Finding a good 12 inch miter saw, be it a sliding, compound, or sliding compound miter saw, can be a challenging task. You’ll find that most of the options that are available are rather lackluster and have serious glaring issues. With that said, trying to specifically find the best 12-inch miter saw is even harder. Don’t be tempted by the wealth of options that exist on the market, because most 12-inch miter saws aren’t that great.
There’s a saying about how only a bad workman blames his tools. However, we believe that the only people who blindly believe in this haven’t worked with bad tools, to begin with. You see, bad tools won’t make you completely unable to do a job. Instead, you’ll find that they’ll make your job much more tedious and arduous than it has to be.
That’s why no matter which machine you’re trying to get, you need to make sure that you’re getting the best of the best. That even applies to accessories, of course, like your miter saw blades, track saw, or chainsaw bar.
With that said, we’ve tried to compile a list of the five best 12-inch miter saws on the market. And now, without further ado, let us start this list.
In a hurry? Here’s our top pick!
The Best Miter Saws – Our Picks
- Powerful 15.0 AMP direct drive motor requires less maintenance and delivers 3,200 RPM
- Large cutting capacity for up to 8"" crown molding (nested), 6-1/2"" baseboard (vertical), and 15"" crosscut at 90°
- Compact design with a patented 4-Steel Rail Sliding System further increases rigidity to produce superior cuts
- Independent laser indicates line-of-cut whether blade is turning or not, with on/off switch and micro-adjustments for precise ""left-of-blade"" or ""right-of-blade"" cutting
- Exclusive 6 linear ball bearings engineered to deliver smooth, solid, and adjustment-free ""dead-on"" accurate cuts
When it comes to the best of the best, the prize has to go to the Makita LS1216L 12-inch miter saw. This 12-inch miter saw will ensure that your cutting jobs are smooth and very precise with as little headache as possible.
What makes this 12-inch miter saw so great is the fact that it has an impressive cutting capacity of upwards of 15 inches wide. On top of that, it is equipped with the six linear balls bearing and 4-Steel Rail Sliding System, which makes it extremely precise and effective.
However, the list of great things about this 12-inch miter saw does not stop there. The Makita LS1216L comes with an ergonomic grip and a horizontal, rubberized D-handle along with a large trigger switch, both of which dramatically improve the handling of the saw and implicitly make for better results by ensuring a more fluid workflow.
And last but not least, this 12-inch miter saw is powered by a 15-amp direct drive motor which is a pretty reliable engine, especially when you compare it to the other 12-inch miter saws that are available on the market. Additionally, Electronic Speed Control will allow you to keep consistent speeds when you’re cutting through most materials.
What we like about it
There’s plenty to like about this great saw. For one, it’s very user-friendly since it’s rather ergonomic and easy to maintain thanks to its rubberized handle and 15-amp motor. Additionally, this 12-inch saw is also extremely efficient and will allow for a smooth workflow with equally smooth results thanks to its high cutting precision.
#2 – DEWALT DWS780
- New precise miter system
- Handle design for added portability
- Integrated XPS cross cut positioning system provides adjustment-free cut line indication
- Powerful 15 amp, 3800 rpm motor delivers extended power and durability
- Exclusive back fence design cuts up to 2X14 dimensional lumber at 90-degrees, 2 by 12 at 45 degrees
Not unlike the first 12-inch miter saw on this list, the DEWALT DWS780 is an exquisite 12-miter saw that comes close to being the best. However, it misses the mark by just a bit because it lacks some features that should otherwise be present in any good miter saw. But before we get into the negatives, let us discuss the positives.
You see, the DEWALT DWS780 is a precise saw with a powerful cutting system. Mix this with adjustable plates, a powerful motor, and high speed, and you’ve got yourself an impressive tool to work with.
Now, when it comes to the negative, as we mentioned before, this 12-inch miter saw oddly lacks some necessary features such as a stand which is supposed to hold the miter saw and keep it balanced. The lack of this feature is puzzling as the DEWALT DWS780 needs it if it wants to be the best. Another caveat we have with this saw is that it can be a bit finicky and hard to work with.
With that said, this 12-inch miter saw is still a great one nonetheless. You’ll find that it is especially great at high capacity cutting. On top of that, you’ll find that this saw is an extremely durable one thanks to its sturdy design. If you’re looking for a 12-inch miter saw for high capacity cutting, then this saw will certainly meet your needs.
What we like about it
One of the greatest things about this 12-inch miter saw is its reliability and sturdiness, which allow it to resist intense stress. Additionally, it’s exceptionally great at high capacity cutting, which is further aided by its high-quality motor and the fact that it’s made from resilient stainless steel.
- Includes: a carbide blade, dust bag, blade wrench and comfortable side handles in the base
- Miter detent override that allows you to override the miter stops and adjust to the desired setting without the saw slipping into the miter detents
- Adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate with 11 positive stops
- Tall sliding fences that support crown moulding up to 5-1/4-Inch. nested and base moulding up to 6-1/2-Inch vertically against the fence while easily sliding out of the way for bevel cuts
- Crosscut capacity up to 2x8-Inch dimensional lumber
If you’re running a tight budget and are looking for something decent, then look no further than the DEWALT DW715. This 12-inch miter saw offer the best value for money spent on this list. It offers an impressive array of features otherwise found on more expensive chainsaws, which is great.
For starters, this 12-inch miter saw offers a crosscut capacity of up to 2×8-inch lumber. Additionally, it is equipped with a 15-amp motor, which makes it extremely durable. You’ll be able to use this saw for extended amounts of time without having to worry about taking a break which is rather neat. Add in an ergonomic carry handle which lets you carry around the saw with you wherever you need it with no headache, and you’ve got yourself a great product for a low price.
With that said, this 12-inch miter saw is not meant to be used on complex projects. While you can get away with using it on a couple of significant projects, it is mainly designed to be used on small, simple jobs and tasks. Another thing to keep in mind is that this is not an easy 12-inch miter saw to use for first time users as the setup process might be a bit tricky.
Simply put, the DEWALT DW715 is a great 12-inch miter saw with the best value on this list. With that said, the low price on offer comes at the cost of some quality-of-life features and other functionalities. However, this doesn’t make it any less worthy of being on this list as you’ll be satisfied with the results it produces.
What we like about it
The biggest selling point for the DEWALT DW715 is probably its great value. Not only is it more affordable than most other 12-inch miter saws, but it has most of the traits and features that you’ll otherwise find on great miter saws that are more expensive such as a powerful motor and a very durable product.
- Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
- Laser marker system
- Accurately indicates where the blade will cut on the material and can be easily adjusted to the right or left of the cut mark depending upon the users preference
- Powerful 15 Amp motor with 1,950 Watts of output power
- Smoothly powers through hardwoods with ease
This 12-inch miter saw is great if you’re looking for something simple yet effective. However, it doesn’t do anything new or innovative to set itself apart from the competition. The Hitachi C12FDH is your run-of-the-mill miter saw. Sure, it delivers decent performance for a relatively low price, and also comes from a trusted manufacturer. However, you’ll find that there are more appealing options on the market.
Not unlike the miter above saw on this list, this one underperforms in complex projects, so we advise you only use it for small, simple ones instead. However, if you’re expecting it to do well in large projects, then you’re missing the whole point of this 12-inch miter saw.
You see, the Hitachi C12FDH is meant to be a simple, easy-to-use miter saw that does exactly what you’d expect from a 12-inch miter saw, and nothing else. It comes with a large base for support, as well as a 15-amp motor that allows for high-precision cutting. Additionally, the grip and handle on this saw are ergonomic and make for a comfortable workflow.
The fact that the Hitachi C12FDH does nothing to innovate dramatically hampers its ranking on this list. It’s also not an accurate miter saw when compared to the other 12-inch miter saws mentioned above. And lastly, don’t expect to get any decent customer support if you run into any issues as it leaves a lot to be desired in that department.
All in all, if you’re looking for something simple, and are not interested in any extra bells and whistles, then the Hitachi C12FDH is not a bad choice.
What we like about it
The Hitachi C12FDH is a great 12-inch miter saw for beginners as it’s easy to use and is quite user-friendly. On top of that, its powerful motor makes it a worthy option to consider.
- Powerful 15 amp motor
- Dual linear slide rails for stability and smooth, precise cuts
- Includes: dust bag, machined aluminum fence, table clamp, extension bars, cord storage hooks, laser guide, adapter
- Bevel 45° left or right
- Trigger activated laser guide system
Coming in at the last place, the Chicago Electric 12 Inch Miter Saw can’t hold a candle to the other saws on this list. This only further compounds the fact that good 12-inch miter saws and few and far between.
This 12-inch miter saw does the opposite of what the other saws mentioned here do. It’s poorly designed, has a lot of glaring issues, and lacks crucial parts for it to function in the first place. What even more strange is the fact that it is supposed to come with the latter missing parts, but for some mysterious reason, it just doesn’t — knowing that you’ll have to go out and buy spare parts. This is only beginning to touch upon the heap of other issues that this 12-inch miter saw has.
For one, it has to be among the most inaccurate miter saw that you could find on the market. To add insult to injury, it is as unreliable as it is inaccurate. Don’t expect this 12-inch miter saw to last you more than 3 or 4 uses at the very most.
To put it bluntly, we’ve only put the Chicago Electric 12 Inch Miter Saw here to give you a glimpse of what a bad miter saw will function like. Unfortunately, the market is full of similar, lackluster and sometimes, outright incomplete products like this one. We highly recommend staying away from this product as it is not worth your money even if it has a low price.
What we like about it
The only remotely good thing about this 12-inch miter saw is its cheapness.
Choosing the Best 12-inch Miter Saw – Buying Guide
When you’re out hunting for the best 12-inch miter saw for your needs, there are a couple of factors that you need to consider before making a purchase. These factors tend to be universal, meaning that no matter what your needs might be, you’ll need to take them into account to figure out whether or not you’ve found the best 12-inch miter saw. These factors are as follows:
Since the majority of miter saws are rather expensive, you’re going to need something that is built to last. The best 12-inch miter saws are usually very durable and able to withstand high amounts of stress.
Ease of Use
This is one of those factors that you can only appreciate once you’ve actually seen it done wrong. A miter saw that requires a large time investment to get the hang of is simply not worth having. The best 12-inch miter saws are usually user-friendly or at least don’t need you to waste a lot of time just to get the hang of.
This is rather self-explanatory. You’ll want a miter saw that can make precise cuts. The best 12-inch miter saws tend to be the most accurate, of course.
Since 12-inch miter saws are meant for cutting bigger pieces than your usual saws, then you’re going to need something that can deliver good results with as little headache as possible. The best 12-inch miter saws will handle most of what you throw at them admirably.
Picking the Best 12-inch Miter Saw – Frequently Asked Questions
Which Cuts Can I Make With a Miter Saw?
Miter saws are mainly used to tackle cross cuts. Although a hybrid table saw, cabinet table saw, or portable table saw can also make these cuts, it’s worth it to own both devices because there’s really no easier way to make cross cuts than with a miter saw.
How Can I Tell a Reliable Miter Saw From a Flimsy One?
When you’re looking at a miter saw, there are a couple of red flags to search for. The primary way to tell the difference between a flimsy miter saw and a reliable one is the design; what material is it made of as well as the general specs.
What Makes a Miter Saw User-Friendly?
Usually, a user-friendly miter saw will have an ergonomic grip as well as a decent support base. However, these are not 100% accurate indicators. You can also check the user reviews to see what the consumers think of the product’s usability
What’s the Difference Between Sliding and Compound Miter Saw?
Simply put, sliding miter saws feature rails that allow their blades to move forward and backward across large pieces of materials. Compound miter saws don’t have rails, which means that nothing restricts the movement of the blade in such tools; thus allowing for more depth.
We hope you found this article to be useful. Good miter saws can be rather hard to come by, but if you know what to look for, then you’ll be able to find the best 12-inch miter saw for your case in no time.
- Our own experience
Last update on 2020-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API