At a certain point, if you are serious about your work you are going to want the power and versatility of a 12″ sliding compound miter saw. This is a major purchase, so before you drop your hard earned money there are some things to consider to be sure you make the best choice to meet your needs.
To start, you need to understand the difference between various types of miter saws and exactly what it will add to your shop. Let’s talk a little bit about the four basic types.
Types of Miter Saws
- A regular miter saw will help you cut various angles for your projects. It has a swing arm mounted blade that turns right and left which allows you to get those angled cuts. Think along the lines of picture frames, crown molding, casings and the like.
- A compound miter saw will do all of the same things as a regular miter saw, but it also had a single direction tilt which allows you to create beveled edges. This type of saw is great for projects that need cuts on dual planes and you can also make a compound cut all in one pass.
- A dual compound miter saw acts just like a compound miter saw, but instead of being stuck tilting in only one direction, it can tilt left and right which allows it to create multi-angled bevels with ease.
- A sliding compound miter saw has all those great features that you will find in a compound miter saw, but for added versatility, you are able to move it backward and forwards along the table during the cut. This allows you to easily cut longer lengths with much more precision.
Depending on what type of projects you mainly deal with in your shop, any of the above models will work out great. No workshop is complete without a good saw, so let’s go over all you need to know to help you make an informed choice regarding the best sliding compound miter saw that will best fit your project, and your budget.
- 1 Types of Miter Saws
- 2 Best Compound Sliding Miter Saws
- 2.1 DEWALT DWS779 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- 2.2 Pros
- 2.3 Cons
- 2.4 Festool 561287 Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- 2.5 Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
- 2.6 DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- 2.7 Hitachi C12RSH2 15-Amp 12-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker
- 2.8 Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw with Digital Miter Angle Fine Adjust
- 2.9 Doitpower 12-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser and LED Work Light
- 3 Final Opinions
Best Compound Sliding Miter Saws
DEWALT DWS779 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The DEWALT DWS779 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a powerful saw that has 15 amp motor and 3800 rpm. Out of the box, it features a 5.8-inch blade, as well as clamps for the unit to ensure there is no slippage. This allows for high-end precision and performance with every cut.
The dust collection system retains about 3/4th’s of the dust each cut creates making it a great choice for those who want to cut back on allergens. Its back fence design allows users to cut a variety of angles and lengths of lumber making it a truly versatile saw fit for any workshop.
This is a great miter saw for a mid-level or professional user. Though it is a quality saw, it may not be the best choice for new users who may not know how to handle the power of this machine.
Built to last
Comes calibrated right out of the box
Heavy enough that it doesn’t move around on the table
Company 3-month return policy
3-year manufacturer’s warranty
No slow start option
Small size dust bag
No laser guide
Standard blade less than ideal
Festool 561287 Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The Festool 561287 Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw is woodcutters dream. The 1600 watt, a 13-amp motor is powerful enough for heavy-duty use and the 1400RPM to 3400RPM allows for precision cuts every time.
Its laser guide system and dual-rail slide system perform like a dream making this a favorite among workshop enthusiast that don’t have budget limitations. Micro-adjustments can be easily made for those time when you need to fine-tune the bevel of your cut. Cutting trenched or navigating pipework is as easy as flipping a knob with this handy unit.
The Festool 561287 Kapex KS is a great choice for a commercial workshop, or for a home workshop if you don’t mind the hefty price tag. Though built to last, there has been a lot of feedback regarding daily intense use causing issues with the motor overloading. You can rest assured that you will get accurate cuts every time on top of outstanding cutting capacity.
Laser guided cutting system
Double rails for sliding
Compact & lightweight
Variable speed options
Laser guide is a bit hard to set
Motor overload when used in high compactly
Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw
The Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser is a good choice for a DIY homeowner, or for your basic general contractors. The powerful 15 amp 3200rpm direct drive motor always gives you smooth cuts, and you don’t have belts to wear out.
The unit comes equipped with a 60T blade that will slice through lumber like a hot knife through butter. Adjustments are easy to make thanks to the ball bearings so you can get a wide range of cuts from various angles. The guide laser shows your intended line cut even when the saw isn’t turned on so you can adjust as needed.
The Makita LS1216L is a safe choice if you are a DIYer, hobbyist or a general contractor. It’s a reliable piece of equipment that allows you to make accurate crosscuts, miter cuts, and bevel cuts quickly and accurately.
Easy one-touch miter lock
Dual sliding fence
Six linear ball bearings
Periodic alignment issues
DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a well rounded saw for novice and professionals alike. It is a high capacity saw that allows precision cuts on larger pieces of wood.
Out of the box, it has a sturdy 60T carbide blade and a vertical material clamp that makes executing your cuts simple. It can cut wood pieces that are up to 16 inches wide while at a 90-degree angle. The unit has a LED light which acts as a cutting guide which helps you to make full use of the 15 amps and 3800 of the DEWALT DWS780 unit.
The DEWALT DWS780 is a good unit if you are in a budget crunch, but keep in mind that the slider is a bit tough to work with. Aside from that, the unit is very quiet for a miter saw, and the XPS crosscut system is something you would usually find in a higher end model- which is a plus point.
Very precise for large woodcuts
Wide-cut angle range for price and size
Dust storage of 75%
Large and cumbersome
Not good for smaller woodcuts
Sticky saw slides
Hitachi C12RSH2 15-Amp 12-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker
This unit has a compact slide which removes the need for clearance in the back. The rail setup is fixed to allow for smooth gliding on the rails. It’s also a lot smaller than other units so if you have a small space, this is a great option. It only weighs 59 pounds and is equipped with a 15 amp motor which allows casual and mid-range users alike to get the power they need for their cuts.
If you are a casual hobbyist or a mid-range user, this is an affordable miter saw option. Most models in this range don’t offer a laser guide, which Hitachi C12RSH2 does so you can get perfect cuts every time without having to recalibrate your unit. Professional users may want a more robust saw, but that doesn’t mean this unit isn’t a great option.
Built-in laser guide
Easy to use
Lacks knobs to adjust the miter and bevel
The fence needs to be removed for bevel cut detents
Less than stellar dust collection
Not aesthetically pleasing
Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw with Digital Miter Angle Fine Adjust
The Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw with Digital Miter Angle Fine Adjust comes with a two-position bevel handle for adjustments that allows operators a wide range of movement. It has a digital miter angle for all those times you need extra precise adjustment along with a detent override for cuts that are not in a square environment.
This unit is a bit on the heavier side at around 65 lbs, but the 15 amp, 3200 rpm make up for any weight discomforts users may face. Thanks to the job site lights on the unit, you are able to view your full work area from both sides of the blade making this a perfect choice for hobbyist and professionals alike.
This is a great budget ranged saw for a hobbyist, DIY woodworkers, and part-time carpenters. It has constant power tech that allows you to maintain your cutting speed through every cut. That allows users to get expert results with ease. There is a bit more dust out in the wild with this saw, but if that doesn’t pose a problem, this unit is a good option for any workshop.
Repeatable accuracy to 0.1-Degree
Miter Angle Fine Adjust to dial-in precise miter angles
Very little deflection
The right side of the fence does not slide
Does not come with a clamp
The fence needs to be removed for bevel cut detents
Only approximately 50% dust collection
Doitpower 12-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser and LED Work Light
It has a laser cutline that helps you make flawless cuts accurately and smoothly. To make things even easier, the unit needs no re-calibration. Ultra-bright LED light ensures you can see your works as you go along, and the dust collection bag helps reduce the mess in real time. Doitpower also is equipped with sliding rails designed for cross-cutting and miter cutting applications.
This is the perfect miter saw for a first time user or casual woodworker. Its affordable enough for occasional use, but sturdy enough for commercial applications while always giving you a perfect angled cut. Its light enough to move around when you need, but also sturdy enough to give a dependable result, it’s an all-around great budget buy for your workshop.
Bright LED work light
Front bevel lock
Cutting capacity limited
To recap, we have covered seven of the best sliding compound miter saws out on the market today. All of the options listed are well built, solid, and will get the job done. Our top choice of all these is the DEWALT DWS779 which offers a well-rounded performance without being price prohibitive.
Our top budget choice is the Doitpower 12-Inch Dual Bevel which is a good unit for new and occasional users as well as those who are on a budget but still want professional results. We feel that all the miter saws on our list are well designed and will make a great addition to your workshop. We hope you have gained some helpful insight into the best sliding compound miter saw to match your current and future requirements.