best compound miter saw

Best Compound Miter Saw For Accurate Miters And Crosscuts

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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The best compound miter saw should be a part of your toolkit if you plan on making different cuts for your complex home DIY projects or professional projects. Compound miter saws are the best miter saws to achieve crown moldings, picture frames, and any project that may need angled cuts in two planes because they have the advantage of making compound cuts in one pass. It is the best tool that can be used for crosscutting materials and making perfect miters both in and off your workshop.

Whether you want the best compound miter saw for your DIY tasks or professional projects, we have a suggestion for you below with significant pros and cons. The article also has a detailed buying guide to help any woodworker navigate the buying process easier by knowing what to check when purchasing their saws.

1. DEWALT Miter Saw DWS716

DEWALT Miter Saw, Double-Bevel, Compound, 12-Inch,...
  • Stainless steel miter detent plate with 14 positive stops...
  • Tall sliding fences of the mitre saw support crown molding up to...
  • Double-bevel design of DEWALT miter saw allows saw to bevel 0...
  • 0 degree - 50 degree left and right miter capacity. Power Tool...
  • Cam lock miter handle with detent override delivers quick and...

The Dewalt DWS716 is one of the best Dewalt miter saws in the market that is suitable for at-home crosscutting and trimming. The dual bevel compound miter cuts board up to 8 inches wide and can also cut the bevels in two different directions. It features a stainless steel miter plate that gives 14 positive stops and delivers continuous accuracy and durability with the 12-inch miter saw blade.

Dewalt compound miter saw features tall sliding fences that support cutting crown molding and base molding vertically against the fence. The Dewalt miter saw, apart from a carbide-tipped blade, includes a vertical clamp in the package that can be used to hold the board while cutting and also has a blade wrench and a dust bag. The 12-inch miter saw also includes a mechanism that locks the spring arm in a down position unless locked with a button on the back to guarantee safety.


  • Support base and crown molding.
  • Produces perfect bevel cuts.
  • Safety mechanism that locks the spring arm.
  • Dual bevel design.
  • Includes a wrench and a dust bag in the package.


  • It does not have a slide lock lever responsible for the optimal cut position for the crown molding tasks.

2. BOSCH Power Tools GCM12SD

BOSCH GCM12SD 15 Amp 12 Inch Corded Dual-Bevel Sliding...
  • AXIAL GLIDE SYSTEM: patented glide system allows wider cross cuts...
  • CAPACITY: expanded cutting capacity, 14 inch horizontal capacity...
  • ADJUSTABLE: provides easy adjustments with a large, easy-to-read...
  • PRECISION: square lock quick release fences lock fence 90 degree...
  • EASE OF USE: upfront bevel controls all metal bevel lock lever...

BOSCH GCM12SD is the best compound miter saw if you are looking for an impressive cutting capacity thanks to the axial glide system, which allows a wider crosscut capacity and better alignment. The glide system does not use the standard rail setup, and it uses a sort of robotic gliding arm that effortlessly glides the saw to and fro. The Bosch sliding compound miter features a 60 tooth carbide blade that cuts smoothly but may not be suitable for maximum smoothness like furniture or cabinet work.

This sliding compound miter saw is better than other saws when cutting tall standing crown molding and any vertical base clearing available in corded and cordless models. The Bosch sliding miter saw can be placed against the wall, which saves you space in your workshop that would have been occupied with the traditional rails and making it suitable for tight workspaces. The sliding compound miter saw has a quick-release square lock fence that comes aligned out of the miter box at 90 degrees to the saw table needing minimum adjustments.


  • Impressive cutting power.
  • Saves working space because you.
  • An accurate and precise system.
  • Reliable brand and glide system.
  • Easy lock and unlock feature.
  • Quick-release square lock fences


  • Quite heavy.
  • It cannot be transported easily.
  • Does not include laser lighting to guide your cuts.

3. DEWALT DWS715 12-Inch Single Bevel Miter Saw

DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, 15-Amp, Single Bevel,...
  • Stainless-steel miter detent plate of 12-inch miter saw blade...
  • The mitre saw features the precise miter system and machined base...
  • Tall sliding fence of DEWALT miter saw supports 5-1/2-inch base...
  • Bevels 0 degree - 48degree to the left and 0 degree- 3degree to...
  • 2-inch x 8-inch dimensional lumber cross cut capacity at 90...

Dewalt DWS715 single bevel compound miter saw features a powerful 15 amp motor with a no-load speed of 4000 RPM, and a 12-inch miter saw blade making it capable of cutting through most moldings and framing. The 12-inch miter saw blade is thin enough to make any bevel cuts and crosscuts and also includes a stainless steel detent plate that has 11 positive stops for easy miter cuts at different miter angles.

The Dewalt single compound miter also comes with a miter lock knob that ensures easy adjustments and fences can freely slide and support large crown moldings, which as vertical against the saw fence. This is the best miter saw for a DIYer looking for a functional miter saw for his everyday wood tasks as it is very user-friendly and not looking to settle for just any single bevel compound miter saw.


  • Versatile thanks to the miter detents.
  • Easy to set the single compound miter saw for bevel angle cuts.
  • Powerful motor.
  • Durable build.
  • Precise and clean cuts.
  • No adjustments or tweaking needed


  • It has an elevated part on the saw that will likely bottom out if you don't use the depth stop.

4. Craftsman CMCS714M1 Compound Sliding Miter Saw

CRAFTSMAN V20 Miter Saw Kit, 7-1/4 inch, Cordless,...
  • POWERFUL MOTOR: 3,800 RPM motor of CRAFTSMAN miter saw is made...
  • SLIDE CAPABILITIES: The mitre saw has 8-inch cross cut at...
  • ADDED CAPACITY: The sliding miter saw cuts 3-5/8-inch nested...
  • ACCURACY AND VISIBILITY: LED cut line positioning system
  • QUICK AND ACCRUATE: 9 casted miter detent stops for adjustments

Craftsman sliding compound miter saw a powerful cordless miter saw that could fall among the best budget-friendly options for DIYers and professional woodworkers. The sliding compound miter saw features a new and precise miter system and a rubber handle that makes transportation easy for different job sites. With a 3800 RPM and 20V brushless motor, the sliding compound miter saw guarantees an exceptionally fast cutting speed at different cutting angles.

Craftsman CMCS714M1 also comes with a linear ball-bearing slide rail system that guarantees increased durability and accuracy. Notably, it packs an impressive dust collection system that will help keep your workstation clean and tidy. However, this unit does not offer adjustable bearings, and the sliding function might also be a bit rough, causing the unit to be unreliable over time and, as a result, lose productivity.


  • Offers impressive durability and cutting capacity.
  • Adjustment free cuts thanks to the positioning system.
  • It has a reliable side function.
  • Comes with a dust bag.
  • Packs a three-year warranty for additional protection.
  • Easy to transport to different working sites.


  • Lacks an adjustable miter detent plate.
  • The sliding function may be a bit rough.

5. DEWALT FLEXVOLT Double Bevel Compound Miter Saw

DEWALT FLEXVOLT 120V MAX* Miter Saw, 12-Inch, Double...
  • Flexible power -The 12-inch miter saw blade has the corded or...
  • Runtime - The mitre saw provides up to 289 cross cuts in 3-1/4...
  • CUTLINE blade positioning system of DEWALT miter saw delivers...

Dewalt DHS790AB is the best compound miter saw for any professionals, whether the picture-frame fabricators or trim carpenters. It features both the cordless and corded miter saw and provides a flexible power source with the 12-inch miter saw blade. You can plug the saw in a standard electrical power source or use a FLEXVOLT 20V/60V MAX battery which you have to purchase separately.

Dewalt double bevel compound miters saws are a worthy option as they offer precise dual bevel cuts and have sliding rails that allow woodworkers to cut boards of up to 16 inches. Additionally, the compound miter lights up the cutting area and provides an accurate cut line that gives you perfect bevel cuts. The unit includes a wrench and a dust bag in the package, but the battery must be bought separately.


  • A flexible power source as you can switch between the corded and cordless option.
  • Accurate line of sight to the cuts thanks to the cutline blade positioning system.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Lights the cutting area and provide an accurate cut line.
  • It can be used for commercial purposes.


  • The power adapter is a bit unreliable.

What To Consider Before Purchasing The Best Compound Miter Saw

1. Space/ Footprint

Space is always an important consideration when getting most tools because you need to confirm you have enough space to put your compound miter saw. Sliding compound miter saws usually have a large footprint, and you may need a lot of space to operate them, whereas non-sliding compound miter saws are usually compact and may need a small footprint. The latter is more suitable for woodworkers with limited space, but the compound sliding miter saw is suitable for a woodworker with unlimited space to work with.

2. Blade

Most miter saws feature a standard blade suitable for rough cuts, but you should consider purchasing an extra blade if you are working on woodworking projects that will need smooth cuts. The larger the blade, the bigger the cuts you will get, and determining what blade size is the best for you, you need to know what type of projects you need the saw for. The common miter saw sizes are 8, 10, and 12 inches.

When considering the blade size, you should also check the tooth count of the saw because each saw has its number of teeth. The large-sized blades have more teeth than the smaller blades, and the more the teeth, the smoother the finish, meaning clean miter cuts for projects like furniture making. On the other hand, the low tooth count blades give less clean miter cuts and are more suitable for DIY projects or cutting framing lumber. However, if you are planning to cut through thick material, you should opt for a low tooth count.

3. Power Source

Whether the saw is corded, cordless, or battery-operated is another consideration you need to check before making your purchase. The power source will be determined by where you plan to use the miter saw most of the time.

For the corded options, you should ensure you go for a motor that gives a minimum of 15 amps and a minimum of 3,500 RPM at no-load speed, as this is the minimum threshold if you plan to use your compound miter professionally. However, for home projects, that much power is unnecessary, and you should determine the projects you need to finish then match an appropriate motor to that.

For workers planning to use the saws away from their shop most of the time, the best choice would be the cordless miter saws because you may not always have access to electricity. Notably, some compound miter saws have cordless and corded options, making them more versatile and guarantee you will always be equipped to finish your job easily.

4. Dust Collection

Even though miter saws don't produce a lot of dust, they still produce a fair amount, and if the dust is not properly collected, the air and your place of work can look like a huge mess. This can be avoided by purchasing a compound miter saw that comes with a proper dust collection.

Most compound saws have dust collection features. Some feature dust ports that can easily be attached to a vacuum to guarantee easy cleanup, and others feature a simple dust bag.

5. Bonus Features

One of the best bonus features you can get from other sliding miter saws is the laser guide and lights, marking a green or red line across your wood to show you where your blade will land and cut. The laser guide and lights are worth the additional investments because they give perfect-looking accurate cuts and are suitable for individuals who are not yet confident in keeping their cuts accurate.

Another bonus feature would be a digital display that shows a user the miter settings information and allows them to quickly adjust while checking what's happening with the compound miter saw.

6. Safety Features

One of the most important safety operating a miter saw without a blade guard is a risky thing to do, so if you see a compound miter saw without a guard, it's better to avoid it. The other safety feature would be a non-slip grip handle that prevents slipping, even on a sunny day. Manufacturers have come up with padded non-slip grips that help to reduce hand fatigue but give the user a better grip. Many miter saws don't include the non-slip grips, but it would be better if you opted for one that does.

Another safety feature would be an electric brake system that guarantees safety by stopping the blade efficiently and quickly. When the trigger is pulled, electricity floes, and when its releases, the electric current reverses, and the blade stops immediately.

7. Weight

The weight of the compound miter saw is only a factor if you will be transporting your machine to other locations. If you need a sliding compound miter, saw for transportation, ensure you purchase a lightweight and compact miter saw. However, keep in mind that you may not get the best power with these units, especially when cutting larger pieces, but you will be able to move as freely as you want.

The other miter saws meant to be used in one place should be mounted to table saws or a suitable work surface and complete your tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions On The Best Compound Miter Saws

1. Should You Push Or Pull When Using Sliding Miter Saws?

These saws have been designed to cut on a push stroke, and if you pull them, you might ned up getting a climb cut. This can be dangerous as the climb cut can cause the blade to rise and go after you. Therefore, it's best to push to avoid any danger and achieve perfect-looking fine cuts when using the sliding miter saw.

2. Can You Use Circular Saws Instead Of Miter Saws?

Yes. It is possible but keeps in mind that using circular saws can be dangerous because you are operating on a freehand because you can manage to hold your hand safely and have better control. However, you can use a circular saw if you want perfect-looking fine cuts in a jig or a straight edge setup, but you would have to measure the miter angle. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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