This Makita slide compound miter saw cuts precisely and slides smoothly to handle any type of woodworking project. The 13 amp motor provides more than enough power to handle any application, and the blade that is included with this set cuts precisely and sharp. Easy to adjust and setup. Highly recommended for the average woodworker and DIY’er for a variety of applications.
WEN 70716 10″ Compound – This miter saw packs an impressive punch with its 15 amp, 5500 rpm motor that is able to slice easily through just about any type of material, providing accuracy in straight, angle, bevel, or compound cuts. The large worktable is convenient for working on larger boards up to 11 inches in depth. There’s a 60-tooth carbide-tipped blade for producing sharp, accurate cutting. The dust collection bag helps with dust cleanup.
The overall lightweight, compact design of this miter saw makes it easy and handy for transporting onsite or offsite, and the generous two-year warranty brings peace of mind, combined with a trusted name in power miter saws. This saw cannot be beaten in its versatility. Adaptable to many materials and multiple uses, and we found that it is also quieter than other models as it cuts.
The large work table functions well for most projects, and the motor provides ample power to push through the more challenging work with no problem. There are a lot more nice features that are too long to list, all packed into an impressively lightweight design.
Having a sliding miter saw makes one of the best tools to add to your repertoire of workshop miter tools that will make complicated cutting and bevel an absolute breeze. Make a great investment that will save you tons of time and frustration, and will deliver a finished, high-quality piece.
With a solid construction and a powerful, 15-amp motor that delivers 3800 RPM, this miter saw is made for performance, with its durable guards, precision-built castings, fences and bevel system. The steel miter detent plate is built tough to withstand abuse on the job site.
The power cord is conveniently routed through the back for convenience, and the saw offers a variety of industry-leading cutting capacities, along with a rail lock latch for holding the head away from the fence. The high-visibility scale and easy angle adjustment, makes the dual bevel system easier to see and use on the construction site.
The XPS positioning LED is an ingenious feature and provides a super-sharp, precise cutting by shining a light downward on the blade, casting a shadow from the blade that provides the guide. DeWalt continues to provide an exceptional miter saw with smooth, accurate cuts and has received a high-star rating for its performance and value.
Compact and lightweight, weighing only 47 pounds, this easy to handle Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw delivers professional results, and comes with a high-quality 60 tooth carbide blade for cutting woods or soft plastics with ease. The dual lasers help clearly define for more precise cutting and align cuts from the left or right side. Fine-tuning the lasers are a breeze with the three-axis, electrically powered adjustment controls. If you’re looking to cut metal, take a look at these metal cutting saws.
The center-positioned handle allows ambidextrous cutting, and a two-stage trigger helps prevent accidental triggering. Once you have set a bevel angle, you can be assured it will stay in place before you engage the dependable bevel lock with the rack-and-pinion based rotating knob.
The hold down clamps are a genius feature to this saw, and the dual laser is ultra-accurate, making this saw well worth its value. This Festool Kapex KS 120 miter saw is very convenient and portable, and great for furniture work, cabinetry, and crown molding projects.
For innovation, technology, and best in class warranties, Hitachi is the name to trust in power tools, including saws. A compound saw is able to cut both miter and bevel angles at the same time, and a 10-inch blade spins faster than the larger miter saws, meaning a smoother cut at less capacity. This 15-amp miter saw delivers a 5000 rpm speed, which is ample power for your beveling and cross cutting.
The bottom clamps make it so nice and easy to secure this miter saw to the work table for more cutting accuracy, as well as the handy clamps to secure your work pieces in place. The innovative laser alignment makes cutting great again and super easy to accurately position your cuts, and the dust collector is an improvement over previous models when it comes to sufficiently trapping sawdust.
Weighing in at under 25 pounds, the Hitachi C10FCG is one of the lightest 10-inch miter tools on the market, making this miter saw easy to tote around your work area. Along with a powerful motor and a whopping five-year warranty, this miter tool is well worth the money and is a best value option.
Make sure you stay aware of the miter saw safety hazards with this study. For an overall look at wood shop safety – click here.