Most beginners would not want to make an ambitious commitment and invest in a complicated machine that does not fully suit their needs. Some may not have enough expertise to sort through the available products in the market. Thus, our experts are here to present you with options for the best miter saws compatible for beginners like you.
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.
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.
3. Ryobi 7-¼ in. Miter Saw
The budget miter saw our professionals 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.
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.
4. Makita LS1040 10" Compound Miter Saw
Makita is another brand known for top-quality products, so they also have the best miter saw for beginners. It’s a 10-inch compound miter saw with a powerful 15-amp motor with a direct drive. As for the RPM, you can expect up to 4,600. The dual post compound pivoting arm is easy to use for miter cuts to 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.
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.
It’s a single bevel miter saw in the design, but there is also a dual option bevel. Users get a vertical clamp, a carbide-tipped blade, the wrench, and a dust bag with their purchase.
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 our contractors’ 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.
Our team members prefer LED guides rather than lasers as it provides more accuracy. The SKIL MS6305-00 earned additional bonus points for the LED shadow line. The miter saw cuts at standard angles and has 9 detents on the miter plate.
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 our 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.
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.
For such an affordable price, the MM1011 is one of the units that come with many accessories. You get a 40-tooth carbide blade, table extensions, a clamp assembly, a dust bag, and a dust port adapter to connect to your dust collection system.
There is also a 2-year warranty that comes with the WEN MM1011 miter saw.
Miter Saws for Beginners Buyer’s Guide
Design and Material
The brand doesn’t have much to do with the design and material, as our team members 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. Our team says this type of saw is best for those who need deeper cuts but not the best if you consider portability.
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.
The most advanced option among the four is the dual compound sliding saws. You get the rails, the miter angle, and the bevel angle. Our experts recommend this model if you need 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
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. Our experts 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, our team members also included a smaller saw miter saw around 8 inches.
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. Our team suggests 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 blades out there and is resistant to wear. Just make sure you purchase the correct blade size for your machine.
Our expert woodworkers have dedicated an entire section just to the laser guide for precision below.
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.
Most of our contractors’ recommendations have the 15-amp motor, but the most compact option from Ryobi is the exception. But our team members were careful to pick out the best miter saw for beginners that’s compact but still powerful. Even with the 9-amp motor, the Ryobi saw can still generate over 5,000 RPM, which outperforms many other larger models.
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.
Our professional team 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
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, our experts 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.
Price and Warranty
The model you choose will also impact the price. For example, dual compound sliding options are more expensive than regular compound saws. However, as the types of saws are meant for different projects, our experts do not recommend settling for a kind if you need a more expensive variety.
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 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.
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Our 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.