Compound Miter Saw: Review of the Top 5

Every shop needs a compound miter saw. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional woodworker, hobbiest, a builder or hardly ever have the need for one. When the time comes it is a nice tool to have at your disposal. There are many compound miter saws out there made by just as many manufacturers so how do you know which one is right for you?

Some questions you might be asking is what is the difference between a Compound Miter Saw and a regular Miter Saw? Do I need a plain old Miter Saw or do I need a Compound Miter Saw? And Finally, what size of saw do I need?

We need to answer the first question, which will hopefully lead you to answer the other questions depending on your personal needs. Not everyone will need the same functions or abilities on their saws.

A Compound Miter Saw and plain old Miter Saw are also known as a Chop Saw because the saw blade comes down in a chopping fashion. Your board does not move, the saw moves to cut the board. Both the Compound Miter Saw and the non compound saw have the ability to rotate the angle of cut up to 45 degrees. The compound comes from the saws ability to also rotate the blade up to a 45 degree angle.

To lessen the confusion, picture your table saw. The blade on a table saw rotates up to 45 degrees. This is the “Compound” part of a chop saw. On a table saw you have a miter gauge that is used to push the material across the blade. This miter gauge has the ability to rotate 45 degree, separate from the blade itself. This is the only function a plain old miter saw can accomplish.

So the plain old Miter saw moves up and down and has the ability to turn left and right up to 45 degrees. A compound Miter Saw also moves up and down but has the ability to change the angle of the blade. Some miter saws even move forward and backwards to accommodate wider material.

Whew, that was confusing and I hope you were able to follow.

I am going to help you figure that which saw is right for you with this review of the top 5.

#1 DEWALT DW713 10 in. Portable Compound Miter Saw

by DEWALT

This is my number one choice. DeWALT has proven itself to be a quality product manufacturer and this saw is a quality tool. It features a 15 amp, 5,000 rpm motor. It has a Stainless Steel detent plate with 11 stops for repeatable accuracy when changing angle over and over. This saw weighs 35 pounds and has a built in carry handle.

Pros

  • 15 amp, 5000 rpm motor
  • Stainless steel detent plate
  • 11 stops for repeatable accuracy
  • weighs only 35 pounds

Cons

  • No sliding feature to move forward and backward

This saw almost has it all. As you can see I only listed one Con with this saw. Until you start paying a higher price, getting accuracy with all three movements is tough. This saw is simply AWESOME!!!

#2 Hitachi C10FCG 15-Amp 10″ Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw

by Hitachi

This is Amazon’s #1 best-seller at the time of writing this article and it is easy to see why. It features up to 52 degree miter angles and a 15 amp, 2.75 horse power motor. It has a 45 degree bevel angle with an easy to read gauge. The table is larger for better support of material. A big reason is this is about $100 cheaper than the DeWALT above.

Pros

  • Half the price of #1
  • 52 degree miter angle
  • Large table
  • Only 24.2 pounds

Cons

  • Does not mention a Stainless steel detent plate
  • No sliding feature

I mentioned the lighter weight as a Pro but sometimes that means thin build materials which can translate movement and less accurate cuts. If you are not forcing the saw blade through the material this shouldn’t be a problem.

#3 DeltaS26-262L Shopmaster 10 In. Miter Saw with Laser

byDelta

The Delta 10″ Miter saw is lightweight at only 25 pounds and works with virtually every miter saw stand. This makes it easy for mobility purposes. It will produce a bevel cut up to 47 degrees and has a laser guide which is super helpful. Like the others it has a 15 amp motor and spins at 5500 rpm.

Pros

  • Lightweight for easy mobility
  • Laser guide
  • Works with any miter stand
  • Up to 47 degree bevel cut

Cons

  • Lightweight, suggests cheaply made
  • Picture and amp suggest this is a corded saw but specifications say battery

The details given by the manufacturer are a little hazy. As mentioned in the Cons, this says 15 amp motor but reading the specifications it shows the power source to be from a battery. There is no mention about the battery voltage. All in all this seems to be a pretty good miter saw in my opinion.

#4 WEN 70716 10-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw

by WEN

Wen has been an up and coming competitor in power tools. This Compound Miter Saw is no slouch either. It sports a powerful 15 amp motor that rotates at 5500 rpm. It too has a laser guide for easy blade reference. The bevel range is up to 45 degrees with a miter range up to 52 degrees in both directions. This saw weighs in at 30 pounds and has the front/back sliding feature, which none of the other saws above have.

This saw accomplishes this with a dual slide rod for stability. This helps keep the saw from moving around and gives and accurate cut.

Pros

  • Sliding Compound Miter
  • 52 degree miter angle
  • Laser guide
  • 30 pounds, suggests this saw is sturdy

Cons

  • Only allows a 3.25 cutting thickness

This saw would be my #2 choice only because I know what I am getting with a DeWALT. I did mention that WEN is up and coming in competition so that’s why it is high on the list. It offers everything and more.

#5 Genesis GMSDR1015LC 15-Amp 10-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Grey

by GENESIS

To end the list I recommend this saw by Genesis. It has a 15 amp motor that spins at 4800 rpm. It has a laser guide for easy blade reference. Miter and bevel cuts up to 45 degrees and it has the sliding forward/back option. This saw has an electric brake to quickly stop the blade after each use and has a spin lock to assist with blade changes.

Pros

  • Sliding Compound Miter
  • Laser guide
  • Electric Brake
  • Spin Lock for easy blade changes

Cons

  • 45 Degree bevel in each direction
  • Unknown on weight, specs say 1 pound so who knows what that means.
  • Included accessories are a case

This saw is a great choice but the lack of accurate information such as the weight make me put this saw at #5. I like to think weight suggests quality as more material has gone into the production of the tool. I really like the electric brake option on this one.

So, which one is right for you?

I hope I helped shed some light on the differences between these saws. I think everyone will have their own order of what they think is best and that is OK. These saw listed are of my own opinion from my experience in using Compound Miter Saws with woodworking.

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16 Replies to “Compound Miter Saw: Review of the Top 5”

  1. It seems to me that even though the DEWALT is the most expensive option, it’s a case of “You get what you pay for.” It also seems that any shortcomings it may have don’t detract from the overall quality it possesses. I’m with you about the Genesis saw…not knowing the weight would be a big issue as I would want to make sure I’m buying a quality product that will last me a long time!

    My good friend is a woodworker and I am sure he would benefit from seeing this selection of saws you have written about in this article! Thanks so much for writing it!

  2. Hi Jeffrey,
    This was extremely informative and helpful! You really did a nice job describing the pros and cons of each model and type of saw. Saved me a ton of time doing my own research!

    • Thank you. I see a lot of review articles when I am looking for something to buy and find many are hard to follow. I try to keep my review article clear and to the point. When someone finds what they are looking for they will find out even more info just before they purchase.

  3. Hi Jeffrey, thanks for your well detailed review on Compound Miter Saw. I didn’t know that Chop saw comprises both of Compound and plain old miter saw. I have grabbed the slight difference between Compound miter saw and plain old meter saw. From the saws you listed, I think I will go for DeltaS26-262L Shopmaster 10 In. Miter Saw with Laser, because of its lightweight and laser guide. Thanks once again for this review.

  4. Great post, thanks for your research and putting this out through your website. Very helpful. The top 5 you discussed are awesome, affordable and good looking. The fact that they can also be operated easily makes them superior to some of there. With these, one can simply relax when it comes to cutting through carpentry works and the likes. 

    • Thank you for looking.  These saws are all affordable and you don’t need anything more than this for home use in my opinion.

  5. I have to be honest with you. I don’t know much about a compound miter saw. I am looking to get my husband a new one for his birthday. I have always been partial to Dewalt tools. And I believe if you pay for the quality you get quality products. You did a great job explaining the differences. 

    So I will probably go ahead and get the Dewalt. It sounds like this one is your favorite also with only one con listed. What do you think?

    My husband is an engineer, and he builds things for pleasure, but he likes quality tools. He made an oak wine rack built right into the wall. It is beautiful. He is quite talented. But enough about my husband. 

    Don’t you think the Dewalt is the right choice to get him?

    • I think that is a great choice.  When he sees the DeWALT name and company yellow color he is going to be very excited and anxious to use it.  Now you have a good reason to get him building more cool stuff for you.

  6. My dad does these wood works as his part time job and his old one is about to wear off. I’m glad that I visited your site because now I have access to the best compound miter saw list. I’m going to show this to my dad and let him choose it because he knows a lot more than I do.

    Your reviews for each product was very helpful and insightful. Thank you so much for sharing this article.

  7. wow! This is really informative, I didn’t know before now that saws could actually have sliding features to make them move forward and backwards. If i am to recommend one to any buyer based on your review, i would go for WEN 70716 10-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw because it has the front/back sliding feature which the three others do not have asides  the Genesis GMSDR1015LC 15-Amp 10-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Grey which also have the forward/back option. According to your review it is the only saw with only one Cons, while the others have more than one cons. Thanks so much for this educational post, I really hope to follow you and get to read more of your posts subsequently.

    • Thank you, I agree the WEN is a contender among saws and power tool in general.  The sliding feature does add a lot to the saw as wider material can be easily cut. 

  8. That’s very good information about Compound Miter Saw, I like to see the pros and cons on this product, and have so many option right there, i like it!
    and so many detailed on there, like the rotate the blade up angle, that’s very good information!
    Thank you!

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