If you are in the woodworking business and it is something that gets you your bread and butter, you surely know the value of having an extensive miter saw collection. In case you have this collection all intact, I suggest you take a good look at it and check if a compact miter saw is missing out there. If it is, chances are you’re here to get some idea of which one to buy for which I want to assure you that you have picked the best guide to dive in. Compact miter saws are surely a great deal of comfort and help for all kind of woodworking projects and investing in one is a decision you would always be grateful to yourself for.
I understand that you cannot wait any further to get to know as to what is the best compact miter saw. So, without further ado I present to you the Bosch GCM18V-08N which is surely the best compact miter saw in all aspects. Not only it is small and easy to carry, but it is also one of those miter saws that are packed with power alongside having features that can enhance your woodworking abilities. We have made it a top pick after testing & observing it on our personal projects!
Over the years of my working experience with miter saws, I have used a lot of the compact and small sized ones for various of my projects. To be honest, not all of the compact miter saws I have used are alike. While some have powerful features, other are good in terms of durability only. I have compared and contrasted my experience of using these miter saws over the years to come up with a list of top 4 of my favorite miter saws that I am sure you would love using too.
I am reviewing these five miter saws in details as follows. In case you aren’t sure which of these would be your best purchase, you can keep reading for the comprehensive buying guide that I have shared below. Once you are done reading this guide, I am sure you will be able to easily pick your next compact miter saw with full confidence in your choice.
Our Top 3 Compact Miter Saws
- Extremely powerful
- Great looks
- Smooth and precise cuts
- Extremely powerful
- Packed with premium features
- Professional cutting capacity
- Very sturdy body
- Extremely good RPM
Best Compact Miter Saw – Product Reviews
The 5 miter saws I am reviewing below are my personal favorites and I have used all of these enough to be able to confidently recommend them to you. Keep reading and you would know why I am speaking so highly of these miter saws.
The first one on my list is this exceptionally well rated and amazon users’ favorite miter saw that has it all that one can expect from a miter saw with a great brand repute. Anyone who is all okay with investing in an expensive compact miter saw without having to compromise on its performance even a bit must go for this one because of the ridiculously good features it comes with.
I would be lying If I said I am not obsessed with this miter saw. This Bosch GCM18V-08N is built with 18V motor and is a cordless 8-1/2 miter saw that neither weights too light to ensure no stability and nor is it too heavy for you to find it hard taking it along you to other places.
With this miter saw, you can expect a great cutting capacity as it lets you make crosscuts at 2×10 at the angle of 90 degrees and also allows you to make cuts at 3-5/8″ nested crown. These together ensure that you perform a wide range of cutting operations without worrying about where your hands will go when making cuts in narrow spaces. As for the bevels, you can get 45 degrees cuts on both sides with the miter saw mittering at 47 degrees both left and right. As for the power, blades and RPM both excel greatly while the Bosch signature 18 Core batteries ensure maximum output of the brushless motor and let you make around 350 cuts of 2x4s with a single charge.
I do not want to let you miss out on the Laser guide system of this compact miter saw that lets you line up your cuts when working indoors and ensure a very straight and sleek cut without any mistakes being made. Along with all these features it is also very portable, which makes it best portable miter saw.
The miter saw also has centered sliding bars that let you make slide through the wood pieces easily. There is also an efficient dust collection system that ensures minimal mess once you are done working.
- Extremely powerful
- Great looks
- Ergonomic design
- Efficient dust collection
What I love the most about this one has to be the fact that it is very ergonomically designed. I have worked holding it with no breaks for hours and never have I ever felt anything more than temporary fatigue in my arms. Cool, No?
2. Bosch CM8S 1/2 Inch Single Bevel Sliding Compact Miter Saw – Budget Pick
You might have now an idea that BOSCH is a name that you can trust with your eyes closed when it comes to woodcutting tools. I myself own a good amount of miter saws by Bosch and all of them have lasted me quite long. The Bosch CM8S is no exception to this too. This one has the most powerful motor with its interior setup being able to offer the most amazing combination of power and torque.
This 8-1/2 inch sliding miter saw also has a great cutting performance with cuts having amazing capacity, letting you go through thick and thin wood pieces with equal perfection and ease.
As for the cutting capacity specifications, it can cut 12-1/4″ at 90 degrees and 8-5/8″ at 45 degrees with no difficulty at all alongside miter detent override that makes everything smoother. There is also a thumb actuated feature to help you cut at even the most unconventional angles. It might not the lightest weighing miter saw out there, but its handle and ergonomic build surely makes it easy to handle and use. You can probably not take it along everywhere but it surely is not too impossible to carry around too. As for the dust collection, just connect it with a dust extractor and you are all good.
If You are buying the miter saw for the first time, then do check out our guide on Best Miter Saw
What I love the most about this miter saw by Bosch is that it features a single hand hold feature that is quite useful with the kind of body weight this miter saw has. The brand has also endowed this unique and compact miter saw by them with some new features that are not there yet in any other of their miter saws. One of these novel features is the bevel locking level and bevel stops. These stops can be found on the tool’s side and let the users easily make control adjustments to their miter saw. As for the base, it expands around 29 inches left to right and gives you added working support. The miter scale marking are exceptionally good and wide enough for you to easily keep an idea of the measurements.
Over all, this one is surely a great miter saw with 120 V of motor running your 8-1/2″ blade in the sharpest and quickest manner. This miter saw also boasts a goof cord length with around 5600 RPM at no load. There are enough positive stops to help you crosscut and crown mold the wood and all of this is packed in a sturdy body that might not be the lightest weighing one out there but is surely not too heavy for you to move around alone too.
- Professional cutting capacity
- Very sturdy body
- Extremely good RPM
- Small in size
- Sharp blades
- Not the most portable
- Great brand name
I strongly recommend this miter saw to all those who want a good brand name in their working store and are also not ready to expand their budget a lot.
3. Metabo HPT 36V MultiVolt Compact Miter Saw – Premium Pick
Investing in expensive miter saws is surely not something recommended unless you are making your living out of woodworking and are a professional. However, in case you are all up to spend more than a whooping $1000 on a miter saw, I strongly recommend that you invest in a miter saw that is able to justify the amounts spent on it. Speaking of which, this Metabo HPT 36V miter saw is something you can consider with your eyes closed and your wallet all open.
As is expected of a miter saw in this price range, this one also comes with a lot of amazing and premium features, all packed in its small body. Starting from its power, this one is a battery powered miter saw with a powerful brushless motor that not only work powerfully but is also almost silent even when delivering its maximum output.
The motor provides an exceptional amount of torque to the 7.25 inch long blade that makes use of its sharp teeth to deliver ultimate precision and smoothness in cuts. As for the battery life, you can make around 230 cross cuts at 2 x 10 inches of wood piece with a single charge. I prefer using this small and light weight miter saw for my professional cabinets and furniture making projects and this one has not even for once disappointed me.
A great quality of this one is that even with a shiny and glazed body build, this one is able to help the hand hold it with a lot of grip and resist slips even when the hands are sweaty. This might not be a big deal for some, but surely a blessing when you are working under the hot sun for hours. As for the bevels, this one has dual bevels with one going 57 degrees to the right and the other going 45 degrees to the left. There are positive stops at the most expected places and the base for woodworking is surely made to support ergonomics and ease of use.
- Smooth and precise cuts
- Extremely powerful
- Packed with premium features
- Silent working
- Easy to use
A notable feature of this miter saw has to be its dual belt system that allows for smooth cuts that are very precise and neat too. Overall, this is the perfect miter saw if you are ready to invest a lot of your hard-earned income in a woodcutting tool and want each penny spent to pay back.
4. Milwaukee 2733-20 M18 FUEL 7-1/4 Inch Miter Saw
Here is another powerful miter saw that is surely power packed in a very small and beautiful red colored body. Milwaukee 2733-20 is a perfect miter saw for those who want to keep aesthetics intact when it comes to setting up their miter saw shelf and making sure it looks pretty.
All thanks to the pretty and shiny metal used in its construction, this one miter saw right here is sure to make many a fan of it. If, by any chance, you have enough budget and are ready to invest in a premium miter saw, this one is surely something you need. Why? Because it has the maximum power and amazing looks coming together as a bonus.
This miter saw is a cordless one with a powerful brushless motor that can produce a whooping RPM of 5800 for its sharp stainless steel blade of 4 inches. While the RPM and motor surely are enough to ensure a sharp cutting experience, the 60 sharp teeth on the blade must not be put on the back foot when it comes to appreciating this saw and its performance.
Also Check Best Miter Saw For Beginners
Coming to the sturdiness, this one is made out of the most durable material with a sturdy body that can go on for years and can also resist dents and rusts easily. Only I know how much abusively I have used this miter saw of mine and how carelessly I have kept it outside in extreme weathers and it still passed the durability test easily.
The functionality and working style of this one can be referred to as minimalistic. This one has decent features some of which include positive stops at the most expected angles, moving detent plate, dust collection system, great bevels, extremely good cutting capacity, and many more.
- Easy to use
- Long lasting
- Exceptional cutting capacity
- Minimalistic style
Using this saw is very easy and its magnetic base makes it the most stable than other miter saws of the same size and having the same weight.
5. DeWalt DCS361B 7-1/4-Inch Compact Miter Saw
Here comes an end to your search on the best compact miter saw for money with this miter saw by a name a big as DeWalt. This one has to be my personal favorite out of all the 7 1/4 miter saw portable miter saws I own (though they are not much) because of a number of reasons but most importantly because of its power and its long lasting 4 inch blade that is surely a little sharpie.
The DeWalt DCS361B is a cordless and battery powered miter saw and the brand claims that it can let you cut around 183 2×4 pine cuts on its 4 Amp battery with its single charge.
I have noticed that this hold true when the battery is new and fresh but with time, the number of cuts made per charge keeps lowering down. This, however, is not a big problem since you can easily change and get a new battery once you feel like the previous one is draining quickly. Such a small draw back was nothing for me when I realized how this miter saw of mine can make the smoothest of cuts regardless of the thickness of wood and the kind of wood being worked on. As for the cut capacity, this is also quite a lot with the saw being able to vertically cut 3-5/8 inches of nested crown as well as around 3-1/2 inches of base cuts.
As for the mitering ease, there are positive stops on most conventional angles adding to your works ease. For other angles you just have to lock the miter to work with safety and ease. There is also a very effective dust collection system that this miter saw endows its users with and lastly, you would love the ergonomics of this miter saw. The handle is firm and you get enough space to hold this saw so you can easily work with it for hours without feeling a lot of discomfort. Overall, this one is a great miter saw for the price tag and depending on from where you are buying it, you can easily get some warranty too.
I also love the scale of this one for the clarity of measurements that are there on it. Also, the scale is pretty wide to allow for ease of sight. One thing I really want to talk about is the fact that in almost all the miter saws, the measurements written on the scale tend to fade away with time. Thus, I expected the same from this one too. To my surprise, this one was very different in this regard.
- Efficient locking and unlocking
- Useful positive stops
- Smooth cuts
- Good dust collection
- Performance deteriorates with time
- Not very portable
Over all these years, the scale printings have not gone light even a bit and there is so much clarity in them in all possible ways. The overall body is designed for ambidextrous usage and is very ergonomic.
Buying Guide For Choosing Best Compact Miter Saw
I understand that all the options that I have shared above are so good in one way or the other that you would want to buy all of these. Of course, that is not realistically possible especially when you have to invest carefully in a thing that is going to determine your professional work’s quality. It is in cases like these that choosing the right miter saw to buy can get very tiring despite being confident that all the options you are considering are worth your money.
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Don’t worry, I know how to make this decision-making task easier for you. Below, I am describing a few important features of every miter saw that one must be vigilant enough about when investing in a miter saw. Knowing what exactly you want in terms of these specific features surely helps you make an efficient decision and lets you invest in a timeless product that will ensure that you aren’t ever unsure about your decision of purchasing a thing.
So, read on to see what you need to be extra careful about when investing in a compact miter saw:
Power And Accuracy
What can you really expect from a miter saw that offers no power at all? Would its portability and compaction be of any use for you? Of course, not!
So, whenever you are investing in a miter saw, you need to check whether it is powerful and offers accurate cuts or not. For this, you need to refer to the motor and RPM specifications of the tool as well as need to check its cutting capacity at different angles. You might also want to check the kind of material used in the blade construction of the miter saw to be able to decide if it would provide you with the kind of strength that you are aiming for. Some other ways to check if a miter saw is powerful include checking its reviews on the web and also try to use it once before you are going to place its purchase order.
When investing in compact miter saws, people often get so swayed away by their small size and little footprint that they tend to ignore the comfort of using and holding those miter saws for long hours. With a small body, the designers of a miter say must also take good care of the fact that the compact design must have enough handling space and supporting base to allow for the ease of use. All such factors come under the idea of ergonomics and big miter saw making brands do all they can to ensure this ergonomics.
However, the ease of and handling and ergonomics of a miter saw can sometimes be concepts with different meanings for different people depending on their miter saw holding and using style. This is why I always suggest people to hold and use the miter saw and check it for its ease of handling before investing in it only because it is small.
Beveling And Mitering Ability
When investing in a compact miter saw, you are mostly looking forward to using these saws for professional uses and this is why your eyes must be on the technical specifications of these tools. I strongly recommend that you keep an eye out of the mitering capacity and beveling capacity of the saws to ensure their perfect professional usage. At the very least, try to aim for a miter saw that comes with conventional mitering capacity and at least single beveling one.
If you are not concerned much about the pricing, go for a miter saw that is even better than this in beveling regards. You would never regret that no matter what kind of cuts you have to make with your compact miter saw. And while we are at it, I also want to suggest that you look at the miter saw for having positive stops too, especially if you want to make crown molds with it.
LED And Laser Guides
You would love having this feature in any kind of miter saw. What is better than you tool itself guiding you about the miter saw’s positioning and movement to help you make a straight and seamless cut? Nothing, if you ask me. This is why I always recommend people to prefer a miter saw with laser and led guiding system over a miter saw that doesn’t offer this feature and has some other luxury points instead. I understand that miter saws with LASERs and LEDs are often very expensive but if you get lucky enough to find one such saw that suits your budget, go for it.
Most of the miter saws that I have used and came across in all these years do have a proper dust collection system and finding a saw with this feature in a reasonable budget is not tough at all. However, my personal experience shows that some saws that do not have any dust collection system at all, or have it in rather a very useless manner often are those that are revered for their compact bodies.
Let me tell you a truth, having a compact miter saw with no dust collection doubles the cleanup task and you’d be better off without one such miter saw to say the least. Hence, I strongly recommend that you check your potential options for compact miter saws for the presence of a dust collection system that is least flawed.
With this feature in mind, I am sure you can easily find your dream compact miter saw that will not only let you complete your woodworking projects in a professional manner but will also make sure that you enjoy your job.
Small Miter Saw Benefits
Whenever my woodworking freak friends ask me for some advice on their miter saw collection, I ask them to invest in at least one compact miter saw. Mostly, my advice makes them question as to what makes a compact miter saw so important that I talk so highly of it. If you are here without knowing the way to make the perfect use of your compact miter saw, you might also have the similar questions. Well, I’ll be more than happy to answer all such questions of yours in detail but let us just keep it to the point in this guide.
Well, out of many benefits of having a compact miter saw, the fact that it is often light weight and ensures portability has to be my favorite. I am sure this benefit alone is enough to lead people to investing in a compact miter saw if their life as a woodworker routine requires them to travel a lot. Besides, another great reason to having a compact miter saw is that it is often easy to use with little to no complex details to learn in order to be able to use it. If you are just starting out as a woodworker, I highly recommend that you look for compact miter saws to ease your learning of the woodworking techniques with a miter saw.
Moreover, compact miter saws often help you make cuts in the narrowest of corners without having to reset your saw repeatedly. It is with the help of the compact miter saws that you can often make the most unique cuts easily. While there is so much to talk about in this section and I can go on and on about the benefits of owning a compact miter saw, I just want to end the discussion with the last most important benefit of such miter saws that I think is very prized possession of portable and compact miter saw owners.
These miter saws tend to be light in weight and very easy to handle, this not only lets you easily work with the miter saw but also ensures seamless and straight cuts without leading you to having your arm aching all night.
Who Should Buy A Compact Miter Saw?
If you are just starting out in the world of miter saws and are not sure what really differentiates the small and compact miter saws from the big ones and what is the hype about compact miter saws then you are at right place to get all your doubts cleared. Well, let us get this one thing straight: compact miter saws are surely a great investment and are a must-have for all those who have a wide miter saw range for their woodworking projects.
However, the compact miter saws might be less of a need for some and more of a necessity for others. How can you decide is these are a need for you and whether you need to invest in these is surely a matter of great stress for many. Don’t worry, it is very easy to check if you need to buy a compact miter saw or are better off without it for some more months.
A compact miter saw is surely a need of those who need to travel a lot for their woodworking projects. You also need a compact miter saw if you mostly have to work with the wood cuttings inside cabinets and cupboards and need to make cuts at very narrow angles. It is surely a great deal of help if you invest in a compound miter saw with your job nature requiring you to work consistently for long hours. Lastly, if you ever feel like your arm works better with the woodworking tool being light in weight and easy to handle, I say you get yourself a compact miter saw as soon as you can.
Now, who does not really need a compound miter saw? Well, if you ask me, no one comes in this category of wood workers. However, some people can easily delay their decision of getting one such small miter saw owing to tight budget and other restrictions. These are the people who do not have to take along their miter saw everywhere along them and can easily use it at a fixed place. Also, if someone has a light weight and ergonomic miter saw in a big size but it does it all for them, they might not as well want to invest in a compact miter saw on emergency basis.
What Is The Best Compact Miter Saw?
As you might have seen above, there is no rarity of options when it comes to best compact miter saws but the best one, as per my experience at least, has to be the Bosch GCM18V-08N. This miter saw is packed with all the amazing features that one expects from a miter saw and it also does justice to its price tag.
Who Makes A Small Miter Saw?
There are many brands that are now entering the compact miter saw market but the best ones so far have to be BOSCH and Dewalt. These brands are in the miter saw business since years and their compact miter saws are surely something you need to look out for.
Wrapping Up The Best Compact Miter Saw
Bosch GCM18V-08N: An exceptionally great miter saw that is packed with power and sturdy looks among many other great things.
Bosch CM8S: A budget miter saw that works great for beginners. This one has all the basic features that you need for your most basic wood working projects and is not difficulty to operate at all.
Metabo HPT 36V: A high end and premium option, this one is a miter saw that professional should trust if they want to invest in something that is worth every penny.
I’m Thomas Steven with more than 12 years of experience in woodworking. I did my woodworking degree from University of Cincinnati. It has always been my passion to become a successful woodworker. I have completed hundreds of successful projects in Florida, Miami. I write about woodworking by being an associate with Amazon and I earn a little commission from every qualifying purchase.