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Top 5 Best Compound Miter Saws for Beginners & Homeowners – 2020 Reviews & Buying Guide

If you’re new to woodwork, you’re probably looking to get some hands-on experience with miter saws. These saws are used to make miters and crosscuts in workpieces at the required angles.

A number of these saws are present in the market, but two of the most common types are the standard compound miter saw and the sliding compound miter saw.

In the simplest words, the main difference between the two is that the latter has the ability to move the saw head on a sliding rail (hence the name). Most beginners get intrigued by this feature (and the fact that it’s more advanced) and don’t bother with anything else.

They fail to understand why the standard compound miter saw is a better fit for them, which is why we have put together this article.

Below is the comparison of different miter saws for beginners.

Why Should You Choose Non-Sliding Compound Miter Saw?

Here are a few aspects of the compound miter saw that beginners forget:

Built for Beginners

The sliding miter saw isn’t meant for beginners. It’s for professionals to accomplish massive jobs at jobsite.

Unlike the sliding saw, the standard compound miter saw is easier to use. Beginners, DIY hobbyists, and homeowners tend to handle much simpler and smaller cuts than contractors at the jobsite, thus a basic miter saw will suffice.

If you’re making basic picture frames, moldings, and baseboards lesser than 8-inches, a standard compound miter saw will serve you well for a long time.

Safety

Safety is one of the reasons why a basic one is the best miter saw for beginners.

Unlike the sliding models, the standard saws come with lesser features and operative functions. That means the simpler the function, the safer is the operation.

Domestic Use and Portability

If you’re a beginner, you’re probably looking to use this saw at home. For a starter saw at home where you want the freedom of taking it anywhere, the basic compound miter saw is the one to go for.

It has no sliding movement, which makes it lightweight, portable, and less complicated.

Affordable and Easy to Maintain

Of course, the standard miter saw is cheaper and less costly to maintain than the sliding one. This is the prime reason why we recommend it to beginners, DIY hobbyists, and homeowners.

On the other hand, newbies on miter saws are bound to do a ton of mistakes, meaning more maintenance costs. It’s wise to start with a budget-friendly miter saw and considering upgrading to an advanced model as you become more proficient in the future.

Depending on the features, a basic miter saw costs around $200 is good to start with.

Top 5 Best Miter Saws for Beginners and Homeowners

Now that we have you convinced on buying the standard compound miter saw, here are our top picks that you can go for:

#1 Metabo HPT C10FCH2S 10″ Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw

Metabo HPT 10" Compound Miter Saw | Laser Marker | 15-Amp Motor | Single Bevel (C10FCH2S)

 

Putting the Metabo HPT C10FCH2S 10” miter saw on the top of our list was a given. This miter saw is the complete package made specifically for beginners.

Metabo HPT 10" Compound Miter Saw | Laser Marker | 15-Amp Motor | Single Bevel (C10FCH2S) Novices seem to struggle with properly using T and hex wrenches. This saw takes that into consideration with its grips, making it our top pick for you.

Its small size also makes it easier to work with minimal distractions. It’s the best saw for beginners and DIY hobbyists to use at home.

Moreover, the powerful 15-amp motor spins at 5,000 rpm (revolution per minute) provide smooth, accurate miters and crosscuts for every workpiece you can think of.

Features and Benefits

What’s unique about this miter saw is that it comes with a pre-installed laser marker to help you navigate cuts on workpieces. For beginners with little or absolutely no cutting experience, this is especially useful.

The laser marker system makes for extremely accurate cutting. Other saws that come with a laser are usually too pricey, or the laser is to be bought separately which is a hassle.

This saw weighs a mere 26.5 lbs., making it very portable. Its 10-inch blade packed in a 13.7” x 20.6” x 15.7” body makes it even easier to carry around and work with.

The saw offers you the traditional 0-52 degree miter angle range and a 0-45 degree bevel angle range for precise cuts and flexibility.

Pros

The most appealing thing about this saw is its laser marker, which is powerful enough to show you where you’re cutting.

Many newbies face difficulties in making their first few cuts on miter saws, but this laser makes things much easier.

The anti-vibration system is another good enhancement for beginners. It helps to reduce fatigue when used for longer periods of time.

The 5-year warranty does provide confidence to woodwork beginners and homeowners.

Cons

Unfortunately, there is a rather unappealing side to the saw as well. For us, that is the dust collection system.

Almost 50 percent of the dust scattered around. And the dust bag seems too small to handle heavy cuttings.


#2 Makita LS1040 10″ Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw

Makita 10" Compound Miter Saw, Makita LS1040 10" Compound Miter Saw

 

For beginners that want to go premium on everything, this miter saw is the one. Having a well-established name in the miter saw industry, the Makita LS1040 is a massive contrast in quality compared to other cheaper saws.

This is the kind of saw you would want if you’re looking to experiment with it in ways it may not be meant for. Made from heavy metals like aluminum, this is a saw constructed to make mistakes on (and still working perfectly).

Features and Benefits

Makita 10" Compound Miter Saw, Makita LS1040 10" Compound Miter SawYou get high power for less electricity as the saw comes with a motor that can run at speeds up to 4,600 RPM, giving you clean cuts without applying much force.

It has 9 positive miter stops on both the right and left of the range, offering a wide range of cuts.

It weighs only 27.3 lbs. for easy portability, even though it has a precision-machined aluminum base and a polished aluminum frame. This makes it the perfect combination of robustness and portability.

Click Here to Read The Reviews

The Makita LS1040 is made of metals, meaning that it is durable. The metals we’re talking about here are aluminum, stainless steel, and copper for the wiring.

You can see that the saw was made keeping novices in mind who are bound to make mistakes a couple of times.

Pros
The Makita LS1040 is promising when it comes to quality. With an aluminum build and versatile cutting range, it surely gives the confidence to work the machine to its limits.
Cons
Having such a wide cutting range on a saw like this is nice, but it would have been nicer if it had a laser. Beginners who wish to experiment with the versatile cutting options would have much more help.

#3 Porter-Cable 10” Single-Bevel Folding Compound Miter Saw

Porter-Cable 10” Single-Bevel Folding Compound Miter Saw

 

Want to carry around your saw more often?

Maybe you feel like working in the same place has drained your creative juices. If so, here is a saw for you that folds.

Yes, the Porter-Cable 10” saw can literally fold, giving you the flexibility of picking it up by the handle and carrying wherever you want as if it were a handbag. Its lightweight also adds to its portability.

Features and Benefits

The first feature we must share with you is, of course, how the Porter-Cable 10” saw folds. It has a unique foldable head, which makes it the compact piece of machinery that it is.

This design allows the head to fold down into the base, and the handle above the cutter can then be used to pick it up.

With a complete metal chassis, the Porter-Cable Single-Bevel Folding Compound Miter Saw is reasonably rigid and is made to sustain wear and tear. The chassis measures 22.6 x 22.1 x 9.8 inches when unfolded.

Its 32.8 lbs. weight may seem like a lot, but it’s really not when folded. The weight becomes concentrated to right below the handle where you pick it from, which is why it becomes much more manageable.

There is a support base too that allows you to work on long workpieces. The saw rests on this base when not in use. It’s made of plastic, which makes it lightweight as well.

The saw even comes with a laser for precision cutting.

Pros

Obviously, the biggest feature of the Porter-Cable compound miter saw is its portability as it folds like something out of Transformers. That combined with its lightweight is what we love most about it.

Cons

The downside of this portability is the most annoying part of this saw. You need to set it on the support base (included) when folded, which is one added accessory to take care of.


#4 DeWalt DWS715 12” Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw

DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, 15-Amp, Single Bevel, Compound (DWS715)

 

So far, we have recommended standard compound miter saws with 10-inch blades. If that’s too small for you, here’s our top pick for a 12-inch miter saw: the DeWalt DWS715.

Fully packed with everything a person needs in a miter saw, this one makes it even easier to learn everything about saws.

Features and Benefits

DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, 15-Amp, Single Bevel, Compound (DWS715)

Among the key features of the DeWalt DWS715 is the Miter Detent Override. Essentially, this is a feature that you can use to change the miter stops and easily alter the setting.

There is a Miter Detent Plate as well for improved accuracy.

With the same power supply you would find on a normal miter saw, you can achieve speeds of 4,000 RPM for clean and quick cuts. You also get fence support that enhances cutting accuracy.

This saw has sliding fences to support the workpiece and to make bevel cuts. This is quite a unique feature which, once you become accustomed to, you won’t be able to live without.

>>> Click Here to Read the Reviews <<<

The miter saw weighs 42.8 lbs., meaning that it won’t slide while you’re working. It stands its ground and keeps that 12” blade piercing through the workpiece.

The saw’s frame is made of aluminum including the base for exceptional durability. Plus, the industrial color scheme of yellow and gray will make you feel like a pro.

Pros

This rugged beast of a saw is easy to recommend to people thanks to its durability and extreme functionality.

People can make whatever cuts possible on miter saws without having to worry about its durability.

Cons

One of the drawbacks is the trigger switch does not include any safety lock switch to run the motor. It does not pose any danger to experienced users.

However, just make sure to avoid children playing with it.

Another downside of this saw may be the fact that it is heavy and isn’t very portable, but that’s the price you have to pay when you pack in so much and keep the saw sturdy.


#5 Metabo HPT C12FDHS 12” Double-Bevel Compound Miter Saw

Metabo HPT 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw, Laser Marker System, Double Bevel, 15-Amp Motor, Tall Pivoting Aluminum Fence, 5 Year Warranty (C12FDHS)

 

This is yet another Metabo product which is very promising indeed. It’s the biggest of the bunch and, as you may have read in its name, is the only double-bevel compound miter saw on this list.

This miter saw is packed with everything you need and more. Metabo decided to throw everything it knew about miter saws into this thingamajig, so you can expect its features section to be rather long.

Features and Benefits

The Metabo HPT C12FDHS is a power-hungry giant as it takes 1950 watts of power through a 15-amp motor drive. This allows the 12-inch blade to slice through even the hardest lumber with ease.

Since this is a double-bevel miter saw, you can rest assured the compound cuts can be accomplished in the least amount of time.

Metabo HPT 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw, Laser Marker System, Double Bevel, 15-Amp Motor, Tall Pivoting Aluminum Fence, 5 Year Warranty (C12FDHS)

A key feature of this miter saw is the addition of the elastomer compound on the handle, which is good for reducing the grip vibration.

Beginners can especially benefit from this as it allows for prolonged use without much stress on the hand.

The miter scale and bevel scale give a much more versatile range of cuts. With the very generous 0-52 degrees on the miter scale and 0-48 degrees on the bevel scale, you can let your creativity go all out.

There is a fence built-in which you can use to cut vertically, and the addition of the laser makes using it much easier. The whole chassis is made of aluminum and stainless steel, making it very durable and rugged.

This miter saw is no joke with a weight of 59.7 lbs. and a 26.9” x 22.2” x 21.3” body.

Pros

Though this miter saw has a lot to like, the feature most appealing to us is the wide range of cuts you can perform with the large miter and bevel scale.

The 5-year warranty does strongly reflect its reliability and quality.

Cons

The downside of this saw is the same downside we mentioned for the DeWalt. The 59.7 lbs. weight is too much for any sort of portability. You can shift it here and there, but we wouldn’t recommend that.


Sliding or Non-Sliding Miter Saw?

The non-sliding miter saws are appropriate for beginners, homeowners, DIY hobbyists, and weekend woodworkers.

However, some beginners prefer to buy the sliding miter saw with all the good features included for future needs.

That’s Okay!

We highly recommend the DeWALT DWS779 12-Inch Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw for all your woodworking needs. It has a very efficient dust collection system that never fails to disappoint you.

With more than 1,000 good reviews, this saw still stands to be the number one bestseller in the Power Miter Saws category.

Final Verdict

Though there are a great number of miter saws apart from the ones listed above, a little bit of research can show that we have cherry-picked the best ones for our readers.

The listed products are all-rounders with everything needed in a miter saw, which is why you’ll feel confident buying any one of them.

Whether you want to work on angular cuts or dead straight ones, you can find the ideal miter saw from the ones listed above. Your exact needs will dictate which one to pick.


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