Miter saws, commonly referred to as Chop saws (chop saws are actually limited to 90 degree capabilities and less versatile then miter saws) are one of the most useful power tools that person could ever own. If you are truly serious about home projects and renovations this tool is a must.
If you are just tinkering around in the garage and that’s the extent of your woodworking, then smaller less robust tools should prove more then adequate. On the other hand, if you’re ready to take on some serious projects around the house, something requiring a more sophisticated, capable tool, the miter saw is the one to purchase.
James’ Guide to Miter Saws
Miter Saw’s function similarly to a table saw, circular saw, and much, much more. The best miter saws combine safety, portability, durability with diverse functionality, allowing you to make that perfect angled cut.
Each of the saw brands reviewed offers a smaller, less versatile tool at a lower cost. It is the opinion of Let’s Fix it up, that this particular tool purchase should be adequate to perform all the jobs you will encounter in and around your home or as a professional contractor. It is for this reason that we choose to review for the BEST 12′ Miter Saw as a matter of practicality and of similar price range of Miter saw.
I have personally owned and used many of the Miter Saws reviewed here. As an addition, I have read several reviews on all of these Miter Saws, both by professionals and home owners. So here in lies our comprehensive opinion on the BEST Miter Saw’s for your hard earned money.
Standard vs Compound Miter Saws
What is the difference between a standard and compound miter saw?
Basic or Standard miter saws are designed to handle simple cuts. You can make perpendicular 90° cuts as well as common angled miter cuts with this type of saw. A basic miter saw should cost somewhere between $100.00-$275.00
Compound miter saws, allow you to make bevel cuts in addition to straight and miter cuts. The entire saw blade mechanism tilts to allow for the beveled cut.
Some compound miter saws tilt in one direction only for bevel cuts, while other compound saws allow for tilt in either the right or left. If you have a saw that only tilts one way, expect the need to cut many of your cuts upside down to achieve the desired results.
Compound miter saws typically range in price from around $175.00 – $425.00
Best Miter Saw Overall: Hitachi C12RSH2
Why I Chose This As My Top Pick
This is the Miter Saw that I currently own. It has served me very, very well and I am quite convince that I would never purchase another brand of Miter Saw. Aside from some minor catching issues as the saw ages (A quick squirt of WD-40 remedies this nicely) This saw has proven to be durable, reliable and accurate. I love the Laser Tracking System, which I am not sure I would be willing to do without.
Best Runner Up Miter Saw: Bosch GCM12SD
Why I Chose the Bosch GCM12SD
Although I have not personally used this saw, based on the several customer reviews that I have read, the Bosch 120 Volt 12″ Glide Miter saw has won my support. Perhaps if I had personally used this saw I could give it the BEST rating, however, at a $200.00 increase in price over the Hitachi it would have to perform remarkably better to justify the higher cost.
Best Compound Miter Saw: DEWALT DWS780
Why I Chose the DEWALT DWS780
I have used this and other Dewalt Miter Saws on various commercial jobs applications over the years. Some of the negatives include: some ball bearing (Catching, sliding difficulties), to many plastic components reducing stability and longevity. However, Generally I think they are pretty darn good saws,
The Best of the Rest Miter Saw: Makita LS1216L
Why I Chose the Makita LS1216L
I have owned several Makita tools over the years and have had good results with all of them. If I were to select a BEST Miter Saw based on the name alone, Mikita would win hands down, I’ve always loved that name…Makita. However, based on performance and value, Makita comes in third BEST. The Mikita Miter Saw is durable, has exceptional maneuverability, cuts accurately and the ball bearing system is better then most as it has less catching and sticking. Love the Laser System
Make an assessment on the features of the saw that you will actually be using, it makes no sense to pay for features that you are not using. Instead, focus your attention on things that are practical and on features that you will utilize. Are the adjustments easily performed? Are the adjustments those that meet your needs? Does the saw have enough power to make the required cuts, is the saw to hard to move? Miter saws, all of them, generate a large amount of sawdust, even the very best of them only gather a maximum of 75% of the generated dust. Lasers are an excellent feature, however, for precise cutting should not be counted on to much.
Remember, you can never be to safe, these saws have built in protections, but they can still damage you and damage you severely. Not getting distracted and using common sense are great ideas. Always, always wear eye protection and a good quality dust mask.
Everyone’s needs are different to some extent, assess your personal needs and pick the miter saw that is best for you. Your choice will certainly vary from other people, make sure that your money spent, is spent wisely. Be smart, be safe and have fun creating!!
Jessie is a skilled craftsman & DIY expert – with years of general contracting and real estate development experience, Jessie founded LetsFixItUp.com as an authoritative resource for home renovation, design and DIY projects.