A sliding compound miter saw is a specialized tool that allows you to make cuts at a variety of angles. It has a blade mounted on a swing arm that pivots left and right in order to produce angled cuts.
The major advantage of a sliding compound miter saw is that it lets you move the blade forward and backward. This results in providing an increased length of cuts as compared to a compound or dual compound miter saws, making the sliding compound very useful in cutting thick material of up to 16 inches of width, like lumber, boards and even logs.
Choosing among different sliding compound miter saws for one that satisfies all your requirements is a major task. Following is a detailed sliding compound miter saw comparison: Dewalt vs. Hitachi vs. Makita vs. Festool vs. Craftsman.
1. Dewalt DWS779
- Its 12-inch saw blade miters 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left.
- It has an exclusive back-fence design that allows you to make angled cuts in up to 2 x 16-dimensional lumber at 90 degrees and in 2 x 12 dimensions at 45 degrees.
- It weighs 67 lbs.
Its dual horizontal steel rails, clamps, and linear ball bearings make it quite compact and durable. Furthermore, it includes carbide blade, blade wrench, and a user guide. It comes with a 3-year warranty, which is a big promise.
It is rated 4.7 out of 5. Generally, customers are satisfied with the price and the easy adjustment of the slider it provides due to its integrated blade positioning system. However, it lacks the laser feature. Also, the customers have expressed concerns over the clamp, which just flops around when not in use.
2. Hitachi C12RSH2
- It features a taller sliding fence of up to 5-1/8” that allows cutting much larger material, even vertically up to 7-1/2”. Also, it does not come in the way while making bevel cuts.
- It pivots 0-57 degrees of miter angle to the right and 0-45 degrees to the left.
- The bevel angle ranges from 0-45 degrees to the right and left.
- It includes an amazing feature of a laser marker that guarantees precise-angled cuts. This feature makes it quite unique.
It is a sliding dual compound miter saw that has a compact slide system due to which zero rear clearance is required. It helps reduce the space it takes for working by at least a foot, as compared to other sliding compound miter saws.
Customers have rated it 4.2 out of 5. Some are unhappy with the inferior smoothness the blade provides. Despite having the dual bevel and laser feature, there are better options present in the market.
3. Makita LS1018
- It miters 0-60 degrees to the right and 0-47 degrees to the left, with positive stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6 and 45 degrees, both left and right.
- It has the ability to cut up to 12” at 0 degrees and up to 8-1/2” at 45 degrees.
- It comes with an electric brake system to ensure maximum productivity and safety.
It has the capacity to cut 4×4 dimensional lumber in one pass. The powerful 13-amp motor delivers 3,800 rpm. It has a compact body and weighs only 43.7 lbs. It further includes a dust bag, triangular rule and extension wings for extra convenience.
Despite all these features, it is rated 3.8 out of 5. Customers have complained about the dust bag which is of no use while working outdoors. The replacement parts for this model are no longer produced by Makita, which means the tool becomes useless once any part fails to work.
Also, customers have wished for the laser system, as present in Hitachi, that could deliver precision and accuracy for angle and bevel cuts.
4. Festool 561287
- It has a fine adjustment knob which sets the bevel angles in fractions of degrees according to the requirement.
- The bevel knob can set the positive detents at 0 and -45 degrees, allows free movement between -45 and +45 degrees, as well as free movement up to +47 to -47 degrees.
- Its blade allows 6-5/8-inch crown molding cut and a vertical cut up to 4-3/4” by 3/4”.
It comes with an angle transfer device which automatically sets the bevel angle without having to move the material. The dual laser feature helps with the accurate cuts.
Moreover, its versatile thin-kerf blade is designed to reduce the noise and stress on the motor. Its rail-forward design provides added convenience. Also, its variable speed control motor is an extra feature which provides constant speed even under load.
Despite the fact that it comes with an integrated dust hood and is backed by a 3-year limited warranty with a 30-day money-back guarantee, it is rated 4 out of 5. Customers are satisfied with the dual lasers, slide-forward design, and the added angle finder device, but some of them have expressed concerns over the price being considerably higher than other sliding miter saws.
5. Craftsman 21237
- It miters 0-50 degrees on both left and right, and bevels 0-45 degrees to the left only.
- The crosscut capacity at 90 degrees is 20”.
- The miter adjustments include positive stop detents at 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6 and 45 degrees, both left and right.
It can easily cut an 8” board mitered at 45 degrees. The maximum thickness that can be cut with bevel positioned 45 degrees is 1-5/8”. Its only lacking feature as compared to the others is the single bevel action to the left only. However, it falls into the lower price range than that of other sliding compound miter saws.
Considering the price range, the easy-carry handle, the compact body, its lightweight, impressive cutting capabilities and the laser guide, it is rated 4.1 out of 5.
This makes it better than the dual sliding compound miter saws that have ratings from 3.8 to 4.
Dewalt vs. Hitachi vs. Makita vs. Festool vs. Craftsman, which is the best sliding compound miter saw? If you’re a starter, the Hitachi C12RSH2 is good to go with. If you’re a professional, the Dewalt DWS779 can work best for you.