7 Best 12-Inch Miter Saw to Buy in 2020

Suppose you are involved in the production of a picture or door frames, window casings, and similar structures, whether professionally or as a hobby. In that case, your toolkit needs to include a miter saw. Those dealing with larger objects usually choose the big 12-inch variety. However, choosing the best 12 inch miter saw can be a pain since there are dozens of seemingly similar goods.

I’ve prepared a series of 12 inch miter saw reviews to help you navigate the confusing market. Jump to DEWALT’s DWS779 if you’re short of time, or read the buyer’s guide to make an informed decision.

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DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw,...
Great Value
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Premium Choice
Makita LS1219L 12" Dual-Bevel Sliding...
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DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw,...
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DEWALT Miter Saw, 12-Inch, Double Bevel,...
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7 Best 12 inch Miter Saws Reviewed

  1. DEWALT DWS779 12-Inch Miter Saw – Top Pick
  2. DEWALT DWS716XPS Miter Saw – Great Value
  3. Makita LS1219L 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw – Premium Choice
  4. TACKLIFE PMS03A 12 Inch Dual Bevel Miter Saw
  5. SKILSAW SPT88-01 12″ Sliding Miter Saw
  6. Bosch GCM12SD
  7. Delta S26-263L

I have picked seven excellent miter saw models to get in 2020, depending on your purpose and budget, which are reviewed below. While all of the saws below stand out in a good way, it’s best to choose one based on your priorities and situation.

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1. DEWALT DWS779: The Best 12″ Miter Saw Overall (Top Pick)

This slider compound miter saw comes with a powerful 15 Amp motor. This produces up to 3,800 RPM, which is adjustable and allows you to quickly cut through soft and hardwood, metal, and plastic alike.
One of its key advantages is impressive cutting capacity, giving you 2×16 dimensional woods at 90-degrees and 2×12 at 45-degrees.

The model boasts a built-in cutline blade positioning system. This enables accurate cuts even though the saw doesn’t include a LED guide. The saw also has double horizontal rails made of steel with linear ball bearings to promote precision.

This is a corded 120V 60Hz AC model that uses a traditional power outlet. At 56 lbs and measuring 17 inches H x 24.75 inches L, the tool is fairly heavy.

DWS779 comes with a pre-installed 32T blade, a wrench, a material clamp, and a dust bag. The latter will collect up to 75 % of the dust you generate, which is neat. The tool is generally well-built with no sign of flimsiness. A 3 years’ warranty is offered to cover factory defects and faulty components.

Positives:
  • quick and smooth;
  • high cutting capacity and double bevel option;
  • easy to achieve high cutting precision even for novices;
  • rugged construction;
  • tidy dust collection.
Could be better:
  • not perfectly portable;
  • no LED guide included.
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2. DEWALT DWS716XPS: Also One of Top-Rated 12 Inch Miter Saws (Great Value)

Another excellent miter saw by DEWALT, DWS716XPS has a lot in common with my absolute favorite. It comes with a similar 15 Amp motor, giving you a rotation speed of up to 3,800 RPM.

The main way in which this model differs from the top pick is its cutting capacity of 2×8 inch and 2×6 inch dimensional lumber at 90-degrees and 45-degrees, respectively.

DWS716XPS excels in accuracy due to a miter detent plate that offers you 14 positive spots. An integrated XPS cut line positioning system with a LED guide included shows you the cut line with no need for adjustment, making the tool extremely easy to use. Bevel cutting is also facilitated by tall sliding fences that support up to 6-5/8-inch nested crown molding and a base molding of up to 6-1/2-inch vertically. Right and left bevels are supported at 0 to 48-degrees.

This is a corded 49 lbs model that’s also smaller than the leader, offering optimized portability due to a built-in carry handle. The tool comes with a carbide-tipped blade, a wrench, a dust bag, and a quick clamp.

Positives:
  • quick operation;
  • accurate;
  • good cutting capacity;
  • lightweight yet rugged;
  • easy to use.
Could be better:
  • lower cutting capacity than the top pick.
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3. Makita LS1219L: The Best 12 Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw for Professionals (Premium Choice)

This premium double-bevel sliding compound miter saw is powered by a 15 Amp motor delivering 3,200 RPM, which is sufficient to ensure good cutting speed in most settings, with electronic speed control. It also features a soft-start technology.

Designed with an increased vertical cutting capacity of baseboard (6-3/4) and crown molding (8 nested) in mind, it also makes 15 inch crosscuts at an angle of 90-degrees. Left and right 0 to 60-degree miters are available, with stops at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, 45°, and 60°. Left and right 0 to 48-degree bevels are a breeze to make due to an easy-to-reach front bevel lock.

The linear ball bearing system used in this tool delivers highly accurate cuts, paired with a large-sized base for workpiece stability. A laser guide is included.

Apart from outstanding performance, this miter saw a number of design improvements, such as a reduced footprint for a flush operation against the wall. Its key disadvantage is a weight of as much as 65 lbs, measuring 35-1/4 x 26-1/8 x 28-1/2 inches. This is a big, corded tool that you don’t want to carry around a lot.

The kit includes a triangular rule, a hex wrench, a vertical vise, a 12″ x 1″ 60T micro-polished miter saw blade, and a dust bag. A one-year limited warranty applies.

Positives:
  • great cutting capacity;
  • excellent miter and bevel options;
  • reduced footprint;
  • electric brake;
  • soft-start motor.
Could be better:
  • pricey;
  • bulky.
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4. TACKLIFE PMS03A: A Robust 12 Inch Dual Bevel Miter Saw on a Budget

Powered by a 15 Amp 3,800 RPM motor, this budget-friendly miter saw supports 90 X 90-degrees with a capacity of 105 x 335 mm as well as 45-degree cuts of 60 x 335 mm (left) and 35 mm x 335 mm (right). 45-degree bevels are supported both left and right. It is relatively quick even when applied to tough wood.

A laser beam guide is included for improved precision. Unfortunately, it tends to disappear in brightly lit settings. Positive stops facilitate the selection of right angle, especially for someone new to the task.

It is a corded model of medium portability at 46 lbs, measuring 28.9 x 13.7 x 17.3 inches. The set includes a 40 tooth TCT blade, 1 carbon brush, 2 extension rods for a bigger, more convenient working area, Allen wrenches, a dust Bag, and a clamp so that you don’t have to hold the workpiece.

Positives:
  • affordable;
  • decent cutting capacity;
  • good (adjustable) speed;
  • laser included;
  • large working surface.
Could be better:
  • laser beam can get lost when lighting is bright;
  • flimsy plastic details like the blocking lever.
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5. SKILSAW SPT88-01: The Best 12 Inch Miter Saw for Speedy Cutting

With a standard 15 Amp motor, this saw delivers a speed of as many as 4,000 RPM. There’s a worm drive gearing included that adds to the torque, too. With a 4 x 14 cross cut capacity and dual 0 ̊ and 45 ̊ bevel option with pre-determined stops, it is a really versatile tool. However, it might require calibration when out of the box — mine arrived a bit off the bevel.

There’s a built-in LED Shadow Light that provides great cutting accuracy. It also offers a perfectly smooth operation, which is rare in belt-driven models.

Measuring 31.25 x 19 x 20 inches, this corded model is 51 lbs. Dust collection is average and needs a vacuum if you want to keep the place tidy.

The set includes a 60 tooth carbide blade; a dust bag; 2 crown stops; a dust elbow; a clamp; an Allen wrench; and a miter lock knob. A year’s limited warranty applies.

Positives:
  • great cutting capacity;
  • accurate LED guide;
  • extremely quick;
  • cool motor operation;
  • smooth.
Could be better:
  • might need calibration;
  • not the best dust collection.
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6. Bosch GCM12SD: A High-Capacity 12″ Sliding Miter Saw

The 150 Amp motor in this saw delivers a 3,800 RPM spin for efficient cutting with a capacity of 14” horizontally, 6.5” vertically, 48-degree right and left bevels, and a miter angle of 60-degree to the right and 52-degree left.

While delivering an accurate cut as such, this model doesn’t include a laser, which is frustrating given the price. Adjustment is easy.

The 65 lbs unit is corded and not exactly portable. However, the axial glide system saves you a lot of workspace in operation. This model also stands out due to 90 % dust collection.

Overall, this a saw built to last. It comes with a 60T blade, dust bag, and 1 material clamp. Bosh offers a year of limited warranty.

Positives:
  • excellent dust collection;
  • saves space;
  • great cutting capacity;
  • well-built.
Could be better:
  • heavy;
  • no laser.
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7. Delta S26-263L: 12 Sliding Compound Miter Saw at an Affordable Price

Another quick model, this affordable Delta has a 15 Amp motor offering 5,500 RPM. This gives you a smooth, versatile operation with little to no vibration and a cross-cut capacity of 12”. It is not a dual bevel model and only offers 0 to 45-degrees left.

The saw is very accurate due to the laser included. Table extensions are included for increased comfort when working on larger pieces.

This is a 27.75 x 27.75 x 14.5-inch model that only weighs 27 lbs, making it the best choice if you plan to carry your tool around a lot.

While some parts look flimsier than they should, the warranty is as long as 3 years to make up for it. The unit includes a dust bag, which doesn’t do a lot in terms of catching sawdust, and a clamp.

Positives:
Could be better:
  • left bevel only;
  • not the best-built saw.
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12 inch Miter Saw Buyer’s Guide

DEWALT 12-Inch DWS716XPS

In this section, I explain the parameters that determine the usability and performance of a miter saw.

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Why Bother Buying a 12 Inch Miter Saw?

The miter saw is a specialized saw variety used to make angled cuts. This is achieved with a swing arm on which the blade is mounted. It can pivot left or right, resulting in immaculate cuts at a varying angle. Common uses include making crown molding or door frames and certain pieces of furniture.

Miter saws come in different blade sizes. 12” miter saws get a lot of cutting power and make long cuts, making them ideal for applications such as deck building. However, you can also use a 12 inch miter saw when making crown moldings and/or furniture.

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What to Look for in a 12 Inch Miter Saw?

There’s quite many parameters to consider when doing a 12″ miter saw comparison, but the critical ones are as follows.

Durability

You cannot attach too much importance to durability if you’re going to use your miter saw often. Most companies only offer limited warranties of 12 months. This means you need to choose a well-made device with as few flimsy-looking plastic parts as possible. It’s also key that the motor should stay cool during operation since major overheating will reduce its life.

RPM

RPM stands for revolutions per minute and translates into how quickly the saw cuts. The higher the number, the more versatile it is beyond wood. If you’re unlikely to work with anything harder than wood, though, 3,000+ is sufficient.

Safety Features

Look for models with an electric brake that will stop your saw anytime when in operation. Large and easy-to-use trigger power buttons under the handle are another common safety feature.

DEWALT DWS779

Those new to the trade should look for designs that enable quick and safe blade replacement. Finally, a blade guard is a must to prevent cuts in operation as well as when idle.

Bevel

Bevel capacity differs from model to model. Which to choose depends on your needs, but as a rule, dual bevel options with a wide degree range are pricier than left-only limited ones.

Dust Collection

Cutting miters is a process that tends to get messy unless your miter saw has a nice dust collection mechanism. Some manufacturers use the percentage of dust that the system traps as an indication of dust collection effectiveness, 75% being decent, and 90% plain amazing. Optionally, you can use an industrial vacuum cleaner to collect the dust via an adapter.

Working Area

Makita LS1219L 12-inch

Some models come with extensions to accommodate larger workpieces, which is a welcome feature as it adds to use comfort as well as cutting accuracy.

Precision Features

Precision guides generally fall into two categories, laser and LED. Both are very helpful for crisp cuts. However, laser beams tend to become hardly visible in brightly lit settings and are thus suboptimal for outdoor use.

Bevel stops and depth stops are factory-made marks that also add to cutting accuracy.

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Sliding VS Non-Sliding Miter Saw

Sliding miter saws have the added feature of a set of sliding rails that can be used to extend the maximum cut length you can achieve. This is not to be confused with a compound miter saw, which refers to the ability to make bevel cuts easily by rotating the blade to the side. Choose a sliding miter saw if you work with large workpieces.

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12-inch Miter Saw FAQ

Makita LS1219L 12-inch

Here are the answers to some common questions concerning 12” miter saws.

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How thick of a piece of wood can I cut with a 12-inch miter saw?

As a rule of thumb, a miter saw with a 12” blade can cut through no more than 7 ½ inches. This is the width you need to make two-by-eights. You can also get a 4×4 or 4×6 piece done in a single pass.

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How to adjust the laser on a 12-inch miter saw?

In most models, the laser line should stay just to the left of the cut. You need to make a shallow cut in a board, then fix the board with a clamp, so it doesn’t move and align the beam with that cut according to the manual if it’s off.

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Which is better — a 10 inch or 12-inch miter saw?

10” miter saws are more versatile, and the blade is cheaper to maintain. Smaller blade miter saws also use less electricity. However, bigger blades work better for bigger workpieces. They also typically provide cleaner, crisper cuts.

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Summing It Up

DEWALT 12-Inch DWS779

What twelve-inch miter saw to choose largely depends on your purpose and priorities. Professionals who need extended functionality might want to invest in pricey pro-grade devices, while DIY enthusiasts will be just fine with more limited models.

I recommend DEWALT’s DWS779 as an easy-to-use and versatile model. The tool combines reliability with a wide range of operation modes, making it suitable for use in nearly any setting at a reasonable price.

Since miter saw applications vary greatly, I’d like to gather some statistics. Please leave a comment telling me why you need this tool. What is it that you are going to make? Post below, and don’t forget to share the experience you already have (if any)!

Sean Chapman

My ultimate goal is to provide insights that will help you effectively determine whether this or that tool or product suits your needs/budget or not. I test out home improvement tools at work on a daily basis and enjoy sharing my knowledge with D.I.Y-ers who have similar questions to the ones I used to have. I realize how important choosing the right tools is, that’s why my approach to every review I publish is very responsible.

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