Best Budget Miter Saw 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews
If you’re into woodworking, maybe a bit of construction DIY, or perhaps you’re a contractor more than a hobbyist – do you find some cuts hard to make in your boards? Do you want it to happen easier, and quicker? A miter saw is the answer. Forget cordless drills, this is the essential addition to your power tools.
Miter saws are built for purpose: they are stationary, meaning you can put it on a workbench and take your woods to it. It will easily let you achieve repetitive and accurate cuts – whether those are regular cuts, angled cuts or bevel and compound cuts.
You may wonder: how do you even make the choice of which miter saw would be worth your money?
This article will take you through the best budget miter saws for the best value of your chosen price range in no particular order, depending on your needs. First though, we will explain the types out there, followed along with a brief, helpful miter saw buying guide.
Our suggestions offer amazing build quality for the best price – read on for our picks of the best cheap miter saws: all are under $400.
Miter Saw Types
Below, we have summed up the four main types for you.
1) Basic Miter Saw
This saw doesn’t include a bevel: it doesn’t let the saw slope from horizontal to vertical. Only cross-cuts and miter cuts can be achieved.
Although basic, this saw is faster and easier to use than a manual miter saw. Most are very affordable due to their simplicity, and most are comfortable to work with and move around.
2) Compound Miter Saw
A compound miter saw lets you adjust the height of the saw as you’re cutting. This is as the saws have blades that can pivot left and right for angled cuts, or tilt a single way for bevel cuts.
These saws are so helpful for picture outlines, crown forming – anything needing calculated cuts in two planes, as you can control the saw on both sides to quickly yield a compound slice.
3) Double Compound Miter Saw
These work like 2), however, those tilt in just a single bearing. Double compound saws can tilt both left and right, saving you time when making slopes at any edge.
4) Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Is it worth getting a sliding system miter saw? Sliding compound miter saws let you do all that 3) allowed, with equal flexibility. The main difference is the extra sliding component, like a spiral arm part, which allows you to adjust your sharp edges in both directions. The real benefit is the longer length cuts you can achieve.
1. Metabo HPT C10FSHCT 10-Inch Sliding Miter Saw
The first budget miter saw product on our list is the Metabo HPT 10-Inch Sliding Saw with dual bevel and laser marker (formerly known as Hitachi power tools). At around $370, it is the highest price tag we have on this list.
With a simple and compact Zero Rare Clearance Slide System, the saw head can be moved along the fixed rails smoothly. LED lights add visibility if your workspace is low light, whilst extension supports to the base increase stability.
The upfront bevel lock makes adjusting your bevel angles super quick and easy, whether that’s 0-48 degrees left or right. You won’t need to reach round the back due to the user friendly, ergonomic feel. Cutting accuracy is no problem for this miter saw due to the tool-less laser marker.
The price includes a dust bag and vise assembly, along with a 13mm box wrench. There’s a lot of flexibility with miter cuts – up to 60 degree miter angles can be achieved.
This powerful sliding compound miter saw operates at 4600 RPM, powered by a 15 amp motor, making it great for tough cutting jobs. This is a cord miter saw, so connect it to an outlet and you’ll be good to go. Included is the 10 inch 40T TCT saw blade.
2. Genesis GMS1015LC 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
Next, this miter saw is cheap and cheerful, with only a few compromises making it one of the best, at just over $100. The Genesis HMS1015LC compound mitre saw comes with a 9 positive miter stops and a laser cutting guide, which is integrated so you get quicker alignment and better accuracy.
For your safety beyond a blade guard, this mitre saw product also comes with an electric brake, and an Arbor lock for quick blade changes. There’s some more treats though: the saw features a dust bag, two extension wings, a blade wrench and two AAA batteries for the laser.
Miter and bevel cuts are wonderfully precise with the bevel range at up to 45 degrees left right, with the 9 position stops helpfully set up at commonly used angles. The two wings make the mitre saw smaller and easier to store or fit in your workspace, with another great feature of the twist clamp at the front of the saw, giving you the ability to access and operate it with just one hand.
This 10 inch compound miter saw may be slightly more basic its construction, however this makes it simpler to use. High quality materials in its construction increase durability and accuracy. Weighing 45 lbs – this saw is portable and lightweight, and works at a speed of 4600 RPM. The 10 inch blade is a 60T carbide blade, powered by AC with a 15 amp motor. Batteries are needed for the red laser beam, however, don’t worry: these are included.
3. DeWalt DWS715 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw
This suggestion features one of the bigger blade sizes on budget mitre saws, at a middle of our range price. The third great saw we recommend is the DeWalt DWS715 12-inch compound miter saw, that allows you to make single bevel compound miter cuts.
A very reasonable number of 14 positive stops are marked on the stainless steel miter detent plate, which is adjustable to your needs, helping to enhance your productivity and cutting accuracy. Bevels to the left are up to 48 degrees, and to the right up to 3, with positive stops at 0, 45 and 33.9 degrees for flat laying crown molding cuts, with 4 hardened steel bevel stops at 0 , 34, 45 and 48 degrees.
You have the option not to use these either with the miter detent override, to overcome the miter stops and reach your desired adjustment without the saw automatically slipping into the detents. Your purchase also includes a dust bag, blade adjuster, vertical clamp and side handles.
The arbor size is a good 5/8 inches, suitable for bevel cuts and supporting crown molding, with tall sliding fences that easily be slid out of your way for any bevel cuts. These can support molding up to 6.5 inches, and nesting molding up to 4.25 inches. the machined base fence simplifies keeping your perpendicular angles maintained.
As one of DeWalt’s less complex models, the DeWalt DW715 saw does not have cutting guidance or electric brakes. At only 42 lbs though – it is portable and you can take the dust bag with you too. With a thin Carbide blade, this 12 inch compound miter saw is electric powered by a 15 amp motor that reaches 4000 RPM.
4. Makita LS1040 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
This 10 inch compound miter saw from Makita would make an excellent addition to your power tool arsenal, with a dual post compound pivoting arm and large capabilities for cuts. Miter cuts can be made up to 45 degrees left and up to 52 right, with nine positive miter stops both right and left, as well as 90 degree cuts.
The bevel cuts up to a 45 degree angle, letting you make compound cuts, with a shaft lock to help you quickly change your blades. Designed with durability in mind, the machined aluminium base, dual aluminium base and dual slide rails help make this miter saw lightweight and accurate.
At only 27.3 lbs, easy portability is guaranteed. Ease of use and comfort is met through the compact size and a fluorescent light which works separate to the blade rotation, clearly brightening your work surface.
Included with the price are a vertical vise, socket wrench and triangular rule. Whilst Makita have achieved powerful performance here at around $200, this is a no bells or whistles, simple and reliable power tool that has been engineered to suit a range of trades and broad range of applications.
10 inch saw blade is a 40T micro polished, carbide tip saw blade. This is yet another saw with powerful 15 amp motor, direct drive and electric powered, with 4600 RPM. For improved performance, the direct drive motor used in this budget miter saw is one of the best – the soft start feature gives you much smoother start-ups and constant power. There are no belts to slip or replace.
5. Tacklife EMS01A 10-Inch Sliding Miter Saw
The second sliding saw to appear on this list is priced at around $200, and amazingly budget friendly for all of its features. This Tacklife saw comes with two cutting speeds (the double speeds are 4500 RPM and 3200 RPM), with a switch to let you convert between them with ease for better precision. The higher setting is great for hardwood, plastic and plywood etc; lower speed is more suited to soft and mild metal plates – lots of flexibility here!
Sliding compound system miter saws allow you to cut longer sections, and this is designed no differently, allowing you to cut boards up to 340m. Stainless steel castings make it sturdy for your daily work, whether on a job site or in your home, but there is no compromise on portability as it weighs just over 20 lbs.
Bevel cutting is simple with a range of up to 45° either direction. The laser guide included is very handy, and will accurately track the real-time position of your cuts – then letting you make precise adjustments to improve the standard of your projects.
With this budget sliding compound miter saw you also get a clamping device, two allen wrenches, side supports and a dust bag – the additional chip bag helps you maintain a clean environment as it is directly connected to the saw, to collect sawdust away from your workpiece as you cut. The 35mm dust port can be connected to your vacuum cleaner (you will need an adapter) to collect even more dust.
A smooth start “soft-boot” shape allows the saw to reach the maximum RPM in an incredible 2 seconds, avoiding unpleasant vibration or motor damage.
Unique offering of three blades included, allowing you a choice of two 10 inch 40T TCT blades for wood and plastic, and one10 inch blade that is the multifunctional 48T TCT blade for versatile use. The teeth of the blade are thoughtfully covered by a durable solid iron self-retracting saw shield, to protect you from accidents.
6. SKIL 3821-01 12-Inch Quick Mount Compound Miter Saw
Our last but by no means least miter saw product that may be best for your budget is the SKIL quick mount compound miter saw with laser, priced similarly to others at slightly over $200.
The Quick Mount design refers to just how quick and easy it is to set up your miter saw on the SKIL saw stand included. Well built, this saw is easy to assemble.
Amazing for woodwork and other fabrications, the laser guide is designed innovatively, to be used with positive stops with presets at common miter angles. This laser cutline guide will make your work more efficient. You’ll know where your blade is going and smooth bevel cuts can be achieved by the angle markings
Powerful 15 Amp motor is used, with 4500 RPM, and a 12 inch blade.
Features to Consider in Cheap Miter Saws
Cutting Capacity, Cutting Depth and Bevels
Prioritise to your experience. A professional carpenter will need more cutting capacity and probably a higher priced miter saw then someone who does not really do much DIY work. The best value saw for you depends on what you’re making: trim cuts for windows and doors, crown molding, framing lumber, furniture etc.
Regardless, you want something versatile, reliable and powerful – and to grow your skill, a compound miter saw that can work with more types of wood is needed (such as white oak, softwood, plywood, construction lumber).
Cutting versatility is achieved best on a miter saw if you choose a saw with either compound or sliding control (which all six budget saws on this list have). Compound miter saws mitre left and right to get a better miter cut. Sliding saws miter differently, as the blade is allowed to travel further from a fence so you can cut wider wood sections with one single pass, saving you time.
For contractors or those who do woodwork often, an upgrade to a sliding saw may be more suitable. If you can, try testing one out, or look at a bunch of miter saw reviews. Depending on the size of your usual work, a table extension can matter, along with a vice clamping system.
The saw best for you if you don’t invest too much into your power tools may be more basic, like a single bevel compound saw with a miter detent plate, making it easy to use. If what you want to create is more intricate, you’ll need a higher crosscut capacity with a saw that offers the ability to make miter adjustments and to adjust to a certain miter angle e.g. precision cuts are needed for metal fabrication and crown molding.
If it is a compound miter saw and not a bevel sliding saw, whether dual bevel or single bevel: then the blade width will determine the upper limit of what you can cut – most offerings are either a 10 inch or 12 inch blade size. Sliding miter saws won’t face this issue.
A blade guard will add an extra safety feature to your workshop. They’re luckily a pretty standard feature. Keep in mind though, if they are transparent then it will not get in the way of your woodworking or hinder your accuracy, but the resilience of any blade guards is also important in how well it can protect you.
Another safety tool that is probably most important to lower the risk of any injury: electric brakes. This lovely stuff can allow you to immediately stop your blade if you slip up, protecting you from serious incidents and preventing further damage. These are not always a feature on the majority of saws but will be on the best miter saws, so if you want one, make sure to check that your miter saw has it – even if you have to pay a little more for the luxury.
If a miter saw includes a laser guide or laser marker system, this will make your crosscuts that much better: lasers let you make precision cuts with ease as it will show you exactly where any of your cuts will land before your blade even touches the wood. That will take all the guesswork out of your next woodworking projects!
Make sure your miter saw comes with helpful cleaning options or a dust collector attachment, whether those are dust bags, a dust chute or dust collection ports. A few of the best budget suggestions here included them – however these will differ in size, affecting how easy you make cleaning up after woodworking.
Which is the best budget miter saw for home use?
For those just getting their bearings on their DIY task, or homeowners building lovely birdhouses in the garden out of lumber, we think the SKIL 3821-01 12-Inch Quick Mount Compound Miter Saw is easy to use as one of few budget miter saws to include a miter saw stand, making it easy to set up in your garage even if space is tight.
The laser guide will leave an impression on the finishing of your cuts, letting you reap more than the benefits of convenience – we think it’s one of the best budget miter saws available for the price point.
What is the best miter saw for the money?
Our pick for the best budget miter saw is the Tacklife EMS01A Sliding 10-Inch Miter Saw. This is undoubtedly one of the best budget saws with the best value, that anyone will see deserves praise. With so much choice in what you can use it on whether you’re a homeowner or a pro, the two speeds, miter detents and three blades: this sliding compound miter saw comes for an amazing price.
Types of Miter Saw and Key Benefits
Basic Miter Saw
This saw doesn’t include a bevel i.e.the ability of the saw to slop from horizontal to vertical. Only cross-cuts and miter cuts can be done with this saw.
Benefits: This saw is faster and easier to use when compared to the manual miter saw. It comes at a very affordable price as it is a basic machine. These are very comfortable to work with and light in weight.
Compound Miter Saw
Compound miter saws consist of blades that pivot left and right for angled cuts and tilt in only one direction for bevel cuts. Controlling the saw on both of its tomahawks on the double yields a compound miter cut.
Benefits: Compound miter saws are helpful for picture outlines, crown forming or any venture that requires calculated cuts in two planes. They offer the benefit of influencing compound slices in one to pass.
Double Compound Miter Saw
Double Compound Miter Saws work like compound miter saws, however, while compound miter saws tilt in just a single bearing, double compound miter saws can tilt both left and right. They can rapidly make slopes at any edge.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Sliding Compound Miter Saws have all the flexibility of compound miter saws and a sliding component, like a spiral arm saw, enabling you to advance the sharp edge and in reverse. The real preferred standpoint of the sliding element is the expanded length of cut it gives.