|Bosch||Miter Angle Range||Bevel Angle Range||Cut Capacity @ 90° ||Capacity @ 45° Miter ||Weight|
|5412L||52° left to 60° right||47° left to 47° right||4-1/4 by 12-1/2 inches||4-1/4 by 8-3/4 inches||59 pounds|
My shop's choice and the overall winner, this tool has the features I need and is easy to adjust and use. Our crew would form a line in front of this saw during testing.
Basics: 15 amp, 3,800 rpm, belt-driven motor and 60-tooth blade.
Adjustments: Its front bevel adjustment is one of the best features and works very well. The multiposition handle and trigger-lockout switch add versatility and really pleased the left handers. The saw has a large angle range for cutting both miters and bevels. I use fence extensions at their widest for maximum stock support, so I value the extra-wide fence and the table extensions, too.
Features: It has a handy quick-release work clamp, front and rear carry handles, and a cord wrap. I would prefer a built-in laser to the arbor mounted one, though.
Bosch Power Tools
|Craftsman||Miter Angle Range||Bevel Angle Range||Cut Capacity @ 90° ||Capacity @ 45° Miter ||Weight|
|137.21206 ||47° left to 60° right||45° left to 45° right||4 by 12-1/4 inches|| 4 by 8-3/4 inches||65 pounds|
Even though it has a lot of promising features, the makeup of this tool isn't as impressive as the rest.
Basics: 15 amp, 4,200 rpm, belt-driven motor and 60-tooth blade.
Adjustments: This saw has a front bevel adjustment like two of the best, but there is poor scale visibility and too much play in its detent settings. I like the table extension wings but wish the little plastic knobs to tighten them down were beefier--t's hard to get a good grip. This saw also has an adjustable handle, but its loose feel is disconcerting when in use.
Features: There's a decent cord wrap, front and rear lifting handles, and an arbor-mounted laser. If the test was just a feature checklist, this saw would be right up there. The problem is with how well the features were implemented. Better functionality would help this saw.
|DeWalt ||Miter Angle Range||Bevel Angle Range||Cut Capacity @ 90° ||Capacity @ 45° Miter ||Weight|
|DW718||60° left to 50° right||48° left to 48° right||3-11/16 by 12-7/8 inches||3-11/16 by 9-1/8 inches||53 pounds|
A light and easily portable saw. We tested it with a new accessory light system with good results.
Basics: 15 amp, 3,600 rpm, belt-driven motor and 60-tooth blade.
Adjustments: The miter detent override switch is a nice feature for setting odd angles. Extra-wide sliding fence extensions fit the way I work for maximum stock support. The only serious drawback is its bevel adjustment; other saws are easier to adjust and lock in more solidly with less wiggle in the detent positions.
Features: The tool doesn't come with a laser, so we tested it with an accessory shadow line light, which we liked. (DWS7085, $60) An optional laser can be wired in. This saw has a rear fence position for cutting thin boards up to 16-inches wide, but a platform must be built over the table to do this. It also has a huge, 6-1/2-inch capacity for vertical cutting against the fence.
DeWalt Industrial Tools
|Festool||Miter Angle Range||Bevel Angle Range||Cut Capacity @ 90° ||Capacity @ 45° Miter ||Weight|
|KS120EB Kapex||50° left to 60° right||47° left to 47° right||3-1/2 by 12 inches||3-1/2 by 8-1/2 inches||47 pounds|
This is a superbly made machine with a thoughtful design. It has some of my favorite features and extras, but I must admit to some sticker shock, and wish it used a standard blade.
Basics: 13 amp, 1,400 rpm to 3,400 rpm variable speed, gear-driven motor and 60-tooth, 260mm (10-1/4-inch) blade.
Adjustments: Adjusting the bevel from the front of the tool is the best way, and this bevel scale is the easiest to read and set with its large print and fine-adjust knob. The variable motor speed is for cutting aluminum trim.
Features: The best passive dust collection, and the angle-bisecting protractor is very nice. A unique feature is the chop-cut position that gives the saw extra vertical cut capacity by locking the head in a certain position. This uses more of the blade and rivals the capacity of some larger saws. Also has the nicest lasers.
|Hitachi||Miter Angle Range||Bevel Angle Range||Cut Capacity @ 90° ||Capacity @ 45° Miter ||Weight|
|C12LSH||46° left to 57° right||45° left to 45° right||4-3/16 by 12-1/4 inches||4-3/16 by 8-5/8 inches||66 pounds|
This saw isn't the biggest machine in the test, but its top-heavy design makes it feel like it is. Inside all the funky graphics is a serious performer with some innovative features, but it is not the easiest saw to adjust.
Basics: 15 amp, 3,800 rpm, belt-driven motor and 60-tooth blade.
Adjustments: Digital readouts of both miter and bevel angles to the 1/2° are available on the unit's digital display, but only if you can see it while you are doing the adjusting. The bevel adjustment process is the clumsiest; the head is heavy and requires both hands to adjust. And since the locking and fine-adjust knobs are on the back of the saw, you cannot easily dial in a precise angle.
Features: This saw is the only one in the class that has a dual sliding mechanism. There are two ways to slide the saw, and locking the sliding rails forward lets you be much closer to the wall. Nice built-in laser.
Hitachi Power Tools
|Makita||Miter Angle Range||Bevel Angle Range||Cut Capacity @ 90° ||Capacity @ 45° Miter ||Weight|
|LS1214FL||47° left to 52° right||45° left to 45° right||4-1/2 by 12-1/8 inches||4-1/2 by 8-1/2 inches||53 pounds|
This is a very nice saw, smooth and well made. Precision is abundantly evident in everything from the polished machining to the slide operation.
Basics: 15 amp, 3,200 rpm, angled gear-driven motor and 70-tooth blade.
Adjustments: The adjustment details seem a little behind the times in this otherwise great saw. It has the least amount of angle adjustment, so do not expect to cut to 60°. The miter scale is over to the far right, so it is always obscured by stock on the table. This takes some getting used to, but this saw is worth it. The bevel adjustment locks in the back.
Features: The gooseneck worklight adds a little safety in a dark work area, and the built-in laser can be made to mark either side of the blade. The only real knock against it is its small fence. Includes table extensions.
|Milwaukee||Miter Angle Range||Bevel Angle Range||Cut Capacity @ 90° ||Capacity @ 45° Miter ||Weight|
|55° left to 60° right||48° left to 48° right||4 by 13-1/2 inches||4 by 9-1/2 inches||65 pounds|
This is a brand-new tool that you are seeing here first. We got the first one in the country, and we really like it. This tool puts Milwaukee back into the sliding miter saw market and marks the launch of its first ever
Basics: 15 amp, 3,200 rpm, gear-driven motor with electronic speed control and soft-start features. 60-tooth blade.
Adjustments: This saw has a digital miter readout to the 1/10° on the front of the table, and a fine miter adjustment knob to help set it gently. The top-mounted bevel lock works really well, and its scale is easy to read.
Features: I like the worklight mounted under the motor housing on both sides of the blade for visibility, but I felt that a laser was conspicuously absent. All of the other big saws had at least a provision for one. Its huge dust collection port doesn't bag much dust by itself, unfortunately. This saw is has an extra-large vertical cut capacity near the fence of more than 6-1/2 inches.
Milwaukee Electric Tool
|Ridgid||Miter Angle Range||Bevel Angle Range||Cut Capacity @ 90° ||Capacity @ 45° Miter ||Weight|
|MS1290LZA||61° left to 61° right|| 47° left to 47° right||3-1/2 by 13-1/2 inches||3-1/2 by 10 inches||70 pounds|
This practical saw took second place in our test and is truly the bargain of the bunch. It is heavy and large, but we translate that into solid and capable.
Basics: 15 amp, 4,000 rpm, belt-driven motor and 60-tooth blade.
Adjustments: This saw has the widest range of miter angles with more than 60° in both directions. It also has a huge footprint to match. The top-mounted bevel lock is easy to reach and use, but the bevel scale is hard to sight straight on.
Features: A crown molding diagram on the saw is a great resource for cutting crown flat if you don't do it often. The saw is the second best at collecting dust. Pencil marks can be easily made and wiped off of each fence for repeat cuts. The workpiece clamp and long cord wrap are among the best, but I wish the laser was built in instead of arbor-mounted.
Ridgid Power Tools