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.

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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.

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