Make it easy for yourself. Get an accurate and powerful miter saw to help with projects like installing baseboards and cross-cutting lumber. Dual bevel saws are the fastest to use since you won’t need to flip materials over to complete a cut. Let’s review three of the best-selling models to see which one will be the best for your work.
Metabo KGS305 12-Inch Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Metabo makes the KGS305, a 12-inch compound miter saw with a top no-load speed of 3800rpm. Its maximum vertical cutting capacity is 4.75 inches tall, or 3-inches at 45 degrees. While this height limitation is disappointing for a 12-inch miter saw, it can crosscut lumber 12.5 inches in width.
When you set up for a cut, the adjustable extensions will support longer materials without the need for an additional stand. There is also a hold down clamp included in the box. Users report that it’s simple to set miter and bevel angles on the KGS305. You can choose from the positive stops at common angles, or make your own adjustment. Finally, there is also a depth stop with a lever that releases and locks it into place.
When you begin cutting, the motor has a soft start to help you maintain control. While the saw operates, the dust collection system sucks debris out through the base. This keeps your work area clear of dust and helps with visibility. The power cord also stays out of the way since it runs inside the rail.
When you finish your work, you can use the lock-out on the switch to prevent accidental starts. That’s handy when you need to set a bevel angle since the scale is behind the blade. But don’t plan on the KGS305 saw being very portable. It’s best if you have a fixed place for it since there are no convenient carrying handles and it weighs more than 75 pounds.
More features of the Metabo KGS305 Compound Miter Saw:
- Comes with a 3-year limited warranty
Delta 26-2250 12″ Dual Bevel Sliding Cruzer Miter Saw
If you plan to crosscut a lot, the Delta 12-inch Cruzer is the best miter saw to get. It has an incredible 18-inch crosscut capacity. It can cut 2×18, 4×14, and 4×10 lumber with ease. It can also handle up to 6.5-inch tall baseboard, or 7.5-inch tall crown molding if it’s nested against the fence.
As for bevel and miter cuts, the Cruzer surpasses several of the miter saws in its class. It bevels up to 47 degrees left or right. It also miters 50 degrees left and 60 degrees right. Of course, there are detents and positive stops for quick setup. And the miter and bevel controls are located on the front for immediate access.
Instead of rails like many other miter saws have, the Cruzer has a load arm made of military-grade aluminum with heavy-duty bearings. You can adjust the tension of the arm to suit your preference. The result of this design is that the blade moves smoothly into position, and the saw takes up less space on a workbench.
While the saw is in use, its top blade speed is 4,000rpm. The transparent blade guard gives a clear view of the blade’s location, plus it retracts when you’re aligning the cut. You can also set the depth stop for plunge cuts. And you can connect a dust bag or vacuum to the 1.5-inch dust port to keep debris off of your work area.
More features of the Delta 26-2250 Cruzer Miter Saw:
- Covered by a 5-year limited warranty
- Power cord is 7 feet long
- Weighs 57 pounds
- Use Torx wrench for blade changes
Makita XSL06PT 18V x2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless 10″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser Kit (5.0Ah)
What sets the Makita XSL06PT kit apart from the Delta Cruzer and the Metabo KGS305 is that the Makita is cordless. It runs on two 18V LXT batteries, the same ones that power Makita drills and drivers.
But don’t think that just because it’s cordless that it’s underpowered. To the contrary, the XSL06Z saw can keep up with the corded models in this review. The only limitation is how many cuts you can name before you recharge the batteries. And each pack has LED indicators that reveal the charge status.
The miter saw’s efficiency and power are due to the brushless motor and direct drive gearbox that spins the blade up to 4400rpm. This motor has Makita’s automatic Speed Change technology that increases power as needed during tough jobs. And since it’s brushless, it runs cooler, and you will never need to change the brushes.
As for battery life, the saw comes with two 5.0Ah battery packs, the best that Makita offers at this time. They say you should get up to 192 cuts in 2×12 lumber, and 334 cuts of 2x4s.
But that’s not the only wood that the XSL06Z saw can cut. It can handle 12-inch crosscuts, like 4×12 lumber. You can fit 5-1/4-inch baseboard for vertical cuts, and 6-5/8-inch molding nested against the fence. If you’re cutting long pieces, there are extension wings on each side of the saw.
The saw miters up to 60 degrees right and left, and bevels up to 48 degrees to both sides as well. Like the Delta Cruzer, the locks for both functions are located on the front.
While you’re working, three features help you make accurate cuts. First is the built-in laser system that marks the cut line. Second is the see-through blade guard. And third is the dust extraction system with dual ports and the included dust bag.
Finally, unlike the Cruzer and the Metabo saws, the Makita has a steel two-rail system. Its design is lightweight and compact. With the batteries onboard, it weighs 60.2 pounds.
More features of the Makita XSL06PT Compound Miter Saw:
- Covered by 3-year limited warranty
- Comes with two 18V LXT lithium-ion 5.0Ah BL1850B batteries, Dual Port Charger DC18RD, vertical vise, triangular rule, hex wrench for blade changes, dust bag, and 40-tooth saw blade
If you want the portability of a cordless miter saw, and you don’t need to crosscut more than 12 inches, get the Makita XSL06PT kit. It runs on common Makita batteries and has the cutting capacity of a corded saw. Plus, it has a laser marking system to help you get precise cuts.
If you want maximum crosscutting ability, get the Delta 26-2250 Cruzer. It has an astounding 18-inch capacity, but it doesn’t need a lot of space on a worktable. And its load arm tension is adjustable to your preference, a feature the other two saws don’t offer.
If you don’t do a lot of tall vertical cuts, you might also be pleased with the Metabo KGS305. Just keep in mind that it can only handle stock up to 4-3/4-inches tall. It’s also the heaviest of these three saws.