We’re increasingly finding contractors are after compact and portable miter saws designed so they can take them to and from the jobsite. Similarly, many people in smaller workshops are after a more compact design that will allow them to make the most out of the limited space they have.
So in this review we’ll take a look at some of the best compact miter saws on the market that’ll suit those needs.
The 7 Best Compact Miter Saws
The best compact miter saws are:
- Best Portable Miter Saw: Craftsman CMCS714M1 7 1/4-Inch Sliding Miter Saw
- Best Quality: Bosch CM8S 8-1/2 Inch Miter Saw
- Best Brand: Dewalt DCS361B Cordless Miter Saw – 7 1/4 Inch
- Makita LS0815F 8-1/2″ Slide Compound Miter Saw
- Metabo HPT 8-1/2″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- Ryobi 7 1/4 Inch Sliding Mitre Saw
- Kobalt 7-1/4-in Sliding Compound Miter Saw
This information is shared as personal opinion for our situation only, and does not constitute professional advice to you – so make your choice wisely and if in doubt, consult your nearest gardening shop!
First, we’ll provide a comparison table, then under this we’ll do a detailed review of each product.
Compact Miter Saws – Full Reviews
1. Best Portable Miter Saw – Craftsman CMCS714M1
- Our Rating: 9.5/10
- Fits Blade Size: 7 ¼ Inch
- Weight: 21.8 Lbs
The Craftsman CMCS714M1 is possibly one of the only miter saws that we have come across that is so well optimized to be compact and functional.
The cordless functionality means that you will no longer be restricted by wires and can use this saw in any location around the house or on the jobsite.
With a weight of 21.8lbs, this is one of the lightest miter saws on the market and when combined with cordless functionality this saw is optimized to be compact and portable.
Due to the size, users will be quite limited with this product in terms of cutting capacity. It’s not as powerful as some other saws on the market and the single bevel option and smaller frame mean that it is not well suited to heavy-duty work or larger stock material.
Overall, we can’t look past this Craftsman saw as an option for compact storage and portability. It’s cordless, lightweight, has built-in carry handles, and comes with a sliding saw functionality.
|Cordless: The battery powered functionality means that this saw can be used anywhere around the workshop or on the jobsite.|
Lightweight: At 21.8lbs, this is one of the lightest and most portable miter saws on the market.
Precision: Despite being compact, this saw still includes a laser guide and positive detent stops for precise cutting.
|Power: Due to the size and cordless functionality, this miter saw is better suited to trim and finish work as it is less powerful than some competitors’ models.|
2. Bosch CM8S 8-1/2 Inch Miter Saw
- Our Rating: 9/10
- Fits Blade Size: 8 ½ Inch
- Weight: 37lbs
The Bosch CM8S is a premium quality miter saw that packs some heavy-duty features into a more compact and portable model.
When looking for a compact saw there is usually a compromise in terms of power or cutting capacity. However, the Bosch CM8S has matched the cross cutting capacity of a standard 10” miter saw and done so in a frame that is 30% lighter for improved portability.
The stability of this product is good thanks to the extending base and front stabilizing foot which makes it easier to work with larger stock. The tool is also ergonomic with front facing adjustment control for good control and efficiency.
We can’t find too many significant faults with this product and overall. It’s a solid miter saw in our opinion, especially for a compact model. Some customers have experienced the motor burning out quite easily which could be an issue but it could also be down to misuse of the saw.
This is one of our picks when it comes to a compact miter saw. It’s not the lightest model but provides smooth cuts and has a great cross cutting capacity so we feel it strikes a great balance between portability and functionality.
|Cutting Capacity: This saw can match the cross cutting capacity of a 10” saw whilst doing so in a 30% lighter frame.|
Stability: The extending base and front stability foot give good stability and control during a cut.
Control: Easily accessible front facing controls greatly improve user experience.
|Longevity: Quite a few users have had an issue with the motor burning out after a relatively short duration of use.|
3. Dewalt DCS361B Cordless Miter Saw – 7 1/4 Inch
- Our Rating: 8.5/10
- Fits Blade Size: 7 ¼ Inch
- Weight: 30lbs
For an accurate and compact miter saw, the Dewalt DCS361B is a great option in our opinion.
Accuracy is the standout feature of this product. An oversized bevel scale and stainless steel, positive miter stops allow for fast and accurate adjustments.
There is minimal play with the indents and the adjustment free shadow cut line provides clear visibility for an accurate cut.
Included with this saw is a Dewalt 40T carbide blade which is of high quality and an improvement on typical factory stock blades. This means users shouldn’t need to worry about spending more money on a blade upgrade (at least for a while).
The cordless functionality means that this saw is optimized for portability and versatility. However, the one drawback is that this model doesn’t come with a battery included which will raise the initial cost for this tool.
Overall, this is a solid product that ensures accuracy and portability without compromising on power. You might need to pay more of an upfront cost if you don’t have a compatible Dewalt battery, however, this is the only real drawback that we’ve found with this saw.
|Easy Adjustments: The oversized bevel scale and solid miter detents allow for easy and accurate adjustments.|
High Quality Blade: The 40T carbide blade that is included is a high quality blade that many users won’t have to worry about upgrading.
Portable: The cordless functionality of this miter saw means that it’s optimized for portability.
|Battery Not Included: The main issue with this cordless product is that the battery is not included. Therefore, if you don’t already have a compatible Dewalt battery then the initial cost of this saw will be higher.|
4. Makita LS0815F 8-1/2″ Slide Compound Miter Saw
- Our Rating: 8/10
- Fits Blade Size: 8 ½ Inch
For a compact and portable miter saw that is easy to use and provides smooth cuts, we think the Makita LS0815F is a great option.
Firstly, everything about this miter saw is designed to provide a smooth cutting experience. Soft start technology reduces torque and protects the took on startup whilst the powerful 10.5Amp motor provides blade speeds of 5,000 RPM for a consistent cut with a range of stock sizes and density.
The included 48T carbide miter saw blade has an ultra-thin kerf design for smooth cuts and minimal material damage.
You may notice that many of the features include the term “smooth” and that is the key feature with this product. It’s designed to not only be easy to use but to also feel effortless during a cut.
With that said, the accuracy of this model is a frustration for many users. The preset miter stops have some play so they need to be adjusted and locked in when changing cutting angles. Some consumers have also noted that the saw is not accurate out of the box so it needs adjusting initially. The indicators may not be dead on accurate out of the box either.
For professionals, the adjustments needed can be quite frustrating when looking for consistent accuracy. However, for a DIY enthusiast, we feel this is a quality model that is compact, lightweight, and smooth to operate.
|Smooth Operation: Soft start technology allows for a smooth start with minimal torque for clean and consistent cuts.|
Powerful: A 10.5Amp motor powers blade speeds of 5,000 RPM which gives steady and consistent cuts on a range of materials.
Lightweight: A compact and lightweight model (31.1lbs) makes this tool incredibly convenient for jobsite work.
|Accuracy: The positive stops do not lock in fully and have a little play which means you’ll need to spend some time locking them into place when changing cutting angles which can be quite time-consuming and tedious.|
Materials: The plastic components for angle adjustments are not designed for heavy-duty use.
5. Metabo HPT 8-1/2″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- Our Rating: 8/10
- Fits Blade Size: 8 ½ Inch
We feel the Metabo HPT C8FSHES is a saw that is well suited to working with larger stock and should produce accurate and consistent cuts. .
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning right away that this product comes with a best in class 5-year warranty for long term protection which makes it well suited to both professional and hobbyist use.
Visibility during use is at the forefront of this product. The included LED light works alongside the laser marker system to provide enhanced visibility during use which will lead to more accurate and precise cuts.
The 9.5Amp motor powers blade speeds of 5,500 RPM making it powerful enough to work with a range of stock sizes and the adjustable/pivoting fence is a key addition that gives added stability when working with larger stock.
While it may be well suited to working with large stock and comes in relatively light weighing 36.8lbs, this is still quite a large model and is not as portable as some users might hope. We’d probably end up using a portable stand with this product if we wanted to move it to, from, and around the jobsite.
|Visibility: The LED light and laser marker system gives enhanced visibility during a cut for more accurate and precise work.|
Adjustable Fence: The pivoting adjustable fence is great for working with larger stock and should provide good stability.
Warranty: A 5-year warranty is best in class, making it justifiable for professional use in our opinion.
|Size: It may be lightweight; however, it’s quite a bulky model and is not fully optimized for portability.|
6. Ryobi 7 1/4 Inch Sliding Mitre Saw
- Our Rating: 8/10
- Fits Blade Size: 7 ¼ Inch
The Ryobi 7-¼” sliding miter saw is a lightweight and compact saw this is well suited to finish work.
Despite the compact size, this saw still has a good amount of power with a 10Amp motor providing blade speeds of 5,350 RPM for smooth cuts with a range of stock sizes.
This is not a top rated (or top selling) product and while it doesn’t have any noticeable downsides or issues, it’s quite a basic model with limited aftermarket accessories or support.
The key feature of this product is the ergonomics and efficiency of use. A quick action level allows users to quickly lock in angles whilst the positive miter stops and miter detent override give control over fine adjustments for precise woodwork.
|Efficient: The quick action level allows you to quickly lock in angles for fast and efficient work.|
Precise: Positive miter stops and a miter detent override give good control for adjustments and precision.
Powerful: A 10Amp motor provides blade speeds of 5,350 RPM for smooth cuts.
|Low Seller: This product is not a top seller and reviews and aftermarket accessories are quite limited.|
7. Kobalt 7-1/4-in Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- Our Rating: 7.5/10
- Fits Blade Size: 7 ¼ Inch
While the Kobalt 7-¼” sliding miter saw might be a budget model, it certainly has some features that are worthy of a mention.
The aluminum frame is durable and lightweight making this tool well suited for ease of storage and portability while the laser guide and positive miter stops provide enhanced accuracy during cuts.
The price is very inexpensive and the budget range model will appeal to those that can’t stretch to a more expensive model to work alongside a standard table saw.
There are a few issues with this product that are worth noting as many customers have experienced the same ones. Firstly, there are discontinued parts (most notably the blade guard) which will cause inconvenience for users if something breaks.
Secondly, the dust collection is not the best with this product with many claiming that it will only catch a very small percentage of dust.
For the price, this appears to be a reliable and reasonably accurate miter saw that we think is well suited to general DIY work. The price point is appealing however there are too many downsides for us and we feel there are better options available for a compact miter saw.
|Price: This is one of the more affordable compact miter saws on the market giving portability alongside a budget friendly price.|
Lightweight: The light weight of 29.1lbs with an aluminum frame makes this saw easy to move around the workshop.
Accuracy: The laser guide and positive stops improve cutting accuracy and are solid additions to this budget model.
|Discontinued Parts: Some parts of this saw like the blade guard have been discontinued which could prove troublesome if you break some parts during use.|
Dust Collection: The dust collection system does not seem to catch a high percentage of sawdust during use.
What we Look for in a Compact Miter Saw
This is one of the most important factors in this category. Most people who want a compact miter saw are getting it because they want it to be portable as well. Most miter saws on this list weigh in the 22 – 60 lbs range. That’s a decent range there, but still lighter than full-size miter saws, which can weigh 90 lbs and up.
If you’re going to be moving the miter saw around and using it on the jobsite, you might also want to take a look at a cordless battery operated model. The Craftsman that we showcase at the very top of this article is our favorite in the cordless category (it also topped the list in our best cordless miter saws review). One of the downsides of a battery, though, is that it’s not as reliable as a corded model. Corded miter saws aren’t going to run out of power in the middle of your job!
One nice thing is that most brands have interchangeable batteries across their power tools range, meaning if you’re always buying from the one brand, you end up
We’re going to be honest with you: there is no best miter saw for dust collection. They all leave a lot to be desired. It’s frankly very hard to collect dust when using a miter saw. One of the more effective methods is to use a dust collection hood which acts like an umbrella to catch and filter the dust away for easier clean up at the end of the day.
In this category, power is about average: expect a 10 to 15 amp motor with 3000 to 5000 RPM. This is usually enough to get you through most common jobs, but not as much as you might find in the larger, heavier models such as those in our best 12 inch miter saws review. The biggest concern for us is this category is the potential for a cordless model’s battery to fade over time. Just like a cell phone battery, a power tool battery loses its ability to hold power as it gets older.
Another consideration is the blade you’re using. If your miter saw is faltering under the load of cutting particularly thicker hardwood, consider getting a thin kerf blade, which handles load much more effectively than full kerf. You can check out a few think kerf blades in our review of the best miter saw blades. Another way to address low power is to drop the blade more slowly, allowing the saw to distribute load more effectively and make the cut.
For us, warranty is a very important signal from a brand about how much they back their own product. Warranties in this category range from non-existent up to 5 years. Something worth keeping an eye on is what the warranty covers. Some warranties cover home use only, and do not cover use by contractors or in other professional and educational settings.
A laser guide is a small but mighty addition to a miter saw. A good, bright laser guide makes lining up your lumber and saw exceptionally easy and ensures more precise cuts every time. One thing to keep an eye on is whether online reviews have made any complaints about the laser guide being too dull in daylight.
A sliding miter saw enables the user to cut wider stock than a traditional chop saw. The saw sits on a rail that runs front-to-back, allowing you to pull the head of the saw toward you before you drop it, then push it back over the lumber. With a sliding miter saw, you might only have a 7 or 8 inch blade, but will be able to cut wider lumber than many larger saws that are simple chop saws without sliding capacity.
An alternative to a sliding saw is a robotic arm saw. Robotic arm saws solve the problem of sliding miter saws by folding into themselves rather than back and forth, which reduces the amount of space required to use the saws. Currently Bosch and Dewalt have robotic arm saws on the market.
Compound Dual Bevel
A compound miter saw allows for bevel as well as miter cuts, giving you maximum flexibility to choose an angle of your chosing. While traditionally you could only bevel a miter saw to the left, some saws now allow you to also tilt right (‘dual bevel’) which means you don’t need to flip your work piece constantly to find the right angle for your bevel cut. So, dual bevel is nice, but single bevel only is usually sufficient for most DIY woodworkers.
It’s not easy to find the right compact miter saw. This review of the best compact miter saw has provided some examples and our ratings of them for our personal circumstances. We like that it’s portable and lightweight which we think is perfect for jobsite purposes. Personally, we’re quite bullish on the Craftsman CMCS714M1 for ourselves. Of course, none of this constitutes advice – professional or otherwise – for you or your circumstances, so do your own due diligence and consult a professional.
We hope this general information has been useful though as you go about searching for the best compact miter saw!
Simon & Chris