Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw Reviews
If you are an enthusiastic DIYer or a professional carpenter, you are definitely familiar with the rush that comes with undertaking a new project. To keep up with that fervour, you need tools that are versatile, reliable and add value to your workshop.
One tool that combines all these requirements is a sliding compound miter saw. It delivers the precision and cut versatility of an average good grade miter saw with the enhancement of a sliding feature. The sliding feature offers an increased length of cut making it suitable for a variety jobs involving several board and sheet sizes. This article will help you select the best sliding compound miter saw.
What To Look For?
The sliding compound miter saw is a relatively new addition to the power tools artillery. However, they pose a serious competition to the traditional saws and with good reason. You get best of both worlds with this saw as it packs the lightness and compactness of the basic miter saw and the power and precision of a radial saw. On top of that, they feature a powerhead that moves along the rails to allow you to alter the cut length, adding to the versatility of the tool.
A sliding compound miter saw is an efficient cutting tool, sure to add value to your workshop. To ensure that it is the perfect fit for your project requirements, keep the following pointers in mind:
- Amperage: The amperage or amps that the saw works on determine the strength of the saw. More the amps, more is the cutting power of the saw. 15 amps and higher is the ideal range for a powerful sliding compound miter saw.
- Blade Size: Blades for compound miter saws are available in 8, 10 and 12-inch variants. The blade that you choose depends on the kinds of cuts you require. Remember that the larger the diameter of the blade, the longer the cuts that it can make. Also, check to see whether your saw can function with various blade sizes or has a standard blade size.
- Safety Features: The razor sharp edge of a saw is a blessing when cutting up a variety of materials. However, it becomes even more imperative to observe safety measures around such tools. A sliding compound miter saw that includes safety-enhancing features is certainly a desirable option.
- Electric brakes: Electric brakes are useful enhancements that stop the blade of the saw in seconds, as compared to minutes taken by conventional blades. They kick into action as soon as the trigger is released, arresting the blades momentum and averting any harm to the user or the material.
- Blade guard: This is an essential safety as well as efficiency feature. The blade guard gives you a clear look of your cutting area while preventing any unintentional contact with the blade while operating. It also covers the blade whenever the saw is raised, to prevent accidental contact.
- Shaft lock: These provide the extra safety required when changing the blade on your saw. The shaft lock disables the shaft and blade, which makes blade change a quick and safe process.
- Dust management: With the amount of sawdust produced during carpentry projects, it is necessary to manage it effectively to avoid respiratory complications and keep your cuts neat. A large, sturdy, mounted dust bag is a handy addition that collects all the sawdust generated and keeps your workspace clean. Saws can also be connected to an external vacuum for the same effect.
- Additional features :
- Positive stops: These are default settings on the saw at the most frequently angles, which reduce the time and effort taken to set up a cut every time before a job.
- Depth stops: This setting lets you control how deep the blade with cut into the material. This can prove very helpful when working with relatively fragile or splintering-prone materials.
- Guide lights: They help you get precise cuts by projecting a beam of light on the material along the area where the cut needs to made.
Top 5 picks:
Sliding compound miter saws are relatively new to the market however, they have started making their niche. Major power tool manufacturers have come out with their own versions of the machine to spoil you for choices. In order to help you make a prudent purchase, enlisted are the top 5 performers among sliding compound miter saws:
1. Bosch GCM12SD 120-Volt 12-Inch DB Glide Miter Saw
First up, is the 12-inch sliding compound miter saw from Bosch. It functions on a 15 amp, 120 V powerful motor that delivers 3800 RPM for making accurate cuts in a variety of materials. The saw is capable of a number of vertical, horizontal and angled cuts. To further expand its versatility range, the saw has two integrated sliding extensions at the base to allow the saw to deal with materials as long as 40 inches.
A unique addition to the machine is the patented axial-glide system that enhances cutting precision and gives you full control over the movement of the saw. This system eliminated the conventional rail system, reducing the size of the machine up to 12 inches, making it compact and easy to store. The saw can move to both left and right from 0 to 47 degrees, making easy work of your beveling projects.
It features a trademark Squarelock quick-release fence that is aligned at a default 90-degree angle to the blade and aligns easily and precisely without requirement for readjustments. The one touch lock/unlock feature allows you to position the fences without hassle.
The 12-inch sliding compound miter saw from Bosch weighs a total of 65 pounds, which is not an exaggeration, given its features and power. It comes with 1-year warranty and 30 day money back policy.
Things We Liked
- It is compatible with 12-inch blades in various designs, adding to its versatility.
- Ergonomic trigger can be operated with both hands.
Things We Didn't Like
- No guiding light built in.
- Built-in mounted dust bag not included.
2. Hitachi C12RSH 15 Amp 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw
A serious contender in this category is the C12RSH sliding compound miter saw from Hitachi. The saw is equipped with a 15 amp motor that rotates the blade comfortably at 3800 RPM, enabling it to make accurate miters and cross-cuts in a variety of materials including hard and soft wood, plywood, molding and even aluminum sashes.
This machine is designed to be extremely versatile. To make accurate miter cuts, it has a tilt range of 0-46 degrees to the left and 0-57 degrees to the right. The bevelling action can be performed from 0 to 45 degrees in left and right direction. Positive miter and bevel stops included to reduce time and effort of setting up cuts.
Hitachi has equipped this saw with a patented fixed rail system which allows smooth movement along twin rails without the saw head jutting out of the back of the saw. This makes it a compact machine that can operate effectively in a small work area.
Adding to the compactness of the machine is the fact that it weighs around 64 pounds, which for a saw this powerful is justifiable.
Safety is a prime consideration in the design of this machine. It has a splinter guard to provide handling safety and cleaner results. The vertical handle has a vibration-reducing coating that prevents slippage and provides a secure grip.
It is an excellent tool for professional carpenters as well as enthusiastic woodworkers. Hitachi offers a warranty of 5 years with this product.
Things We Liked
- Hitachi’s exclusive laser-marker is increasingly helpful to achieve precision.
- Micro-adjustment knobs to increase accuracy of cuts.
- Includes a dust bag for effective sawdust management.
Things We Didn't Like
- Bevel scale markings are tiny and therefore hard to read.
3. DeWalt DW718 12-Inch Double-Bevel Slide Compound Miter Saw
DEWalt has earned a spotless reputation in the power tools industry for its quality and performance and DW718 12-inch sliding compound miter saw is an excellent example of it. A 15-amp motor powers it and offers 3600 RPM to cut through a variety of wood, baseboards and moldings.
The miter range of this saw is versatile with 11 positive stops, with an adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate, to ensure accuracy and time-efficiency. The saw has an impressive miter capacity of 0-60 degrees to the left and 0-50 degrees to the right. Bevel cuts can also be made satisfactorily with this saw. It has a bevel capacity of 0-48 degrees on both left and right. This setup allows you to adjust the saw instead of the material, to save time and effort and maintain accuracy.
The saw has a tall fence, which makes working with vertical objects easier. The fence is also easily adjustable to make the saw suitable for bevel cuts. The dual horizontal steel rails that allow smooth blade travel also enhance the compactness of the saw.
The saw is comparatively lightweight at 53 pounds and comes with a standard DeWalt limited warranty of 3years with 1 year free service and 90-days money back guarantee.
Things We Liked
- Easily adjustable cam-lock miter handle to enable you to make accurate miter cuts quickly.
- Four positive bevel stops for easy adjustment at common bevel angles to save time and achieve precision.
- Built-in carry handle for easy transportation around work area.
Things We Didn't Like
- Laser guiding system not included; sold separately.
- Dust collection is not very satisfactory.
4. Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
The LS1216L sliding compound miter saw from Makita has a number of features to boast about, making it a worthy competitor on this list. The saw is equipped with a powerful 15-amp motor that delivers up to 3200 RPM to cut through a range f materials with ease. Even with its default settings it can smoothly slice up boards up to 15 inches wide.
The vertical cutting capacity of the saw is enhanced by a direct drive gearbox and patented guard system. The gearbox is low maintenance and high-performance. It has the largest crown molding cutting capacity among its competitors at 8 inches. The saw also features a unique 4-Steel Rail Sliding System that stabilizes the saw and lends it sturdiness to provide accurate cuts.
Makita has designed the saw to deliver high-quality miter and bevel cuts. The miter range of the saw is 0 to 56 degrees to the left and 0 to 60 degrees to the right, with 5 positive stops at popular angles. Bevel cuts can be made from 0 to 45 degrees, from left to right, with another 4 positive stops at frequented angles.
The saw has a see-through blade guard system to enhance user-safety while improving visibility of the cutting area. The one-step blade change system is also immensely useful as it keeps the changing process safe and quick. The Electronic Speed Control maintains the required speed even under load, to ensure precision of cuts under all situations.
Makita’s is a lightweight (58.2 pounds) and durable saw that can withstand all kinds of hardwoods and is suitable for a number of carpentry jobs around the house as well as in professional capacities. It comes with a 1 year limited warranty.
Things We Liked
- Built-in laser to denote cutting area and allow precise results.
- Dual-front bevel scales improve visibility during operation.
- Ergonomic design with rubber-coated D-handle for increased comfort and big trigger for ease-of-use.
Things We Didn't Like
- Bevel scale measurements may prove to be hard to read.
- Dust management is of average quality with a mounted dust bag.
5. Metabo KGS305 12-Inch Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The KGS30512 is a great 12-inch sliding compound miter saw from Metabo. It functions on a 15-amp motor that delivers 3800 RPM, making this an ideal saw for home improvement and DIY projects.
The saw has a large crosscut capacity and can deal with material up to 12 ½ inches wide and 4 ¾ inches high. It has a number of features to make it extremely handy for any amateur. If you find that no positive stops are available at your preferred angle, you can set your miter detent to make operations time and effort efficient. The bevel angle can also be adjusted easily by using a lever, to ensure accuracy quickly.
It also takes care of user safety with an integrated saw blade lock that makes blade-changing fast and easy. The adjustable positioning clamp allows you to firmly secure pieces horizontally as well as vertically.
The machine weighs around 76.8 pounds and comes with a 1-year standard warranty. An extended warranty period of 3 years is available with online registration.
Things We Liked
- Unique dust collection system to keep the base of the saw dust-free.
- Miter scale efficiently indicates roof-pitch angle to ensure precise cuts.
Things We Didn't Like
- The measurements, with the bubble style indicators, are hard to read.
The above list mentions the best sliding compound miter saw models from some of the most reputed names in the tool industry. Brand-name tools are always worth the investment as they provide performance and quality as well as credible redressal of any grievance. Moreover, safety is a paramount concern with power tools and all the above brands have optimised their tools to provide the best in that category.
Among equals , we picked the following two as the most ferocious competitors: Hitachi C12RSH 15 Amp 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw and DeWalt DW718 12-Inch Double-Bevel Slide Compound Miter Saw. They went head-to-head on the following grounds:
Both saws are equipped with 15 amp motor and 12” blades. However, Hitachi C12RSH offers 3800 RPM while DeWalt DW718 manages 3600 RPM under the same conditions. Undoubtedly, Hitachi wins this round.
Hitachi is bulkier at 64 pounds and loses to DeWalt which manages pretty much the same features at 53 pounds.
Hitachi one-ups DeWalt with its excellent built-in laser marker and micro-adjustment knobs for precision. Both these performance-enhancing features are absent from the DeWalt, with little else to gain an advantage over Hitachi.
The miter and bevelling capacities are a prime consideration to determine the worthiness of the saw. DeWalt offers an advantage over Hitachi as the angle ranges for both miter and bevel applications are larger. However, they difference is not large enough to justify paying almost double the price for DeWalt. Therefore, Hitachi wins this round too.
Hitachi offers a best-in-the class 5-year warranty which DeWalt’s 3 years warranty just not match up to.
Winning 4 out of 5 rounds, Hitachi C12RSH 15 Amp 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw emerges as the best sliding compound miter saw to bet your money on.
If you're looking for a more standard type of table saw, make sure you check out our other reviews also.