Among DIY enthusiasts and professional carpenters, miter saws make quite an appeal when it comes to make precise and smooth bevel, angled, and miter cuts.
For beginners, a circular saw is too complicated to use, as it requires some experience and skills. The best miter saw for beginners makes angled cuts a lot easier without requiring much sawing skills.
It’s hard to find a user-friendly and convenient alternative tool to rely upon for crown molding, framing, trimming, cutting angular cuts on thicker and wider workpieces.
If you have set your mind, and don’t know much about miter saws, you can pick one from the list below considering your work requirements. Also, there is a dedicated buying guide that helps you to determine your actual needs.
Reviews of 10 Best Miter Saw for Beginners in 2021
01. Dewalt DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw- Best Overall
The first product on the list is from Dewalt. Tools and equipment made by this manufacturer are built to last for decades. And this isn’t an exception to its durability factor. Apart from that, the miter saw comes with great features and specs to provide you much great convenience cutting experience for both small and large projects.
Equipped with a 15amp powerful motor, saw blade rotates at 3800 rpm to provide you with superior cutting finish. Its sliding rail cutting fence allows you to cut 2×14 inches lumber without any issues. It will also fit a bit larger lumber than this size.
For versatile cutting, the saw can handle angular cuts with great precision. From its right side, the saw can cut at 60 degrees, and 50 degrees from its left side with 10 positive stops. If the projects require vertical cutting, you will find its rail lock latch comes very useful to keep the head away from the fence to ensure smooth operation.
To make sure you can handle cutting projects with great convenience, the tool also features a dual-bevel system, which makes it easier to have a closer visual to the workpiece for easy angle adjustment and precision. From 0-49 degrees, the tool features 5 positive stops in both directions for ease of operation.
If you have to work under low light, its ultra-bright LED light will illuminate the working area to make sure the cutting doesn’t come out wrong. This gives you a clear visual about where the blade contacts the workpiece. Its alignment system recalibrates time to time when you change the blade.
02. DEWALT DWS779 – Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw
If you are a bit low in budget, and still looking for a miter saw that doesn’t make much compromise in performance and using convenience, this can be the best beginner miter saw in such a case.
The power of mid-range miter saws in this budget friendly one. Its 15-amp motor is powerful enough to deliver a rotating speed of 3800 RPM. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional woodworker who mostly deals with medium projects, this saw would provide great value for the money.
Featuring an exclusive sliding rail back fence design, the saw can accommodate lumbers of 2×14 inches easily. You can make angular cuts at 45 degrees using 2×12 inches workpiece with great accuracy.
Compared to cheaper saws, the dust collection bag on this one is quite an effective piece of accessory. You can expect it to handle most than 75% of dust and particles, which will reduce a lot of hassle from your shoulders.
The blade on this one is a 12 inches double beveled made of carbide material. Similar to the overall construction of the tool, the blade is also sturdy, and will last years without any breaking issues at all. The blade is durable enough to make up to 6 inches deep cuts on wood pieces.
While cutting, you can make quick adjustments for convenience. It also features a cam lock to make sure adjustment doesn’t change due to movement, which assures precise cuts.
03. Metabo HPT C10FCGS – Best Budget Miter Saw
For DIY and small projects, you don’t need to speed an overwhelming amount of money to get a miter saw. This one from Metabo, formally known as Hitachi, is one of those low priced tools that deliver necessary performance to get things done for small needs. For its features, operation, and price, it stands for the best miter saw for beginners on the list.
The saw spots a 10 inches blade, which is made of durable grade steel to ensure longevity. Its large table can accommodate workpieces of 5-21/32 inches in width. In addition, it got a clamping system to provide better support to the material or workpiece. This makes the workpieces more secure and stable to make cuts with great precision.
Powered by a 15-amp high power motor, the saw can handle tough cutting jobs with ease.
For versatile cutting jobs, the saw allows you to make both miter angle and bevel cuts. Miter cuts can be achieved within 52 degrees, and bevel cuts within 45 degrees easily. The finish on the cuts can be compared with miter saws of higher price range, and you will love to see the results.
Like higher end models, this one also allows you to make necessary adjustments for cuts with thumb actuated positive stops.
Weighing on 24.5 pounds, the tool is extremely portable; thus, you can carry it in different places without any struggle.
To make handling messes a bit easier, the saw features a dust collection bag, which does the cleaning decently. Don’t expect the best cleaning performance from it.
04. Hitachi C10FCH2 15-amp 10-inch – Best Compound Miter Saw with Laser
Although this one is similar to the saw that I have reviewed previously, for more accurate cuts, the model features a laser cutting technology. If your projects require more delicate and precise cuts, you should definitely consider getting this particular saw, which doesn’t cost much compared to other laser miter saws.
To handle all your cutting jobs, the saw got a 15-amp motor inside it that can rotate 5000 RPM, which is more than enough for small to medium projects. Also, the motor is powerful enough to take care of larger projects occasionally.
If you are to use the saw for versatile purposes, it got all the arrangements to serve your needs. The fence is 4 inches high to make sure you can make cuts for crown molding vertically. This feature along with other benefits, make it the best compound miter saw for DIY on the list. Apart from that, any regular size lumber will not struggle to fit its table.
Like most saws on the list, you get the chance to cut both miter and bevel style with great convenience. Up to 52 degrees miter angle and up 45 degrees bevel angle range make it a perfect versatile miter saw for the beginners. However, bevel cuts can only be done from the left side.
For easy adjustments, the saw features thumb actuated positive stops. This assures further precision on cuts without making it too difficult.
Looking for something that you can carry different worksites? I’m sure you will love the fact that this one only weighs 26.5 pounds, which indicates it’s extremely portable.
I almost forgot, it comes with a dust collector attachment to handle dust and airborne particles to some extent.
05. Bosch Power Tools GCM12SD – Best Compact Miter Saw
Another well-reputable brand on the list. For those who are looking forward to get a compact, yet spacious miter saw for their projects, Bosch introduces their 12 inch dual-bevel sliding saw for such needs.
Unlike blades of conventional miter saws, the blade on this one has 60 teeth to make sure your workpieces get smooth, neat and clean cuts every time. You can compare the smoothness with workpieces that are cut by higher end models.
Although it’s a compact saw, you will find it easily fits wider workpieces to make wider cross cuts with much better alignment on the table. If the workspace is limited, this tool will be the perfect fit for it.
To break down its table space for lumber, it has 14 inch room horizontally with 6 ½ inch vertical space against the fence base, and 6 ½ inch crown mold capacity.
Adjustments on this one are quite easy and hassle free tasks. There are easy to read uniform bevel, stainless steel miter scales detents, and roof pitch angles to make sure you don’t end up cutting with wrong measurement.
You can make 40 degrees and 45 degrees cuts in both left and right direction for versatile applications.
For convenient control, the settings are located upfront for easy access. So, no need to try reaching behind the saw unlike other saws. The handle on this model got ergonomic construction that gives enough grip on the hand while operating.
Instead of providing a dust collection bag, this one features a vacuum adapter to ensure maximum cleaning.
06. Tacklife 12-Inch Double Sliding Miter Saw
When it comes to get a miter saw for professional use, one of the things that professional woodworkers and carpenters make sure of is that the saw features dual bevel cuts for convenient operation. To meet such professional requirements, this saw from Tacklife fits just right, while not costing an overwhelming amount of money.
Its double bevel cutting design allows you to make cuts at 45 degrees in both directions. So, you don’t need to spin the workpiece. This puts an end to hasslesome cutting that most conventional miter saws come with. As far as the adjustment goes, it offers 5 positive stops, which is ideal for versatile cuttings.
Due to its double sliding rail, the extended space on the table easily fits most wider and thicker materials be it wood, metal, plastic, aluminum alloy, etc.
Equipped with a 15-amp motor that spins at 3800 RPM, it got all necessary power to take care of your professional and large DIY projects smoothly. If you are to deal with hard materials, the motor will do the work with ease. Thanks to its 40 tooth TCT super strong blade that handles all the tough cuttings and stuff.
For added safety, it features a clamping device system that makes the base stable enough for operation.
Holding its soft-grip and angle change handle feels comfortable. If you plan to work for a prolonged period, you won’t experience much fatigue.
The included dust collection bag collects takes away some hasslework from your shoulders regarding cleaning the workspace.
07. Genesis GMS1015LC 15-Amp – Best Budget Compound Miter
For DIY projects, you must get a versatile miter saw to be able to make compound cutting for different projects and applications. Whether you are to get a saw for crown molding, picture frames, shadow boxes, and other things, this one from Genesis can be the best miter saw for the money.
Spend much less, still make different cuts at various angles. As far as miter cuts go, you can take the saw up to 45 degrees in both directions. In addition, the tool also makes bevel cuts up to 45 degrees left with great finish. For most commonly used angles, the saw allows you to stop in 9 positions as per your projects require. It will unleash your true craftsmanship in a way that you probably have never discovered yet.
To make sure you cut with precision, it features a laser cutting guide that shows exactly where the cut will be. No need to struggle with alignment to make the cuts accurate once you get this for your projects.
Powered by a 15-amp motor, which is powerful enough to handle pretty much all small to medium projects. Considering what this one requires you to pay, there is not much to complain about the overall performance of the tool.
The blade got 60 teeth, so you can be assured about clean, smooth, and well-finished cuts every time.
Apart from the specs and features that I have mentioned above, you will get a dust bag, two AAA batteries for the laser, blade, wrench, and two extension wings for convenience.
08. Metabo HPT 10 Inch Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker
This one on the list is one of those best miter saw for beginners for vertical crown molding cuttings, which also make convenient cuts for other purposes as well. Features a powerful motor to run the operation smoothly to ensure you get the best possible cutting results considering what you have to pay for the tool.
For delicate projects where precision is something that you meet must, its laser marker will come greatly beneficial. Before cutting workpieces, the laser will mark the exact area that the blade is going to saw on. Therefore, you don’t need to spend much time for proper alignment.
Pivoting flip fence is one of its most highlighted features. This allows you to cut lumber for crown molding vertically, which is something conventional miter saws aren’t capable of doing. You can make cuts on lumber up to 4 inches height with ease.
Like most miter saws, you can also make bevel angle cuts up to 45 degrees to its left. Whereas, miter cuts can be made up to 52 degrees in both directions. Both cutting methods feature adjustable stops to make sure the cuttings are perfectly done for versatile purposes.
The horizontal handle on the saw has enough space to put your hand on. It’s ergonomically made, and feels soft to touch without feeling much vibration on hand. Weighing only around 26.5 pounds, carrying it to job sites won’t be a hassle work for you.
Inside the package, you will also get a dust collection bag, box and hex bar wrench, and support extensions along with the saw itself.
09. Dewalt 12-Inch Double Bevel Compound Miter Saw
Looking for a professional grade miter saw for DIY projects without spending much? Then this one from Dewalt can be the best compound miter saw for DIY in its class. There are lots of customizable stuff that the saw comes with. Great performance, and of course great durability, which is something Dewalt is well-praised among its customers.
One of the best features that I like about this miter saw is its overridable miter stops. Although there are 14 positive stops by default, you can customize them and set your desired settings to ensure precision and more delicacy in cuts.
When conventional miter saws only make bevel cuts in one direction, this one allows you to make cuts 1t up to 48 degrees in both left and right directions. In addition to that, its tall sliding fences can fit crown molding up to 6 ⅝ inch with a base molding about 6 ½ inches in vertical position. The saw handles bevel cuts like no other among its competitors.
To make it easier for bevel adjustments, it features high visible bevel scale. Using it, you can make necessary adjustments quickly and accurately.
Apart from that, you can also make cross cuts on 2×8 inches lumber at 90 degrees and on 2×6 inches lumber at 45 degrees.
If you are concerned about the portability factor, it weighs around 49 pounds. So, it’s not the most portable one on the list. However, there is a comfortable to hold carry handle that makes carrying it easier to some extent.
10. Tacklife 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
Don’t underestimate the saw just because I have listed it in number 10. This one comes with all necessary power to make cuttings effortless, and features to keep things hassle-free and more convenient. If you are looking for the best miter saw for home projects, this can be an ideal pick that doesn’t compromise in performance as well as functionalities.
Using a 15-amp motor, the tool runs in dual-speed to make cuttings more efficient. You can switch between the speeds depending on the material you are working on. Set 4500 RPM for wood, plastic, plywood, and similar materials; and 3200 RPM for metals and other hard materials.
The saw spots two blades for versatile usage. One is a 10 inch blade with 40 teeth for wood and plastic, another one is 10 inch 48 teeth blade for versatile purposes. So, you can make cuts more efficiently choosing the right blade for the right material.
Bevel cuts can be performed up to 45 degrees with 5 positive stops. To make more precise cuttings, there is a laser light that shows real-time position. So, you will need fairly less time to align the workpiece, and cut quickly.
Instead of using a plastic blade guard, you will get to see a metal blade guard on this tool. The protection you get from this tool is way better than what conventional saws offer.
While cutting a relatively longer material, most miter saws struggle with stability issues. However, on this one, you can work on larger workpieces with great stability due to its extended platform that extends on both sides.
For more effective sawdust collection, this saw comes with a chip bag. There is also a 35mm dust port that connects directly to your vacuum cleaner. So, you will find the workplace less messy after done with cutting.
Buying Guide for Choosing the Best Miter Saw for Beginners
Before buying a miter saw, you must determine a few things to make sure you invest in the right tool. Miter saws are an expensive purchase to some extent. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wise to pick one just for the features and specs that the unit comes with. If those features and specs don’t serve your purpose, or you don’t need those for your DIY needs, then you will regret buying the saw.
I have this miter saw buying guide that includes a list of key things that will determine which miter you will need according to your work requirements.
You might have noticed that all the product names include size, which indicates the size of the blade.
When you are to buy the best miter saw for DIY, you will hardly have to go above a blade of 10 inches. Dimension wise, these blades are ¾ inch thick, and 6 inches wide, which is more than enough to cut through sliding strips, trim boards, crown molding, and other similar workpieces.
However, if you mostly deal with a bit thicker workpieces of more than 1.5 inches thickness, then a 12 inches blade would be more efficient for the purpose.
Although I have only included miter saws with 15-amp motor, there are 10 and 12-amp models available on the market. For most light-duty and occasional DIY needs, a 10-amp motor will be quite capable of handling cutting through thin materials. However, you cannot use a low amp motor for a long time, as these motors get extremely hot while running for a prolonged period.
Therefore, if you need to do cuttings for several hours, go for a saw with a 15-amp motor. This will cut thicker materials quickly and efficiently, and the motor will not get hot due to heavy usage.
There are some newer cordless models that run on rechargeable batteries. Battery runtime depends on how frequently you use, how thick materials you cut using the saw. Once fully recharged, cordless miter saws can make 150 to 270 cuts depending on the battery capacity.
Sliding Rail or Fixed Rail
Apart from the blade size, how thicker workpieces your miter saw can handle, depends on the sliding design of the saw. Depending on the rail mechanism, there are two types of miter saws; sliding rail and fixed or non-sliding rail saws.
If you mostly cut workpieces vertically, such as crown moldings, baseboards or smaller trims, go for a fixed rail miter saw. When it comes to deal with vertical pieces, there’s not much real difference between these two. This type is the best miter saw for beginners as it’s relatively cheaper.
However, for cutting thicker and wider pieces as well as framing, make sure you invest in a sliding rail miter saw. This will make cuts more efficiently while not causing too much damage to the blade. These are more versatile options that come with a slightly expensive price tag.
Construction or Material Used
As these are heavy-duty tool, it’s important that you get one that is made of high quality materials to ensure durability. The overall housing of the saw should be made or either steel or aluminum. Be sure to check the quality of these materials as not all aluminum and steel materials are the same.
Best DIY miter saw would always come with a blade guard for safety purposes. However, the material won’t be the same on all models. Plastic ones are the most common, and do the job perfectly fine. If you need something more durable, look for a metallic blade guard.
It gets a bit difficult to make precise cuts for newbies. Therefore, the best beginner miter saw would be one that comes with a laser guide feature. This laser mark exactly shows where the blade will cut through the workpiece. You can position the workpiece more accurately without wasting much time.
Although this might not be anything deal breaking for most woodworkers out there, if you want to make sure you work with great comfort, you shouldn’t underestimate this factor as well.
If your hand gets wet for no reason, make sure the handle got some rubber grip on it. This will help you to get a decent grip on it. Also, ergonomically made handles reduce fatigue, and allow the user to operate the tool for a prolonged period without compromising the comfort.
Dust Collection System
Even though I’m mentioning this in the last position, I would never purchase a miter saw that doesn’t come with a good quality dust collection system. These saws produce a lot of sawdust while working. Therefore, to make cleaning a less hassle work, this is the area where you need to check too.
A basic miter saw will have a dust collection bag that collects the sawdust behind the blade. There is also a more effective and convenient option, which is a vacuum port. This port connects your vacuum cleaner directly to the saw, and provides more effective sawdust cleaning.
If your workspace is your garage or you are more of a backyard woodworker, having a dust collection port would be the best miter saw for DIY for you.
Benefits of Buying a Miter Saw
If you ask me why you should get a miter saw, I have plenty of reasons to convince you to pick one. Although there are some other saws such as table saw and circular saw that seem to function quite similarly to a miter saw, there are some areas where you have no option left but choosing a miter saw to increase productivity and work efficiency.
When you are to deal with a huge pile of stock for different woodworking applications, you have only two options left to work with. Either you choose a regular saw, and take about a few days to complete cutting, or else get a miter saw, and then cut pieces one by one by within a few hours.
You can still achieve bevel cuts using a table saw, but the saw won’t be able to handle if there are too many workpieces that require you to give a bevel shape. Also, you cannot make custom bevel cuts with adjustments using a table saw.
On the flip side, some miter saws handles bevel cuts at different angles with ease. You can make cuts from both left and right side without spinning the workpieces.
Apart from regular miter and bevel cuts, the best miter saw for beginners would allow you to make cuts for crown molding, trimming, framing, flooring, and many other applications.
Unlike other saws, using a miter saw allows you to make perfect angular cuts with most commonly used positive stops that are pre-functioned. You don’t need to manually adjust the settings, and get accurate and precise cuts out of workpieces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get a 10 or 12 miter saw?
For most cuttings, a 10 inches miter saw will be enough to handle workpieces. However, when it comes to cut thicker and wider workpieces, a 12 inches saw would be an efficient option to go with. A saw of this size is considered as the highest rated miter saw.
Should I get a miter saw or table saw?
Despite having some similarities, these saws differ from each other in a few perspectives. If your projects have to do with mostly bevel cuts and miter cuts for crown molding, framing, trimming, flooring, and similar applications, you should get a portable compound miter saw.
For maximum ripping and cutting wider workpieces, you will need a table saw. Not that you cannot transport or carry a table saw that easily.
Are cordless miter saws worth it?
If your work requirements demand you to move from one place to another for light-duty sawing, and the work time isn’t more than 2 hours, then for your needs, a cordless one would be the miter saw for beginners. Be sure to get one with large battery capacity to be able to get a long runtime.
What kind of miter saw should I buy?
For light-duty projects, a miter saw with 10-amp motor, 7-10 inches blade, and fixed railing system would suffice your most needs. If you are a serious DIYer, be sure to get a unit with a 12-15 amp motor, 10-12 inches blade, and sliding railing system.
When it comes to meet professional needs, you need to max pretty much everything to finish projects efficiently. A 15-amp motor, 12 inches blade, and slide railing system should be able to compliment your skills and experience.
No matter which one you get, make sure the dust collection system is decent enough, unless you are okay with a messy workplace.
What can I use if I don't have a miter saw?
If you don't manage to get a miter saw, a circular saw can be the best alternative. Although you might struggle to get well-finished and smooth bevel cuts, still it will manage to get your projects done without much compromise.
But, using a circular saw can be quite an overwhelming task for beginners. In that case, a table saw can be another good alternative, which can also make limited angled bevel cuts.
How deep can a miter saw cut?
The best compound miter saw should get you a 3.5 inches deep on workpieces. You will need a larger blade of 12 inches and a 12-amp motor to be able to handle such deep cuts frequently.
Do you really need a sliding miter saw?
When it comes to deal with vertical workpieces such as crown moldings, small trimming, baseboards, and similar stuff, you don't need a sliding miter saw for these purposes.
If you mostly cut thicker and wider workpieces, only then getting a sliding miter saw would be worthwhile spending the money in.
Are miter saws safe?
Compared to other saws, miter saws are much safer to use. The blade has a guard that protects your hand or anything else to contact the spinning blade. Thus, less accidental issues occur using the saw.
A top rated compound miter saw would come with a metal blade guard for added protection.
What is the difference between a chop saw and a miter saw?
The key difference is that you cannot make angled cuts using a chop saw. However, compared to miter saws, these are more powerful, and can cut through thicker and harder materials with ease.
As a beginner it’s really important to make sure you get the saw for your purpose and work requirements without spending too much. After going through the review section of the best miter saw for beginners, hopefully you have decided which one to pick that will serve your purposes the most.
No matter which one you purchase, be sure to operate the saw with enough caution. Saw blades cause hundreds of accidents and injuries per year in the US alone. If the blade guard isn’t functioning well, get it fixed, and then work using the saw.