More and more homeowners are realizing that a lot of basic home repair and maintenance can actually be handled at home with no need for a contractor. Having the right tools to get the job done is critical to tackling your own home improvement and repair projects, and a great miter saw is one of the more important tools to consider.
Miter saws help with cutting lumber to size and can be used for a wide range of different projects and home improvement needs. Having one of the best miters saws for homeowners will balance the value of the saw with the features and functionality you need to tackle most of the projects homeowners can handle at home.
We’ll go over the pros and cons of each model, highlighting the features that are most important for home use. We’ve also included a buying guide at the end to help you choose which saw is the best option for you.
DeWalt is a well-known, trustworthy brand that’s one of the better go-to options for homeowners. Their products are reasonably priced, incredibly consistent, and generally offer good long-term performance. That makes them a good choice for homeowners who want to ensure that their miter saws will keep working even after a long time sitting in a garage or workshop without use.
This model is a 12-inch blade compound miter saw that is a good option for homeowners. For one thing, this is not a single bevel miter saw. It bevels up to 48 degrees both left and right that gives you a lot more versatility and works well for homeowners who want to take on more challenging projects on their own. It’s also a good option for making it easier to tackle projects of all kinds since you can adjust the saw instead of trying to adjust your materials to make the project work.
This miter saw is also a sliding model, which means that the saw’s blade arm also slides backward and forward. That gives you significantly more cross-cutting power, and also makes it easier to work with wider materials. Since the horizontal steel rails are lifted off the base, this design also creates more space to work with the materials and more maneuverability while you’re working. It’s more efficient than other designs, reduces the risk of the sliding mechanism jamming, and is incredibly easy to maintain. Plus, since the rail system is so simple, it’s also highly durable.
A simple clamping system and internal ball bearings help make the rail system a little more precise, so you have plenty of control while you’re working with the blades.
This miter saw is also a compound saw. That means this saw can be moved to create an angle in addition to the beveling feature. That’s important because it means you aren’t limited to bevels cuts on a 90-degree angle, you have access to a much wider range of cuts.
Combined with the double beveling design of this saw, and you’ve got impressive maneuverability and all the control you need for a wide variety of complicated projects and home repair or renovation tasks. Because of the increased friction from some angles, this miter saw has a slightly lower maximum RPM, but that shouldn’t cause problems for the majority of materials homeowners to work with.
This more advanced version of a 12-inch miter saw is a good option for homeowners who have more extensive repair, maintenance, or renovation needs. Its advanced features are all relatively easy to use but are more advanced that are often needed for basic projects. That said, if you’re looking for a miter saw that can do everything reasonably well, this is a good option.
Sticking with DeWalt for the next miter saw on our list, this model shares a lot of similarities with the first miter saw we reviewed. Even the color palate is similar with the first saw, with both featuring safety yellow on the handles and other plastic components.
This single bevel compound miter saw is a good option for homeowners, thanks to a wide range of uses and relatively simple operation. Since compound miter saws only tilt one direction (which is also why this is called a single bevel miter saw), it can take a little more creativity to get the angles you need. That said, the extra challenge is usually pretty minor and anyone with some basic DIY experience should be able to use this saw for a wide range of projects.
The beveling system does have one serious advantage though, it can bevel up to 48 degrees. That’s 3 degrees more than most miter saws, which stop at 45-degree angles. That might not seem like much, but the extra flexibility can be incredibly useful for home projects. It’s even more important if you have an older home where not all of the measurements and angles were 100% exact, or where the lumber you’re working with might have warped in the home.
This system also comes with a good miter fence. The fence is the metal backstop on the work area, and its height supports materials up to 5 ¼ inches tall. That’s taller than most homeowner projects call for, which is great since it means you won’t often need a different saw.
The stainless steel miter detent plates on this saw also help ensure high levels of accuracy with your projects. That can help improve the outcome of your DIY projects without having to rely on muscle memory or a lot of construction experience to get the job done. It also makes it a lot easier to see where the blade is going to be, which makes using the saw safer.
At a 90-degree angle (straight up and down) this saw offers about 8 inches of crosscut capacity. At a 45-degree angle, the saw can still manage about 6 inches of cross-cut capacity, which is fairly impressive for a saw this size.
Maneuvering the saw head is smooth and easy, though the grip is a little less cushioned and comfortable than some options. It also would have been nice to see a clearer laser or shadow guide with this saw, but the other safety features mostly make up for the lack.
This design is relatively simple, but it’s durable, hardworking, and effective. The 15-amp motor offers good RPM for most household uses, along with reasonable safety features. The standard 12-inch blade is easy to replace and comes in a wide variety of styles that work for most homeowner projects. It doesn’t have some of the more advanced features that we’d like for more experienced users, but it’s an affordable and effective option for homeowners who are mostly looking to maintain their homes.
Metabo is another good option when it comes to power tools manufacturers. Their power tools offer high consistency and durability, though they don’t always have the modern appearance or additional features some other manufacturers include.
That’s not a big downside for the right user though, especially since Metabo tools last and have reasonably good spare part availability in the United States.
This miter saw is a little smaller than the two DeWalt miter saws we’ve already reviewed. It’s only compatible with a 10-inch blade, instead of a 12-inch version. However, that doesn’t make this saw less suitable for homeowners. For the most part, this saw will be able to handle all the traditional sizes and dimensions of lumber needed for basic home maintenance, repair, and renovations.
One thing we really liked about this miter saw is that the handle configuration and the different settings are a little simpler than the previous miter saw. This saw doesn’t have quite as many functions, which is part of it, but the design is also a little more intuitive and easier to use.
This design is a little less flexible than the first DeWalt model on our list. It’s only a single bevel design, only bevels to 45 degrees, and just doesn’t have quite as many compatible angles or directions. However, it’s still more than up to the most common angles and directions homeowners will need to maintain their home.
It’s also worth noting that this design is a little more lightweight, despite having a relatively wide base. That’s perfect for giving you the stability you need with this miter saw while still letting you move it easily from place to place.
Overall this Metabo miter saw is somewhere between the two DeWalt miter saws we’ve already reviewed. It’s got a few more features and a little more versatility than the second DeWalt saw, but not quite as much as the first. That makes this saw a solid option for homeowners with a moderate need for features, while still emphasizing durability and consistency. Metabo’s saw is a good fit for homeowners with moderate miter saw needs and experience.
This Bosch miter saw is another example of a miter saw that’s got a few more advanced features and functionality to give you the full range of what a miter saw can handle. Like the first two saws we reviewed on this list it uses a 15-amp motor along with a 12-inch blade. This saw is also a dual bevel saw, meaning it bevels both left and right, and can manage a wide range of miter cuts as needed.
The 60-tooth saw blade is a good high precision addition to this saw. Its design helps get you up and running as soon as you unpack and set up the saw, and it’s especially effective for hardwoods and other relatively dense materials.
However, coming with a good blade isn’t always a guarantee of a good miter saw, so we took a closer look to give this saw a comprehensive review.
One thing that really stands out with this miter saw is the dust collection system. Most dust collection systems are fairly efficient but still leave a lot of room for improvement. This vacuum system is a good bit more efficient than average. It won’t pick up absolutely 100% of the sawdust created by the miter saw, but it will handle the vast majority of sawdust and other particulate created while you’re working.
This sliding miter saw has a slightly more complicated glide system than the DeWalt sliding miter saw. That said, it’s still a highly reliable design that doesn’t jam or have other challenges very often. Its operation is similarly smooth, and actually a little more flexible for different cutting styles and the needs of different material dimensions. At slightly more than 14 inches of cross-cut flexibility, this Bosch miter saw can handle wider materials than the vast majority of the miter saws in our review.
One issue we had with this miter saw was the slightly smaller base design. It’s stable but doesn’t feel as secure as other wider and heavier base designs.
This Bosch design is relatively easy to use, versatile, and precise. Its base is a little smaller than we’d like to see in a saw this size, but extendable supports and other adaptations help provide a little extra stability. The miter saw’s durability and consistency are both high, it’s not prone to breaking down and handles continuous work and cutting through harder materials well.
Going back to a slightly smaller miter saw, this is another 10-inch model. That means this is a good option if you only want to work with smaller cuts of lumber and other moderate-sized materials. The slightly more compact size is also a good option for smaller homes or small storage areas since it won’t need as much space in storage or in operation.
A machined aluminum base provides high precision and good balance to help prevent the saw from turning or tilting while you work. However, the design’s smaller base profile means it’s still a little less stable than larger designs. We’d recommend clamping this miter saw to your workstation if you’re working with a lot of materials or need to cut larger materials that could be overbalanced while you work.
This is another single-bevel option and tilts up to 45 degrees to the left. It also offers a 45-degree miter cut to the left, but has more flexibility to the right, going up to 53 degrees. That’s a fair amount of flexibility, but it is a little more limited than some of the other options on this list.
One standout feature of this miter saw is the ease of the blade changes. It’s simple to switch out blades when one starts to get dull, or if you need to change to a different design for different materials. However, it does require a blade wrench, which means you need to keep track of the wrench and other important settings tools with this miter saw.
Overall this design is a little smaller and less effective than some of the other miter saws we’ve discussed so far, but it’s a good option for homeowners who really want to be able to move this miter saw from place to place. A durable base and smooth blade transitions make this design relatively easy to use, while its features give you a lot of versatility in cuts.
For the last miter saw on this list we’ve gone back to DeWalt for a model that stands out in its size. This is the smallest miter saw on our list, using a blade that’s only 7 ¼ inches wide. That said, this miter saw is designed to give you the widest possible compatibility and works well with most standard size lumber needed for home repairs, renovations, maintenance, and updates.
This design is going to be a bit more limited than the larger miter saws on this list. That’s just the nature of a smaller design. At the same time, DeWalt has managed to provide a reasonable adaptation with advanced features that work well for homeowners. Part of that versatility comes from the rail system and other space-saving innovations that also give the blade a good deal more mobility.
That said, like most smaller miter saws, this design is a little more prone to overbalancing while you’re working. That means that it’s even more important to be careful while you’re working with this miter saw. We’d recommend clamping this down to your workstation or to the table it’s on to provide a little more stability.
At the same time, the crosscut line provides a high degree of precision and tells you exactly where the blade is going to go, which helps improve the safety of the saw. A stainless-steel miter detent plate also helps add weight to the base, which also improves the balance of the saw slightly.
The big limitation here is that this miter saw is only able to cut materials that are slightly more than 3 inches tall. Taller materials are not compatible because of this saw’s size, which largely means that 4×4 lumber and other larger cuts aren’t compatible.
If you’re looking for a smaller miter saw and don’t mind the materials limitations that come with this size, this is a great option. It features all the advanced adaptations that make DeWalt’s larger models more effective, but those adaptations are more limited because of the natural limitations of the size of this miter saw.
Miter Saw Buyer’s Guide
We’ve gone over the best miter saws for homeowners, but you still need to know which features really matter. This short buying guide should help fill you in on some of the features and functions we haven’t already covered in the individual saw reviews to help you choose the right saw for you.
Miter Saw Types
Miter saws come in several different types and can have multiple types in a single saw. These types mostly refer to a single function of the miter saw, which means that each type adds a different kind of versatility to your saw.
Compound Miter Saw
Compound miter saws allow you to rotate the saw’s arm to get a wider range of cutting options. This means that you can cut through lumber on an angle instead of just at 90 degrees. Most compound miter saws also allow for a miter or bevel cut at the same time.
Dual-Bevel Miter Saw
Dual bevel miter saws can bevel in both directions instead of just one. That means that you can tilt the blade both left and right. Usually, dual bevel miter saws can tilt up to 45 degrees, though some miter saws offer a little more versatility. It’s worth noting that not all dual bevel miter saws have the same level of flexibility in both directions.
Sliding Miter Saw
Sliding miter saws improve the cross-cut potential of the miter saw by allowing the blade to move forward and backward while in operation. In some cases, like a rail sliding system, this feature can limit the functional vertical cut potential of the saw. That’s not usually a problem for homeowners, but it’s worth considering if you’re considering any builds or improvements that need weight-bearing beams.
Blade size is one of the more important features of your miter saw. The larger the blade is, the more the miter saw will be able to handle, and the more materials dimensions you’ll be able to use. However, smaller blades generally work just as well on the material sizes they can handle.
For homeowners, we’d generally recommend blades starting at least 10 inches. That’s why we’ve only recommended one miter saw that’s smaller. However, the smaller designs are easier to store and are a good option for homeowners who only want to take on minor home repairs and maintenance.
It’s also important to balance blade size and RPM since larger blades can sometimes burn materials more easily at their top speeds. That’s because the larger blade is likely to have more surface area in contact with the materials, which also increases the friction and heat. An overly large blade in an overpowered miter saw can sometimes scorch lumber while you’re working. That’s not a serious problem, but it is usually a sign that you should speed up the rate of your cuts while you’re working.
When it comes time to buy more blades for your miter saw it’s important to know what kinds of blades do what.
Carbide-tipped blades are some of the most common and versatile options. They are also usually more affordable since most of the blade’s durability comes from a relatively small amount of carbide protecting the edges of the blade. They offer good cutting performance and durability and don’t tend to cause friction scorching.
The more teeth a carbide-tipped blade has the more precise it’s likely to be. Fewer teeth will rip through more of the material instead of cutting it, resulting in a less precise cut and more waste material with each cut.
High-Speed Steel Blades
High-speed steel blades, or HSS blades, are another good option, especially for miter saws with high average RPM. They are designed to handle high heat and friction without deforming or dulling, which means that they offer excellent long-term performance. However, HSS blades are also a little more likely to cause material scorching because of their higher heat and friction.
Diamond Blades and Abrasive Discs
Miter saws typically struggle a little more with diamond blades and abrasive discs because both styles of blade put a lot more pressure on the power tool. That means that using these blades consistently will likely shorten the life of your miter saw, especially the motor itself.
That said, diamond blades and abrasive discs are your best bet for very hard materials like tile and pipe can shatter if you attempt to cut them with a regular blade.
Miter saws all need to have some basic safety features, you’ll find these on all of the miter saws in our review, but it’s important to double-check for these features if you’re considering a different saw.
One of the most important safety features for a miter saw is an emergency off. This is what you’ll use to cut the power to the blade in case of an emergency, and is one of the fastest ways to stop the blade moving.
A miter fence, the backstop on your miter saw is also critical to help prevent the blade from grabbing and flinging your material instead of cutting it.
Lighting is a little less common, but models that offer good lighting in the work area can also work to improve the overall safety of your miter saw.
Most miter saws from a reputable brand will come with at least a 1-year warranty. That’s good, and it’s alright to buy a miter saw that only offers a 1-year warranty. However, it’s better to look for warranties of at least 2 years since miter saws are a relatively high-stress power tool. You want to know that your model should last and that the manufacturer will make it right if something does go wrong.
Some brands offer up to 7-year warranties, usually on more expensive models and feature-rich designs. Looking for those models can help give you peace of mind that your saw will be ready to handle whatever your home needs, whenever it’s needed.
While all of the miter saws on this list offer excellent performance and durability, we’d have to recommend the DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 12-Inch (DWS779) (the first option on this list) as our top pick. That’s because this more advanced version of the 12-inch miter saw is a lot more feature-rich and versatile. It’s well designed enough to be safely used by beginners, but also empowers homeowners to make a lot more complicated repairs if they have the skill.
That said, no one saw will meet every need. Think carefully about your needs, and the needs of your home, before choosing the best miter saw for you as a homeowner. As long as you keep your unique needs in mind, we’re confident that one of the saws on this list will be the right fit for you.
I have an unhealthy obsession with contracting and renovation. I’ve been a contractor for over 15 years and I love tackling challenging projects to make them look amazing.