Miter saws come in all shapes and sizes. But if you want to take your saw on the go, or you’re working in a small workshop – having a compact miter saw is essential.
But with so many miter saws to choose from, how do you know which is best?
Don’t worry! I put this list together to help you find the best compact miter saw for your next project. Let’s begin!
In a hurry? The DeWalt 20V Cordless 7-1/4″ Miter Saw is the best compact miter saw overall because (1) its cutting quality is always brilliant, (2) it’s incredibly strong, and (3) it’s more affordable when compared to other top miter saws.
Quick Answer: Here are My Favorite Miter Saws! 👇
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Best Compact Miter Saws
- #1 Best Overall – DeWalt 20V Cordless 7-1/4″ Miter Saw
- Best Quality – Makita 18V LXT Cordless 6-1/2″ Dual-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
- Best Value – Metabo HPT 8-1/2″ Portable Miter Saw
- Best for Beginners – Ryobi 7-1/4″ Compact Miter Saw
- Best Design – Wen 7-1/4″ Miter Saw
- Best Capacity – Kobalt 7-1/4″ Compound Miter Saw
1. DeWalt 20V Cordless 7-1/4″ Miter Saw – #1 Best Overall
- Integrated cut line cross-cut positioning system provides adjustment-free cut line indication for better…
- Capacity to cup 3 5/8 in. nested crown and 3 1/2 in. base vertically
- Adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate with 11 positive stops improves productivity and ensures cutting…
I’ve used several compact miter saws over the years, and it’s clear that the DeWalt 20V Cordless 7-1/4″ Miter Saw is the superior product of its class, mainly because it’s well-designed, built to last, and capable of achieving fabulous results consistently. And best of all, you don’t have to break the bank to get it.
As far as dimensions go, this compact miter saw is 25.25” x 19.88” x 15.69”, and it weighs only 30 lbs, so it’s compact and lightweight—wonderful!
It’s powered by a 20 V lithium-ion battery, and it’ll run for at least a couple hours before the battery needs to be recharged.
The 7-1/4” blade can reach 4,500 RPM at max speed, and at this speed it’ll produce wonderfully-smooth edges in no time.
For cutting capacity, it has an 8” crosscut capacity, and its cutting depth is 3-1/2”.
Ideal for cutting nested crown and base molding, it can handle nested crown up to 3-5/8”, and base molding up to 3 1/2”.
Its innovative Cut Line Crosscut Positioning System will auto-adjust the cut-line, helping you cut more accurately.
The stainless steel miter detent plate has 11 positive stops, and the bevel scale is oversized, so it’s easy to read and adjust. Love that!
Additionally, there’s a camlock miter handle so changing angles is quick, easy, and accurate, and both the base and fence are machined so everything works seamlessly together.
When you purchase this saw, you’ll also get:
- A carbide-tipped blade
- A blade wrench
- A material clamp
- The manual
Finally, it comes with a three-year limited warranty, one year of free service, and a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
What I Liked
- The oversized handle makes the swing-arm easier to control.
- There’s an efficient dust-removal system to protect the saw and the user.
- Miter adjustments can be made in seconds, so you can complete cutting tasks quicker.
- It’s compact and lightweight, so it’s ideal for those who bounce from job site to job site.
What I Didn’t Like
- It has a hard time cutting larger, thicker workpieces because it’s so light.
- The miter detent plate can be hard to reattach sometimes.
2. Makita 18V LXT Cordless 6-1/2″ Dual-Bevel Compound Miter Saw – Best Quality
- Weighs only 14.6 lbs. With battery (battery not included) for easy portability
- Automatic speed change technology adjusts cutting speed and torque during cut for optimum performance
- 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery delivers the power and performance of a corded miter saw without leaving the 18V LXT platform (battery…
Makita is known for making some of the best power tools, and the Makita 18V LXT Cordless 6-1/2″ Dual-Bevel Compound Miter Saw has to be one of their finest products, as it’s unbelievably precise no matter what kind of cutting it’s doing, mainly because it’s equipped with several unique features.
Another battery-powered, compact miter saw, it’s 13-3/8″ x 15-3/4″ x 17-1/4” and weighs just 14.6 lbs, so it’s easily one of the most lightweight miter saws on the market today.
But just because it’s light doesn’t mean it’s weak. In fact, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
This compact miter saw runs on an efficient 18 V lithium-ion battery, and it can deliver up to 270 cuts on a full battery.
Moreover, it’s equipped with a powerful brushless motor, so the blade can spin up to 5,000 times in a minute (under no load).
There’s also an Automatic Speed Change system, and this auto-adjusts the speed and torque while you’re cutting to ensure top performance the entire time. Definitely one of the best things about this compact miter saw.
And, of course, there’s an electric brake to shut down the blade quickly, and both the base and fence are made of reinforced aluminum.
The built-in laser is one of the best I’ve worked with, and I like how it works whether the blade is spinning or not.
As far as cutting capacity goes, this miter saw can cut boards up to 1-13/16″ x 3-5/8″ at 90°, and up to 1-13/16″ x 2-9/16″ at 45°.
It miters 1°-52° left and right, and bevels 1°-46° left and right. Of course, on both scales there’s a mark for 0°.
For miter detents, you’ll find them at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 30° and 45° (left and right).
The rubberized, soft grip is great for people like me who value comfort when using power tools, and the see-through blade guard is actually see-through!
What comes with it? Well, you’ll get a triangular rule, a dust bag, a micro-polished miter saw blade (6-1/2″ x 5/8″ 64T), and a three-year limited warranty.
What I Liked:
- This miter saw boasts a range of unique features, all of which will help you achieve accurate cuts.
- The saw auto-adjusts when changes in speed and torque are needed, ensuring cleaner edges.
- You can cut for several projects before the battery needs charging, so it’s highly efficient.
- A handful of innovative components make this one of the safest sliding compound miter saws.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Cost makes it inaccessible to many hobbyists and DIYers.
- Maintaining it can be challenging since it’s not the easiest miter saw to reassemble.
3. Metabo HPT 8-1/2″ Portable Miter Saw – Best Value
- Linear ball bearing slide system for superior accuracy and ease of use
- Positive miter stops for quick adjustments to 15, 22.5, 31.6, and 45 degrees to the left and right
- Precise compound cuts with 48 degree bevel angle left and 5 degree bevel angle right
If you want quality at a low price, you’re in luck! The Metabo HPT 8-1/2″ Portable Miter Saw is exactly what you’re looking for, as it’s a lot like high-end miter saws—in terms of what it can do—yet it’s sold at a fraction of what these saws cost.
To start, this saw is 31-3/32″ x 21-27/32″ x 19-3/32”, and it weighs 36 lbs. True, it’s a little bigger than the systems discussed thus far, but I haven’t found this to be a problem.
Regarding positive stops, you can find one at 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, and 45° (both left and right), and there’s also a stop at 0°.
As far as beveling goes, this miter saw can move 48° to the left and 5° to the right; not the best range but it’ll do for most woodworking tasks.
For cutting capacity, expect this sliding miter saw to deliver rip cuts up to 12-1/4”, and at 90° it can make crosscuts in boards up to 2-9/16″ x 12”.
Need a budget, easy-to-use miter saw for molding cutting? This one can accommodate base molding up to 2-15/16”, and crown molding up to 4-11/64.
Now, would you expect the budget miter to be the one that can deliver 5,500 blade revolutions in a minute? It’s true, largely because of this saw’s 9.5 AMP motor.
I’m also a big fan of the ball bearing slide; no jerky adjustments here!
There’s a pivoting fence, and this adds a layer of convenience that can’t be overlooked. The vibrations-reducing grip is a nice touch too.
And the splinter guard, dust collector, and electronic speed control ensure it’s not just effective but safe too.
Finally, it comes with: a 8-1/2″ 24T TCT saw blade, a dust bag, a vice assembly, a 10 mm box wrench, and a sub fence.
What I Liked:
- The blade has considerable cutting capacity, so it does well with larger workpieces.
- Speed is changeable while the blade is spinning, so smooth edges can be achieved in no time.
- You can firmly grip the swing-arm and cut more precisely thanks to the vibration-reducing grip.
- Since it has an E-brake, splinter guard, and dust collector, you can operate it with peace of mind.
What I Didn’t Like:
- The base rails don’t extend out much, so using this saw against a wall can be awkward.
- The graduations are somewhat hard to see.
4. Ryobi 7-1/4″ Compact Miter Saw – Best for Beginners
- Powerful 9 Amp motor boasts 5,100 RPM for heavy duty cutting
- Up to 2 in. X 4 in. cutting capacities and 4-1/4 in. cross cut capacity
- Miter stops located at the most common angles: 0°, 15°, 22.5°, and 45° left and right for quick cut…
If you’re unfamiliar with miter saws and looking to learn, the Ryobi 7-1/4″ Compact Miter Saw is worth purchasing, as it’s simple yet effective and equipped with most of the components you’ll need to familiarize yourself with before moving to a more complex miter saw.
It’s 10” x 15” x 12.6” and weighs about 9 lbs, and it’s a single-bevel miter saw that can turn up to 45° both left and right. There are three positive stops: one at 0°, one at 45° left, and one at 45° right.
Regarding cutting capacity, it can make crosscuts in boards up to 2” x 4” at 90°. And even though it doesn’t slide, it can deliver a max crosscut of 4-1/4”, which is impressive when you consider its size.
It runs on a 9 AMP motor, and I think it’s cool that it can spin the blade up to 5,100 times in a minute; getting familiar with blade-speed changes is so important when you’re learning.
Also, there’s a spindle lock to make blade changes simple, and when you purchase this saw you’ll get: a dust bag, clamp, wrench, and a 24T carbide-tipped blade.
Finally, it’s backed by a three-year limited warranty, so you can use it with more peace of mind during those first few years of learning.
What I Liked:
- Its simplicity makes it easy to use, so it’s ideal for people who want to learn the miter saw basics.
- All the base components fit together well, so workpieces won’t be unbalanced during cutting.
- You can swap out a blade in seconds, so you’ll spend more time cutting than adjusting.
- The swing-arm pulls down smoothly, so you can make numerous cuts without experiencing fatigue.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Only bevels to one side.
- No laser guidance system.
5. Wen 7-1/4″ Miter Saw – Best Design
- Powerful 9.5-amp motor crosscuts boards up to 11.5 inches wide and 2.5 inches thick
- Unique dual-rail slide system allows for compact operation flush against the wall while minimizing the saw’s…
- Miter 45 degrees in either direction (featuring 9 miter stops) or bevel 45 degrees to the left
The Wen 7-1/4″ Miter Saw earns the “Best Design” title because it’s sleek, well-equipped, reliable, and much more visually appealing than a lot of the compact miter saws you’ll find on the market today.
In fact, I think the color scheme has helped me deliver some pretty impressive edges, and I didn’t expect that when I purchased this product.
As far as capabilities go, it can make crosscuts in boards up to 2.5” x 11.5” at 90°; up to 1.75” x 8.125” at 45°.
It can miter 45° left and right, and there are 9 positive stops. Plus, it’s easy to lock at an uncommon angle—love that!
And since it’s a single-bevel system, it only bevels 45° to the left.
It can cut nested crown molding up to 2.375”, and baseboard up to 2.25”.
When folded up, it’s 29” x 17.9” x 15”, so it’s definitely a compact miter; easy to store and transport too!
There are sturdy rails to ensure it’s usable against walls, and its LED cut-line guide is one of my favorite guidance systems.
And, of course, I love the versatile dust port—you can connect the dust bag or your dust extractor.
Finally, you’ll get the following when you purchase this sliding miter saw:
- A 7.25” blade
- Two table extensions
- One clamp assembly
- A dust port
- An onboard carrying handle
- A dust bag
- A two-year warranty
What I Liked:
- Color scheme makes components easy to distinguish and helps with achieving precise cuts.
- Slides smoothly to ensure adjustments don’t take forever to make.
- Reliable miter lock will ensure you can cut precisely at uncommon angles.
- A shop vacuum can be hooked up to ensure dust is never a problem.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Attaching the blade cover can be challenging.
- Certain cuts are harder to do since it only bevels one way.
6. Kobalt 7-1/4″ Compound Miter Saw – Best Capacity
- This Certified Refurbished product is manufacturer refurbished, shows limited or no wear, and includes all…
Just because compact miter saws are smaller doesn’t mean they can’t possess decent cutting capacity, and no system proves this better than the highly capable Kobalt 7-1/4″ Compound Miter Saw.
Equipped with a 10 AMP motor, this sliding miter saw can make crosscuts in boards up to 2” x 8” at 90°; up to 2” x 6” at 45°.
And thanks to its ultra-durable, 7-1/4” blade, it can make cuts up to 2” deep at 90°, and cuts up to 1.5” deep at 45°.
Moreover, it turns 50° left and right, and there are 9 positive stops. Trust me, those 5 extra degrees on both sides can make a big difference!
As far as beveling goes, it can bevel up to 47° to the left, and there are stops at 0° and 45°.
And since it’s a truly high-quality sliding miter saw, it should come as no surprise that it has a reinforced aluminum base, reliable support rails, a fast-acting e-brake, a spindle lock, and an innovative laser guide.
Regarding dimensions and weight, it’s 23.5” x 22” x 18.5” and weighs just23 lbs.
Lastly, a three-year warranty comes with it, and it’s rather generous when compared to the standard warranties you usually see.
What I Liked:
- This sliding miter saw has the best cutting capacity, so it can easily handle workpieces big and small.
- The innovative laser guide can auto-adjust as you’re cutting to help you get a razor-sharp edge.
- The base is solid without being too heavy, so it’ll be sturdy when in use and portable when not.
- It can turn more than most miter saws, so it’s better for making angled cuts.
What I Didn’t Like:
- It doesn’t have dual-bevel capabilities since it can only tilt to the left.
- There are no mounting holes on the base, so it can’t be screwed into my workbench.
What to Consider When Buying a Portable Miter Saw
Since compact miter saws are inherently smaller, you can’t expect them to have substantial cutting capacity.
That said, if a compact miter saw can slide, turn both ways, and bevel left and right, it’s going to be able to deliver all the cuts that are commonly associated with miter saws, i.e. crosscuts, miter cuts (angle cuts), and bevel cuts.
And if you’re getting a miter saw specifically to cut molding, make sure it can handle both baseboard and nested crown.
Since miter saws are mostly used for precise cutting, you should get a saw that’s equipped with all the components and features necessary for consistent precise cutting.
For example, if a miter saw has a powerful motor that can spin the blade thousands of times in a minute, it’ll be able to achieve beautifully smooth edges.
Similarly, if all the locking mechanisms are reliable, you won’t have to worry about your cutting line moving midst cutting.
Are you searching for a 10 inch miter saw? Check out some of the best 10 inch miter saws you can buy!
Ease of Use
Ease of use is important for any power tool, but on a miter saw it’s critical. After all, if you can’t use the system without encountering difficulties at every turn, it’ll be much harder to achieve quality results routinely.
So, it shouldn’t be hard to change blades, and adjusting miter and bevel settings should only take seconds.
The dust-collection system should be easy to attach and remove, and the best miter will have a sturdy base to ensure it stays 100% in place when cutting.
And there should be lasers, LED lights, or other cut-line indicators to help you get excellent cutting performance.
Finally, if a compact miter saw is easy to maintain, it should stay accurate for several years. Generally, cordless compact miter saws are easier to maintain, and single-bevel systems are easier to maintain than sliding compound miter saws.
Wondering how to use a miter saw? Check out this guide below!
To be fair, durability isn’t the most important factor for miter saws, but you still should make every effort to get a durable system, especially if you’re going to be taking it on the go routinely.
Compact miter saws that have mostly steel components are by far the most durable, but systems with mostly aluminum components aren’t bad.
Also, you should buy cases for detachable components; this way everything stays working well for a long time.
Price & Warranty
Most high-quality miter saws go for around $300. The top-tier models, on the other hand, can go for upwards of $600, while the most-economic versions are usually sub $200.
And as far as warranties go, most miter saws are backed by a multi-year limited warranty that covers defects related to materials and workmanship.
To recap, the DeWalt 20V Cordless 7-1/4″ Miter Saw is the best compact miter saw overall because it’s incredibly well-built, so it can deliver all kinds of precise cuts efficiently and safely. Plus, it’s relatively affordable and not hard to learn.
Then there’s the Makita 18V LXT Cordless 6-1/2″ Dual-Bevel Compound Miter Saw, the best cordless compact miter saw for those who want exceptional cutting power, a range of helpful features, and best-in-class portability.
Finally, there’s the Metabo HPT 8-1/2″ Portable Miter Saw, a low-cost miter saw that’s far from low-quality. In fact, this compact miter saw can stand with the best of them, which is why it’s preferred by professionals, hobbyists, and DIYers alike.