If you’re a professional woodworker and wish to grow in your profession, having a high-performance miter saw in your workshop is necessary. That’ll allow you to work with thicker lumbers with precision and speed. In addition, you would also want to save on working space.
The sliding compound miter saw is the best choice for professionals looking for an all-in-one miter saw to have all the controls (speed and precision) in a single machine.
The objective is to execute highly complex wood projects with great ease, accuracy, and efficiency.
However, sliding miter saws are more costly than the basic miter saws. Therefore, selecting the right miter saw for your project is one of the most crucial factors.
We’re not worried about the shortage of the miter saw supply, but rather to strike a balance between features and price. We make sure you get the best bang for your buck.
We conducted an extensive study on various sliding miter saws available on the market. Based on their features, we shortlisted the top 5 best sliding compound miter saws to help you make an informed buying decision.
We also share with you the buying guides at the end of this article, so remember to read it to the end. Stay tuned.
#1 Makita LS1019L 10” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser
A perfect sliding compound miter saw, Makita LS1019L is an excellent tool for multiple wood-crafting tasks.
The product is a combination of great design, high performance, and accuracy. Moreover, some of its innovative features set it apart from many of the miter saws in the category.
Delivery of high performance, though, is witnessed at the user’s end. The foundation begins at the machine designing phase itself.
The quality of material and parts used in manufacturing the tool makes it a highly powerful and durable machine.
At Makita, the designing team knew that a powerful and smooth-running motor is the heart of a sliding compound miter saw. And they executed it with perfection by providing a 15 amp direct-drive motor that runs effortlessly in performing any job at hand.
The uniquely designed dual sliding rails mounted on the side make it perfect for working in confined spaces (flush against a wall). It’s one of the best innovations in Makita’s design.
This versatile dual-bevel sliding compound miter saw does not limit its excellence of design and execution to a jerk-free powerful motor alone. It also extends other features to rival many top performance miter saws.
For instance, the linear ball-bearing facilitates super smooth sliding ensuring high precision and accuracy in multiple types of operations.
The wider miter angle range (0° to 60° to the left and right) coupled with the standard stops allows it to work through many different job types with super ease and perfection. On top of that, the ergonomically designed rubberized handles add to comfort while working.
The Makita LS1019L is a high-capacity sawing machine with a laser guide. It can execute the cutting jobs of 4 X 4 lumber pass in a single go with equal ease and speed as executing the jobs of baseboard cutting or a crown molding.
It’s often difficult to design a machine that is strong, durable, and highly portable. However, this miter saw, at as low a weight as 57.9 lbs. exhibit this rare to find feature.
Overall, Makita LS1019L is a 10” sawing machine with many unique deliverables to offer a wide range of woodcutting jobs that matches many 12” miter saws. It gives many top performance miter saws a run for their money.
#2 Festool 561287 Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw
What’s better than a classy miter saw that offers exceptional accuracy, small footprint, and large cutting capacity for contractors and craftsmen in the workshop and on the job site?
And one saw that is closest to the above description is the Festool 561287 Kapex Sliding Compound Miter Saw.
With its unique “rail-forwards” design, this classy tool is a perfect match for those looking for a smartly manufactured miter saw. The ideal design keeps the rails stationary as the saw, with linear bearings, offers great precision.
It comes with a 10.25” blade that rivals other 12″ miter saw. The motor has a capacity of 13 Amps.
Besides, performing at a high speed ranging between 1,400-3,400 rpm, this saw won’t even bother you on grounds of speed.
You can also monitor the speed constantly for stable and precise operation.
One feature that protects the variable speed motor from overload and damage is the unique built-in Multi-Material Control (MMC) to match the blade speed under different load conditions.
Another stronger aspect associated with this saw is its lightweight and portability. The unit has a floaty yet strong design weighing around 47 lbs. Moreover, the compact body of the tool offers hassle-free working.
Unlike most of its competitors, the Festool Miter Saw uses a dual-laser that can be used to adjust the width for a fine and accurate performance.
In addition, this wonderful machine features a 91% efficient dust extraction system for protection against dangerous toxins, creating a healthier working environment. This also consumes less of your time for clean-up and maintenance jobs.
With its FastFix system, you can lock both the trigger and the arbor and easily make one-hand blade changes.
Moreover, the user-friendly fine adjustment knobs allow you to adjust the bevel easily as per your convenience.
The unique trenching capability of the Festool Saw adds on to its value. Just flip the knob attached to it and start trenching like the pros.
#3 DEWALT DWS779 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw
It’s the power that defines the performance level of a sliding compound miter saw. And with a 15 amp powerful motor that generates 3,800 RPM a minute, DeWALT DWS779 Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a high class performing star.
The professionals love this machine for its sheer capacity of handling hard-to-execute tasks with supreme ease. With a 12” large blade you can only expect to cut through the thickest of lumbers.
Besides, a smooth sliding rail makes the task of woodcutting look so simple and graceful.
Take, for instance, a 6.75” tall lumber. It’s unimaginably powerful and quick in cutting through the timber piece encouraging you to widen your imagination even further.
Moving ahead, the test against 16” lumber cuts demonstrated a superlative degree of ease & effortlessness.
However, it’s not the end of the features of this high performing miter saw. The design of DeWALT DWS779 facilitates it to bevel to both sides (dual-bevel). The fence allows the large blade enough space to bevel beyond 45 degrees on either side.
While cutting through the thickest of wooden logs is one aspect of high performance, doing it neatly provides it the grace that most of the wood artists would admire the most.
The DeWALT DWS779 is our top pick with the best price-to-performance ratio.
DeWALT claims the DWS779 captures up to 75% dust with a dust bag. The sawdust does not mess around uncontrollably. It rather finds an easy pathway towards the containment to remain there until its final mess-free removal for safe disposal.
Though this machine is rather heavy at 67 lbs. the rich features and performance make this the best buy for miter saw enthusiasts.
#4 Bosch GCM12SD 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw
If you want to see an all-powerful tool with a delicate touch of artistic excellence, watch Bosch GCM12SD 12“ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw in action.
This machine is a class apart. The machine is filled with all the features that you can expect from a premium miter saw and then it surprises you with its most unique features that even surpass your benchmark of a premium tool.
Bosch introduces the Axial-Glide system that replaces the traditional sliding system with an articulating arm to perform the toughest works in tight spaces, without compromising its performance.
The power driver is a huge 3 HP, 15-Amp motor which is transmitting huge power to the 12” large blade with 3,800 RPM.
On top of it, the heavyweight champ has the design & structure to survive the harshest of conditions. The heavy-duty machine is sturdy and durable, however, not so portable at 65 lbs.
A touch of delicacy is all visible when you see the precision and accuracy in motion. Sliding through with ease and cutting through those bulky lumbers, the miter saw does it all in style and in minimum space.
The tool does not require any adjustment once the fence aligns at a 90-degree angle with the saw’s table.
The uniform and easy-to-follow bevel coupled with properly marked stainless steel miter scales facilitate you to adjust easily in creating the most accurate job pieces in multiple varieties.
The machine is high on versatility with its capability to cut 14” horizontally, 6-½” capacity in the vertical direction, and similar dimension as the crown capacity.
For a miter saw, though power and the cutting blade sharpness & length define the basic performance criteria, however, the accuracy of the task finally decides the real performance level of the saw.
And the precision of measurement is what determines the accuracy levels of any sawing tool.
The Bosch GCM12SD does it all with flying colors.
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#5 DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw
If you’re looking for a fully adjustable miter saw that suits all your requirements for domestic enhancements, the DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a perfect choice for you.
The DEWALT DWS780 is an upgrade from the DWS779 with some noticeable improvements.
Powered by 15-Amp, 3,600 RPM, it’s durable and well-designed that bags a wide variety of features and facilities. The adjustable double bevel system provides the utmost precision while performing fine and accuracy-demanding tasks.
In addition, it features a unique bi-directional miter cutting skill for efficient and effortless performance. The stainless steel dented plate miter gives it ultimate strength and durability.
Besides, with this miter saw, you enjoy extremely precise cutting. Thanks to its high angular adjustability and scale visibility. The special XPS cross-cut alignment system adds a bright LED to allow for a precision cut every time.
Also, this hassle-free tool swipes away a big headache of cleaning for you. Moreover, this tool also features a dust bag, carbide blade, and wonderful 90-day money-back guarantee, 3-year warranty, and much more.
From the most delicate of tasks to the most heavy-duty frame construction, this portable, accurate, and professional miter saw is a perfectly suitable choice for all.
What is a Sliding Compound Miter Saw?
Let’s look at the miter saw a little deeper.
Basic Miter Saw
Miter saws make accurate 90 degrees crosscuts and miters a breeze with angle adjustments from 0 to 60 degrees.
A crosscut refers to a straight cut at 90 degrees and a miter cut is an angled cut at a different angle (eg: 45 degrees).
To make a precise cut, the wooden material needs to secure against a fence. A circular blade is then pulled down to make a cut in a matter of seconds.
Depending on the models, you could choose to adjust by a single degree or cut at a preset angle.
Compound Miter Saw
Compound miter saws have an additional important feature to make bevel cuts (sloped cuts) at a variety of angles (usually 45 degrees) other than 90 degrees. A compound cut incorporates a miter cut and a bevel cut at the same time.
Compound miter saws can be either single or dual-bevel. A single-bevel compound miter saw is designed to tilt the saw blade only on one side (left or right) while the double-bevel models can tile both left and right.
This feature comes in handy for cutting crown molding, door frames, picture frames, and window casings. You can also use this saw for trenching purposes making it suitable for projects like home decor, furniture making, fence construction, and much more.
The basic compound miter saws are most suitable for beginners starting out simple and DIY projects.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Sliding compound miter saw, as the name suggests, slide over guided rails attached to their body for a smooth and precise performance. It also includes all the features of a basic and compound miter saw.
With these rails, these saws get support to fluidly move back and forth, in order to cut thick wooden workpieces. It also cuts wider than what a basic miter saw can.
The user has to push and pull its head back and forth to cut into the wooden item. Moreover, these saws feature a lock to pull down the head and apply chopping cuts.
These saws are bulkier but certainly more effective compared to the non-sliding models. When it comes to massive cuts, these saws save you a lot of time.
Do You Need a Sliding Compound Miter Saw?
Above we observed that there is a huge variety of top-quality sliding compound miter saws available on the market. However, though they beat the standard miter saws in their features they are also costlier.
Therefore, it’s necessary to analyze your needs and verify whether you really wish to invest in such an advanced tool.
Here are the major points over which you can rate yourself and check whether you need a sliding compound miter saw or not.
Workpiece Width and Cutting Capacity
Non-sliding miter saws have limited sawing capacity. Even a 12-inch saw blade can only cut through a 2×8 workpiece.
However, the sliding feature will extend the cutting length up to 16-inch wide. Thus, they are perfectly suitable for professionals and commercial purposes.
This way, purposes like fence making, furniture construction, etc. necessarily demand a sliding miter saw.
But the downsides of sliding miter saws are the price, size, and weight.
Is that the end of it?
Some manufacturers have studied and engineered into making smaller and lighter sliding miter saws.
The Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Miter Saw is one of the lightest and most advanced miter saws weighing only 47 pounds. If you can afford it, it’s the number one choice of professional tradesmen.
However, if you’re looking for a saw for your DIY practices that require working with materials that are around 6-8” wide, this saw won’t be a necessity for you.
Different projects demand for different amounts of time. Professional and Commercial users require faster operation for completing more projects in less time. This hugely impacts their profit margins.
Sliding miter saws is a much faster way of completing your projects and is thus more suitable for such users.
On the other side, users performing DIY or home decor projects do not consider pace as a major factor. Therefore, sliding miter saws are not an essential requirement for DIY hobbyists and weekend warriors.
Non-sliding compound miter saws are compact and can thus fit into the smallest of spaces. This point, unlike the other two factors, does not depend much on the purpose or user experience.
Thus, we may come to an overall conclusion that sliding miter saws are basically meant for professionals and commercial users.
Enthusiasts and hobbyists performing DIY projects for domestic improvements, in general, do not necessarily require such tools.
However, your purchase will also depend greatly on factors like project type, budget, and much more.
On a shoe-string budget?
We recommend buying one of the best value miter saws for your project under $250?
What to Look for When Buying a Sliding Compound Miter Saw?
Selecting a sliding compound miter saw is not easy. It becomes even trickier if you do not know what to look for while choosing the right type of miter saw that serves your specific purpose.
So, it’s important for you to know the important factors you must consider before buying a sliding miter saw.
The power of a miter saw is defined by its motor rating. Higher the amp rating of the motor, the more powerful is the saw. If you’re cutting hard and thick wood pieces go for the higher rating miter saw.
A 15-amp motor is effective in executing most of the complex projects with the ability to handle multiple wood types and metal as well.
Saw with low power rating can only handle thinner wood pieces.
Saw Blade Size
The selection of the right types of blades for different woodcutting projects is another important factor to consider.
Saw blades come in sizes of 7¼, 8 ½, 10, and 12-inch.
The bigger blades provide extended cutting and are good for thick timber pieces.
These blades, therefore, facilitate longer and thicker cutting with miter and bevel functionalities.
The bigger is the size of a blade, the higher is the tooth count. Moreover, blades with more tooth count provide a more precise and smoother cut as compared to the blades with lesser tooth count.
Of all the saw blades, the 10-inch is the most common type. As compared to the 12-inch blade, it’s less costly and commonly use in table saws.
If you’ve table saw, you can share the same blade with the 10” miter saw.
The flip side, however, with the bigger blade it spins slower than the 10-inch blade.
Depending on the power, speed range from 3,000 to 5,000 RPM. The higher the spinning speed, the faster it is to complete the cuts.
Therefore, you have to trade-off between the higher tooth count and the speed of cutting.
In general, you can use smaller blades with smaller workpieces and thus save time by working at higher speeds. Moreover, the 10” blade will provide a smoother edge.
The best 10” sliding miter saw is the Makita LS1019L 10″ Dual-Bevel Miter Saw with Laser. It has some advanced features that are loved by contractors and professional woodworkers.
However, the 12” blade can cut hardwood lumber more efficiently than the 10-inch blade. Thus, use the larger blade for thick lumber.
The 12-inch mite saws are the best contender for bigger projects. It has more versatility and power.
You can put 10-inch blades on the 12-inch mite saw. But 12-inch blades cannot be used on the 10-inch miter saw.
Single or Double-Bevel?
Depending on your budget and requirements, you may choose between a single or a double-bevel saw.
A double-bevel saw is although more expensive, it offers great convenience due to its bi-directional performance. It does not require physical flipping the workpiece, therefore makes cuts more precise and greatly reduce human error.
And for this reason, it suits particularly well for professionals performing accurate, fast, and large projects.
On the other hand, a single-bevel saw operates in a single direction, either left or right. It’s cheaper and simpler to operate.
Thus, it has more suitability for learners, beginners, or hobbyists performing DIY or home improvement projects.
Laser Guide System
Although this feature is an optional facility, it’s an extremely useful one. With a laser-guided system, you get to enjoy unmatched accuracy. Also, some manufacturers provide a dual-laser system that allows precise cutting from both sides of the blade.
However, some customers find it a bit tricky to adjust or fine-tune the lasers. Thus, you may choose this feature wisely as per your preference.
A laser-guided miter saw might be useful for beginners starting out with simple woodworking projects.
Sawdust is a major issue for both professionals and beginners. You need to keep your working area clean not only for better looks of your environment but also to have a healthier working ambiance.
Cutting wooden items blows a lot of fine and toxic dust. Therefore, many products offer various facilities that aid you in keeping your surroundings clean and healthy.
Almost all of the miter saws come with a dust extracting system for preventing the spreading of dust all over. The simplest one is a dust bag.
Typical dust extraction systems can collect about 75% of the dust but some have an effective extraction rate of up to 90%. The more effective is the extraction system, the lesser is the cleaning at the end of the day.
Thus dust chutes are a crucial factor in your purchase from multiple aspects.
The market is full of manufacturers leading the miter saw market from different aspects. What determines the product quality and reliability?
Warranty is a major factor that builds up the trust of the customers in the product. And different brands provide different warranty periods. Some offer trust for as long as 5-year whereas some come with only 1-year.
While going for a perfect miter saw, it’s better to go with a more renowned manufacturer. But if in case the features of one product allure you greatly, ensure to check the warranty period.
Operating any moving and electrically charged equipment calls for following some important safety precautions.
Given below are some of the key safety measures you must take while operating the miter saw.
However, we recommend you to follow the specific safety instructions provided with the machine before starting the operation.
To protect the operator from any untoward situation during an accident in a moving machine, it’s very important to stop the machine as quickly as possible.
The miter saws normally run in excess of 3,000 rpm. Most of the miter saws come with the electrical brakes. They are connected with the power button. As soon as the operator releases the power button, it activates the brakes and, in turn, stops the motor.
It’s advisable to have the miter saw with the electrical brake system to avoid injury.
Any sharp item has the potential to cause injury. To avoid this, all miter saws have blade guards to prevent any accidental sticking of any body part or loose clothing in the sharp blade.
The circular saws, in particular, pose a little bit of a problem for the beginners as the blade guard can obstruct their view. However, with experience, you get accustomed to it and can operate with ease.
Some miter saws come with transparent blade guards that not only provides protection but also allow for a clear view of the cut.
Depending on an individual’s preference, whether a clear or color blade guard serves the same purpose.
However experience you are, for safety reasons, the blade guard is a must to protect oneself when operating the machine.
Do not remove the blade guard under any circumstances.
Miter saws have clamps to secure the job piece while cutting.
As mentioned above, the miter saws run at very high speeds. At this high speed if the clamps are not secured properly they can slip and hit anything in the vicinity including the operator.
This can cause serious injuries or damages.
Therefore, it’s very important to secure the job piece by properly tightening the clamps of the machine.
Finding the ideal saw was never so tough, right? With the rapid growth of the sliding compound miter saw, it’s getting more and more difficult for customers to match a perfect tool that fulfills all their requirements.
There has been a flood of manufacturers providing top-quality sliding miter saws. With each claiming their superiority over their counterparts from different aspects, it has become even more confusing.
Some lead in terms of stability while some are good at accuracy. Some prove to be the most user-friendly while some offer luxurious features.
But in all this, one thing that you must keep firmly in mind is not to get carried away with these alluring features. However fancy a feature may look, do not unnecessarily spend for something that does not add any value to your projects.
All this sounded ridiculously confusing, wasn’t it? Not anymore.
Above we described the top 5 best sliding compound miter saws. Each of them had its pros and cons but it’s for sure that none will fail to win your heart with its respective strong point.
You just have to analyze your major requirements and check which one of the top 5 best fulfills your needs.
We also explained the major factors to consider before the final purchase.
We further answered some of your most likely questions including the brief definition of sliding compound miter saw and whether you necessarily require this saw for your purpose or not.
We genuinely hope that with this information, we could help you resolve your doubts and confusions regarding buying the best sliding compound miter saw.