A miter saw is a core tool for pretty much any home remodel. A circular saw is a broad-strokes tool that can handle any rough cut you need from framing to cutting plywood. By contrast, a miter saw is much more precise, and offers the ability to precisely cut trim boards with the angles needed for a precise fit.
Even though these saws are very precise, they are also simple to use. This means that every contractor has one and every person who is looking to DIY their home rebuild find themselves in the market for one sooner rather than later. Even when you are not using it for trim work, you’ll find that it makes cutting boards to length much faster and easier.
They are also one of the safer saws. Not that you should let your guard down, but since they allow for one-handed operation and have a guard that covers the entire blade, they offer better protection than most of the other saws that require you to work with your hands closer to the blade. With a properly placed clamp, your hand never needs to be near the blade.
Professional miter saws can run into the thousands of dollars. There are a lot of bloggers like Zachary Drumm over at Tool Tally who goes over some of the best miter saws which are way more expensive.
For this list, I want to go the other way. What’s the best miter saw that you could buy for $300 or less? At that price point just about any dude could afford these saws.
I think you’ll be quite impressed with what your money can buy.
#1 Dewalt DW715
If you are a Dewalt fan, you’ll be pleased to know that your favorite company has come through for you.
With a 12-inch blade, they are trying to one-up Makita. The 12 inches allow for wider cuts, giving your more versatility, especially if you are doing a lot of crown-molding work (up to 8” crosscuts). It also makes it easier to cut through a 4×4 in one pass.
This is also a compound miter saw with angles to the left and the right. The stainless steel detent with 11 positive stops made from hardened steel allows for easy selection of the angle you need. Of course, you can pull the cam lock miter handle out to select any angle.
Like the Makita,this is a single-bevel saw. So you can bevel to left for 48-degrees, or to the right by 3-degrees. That gives you everything you need to cut any angle and even provides a little more flexibility that you might find in the Makita.
Dewalt has a lot of raving fans. Their yellow tools dot the jobsites across America. Their 90 day money back guarantee is nice, but the three-year limited warranty might make you fight for it in comparison to Makita’s fairly hassle-free 1 year warranty.
#2 Makita LS1040
Makita is commonly considered one of the best brands of power tools and is neck and neck with Dewalt for market share. Contractors and home-owners alike line up on the jobsite and argue about the two brands. Each side has their fans.
What I like about the Makita brand is the innovation that they bring. Makita is constantly at the top of the field in new technology and they try to offer features that make their tools easier to use. In this case, they have 9 positive stops making it easy to move from position to position.
This is a well-made saw with heavy gauge materials that are going to hold up to years of bumping around in the back of your pickup.
The 15 amp motor makes cutting a breeze and the 10” blade is perfectly sized for the power rating of this saw. It offers all of the features you need with a 0-45 degree angle to the left and a 0-52 degree angle to the right (you can always flip your board and use the right angle cut for everything).
For your bevel cuts, it tilts to the left and gives you up to 45 degrees of bevel cutting.
Undoubtedly designed for the home handyman or the home garage workshop, this tool is built well enough that the trim carpenter and handyman wouldn’t go wrong carrying it with them on small jobs. At only 32 pounds, this is one of the lightest miter saws in class.
You get the Makita 30-day satisfaction guarantee which is quite re-assuring and the 1 year warranty.
#3 Delta S26-263L
Delta always brings a lot of value for the money. However their brand is not as well known today as it was a couple of decades ago. They’ve done a couple of different rebrands and it has resulted in some confusion and loss of market share.
What I like about the Delta is that is a high-quality tool. They consistently offer more value than most of the other brands without skimping on quality.
This Shopmaster line saw is available with a 10-inch blade or in a 12-inch model. The 12-inch model costs a little bit more.
However, these are sliding compound miter saws. The sliding rails feature allows you to plunge the blade and then slide it forward, extending the length of the cut. This means that the 10-inch model can actually out-cut the width of most 12-inch models!
As with the other saws, this is a single-bevel saw with left bevels up to 45-degrees (just like the Makita). It is a compound saw so you can do angled cuts either to the left or to the right.
This one also comes with a laser light for aligning your cut. This handy features gives you more confidence that you can “measure twice and cut once”.
The massive downside with this saw is that it comes with a weaker blade that seems to flex some under load and leave you with a rough edge. It’s better to upgrade to a carbide-tipped blade with more teeth if you want the best cut possible.
This saw would be an excellent choice for the home garage. Personally, I’m still going with the Makita or the Dewalt. But then I mostly use mine for cutting 2×4’s in the garage and working with trim pieces whenever the wife decides that something is “out of date”.
Should You Buy A Miter Saw Or A Table Saw?
A table saw is an extremely simple device and is one of those tools that are super flexible. If you are just putting your garage together and already have a circular saw, then a table saw is the next thing to invest in.
A table saw should be able to provide bevel cuts, and with a taper guide, you can pretty much cut any angled cut that you would do with a miter saw. Sure, it’s more cumbersome, but you can get the job done.
The table saw also offers allows for cutting larger boards.
The advantage of a Miter saw is how easy it is to work with. You just adjust and cut. It is much faster. But that speed means that the saw is also less versatile. So keep that in mind.
But what are we talking about? With Miter saws this cheap, you can pretty much cut anything that you want.