As a woodworker, professional carpenter, or a home DIYer, there's times where a good quality angle cut is needed on a project. Trying to make a bad cut work can be downright frustrating and annoying.
I know, I've tried many of times trying to make it work with a speed square or a straight edge with clamps and it just doesn't work. Frustrating!
A miter saw will solve your problems, without a doubt. But what is the best compound miter saw? After all, just any won't do for your needs.
We've researched a ton of options and came up with these top 5 to take a hard look at. Some a less expensive than others while others offer the highest quality cuts. Whatever your specific needs are, one of these will serve you well.
How to Choose the Best Compound Miter Saw
Miter saws have lots of different variations, and they also come with lots of different features. Here are some tips on what to look for the in the best compound miter saw for the money, and the best compound miter saw for woodworking.
Important Miter Saw Buying Tips
Compound Miter Saws – This type of saw has blades that will pivot either to the left or right for angled cuts, plus, for beveled cuts, it will tilt in one direction. By maneuvering the saw on its axis at the same time, you get a compound miter cut.
These saws are great for cutting crown molding, picture frames, and projects that need angled cuts in two planes. They have the advantage of being able to make compound cuts in one pass.
Dual Compound Miter Saws – This type of saw works like a compound miter saws, but a dual compound miter saw can tilt both left and right which can create bevels at any angle.
Sliding Compound Miter Saws - This is a versatile compound miter saws that has a sliding feature, which is very much like a radial arm saw that lets you move the blade both backward and forward. The benefit of the sliding feature is to increase the length of the cut that it makes.
You can get a lot of versatility from some additional features:
- The higher the amps, the more cutting power you will have.
- The most common blade sizes are 8, 10 and 12 inches. The bigger the diameter, the bigger the cut it will make.
- Factory set points, or positive stops, are presets to help you make quick accurate cuts for specific angles. The more factor set points a saw has, the less time you need to stop and set up the cuts. Some saws even have thumb-activated stops that make adjustments faster.
- Adjusting the height of the blade can be done with depth stops, this lets you control how deeply you cut into the piece of wood.
- An articulated blade guard allows you to have a good view of the cutting line, and it keeps the guard clear. It lowers when you raise the saw to cover the blade for safety.
- Electric brakes will reverse the electricity flow of the motor, which quickly stops the blade’s momentum in as little as two seconds.
- A spindle or shaft locks will freeze the shaft and blade making blade changes easier.
- Dust blowers and chutes move the sawdust from your work area, and dust bags can be mounted right on the saw to collect the sawdust.
- Table extensions support longer pieces of wood for a precise cut by connecting to the side of the saw.
- Flip fences and sliding can give extra support to longer pieces of wood for regular miter cuts. They can then be flipped or slid out of the way for other types of cuts.
- Laser guides and guide lights help to illuminate the area you are cutting for extra precision.
- Digital displays give you miter setting information and easy-to-read bevel.
What is the Best Compound Miter Saw?
Here's a brief summary of the top compound miter saws on the market today. We'll follow up with detailed compound miter saw reviews to make your decision easier.
Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-Inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw
The Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-Inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw is lightweight and portable, plus it gives you great versatility. It has flexible miter angles, and it comes with a dust collector to keep your work area clean and safe.
DeWalt DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw
The DeWalt DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw is great for a wide variety of crosscutting and miter jobs. It comes with an easy-to-adjust cam-lock miter handle that gives you accurate miter angles, and it also lets you change your miter settings, so your saw doesn’t slip into the miter detents.
Homecraft H26-260L 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw by Delta Power Tools
The Homecraft H26-260L 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw by Delta Power Tools includes a laser that makes aligning the blade easy and accurate. It very lightweight and portable, it is a great tool for the DIYer, and is the best miter saw for the homeowner.
Skil 3317-01 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
The Skil 3317-01 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw is a great saw for the beginner and it comes with tons of features. Like the Homecraft, the Skil also comes with an attached laser and it is very easy to mount onto a Skil stand in just three easy steps.
Makita LS1040 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
The Makita LS1040 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw is another great saw for a wide array of projects. It comes with a smooth start-up, electronic speed control, and it was built not to slip or get bogged down.
Best Compound Miter Saw Reviews
The Hitachi C10FCE2 10-inch Compound Miter Saw gives you precise, smooth performance that lets you crosscut and miter various pieces of wood, plywood, hard board, soft fiberboard, decorative panels, and aluminum sashes. The miter angles are flexible, and its compound capability gives you great flexibility at the jobsite. It’s a perfect saw for framers, woodworkers, and trim carpenters who need accuracy and dependability. This is a lightweight and very portable miter saw for its class.
The Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw has a 15-amp motor that creates a no-load speed of up to 5,000-RPM, so you can easily make miters and crosscuts, including the hardest cutting applications. The Hitachi has a well-designed horizontal handle to increase your comfort, and it lessens vibrations with the elastomer grip that always keeps you in control.
The included large table is a great guide that is durable and stable, and it has a built-in clamping system that holds your project in place. Simple miter adjustments are easy to make with the thumb-actuated positive miter stops from anywhere between 0 and 52-degrees left and right. The angle of the cutting blade is easy to change, so you can create miters in crown molding and other trim pieces.
Gorgeous bevels can be created with a range of 45-degrees to the left, and the large extended flip fence can be raised to 4-inches which allows for precise cuts on large projects up to 2-5/16-inches high and 5-21/32-inches deep. A dust collector lessens the build-up of dust and particles, plus the easy to access carbon brushes keep your saw performing for a long time.
- Has a 0-52 degree miter angle range to both the right and left for more versatility
- Included large extended flip fence that raises to 4" allows you to cut crown molding vertically
- Has a 0-45 degree bevel range to the left, plus adjustable bevel stops for precise cuts
- A horizontal handle with Elastomer grip lessens vibrations for additional control and comfort
- The carbon brush access lets you easily replace brushes when they are needed to increase your saw lifespan
- Decent miter saw for the money
- Reasonably well built and sturdy
- Good powerful moter
- Laser light in not very accurate
- Blade changes are awkward
- Table area is small compared to other brands
The DeWalt DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw gives you precise, fast cuts for any project. It has a powerful motor, plus convenient features that make it the ideal saw for a variety of miter and crosscutting jobs. The DeWalt DW715 comes with a blade wrench, a carbide blade, and a useful dust bag.
The DeWalt DW715 has a powerful 15 amp motor that gives you a no-load speed of 4,000 rpm, so it will efficiently take care of all your cutting, molding, and framing jobs. The durable design gives you a flexible setup, and superb precision that lets you manage a wide range of projects. The easy-to-adjust cam-lock miter handle gives you precise and fast miter angles, plus it lets you choose a detent override- so you can adjust the miter setting, and the saw won’t slip into the miter detents. It also has a wide miter capacity of 0 to 50 degrees to both the left and the right that adds to its flexibility.
A tall fence holds 5-1/4-inch crown molding and 6-1/2-inch base molding vertically nested against the fence. It easily slides when you are ready to make bevel cuts. The DeWalt DW715 provides clean, 45-degree bevel cuts that measure up to 2 by 8 inches through dimensional lumber quick and easily. You can also make bevel cuts that measure to the left from 0 degrees and 48 degrees to the left, and to the right from 0 degrees and 3 degrees to the right. The versatility increases with the hardened steel bevel stops at 0, 33.9, 45 and 48 degrees. Common bevel angles are a quick and easy process when finding and setting the most common bevel angles.
This is a lightweight and easy to transport miter saw that comes with a built-in carry handle. It is easy to carry around the jobsite, and then to carry home at the end of the day. It also comes with a three-year limited warranty, a one-year free service contract, plus a 90-day money back guarantee.
- Comes with a blade wrench, a carbide blade, dust bag, and a comfortable side handle in the base
- Includes a miter detent override that lets you override the miter stops, plus you can adjust the settings without the saw slipping into the miter detents
- Has an adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate with eleven positive stops
- Has tall sliding fences that support either crown molding up to 5-1/4-Inch, or base molding up to 6-1/2-Inch vertically against the fence that slides easily out of the way for bevel cuts
- The miter adjustment is rock solid
- Remarkably light and portable
- Very easy to change the blade
- The saw isn't compatible with any DeWalt Laser or LED work light
- Base doesn't rotate at all
- Has problems with the gear box
The Homecraft H26-260L 10 in. Miter Saw comes with a battery operated laser light that makes blade alignment easy and accurate. It has a spindle lock for easier blade changes, and a powerful 14 amp motor that gives you 5500 rpm. This is a great tool for everyday use and for the DIYer.
It has a smooth operation that is lightweight and very portable. It comes with fixed stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 30, and 45 degrees, and can create bevel cuts from 0 to 47 degrees. It also works with pretty much all miter saw stands.
- Lightweight and very portable
- Will work with almost all miter saw stands
- Has a spindle lock to make blade changes quick and easy
- Can make cuts at 4 x 4 and 2 x 6 at 90 degrees and 2 x 6 at bevel setting in one pass
- Has an ergonomic handle that gives you safe, predictable operation
- Saw cuts accurately and is light weight for portability
- Great price, great product
- The laser is very helpful and easy to use
- Positive stops are barely recognizable
- The provided clamp will only handle 2 x 4 stops
- Poor quality, guard breaks after a couple of uses
The Skil 3317-01 10 inch Compound Miter Saw has tons of features that are great for beginning woodworkers. The included Quick Mount System let you quickly and easily mount your saw onto a SKIL stand in three steps. The attached laser cutline-guide gives your precise and quick cuts, plus the nine positive stops for popular miter angles helps make crown molding and other demanding projects a breeze.
The Skil 3317-01 has a table extension with both left and right rails that cane handle 2 x 4’s easily, and a horizontal clamping system that holds wood securely. The included aluminum fence comes with convenient ruler markings, and the attached dust bag helps you keep your work area clean and safe. It is a lightweight, compact miter saw that is perfect for beginners, but powerful enough for tough projects.
- The Quick-Mount System makes setup on a miter saw fast and easy
- Included Laser Cutline Guide for quick and precise cuts
- Has a table extension with both left and right extension rails to cut long, large work pieces
- Has a horizontal clamping system that holds wood securely against the fence while cutting
- Has a Left/Right Lock-Off Switch for both right and left-handed users
- High quality power tool that is built to last
- Performs as well or better than tools costing twice as much
- Great for small and medium projects
- Product is cheaply made
- Terrible quality
- Accuracy of alignment out of the box is questionable
The Makita's LS1040 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw is a great mix of performance, power, and ease of use for a variety of jobs. It has a balanced 15 amp direct-drive motor that gives you 4,600 rpm for increased performance, plus it was created to not slip or get bogged down like a belt-drive unit. The electronic speed control keeps a constant speed with a load, and the soft-start feature makes all your start-ups smooth.
The Makita LS1040 miter saw comes with a dual post compound pivot arm that can bevel cut up to 45 degrees to the left. It’s miter adjustments vary from 0 to 45 degrees to the left and 0 to 52 degrees to the right, plus it has nine positive miter stops at 15, 22.5, 30, and 45 degrees (left or right), and 0 degree (90-degree cuts). It's engineered aluminum base guarantees precise cuts, and a fluorescent light makes your work area easy to use and comfortable.
The Makita LS1040 was created for a wide range of projects, and many professional applications. This saw is perfect for woodworkers, carpenters, case and base installers, cabinet installers, siding installers, decking and flooring applications, siding installers, and general contractors.
- Has a powerful 15.0 AMP motor for increased performance that gives 4,600 RPM
- Comes with a dual post compound pivoting arm
- Can bevel cuts up to 45° to the left
- Gives you miter cuts of 0°-45° left and 0°-52° right
- Has positive miter stops at nine settings: 15°, 22.5°, 30°, 45°, right or left and 0° (90° cuts)
- Lightweight and very portable
- Precision machined aluminum base guarantees precise cuts
- Dust collection works great
- It's definatetly worth the price
- Very powerful and has the most common settings
- Poor quality, cheaply made
- Directions are difficult to understand
- Made up of too much plastic and can't adjust for any angles besides the presets
What is the Best Compound Miter Saw for the Money?
The winner of the best compound miter saw roundup is the DeWalt DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw. Not only does it have a powerful motor, but it has great features that make it perfect for a wide variety of crosscutting and miter projects.
It makes creating all the common bevel angles a quick and easy process, and has a tall fence that holds crown and base molding vertically against the fence. The DeWalt DW715 miter saw is lightweight, and very portable, plus it comes with a blade wrench, a carbide blade, and a useful dust bag.
The definite winner of the best compound miter saw roundup is the DeWalt DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw, no contest.