What is the Best Miter Saw for Beginners? — Perfect for DIY Projects & More (2024)

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When I was first starting out, I was hesitant to dive deep and invest in a complex machine that might not align with my needs. I remember how overwhelming it was, not having the expertise to sift through the myriad of products out there. That’s why I’m here to share with you the best miter saws that are perfect for beginners like I once was.

Best Overall
Craftsman CMCS714M1
Best Premium Choice
BOSCH Power Tools GCM12SD
Best for Budget
Ryobi 7-¼ in. Miter Saw
Craftsman CMCS714M1 No Background
BOSCH Power Tools GCM12SD No Background
Ryobi 7-¼ in. Miter Saw No Background
Our first choice is the Craftsman CMCS714M1. The saw won’t set you back too much in terms of price, and it’s a sliding miter saw design with a 3,800 RPM motor. There is an added cut capacity for versatility, while still being lightweight for easy carry.
For beginners who want a miter saw that last, the Bosch GCM12SD is our editor’s pick for a premium option. It’s not the cheapest around, but the axial glide system added cut capacity and ease of use justify its extensive price.
You can get a very powerful saw on a budget if you choose the Ryobi 7-¼ miter saw. The saw is lightweight and features a powerful 15-amp direct drive motor capable of 5,100 RPM which makes it an excellent choice for heavy-duty jobs.
Best Overall
Craftsman CMCS714M1
Craftsman CMCS714M1 No Background
Our first choice is the Craftsman CMCS714M1. The saw won’t set you back too much in terms of price, and it’s a sliding miter saw design with a 3,800 RPM motor. There is an added cut capacity for versatility, while still being lightweight for easy carry.
Best Premium Choice
BOSCH Power Tools GCM12SD
BOSCH Power Tools GCM12SD No Background
For beginners who want a miter saw that last, the Bosch GCM12SD is our editor’s pick for a premium option. It’s not the cheapest around, but the axial glide system added cut capacity and ease of use justify its extensive price.
Best for Budget
Ryobi 7-¼ in. Miter Saw
Ryobi 7-¼ in. Miter Saw No Background
You can get a very powerful saw on a budget if you choose the Ryobi 7-¼ miter saw. The saw is lightweight and features a powerful 15-amp direct drive motor capable of 5,100 RPM which makes it an excellent choice for heavy-duty jobs.

Reviews of the Best Miter Saws for Beginners

1. Craftsman CMCS714M1

The Craftsman CMCS714M1 is a workhorse of a saw. It’s the ideal miter saw for portability as it’s incredibly lightweight. You also have your choice of accessories for an additional price.

The versatile tool can cut wood and trim lumber down to size with ease. As a sliding miter saw, the CMCS714M1 can create cross-cuts at varying degrees. The brand also adds more cutting capacity to this model to improve its functions.

The LED cut line positioning system will ensure this best sliding compound miter saw will deliver the most precise cuts.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

2. Bosch GCM12SD

Bosch tools are high quality and durable, which explains the price tag for the Bosch GCM12SD. However, the features are admittedly remarkable. The sliding miter saw is a great deal for your money. It has an axial-gliding system that delivers better cross cuts with the miter saw blade without adding to the size.

There is also an expanded cut capacity on the Bosch GCM12SD, and the saw provides bevel angle adjustments and a miter scale with detents. In addition, the square lock quick release doesn’t require setting, and all the controls are located conveniently for easy access.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

3. Ryobi 7-¼ in. Miter Saw

The budget miter saw I have chosen from Ryobi 7-¼ in. Miter Saw is a smaller model compared with the other saws. However, despite the smaller size, the Ryobi miter saw is excellent for cutting materials that require a powerful motor. 

The 9-amp engine provides a whopping 5,100 RPM, faster than some larger models. It requires you to consult the user’s guide for Ryobi miters saws to know how to operate such powerful models. 

There are miter stops at all the common angles and a 2×4 cutting capacity plus a 4-¼ cross-cut capacity for easy setting. In addition, the miter range on this Ryobi saw is extended to provide 47-degree cuts in both directions.

Read Next: Is Ryobi a Good Brand for Beginners?

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

4. Makita LS1040 10" Compound Miter Saw

In my experience with various brands, Makita stands out for its top-quality products. I can personally vouch for their 10-inch compound miter saw as one of the best for beginners. With a robust 15-amp motor and a direct drive, it offers up to 4,600 RPM. I’ve found the dual post compound pivoting arm incredibly user-friendly, especially when making miter cuts to both the left and right.

The compound miter saw also features common miter stops and can deliver bevel cuts up to 45-degrees. An aluminum base keeps powerful miter saws sturdy during operation, which is what the Makita LS1040 has. The miter saw is also lightweight and portable.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

5. DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, 15-Amp, Single Bevel, Compound (DWS715)

This sliding compound miter saw is a little larger than most, measuring at 12 inches. However, the Dewalt DWS715 is more sturdily built with a stainless steel miter plate with 14 stops for accuracy.

The Dewalt miter saw has a powerful 15-amp motor that can drive the blade at 4,000 RPM. As a result, you get extended cuts when cutting wood or wood trims, and the tall sliding fences can support a 5-½ base. Simply ensure that the blade of your miter saw is not dull, as you may need to replace the blades of your Dewalt miter saw in order for it to function properly.

This miter saw is a single bevel miter saw in the design, but there is also a dual option bevel. If you’re not sure which type of bevel miter saw to use for your project, check out this comparison of single and double bevel miter sawsUsers get a vertical clamp, a carbide-tipped blade, the wrench, and a dust bag with their purchase.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

6. Skil 10" Dual-Bevel Sliding Miter Saw - MS6305-00

For beginners looking for a dual bevel power tool capable of providing smooth edges, the SKIL MS6305-00 is my recommendation. The miter also has a powerful 15-amp motor for quick and accurate cuts and a no-load speed of 5,000. In addition, the design provides cutting accuracy for both the left and right sides.

I’ve found LED guides to be more accurate than lasers. The SKIL MS6305-00 stands out, especially with its LED shadow line. When I use it, I notice it cuts seamlessly at standard angles, and the 9 detents on its miter plate are a valuable feature.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

7. Metabo HPT 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw C10FCGS

The Metabo HPT C10FCGS is a 10-inch compound miter saw that delivers a high no-load RPM of 5,000 with a powerful 15-amp motor. It’s one of the lightest saws on my list at around 24 pounds and easily transportable. The miter range is between 0-52 degrees to offer versatility, and the bevel range is between 0-45.

Adjustments are quick and easy with thumb-actuated stops, and you get a vast working table on the Metabo HPT C10FCGS and a secure clamping system to stabilize your workpiece. In addition, Metabo backs up this compound miter saw with a 5-year warranty.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

8. WEN MM1011 15-Amp 10" Single Bevel Compact Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser

The WEN MM1011 sliding compound model has a 15-amp motor and is a single bevel design. The miter gives you 45-degrees in either direction, and the saw model features an onboard laser guide to help with precision, making it a great miter saw for novice.

Finding a unit like the MM1011, packed with so many accessories at its price point, is a rarity. When I got mine, it came with a 40-tooth carbide blade, table extensions, a clamp assembly, a dust bag, and even a dust port adapter for my dust collection system. Plus, the 2-year warranty on the WEN MM1011 miter saw adds even more value to the deal.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

Miter Saws for Beginners Buyer’s Guide

What should you look for in the best miter saw for beginners? It is not just about the sturdiness or the capacity to cut of a stainless steel plate. A variety of factors can impact the function of the best miter saw for beginners. Thus, I will explore these factors below.

Design and Material

The brand doesn’t have much to do with the design and material, as I have been disappointed with reputable brands and pleasantly surprised by some power tools from more obscure manufacturers.

You have different types of miter saws to understand before picking the best miter saw for you. You have the sliding miter saw, compound miter saw, compound sliding miter saw, and dual compound sliding miter saw.

The best sliding miter saw has rails that provide a larger cut capacity. I say this type of saw is best for those who need deeper cuts but not the best if you consider portability. If you want a tool you can carry from one place to another, a non-sliding miter saw is preferable to a sliding miter saw.

A compound miter saw can deliver miter and bevel cuts – hence the name. Most miter saws are compound miter saws, but they are more suitable for cutting wood but not metal.

You then have the best compound sliding miter, which gives you the capabilities of the two types, as mentioned earlier. However, it’s not the most portable option if you need to transport the saw.

Having worked with various tools, the dual compound sliding saws stand out as the most advanced among the options. With this model, you get the rails, the miter angle, and the bevel angle – making it my go-to recommendation if you’re looking to make cuts from both the left and right sides.

Your miter saw should be constructed of the most durable materials on the market, usually steel. A machine with a stainless steel plate is more vital than one without. In addition, a sturdy build will guarantee a longer lifespan for your device.

Ease of Use

The positioning of the setting knobs and levers and the clarity of markings is crucial. They must be easily accessible and intuitively designed. This allows you to swiftly adjust and read scales and stops at a glance, ensuring a seamless and efficient woodworking experience.

Some of the saw models I chose require setup. Some can take longer than usual, but it’s in a beginner’s best interest to find one readily built for cutting jobs.

Cutting Capacity and Angles

Miter saws come in many different sizes, and that is just one factor that will impact the cut capacity and angles. The cut capacity is one of the crucial factors to consider significantly because it directly impacts your work. I say to look for a large cut capacity, which is indicated by the size listed.

Ensure the miter saw can provide depth and angle adjustments. It can also work well for the larger 12 to 15-inch designs if you frequently work with large stock. For beginners, 10 inches is the best choice as you don’t work with large materials. However, for people who need to do small jobs around the house, I also included a smaller saw miter saw around 8 inches.

Also read: 

Guide to cut 135-degree angle on a miter saw


Two key factors impact the precision – the miter saw blades you choose and a cutting guide. Aside from these two primary characteristics, the motor and speed also have some sway, but more on that later.

Let’s look at the saw blades first. If you choose the wrong one, it can affect the results more than it would with a cordless drill or circular saw. A few cutting blade types include ripping blades, crosscut blades, plywood and laminate, melamine, non-ferrous, and steel blades.

Ripping blades have a lower tooth count and can rip through thick pieces of wood. You are looking at 16 to 24 teeth in a ripping blade. Then, the crosscut blades have a higher tooth count, such as 80 to give the smoothest results.

Plywood and laminate can chip easily, so you also need a blade with a higher tooth count that spins fast, like a 60-tooth carbide blade.

Melamine is hard to get through because the wood is coated, but a higher tooth count like the ones you would use for crosscuts will give precise cuts. Non-ferrous blades are for non-ferrous materials like certain metals. I suggest keeping a non-ferrous blade in your arsenal if your machine isn’t limited to wood projects.

Lastly, a steel blade is used to cut through what the name suggests – steel. It’s one of the most rigid miter saw blades designed for metals and is resistant to wear. Just make sure you purchase the correct blade size for your machine.

I have dedicated an entire section just to the laser guide for precision below.

Engine Power

As said, the engine power will also indicate what the saw can cut through and the precision. Of course, a slow-moving blade will make less accurate cuts, but if you have at least a 15-amp motor on a 10-inch model, you will have no issues.

In my interactions with fellow contractors, many of us lean towards models with a 15-amp motor. However, the compact option from Ryobi is a notable exception. I’ve been meticulous in identifying the best miter saw for beginners – one that’s compact yet doesn’t compromise on power. Impressively, even with its 9-amp motor, the Ryobi saw can churn out over 5,000 RPM, outclassing many of its larger counterparts.

The engine power delivers the speed that drives the blade, so depending on what materials you want to cut with your miter saw, you need to look at both the RPM (revolutions per minute) and the motor amperage.

The higher the RPM and the amperage, the faster and more powerful your miter saw will be. Then there is the drive, such as an exclusive belt drive design or direct drive. The exclusive belt drive design tends to be quieter than the direct drive, which makes these units more expensive.

Look for an innovative gearbox in your engine. An innovative gearbox provides excellent torque and is a mechanical method of powering your machine, which can be more efficient.


Portability isn’t a primary consideration for some, but for beginners who want location flexibility, you need to find a miter saw that’s lightweight. Not all more extensive miter tools are heavy, and there are many on my list under 30 pounds with their carrying handles to make transport easier.

If the mobility of the tool is an essential factor, then definitely double-check the weight before purchasing. Miter saw designs can also impact the weight, and as I said, some units aren’t the easiest to move.

Laser Guide

I felt that the laser guide needed its category as it’s crucial. It’s not an exclusive feature to specific brands, and most miter saw units have a guide and other cool features to help with cutting accuracy and various cutting jobs.

Exclusive laser marker functionality is pretty standard. Our team feels LED shadow lines available on miter saw units have better accuracy than the former. Both laser and LED guides can help illuminate your workspace and the cut line for more cutting accuracy.

It’s also straightforward to use a guide because you just need to follow the laser marker function to get a very straight cut.

Dust Collection and Safety

Dust collection is a feature people tend to consider last, but I stress the importance of an excellent dust collection system. Think about all the dust generated in your workshop daily. With nothing to clean it up or not dust port integration in your machines, you could be left with a big mess.

The dust generated from your units can obstruct your view and is a fire hazard. An excellent dust collection system such as a cyclone dust collector will take care of this problem. It is essential to make sure your miter saw has a dust port and preferably adaptors to work with your system.

As dust collection is also considered a safety feature on the best miter saw for beginners, I also felt the need to detail other safety functions.

One of the most coveted safety features is an electric braking option. Once activated, the blades on your miter saw will halt almost immediately to prevent serious accidents. In addition, on most woodworking saws, manufacturers will include a blade guard that will shield your fingers from harm. However, it’s not only about the safety mechanisms on the saw, but also what you wear.

I say proper PPE [1] is vital in accident prevention. For example, never wear loose clothing when operating machines and power tools or wear hanging jewelry. Goggles are the number one safety gear, and gloves also add extra protection when appropriate.

Price and Warranty

Miter saw units are usually under 500, with some budget options available for under 200. Of course, you can opt for premium models that exceed the 500 marks. It all depends on the quality and the features offered, but sometimes you spend unnecessary cash on the brand rather than the saw itself.

The choice of model significantly affects the price you’ll pay. Take, for instance, dual compound sliding saws – they tend to be pricier compared to regular compound saws. However, it’s crucial to note that these different types of saws are designed for specific projects. So, my expert advice is not to compromise on the type you need simply to save on costs.

In the end, the most important thing is to choose the one suited for your needs. Otherwise, you will be left with a costly and larger paperweight than a functional low-cost miter saw.

The warranty is a telltale sign of a trustworthy product. Due to their interests, it’s counterintuitive for manufacturers to offer an extended and comprehensive warranty if their product is untrustworthy. Therefore, you can make the logical assumption that a miter saw with a lifetime warranty will be dependable than one without.


What size miter saw for beginner?

A 10-inch miter saw is best for a beginner. Generally, beginner woodworkers don’t dabble in larger projects until they have more experience. A 10-inch miter saw is standard and can handle all the tasks a greenhorn would have. There are even smaller models at around 8 inches suitable for beginners and lightweight jobs. Of course, you can still opt for the larger 12 to 15-inch models if there is a need for them.

Can a beginner use a miter saw?

Yes, a beginner can use a miter saw. The user would have to remain safe and pick the right miter saw for his or her needs. Anything from the type to the functions and the price needs to be considered to find the best option.

How do you use a miter saw for beginners?

You would use a miter saw for beginners the same way a professional or expert uses one. You start by marking your material, clamping the material, prep the saw by setting the angles and cuts you want to make, and start sawing. Maintenance for the saws is also crucial to keeping your machines in tip-top shape.

My Top Pick For a Miter Saw for Beginners: Craftsman CMCS714M1

The winner for the best miter saw for woodworking beginners is the Craftsman CMCS714M1. The 7-¼ miter saw is small but mighty, with a 15-amp motor and 3,800 RPM. The miter detents are accurate and easy to follow, and the CMCS714M1 allows angled cuts. The lightweight saw comes with an LED light and comes carrying handles for portability.

For a wide range of options, we also prepared the following list for you: 

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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