Tool review: 10" Sliding Mitersaws
Count on miter settings for repeatable cuts
Each of the tested saws has miter detents for 0°, 15°, 22-1/2°, and 45° on the left and right sides. All but the one also have a stop at 31.6° on both sides for cutting crown molding lying flat. About half of the saws also have a 60° detent on one side. That's nice if you need it because you can't even make that cut on a tablesaw without a jig or miter-gauge upgrade.
For occasions when you need to tweak a miter setting by fractions of a degree--custom-cutting an out-of-square joint, for example--it pays to have a mitersaw with a detent override. This feature, found on about half the saws, lets you nudge the miter-angle setting ever so slightly without engaging the detent; then lock it securely in place. Two saws also incorporate a microadjuster (shown at right), enabling you to fine-tune a miter setting with mechanical precision.
All the saws tilt at least 45° to the left to make compound cuts, a combination of bevel and miter angles. And most tilt at least that much to the right. If you plan to make a lot of beveled or compound cuts, you'll appreciate the up-front bevel locks on some saws. The best bevel-action mitersaws have cylindrical scales, as shown in the right bottom photo, on the rear hub with wide spacing between lines, making them easier to read. For quick reference, all the saws have bevel stops at 0° and 45°, and most also have crown-molding stops or markings at 33.9°.
For those times when you cut tall or long stock, you'll appreciate the support from a good mitersaw fence and table. The best fences stand at least 4" high with top sections that slide out of the way for making bevel cuts. Conversely, some fences stand less than 2" and lack sufficient height to support workpieces twice that height. For these, attach an auxiliary plywood fence for maximum workpiece support.
For workpieces longer than 2', you'll like the added support of extensions, standard equipment on about half of the tested. All saws come with work-holding clamp; we prefer clamps that mount behind the fence and hold stock down against the table, rather than a horizontal clamp that holds stock against the fence.