A miter saw is a necessary tool if you want to make angled cuts. You can use it for making these cuts on a variety of things like window casings, picture frames, and crown molding. With the latter, however, you’d need bigger blades and cut capacities.
This also applies to longer wood pieces and lumber. That’s why you’d need a good 12-inch blade on your sliding compound miter saw.
These specific features are a little hard to find together but don’t worry, we have the best of them on a list in this article to help you.
1. DEWALT DWS780 Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The Dewalt DWS780 is a strong miter saw running on a 15-AMP motor that gives you the ability to adjust the blade’s spinning speed in order to cut through all kinds of materials.
This means you can use your DWS780 to work with wood, steel, plastic, and much more. And by adjusting the speed, you’ll be able to add the perfect finishing touches to any workpiece.
The DWS780 can cut 4.3 inches deep and 12 inches wide –which is more than enough to take on larger pieces of lumber. Moreover, the bevel angle on the DWS780 ranges up to 49 degrees both left and right. Multiple angles can quickly be reached using the quick release of bevel controls.
On the other hand, its miter angle ranges up to 60 degrees to the left and 50 to the right. You can easily and quickly change the angles with the miter cam lock. By combining this with the bevel angles, you’ll be able to make some pretty tight and accurate cuts on bigger lumber pieces.
The Dewalt DWS780 employs an XPS shadow line cut indicator that provides you with guidance so you can make the most precise cuts effortlessly. It also lights up the material and the blade while you’re doing your cutting.
This spares you the need to get any closer to the blade as you can still see it in dim-lit areas. This contributes to the safety of the Dewalt DWS780.
The Dewalt DWS780 is pretty safe to use as its blade is covered with a strong, large, automatic cover and is never exposed except when you’re in the middle of cutting through material.
The rugged guards, precision-machined casting, bevel system, fences, and powerful stainless steel miter detent plate make the Dewalt DWS780 very durable and prevent any instability during its operation.
It weighs 56 pounds which isn’t too heavy to take with you wherever you’re planning to work.
On a flat surface, your saw would sit very sturdily thanks to its powerful base. This is just another way the Dewalt DWS780 is equipped to handle heavier timbers.
The dust management isn’t the best, but it’s better than most compound miter saws. It’s good enough to keep the dust and debris away from the cutting area to keep the blade visible.
Finally, the Dewalt DWS780 comes with a 3-year limited warranty, a year of free service and 90-day money back guarantee.
All these features make the DWS780 one of the best miter saws on the market especially for crown molding.
2. Hitachi C12RSH2 15-Amp Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The Hitachi C12RSH2 comes with a 12-inch blade that’s capable of spinning at a speed that reaches 4,000 rotations per minute thanks to its powerful 15-AMP motor.
This makes it effective at doing crosscutting capacities. At 90 degrees it can cut a 12-1/4-inch board and at 45 degrees it can cut 8-5/8-inch board.
The fence is 5.5 inches tall, so you can cut baseboards of good size on it vertically. It can also handle nested crown that is 7.5 inches tall for crown molding.
The dual bevel angle ranges from 0 to 45 degrees in both directions. This is really useful to simplify the bevel and compound cuts as you wouldn’t need to keep flipping the board over when you’re cutting its different ends.
However, the 45 degrees max bevel angle isn’t the best. Many wall corners aren’t exactly square-shaped, so a bevel angle needed is usually a bit over 45 degrees.
The miter adjustments also aren’t the best. The right miter adjusts up to 57 to the right, but only 45 to the left.
Although the saw comes with a dust bag and has a port at the back of the blade, it doesn’t catch much of the dust with just the bag alone.
You can add a shop vac to catch more of the dust, but if you really want solid dust collection with this saw, you’ll need to build a custom dust shroud or box around it.
The Hitachi C12RSH2 has fixed rails that move forward alongside the blade guard. The motor and blade have an attached bearing assembly that slides on these rails.
A typical sliding miter saw has rails that are fixed to the saw and motor so they extend out of the back of the saw while the bearing assembly is fixed to the base.
On the other hand, compact versions like the Hitachi C12RSH2 have this mechanism in reverse. This means you can back the saw up against a wall and still be able to utilize the sliding action to its fullest potential.
This minimizes the footprint of the saw and makes it a very good choice for those who work in small shops or on a shallow bench or table.
The Hitachi C12RSH2 isn’t the easiest saw to carry around as it weighs 59 pounds. It does have a laser guide that makes your cutting processes quicker and smoother.
The Hitachi C12RSH2 is a great choice for small shops and garages with limited space. It also gives you the advantage of saving money while still getting a satisfactory performance.
3. Makita LS1219L Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser
The Makita LS1219L is part of Makita’s DXT (Deep and Exact Cutting Technology) series. This series focuses on giving its models a higher cutting capacity and out-of-the-box cutting capabilities.
And the Makita LS1219L does come with a 60-tooth carbide tipped stock blade that allows you to work with it out-of-the-box. However, in this case, it’s more suitable for a chop saw. If you’re looking to make more precise cuts, some minor adjustments may have to be made.
Its cutting capacity is quite great. It has a direct-drive motor and a blade guard system that were designed to increase the vertical cut capacity of the saw.
The vertical cut capacity is 6-3/4 inches, and the vertical crown molding cut capacity is 8 inches (nested). And at 90 degrees, it’s capable of cutting an impressive 15-inch crosscut. Furthermore, the Makita LS1219L is easy to use with an intuitive design.
It has a built-in laser, large trigger, and an ergonomic rubberized D-handle design.
Although the blade that comes with the Makita LS1219L is pretty impressive for a stock blade, if you ever want to change it, you’re going to find that process a breeze thanks to the one-step blade change process design.
Moreover, the Makita LS1219L’s miter angle ranged from 0 to 60 degrees in both directions. On the other hand, its bevel adjustments range from 0 to 48 degrees in both directions. It also features positive stops at 0 degrees, 15 degrees, 22.5 degrees, 31.6 degrees, 45 degrees, and 60 degrees.
With its powerful 15-AMP direct drive motor and soft start technology, the Makita LS1219L gives you smooth and consistent cutting power from the moment you turn it on.
The fact that the motor has no belt means there’s no risk with issues like belt breaking, slipping, or needing replacement.
Finally, the Makita LS1219L comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a 1-year limited warranty. There are a lot of Makita service centers available all around the U.S., so getting your saw serviced would be an easy task.
The LS1219L is a sliding compound miter saw for woodworkers that want a powerful, sturdy saw with versatility. You can use it for general DIY projects.
4. DEWALT DWS779 12" Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The Dewalt DWS779 runs on a 15-AMP motor that can spin its blade at a speed that reaches 3,800 rotations per minute. This gives you the ability to cut through various types of wood smoothly and effortlessly.
The 12-inch carbide blade allows you to make bigger crosscuts, miter, and bevel cuts. And it’s able to make superb precision cuts.
The red-colored miter point on the Dewalt DWS779 makes reading and locating the miter angles a lot easier in order to maximize the accuracy of the cuts.
The Dewalt DWS779 is capable of making 2 x 16-inch cuts at 90 degrees and 2 x 12 cuts at 45 degrees.
Moreover, the miter angle ranges up to 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left. On the other hand, the bevel angle ranges up to 47 degrees on both sides.
The 10 positive stops and cam lock allow you to secure your workpiece in place at the desired cutting angle and spares you the trouble of the twist knob.
Moreover, the Dewalt DWS779 comes with a cutline blade positioning mechanism that provides you with an adjustment-free cutting line indicator to maintain the cutting precision.
When it comes to construction, the Dewalt DWS779 has a solid aluminum base with high ribbing to make it sturdy and rigid.
Add to that the padded steel plates and you get the perfect combination between stability and durability.
The fact that the Dewalt DWS779 weighs 67 pounds provides it with more stability on your work desk and minimizes wiggling and vibrations.
However, it also makes it less portable. So if you’re planning to work on different job sites, the Dewalt DWS779’s weight may be more of an issue than an advantage.
Miter saws are known for their poor dust collection abilities, and the Dewalt DWS779 isn’t an exception to this rule. A big drawback is that it simply fails at this field.
However, how affordable it is might make up for the little shortcomings it has.
It’s more affordable than a lot of sliding compound miter saws out there yet it still has a 15-AMP motor, a carbide blade, and a speed of 3,800 rotations per minute.
Its 3-year warranty, 1 year of free service, and 90-day money back guarantee should assure you to the quality of its construction and components.
If you don’t want to put too much money but want a premium-feel saw, the DWS779 is a great choice for you. Unless you’re looking to do extreme and demanding jobs, this model should serve you quite well.
If you don’t want to put too much money but want a premium-feel saw, the DWS779 is a great choice for you. Unless you’re looking to do extreme and demanding jobs, this model should serve you quite well.
5. Delta 26-2250 12" Dual Bevel Sliding Cruzer Miter Saw
Cruzer? Isn’t this a review for sliding miter saws? Well, Cruzer is the Delta’s innovation with a robot-like arm that enables the saw to perform like a sliding one.
The Delta 26-2250 Cruzer comes with very smooth robot-like arms that are made of military-grade aluminum. The design folds as you move the saw head back and forth instead of sliding.
The heavy-duty bearings give The Delta 26-2250 Cruzer an impressive smoothness in its movement and travel.
A feature worth mentioning is the tension adjustment that gives you space to choose your preferred travel tension.
The controls on the saw are easily accessible and allow you to quickly set dual-bevel miter cuts. It has an accessible bevel switch that allows you to set the bevel 45 degrees in both directions and stops at the most common bevel angles.
The Delta 26-2250 Cruzer has a 16-inch crosscut capacity and you can eve reach an 18-inch one if you take off the guards and have a table below the wood you’re cutting.
The dual bevel capacity ranges up to 47 degrees to the left and right with front bevel release and 7 positive stops at the most common ones.
Furthermore, The Delta 26-2250 Cruzer cuts miters up to 50 degrees left and 60 degrees right and has 10 miter positive stops.
You can make use of the ergonomic one-hand front miter controls with the miter detent override and front bevel controls.
The Delta 26-2250 Cruzer comes with a powerful 15-AMP brushed motor that faces no problems cutting framing stock. It’s able to operate the blade at a speed of 4,000 rotations per minute.
It works well with solid framing, remodeling, and general construction.
It’s more of a sturdy miter saw that’s great for stationary use as it weighs 57 pounds.
However, the saw doesn’t have a LED light or a laser guide, so there is no means to rely on anything but the calculations of the user to cut accurately.
The Delta 26-2250 Cruzer comes with a 1.5-inch dust port as well as a dust bag that work efficiently. If you want to get the best results with the dust collection, connect it to a dust extractor.
The Delta 26-2250 Cruzer is a reliable go-to saw. If you’re going to be doing remodeling and framing jobs with this saw, you’re going to enjoy its performance. Especially on job-sites with many users. However, it’s not the best for a trim carpenter.
6. WEN 70712 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The Wen 70712 is a sliding compound miter saw with a 12-inch, 60-tooth carbide blade that’s tough enough to handle any type of material.
It’s pretty lightweight and portable at only 41 pounds, so you can carry it around from one job site to the other quite easily.
It’s provided with a dust bag that helps keep your environment clean and collects any excess debris.
The WEN 70712 has a one-inch arbor lock that allows you to switch between blades seamlessly.
Moreover, its powerful 15-AMP motor can spin its blade at a speed of up to 4,300 rotations per minute. It’s also the no-load type of motor so it allows you to make powerful, precise, and controlled cuts.
Its cutting capacity includes cutting 2 x 12 inches while the sliding function allows for a 12-inch reach.
This gives you plenty of space to work with baseboards, decking, and even framing lumber. It could also work for doors and window frames.
The Wen 70712 comes with an electric brake that makes its operation safer and enhances its accuracy.
Moreover, the Wen 70712 can reach a bevel angle up to 45 degrees and miter angles up to 60 degrees left and 52.5 degrees right.
It has dual material support arms and a hold-down clamp that improve its stability. You get the best control of the arm thanks to the overhead horizontal handle.
It’s important to know that the safety was designed for right-handed users, so if you’re a lefty, be cautious when you’re operating this saw.
Its work table is constructed of sturdy machined aluminum and it comes with an extra set of carbon brushes. This, with the one-year limited warranty, should reassure you of its durability.
All the blades are sharp and cut in smooth straight lines. This means your workpiece will have a nice finish at the end.
The Wen 70712 is a great choice for beginners, that’s why its features are somewhat limited.
A laser guide or an overhead LED light would have been a very useful addition, however.
If you’re an experienced craftsman but want to save up on your miter saw purchase, the Wen 70712 can be considered a means to do that.
In addition, the Wen 70712 comes with a reliable 15-AMP motor that makes it perform really well. It’s able to spin the blade up to 5,000 rotations per minute. This gives the saw the ability to cut through all types of materials, tough or vulnerable.
The Wen 70712 is pretty efficient in terms of time consumption.
Its bevel angle ranges up to 45 degrees and has 9 different stops in both directions at 0 degrees, 15 degrees, 22.5 degrees, 31.6 degrees, and 45 degrees according to your application’s needs.
The dust bag on this saw effectively collects all the dust and debris to keep your line of cut visible and clear.
Finally, the Wen 70712 is light in weight which makes it portable and minimizes fatigue.
It also has a compact design that enables you to reach confined spaces easily.
The Wen 70712 miter saw has enough power to basically do any cutting job on hand. It allows you to cut wider pieces and is simple enough for any beginner to operate.
Before you buy one of these 12-inch sliding compound miter saws, there are a couple of things you should understand fully about them.
The difference between a sliding compound miter saw and a standard one
A sliding compound miter saw because it allows the user to cut longer boards. That’s why it’s better at cutting larger pieces of crown molding especially.
A sliding compound miter also comes with rails that give its blade the capability to move backward and forward across pieces of material.
That’s why it’s able to cut certain materials that a standard compound miter saw’s blade can’t work with.
How a power source affects performance
Generally, the higher the motor amperage, the stronger it is and thereby the better it is capable to cut through tougher materials.
15 AMPs is more than enough for you to not face any issues when you’re working with any material including plywood and mahogany.
Cutting capacity and the blade
The size of the blade ranges from 8.25 to 12 inches in diameter. The bigger the diameter, the bigger the crosscuts, miters, and bevel cuts.
That’s why you should always make sure that either the blade alone or the blade and slide capacity combination exceed the widths of your molding, lumber, or workpieces in general.
That’s also why 12-inch-blade miter saws are the best for anyone that always works with larger pieces of wood.
Detents, miter, and bevel angle ranges
Nearly all the sliding compound miter saws you’ll find will cut at 45 degrees. However, it’s better if you find one with a slightly higher capacity at perhaps 48 degrees.
Positive stop detents are really important when it comes to keeping your workpiece secured at a certain angle that you want to work at. This helps you reach and maintain the maximum accuracy of the cut.
The most common angles –and the ones you shouldn’t overlook- are 45 degrees, 90 degrees, and 22.5 degrees.
Needless to say, a saw with fewer bevel detents is superior to one that doesn’t have one at all.
Fences and support
The importance of a fence on a miter saw is securing the wood when it’s being cut.
Make sure that the smaller stock especially is pressed firmly against the fence.
Since you’re getting a 12-inch-blade miter saw, you’re probably going to be working with crown moldings or tall stock in general. Make sure that you get a compound miter saw with a tall fence to match your needs.
Try to look for a saw with satisfactory dust collection ability –most of them don’t have that.
Since you might be using your saw in a shop or a confined place, dust collection is important in keeping your place tidy and also in protecting you against the harmful health repercussions of breathing in dust and debris.
When you’re shopping for a compound miter saw, make sure you get one with a good clamp so that you can firmly secure your workpieces and get the most accurate cuts.
The stand is also an important part of your saw as it holds the saw and gives it stability against wobbling.
Finally, electric brakes are a great feature when found on a miter saw as it allows you to quickly bring the blade to a halt when you’re transitioning between cuts.
You can say we saved the most important for last. Since you’re working with an exposed spinning blade, you should care a lot about how safe your saw is.
Never work with your saw without having eye and hearing protection on. You should also wear a mask, especially if you’re working indoors with a subpar or no dust extractor.
Check the functionality of the blade break by making sure that once you release the trigger, the blade comes to a stop within a few seconds.
What do I do if my saw isn’t cutting at the correct angles?
Before you start using your saw, make sure to have read the user manual carefully.
If you face this problem, make sure the blade isn’t damaged by any means. Also, make sure that it’s parallel in the cutting slot table. If it’s not, the bevel block will need to be adjusted and therefore won’t produce good cuts.
How do I unfasten the blade bolts?
The bolts around the blade usually need to be changed, which is a pretty messy situation. If you’re having trouble with unfastening the bolts, check if they’re in the left-handed thread and unfasten them in a clockwise direction. If that’s not the case, then do it in an anti-clockwise direction.
What do I do if the blade stopped spinning while I’m in the middle of a cutting process?
If the blade isn’t cutting while the saw is turned on, check if the motor is still running and that it sounds normal. If so, then it’s probably something with the gearbox and you should have it checked.
Can I operate a 120 V by 60 Hz saw on 110 V by 50 Hz?
The short answer is yes. However, it’ll be under-strained as the recommended operation condition by the manufacturer is 120 V by 60 Hz.
If you’re looking for the best recommendation in general, the Dewalt DWS780 definitely has to take the cake. It combines premium build quality, versatility, and affordability.
If you’re looking for the sliding compound miter saw that’ll help you save the most space –which is a hard task for a sliding one-, then the Hitachi C12RSH2 is the one you should opt for.
If you’re looking for the saw that’ll not break your bank and is budget-friendly, the Wen 70712 would be a satisfactory choice.