If your scope of work includes making cuts, installing trim, and building furniture, then, my dear, you need the best miter saw for beginners. No, we are not talking about the old-fashioned manual miter boxes but modern power tools that don’t require much hands-on practice you can use to miter or crosscut boards.
Note you can’t make other types of cuts, including angle cuts and end cuts with a miter saw, except if you are using a compound miter saw. Down below, we’ve listed the top-rated products in our miter saw for beginners reviews and went a step further and explained the most important features to look for in this tool in our buyer’s guide.
Do You Really Need a Miter Saw?
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a woodworking pro, a good set of tools can make your projects easier either way. Any carpenter, including novices and DIY-ers, need a miter saw for several reasons. We would say you really need one, at least if your goal is to deliver a professional-looking piece of furniture. Here are some of the main reasons that justify our claim.
1. Ease of Use
One thing we truly appreciate about a miter saw is that it is so easy to use and highly functional. You don’t have to be Megamind to figure out how to use this tool. You will get all the instructions in the box and if you follow them, there’s no chance you are going to fail. So, if you are an amateur, just relax. Follow the manual and you’ll get comfortable with working with a miter saw in just a couple of hours.
2. Saves Your Time
A miter saw can help you complete all the cutting tasks at warp speed. Working with building materials indeed requires patience, yet, this saw, especially if you are working with a compound saw, can help you do more in less time. Also, pay attention to models that come with automatic blades, as this feature can help you shorten the cutting time even more.
Although a plain miter saw can’t do much except miter and cross cuts, compound saws can help you make cuts at different kinds of angles as well, including bevel and compound cuts. Thus, if you are looking for a comprehensive and versatile tool, go for a compound miter saw.
A miter saw can provide a high degree of accuracy and precision, which is the main requirement for any carpenter. Additionally, if you get yourself a compound miter saw, this tool will make it convenient to make precise cuts at any angle. A high-quality tool will help you make quality cuts. It doesn’t matter which type of material you are working with, a miter saw with good blades can ensure smooth and sleek cuts.
Which Is Better, Miter Saw or Circular Saw?
Let’s say you want to build a new table that would fit into your living space but you don’t have an idea of which tools you need for this task. You Google the instructions and find out a miter saw is one of the things you need. Wait, wait – a miter saw? What the heck is this? Doesn’t matter, I have a circular saw.
Well, things don’t work like this with woodworking. Circular and miter saws are very important tools for any carpenter but feature different properties and can’t replace, but actually complement each other. Let’s compare the two and go through some of the reasons why you need both when building furniture.
A circular saw is unbeatable when it comes to making long, continuous cuts, also called rip cuts, that go with the grain. Also, you can use it for cross-cutting, although a miter saw works better with these types of cuts that go against the grain. A compound miter saw can cover multiple types of cuts, although you would still need a circular saw as well.
2. Blade Size
The size of a saw, no matter whether it be circular or miter, is measured by the blade. Circular saws boast an average blade of 7 ¼ inches, although you can find these in smaller and larger sizes as well. Miter saws come with small, 7-inch blades to large, 12-inch blades.
A miter saw is more user-friendly than its counterpart. Most miter saws are designed so that your hands are at a safe distance from the blade, which minimizes safety risks. You can cut different angles with both circular and compound miter saw, but you would have to set up a jig each time when you want to cut at a different angle with a circular saw. Miter saws can cut at different angles, even the narrowest ones so you can use this tool for detailing.
Miter saws, especially high-end ones, can be quite expensive. On the other hand, a circular saw is a quite affordable tool. As a beginner, you might not want to invest a fortune into your tools, but this investment would pay off numerous times if you value convenience and precision over everything else. If you would like to find out more about circular saws, our guide on the best circular saws with dust collection could provide you with a bunch of useful info.
Best Miter Saws Comparison Chart
DEWALT DWS715 12-inch Miter Saw
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METABO HPT C10FCGS Compound Miter Saw
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DEWALT DWS713 10-inch Miter Saw
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BOSCH GCM12SD Miter Saw
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Genesis GMS1015LC Miter Saw
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Hitachi C10FCG Compound Miter Saw
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Best Miter Saw for Beginners Reviews
As a DIY or beginner woodworker, it can be a bit tricky to figure out which miter saw ticks all the boxes and provides the best value for your needs. We have seen different types of miter saws in action and compared their results to make this list of first-class beginner-friendly products. Don’t worry, we are going to explain the types of miter saws in-depth in a bit, right after the reviews.
1. DEWALT DWS715 12-inch Miter Saw
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a professional carpenter, as long as you have the right tools. DEWALT designed this highly-performing, powerful miter saw that makes it super-easy for DIY-ers to achieve the desired cut with the utmost precision.
Equipped with a 15-amp motor, this saw operates at speed of 4,000 rounds per minute (RPM). Now, you might think this is too much for a novice, but don’t worry. This model provides a high degree of control over the cutting process, especially because it features a vertical clamp that stabilizes the board as you cut it. It comes with a stainless steel plate that makes it super-convenient to adjust its performance according to your needs.
This compound miter saw works great with cross cuts, crown molding, and making bevels to the left and right. It is capable of cutting up to 8 inches wide boards. As a cherry to the top, DEWALT backs up this saw with a limited 3-year warranty.
- Good-grip side handles,
- Automatic spring lock mechanism,
- Dust collection bag included.
- A bit heavy.
2. METABO HPT C10FCGS Compound Miter Saw
Looking for a budget and beginner-friendly compound miter saw? Take a look at this METABO C10FCGS 10-inch saw that offers almost the same features as some high-end models on the market. Packed with a 15-amp motor, operating at stunning 5,000 RPM, this saw can handle the toughest cutting projects and deliver amazing results.
You can use it to make cuts to the left and right at 0 to 52 degrees and for clean bevel cuts at a range of 0 to 45 degrees. We love the fact the C10FCGS makes precise cuts with other types of materials, not just wood.
If you are working with large boards, this miter saw could help you stabilize them thanks to the vice clamping system and thus, make cleaner cuts. As a beginner, you might not want to work with a heavy-duty saw and this model could be the right choice to introduce you to woodworking. METABO provides a 5-year limited warranty on this model.
- The cord is kinda short.
3. DEWALT DWS713 10-inch Miter Saw
Some of you may find the DWS715 too heavy to handle. In this case, the DWS713 could be a great alternative, with a couple of bonus features as well. It is equipped with a 15-amp motor, the same as the DWS715, but works at a higher speed of 5,000 RPM. The difference of 1,000 RPM can mean a lot if you are working with thicker boards or if you simply want things done in less time.
For the sake of your safety and higher cutting accuracy, DEWALT built in a fence support system to this model. This system ensures the blade doesn’t move, which results in a cleaner and precise cuts. It features a 10-inch blade that can help you cut through medium-thick boards.
DWS713 comes with a limited 3-year warranty so you can have your peace of mind until you perfect your woodworking skills.
- Bevels to the left and right,
- Stainless steel miter detent plates,
- Built-in carrying handle.
- It produces vibrations when on a higher speed setting.
4. BOSCH GCM12SD Miter Saw
Unlike previous miter saws from our list, BOSCH designed an innovative version – a sliding glide miter saw. This system ensures smoother performance, better alignment, and cleaner cuts even for amateurs.
The GCM12SD comes with a 12-inch blade but it is still very compact and won’t take up much space in your garage or workshop. It is capable of making various cuts – horizontal and vertical cuts, wider cross cuts, crown molding, etc.
It operates at 3,800 RPM and comes with a 15-amp motor. Although you may sacrifice a few minutes now and then when working with this sliding glide miter saw, you can rest assured the quality of cuts will delight you.
The GCM12SD comes with a slightly shorter warranty of 12 months, but its durability is questionless. Strong and reliable, this model may serve you for complex tasks after you perfect your woodworking skills.
- One-touch lock/unlock,
- Soft trigger handle reduces fatigue,
- Dust collection.
- It’s heavy (88lbs).
5. Genesis GMS1015LC Miter Saw
Who says you can’t achieve an amazing level of productivity as a beginner? The Genesis GMS1015LC features a laser technology that can help you get better alignment and score a higher level of accuracy, even as an amateur!
We saw the laser marker in action and it’s absolutely fantastic! When the laser goes ahead, you can keep track of the cutting line and prevent errors. One more thing that makes the GMS1015LC stand out from the competition is the electric braking option that makes the blade stop before you can say knife once you press the button and contributes to your overall safety.
This saw comes with a 15-amp motor that makes the 10-inch blade turn at 4,600 RPM. You can use it to make bevel cuts to the left and miter cuts to both left and right. Genesis provides a limited 2-year warranty on this model.
- Ideal for crown molding,
- An arbor lock keeps your hands protected while changing blades,
- Dust bag included.
- Not able to cut boards taller than 3 inches vertically.
6. Hitachi C10FCG Compound Miter Saw
This miter saw features a quite elegant design for a power tool, yet there’s much more about it than just looks. The C10FCG can provide a great, user-friendly experience for woodworking novices, versatility, and precision. What else to ask for?!
It’s also very easy to handle as it weighs 24 pounds only but you can carry it with you wherever you go as well. A horizontal handle provides a good and comfortable grip that reduces the pressure on your wrist.
Equipped with a 15-amp motor that spins the blade at 5,000 RPM, this miter saw can help you complete your cutting tasks in less time without compromising on the cut quality. You can use it to make bevel cuts to the left, miter cuts to the left and right, and make strong and tight connections when building furniture.
All in one, the Hitachi C10FCG could provide you with a great user experience and help you get to know woodworking in a different light – by preparing you for more complex projects in the future. This model is backed up with a limited 5-year warranty.
- Compact and lightweight,
- Dust collection,
- Ideal for cross cuts and miter cuts.
- Can handle light-duty work only.
Miter Saws for Beginners Buying Guide
We understand the struggle of picking out the right product as a beginner. If you still don’t really know which features you need in a miter saw, here are the main factors you should use as guidelines.
There are several types of miter saw – standard, single compound, dual compound, and compound sliding miter saw. Each type does amazing with cross cuts. There’s no one-size-fits-all type of miter saw, yet compound miter saws make a great choice for both beginners and professionals.
A standard miter saw offers basic features so you can use it to make simple cuts only. This is the least popular type. Single compound miter saws are capable of cutting at different angles. You can use it when beveling the ends of the materials you are working with so they fit tightly (for installing crown molding, for instance). Most miter saws on the market are single compound miter saws.
When making cuts with a single compound miter saw, you have to turn the board if you want to make cuts on its opposite side or in the opposite direction. With a dual compound miter saw, you can make the same cuts without moving the board, which saves your time and offers great convenience, yet – at a hefty price.
If you need a tool to cut wider boards (when working with 10 to 18-inch wide boards), a compound slider miter saw might be it. It comes with sliding rails that provide the utmost convenience and ensures you make precise cuts through the entire board.
We have already spoken about the blade size, as it determines the size of a miter saw. A miter saw with a 10-inch blade could be a good pick if you need a tool to make no wider siding strips and trim boards than 6 inches and ¾-inch thick. If you are working with thicker boards, go for a 12-inch saw that can cut through them without jamming.
Most miter saws are corded and equipped with a motor of 10, 12 and 15 AMPs. As a beginner, you may want to choose a 10-amp miter saw that will cover all of your trimming tasks. Yet, a miter saw with higher AMPs works better with large, thick boards and can withstand heavy use. It all depends if you need a miter saw for one task or you plan to use it continuously for various types of tasks.
There are a few cordless models on the market. You can make up to 275 cuts per one charge. Yet, corded versions are still more reliable in our opinion.
Working with a power tool can be quite dangerous if you don’t have a proper grip. Just imagine holding a saw with sweaty hands on a boiling summer day. The chance of slippage is almost 100%. That’s why you should look for models that come with non-slip grips. Non-slip grips also provide a higher degree of comfort, better control, and reduce fatigue.
5. Laser Guide
You may lack cutting precision as a beginner. Yet, this is nothing to stress about when you know there are models that come with laser guides. All you should do is place the board, follow the laser line and you will achieve a great, precise cut.
6. Dust Collection
Dust flying all around can affect your control over the cutting process. It can make the cutting line almost invisible, which is why you should look for a way to get rid of it. Higher-end miter saws come with dust collection attachments. Whether it be a small dust collection bag or a port you should connect to a vacuum, both options will help you increase visibility in your workshop and ensure making a cleaner cut.
FAQ About Miter Saws for Beginners
1. Can a Miter Saw Make Straight Cuts?
A compound miter saws can make both angled and straight cross cuts.
2. What Size Miter Saw Do I Need for Crown Moulding?
A 10-inch miter saw (compound) would meet your requirements best.
3. Can You Use a Miter Saw to Cut 2×4?
Absolutely. You can use it to cut 2×4, 2×6, and 2×8 at either 45 or 90 degrees.
Today, we tried our best to help you find the best miter saw for beginners and make your first woodworking tasks successful. After all, you can’t nail your first project without the right tool. You’ll gain precision and practice with time but it’s of great importance to equip yourself with good tools from the very beginning.
Any of the products from our miter saw for beginners reviews would be the right pick for an amateur carpenter of a DIY-er who needs a reliable tool. Now, if you like our style and tone, would you like to take this to another level? Let’s meet in one of our other guides about useful tools then!