Many woodworkers who want to raise their woodworking productivity a notch higher often get confronted with the dilemma of whether to buy a sliding compound miter saw or simply settle for a standard miter saw. This dilemma is pretty understandable, given that the tools and equipment a woodworker will use will play a crucial role in the results of his/her woodworking jobs. Thus, when it comes to choosing a miter saw, you need to weigh your options carefully.
However, among the different miter saw types, the sliding compound miter saw is a better option, given its guide rails that let its head slide back and forth. Thus, it can cut thicker and wider wood. However, the standard miter saw doesn’t come with rails, so it will have a hard time cutting thicker and broader wood.
Table of Contents
- What Make A Great Sliding Compound Miter Saw?
- Best Sliding Compound Miter Saws in the Market Today
- Essential Factors to Consider
What Make A Great Sliding Compound Miter Saw?
Among the different types of miter saws, you can single out the sliding compound miter saw as the most versatile one. It can make miter cuts as well as bevel cuts. Moreover, it can cut wider given its rails. It is also similar to the radial arm saw when moving its head forward and backward. Besides, its primary upside is its increased ability to cut wider materials.
Its crosscutting capacity is up to 13 inches, while the standard miter saw can only cut up to 8 inches. Hence, you can use the sliding version for larger framing tasks. Its maximum cut angles may range between 45 to 50 degrees.
When selecting a sliding compound miter saw, you need to look for some succinct features like a powerful motor and a tall fence for supporting an angled crown. You should also consider if it has side extensions for supporting longboards, angle markings that are quite easy to read, and controls that are easy to access and adjust.
Best Sliding Compound Miter Saws in the Market Today
You might be surprised that there are many sliding compound miter saws in the market today. Choosing the best one for your needs, therefore, becomes a bit of a headache. But if you know what the experts are recommending, you will be a step closer to finding the best one for your needs. Expert woodworkers often recommend the following sliding compound miter saws:
Last update on 2022-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1) DEWALT DWS716
If you are looking for a sliding compound miter saw, one excellent option is the DEWALT DWS716. It is perfect for beginners and professionals as well. It offers 14 positive stops for repeatability of accuracy and durability.
The DEWALT DWS716 is a 12″ miter saw. Its fences are remarkable and tall. These fences can support up to 6-5/8″ base and nested molding. You can bevel from zero to forty-eight degrees with its (double-bevel) design.
Since this is a double-bevel version, it can tilt in both directions. Hence, you don’t need to adjust or tilt something just to get the right setting. You can cut a maximum of 16-inch lumber at a right angle. You can also cut dimensional wood (12-inch) at 45 degrees. Moreover, it has a powerful motor (15amp) and comes with many safety features.
- Easy to set up.
- It offers very high accuracy.
- Able to cut in both directions without adjusting.
- Comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
- Its grip handle doesn’t have some cushions.
2) Makita LS1019L
Another excellent option for a sliding compound miter saw is the Makita LS1019L. This one is a 10″ miter saw that can rival even those of the larger options. It comes with features that you would love to have in a sliding miter saw. It also comes with rails that offer a unique sliding action.
You can utilize this miter saw even in a smaller workspace because its rails are positioned alongside it. It likewise comes with a laser guide for extra accuracy and safety. With its laser guide, you will know precisely where to place your hands away from the cut line.
It also features dust collector ports, and you can fit your shop vac into these ports. Moreover, this dust collector system allows you to collect up to 80% of sawdust. Its tall fence, likewise, is removable.
- Excellent cutting capacity.
- It doesn’t take much space with its rail system.
- It features a superior dust collection system.
- It exhibits a bit of a drag on its blade.
- It is not ideal for left-handers.
3) Bosch GCM12SD
Another brand that delivers excellent products and tools is Bosch. The Bosch GCM12SD is no exception to it. This miter saw is another unique product equipped with an axial arm. Moreover, it doesn’t have rails. Thus, its design is space-saving, making it perfect for cramped spaces. It also lets you cut a wider workpiece. Its arms movement likewise is incredibly smooth.
The Bosch GCM12SD can quickly accomplish crosscuts and miter cuts. It also features a dual-bevel design that allows you to tilt it in both directions when making a bevel cut.
- It has a transparent guard design that you will be able to see the cut line easily.
- It enables you to work easily with taller workpieces.
- Comes with a base extension that slides for extra support.
- Higher price tag.
- It is a heavy saw and is not that portable as compared ot other models.
4) DEWALT DWS779
If you are looking for a 12-inch sliding compound miter saw, you can check out the DEWALT DWS779. It is a miter saw that can quickly facilitate the cutting process. It comes with a powerful motor that can power this miter saw without a hitch. It also features user-friendly controls and designs for ease of use. It will indeed provide you with impressive performance when working with thicker workpieces. Besides, you can quickly deal with 2×12 using this sliding compound miter saw.
Like the Bosch GCM12SD. This DEWALT DWS779 also comes with a transparent blade guard to allow you a clearer perspective when cutting. This unit features heavy-duty construction. Moreover, it is pretty hefty at 56 pounds. It may be heavy, but it is still considered one of the easiest to carry around because it features a carry handle.
You can use this miter saw for making bevel, miter, and crosscuts. You can also create compound cuts using this miter saw. It features taller sliding fences. Thus, you can support taller wood using this miter saw. Besides, it features textured fences. This ensures that there’s no slipping of the workpiece. It can make the cutting process easier because you don’t need to adjust or flip over the workpiece just to cut in the other direction.
Its maximum bevel angle range is up to 48°. Furthermore, it is easier to use for both left-handers and right-handers, though it is perfect for right-handers. Nevertheless, it is more expensive than other miter saws. This miter saw, of course, is a good investment as a woodworker.
- It can handle wider and larger workpieces.
- It’s easy to use and can bevel cut in both directions.
- Comes with a dust bag.
- Heavy and bulky.
- It will occupy more space in your workshop.
5) DEWALT DWS716XPS
The DEWALT DWS716XPS is another excellent option that should be on your list of prospective sliding compound miter saws. It features fourteen positive stops on its detent plate that can deliver incredible repeatability of cuts. It also comes with high sliding fences that can support a maximum height of 6-5/8″ base and nested molding.
This miter saw is a double bevel one. Thus, it will allow you to do bevel cuts (0 to 48 degrees). You can also cut miters (0 to 50 degrees). It comes with a miter handle (cam lock). It also comes with Light System (LED) for additional visibility and accuracy. Its control handle provides an excellent grip to make the cutting process secure and safe.
- Easy to use and is very flexible.
- Durable with its stainless steel detent plate.
- It has an incredible LED lighting system for better visibility when cutting.
- Some components may not be that durable, being wrought in lighter materials.
- Its miter detent override may be challenging to adjust.
6) CRAFTSMAN CMCS714M1
If you want a lightweight option, you can check out this miter saw. It is perfect for smaller projects and hobbyists.
It is capable of making 90 degree crosscut up to 8″ and 45 degree crosscut up to 5-1/2″
It features dual side handles for added convenience and better portability. It is also a cordless miter saw that lets you use it even if you are away from an electrical output.
The CRAFTSMAN CMCS714M1 also comes with a base that is sturdy enough for better stability. It features nine detent stops for better adjustments. When fully charged, you can make a maximum of 585 cuts. Besides, it comes with a positioning system (LED) for better cuts.
This model is more suitable for beginners as it packed with most of the basic features that you will ever need to use on the smaller and simple woodwork project.
- Easy to use.
- Operating is more straightforward.
- Portable and compact.
- • It lacks an enhanced cut alignment system.
- • It is a bit underpowered.
Essential Factors to Consider
Aside from knowing what the experts recommend, it will be best to be cognizant of the following important factors to consider when selecting a sliding compound miter saw. You can assess your choices based on these essential factors:
One distinct factor you need to consider is the cutting capacity of the miter saw. It should have an extended cutting capacity. It should also be capable of crosscutting wide boards as well as mitering any wise baseboards. Moreover, it must be able to cut at least up to 12 inches in width. It should also allow you to cut with accuracy and should have a powerful motor.
Single or Dual-Bevel Saw
Another factor to consider is whether to choose a single version or a dual version of this saw. The single bevel can cut at an angle but in a single direction only. On the other hand, the double bevel miter saw allows you to cut both sides of the workpiece.
A single bevel, of course, is relatively easy to carry around, while the double version is heavier. Moreover, the single version is more affordable than the double version. The single bevel is excellent for beginners, while the double bevel version is perfect equipment for professionals.
A laser guide can provide you with a reliable guide for more accuracy. Yet, the laser guide gives you more than accuracy. It is also an additional safety feature that lets you know exactly where not to put your hands when cutting.
If you’re on a budget, you should list down only those miter saws within your budget range. Your budget, of course, limits your options. But if you are already saving for a miter saw, you can always save further to purchase a quality miter saw. Always remember that a quality miter saw is an excellent investment.
Dust Collection System
You also need to look at the dust collection system offered by the miter saw. Check if you can attach your vacuum to its dust ports. In this way, you can capture more sawdust while protecting yourself from the risk of inhaling sawdust.
Cordless vs. Corded
You should also consider choosing between corded and cordless miter saws. Each option has its upsides and downsides. For example, the cordless lets you work anywhere, even if you are away from a power outlet. It is also portable and compact and runs on batteries. On the other hand, corded miter saws have more powerful motors. They also don’t depend on batteries for their operation.
Another important consideration is its safety features. Your safety is paramount when working with a miter saw because any miscalculation can be very dangerous. Miter saws, of course, have already improved much when it comes to safety features. Nowadays, you will find safety locks and blade guards in most miter saws. Moreover, some miter saws come with an electric blade brake, which is another great safety feature that could save you from nasty cuts. Aside from the safety features of the miter saw, you should also protect yourself using the necessary protective gear like a mask and eyeglasses.
As a woodworker, if you want to raise your skills and efficiency a notch higher, you need to equip yourself with excellent tools to facilitate your works and allow you to make a perfect finish. Hence, the sliding compound miter saw should be on your list of power tools as a woodworker. This tool will surely make it easy for you to make bevel and miter cuts as well as compound cuts.
Yet, as mentioned above, finding the perfect miter saw for your needs may prove to be quite confusing, given the myriads of options at hand. So, you need to be guided in the choosing process to facilitate the selection process.
Being cognizant of the most recommended sliding compound miter saws, of course, can lead you closer to the best options. Moreover, if you know the essential factors when choosing a sliding compound miter saw, then you would undoubtedly zero in on the best option at hand.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker and carpenter who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.