What is the Best Small & Compact Miter Saw in 2022?

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If you need a miter saw for heavy-duty cutting tasks, there are compact units out there that can fit in a small shop. But be careful, as most models aren’t powerful enough for tough woodworking projects and produce shoddy bevels and miters.

Lucky for you, our pro woodworkers tested the best compact miter saws that are equipped with the best cutting capacity for your needs.

Premium Option
BOSCH Compound Sliding Miter Saw
Editor’s Choice
Makita XSL05Z Compound Miter Saw
Budget Option
Genesis Compound Miter Saw
BOSCH Compound Sliding Miter Saw
Makita XSL05Z Compound Miter Saw
Genesis Compound Miter Saw
• Max Crosscut Capacity: 10-5/8in
• Dust Chute & Dust Bag
• Carbide tipped blade
• Material Clamp
• CoolPack 2.0 technology
• Dual-bevel Functionality
• Electric Brake
• Star Protection Computer Controls
• Cut Capacity: 270 per charge
• BL Brushless Motor
• 10-inch Saw Blade
• Built-in Dust Bag
• Arbor Lock
• Cross-cut positioning system
• Cordless Miter Saw
Premium Option
BOSCH Compound Sliding Miter Saw
BOSCH Compound Sliding Miter Saw
• Max Crosscut Capacity: 10-5/8in
• Dust Chute & Dust Bag
• Carbide tipped blade
• Material Clamp
• CoolPack 2.0 technology
Editor’s Choice
Makita XSL05Z Compound Miter Saw
Makita XSL05Z Compound Miter Saw
• Dual-bevel Functionality
• Electric Brake
• Star Protection Computer Controls
• Cut Capacity: 270 per charge
• BL Brushless Motor
Budget Option
Genesis Compound Miter Saw
Genesis Compound Miter Saw
• 10-inch Saw Blade
• Built-in Dust Bag
• Arbor Lock
• Cross-cut positioning system
• Cordless Miter Saw

Reviews of the Top Compact Miter Saws

1. Makita XSL05Z Compound Miter Saw

When it comes to a precise miter system, Makita XSL05Z has all it takes to top this product roundup. During our tests, this power tool impressed us with its automatic speed change function that allows adjustable torque and speed for excellent cutting performance. 

Upon testing, we noticed that it’s a lightweight miter saw, weighing only over 14lbs. Users can expect it to deliver 270 miter cuts per charge at accurate miter angles thanks to its Ltx Technology. 

Unlike other miter saws, Makita XSL05Z runs with a brushless motor that aids smooth cutting operations and a longer machine lifespan. It also has a high cutting capacity suitable for handling different materials.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. BOSCH Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Power tools aren’t always affordable, but if you have the budget, it’s never a waste of money to buy a premium cutting tool like the BOSCH Sliding Compound Miter Saw

The unit is relatively easy to handle as it only weighs around 31.5 lbs. It has a single-bevel capacity that ranges from 0 degrees to 45 degrees and a blade size of 8.5 inches. 

Its high-capacity battery design isn’t really a big surprise, considering how Bosch Power Tools has always been a consistent multi-awarded manufacturer[1]. Equipped with CORE18V 8.0 Ah PROFACTOR battery pack, it can deliver more cutting power than typical compact saws. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. Genesis Compound Miter Saw

If you’re looking for an affordable option suitable for entry-level trim carpenters, then Genesis Compound Miter Saw may fulfill your job site needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re working on framing lumber or crown molding—this unit’s laser cutting guide will ensure that you get enhanced accuracy and alignment in making angled cuts. 

There’s also no need to worry about operational safety because this capable power tool has nine positive miter stops and an arbor lock that allows easy saw blade changes. Like other compact units, this miter saw can make angled cuts up to a 45 degrees position.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. DEWALT DCS361B Cordless Compact Miter Saw

Not all cutting tools can produce accurate miter angles, but DEWALT DCS361B Cordless Compact Miter Saw surely proved us wrong with its Cam lock miter handle. 

Along with this feature, our cutting operations were made easier as we took advantage of the unit’s oversized bevel scale. Through this, all the angle adjustments were made less complex and beginner-friendly. It also features 11 positive stops that enhance cutting accuracy and productivity. 

As if that’s not enough, manufacturers of these compact miter saws included a cross-cut positioning system on the unit to further enhance its precision. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. CRAFTSMAN CMCS714M1 Sliding Miter Saw

Another budget-friendly option you can try is CRAFTSMAN CMCS714M1 Sliding Miter Saw. Despite its low price tag, can you believe that this small miter saw can deliver 585 cuts in a single charge? 

It’s a small sliding miter saw, but it’s equipped with a powerful motor and a no-load speed of 3,800 RPM. Besides that, it can produce 3-5/8-inch miter cuts on crown molding and 3-1/2-inch vertical cuts on baseboards. 

We also do not doubt that it’s one of the best cordless compact miter tools out there, as its sliding features allow 8-inch crosscuts at a 90-degree angle and 5.5-inch at a 45-degree positioning. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Milwaukee Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Our team understands that price range can be a deal-breaker when shopping for a reliable compact sliding miter saw. Some people even prefer non-sliding miter saws to sliding miter saws because they are less expensive. However, Milwaukee Sliding Miter Saw proved its fair value with its dual-bevel features and cutting efficiency. 

Having a higher price tag is completely justified if a small compound miter saw can deliver 600 cuts per charge. Its long battery life means it can deliver more cutting power during the operation and stable runtime. 

And because it’s lighter than typical miter saws, it won’t strain your arms or cause any fatigue. It also features handles for easy transportation or movement.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. DEWALT DCS361M1 Cordless Miter Saw

Amidst our search, we decided to circle back on the same reliable brand and finally bumped into DEWALT DCS361M1 Cordless Miter Saw. What we liked about this compact miter saw is its base fence support, that’s highly optimized to aid the accuracy and durability of the unit. 

Upon closer look, you’ll also notice that this small compound miter saw has an integrated cut line. Because of this, the user has more visibility when handling the unit’s saw head. 

On top of that, it’s made of stainless steel material, which means this small miter saw can withstand harsh jobsite environments and may last longer with proper maintenance. You can cut PVCs with this miter saw or tougher materials. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

8. Ryobi Cordless Miter Saw

Among these tool reviews, Ryobi Cordless Miter Saw is remarkably one of the cheapest on the list. It’s fascinating because this small miter saw is capable of 900 cuts per charge despite its low price. In fact, it includes a cast miter scale that enhances user accuracy even further. 

Its vacuum system also features a dust extractor that can help you in keeping your workspace clean amidst an ongoing cutting task. On top of that, you’ll have no problems adjusting and changing blades as it’s supported with a spindle lock feature. You can always refer to Ryobi instructional guide to know how to use this feature properly. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

9. Metabo HPT C10FCGS Miter Saw

Believe it or not, a low-budget and small miter saw like Metabo HPT C10FCGS can offer a no-load speeding range of 5000 RPM. And with its reliable clamping system, any material you use will be well-supported and stable throughout the cutting operation. 

This small miter saw also features zero to forty-five degrees bevel angles and dedicated stops, enhancing the unit’s accuracy. If you ask us, the tool’s 15-amp motor helps a lot in its cutting performance as it delivers enough power to make the blade run smoothly. Despite its size, we can assure you that it can handle tough jobs.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Compact Miter Saws Buyer’s Guide

Power and Accuracy

Given that you’ll be handling different projects, the best compact miter saw must be able to cut tough materials precisely and smoothly. Typically, this tool is used in tasks like cutting pressure-treated boards, base or crown moldings, pines, and other hardwood lumber. And it’s only possible to cut them accurately if your miter saw has enough power. 

If you comb through the market as we did, you’ll realize that each unit runs in different power metrics. Getting a miter saw equipped with at least a 10-amp motor is highly recommended because it delivers various vibrations that allow the blade to handle hard materials. 

It’s also wise to get the compact saw tested and see if it can execute various cutting techniques like mitering, crosscutting, and beveling. Through this, you’ll be able to know how smooth the unit can be calibrated for precision. 

Portability

Let’s face it. Woodworking, especially cutting tasks, can be straining. Even more so if you’re handling hard-to-cut materials. Because of this, manufacturers released compact miter saws to eliminate movement restrictions and user fatigue.

While it’s true that portability could mean less cutting capacity, less weight in the saw also means newbie woodworkers like you wouldn’t have a hard time using the unit. Typically, you’d want a model weighing around twenty to thirty-five pounds. It may not be considered portable if you get something heavier than these. 

Cutting Capacity

Contrary to common beliefs, most miter saws aren’t only used to cut 90-degree angles. Most of the models you’ll see in the market are also capable of switching to typical angles like 45 degrees. You’ll need this type of function, especially if you’re planning to create angled slices on your workpiece. 

The cutting capacity of your miter saw also depends on the size of its blade. You may not know, but compact models often range from 6.5 to 8.5 inches. Some will think that these dimensions don’t make much difference, but you must know that precise cuts are more likely to happen with smaller blades. 

However, it’s also crucial to note that bigger blades have more cutting capabilities. It gives users wider angles and better cut visibility, leading to enhanced accuracy during the cutting operations. 

Mitering and Beveling

For the record, not all saws can deliver your mitering and beveling needs. Oftentimes, models with both features could mean higher pricing. However, getting one isn’t a bad idea if you got the budget, especially for someone handling only occasional woodworking tasks that require more power. 

If there’s a lever under your tool, that’s where you can adjust the miter angle. All you need to do is move it sideways to get the cutting angle you want. On the other hand, beveling is a different scenario. Its scale is often located behind the unit’s handle. This feature’s main purpose is to give the hand and saw’s head the freedom to move freely. 

We advise you to check the angle options and positive stops of these features as they’ll indicate if you’ll be able to achieve specific positions and adjustments. 

Laser and LED Cut Line Guide

A cut line guide in your miter saw can be a great help, especially for users unfamiliar with cutting tasks. Most units in the market feature an LED indicator or laser lighting to help woodworkers identify the blade’s exact cutting position. 

The difference between LED indicators and lasers is that the former needs proper calibration, whereas the prior-mentioned has a shadow line feature that casts above the blade. Professional woodworkers prefer LED indicators because you’ll have no issues with their visibility even in broad daylight. 

Dust Collection System

If you’ve been a woodworker long enough, you’d know that sawdust is among the many problems of any cutting task. In fact, it remains one of the toughest challenges manufacturers have to consider when selling cutting tools. Fortunately, most saws nowadays are equipped with a dust port. 

Dust collection systems are often placed behind the unit’s blade to extract the sawdust produced during the cutting operations and avoid affecting your visibility. If you look closer, you’ll see that there’s always a dust bag attached to your miter saw. That is where the dust extraction happens. 

During our search, we also bumped into newer models with better dust collection designs that allow more sawdusts to be extracted into the bag. These units can also be plugged with a vacuum system if you have one in your workshop.

Stand

When buying a full-sized miter saw, it’s normal to keep them on a stand. After all, size doesn’t really matter for these types of tools. However, it’s not the case for a compact miter saw. Since you’re aiming for portability, adding a stand to the equation means more weight. If you think about it, that beats the purpose of having a compact tool. 

Ultimately, our team’s best advice is to evaluate your workflow and see if  your productivity would increase if you have a stand for your miter saw or hinder its portability along the way. Other alternatives you can consider for support are tailgates, porches, and DIY sawhorses. 

Safety Features

Besides all the tool reviews on cutting performance, it’s also important to note if your miter saw has enough safety features for user protection. Admit it or not, cutting tasks can expose us to some levels of danger.

To prevent this, manufacturers integrated parts like blade guards. This feature act as a protective steel sheet that prevents the blade from potentially cutting your fingers. Besides that, some models have electric brakes and spindle locks for an additional layer of protection. 

It also helps if your cutting machine has secure clamps that can hold the material down firmly so that it wouldn’t slip and cause any undesirable accidents in the long run. In the same sense, an aluminum fence could also provide additional support to avoid such instances. 

Pricing and Warranty

These tools are structured with different features and materials, so it’s only natural that they have different price ranges to offer. If you check our list, you’ll notice that these options are priced from almost $200 to over $500. These price points are categorized based on the brand’s reliability and capability to fulfill specific woodworking requirements. 

And while it’s tempting to grab anything cheap, we suggest taking into account what kind of projects you’ll be doing. 

On top of that, make sure that the tool you’re buying, whether it is from Ridgid or Ryobi brand, has an outstanding warranty. You may not know, but a warranty policy gives users the right to seek replacement or repair from the manufacturer in the event the tool malfunctions within the said period of time. Don’t forget to check the terms and conditions to see the coverage of the policy. 

Warranties may also deem invalid if you bought your miter saw from unauthorized sellers. If it’s possible, only transact with the official stores and manufacturers. 

If you can’t afford any of the compact miter saws on this list, look for used miter saws for sale near you.

FAQ

What can you do with a compact miter saw?

There are many woodworking tasks you can accomplish using a compact miter saw. It can make complex angular cuts that you can’t recreate via other tools. Besides that, general applications like molding, rafting, and trimming is completely possible with a miter saw. However, it’s also true that smaller miter saw can only handle smaller workpieces.  

Can a small miter saw cut metal?

If your miter saw is equipped with the right metal-cutting blade, then it’s not impossible to do this task. However, remember that compact tools have limited cutting capacities, so the materials they can handle are much smaller than those handled by a full-size miter saw. 

How can you cut outside the corner baseboard on a small miter saw?

First, you must take measurements. And then, you must mark the part of the baseboard where you’ll be making the cut. Once that’s done, the miter saw must be configured according to the angle you wish to achieve. After making the cuts, ensure that the edges are clean. 

Our Top Pick For a Compact Miter Saw:
Makita XSL05Z

After evaluating the best compact miter saws on the market, our woodworkers concluded that Makita XSL05Z tops this product roundup. Besides its easy speed and blade change features, what impressed us the most is its super lightweight structure that’s both convenient and efficient to use for new users. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

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