It doesn’t matter if you are a hobbyist or a professional craftsman, a compound miter saw is an indispensable tool that will make your work much easier and saves a ton of time.
Quick Links (If you are in a hurry!)
- Hitachi C10FCE2 – Best for professionals
- DEWALT DW715 – Best for beginners
- Makita LS1016L – Best value for money
- DEWALT DWS780 – For The PRO (pricey)
What is a Compound Miter Saw and how is it different from a miter saw?
A miter saw is quite a handy tool to have due to which you can make some perfectly accurate crosscuts ( up to 90 degrees) and also miter cuts that can be angled to match your exact specifications.
You probably already know that no workshop is complete without a miter saw. It’s quite an important tool among the handyman. However, a compound miter saw is different from the average miter saw.
So How is a Compound miter saw any different?
TLDR: It’s more versatile than the miter saw and can make combination bevel cuts.
A compound miter saw is a sophisticated tool it is a combination of two bevel option a single and a dual. It is more versatile in terms of angle variety and makes all four basic cuts a miter saw usually does that is a crosscut, miter cut, bevel cure and a miter+bevel cut (or a compound cut).
The only trade-off is it is more difficult to operate but it is worth the extra effort because the results are much better than the average miter saw.
Who uses this tool?
To be honest any handyman can find the application of this tool in his work. It is so versatile it can be used for a variety of processes. If you are looking for something that will help you cut various things made of wood and even non-wood angles at different angles it is definitely a good idea to get yourself a miter saw.
Even if you are doing something like DIY home projects you will still find a good application of the compound miter saw. It got a whole multitude of uses that can be used in so many different areas
For those who need to make cuts at different angles on wood/non-wood stuff a compound miter saw will help a lot a lot to help make those bevel cuts and also for working on pieces that cannot be moved easily.
Some of the common projects that work well with a miter saw are:
- Crown molding
- Furniture building
- Small building construction (tool sheds, chicken coops, etc.)
- Remodeling and home improvement
Compound Miter Saw Buyers Guide 2018
A compound isn’t exactly a product for the average consumer hence shopping for something like this particular tool can be quite complex. Fortunately, there are some great options for miter saws available in the market to choose from and each has good and bad sides to it. You will need to understand how it works and study a few reviews in order to then choose one that fits your needs.
But To be frank that sounds like a lot of work!
Which is why we have this Compound miter saw buyers guide to know what features make it worth to buy and more importantly help you pick the right one! This section focuses on defining the best miter saw so that you can have a benchmark to reference to whilst looking to get one.
The two main reasons people go for a compound miter saw are below:
Miter saws are great because they provide a high level of precision and the blad is fixed in a way that can be fine-tuned to change the type of cut until you actually get the final result. So you want to look for something that allows you to have a high level of customization.
Something also looks into is Positive stops. This refers to the preset notches made in the bevel adjustment mechanism system. They can be used as a quick way to set the angle of bevel adjustments and speed up workflow. You will find an increase in the productivity and speed of your work with the saw. The more customized these stops are to your process, the easier it will be for you to use the tool efficiently. However, do make sure that the saw does not only offer random positive stops but also offers a chance to make custom incremental adjustments.
- Stability: This is one of the defining features of the tools and you need to consider this characteristic first when looking for the best miter saws.
Limitations: No matter how good the tool is it will have limitations and in this case, the miter saw isn’t perfect by any means. It is impossible to rip lumber to width using a miter saw this is done using a table saw and a band saw cutting wide stock is almost impossible with this tool! You can try some tricks to increase or tweak with the cutting reach, for instance, adding sliding arms.
Reviews of the Best Compound Miter Saws 2018
1) Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-Inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw (Best for professionals)
Bevel range: 45 degrees
Miter range: 0-52 degrees
Reasons to buy:
You want a professional powerful saw for work. Something that cuts with ease and features to automate processes and will not cost a lot as well. In our opinion, it is the best miter saw for the money.
Powerful motor: It comes with an extremely potent and Powerful 15-Amp motor with a speed of 5000 rpm and also packed with great features to make your woodworking process much easier.
Great design: What we love about the miter saw is it’s designed to be efficient and also made of high-quality durable materials. It has a comfy horizontal handlebar with a built-in clamping system and a large table
It even has positive miter stops that can be easily activated with thumb control for more efficient functionality.
Low-cost maintenance: One of the most important factors of tools is the maintenance. No matter how good it is if you do not maintain it will soon start to create problems. Fortunately, Hitachi provides their customers with replaceable carbon brushes on the C10FCE2 and this ensures that your saw lasts longer and also simplifies maintenance so it’s a real win-win situation!
2) DEWALT DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw – (Best for beginners)
Wide miter capacity: 0-50 degrees both to left and right
Detent: Adjustable Stainless steel detent plate with 11 positive stops
Reason to buy:
You are a beginner looking for a stable and durable miter saw something not too complex but at the same time something that is of high quality in terms of accuracy or ease of use.
Its minimalistic design and ability with all basic cuts make the DeWALT particularly desirable for any beginner handyman. In my opinion, it is the best compound miter saw for beginners.
- Powerful 4000 rpm 15-Amp motor
- A Built-in carry handle adjustable with cam-lock
- 3 years Warranty package
- A wide miter with a capacity of 0-50 degrees both to left and right
- The sliding fence is tall and comes out easily
3) Makita LS1016L 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw With Laser (best value for money)
Reason to buy:
This is perfect for those working on smaller projects and perhaps having a smaller workspace. In our opinion, it is the best miter saw for home use projects and beginners. If you have set functionality over price then the Makita is the best value for money.
Miter capacity: Miter range is 0 – 52 degrees on the left. You can adjust it from 0 – 60 degrees to the right. Wide 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left
Detent: Adjustable stainless steel detent customizable to 13 positive stops
- A powerful 15-Amp motor that runs at 3800 rpm
- A built-in Carry handle
- 2 years Service Warranty package included
- Adjustable stainless steel detent with 13 positive stops
- A Tall Sliding fence that comes out easily
Capacity: If it comes to cutting crown moldings, the LS1016L has on of the largest capacity miter in its class. This is a consistently best-selling dual slide compound miter simply because of this features that it nudges its way above the competition.
The Makita’s is first in its class for cutting capacity. The Makita has a 3-stage reduction gear unit and also the rear blade guards are removable. If you have to deal with crown molding and baseboards will present no problems at all.
Size: Although it is a portable size it has large D-handles on the base so you can move the Makita from project to project without breaking your back!
Reason to buy: If you are seeking a pro-level miter saw which can also be used in the home and your budget will stretch to it then the DeWALT DWS780 could very well be your best bet for a miter saw of this size and type.
- 15-Amp motor, 3800 rpm
- Back fence design
- Rail lock latch which holds head away from the fence
- Adjustable detent plate with 10 positive stops
- XPS alignment system for cross cuts
- Miters 50 degrees left, 60 degrees right
The LS1016L is a compound miter saw perfectly engineered for finish type work. It doesn’t matter whether you are a hobbyist woodworker or a contractor looking for the best miter saw in the market. The Makita is a machine that is ideal for a wide range of jobs. Right from modeling and trim work to some furniture and cabinet making, the LS1016L acquits itself well.
Usage and maintenance tips
Safety tips of the Compound miter saw: This is a dangerous tool so it’s important to make sure everything is fixed properly before using the saw.
Read the owner’s manual well before you begin to use this device. Your personal safety depends on this.
Practice: This is a very dangerous tool that definitely needs the practice to be used safely. You should also hold the saw for a while in order to get used to the weight and adjust your grip accordingly to use the tool as per your needs.
Cleaning the saw after use: This will improve the longevity and operation of your saw. It’s important to get the dust and debris out from the machine so you need to remove it after use to extend the life of your device. Every product comes with a maintenance manual with instructions so be sure to read that.