SHOP TESTED 10" Sliding Compound Mitersaws
A 10" slider makes an ideal mitersaw for woodworking because of its wide crosscut, miter and bevel capacities, and portability for work in the house or outdoors.
Whether cutting trim boards, picture frames, crown molding, or just wide hardwood boards, a 10" sliding compound mitersaw can do it all. With crosscut capacities nearing 13", these saws have made radial-arm saws all but obsolete.
But with so many sliders on the market, how do you know which to buy? To find out, we tested 11 models head-to-head, including three powered by lithium-ion batteries. Here’s how they fared.
Five key qualities of a good sliding mitersaw
1. Power. All the saws we tested have sufficient power to cut through even the hardest wood, but some do it faster and with less bogging. The Bosch CM10GD, Delta Cruzer 26-2240, and Hitachi C10FSHPS showed the most muscle. Two cordless saws—Makita XSL06PT (powered by two 18-volt packs) and Milwaukee 2734-21HD (one 18-volt pack)—surprised us with their power output, besting or equaling a few corded machines.
2. Accuracy. If you’re framing a house, “close enough” is okay. But for precision woodworking, cutting angles must be spot-on. Eight of the 11 saws (see the chart on page 50) proved capable of making cuts so precise we could build picture frames with eight miters—where even a 1∕10° inaccuracy can mean visible miter gaps.
We give extra credit to those saws that have lots of accurate miter detents and bevel stops, and miter scales that can be recalibrated should they lose their accuracy: Bosch, Delta, DeWalt DW717 (shown below), Makita LS1019L, Makita XSL06PT, Milwaukee, and Ridgid R4210. And all but two saws (Craftsman 21237 and Hitachi) have detent overrides, allowing you to lock in an angle just slightly off a detent.
The bevel-tilt stops, though fewer, prove accurate and easy to calibrate on all but the Craftsman, Hitachi, and Ryobi saws. We found the scales on the Bosch, Delta, Makita, Milwaukee, and Ridgid saws easiest to read when setting a non-stop angle. Four saws (Bosch, Delta, and both Makitas) feature easily accessible bevel locks located on the front of the machine (shown next page), but only the Bosch has all bevel controls up front, eliminating the need to reach behind the saw.
Eight of the 11 saws have a cutline indicator to show where the blade will cut. The Makita saws have the best laser indicators because they’re accurate and easy to see and adjust. But we like the LEDs on the Milwaukee (shown below) and Ridgid saws even better. (DeWalt has an optional LED accessory.)
3. Smooth operation. A good sliding mitersaw must slide forward and backward, pivot, and tilt smoothly, lock solidly, and plunge without excessive resistance from its built-in spring. The Bosch and Delta saws stand out here with their articulated-arm mechanisms that glide without the slightest hiccup. The other saws slide on dual rails, located either behind, beneath, or beside the motor/blade. Of these, the Makita saws operated smoothest.
4. Workpiece support. Because mitersaws have such small tables for workpieces to rest on, it’s important to make the most of that space. That’s why we like the textured tables and fences of the Bosch, Delta, DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, and Ridgid saws that provide a better grip than smooth ones. And credit to both Makita machines for having the largest table surface.
Most of the saws have tall fences (at least 3"), crucial for cutting a workpiece oriented other than lying flat on the table, such as cutting crown molding nested against the fence (shown top right). All but the Craftsman, Hitachi, and both Ryobis have tall fences on both sides of the blade. The top portions of all the fences slide sideways to provide clearance when tilting the blade to 45°, except the single-bevel Craftsman and Ryobi TSS102L, where only the left fence slides to the side.
5. Portability. Eventually, you’ll want to take your slider to a location other than your shop to set up and work. The Craftsman and Ryobi saws weigh less than 40 pounds each, making them easy to carry. The testheaviest Bosch weighs 64 pounds, and its many features make it cumbersome to lug around. Props to the cordless saws that work anywhere without having to string an extension cord.
Calibrate DeWalt’s miter scale by loosening the screws and sliding the scale sideways to align the detent stops with the blade at those precise angles.
Better than a laser to indicate the cutline, LEDs on the Milwaukee (shown here) and Ridgid saws create a shadow equal to the thickness of the blade—a can’t-miss guide.
Front-mounted bevel locks, shown here on the Delta Cruzer, make it easy to tilt the saw without having to reach behind it. (You still have to reach for the bypass lever to set an angle beyond the built-in stops.)
We like Bosch’s chop/crown stop best among the test group. This feature locks the saw in position slightly forward of the “normal” back position. This helps to cut wide crown molding held in the nested position.
An adjustable depth stop lets you cut dadoes or tenons on workpieces by limiting the plunge of the blade. These stops flip or slide out of the way when not in use.