Compound Sliding Miter Saws

Professional Tool Review

Compound Sliding Miter Saws – A Review

 Use my Tips to pick the Best Compound Sliding Miter Saws

Compound Sliding Miter Saws are one of my favorite tools.

Early in 1979 I started my Apprenticeship as a Carpenter by using a Radial Arm Saw. The Radial Arm Saw has basically become extinct because of the introduction of the multi faceted and much more user friendly Compound Sliding  Miter Saws.

Compound Sliding  Miter Saws are built as a complete solitary unit, and the main unit slides similar to earlier models of the Radial Arm Saw. Just about all Compound Sliding Miter Saws will easily control bevel cuts of up to Fifty Degrees, and quite often more. Most sliding saws will also permit you blast out 90 degree cuts close to fourteen inches. Metal cutting blades can be easily used on the Sliding Miter Saw to cut most metals.

One of my first compound sliding miter saws (Chop Saw), was a Hitachi 8″ unit. This saw was one of the first in its class and proved to be a very dependable, versatile, and a productive tool in the construction industry. I quickly found a way to open up the blade housing and install a 10″ blade, because no one had yet made a Sliding Miter Saw capable of housing a 10″ blade. It didn’t take long for me to burn out the motor. Today everyone I know, including myself, uses the 12″ Compound Sliding Miter Saws of their choice. Compound sliding miter saws choices are many!

I have used most every make and model available on the market today. This review will cover those tools that I feel are worthy of mention. I will also review a couple of very inexpensive Miter Saws that any home owner or handyman would be proud to own. This will include new and re-conditioned brand names.

Here is an email I received from “toolman”

On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 3:49 PM, toolman  wrote:

From: toolman

It is my opinion that when you purchase a miter saw or any other tool you will be taking in the different models of the different manufacturers,comparing this and comparing that.When all is said and done what matters is how often you will use said tool,how much does it cost.And also what is your knowledge of what the tool is designed for.

My response was somewhat more detailed. I like to give a more detailed response when I talk about tools because tools make me money.

This is MaximumMarketer’s(Johnny Kowal) opinion after 35 years as a Tradesman using almost every model of tool out

there and basically having knowledge first hand or that of other Tradesmen I respect.
!! What matters is:
 1. Does the tool perform all the functions it is capable  accurately.
 2. Will the tool stand up to rigorous use when {Needed}
 3. Can I easily obtain parts for this tool and repair it quickly
       in most circumstances.
  4. Cost is relative. I don’t by cheap crap no matter if it’s used
        only once. But by now I know what crap is.
   5. Knowledge of a tool comes from experience and great mentor-ship. Not watching videos and reading how to books.
P.S. Over the years I have redesigned some of my tools to take on more functions. I may be risking more wear and tear, but it has always been worth it in the end because I understand most tools.
PSS. Everyone I know has different preferences when it comes to models. A Miter Saw is just that and nothing else. They might throw a laser or some other useless niknak on but a “Real” Tradesman just needs the basics to do fine work. I do prefer the 12 inch.
Bigger is “almost” always better in my opinion but I do have a cordless Makita with a 6″ blade that does smaller crown and moldings when I’m at the bench and don’t want to tie up my main Slider. But that doesn’t stop me from using the larger saw for really small cuts.

My all-time favorite was a 12″ Makita compound sliding miter saw. But today, I own the 12″ Rigid Saw and from my perspective as a Skilled Master Carpenter, I have found it to be very accurate and user-friendly.

I would like you to visit airpowertools page for some great reviews and my views on the best buy from years of experience.

Compound Sliding Miter Saws-Best Compound Sliding Miter Saws:

The Makita Sliding Compound Miter Saw is proudly made in the United States. That is truly rare today. The Makita Tool Corporation supports United States Youth Job Training Programs which gives most kids a chance to learn a trade of their choice. The warranties on all their tools is exceptionally solid.

The Makita Corporation was established 1915. They have 96 years in this industry and have consistently been the industry leaders and innovators. Customer ratings on an average sit at 4/5 to 5/5 for customer satisfaction.

You can always tell an authentic Makita tool by it’s unique and attractive teal color.

Makita compound sliding miter saws are outstanding, durable power tools, with an amazing track record for precision cuts and a long cutting life. The price you pay will most certainly be affordable compared to most other Sliding Compound Miter Saws.

Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter SawCompound Sliding Miter Saws
Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws

DeWalt  Compound Sliding Miter Saws can be more expensive but quality Compound Sliding Miter Saws can sometimes vary in price. The higher price tag is well worth the money, simply because of its durability, superior cutting quality, quickness and precision, and a better than most warranty that spans 3-4 years. DeWalt manufactured a lightweight, compact design with superior materials for support and base extension capabilities on their saws.

DEWALT DW718 12-Inch Double-Bevel Slide Compound Miter SawCompound Sliding Miter Saws
Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws

Milwaukie Compound Sliding Miter Saws offer consumers a sliding miter saw that gives accuracy, power and ease of use. The miter angle digital readout gives the Milwaukie compound sliding miter saws a repeatable accuracy to 0.1 degree and fine adjust with detent override that makes it simple to dial-in precise miter angles. Compared to others in this price range I don’t think you can go wrong.

Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw with Digital Miter Angle Fine AdjustCompound Sliding Miter Saws
Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws

Hitachi Compound Sliding Miter Saws combine the capacity of a radial arm saw and the convenience of a miter saw. I found Hitachi to have easy to record measurements and quick settings. That’s important to us in the movie industry simply because things change so fast – sometimes before you even finish designing one set of plans. Adjustable pivot fence, designed for increased cutting precision and durability. One of the more reasonably priced choices.

Hitachi C12RSH 15 Amp 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw with LaserCompound Sliding Miter Saws
Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws

Craftsman compound sliding miter saws were no surprise to find out that they are easy to work with. Included extras are often optional accessories on other saws, reasonable pricing, and precision cutting make this an extremely competitive saw for most people in this industry or an affordable gift for Father’s Day. I found the trigger operation a bit of a nuisance, but perhaps that is because I am used to not having to depress a trigger completely to make it work as if it were fully depressed. Craftsman Compound Sliding Miter Saws are well built and versatile.

Craftsman 12 in. Compound Miter Saw with Laser TracCompound Sliding Miter Saws
Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws

Ridgid compound sliding miter saw has been called ‘the next step up for the beginning wood worker,’ but it is my experience that if you are looking for a good all-around compound sliding miter saw to do the job, that you won’t be disappointed with this one.

Ridgids are mainly aluminum – much better than some plastic designs, that I won’t even mention the names of, making it a lighter weight. You’ll want to use your table saw for better cut detail to handle bigger jobs, but for things like a crown molding this works great!

Cost is very reasonable and most stores have sales and special discount coupons that are worth watching for! Your handyman can cut pine, oak, maple and brick (if you get them a brick blade that they can switch to) with ease with this saw.

Ridgid MS1290LZA Saw, 12-Inch Compound Sliding Miter with LaserCompound Sliding Miter Saws
Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws

I do need to mention that the Jet Compound Sliding Miter Saw Models are rising in popularity and the Festool seems to be the Mercedes of the Compound Sliding Miter Saws but you will pay a premium to own one of these ultimate tools.

Jet JMS-12SCMS 12-Inch Dual-Bevel Slide Compound Miter SawCompound Sliding Miter Saws Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter SawCompound Sliding Miter Saws
Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws

Compound Sliding Miter Saws-Recommendations: 

Compound Sliding Miter Saws are a must in any shop and most Tradesmen, homeowners and Handymen cannot be without these awesome tools.

  • You need a tool that can cut through at least 13 inches of stock at a 90 degree angle.
  • The best feature of this amazing tool is the ability to make compound cuts in one slice without have to do two separate cuts.
  • If you are in the market for Compound Sliding Miter Saws then I suggest you go down to any outlet and try moving the components.
  • Get a feel for how easy it is to set the compound sliding miter saws up and how solid everything is when you change settings.
  • Make sure to wiggle the main arm of the compound sliding miter saws to see that there is absolutely no movement when it is in a locked position.
  • Take a look at the guard setup and observe how easy it is to see the cutting operation as you raise and lower the blade.

Not everyone needs a 12 inch model. In many cases, 10 inch Compound Sliding Miter Saws will do just fine. In this category I would definitely recommend Makita or Dewalt.

Makita LS1016 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter SawCompound Sliding Miter Saws DEWALT DW713 10-Inch Compound Miter SawCompound Sliding Miter Saws
Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws Compound Sliding Miter SawsCompound Sliding Miter Saws

My Final Compound Sliding Miter Saws Tip:

Do not try to modify the saw in any way.

Compound  Sliding Miter Saws are engineered for safety and optimum functionality.

I still find that ordering compound sliding miter saws online gives me the best choices and the best price for accessories, blades, and the complete saw.