The best mitre saw makes crosscuts, mitres & bevels with speed and precision. Essentially, this is a mounted circular saw used for accurately cutting across the grain at any given angle. It’s the right tool for a wide variety of jobs ranging from picture frames, mouldings through to decking and bespoke joinery.
Choosing the right mitre saw
- The basic mitre saw is one step up from a chop saw. Where a chop saw is only capable of making 90° cross-cuts (see diagram), a mitre saw will do this and can make a mitre cut (see diagram) at any given angle. A chop saw is undoubtedly a useful bit of kit but is effectively redundant once you own a mitre saw. In short, only buy a chop saw if you have very specific needs. Otherwise, opt for a mitre saw – this is a very versatile tool that’s accurate, quick and easy to use.
- A compound mitre saw does everything a standard mitre saw can do, plus it can be tilted to make bevel cuts (see diagram). This is especially useful in a number of scenarios but as an example, a bevel cut works for skirting boards while a mitre is the right join for a picture frame. A compound cut is simply a combination of the two. The need for a compound cut is rare, but both mitre & bevel cuts are very useful – whichever model you buy, make sure it can do both.
- The sliding crosscut mitre saw adds yet more flexibility. In addition to moving up & down, the saw blade also slides. This is very useful, as it means you can cut much wider boards.
Crosscut mitre saws can be expensive. They range from under £100 to around £1000. Spending big does get you great kit, but realistically for most of us, this isn’t an option. Verum considers 100s of models before shortlisting the best value options available. But what’s important here, is choosing the right model for your trade or future DIY plans.
Choosing the best mitre saw
Start with the size material you want to cut. Then think about future options. High capacity models will also cut smaller items, but this doesn’t work the other way around. Having a quality saw that’s too small for the job is very frustrating.
The counter to this is size, weight and price. Mitre saws that can accommodate larger workpieces are bigger to store, heavier to move and generally cost more. The material you cut is also an important factor although you do have flexibility here, as you can easily change the blade.
Choosing the right mitre saw blade
Starting with the basics, make sure a new blade fits in terms of external and internal diameters. There’s a huge amount of detailed information regarding blade design, but if you base your choice on the material you’re cutting and the required quality of finish you desire, you’ll get the right blade. A couple of the saws below come with a multipurpose blade capable of cutting wood, plastic, aluminium & steel. This is a great place to start.
Other important considerations include power, blade size and durability. Plus, it’s worth thinking about dust extraction, cutting table cost, accuracy, laser guides, plus a few smaller details. A cross-cut mitre saw is a serious piece of kit. Once you own one, you wouldn’t dream of being without it! Speed & accuracy make it a joy to use – but it’s a big investment & worth making sure you get the right model.
Best Cheap Mitre Saw
The Evolution R210CMS is a great compound mitre saw. It’s small, lightweight and perfect for numerous DIY & trade jobs. This model is reasonably powerful, comes with a multipurpose blade and best of all – it’s very affordable.
Great for cutting wood, plastic, aluminium and steel
This mitre saw comes complete with a multipurpose blade. It’s good for carpenters, builders and landscapers alike. However, if you’re planning a big decking project, laminate flooring or similar, do check the size of your timber. The maximum crosscut is 125mm.
Beyond woodworking, this saw & blade can also handle copper pipes, aluminium channelling and steel ducting. It’s truly versatile. The specification matches this mitre saw to trade and professional work, but the price makes it the perfect choice for DIY too.
This is much more than a basic chop saw. It will quickly and accurately square off numerous materials at 90°, it’s also designed for precise mitre and bevel cuts.
The Evolution R210CMS mitre saw is lightweight, easy to use, compact and designed to handle a variety of materials. Plus, it’s available for a great price.
MAX CROSS CUT 125×55 | MAX MITRE CUT 125×55 | MAX BEVEL CUT 85×35 | POWER 1200w (110v & 220v – 240v) | BLADE SIZE 210mm | NO LOAD SPEED 3750 rpm | WEIGHT 5.8kg | SIZE H260 x W393 x L381mm | NOISE 110dB | WARRANTY 3 Years
Evolution R210CMS | Verdict price £60 | Check best price on Amazon
Best Sliding Mitre Saw
The Evolution R255SMS+ is a powerful, all-purpose, sliding compound mitre saw. The specification and owner evaluations draw comparisons to much more expensive models – this is a great piece of kit, capable of handling larger material, at a very affordable price.
How wide can a sliding mitre saw cut?
This mitre saw will cut 300mm boards to a depth of 80mm – This makes it the right choice for numerous woodworking tasks from decking outside through to skirting boards, flooring and alike inside. Plus, this size of cut makes it appropriate for construction timber. Similar to the smaller Evolution saw recommended above, this model comes complete with a blade designed to cut wood, plastic, aluminium, copper and steel.
Another benefit of using a multi-material blade is if you ever work with reclaimed wood. Should you hit a nail with a dedicated woodcutter, at best you’ll damage the blade but with this saw, no problem. Also, if you need to cut stone or unglazed tiles, simply swap in a diamond-edged blade (available separately).
Owners of the Evolution R255SMS+ rate it highly. Looking for negatives, a few people say that the laser could be brighter. But aside from this, reports consistently show that this mitre saw is powerful and accurate. And the Evolution R255SMS+ is great value – costing around £200.
MAX CROSS CUT 300×80 | MAX MITRE CUT 210×80 | MAX BEVEL CUT 300×45 | POWER (220v – 240v) 2000w or (110v) 1600w | BLADE SIZE 255mm | NO LOAD SPEED 2500 rpm | WEIGHT 15.3kg | SIZE H360 x W705 x L730mm | NOISE 109dB | WARRANTY 3 Years
Evolution R255SMS+ | Verdict price £200 | Check best price on Amazon
What about cordless mitre saws?
Most of the leading manufacturers have now introduced battery-powered mitre saws. They offer convenience. And the absence of a trailing lead makes them safer. However, anything that comes close to the power of a corded model is very expensive, making them hard to recommend at this time.
How to use a mitre saw safely
A power saw is simple and safe to use by following the manufacturer precautions and instructions. Here are the basic rules:
- Unplug the saw when it’s not in use and when you’re making adjustments
- Use ear and eye protection. A mask and gloves are also of value
- Make sure the material is firmly clamped and aligned before starting the motor
- Keep your fingers well away from the blade
- Allow the blade to stop turning at the end of each cut BEFORE lifting
Recommended Mitre Saws
Great budget buy
Evolution R210CMS | Verdict price £60
See price on Amazon
Large capacity compound mitre saw
Evolution R255SMS+ | Verdict price £200
See price on Amazon
Why spend more?
As stated earlier, it’s possible to spend a grand on a top-notch compound mitre saw. Many of the models attracting the big price tags are unquestionably great bits of kit, but for most us, they’re simply not affordable and therefore haven’t been included on the recommendation list.
Choose either of the above recommendations & you won’t be disappointed. There’s every reason to buy the Evolution R210CMS, assuming the capacity & function meets your needs. For the price, it’s hard to beat.
However, if you have bigger plans, then choose the Evolution R255SMS+. It’s an awesome piece of kit.