Best Miter Saw for Beginners

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For pros and beginners alike, buying a miter saw can seem like a huge commitment. There are plenty of brands and models out there to pick from, and even more features to consider.

Finding the best miter saw for beginners is no easy task. To help you with your selection, we’ve reviewed some of the best miter saws on the market. Read on to learn about our top picks.

Beginner Miter Saws Reviews

Depending on the types of projects in which you’re usually involved, different features can make or break a miter saw purchase.

To narrow down your options, we’ve gathered five of the best miter saws out there and reviewed them based on price, features, and convenience. Let’s jump right in!

Best Miter Saw for Beginners: DEWALT 12″ DWS780 Sliding  Miter Saw

The DEWALT DWS780 is a productivity booster. Despite being pricey, this miter saw rarely disappoints. It’s an overall winner, from design to performance.

The DWS780 compound miter saw has a 12-inch carbide blade running on a 15-amp engine that goes as far as 3,800 RPM and features a 58 lbs saw that’s perfect for heavy-duty use.

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The high RPM and a stainless-steel miter detent plate ensure high accuracy when cutting. With this miter saw you can make 45° and 90° cuts. According to the angles, the back fence handles 2″x10″ and 2″x14″ lumber dimensions respectively.

The dust bag is smaller than average but it does a surprisingly good job. DEWALT estimates a 75% dust collection for every use. You just might need to empty the bag often if you’re a heavy user.

Feature Highlights:

  • 3,800 RPM
  • 15-amp motor
  • 12″ carbide blade
  • 58 lbs
  • 75% dust collection
  • Noise control
  • Innovative gearbox
  • Belt drive
  • XPS guidelines
  • Cam lock on the miter handle
  • Electric blade brake
  • Stainless steel dent plate
  • Rails with clamps for a sturdy saw
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Corded

To make it even more convenient, DEWALT added an innovative gearbox and a belt drive to the saw. The belt-drive feature limits the noise level to 3 dB only.

The cam lock miter handle is an added safety feature. The lock latch feature might take you a minute to figure out but it’s nice to use.

One thing that we really loved about the DEWALT DWS780 is its maneuverability. It cuts a lot of convenient angles and you don’t have to struggle to get a precise line; the tool’s exclusive features do that for you.

Some people might find the XPS a bit gimmicky, but it all comes down to your needs. If you find that you’re fine without any LEDs, you can even buy a model without the XPS feature to save money.

The device itself is corded, but it’s compatible with lithium batteries for the XPS guidelines.

DEWALT offers a 90 days money-back guarantee on the miter saw. After purchase, you can get one year of free service and three years of limited warranty.

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It’s not the most premium option out there, but it’s definitely on the pricey side of the scale. You get your money’s worth of features, though.

Best Cheap Miter Saw for Beginners: Ryobi 7.25″ TSS702 Sliding Saw

If you’re looking for a true bang for the buck, this is the miter saw for you. The Ryobi TSS702 is one of the most affordable options out there. Yet, its features are almost pro-like.

We’d recommend this product for beginners looking for something affordable to finish DIYs around the house.

Despite running on a 9-amp engine, this miter saw has an impressive 5,100 RPM speed. That’s why it can easily compete with a regular 10-inch blade.

The Ryobi’s blade is a 40-tooth carbide tipped. You can use a 60 or even an 80-tooth replacement according to your needs and the type of lumber you’ll be cutting.

Feature Highlights:

  • 5,100 RPM
  • 9-amp motor
  • 7.25″ blade
  • 40T original blade
  • 30.7 lbs
  • 47° angled cuts in both directions
  • Five miter head stops
  • Detachable horizontal carry handles
  • Smooth blade spindle lock
  • Flexible clamps
  • Electric blade brake
  • 4″ dust port leading to a semi-porous dustbag
  • Comes as a bare tool, all accessories are sold separately
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Corded

The TSS702 is extremely lightweight. It also comes with a practical top handle and detachable horizontal side handles. You won’t have a hard time trying to carry this saw around the house for DIY projects.

It’s also smaller than most miter saws on the market. The size might fool you at first, but the TSS702 can handle heavy-duty mitering.

What makes this miter saw really good for beginners and hobbyists is its simple set-up. It’s a quick process out of the box with menial adjustment required.

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The only complaint that we heard repeatedly was about the dust bag. Shavings can often miss the 4-inch port and spread around the tool. This is easily handled with an external shop vacuum, though.

Ryobi offers a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty on all the miter saw models. The brand makes a great bargain in the TSS702 Sliding Miter Saw. It balances many premium features at a decent price point.

Best Miter Saw for Small Projects: SKIL 10″ MS6305-00 Dual-Bevel Saw

For smaller projects, it’s hard to beat the SKIL 10″ Miter Saw. This dual-bevel unit runs on a 15-amp engine that powers the blade to a no-load speed of 4,800 RPM. It’s a great option if you’re on a budget and don’t need a lot of fancy features.

We’d recommend this miter saw to on-again-off-again woodworkers who don’t rely heavily on the sliding function.

It’s also perfect if you want to do both miters and bevels in your DIY projects. It’s not good enough for contracting jobs or any heavy-duty mitering, though.

It’s a little heavier and larger than the Ryobi TSS702 but still portable enough for jobs around the house.

Feature Highlights:

  • 4,800 RPM
  • 15-amp motor
  • 10″ blade
  • 48.8 lbs
  • 11 miter head stops
  • 4.5-inch back fence
  • Extension rods
  • Safety clamp
  • An effective dust collection system
  • LED guide lights
  • Safety trigger that suits left-handers and right-handers
  • Advanced set-up
  • No electric blade brakes
  • Corded

Being a dual-bevel saw means that it can do both miters and bevels. At 50°, you can either miter to the left or the right. To bevel to the right, you’ll need to adjust the blade to 0° or  45°. Meanwhile, beveling to the left requires either a 48° or 45° angle.

The SKIl MS6305-00 comes with extension rods, a hex key, and a safety clamp. Keep in mind that assembling the miter saw can take a while. The handles, slides, and extension rods; all need to be assembled at home.

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Most parts of the miter saw are replaceable, and SKIL offers a spare-parts guide for their power tools. You can go for a different blade if you’ll be cutting resilient baseboards.

On the top handle, the safety trigger is centered with two safety releases. This makes it reachable either with your right or left hand. However, if you have smaller hands, it might be inconvenient for you.

This model doesn’t have an electric brake but it does have a decent dust collection system. It’s built strong enough considering its price.

The LED guides are optimal for indoor settings. The unit has a separate switch for the LED. This is good if you’re going to be working for a long duration on end. However, if you forget to switch the lights off after you’re done, you’ll risk burning the lights out.

Best Sliding Miter Saw for Beginners: CRAFTSMAN 4″ CMCS714M1 Sliding Saw

The CRAFTSMAN CMCS714M is perfect for on-site work where you might not have a power supply. However, it doesn’t offer the heavy-duty action that professionals need.

The saw is a sliding miter saw running on a 4.0AH lithium-ion. It can go up to 3,800 RPM, making it suitable for beginners doing simpler projects around the house.

The blade on the saw is a carbide-tipped blade that is durable enough for tough lumber. It can also handle MDF, pine, hardwood, and PVC pipes. We found that it can cut up to 8″ of regular boards without any trouble.

Feature Highlights:

  • 3,800 RPM
  • 4.0AH lithium-ion battery
  • 21.8 lbs
  • 4″ blade
  • 80T
  • 8-inch capacity for 90° cuts
  • 9 castes miter dent stops
  • Broad clamp
  • Side handles
  • LED guiding lights for accurate cuts
  • Side carry handles
  • Cordless

Instead of the regular smooth blade, this one is a toothed blade with 80 ridges. While this can seem a little noisy and rough initially, it still gets the job done nicely.

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With side handles, a lightweight frame, and smaller dimensions, this saw is highly portable. It’s also cordless (which is pretty rare for miter saws) and the battery is long-lasting. The charger can also hang near the saw, making it harder to lose.

One a single charge, you can make around 500 cuts on medium MDF baseboards. Many users were pleasantly surprised by the battery life. However, you can’t run the saw on the power supply alone. If the battery dies, you’ll have to let it charge first.

For safety, the miter saw is equipped with a board clamp that holds the wood in place during cutting. There is a lock on most adjustment knobs too.

What we liked the most about this CRAFTSMAN model is that it’s not complicated at all. It’s direct and to the point, making it ideal for beginners who don’t want to waste time getting used to a new tool.

Best Compound Miter Saw for Beginners: Genesis 10″ GMS1015LC Dual Compound Saw

If you’ll only be using the miter saw for light projects, the Genesis miter saw is a good, affordable option. For regular cuttings around the house, the saw is going to cover your needs and then some.

This 4600 RPM miter saw is ideal for beginners looking for a practical, budget-friendly power tool for small DIY projects. The miter saw runners on a 15-amp engine and it’s compatible with AAA batteries (for the laser guidelines.)

The saw’s blade is a carbide-tipped blade with 60 teeth. Being toothed means it’s a little noisy, but nothing that earmuffs can’t cover. The manufacturer provides replacements with an 80T blade instead of the original 60T. They’re fairly easy to replace at home.

The miter saw comes with two extension wings for the table sides. They aren’t slidable for easier storage, but they are easily removable.

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The saw also has a hold-down clamp. We recommend checking that the clamp isn’t interfering with the blade guard before using it each time.

This model’s available with the original Genesis miter saw stand or table. You can get the sawhorses and the sawbucks as well. The sawbucks can hold a 2×4 lumber on its side. All accessories come with extra fees, though.

If you’re going to be using the saw indoors, the Class II laser is bright enough to give accurate guidelines. However, if you’re going to be using the saw under sunlight, the laser might be too faint to see.

One complaint we heard about the saw’s laser is that it might not be centered properly when the tool arrives. Be prepared to center it manually yourself.

Thanks to the die-cast aluminum base, the saw’s frame is very lightweight (only 24 lbs.) The stand’s legs are foldable and the saw itself rotates to the side. Overall, it’s easy to carry and store.

What got this product to our list of the best miter saws for beginners is its versatility. It’s just so convenient to use for different DIY projects on a beginner level. You can use the saw from crown molding, shadow boxes, frames, and any other light woodwork around the house.

Genesis covers its power tools with a 2-years manufacturer warranty with US-based customer support. This is a huge plus for US citizens looking for reliable customer service nearby.

Feature Highlights:

  • 4,600 RPM
  • 15-amp motor
  • 24 lbs
  • 10″ carbide blade
  • 60T
  • Electric blade brake
  • Arbor lock allows for a safe, swift blade change
  • Wheeled-table for easier transport
  • Easy set-up
  • Non-slidable extension wings
  • Laser guidelines
  • 2-year warranty
  • Corded

Beginner Miter Saw Features to Consider

From engine power to dust collection, every minute detail makes a difference when it comes to buying a miter saw. After all, miter saws don’t come cheap.

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With that said, here are some of the most important features to consider when in the market for a miter saw:

Saw Size

The vast majority of miter saws come in one of two sizes: 10″ and 12″. This refers to the size of the saw blade.

10″ miter saws are more standard, cheaper, and work for the majority of projects you’re tackling.

12″ miter saws are bigger and more robust, and more expensive as a result. They can handle bigger lumber and are used mainly by professionals.

As a beginner, you’re most likely going to opt for a 10″ miter saw.

Miter Type

Here are some of the most important terms you need to know about miter saw types:

Sliding

When a miter saw is sliding, it means that the whole tool can go back and forth on a railed table. This feature is also called the radial arm. It allows you to cut longer boards that don’t fit in regular miter saws.

It’s a really good option if you’ll be working on larger projects, like furniture.

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Compound

Compound miter saws have a rotating head that allows you to get angled cuts.

However, the compound miter saw rotates in one direction only. To angle the other side of the board, you’ll have to flip the lumber around.

Dual Compound

Dual compound heads rotate both to the left and the right. This saves you the trouble of flipping your board every time you want to angle the wrong side.

Compound Sliding

If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, compound sliding miter saws might be for you. They let you slide the tool on a radial arm to cut long lumber and it also rotates both ways.

Dual Compound Sliding

As you’ve probably guessed, dual compound sliding is a saw that combines both the radial arm feature and the dual head rotation feature. It saves a lot of hassle, but it can be a bit pricey.

Engine Power

As a general rule, slower engines offer lower precision. To get the sharpest cut, you’ll need to go for higher RPM tools. Any speed higher than 3,800 should be enough for accurate cuts.

As far as engine power, we usually recommend 15-amp motors. However, the Ryobi TSS702 is one exception to the rule. Despite being only 9-amp its RPM is even higher than some 15-amp models.

Portability

When it comes to miter saws, portability is rarely a huge concern. Most wood makers keep their power tools in a garage or in a shop-room. In these cases, the moving range required of the product is going to be very limited.

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If you do care about more extensive portability, you might want to get something that’s lightweight. Usually, a miter saw anywhere between 25 and 40 lbs is relatively portable.

Find a model with top and side handles for easier carrying. Cordless options are also great if you want to be able to move the saw around your workspace.

Safety Measures

The number one rule of DIY projects is that safety comes first. Most reputable brands have a combo of these safety features:

Dust Collector

Dust collection is often an undermined safety feature. Saw shavings can be a fire hazard and they can distort your vision as well. Unfortunately, you’ll rarely find a saw that comes with a highly efficient dust collection system.

You can always just buy a separate dust collector for your power tools. A shop vacuum will do the job just fine. Stanley makes affordable and practical shop vacs for workshops and garages.

Locks and Clamps

Adjustment locks are more of a conventional feature, while clamps are a safety measure. Screw clamps are usually more sturdy and practical.

If your miter saw didn’t come with a screw clamp, you can buy a compatible one. Milescraft makes universal clamps that work with most saw brands.

Electric Brakes

Having electric brakes on your power tools can literally be a life-saver. They work so much better than mechanical brakes. In an emergency, they’ll stop your running blade from maximum speed to zero in a few seconds.

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Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, miter saws are a great addition to your tool kit. Our top picks are all worth a shot, but two options really stood out: the DEWALT DWS780 and the Ryobi TSS702.

The Ryobi is quite impressive for its cost and we loved the high RPM on a petite tool. Its features are premium-like with a beginner-level set-up process at a novice’s price point.

However, the DEWALT DWS780 is still a winner in our books. It’s a tool for pros that beginners can use. With high RPM, XPS guides, and an innovative gearbox, getting accurate cuts is a breeze. The fact that it has a belt drive makes it so much quieter than other models.

In the end, budgets will influence your decision a lot. Just keep in mind that every wood maker’s needs are different. Pick the best miter saw for beginners that suits your needs, stay safe, and have fun with your DIYs!

Raised with a fix-it and improvement mindset, my wife and I completely restored our Craftsman-style home. Learning how to DIY a variety of home improvement projects, I started SawsHub with my father. He's the fine woodworker, I'm the DIYer!