Compact Sliding Mitersaws
These compact sliders may be small in stature, but they’re big in performance.
Acompact sliding mitersaw might just be the perfect crosscutter for a workshop. Weighing less than 45 pounds, these small-bladed saws accurately crosscut wider workpieces than many of their biggerbladed non-slider brethren. (Even the “smallest” saw we tested can crosscut a workpiece up to 8" wide and 27⁄8" thick.) Thanks to smaller, thinner blades, the vast majority of these saws run on the same 18and 20-volt lithium-ion battery packs as your cordless drills. And a couple still have cords. So let’s cut to the chase.
No cord? No problem
To test each saw’s power capabilities, we crosscut 2-by pine and 8/4 ash. All but three saws ate through these cuts with gusto. The Metabo HPT C8FSHE(S)—one of two corded saws—and the Craftsman CMCS714M1 and Worx WX845L bogged down a bit in both species, but never stalled.
Cut all day on one charge
The most pressing question about a batterypowered mitersaw is “How long will it cut on a charge?” To find out, we crosscut pine 2×4s until each battery died. As you can see in the chart, below, one saw far outperformed the group in terms of raw runtime. The Makita XSL02Z uses two 18-volt battery packs (not included; we chose 5.0 amp-hour [Ah] packs for our test) to lead the test group with 554 cuts. The Bosch GCM18V-08N14, with an 8.0Ah pack, and the Milwaukee 2733-21, with a 5.0Ah pack, made 350 and 327 cuts each, respectively, to lead the single-pack saws.
So, how do we make sense of these numbers? As shipped, the Bosch saw made the most cuts on a single charge; but the Milwaukee was actually the most efficient, yielding about 65 cuts per amp-hour, compared to Bosch’s 44. If you already have Makita batteries on hand, you may go days or weeks before needing to recharge; if you don’t own them, you’ll need to bite the bullet and buy batteries and a charger, which added $240 to our bill.
To warn of impending battery exhaustion, the LED task lights on the Craftsman, DeWalt DCS361M1, and Worx saws flash; Makita indicates a low-battery condition by flashing the battery’s charge-level gauge. The Bosch and Milwaukee saws provide no warning before stopping. The battery packs require 30–90 minutes to recharge fully, but a partial charge of 15 minutes helps you finish a job.
Learn the basics of using a mitersaw. woodmagazine.com/ mitersawbasicsvid