Simplify Complex Cuts with the Top Compound Miter Saw

Those who already own a compound miter saw will tell you it’s a necessity when you’re talking about power tools. The best compound miter saw for the money will provide a wide assortment of stops for bevel and miter cuts, giving you the capability of making complex cuts with a minimum amount of setup.

For simplicity, look for a saw that has easy to use adjusting knobs for both bevel and miter cuts, and a sturdy table that can stand up to heavy duty usage and tough handling. Those just starting their tool collection will want to make a good compound miter saw one of the first types of power saws in their arsenal. Even over a table saw or circular saw.

The top 3 contenders all come from well-known manufacturers and have many years of jobsite applications behind their design. Whether you’re a professional who’s looking to upgrade or a DIYer looking to add to their tool collection, you can’t go wrong with any one of these.

TOP PICK:

DEWALT DW715 12-Inch SB Compound Miter Saw

The DeWalt DW715 uses a powerful 15 amp motor and innovative cam lock design to deliver precision cuts. Common miter angles can be set up quickly using the 11 preset detents, or use the handy override miter to lock in custom cuts that won’t slip out of position.

It supports a full 50 degree angle to both left and right, which can save you a lot time and confusion over reversing lumber and recalculating the cuts on a more limited miter range. The DeWalt saw can accommodate bevel cuts of up 48 degrees to the left and 3 degrees to right, so that complex cuts are quick.

Thanks to the 12-inch blade and patented sliding fence design, you can make vertical cuts of up to 6-½ inches, and compound cuts of 5-¼ inches with ease. It’s so easy to use, your table saw may start collecting dust except for those tasks only it can do.

dewalt-dw715-review

For use on jobsites, the trigger handles doubles as an ergonomic carry handle, and the compact size makes for easy storage when the workday is done. Craftsmen who have been frustrated by the knob-lock design of traditional compound miter saws will appreciate the simple push and slide plate design used on the DW715, and the fact that the locked plate does not wobble out of true during repetitive cutting.

Functionally, there is not much to complain about with this DeWalt saw. The tubular table extension is not as stable as it could be, but it does make a nice addition, and gives you more leverage for holding long pieces in place when making critical compound cuts.

Similarly, the dust bag will remove almost two-thirds of the sawdust, but it fills up quickly and time spent emptying the bag is production lost. There is still room for some improvements, but the DeWalt DW715 is arguably the best compound miter saw available today as far as value for the money.

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RUNNERS UP:

Bosch GCM12SD 12-Inch DB Compound Miter Saw

While more expensive than the DeWalt, the Bosch GCM12SD is professional grade and includes a variety of extra features.

The first things you’ll notice about the Bosch are the dual cast sliding table extensions which allow you to balance the material and provides more leverage when cutting left or right miters. The electric brake brings more safety to the job by stopping the blade spin quickly, and the unique saw body design allows for smoother cuts.

You’ll appreciate that the table has detents for most common miter cuts, providing bevel cuts up to 52 degrees to the left or 60 degrees right, the largest range of any of our contenders. The biggest flaw is that this model has a high number of moving or sliding parts, and requires careful maintenance to ensure accuracy. Great for an experienced user but maybe not for a beginner.

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Hitachi C10FCG 10-inch SB Compound Miter Saw

Sometimes you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good power tool. While this saw only has a 10-inch blade and lacks a few features the above models have, the Hitachi C10FCG could very well be the best compound miter saw for home use or when you don’t expect to use it on a regular basis.

It may not be able to make vertical or compound cuts as big as the other two models on the list, but has a smaller footprint, and a blade that is comparable to larger saws. An optional laser is also offered for a few dollars extra.

The Hitachi will bevel to 45 degrees to both left and right, and has simple positive stops for miters cuts up to 52 degrees using the simple thumb actuated plate adjustment. The left-only sliding table extension helps with material leverage, but is not strong enough to offer much support. As the lightest, smallest saw on the list, this model is designed for the handyman or home enthusiast.

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