Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a woodworking professional, a miter saw is one of your most important tools. It’s an essential supplement to a regular saw that allows you to make all sorts of cuts that a regular saw would struggle with.
However, they are relatively expensive pieces of equipment, and you do want to make sure you get the top saw for your money. That’s why our guide will help you choose the best sliding compound miter saw.
The Best Sliding Compound Miter Saws Reviewed
1) Bosch Power Tools GCM12SD – 15 Amp 12 in. Corded Dual-Bevel Sliding Glide Miter Saw with 60 Tooth Saw Blade
The Bosch GCM12SD uses Bosch’s proprietary axial-glide technology that allows for wider cross-cuts and a smoother operation throughout the lifetime of the tool. The axial-glide system works by eliminating the traditional rail system of sliding saws and replacing it with two arms, one horizontal and one vertical which help the saw slide smoothly without the need for rails. Not only does this save space, but you can also be sure that every cut you make will be as accurate as the last.
The GCM12SD is built with user comfort in mind. The D-shaped handle is designed to be used by both left-handed and right-handed users. There are also adjustable miter and bevel detents that cover all the major cuts you want to make. These can be overridden manually, so you’re not limited in any way. Even the dust collection bag works great, leaving you with a minimal mess to clean up.
The main downside to the GCM12SD is the price. It’s definitely at the top of the price range, but with the variety of features it comes with, you can see why. The build quality of everything is excellent, and many users say that, despite years of use and abuse on work sites, the saw still functions as it did the first day out of the box.
It comes with a high-quality saw blade in the box and offers unparalleled power and durability. If you have the money to invest in a high-quality compound miter saw, this should be the one you get. Not only is it built for comfort and ease of use, but it’s also durable and made to last, and will serve you well for years to come.
2) DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw, One Size
The Dewalt DS780 is a compound sliding miter saw that is aimed at both amateurs and professionals with a versatile and powerful set of features. It has an impressive range of capacities that makes it incredibly useful for people who work on different kinds of woodworking projects.
In fact, the DWS780 can cut wood pieces that are up to 16-inches wide at a 90° angle, which isn’t a range often seen on mid-range saws like this. It can also cut dual bevels without having to flip the wood around for the second bevel and can even cut horizontal miter cuts and vertical bevel cuts at the same time.
Another outstanding feature on the DWS780 is an LED guide light that can help you make consistent and accurate cuts by allowing you to see beforehand where the cut will be. It’s an indispensable tool for beginners and professionals alike.
The DWS780 is rather bulky and big for a DIY amateur’s saw and will take up plenty of space in the garage, especially when you factor in the stand. However, the design of the saw promotes ease of use and comfort, so you’ll be happy to give up that space.
There’s a transparent sliding fence that helps you see where you’re cutting, ensuring that every cut is perfectly square. The saw also comes with a cam lock system that makes repeatable cuts more reliable and accurate.
The main drawback of the DWS780 is the blade itself. It doesn’t offer a very fine finish and is adequate for amateur work, but a professional will have to invest in a higher-quality blade. The dust bag also doesn’t work very well, so be prepared for extra cleanup.
3) Makita LS1018 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
The Makita LS1018 is a highly rated sliding compound miter saw that is aimed at professionals but is versatile enough for amateurs as well. It’s priced at a reasonable point that offers a great saw from a reputable manufacturer. It’s versatile enough to handle most jobs you throw at it, with the ability to cut a 12-inch board at 90° or cut a miter cut on an 8.5-inch board at 45°. Not as impressive at the Dewalt DWS780, but it comes close.
The LS1018 is a dual-bevel saw, which will save you plenty of time if you do a lot of beveling since you don’t have to spend time rotating your wood around before cutting the second bevel. It can cut a bevel up to 45°, which is the industry standard and good enough for most jobs.
An unexpected plus of the LS1018 is its weight. It only weighs 43 pounds, which is far less than most of the comparable saws in this range. This aspect makes it great for contractors and people who regularly work on-site. It’s not so friendly towards amateurs who work in the garage since it’s got a relatively large footprint which may take up a lot more space than you’d like.
The Makita LS1018 is explicitly aimed at professionals, offering a wide variety of cuts and is light enough to be carried from site to site. While it’s also okay for DIY enthusiasts, amateur woodworkers will get annoyed by the lack of convenience features like a guiding laser or above-average dust bag. However, for the price and the features that you do get, you may be able to put up with some of that inconvenience to get an excellent quality saw.
Sliding vs. Compound Miter Saw
A compound miter saw is an excellent tool for creating both bevel and miter cuts which add a whole range of variety to the woodwork you can do. When you start shopping around, though, you’ll find that the choices can be overwhelming and everybody has their own opinion of what is better. One of the most apparent divisions is that between the sliding compound miter saw and the stationary compound miter saw. What’s the difference?
Stationary compound miter saws, commonly just referred to as ‘compound miter saws’ are ones that have a pivoting arm that allows for the blade to be tipped to the side. This mobility means you can make both miter and bevel cuts using the saw. That’s why it’s called a compound miter saw. The stationary part refers to the fact that the pivot arm is fixed relative to the rest of the body of the tool.
In a sliding compound miter saw, there is a rail that is used to slide the saw head forwards and backward during operation. This means that it can handle thicker cuts of wood than the stationary compound miter saw. If you’re planning on regularly cutting thick pieces of wood or even logs, the sliding compound miter saw is your best bet.
How to Use a Sliding Compound Miter Saw
When you first start using your sliding compound miter saw, make sure that you take the time to familiarize yourself with all the components before you begin cutting. Take a look at the owner’s manual and watch some YouTube videos to get an idea of how the saw functions.
Make sure you select the right blade for the job, as that will make your job so much easier and extend the lifespan of your saw. If your blade is vibrating or overheating, it’s probably dull and needs to be replaced.
When you’re ready to start cutting, use a test piece of wood to make sure that your angles are set correctly and the cut is coming out how you want. You can then lock the saw down which will ensure that the cut remains consistent and looks how you want it. Be careful not to over screw the locking mechanism as this can cause stripping and eventually break the screw.
The best way to learn how to use your sliding compound miter saw is to use it. When you get stuck, refer to the manual or go online to find a solution for your problem and then try again. With enough experience, you’ll be using your saw like a pro.
In Conclusion – Sliding Compound Mitre Saw
Choosing the right compound miter saw can be tricky since so many saws on the market cater to completely different users. Some saws are better for professionals, while others are aimed at hobbyists. When you’re looking for a best sliding compound miter saw, choose a sliding saw if you can afford it, since it adds a significant amount of leeway in the cuts you can do, giving you more versatility.