Best 12 Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw: 2020’s Best 12″ Miter Saw Reviews

best 12 inch sliding compound miter saw

There is a lot you can do with a miter saw, from making window casings, picture frames to crown molding. But if you are looking to do more, a sliding compound miter saw will be your best bet.

Capable of making both angle and bevel cuts, these types of saws can handle thicker pieces of wood. In particular those with a 12-inch blade. That being said, if you mainly work with extra-long pieces of wood, a 12-inch sliding compound miter saw will come in handy.

But which sliding compound miter saw should you buy. There are plenty of options on the market. But if you want the best 12 inch sliding compound miter saw, you will have to dig a little bit deeper.

To help you with your search, we have compiled a list of five top-rated sliding compound miter saws. We selected these based on their motor power, safety features, and overall construction.

From our list, we singled out the Dewalt DWS779 as our top pick. It features all the things you would need in a compound sliding miter saw. It is powerful and is easy to use for both professionals and DIYers.

We could have picked the Bosch Power Tools GCM12SD, but its price tag let it down. Nonetheless, the Bosch and all the other models listed are excellent options.

Today's 5 best 12 inch sliding compound miter saw Reviews

DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter DWS779 Saw

Key Features
  • 15 amp motor
  • 2 x 23 x 18.5 inch dimensions
  • 3800 no-load rotation speed
  • 60 degrees right max miter angle
  • 50 degrees left max miter angle
Our Top Pick

Sliding compound miter saws are seen as bulky, expensive, and a reserve of professionals. However, this cannot be said about the Dewalt DWS779, though. It is as perfect for DIYers as it is for professional contractors.

Right out of the box, the saw is ready to get to work. Furthermore, the blade tilts in both directions with ease. But where it truly excels is in the power department. A 15 amp motor powers it.

The motor can generate up to 3800 revolutions per minute. For general purpose work, this is sufficient power. With its power, you can easily cut 2×16 dimensional woods at 90 degrees.

Being a miter saw we were interested in its miter angle. The miter angle can go up to 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left. This is pretty generous, and you will have no problems with most tasks.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

This saw has many selling points, key among them its ease of use and accuracy. It tops our list of the best 12-inch compound sliding miter saw thanks to its features. Also, the fact that it comes at an affordable price does give it more points in our books.

Metabo HPT 12" Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Key Features
  • Dust port
  • 15 amp motor
  • Laser market system
  • 12 inch 60 tooth blade
  • Adjustable fence height

Yet another sliding compound miter saw that is reasonably priced is the Metabo HPT 12 inch sliding compound saw. This unit offers all the features you would expect from a miter saw of its caliber.

The first thing we loved about this saw was its excellent crosscutting abilities. With its 12 inch blade, it can cut boards 12-¼ inches wide at 90 degrees. While at 45 degrees, you will be able to cut boards 8-⅝ inch wide.

Its large sliding fence is another feature that is sure to excite you. This fence allows you to vertically cut crown moldings of up to 7.5 inches.

The 15 amp motor churns out the power you need to tackle cutting through longer and thicker materials. There is also a laser marker that helps improve the saw’s cutting accuracy.

With this saw, you can make miter cuts at 45 degrees and 57 degrees to the left and right, respectively. Furthermore, it is possible to make 45-degree miter cuts on both sides.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

This saw has a lot going for it. It is one of the best 12-inch compound miter saw thanks to its power and cutting accuracy. And while it is cumbersome, it does not take up a lot of space compared to other similar products.

Bosch Power Tools GCM12SD - 15 Amp

Key Features
  • 15 amp motor
  • Axial glide system
  • 3800 no-load blade speed
  • 52 degrees left miter capacity
  • 60 degrees right miter capacity

This Bosch sliding miter saw is slightly pricier than the two that occupy the first and second positions. That being the case, is it worth it? And does it justify the somewhat higher price tag?

To say that we were impressed with the saw’s design is understating it. It has a rather unique and futuristic design that we absolutely loved. But that’s not the only thing we liked about the saw.

Thanks to its axial-glide system, this one will come in handy in tight spaces. It does not take up a lot of space and makes it ideal for Jobsite use. However, we would not recommend moving it frequently as it is quite heavy, weighing 65 pounds.

Nonetheless, it does feature a powerful motor to compensate. The 15 amp motor is at par with other highly rated miter saws. Thus, you can expect smooth cutting of large pieces of wood with ease.

The saw has more moving parts than most of its competitors due to the addition of the axial-glide. However, the axial-glide system does not have exposed joint points. As such, it holds up well, even in a messy work environment.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

Like all other sliding compound miter saws, this one is quite heavy. However, you can purchase a stand to go with it. In terms of performance, it excels and has minor drawbacks. Its unique design makes it smaller than the average sliding compound miter saw.

TACKLIFE Sliding Compound Miter Saw 12-Inch

Key Features
  • Double bevel
  • Dust collection bag
  • 3800 RPM no-load speed
  • 3-meter cord
  • 15 amp motor

TackLife opted for a unique design when building the PMS03A sliding compound miter saw. And the unique design is the first thing you will notice right out of the box.

One feature that we really appreciated was the swivel arm. The latter allows you to make cuts at 45 degrees on both sides. This is backed by an impressive 9.5 inches maximum cutting stroke.

In regards to power, there was no difference between it and most of the other saws we tested on the list. As such, you can expect the same 15 amp motor and 3800 RPM offered by the likes of Dewalt.

Its powerful motor means you can cut a whole host of materials. We had no trouble cutting plywood, wood, plastics, and even metallic plates. For accuracy, it is equipped with a laser marker that does an excellent job of helping you make accurate cuts.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

This saw is less famous than some of the other names on our list. However, we can confidently say that it is a gem. It is on par with some of its pricier competitors when it comes to performance. Also weighing about 54 pounds, it is relatively lighter.

DEWALT 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Double Bevel (DWS780)

Key Features
  • 3800 RPM
  • 15 amp motor
  • Ten positive miter stops
  • 12-inch 60T carbide blade
  • Stainless steel detent plate
  • XPS crosscut positioning system

Dewalt has one of the best selections of 12-inch sliding compound miter saws. And one of the best in its catalog is the DWS780. Like the previously reviewed DWS779, it packs in plenty of useful features.

But unlike its counterpart, it is quite lightweight, weighing only 56 pounds. One of its more unique features is the XPS alignment tool.

This alignment tool has an LED light that casts a shadow on the material being cut, ensuring you can see where you are cutting.

But what earns it a spot on the list is its impressive cutting abilities. It is capable of making horizontal cuts of up to 13-¾ inches. What this means is that you can easily cut cross cut 2×14 boards laid flat on the saw.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

This is one of the best 12-inch dual bevel sliding compound miter saw out there. It also has one of the largest cutting capacities we have seen on a miter saw. This, combined with its ease of use and power, make it a great tool to have in your workshop

What is a sliding compound miter saw?

So what exactly is a sliding compound miter saw? To answer this question, we need first to consider what a compound miter saw is.

Without getting too technical, this is a type of miter saw with a pivoting arm and can be tilted at an angle other than 90 degrees. This means you can make both miter and bevel cuts.

A sliding compound miter saw is essentially a compound miter saw with an added feature. And this is the ability to slide forward and backward. Hence the name. This sliding ability means you can cut thicker pieces of wood.

Difference between compound VS sliding compound miter saw

Compound and sliding compound miter saws are pretty much the same. In that, a sliding compound miter saw can do everything a compound miter saw can. The only difference between the two is that a sliding saw can slide backward and forwards.

This means sliding compound miter saw have a larger cutting capacity than their compound miter saw counterparts.

Best 12-inch compound sliding miter saw buying guide

Now that you know what a sliding compound miter saw is, the next question becomes what you should look out for when buying one. There are several factors to consider when shopping for a sliding compound miter saw, and these are.

Single vs. double bevel

Compound miter saws can either be single bevel or double bevel. A single bevel saw head can only be moved in one direction, either right or left. In the case of a double bevel, the saw head can be moved in both directions.

For decorative works, you will need the best 12-inch dual bevel sliding compound miter saw. However, these saws tend to be pricier than single bevel. Thus if you are a hobbyist, a single bevel compound miter saw can still be a good option.

Power

A miter saw should be powerful enough that when you lower the blade, it cuts through the material with ease. If you find that you have to apply extra force and pressure to cut through a piece of wood, it isn’t powerful enough.

The standard of measuring how powerful a miter saw is is how many revolutions per minute it makes. For most standard works, a 3800 RPM is sufficient.

Direct drive vs. belt driven

The motor is responsible for the blade’s revolutions per minute. There are two ways power is transmitted from the motor to the blade, direct drive and belt drive. Direct drive means the motor is directly connected to the blade hence more power.

Belt drive means that power is transmitted with the aid of a belt. Belt drive saws have their advantages, but if its power you are after direct drive is the better option.

Ease of use

Overall, you don’t want to spend ten minutes trying to figure out how to use a sliding compound miter saw. As such, ease of use is another crucial factor to consider. The bevel and miter scales should be clearly marked.

This way, you can make the necessary adjustments when cutting any material. Also, the blade should be easy to change in case you need to swap out the default blade.

Dust collection

Miter saws produce lots of sawdust when in use. Sawdust can interfere with your ability to make accurate cuts. Also, sawdust poses a health risk in the workshop, especially if it’s a small workshop.

As such, it is essential to consider the dust collection capabilities of a saw. The best 12-inch sliding miter saw will typically have some sort of a dust collection port.

Portability

Compound miter saws can be bulky, with some weighing upwards of 88 pounds. This is because they are typically designed to be stationary. However, you may want a sliding compound miter saw to use in a job site.

In this case, you will want a saw that weighs a little bit less. Some saws weigh 50 pounds, making them capable of being carried.

How to take care of your sliding miter saw

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a compound sliding miter saw?

If you work with crown molding or cut large pieces of wood, then you need a compound sliding miter saw.

Which is the best sliding compound miter saw?

This largely depends on your need, but the DWS779 Saw from Dewalt is the best overall saw on our list. For Jobsite use, you can opt for a lighter saw such as the DWS780 model.

What size of board can I cut with a 12-inch sliding compound miter saw?

Typically a 10-inch saw can cross-cut a board that is 5.5 inches, which is the standard size of a 2×6 piece of lumber. A 12-inch saw has a larger cutting capacity and can cross-cut a board that is 7.5 inches, which is the size of a 2×8 piece of board.

Conclusion

Compound sliding miter saw may seem like the reserve of professionals, but they are useful tools to have. Also, they are not as costly, and you can get decent options for less than $500.

As such, the best 12-inch sliding compound miter saw will be more valuable than any standard miter saw.

Last update on 2020-10-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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