The best sliding compound miter saw really depends on your budget. There is no singular ‘best’ compound miter saw but in this article we show you several excellent models that are certainly worth your money and consideration. Don’t be surprised to find DeWalt dominates the miter saw market. But we also look at a Makita and Hitachi model to give some balance options.
We hope you find the sliding compound miter saw that suits your needs. We do all of the research so you don’t have to.
Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Many of you will agree that DeWalt is the premier brand when it comes to saws. If you see a power tool as an investment, as you should, staying true to a trusted brand is worth the extra few dollars over cheap imitations.
For most woodworkers, a sliding miter saw is the way to go, compared to a static miter saw. A sliding miter saw gives you the ability to cut through wider pieces of wood. This versatility is what makes them the ultimate miter saw. So if you’re looking for a sliding miter saw that is quite literally a cut above the rest, you can’t go wrong with the DeWalt DWS780.
We’ll also be looking at some other DeWalt sliding miter saws, the Makita LS1016L and the Hitachi C12RSH2 which is fair deal cheaper than the others. All this will give you chance to compare them and decide which is the best sliding miter saw for you.
Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- Integrated CUTLINE Blade Positioning System provides adjustment free cut line indication for better accuracy and visibility
- Powerful 15 amp, 3,800 rpm motor delivers extended power and durability
- Super efficient dust collection system captures over 75% of dust generated
- Tall sliding fences support crown molding up to 7-1/2″ nested and base molding up to 6-3/4″ vertically against the fence while easily sliding out of the way for bevel cuts
- Exclusive back fence design cuts up to 2×16 dimensional lumber at 90° and 2×12 at 45°
- Adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate with 10 positive stops improves productivity and ensures cutting accuracy
- Miters 60° to the right and 50° to the left providing increased capacity
- Oversized bevel scale makes bevel angle adjustments accurate and easy
- Compact, lightweight design (56 lbs.) allows for easy transport and storage
- Cam lock miter handle with detent override deliver quick and accurate miter angles
- Dual horizontal steel rails with innovative clamping mechanism and linear ball bearings deliver an accurate, durable and compact saw
- Innovative gearbox and belt-drive design increases vertical cutting capacity
- Precise miter system and machined base fence support optimize durability and cutting accuracy
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the DeWalt DWS780.
Overview | DeWalt DWS780
A great advantage that the DeWalt DWS780 has over smaller miter saws is its increased cutting capacity. At a 90° angle, the DWS780 will cut pieces that are up to 16”. This means you are able to do just about any job that you could expect from a saw like this.
The next thing that should impress anyone is its ability to cut vertical bevels whilst cutting horizontal miters at the same time. It has dual bevel capabilities (to the left and right), so there’s no need to flip the saw. This will allow you to perform complicated tasks easier and faster with less risk of errors.
Setting the miter angle is made easy with a cam lock mechanism that operates with a single touch. Not only is this quick and easy to use, but it’s far more accurate than screw knob adjustments that have a tendency to rattle loose while you’re working. There’s no need to keep checking the setting. It also has an increased miter capacity of 60° to the right and 50° to the left.
A really unique feature of the DeWalt DWS780 is the XPS cut positioning system. If you’ve used laser guided systems, you’ll know that it can become a little tedious recalibrating the laser every time you change the blade. A laser has an additional drawback in that it only indicates the outer cutting edge of the blade.
The XPS system uses two LED lights that cast a shadow of the blade onto your work surface exactly where the cut is to be made. This shows you the exact width of cut, so you don’t have to factor in the blade width. In addition to this, there’s no need to calibrate it for the blade. The only downside to this is that the LED light is not bright enough to work in direct sunlight, so it it’s really for indoor use. If you want to make use of this function outdoors, you’ll need to place the saw in a well-shaded area.
Power and speed are important on a saw and the DWS780 doesn’t disappoint in that department. The 15 Amp motor will spin the 12” 62T blade at an impressive 3800 RPM. The motor runs a belt through a gearbox. There have been some complaints of the cutting action not being as smooth as one would like, the saw can stick when moving along the slide action. This can be easily overcome by oiling the shafts regularly to keep it moving smoothly.
Video Review of the DeWalt DWS780
It’s always easier to set common angles like 30° or 45° is you have preset miter and bevel stops. Well, the DeWalt DWS780 has 10 preset stops so you can quickly select these positions with 100% accuracy. The blade also has a depth adjustment, which is very handy for cutting dados and other cuts where you want to control how deep you’re cutting into a piece of wood.
As important as a blade guard is to your safety, it isn’t always that easy to work with because it can obstruct your view. Well, another work of genius from the guys at DeWalt is that you can see through the blade guard. This allows you to work more accurately without compromising on safety.
It has a dust bag, which DeWalt says will capture 75% of the sawdust that is produced from cutting. I’m not sure how one would accurately go about testing this, but the 25% that isn’t removed can still be a fair amount of dust. Some people might prefer to add a vacuum attachment. However, if you’re working where this isn’t an option catching 75% of the dust is a whole lot better than none at all.
The fences are amazing too, they are able to slide out and lock in position to give you extra length. The tall fences can support 7-½” of nested crown and 6-¾” base molding vertically. As you would expect from DeWalt, the fences are perfectly machined to give you incredible accuracy.
Another thing that makes it easier to work more accurately are clear bold markings that make it very easy to see the settings.
In conclusion, I’d say that this is a remarkable piece of machinery that combines innovative technology with DeWalt’s reputation for quality and superb accuracy. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better sliding miter saw.
Definitely deserves to be on your list of the Best Sliding Compound Miter Saws for you to consider.
DeWalt DWS780 vs DeWalt DWS779
DeWalt DWS779 | 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw
This is a question many people are asking and the answer wasn’t that easy to find. Firstly, DeWalt no longer has the DWS779 on their website, so it’s not that easy to find the specs. With some searching, I managed to find them and could determine that the Dewalt DWS779 is identical in most respects and it took some detailed inspection to find the difference.
The DeWalt DWS779 is the predecessor to the DeWalt DSW780 and while it looks the same and has all the same basic functions, there is one difference. The DeWalt DSW779 does not have the XPS guidance system.
If you’re an old-school carpenter who has never used a laser-guided saw, this may seem of little consequence. Even if you’ve used a laser-guided system and have found it to be useful, the XPS system is far superior – you just need to scroll up the page to see why.
So basically if you don’t see a need for the XPS guidance system you can save a few bucks by buying the DeWalt DWS779. For most of us, the advantage of having the guidance system is a great plus, in that it saves time. You can work accurately, without double checking your cut every time.
DeWALT DHS790AB FLEXVOLT Miter Saw
- Ultimate power flexibility providing the convenience of cordless with the performance of corded
- A powerful 120V brushless motor provides long run-time compared to brushed motors
- Integrated adjustment-free Cutline Blade Positioning System for accuracy and visibility
- High visibility bevel scale makes bevel angle adjustments accurate and easy
- Tall sliding fences support crown molding up to 7-1/2″ nested and base molding up to 6-3/4″ vertically against the fence
- Adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate with 11 detents, 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left providing increased capacity
- Runtime – up to 289 cross cuts in 3-1/4″ Baseboard
Overview | DeWalt DHS790AB
The DeWalt DHS790AB uses their revolutionary new Flexvolt system, we’ll go into this unique battery system a little later in more detail. Let’s first take a look at the product and see if it compares to their cord electric sliding miter saw, the DeWalt DWS780.
Apart from the Flexvolt technology, the DeWalt DHS790AB has another unique feature when it comes maximizing its versatility. It’s a hybrid electric saw. This means it can run on two Flexvolt 60V batteries in series, giving you 120V. If the batteries are no longer able to run the saw, you can simply plug it into a 120V electric power socket and continue working. So you have the convenience of cordless power and the option of using regular AC power – complete versatility.
So does the Dewalt DHS 790AB Flexvolt compare to its regular corded counterpart?
To look at, the DHS 790AB is a little different, in that it has a larger square motor housing. This is obviously to accommodate the two Flexvolt batteries and the additional electronics of the Flexvolt system. What I find strange is that the weight specs are exactly the same at 56Lbs for both the corded and battery models. Usually, battery tools weigh more because of the battery weight. So either they have found some way of building the DHS790AB lighter than the DWS780 or the weight spec is a mistake. I think it may well be the latter.
If you take a look at the spec sheets, you’ll notice that they are identical in every way. They even have the same XPS LED guided cutting system. So the only difference will be the price, the battery operated saw will obviously be more expensive. Of course, it goes without saying that one is an electric cord saw and the other is a battery/cord hybrid. So you’ll be getting exactly the same product from a user point of view but if you’re prepared to pay a little more for the hybrid versatility the DeWalt DHS790AB Flexvolt will be the one to choose. It has to be the most advanced battery-powered sliding miter saw that you can get.
Not only is this one of the best cordless miters saws you can buy, but it’s also one of the Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw as well.
Video | DeWalt DHS790AB Flexvolt 120V Miter Saw
Tech Specs (DHS790AB):
- 45° Bevel Cut Capacity (dimensional lumber) 2×14″(2×16″ with back fence)
- 45° Miter Cut Capacity (Max Height) 2×12″
- 45° Miter Cut Capacity (Max Width) 8″
- 90° Cross-Cut Capacity (dimensional lumber) 2″ x 14″ (2×16″ with back fence) in
- 90° Cross-Cut Capacity (Max Width) 16″
- Arbor Size 5/8 in
- Blade Diameter 12″
- For Metal Cutting no
- For Wood Cutting Yes
- Handle Type Top Handle
- Horizontal Capacity: Baseboard Lying Flat 16″ in
- Horizontal Capacity: Crown Molding Lying Flat 13-3/4″ in
- No Load Speed 3800 rpm
- Tool Height: 23 in / Length : 32 in / Weight : 56 lbs
- Vertical Capacity: Baseboard Against Fence 6-3/4″ in
- Vertical Capacity: Crown Molding Vertically Nested 7-1/2″ in
How does DeWalt’s Flexvolt system work?
Last year DeWalt introduced their Flexvolt battery system to overcome one of the pitfalls of using battery operated tools. With any battery, the voltage starts to drop as the battery discharges. What this means is that at a certain point, the voltage will drop too low for the machine to operate and it will cut out.
The solution? A flexible voltage battery and motor, hence the name Flexvolt. When the battery is fully charged, the motor will run on 60V (or 120V when two batteries are used in series), this reduces the current and maximizes the amp-hours that you will get from the battery. When the battery discharges to a point where the motor is no longer able to run at 60V, it switches over to 20V. DeWalt claims this gives you up to four times more working time.
This is achieved by using 12 5V cells in the battery. To produce 60V, all cells are connected in series making 12 X 5V which equals 60V. When the charge drops sufficiently the cell connection is switched to 4 cells in series (4 X 5V = 20V), which makes 3 banks of 20V connected in parallel. You end up with more current (amperes) with the parallel configuration. Higher amps mean a lower voltage drop under load and this extends the usable time from the same battery.
Now if you know a bit about electricity, your next question would be how does an electric motor produce the same power at a much lower voltage? I certainly wanted an answer to this question and DeWalt has not made this knowledge commonly available. So I phoned up a buddy who’s an electrical engineer.
He reckons that they’re probably using a variable frequency drive which alters the frequency of the current to allow the same output at a lower voltage. This would also mean that they are inverting the battery’s DC voltage to AC. This is not a fact, just a guess as to what the most logical approach would be. It seems to make sense and would definitely be the obvious way to achieve this.
10-Inch Dual Slide — Best Compound Miter Saw with Laser
- 10″ slide miter saw with the crown molding cutting capacity (6-5/8″ nested) of a 12″ miter saw
- Exclusive 6 linear ball bearings engineered to deliver “dead-on” accurate cuts
- Innovative direct drive gearbox and guard system is engineered for increased vertical cutting capacity (4-3/4″)
- Compact design with a patented 4-Steel Rail Sliding System further increases rigidity to produce superior cuts
- Less weight (53.3 lbs.) and the most compact design in its class for easy jobsite portability
- Powerful 15.0 AMP direct drive motor requires less maintenance and delivers 3,200 RPM
- Increased capacity for up to 6-5/8″ crown molding (vertically nested), 4-3/4″ baseboard (vertical), and 12″ crosscuts at 90°
- Largest crown molding cutting capacity in its class
- Miters 0°-52° left and 0°-60° right, with positive stops at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, and 45° (left and right)
- Soft start feature for smooth start-ups
- Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load for smoother, higher quality cutting
- Exclusive 4-3/4″ tall dual sliding fence system features upper and lower fence adjustments for more precise miter and bevel cuts
- Built-in laser clearly indicates line-of-cut whether blade is turning or not; on-off switch and micro-adjustments for precise “left-of-blade” or “right-of-blade” cutting
- Dual rear-handle bevel lock is easily accessible and adjusts 0°-45° (left and right), with positive stops at 0°, 22.5°, 33.9° and 45° (left and right)
- Ergonomic rubberized horizontal D-handle design for better fit and added comfort
- Easy one-touch miter lock for accurate adjustments and increased efficiency
- Replaceable stainless steel miter scale features large and easy-to-read markings
- Large precision machined aluminum base supports material for more efficient cutting
- Easy-to-read dual bevel scale for more precise adjustments
- See-through blade guard system for greater visibility of blade and line of cut
- Easy one-step blade changes for increased efficiency
- Rubberized feet help tool remain stationary
- Large adjustable fence levers for fast and easy adjustments
- Oversized trigger switch for better fit, added comfort and easier operation
Overview | Makita LS1016L
Most will agree that DeWalt is the world leaders when it comes to miter saws. They have been innovating woodworking tools since the 1920’s and have always had some of the most advanced technology and have a large range to choose from. This doesn’t make them the only contenders for producing top quality tools and Makita is worthy of being mentioned alongside them. For this reason, we have to also include the Makita LS1016L in this review. It’s a similar product in roughly the same price range.
When comparing it to the DeWalt DWS780 the first notable difference is that the saw blade is 10” (2” smaller than the DeWalt) and it has a slightly lower RPM at 3200.
The Makita uses a direct drive motor, whereas the DeWalt uses a belt. The direct drive motor with soft start gearbox does operate smoother and for this reason, it is probably beneficial. The Makita LS1016L has a conventional laser guided cutting system which is handy, though the XPS guidance system on the DeWalt seems to be better.
Because the Makita has a 10” blade, you don’t have as much cutting capacity as the DeWalt but for the rest, they are very similar. It also has a cam-type miter adjustment, which is preferable to a conventional screw knob. The Makita LS1016L also has the same advantage of being able to see through the blade guard. The Makita also has dual bevel capabilities.
It has miter angles of up to 52° to left of the blade and 60° to the left, which is pretty much the same as the DeWalt. The Makita LS1016L, however only has 5 positive stops – half as many as the DeWalt.
The Makita makes use of four rails for the slide action which makes it a fair deal smoother than the DeWalt. It also has a dust bag.
So while they are very much the same, the DeWalt has a larger blade and most people will find the XPS guidance system more favorable. The Makita LS1016L has the advantage of being smoother to operate.
- Compact slide system allows the saw head to slide along fixed rails, eliminating the need for rear clearance
- Laser marker system from Hitachi increases cutting accuracy
- Powerful 15 Amp motor to tackle tough cutting jobs with ease
- Large sliding fences raise fence height to 5-1/8 inches to cut up to 7-1/2″ crown molding vertically
- 0-57 degree miter angle to the right and 0-45 degree to the left for flexibility
- 0-45 degree bevel angle range to the right and left allowing users to quickly and easily flip the saw blade and leave the material in place
- Positive stops and indications on the miter and bevel scale, for easy to read measurements and quick settings
- Carbon brush access, allows the user to replace the brush as needed to greatly prolong tool life
- Vertical handle with soft, vibration reducing elastomer grip adds comfort and control
Overview | Hitachi C12RHS2
Not everyone wants to buy top brands with a long legacy of producing premium tools. For the weekend hobbyist who might not be working the saw hard on a regular basis, you could very well want something cheaper that provides you with the same functionality. Well, we have something for you too.
Hitachi has a reputation for quality, albeit not in the same league as brands like DeWalt and Makita. The Hitachi C12RHS2 presents itself as a viable budget alternative to the sliding miter saws that we’ve looked at so far.
It has 12” blade driven by 1520W motor at an impressive 4000 rpm. It also has all the good stuff that you’ll find on the more expensive saws like dual bevel, laser guided cutting and one-touch miter setting. Like the Makita, it also has five positive stops.
It has a sliding sub-fence for extra length and a 630mm (24.8”) base, which is great. Mitre angles are limited compared to the others that we’ve reviewed here, it can be adjusted to 45° to either side. This can be a bit of a disadvantage.
So the Hitachi may not have the same stellar reputation as the others but to its credit, you will be paying a good deal less. Apart from less miter angle capabilities, it matches up to its more prestigious competitors remarkably well. For this, the Hitachi deserves some recognition.
For very little money the Hitachi C12RHS2 is one of the Best Sliding Compound Miter Saws you can buy.
Best Miter Saw Stands
Working with a miter saw, particularly if you work on multiple sites, is made much easier with a stand built for this purpose. Having given you an excellent selection of sliding miter saws to choose from, it seems fitting to offer you a selection of miter saw stands too. Below are three great choices. The DeWalt and Bosch stands offer exceptional usability and versatility and there’s a cheaper option with fewer bells and whistles in the form of Portamate.
DEWALT DWX726 | Rolling Miter Saw Stand
- Wide adjustable infeed and outfeed roller work supports provide up to 8′ of material support
- Easily adjustable mounting rails adapt to nearly any miter saw or portable thickness planer
- Wide rubber grip wheels provide easy jobsite mobility
- Three-position pneumatic assisted raising and lowering for the ultimate in flexibility and ease of set up
- Durable tubular steel construction allows for a 300 lb maximum weight capacity
- Compact vertical storage option maximizes workplace efficiency and ease of transport
- Straightforward one-time assembly minimizes down time
There’s no need to go into the advantages of DeWalt products, by now you’re probably aware of their reputation for outstanding quality. If you, like so many, swear by DeWalt then you’ll probably want this miter saw stand without much hesitation.
It’s called a rolling stand because it has two wheels that allow you to move the stand around very easily. It’s made from steel and can hold a weight of 300lbs. So with a saw weighing around 50lbs, it will still take another 250lbs in material weight which more than ample.
To make raising and lowering the stand easier it is pneumatically assisted, so there’s no stress even when it is heavily loaded.
A wide adjustable roller provides up to 8’ of support for materials. It has three working heights up to 32.5” and folds to 17” in height. Folded width is 59.5”; extended width 98” and it weighs 67lbs.
The mounting rails are able to adjust to accommodate virtually any miter saw or thickness planer.
It’s a versatile easy to use stand that will make your life a lot easier. This comes with DeWalt’s regular warranty of 3 years and 90-day money back guarantee so you’re assured of top quality.
Bosch T4B | Gravity-Rise Miter Saw Stand
- Integrated out feed and supports — up to 18 Ft. of material support capacity
- Adjustable telescoping leveling leg — provides stability on uneven surfaces
- Adjustable height out feed — up to 12 In.
- Universal mounting system — for use with all major competitors’ saws
- Integrated rubber wheels — easily move stand with saw attached from jobsite to jobsite.
The Bosch Gravity-Rise system works well for making it easier to raise the stand. It also has wheels for easy transportation and has the added benefit of a telescopic leveling leg which allows you to work level on uneven surfaces.
The outfeed height is adjustable up to 12”. The length is 51.5” and can be extended to 103.15”. Bosch claims that the T4B can provide up 18’ of material support, this is 10’ more than the DeWalt. I’m not too sure how they can be this vastly different, but these are the manufacturer’s figures.
Working height is 48.42”. The Bosch T4B is made from steel and weighs 76.7 lbs. Like the DeWalt, it is able to adapt to most major tool manufacturer’s models.
Apart from the vastly different material width figures, the Bosch and DeWalt stands are very similar. The leveling leg on the Bosch seems to be its main advantage.
Portamate PM-4000 | Miter Saw Stand
- Comfortable 36-Inch work height to make projects easy.
- Heavy duty contractor grade, with a tough powder coated steel finish.
- Snap pin folding legs for easy storage, and complete stability when in use.
- 20-Inch Quick Attach mounts (which can be left on your tools if you wish).
- 10’ long material support and a 500lb capacity for the big jobs.
- Optional Wheel Kit available (PM-7004) for added mobility.
It’s always a good idea to propose a budget option. Not everyone has the same needs and the Portamate offers a good basic stand for those who want to spend less.
It is made from steel and has a pretty impressive weight capacity – up to 500 lbs. It has 20” “quick attach” mounts and can handle up to 10’ of material support. The working height is 36” with no adjustments. The legs fold in for easy packing and carrying. It doesn’t have wheels, though there are Promate stands where this an option.
Promate makes no mention of which tools it is compatible with, but it looks like it can adjust to most.
For its price, this stand can’t be beaten. It’s simple, basic and excellent value for money.
What to Look for in a Miter Saw
- Blade size is fairly important because this will determine what thickness you’re able to cut through. A larger blade will obviously give you a greater cutting depth. Blades typically range from 8” to 10”.
- Bevel allows you to angle the saw head so that the blade cuts at an angle. This allows you to make more complicated cuts. With a bevel miter saw, you can adjust two angles – miter angle and bevel angle. Dual or compound bevel miter saws can angle the saw head to either the left or right, giving you even greater
- Sliding miter saws are far better than static ones. The sliding action gives you the ability to cut through much wider pieces. With a static miter saw, you can only move the saw head up and down and so your cutting width is limited to the blade diameter.
- Many miter saws will come with working lights and laser guides to make it easier to work more accurately.
- Adjustable and extendable fences are found on virtually all miter saws and having greater extension lengths will give you more versatility.
- It’s important to look at how easy the saw is to operate, whilst working accurately. This would include checking how well the angles are marked (are they easy to see?). The type of adjusting mechanisms can make working accurately much easier. Single operation adjustments are better, they are usually more accurate and allow you to work faster.
- Fixed point adjustments for common angles can also make working much easier and faster.
- While not critical, accessories like dust collection systems and movable stands can make your life much easier.