How to Choose the BEST Mitre Saw - a Toolstop Guide

Anyone looking to make precise, accurate cuts, over and over, needs to own a mitre saw. However, the challenge - as always - is making sure you're getting the best mitre saw for your cash.

Understanding the key features of a mitre saw, plus extra benefits like laser and dust extraction, will make sure you'll own the mitre saw that will do the job you want it to each time, every time.

what's the best mitre saw

In this guide to buying mitre saws, we'll explain what you need to know about:

In this guide we'll cover:

We've also got a list of mitre saws we feel you should consider, based on your jobsite needs. Also, click here to see the range of excellent Trend CraftPro blades which will perfectly complement your saw.

Mitre saws are known for precision and accuracy when it comes to cutting through long pieces of wood and other materials (for this guide we will refer to wood). Looking a bit like a circular saw on a swivelling base (or table) there are many features and styles to become familiar with.

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Makita LS1018L Compound Mitre Saw

The mitre saw will usually have a blade guardwhich, for safety, allows the blade to only become exposed as the blade moves towards the wood. The blade will move in a direction away from the user, channeling the sawdust away from them and the workpiece.

Again, for the sake of safety, mitre saws come with the switches positioned and controlled in a manner which keeps hands away from the high speed cutting blade.

What to Look Out for When Choosing a Mitre Saw

Blades

mitre saw blade guide guide

The blade is what determines the depth or height of cut. Mitre saws normally come with 8, 10 or 12 inch blades. Click to see the range of mitre saw blades we stock.

There are various types of blade for cutting different styles of material including some which are multipurpose for multi materials. There are blades for wood, aluminium or mild steel. The more teeth in a blade generally means you get a finer cut for finishing.

Normally a new mitre saw will come packaged with a middle of the range blade for wood.

Mitre

mitre saw guide to the best

As the name suggests, a mitre saw is a saw which cuts mitres, or angled cuts. The saw is normally preset to adjust to various popular angles such as 45 for right angle joints. Some saws will only mitre to one side, most will mitre to the left or the right making it quicker to use.

Slide

slide on a mitre saw buying guide

Cutting on a sliding action allows you to cut pieces of wood with greater widths. As with blade size, check the specs of the saws you’re looking at (see below) to see the capacities of cut they will do for you. If you plan to be cutting mainly dado, you won’t need to slide too much and the capacity needed will be less.

However, if you plan to be cutting fencing posts you’ll need a bigger blade and a bigger width of cut capacity and therefore a sliding mitre saw is for you.

Saws without a slide function are sometimes referred to as chop saws or cut-off saws.

Bevel/Compound

guide to mitre saws beveling

If your saw bevels it means that it will cut an angled bevel into your wood, therefore allowing you to cut 2 angles at once.

In other words, the saw head will tilt to the side as well as rotate on the saw table.

Some saws are single bevel and some are double bevel meaning they will tilt left or right. This means the wood doesn’t need to be turned depending on the angle you will cut. This bevelling action allows complex angled cuts to be performed in tasks like crown moulding or furniture making.

As with a sliding mitre saw, there is more potential for things to go wrong and more chance your saw will lose alignment because of the added feature of bevelling. It is a good idea to choose a respected brand if you are looking to buy a mitre saw with these features.

Other features

Mitre saws these days come with a variety of features and gimmicks.

mitre saw laser guide

Many now come with lights which is handy when working in bad lighting conditions and some come with built in laser lines which will show a red line across the wood where the blade will cut, making it handy for lining up with your pencil line.

Most saws will come with adjustable rear fences, extension arms and workpiece clamps. These are great for supporting your wood and keeping your hands free and out of the way of the blade.

Recently, new mitre saws have been seen with a variable speed dial. This helps you set the speed of the motor which best suits the material you will be cutting.

Accessories

mitre saws in action

As mentioned before, there are different styles of blades on the market. When choosing a blade, the packaging will tell you the type of material it is for and the type of cut you can expect. Make sure you choose the right diameter blade for your saw as well as the right bore size (the hole in the middle).

You may also want to buy a stand if you plan to transport your saw onto a jobsite. Stands are available in a universal style which is just like a folding table for your saw to sit on. Or, the can come in a legstand stylewhich is a foldable style with long extensions and various features such as clamps, roller carriers, supports and adjustable legs. These are perfect for worksites where many cuts are required.

Dust extraction and management

mitre saw dust extraction

One area of sawing which I wanted to mention was the amount of dust which is generated. If you’re in a confined area you will almost certainly want to use a dust extractor or vacuum which will attach to your saw and reduce the sawdust in the atmosphere.

Some saws these days will do a very good job of managing the dust without a dust extractor but it is inevitable that legislation will be that a dust extractor is mandatory on the job site soon.

Which Mitre Saw Should You Buy

Below we list some of the mitre saws we recommend for the professional and DIYer alike.

Metabo KGS254M Sliding Mitre Saw - click to shop

Metabo KGS254M Sliding Mitre Saw

Overview:
The KGS 254 is a slide mitre saw designed for the woodworking enthusiast as well as the semi-professional. This is a well designed, well thought through machine that offers tremendous value and capacity.

With a number of enhancements over the previous model, this 2015 design is a must for anyone serious about optimum mobility, precise cuts, clean working and flexibility.

It benefits from a laser for exact display of the cutting line (mains powered, no batteries required), and bright LED light.

Spec:

  • Blade Diameter 254 x 30mm
  • Cutting Depth @ 90 - 92mm
  • Cutting Depth @ 45 - 47mm
  • Cutting Width @ 90 - 305mm
  • Cutting Width @ 45 - 205mm
  • Mitre Left to Right 47- 47
  • Bevel Left - 45 Right 2

Click to see all the Metabo mitre saws in stock

Scheppach HM100LXU Sliding Mitre Saw - click to shop

Scheppach HM100LXU Sliding Mitre Saw

Overview:
The Scheppach HM100LXU is a versatile machine with a build quality normally found in more expensive Mitre Saws. The machine is suited to daily DIY and workshop use. The powerful 2000 Watt motor is highly capable for accurate Mitre, Bevel and Compound angle cuts in processed timbers, plastic and hard or soft wood.

It benefits from a 2000W motor, a compact bench top design, and a laser for a highly visible cutting line.

Specs:

  • Blade Diameter 254mm
  • Cutting Depth @ 90 - 78mm
  • Cutting Depth @ 45 - 78mm
  • Cutting Width @ 90 - 340mm
  • Cutting Width @ 45 - 240mm
  • Mitre Left to Right 45- 45
  • Bevel Left - 45

See all the Scheppach mitre saws in stock here

Makita LS0815FL Slide Compound Mitre Saw - click to shop

Makita LS0815FL Slide Compound Mitre Saw

Overview:
The new Makita LS0815FL 216mm slide compound mitre saw has a features list ideally suited to first and second fix on-site carpentry operations. It is a 216mm (8-1/2") cost-effective slide compound miter saw with an integrated laser marker, LED job light and a maximum mitre range of 45-60.

Twin material support bars are fitted either side of the base plate which also has a left side sub fence with a fixed fence on the right side.


Specs:

  • Blade Diameter 216mm x 30mm
  • Cutting Depth @ 90 - 65mm
  • Cutting Depth @ 45 - 65mm
  • Cutting Width @ 90 - 305mm
  • Cutting Width @ 45 - 215mm
  • Mitre Left to Right 45
  • Bevel Left - 48

Click to see all the Makita mitre saws in stock

Hitachi C8FSE 216mm/8in Slide Compound Mitre Saw - click to shop

Hitachi C8FSE 216mm/8in Slide Compound Mitre Saw

Overview:
The Hitachi C8FSE is bundled with two 24 tooth TCT blades, a dust bag to help with dust control, vice assemly and a wrench.

It's ultra portable due to it's compact footprint and light weight (14kg), and the twin horizontal rails give a maximum cut width of 312mm.

Specs (see them all here):

  • Blade Diameter 216 x 30mm
  • Cutting Depth @ 90 - 65mm
  • Cutting Depth @ 45 - 65mm
  • Cutting Width @ 90 - 312mm
  • Cutting Width @ 45 - 220mm
  • Mitre Left to Right 45 to 45
  • Bevel Left and Right - 45

Click to see all the Hitachi mitre saws in stock

Makita LS1018L Mitre Saw - click to shop

Makita LS1018L Mitre Saw

Overview:
High accuracy cutting with the LS1018L is easily achieved using the Laser Marker. Allows for easy cut alignment and can be turned on or off with an independent switch. The linear ball bearing system is engineered to deliver "spot-on" accurate cuts.

The soft-start motor maintains control when the motor starts and the electric brake stops the blade instantly for safety.

Ideal for baseboard and crown molding installation, finish carpenters, cabinet and furniture makers, wood floor installers, deck builders and general construction.



Specs:

  • Blade Diameter 305 x 30mm
  • Cutting capacity @ 90: 110 305 mm
  • Cutting capacity @ 45 mitre: 110 217 mm
  • Cutting capacity @ 45 incline: 63 305 mm
  • Mitre adjustment: 52 L / 60 R
  • Bevel: 47 L / 47 R

Click to see all the Makita mitre saws in stock

Dewalt DWS778 250mm Compact Slide Mitre - click to shop

Dewalt DWS778 250mm Compact Slide Mitre

Overview:

The DWS778 mitre saw is powered through a tough 1850w motor in the 240v and 1650w motor in the 110v allowing superb cutting ability in all materials.

As with most DeWALT mitre saws the DWS778 comes with the very useful and easy to use XPS Shadow line cut indicator providing fast very accurate alignment of the blade while illuminating the work piece.

DWS778 mitre saws use a dust extraction facility specifically designed to meet the needs of the professional tradesman protecting against airborne dust particles reducing health risks.

Read our review here.


Specs:

  • Blade Diameter 305 x 30mm
  • Bevel Capacity: 48 left
  • Cross cutting capacity @ 90: 305mm x 85mm
  • Mitre capacity: 45 left/right
  • Supplied with 40 tooth TCT blade, clamp and hex key

Click to see all the Dewalt mitre saws in stock

Metabo KGS216M Laser Slide Compound Mitre Saw - click to shop

Metabo KGS216M Laser Slide Compound Mitre Saw

Overview:
This is the new 2015 model of the popular KGS216M mitre saw from Metabo featuring new standards when it comes to mobility, precision and performance.

The saw benefits from being ultra-portable due to it's compact footprint and light weight (13.5kg). The saw features ergonomic handles and saw head lock to make it easy to transport.

It benefits from infinitely extendable table width extension, which are removable to put long panels, slabs etc. underneath, and a bright LED light.

Read our blog review here
.

Specs:

  • Saw blade dimensions: 216mm x 30mm
  • Bevel Capacity: 47 left/right
  • Cutting width @ 90: 305mm
  • Cutting width @ 45: 205mm
  • Cutting depth @ 90: 65mm
  • Cutting depth @ 45: 36mm
  • Cutting capacity @ 45 mitre: 110 217 mm
  • Mitre capacity: 45 left/right

Click to see all the Metabo mitre saws in stock

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What's your thoughts on mitre saws? Share them with us, or ask us questions, in the Comments Section below.

Comments

D Embleton on Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:11:40 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Am I right that, for skirting, If the angle at a corner of the walls is, over 90 degrees (e.g 96) then a machine offering 45 mitre and bevel can't produce the right cut? How is this overcome as it is a routine issue.


David Horton on Wed, 01 Jun 2016 08:11:17 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Very nice write-up, Neil!

I wasn't aware of the Metabo brand, will need to add them to my shortlist.


John Mclaughlin on Wed, 22 Jul 2015 21:57:37 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

It really is interesting to be able to see all the different kind of things that can be implemented into a machine that is meant to just cut. I personally would love to be able to see all the different kind of mitre saws that are able to offer the laser site that you mentioned. That seems like something that can ensure that you are getting the most precision available. Thank you for sharing.


Jacqui Dunbar on Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:42:49 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I am researching for our company and trying to find a sliding mitre saw suitable to cut architectural foam mouldings that are coated with cement adjustable to cut 45 degree angle. And if possible a 4 inch blade. Could you please give me any advise. Thanks


Toolstop on Mon, 18 May 2015 07:57:42 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Many thanks for your review Danny. The KGS216 does not come in a 110V version


Danny on Tue, 05 May 2015 19:52:39 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I have bought the metabo kgs216m for trade use. my main concern at the time was price but what really swung it was the lack of plastic, the sliding extentions plus tthe laser and work lights both working off mains rather than batteries. its a fantastic saw and cuts increddibly clean and accurate even with the blade supplied. it does architrave skirting floor boards etc to perfect spec. i am chuffed to bits. the cross cut comes in at a whopping 305mm!. thats only 15mm less than a dewalt with 2inch bigger blade and and a £300.00 pounds or so bigger price tag. my only regret is having bought the 240 v version. trust me get the 110v version for all your tools . the transformer costs a lot less than replacing all your tools !
i found this blog whilst looking for a 110v replacement and all its done was to convince me to get another metabo.
another thing to mention is that the older metabo models were still made in germany whilst the new ones are made in china. for the increased price you can buy a dedicated dust extractor ( about the only real improvement) for all your tools.
hope this helps


Phillc on Thu, 05 Mar 2015 02:16:35 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Hi There, You don't talk about the power, is it not important? What would you recommend?


Toolstop on Fri, 20 Feb 2015 07:43:14 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

what about the brand new KGS216M from Metabo? The old version has been really successful for us and this has improved. Depends on size of material you are cutting....
http://www.toolstop.co.uk/meta...
or here is the original
http://www.toolstop.co.uk/meta...
or the original in 254mm
http://www.toolstop.co.uk/meta...


postable_mark on Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:35:16 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

As we don't stock the Bosch saw you mention, we'd obviously recommend the Metabo! Joking asides, it's a great saw with lots of features you'd expect to find only on a much more expensive saw.


postable_mark on Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:33:49 +0100 (Likes: 1 / Dislikes: 0

It's the height of the cut that would matter, rather than the width, assuming you cut the boards in a standing position on the saw. You might want to consider a table saw that bevels, however, for 15" boards. See our table saw guide - http://www.toolstop.co.uk/tabl...


Michael Jack of All Trades on Mon, 30 Jun 2014 13:13:42 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 1

I need a new mitre saw that can enable me to do the joints on skirting boards. These are usually less than 10 in. Am I right to think that I need a sliding saw? An recommendations under £400.00? What can I do for big skirtings like 15 inches? I imagine a machine capable of doing those would be very expensive.


karen on Wed, 21 May 2014 18:35:31 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I need a mitre saw for general use, cutting skirting boards and picture frames etc. I am looking at the Metabo KGS216M Laser Slide Compound Mitre Saw or the
Bosch PCM 8 S 1200w Compound Sliding Mitre Saw PCM8S.
Would you recommend one over the other?


madscientist on Thu, 03 Apr 2014 05:46:01 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Could you - or anyone cite an example of a variable speed miter saw?


press work on Mon, 27 Jan 2014 19:57:52 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Recently, new mitre saws have been seen with a variable speed dial. This helps you set the speed of the motor which best suits the material you will be cutting.


Chris Roberts on Sat, 16 Nov 2013 17:18:49 +0000 (Likes: 57 / Dislikes: 0

Which is the best value mitre saw you stock that has adjustable depth of cut for trenching?


Toolstop on Tue, 05 Nov 2013 15:56:13 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Hi Clive, we have never stocked the JCB saw so it would not be appropriate to comment, however, we would certainly recommend anything from Bosch (Blue), Makita, Dewalt, Metabo or Hitachi for Trade Use and most definitely for general/home use.


Clive on Tue, 05 Nov 2013 11:05:32 +0000 (Likes: 47 / Dislikes: 4

Is a JCB 255mm Sliding Mitre Saw ok for general use? JCB seem to be getting into everything!


Clive on Tue, 05 Nov 2013 10:55:23 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

What are your thoughts on a JCB 255mm Sliding Mitre Saw as a saw for home use?


postable_mark on Mon, 28 Oct 2013 12:39:30 +0000 (Likes: 1 / Dislikes: 0

Your best option would be the Makita 2704 which has a 447m
extractor.

It is important that before you purchase that you check the dust extractor is
suitable for aluminium as some models will not be.

I have confirmed with Makita that this model would be suitable for working with
aluminium as long as the extractor is cleaned frequently.

If you are interested in purchasing this then please get in touch with Toolstop.


Adrian Wing on Mon, 28 Oct 2013 08:47:11 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Hi, we are looking to replace an Elu TGS 171 that we've had for years. We are cutting lightweight aluminium all day, every day so need a robust saw. we would also like dust extraction, we've looked at a De-Walt but are open to suggestions.


postable_mark on Mon, 14 Oct 2013 11:54:11 +0100 (Likes: 2 / Dislikes: 0

Hi Philip, it would be a matter of personal brand preference as they're very similar, however, the LS1016L has a laser fitted, which might seal the deal - http://www.toolstop.co.uk/maki...


Philip Williams on Sun, 13 Oct 2013 20:31:22 +0100 (Likes: 24 / Dislikes: 0

I am thinking of purchasing a new mitre saw which saw do you recommend the Dewalt DW 717 XPS or the Makita LS 1016


Toolstop on Thu, 10 Oct 2013 11:18:45 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Thanks for your comments Tammy


Tammy on Sun, 06 Oct 2013 07:56:35 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Just looking to get a saw and this was a really good basic intro to what to look for - Thanks!


Alanmorrison on Sat, 06 Oct 2012 13:54:15 +0100 (Likes: 61 / Dislikes: 0

the metabo 315 plus suits mt cutting needs slightly better than the de walt 780 mitre saw but how do they compare in build quality and reliability


Toolstop on Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:00:21 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Kevin, go for an Evolution saw which will cut multiple materials, these are very good quality and reasonable priced

http://www.toolstop.co.uk/?q=e...


Kevin on Mon, 20 Feb 2012 11:35:37 +0000 (Likes: 8 / Dislikes: 0

i need an exact 45 cut! what saw would you suggest? its for aluminium


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