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Best 12 Inch Miter Saws 2021 – Reviews & Ultimate Buying Guide

best 12 inch miter saw

The 12-inch miter saws are not only powerful and effective but also versatile. These tools support many angles cut. Woodworkers can complete cutting tasks fast and accurately.

We have checked the quality of many 12-inch miter saws on the market and chosen the top five best models.

In this article, we will explain all the features, the pros and cons of these tools along with a detailed buying guide.

Let’s dive into it and pick out the best 12-inch miter saw for your needs!

Top Rated 12 Inch Miter Saws Comparison

ImageNameTypeSpeedPrice
DEWALT Single Bevel Miter Saw (DWS713)DEWALT DWS779Sliding, Dual-Bevel3800 RPM
BOSCH GCM12SDBOSCH GCM12SDSliding, Dual-Bevel3800 RPM
Makita LS1219LMakita LS1219LSliding, Dual-Bevel3200 RPM
SKIL 3821-01SKIL 3821-01Single Bevel4500 RPM
Metabo HPT C12FDHSMetabo HPT C12FDHSDual-Bevel4300 RPM

Why Should You Invest In A 12-inch Miter Saw?

Like 10-inch miter saws, 12-inch miter saws can perform crosscuts, angled cuts, and sliding cuts. What is worth extra money is the large blade and the powerful motor. They can cut through larger materials with cutting much cleaner.

The 12-inch blade delivers deeper cuts. 4×4 stocks and 2×12 boards will be no problem. You cannot have the same efficiency with 10 inch miter saws.

Even though these blades do not spin as fast as their smaller brothers, they often attach to a more powerful motor. 15 amp motors are the standard among 12-inch miter saws.

A higher amperage means the more horsepower your saw can produce with the same voltage and efficiency.

Most carpenters choose a 12-inch saw to make crown molding, construct door frames, and build different types of furniture.

Types Of 12 Inch Miter Saws

12 compound miter saw

Standard Miter Saw

The standard miter saw serves only one purpose, which is making straight cuts. You only have permission to move the saw body on the positive miter stops and move the blade up and down. There is no bevel system.

Because of the limited functions, the basic miter saw has a low price. As there are no complex or exceed components, the tool is very light and portable to use.

Compound Miter Saw

A compound miter saw does the standard job, which is performing crosscuts. Plus, the device is upgraded so that its blade is also adjustable in miter and bevel angle.

Many flexible compound saws allow you to adjust the bevel angle to both left and right. There are also ones that support tilting the blade to only one side (left or right).

Single Bevel Miter Saw

A single bevel miter saw only supports a 1-side adjustable bevel angle. In other words, you can tilt the blade to only left or only right.

Because the blade can only go in one direction, you will not finish when cutting wood in one time. Instead, after cutting one side of the wood, you need to flip it to the other side and repeat the trimming.

Dual-Bevel Miter Saw

Dual-bevel miter saws are also known as double bevel miter saws. The name has said everything. A dual bevel miter saw has the blade adjustable in two directions left and right.

With this type of 12-inch saw, you can easily cut the workpiece conveniently. There is no need to flip the material. As you finish cutting one side of the material, you can tilt the blade to the opposite angle to cut the other side.

Sliding Compound Miter Saw

These machines can do what a compound one can. In addition, they feature a sliding mechanism for moving the blade forward and backward.

Thanks to this feature, you can customize the length of the wood piece as you desire and cut boards that wider.

5 Best 12 Inch Miter Saws – Reviews

1. DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS779)

DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS779)
Specifications
  • Dimensions: ‎21 x 17 x 17 inches
  • Speed: 3800 RPM
  • Weight: 56 lbs
  • Type: Sliding, Dual-Bevel
  • Left bevel angle: 0 degrees to 48 degrees
  • Right bevel angle: 0 degrees to 48 degrees

The DeWalt DWS779 offers a wide bevel angle range from 0 degrees to 48 degrees to both sides. You can adjust the blade to any suitable angle to cut all surfaces of materials you like.

We are impressed by the ten positive stops. They help you set up the blade in the miter angle that is convenient for you to see the wood piece and perform the cut accurately.

No matter how big your wood is, the DWS779 can help you trim it easily. All you need to do is unlock the dual horizontal steel rail and extend the blade position to the maximum distance.

The sliding mechanism, plus the 12-inch blade, offers a total cutting length of around 13,5 inches.

What we do not like is the table clamp. It is very light that can not hold solid and large material stably in place. In addition, the clamp does not support quick release. It will be a little bit annoying to loosen the lock and take the wood piece out.

Pros
  • Cam-lock miter handle with detent override delivers quick and accurate miter angles
  • Optimal crosscuts capacity of up to 2×8 inches (90 degrees) and 2×4 inches (45 degrees)
  • Compact size
  • Powerful motor running at 15 amps without overheating quickly
  • Easy to adjust the miter and bevel angles
  • Rear-mounted dust collection sack keeping the job sites clean
Cons
  • Loosened clamp not holding big material well
  • Laser not included in the package
  • Hard to install the base extension arms

2. BOSCH Power Tools GCM12SD

Specifications:
  • Dimensions: 31 x 23.8 x 22.5 inches
  • Speed: 3800 RPM
  • Weight: 88.2 lbs
  • Type: Sliding, Dual-Bevel
  • Left bevel angle: 0 degrees to 45 degrees
  • Right bevel angle: 0 degrees to 45 degrees

The detent marks on the BOSCH GCM12SD are highly accurate and clear. It is the same thing with the bevel gauge.

You can align the blade to the correct position as you desire effortlessly. The error of blade angle is trivial.

As you find a suitable angle, you can quickly lock the blade position without moving behind it. The bevel control and range selector are set upright on the front side for quick settings.

With some other miter saws, you have to step to the left of the tool to adjust the bevel control.

We are pleased with the high softness of the trigger handle. You can hold this handle tightly for a long period without feeling tired or hurt. Thanks to it, you can make all of your cuts with high precision from the beginning to when you finish the work.

With the BOSCH-exclusive Axial-Glide system, the GCM12SD is surely the best option for small workspace. The mechanism works by folding the articulated arm flush with the saw back to save maximal 12 inches of workspace and allow the gadget better alignment.

It is hard to find another miter saw that offers a wide area for holding large wood pieces as this BOSCH GCM12SD can do.

When you need, just slide out the 2 integrated sliding material supports. They will help you increase the length of the table surface to up to 40 inches.

If you are looking for a portable 12-inch miter saw, this GCM12SD model may not be a good deal. Among five products on the list, this precise saw is the heaviest of 88.2 lbs.

It is not ideal for the person who usually changes the workplace. You may struggle a little bit to carry the machine around.

Pros
  • The dual-arm design saves a lot of space on the workbench
  • Tipping-resistant base keeping the entire machine and workpiece stable during operation
  • Clear lower guard for unobstructed visibility while cutting
  • Easy to adjust and comfortable grip while operating
  • Great sliding capacity extends to cuts larger board
Cons
  • Heavyweight decreases the portability
  • Dust collection system not trapping dust efficiently
  • Quite noise while operation

3. Makita LS1219L Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Makita LS1219L Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Specifications:
  • Dimensions: ‎23.1 x 36 x 81.6 inches
  • Speed: 3200 RPM
  • Weight: 81.6 lbs
  • Type: Sliding, double
  • Left bevel angle: 0 degrees to 48 degrees
  • Right bevel angle: 0 degrees to 48 degrees

The Makita LS1219L does not jump into a powerful operation after being switched on. The soft-start system allows the blade to run at minimum speed and gets stronger after time.

This function not only prevents the machine from vibrating but also increases the gear lifespan.

The speed of 3200 RPM is not as high as the ones of other models on the list. But it is high enough to help you complete many heavy-duty tasks, such as crown molding, making great crosscuts, etc.

Also, due to the low speed, the LS1219L is quieter compared to other powerful models.

We give our compliment to the large-sized aluminum base. This table will increase the stability and keep the saw in place, regardless of how much pressure you apply on it.

You may feel disappointed with the laser guidance of this model. It is very dim, and you nearly can not see the cutting line if working outdoors. We advise you to buy another better light and replace the original laser.

Pros
  • Easy access bevel lock for safe and convenient working
  • Dual dust collection ports providing high-quality dust extraction
  • Making clean and smooth cuts
  • 2-steel rail sliding system offering single slide-glide operation
  • Soft start-up function limiting the torque for easy control
  • Linear ball bearing system engineered to make accurate cuts
Cons
  • Tall fences can only be removed, not slid out
  • Dim laser not showing the cutting line clearly
  • Calibration required after unbox
  • Expensive

4. SKIL 3821-01 Compound Miter Saw

Specifications:
  • Dimensions: ‎28.28 x 18.15 x 20.5 inches
  • Speed: 4500 RPM
  • Weight: 42.5 lbs
  • Type: Single
  • Left bevel angle: 0 degrees to 47 degrees
  • Right bevel angle: No

The SKIL 3821-01 pleases us a lot with its high efficiency. It comes with a powerful engine operating at 15 amps. With high power, the 12-inch saw can work for hours continuously without getting hot.

Honestly, it is difficult to find a 12-inch miter saw that has as high blade speed as SKIL 3821-01.

This machine can deliver the blade at an incredible speed of 4500 RPM. Try applying this machine to your material, and you definitely will be amazed by the smooth cuts.

When it comes to trimming big pieces of wood, the 3821-01 model has our trust. The table extension system allows us to increase the workspace to both left and right.

After extended, the base will hold up large workpieces and keep them stably in place using the movable clamp.

As a single bevel miter saw, you only have the option to tilt the blade up to 47 degrees to the left. It is not allowed to move the blade to the right side.

Although you can still flip the wood piece to cut two sides, the working process may not be as quick as using a dual bevel type.

Pros
  • Quick-mount system for quick and easy setup
  • Laser feature for fast and accurate cuts
  • Lightweight design for high portability
  • Nine built-in miter detents for secure and quick miter angle adjustments
  • Adjustable motor speed comes in handy and can be adjusted based on the type of material
Cons
  • Can not extend the cutting capacity
  • Small dust ports collecting wood waste slowly
  • No suitable for square cuts

5. Metabo HPT C12FDHS Compound Miter Saw

Metabo HPT C12FDHS Compound Miter Saw
Specifications:
  • Dimensions: ‎26.9 x 22.2 x 21.3 inches
  • Speed: 4300 RPM
  • Weight: 47.4 lbs
  • Type: Double
  • Left bevel angle: 0 degrees to 48 degrees
  • Right bevel angle: 0 degrees to 48 degrees

The Metabo HPT C12FDHS only stands behind the SKIL 3821-01 for fast cutting speed. This machine can spin its blade at 4300 RPM to offer smooth cuts.

What the SKIL model does not have are 60 extra-sharp blade teeth. These pieces will provide the cleanest cuts on all types of materials, including plywood, soft fiberboard, hardboard, aluminum sashes, and so on.

Even a beginner can trim the object smoothly using this Metabo HPT C12FDHS model.

As you can see, the machine features an XACT cut LED shadow line system. It indicates all the lines where the blade will land on. You just need to follow the guide to make accurate straight cuts.

No matter which angle you set the blade to, the HPT C12FDHS will offer the smoothest cuts. The machine is designed to trim accurately in the miter range from -52 degrees to 52 degrees and perform sharp bevel cuts at a wide angle of up to 48 degrees on both left and right sides.

Of course, you can not make clean cuts if the blade angle is badly set up. But there should be no worry about aligning the blade position.

After securing the major bevel angle, you can use a micro-bevel knob to dial the blade in a more precise position. Thanks to this extra knob, the accuracy is double-secured.

We give a minus point to the thumb button on the trigger handle. It is very tiny and only easy for right-handed users to use. Left-handed people may feel it a little bit inconvenient to reach the button.

Pros
  • LED light stays bright even under sunlight
  • 15 amp motor delivering high power for tough cuts
  • Lightweight for convenience in transportation
  • Comfortable handle
  • High cutting capacity (can cut a 7-inch piece of the baseboard)
Cons
  • Plastic fences break down quickly
  • Limit adjust positive stops
  • The small thumb button on the trigger handle is not easy to use for left-handed people

How To Choose The Best 12-Inch Miter Saw

12 inch miter saw

Cutting Angle

The best 12-inch miter saw should allow its users to cut in the position they require. This means the machine needs to offer multiple cutting angles.

  • Miter Angle

Each 12-inch tool comes with a specific number of positive stops. Every stop is fixed at a miter angle. Of course, the more stops, the more options for miter cuts.

On standard, a machine should provide three miter angles options: 45 degrees, 90 degrees, and 22 degrees. The modern tools will have more positive stops for more angles.

  • Bevel (Single Or Dual)

As mentioned above, while a single bevel saw allows only one direction for blade adjustment, the dual-bevel ones allow two.

Both these two types can help you cut a large piece of wood. But the job will be more convenient with a dual machine.

There are also fixed stops for bevel positions. The number of bevel angles you can set is based on the number of these stops.

Normally, a single bevel saw supports bevel angles ranging from -45 degrees to 0 degrees. A dual bevel saw allows a bevel between -45 degrees to 45 degrees. The angle can be wider in modern models.

  • Sliding Mechanism

It is good to buy a saw that can slide. The sliding mechanism allows you to move the blade forward and backward on the fixed rail, thereby increasing or decreasing the trimming length.

With a sliding mechanism, you can cut both small and large materials with convenience. Of course, they can perform all cutting angles as crosscuts, miter cuts, and bevel cuts.

Power and Speed

An important thing that you definitely can not miss when buying a saw is the blade speed. It is rated in RPM, which stands for Revolution Per Minute.

A fast blade will make smooth and clean cuts. Also, you can complete the work quicker with a high-RPM saw and 15 amp motor or higher. The ideal revolution per minute rating for a 12-inch saw is from 3200 RPM to 5000 RPM.

Corded and Cordless

The corded machine needs to be plugged into the power source during the entire operation. It can run as long as electricity is in your power system, but the workspace will be limited.

In contrast, the cordless ones are more flexible. You are not restricted where to work. However, as the machine runs on battery, the operation can only last for a few hours.

If you only work in one position, a corded machine is our recommendation. They are more powerful than the cordless model.

On the other hand, if you often change your workplace, choose the wireless version. But they usually are more costly than corded.

Positive Stops

The positive stops are the fixed locks that secure the blade in specific miter angles to make cuts accurate and quick.

Different manufacturers install different numbers of stops for a miter saw. The number is usually 9, 10, 11, 14, etc.

It is important to notice which angles the positive stops support. The common miter angles you can secure are 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 33.9, and 45 degrees.

Positive Stops 12 inch Miter Saw

Durability

You don’t want your miter saw to break down or stop working after a short period of time, right? Then better check the construction of the machine.

A good miter saw should be built of high-quality materials, such as metal or stainless steel, fewer parts of plastic as possible.

These materials can withstand high pressure and physical impact to remain powerful for many seasons to come.

Also, make sure that the motor should be powerful. The saw can have enough power to offer high-quality performance continuously for long sessions. This will avoid motor overheating reduce life.

Ease Of Use

No matter how efficient a machine is, it should be easy to use. How to know if the machine has high ease of use? Just check the intuitive components of it.

Many manufacturers install handles that allow the users to carry the gadgets around with ease.

Some models come with soft start system, which allows the blade to begin its operation at a low speed. The speed will then increase slowly for high control.

Some other components that support ease of use we can list are: LED light, lock system, expansion rails, etc.

Safety Features

Many inexperienced carpenters get injured because they use these tools incorrectly. Keep in mind that the miter saw is very dangerous. Even when you are a professional, you can still get into accidents.

Therefore, safety features are required. Different manufacturers design multiple safety components for the saw. But overall, the three following features are the most important.

  • Blade Guard

A blade guard is an equipment made of metal, aluminum, or hard plastic. You can install this component on top of the blade.

The guard works to cover the blade, preventing you from touching the sharp blade directly.

Since there is no direct contact, the blade will never cut your hands by accident.

  • Electric Brake

The electric brake is another essential safety feature. If your cuts go wrong or any issue happens, you can activate the brake to slow down the blade until it stops.

There are many styles of the brake. Some models have emergency buttons. As you click on them, the blade will stop.

Some feature a release trigger. By pulling it, you can shut down the electrical supply to stop the machine.

  • Fence Clamps

It is not safe to use your hands to hold the wood piece in place. If the wood piece slips, your hands may fall under the blade and get injured.

We advise you to look for a 12-inch saw that has fence clamps. These components will lock the material stably in its position.

No matter how much pressure you apply to the piece, it will not slip or move. You can also put your hands behind the blade to avoid getting injured.

Blade

It is also necessary to look for the maximum cutting capacity of the blade. Typically, a blade that is 12 inches long can help you perform accurate cuts on a 2 x 8 wood piece at 90 degrees, or on a 2 x 6 wood piece at 45 degrees.

Experts always care about the TPI rating. The term stands for Teeth Per Inch. This rating indicates the ability to make fine cuts of a blade. The common 12-inch blades on the market nowadays have the 3 following TPIs: 24, 60, and 80.

Different blades have different teeth counts and tooth style. For example, a 12-inch alternate top bevel blade with 40 to 80 teeth is suitable for crosscutting natural wood and smoother cut. If you want to rip hardwood, get a flat top grind blade with 24 teeth.

Don’t forget to check the material of the blade. If the blade is built of low-quality materials, it can be broken down or corroded under the effects of sunlight or high pressure. A good blade should be built of stainless steel.

The kerf is important too. It is the width of the cut. A smaller kerf means more precision and less waste. However, it also means less stability in bevel cuts.

12 sliding compound miter saw

Precision System

No carpenter, even professionals, can make accurate cuts without a precision system. Therefore, you should look for a precision guide from the saw.

Most 12-inch saws now feature a bright LED light or laser marking. It will show the cutting line on the wood surface. Land the blade on the line, and your cuts will be accurate.

Dust Collection

Never underestimate the dust collection feature. With this function, the machine can collect all dust and wood waste while cutting the material and storing it in a dust bag.

A dust collection system will help prevent the dust and debris from getting into the motor and causing clogs. As a result, the machine can avoid overheating.

Cost

The price of a 12-inch miter saw depends on the type, wide range of cuts, power, RPM, and brand.

The basic miter saw is the cheapest one. A compound (single bevel or dual bevel) will charge more. The most expensive type is the sliding compound dual bevel ones.

Warranty

Imagine that your miter saw does not work due to technical issues. You will need to bring the machine to the manufacturer to repair it. Of course, no one wants to pay extra fee to fix technical issue.

That’s why we also advise our customers to buy products that come with a good warranty. The guarantee allows you to not only repair the machine but also get replacements parts for free.

Some manufacturers even accept a refund if the machine arrives broken.

It is good that the product comes with a warranty. The question is now, how long should the warranty period be?

In most cases, manufacturers offers an one or two-year warranty. Some even go to three or five.

Brands

Never buy products from unpopular companies. Although the price is low, you may not expect the products to have high quality and last long.

We always advise our customers to buy products from trustable brands. As people say, you get what you pay for. The high-price products come with convenient features that will serve you well.

Also, popular companies always offer warranties, which you can use to repair your machine whenever an issue occurs. This ensures that the machine can serve you well for many years.

The top brands that you can refer to are: DeWalt, BOSCH, and Makita.

Frequently Asked Questions About 12-Inch Miter Saws

Faqs About 12-Inch Miter Saw

What Are The Main Uses For 12-Inch Miter Saws?

There are three primary uses of these tools:

  • Split laminated lumbers.
  • Cut workpieces with many angles and accurately
  • Create joints for furniture.

As you can see, they are highly efficient and versatile. The device is ideal to use in any crafting projects for furniture construction.

How Thick Is A 12-Inch Miter Saw Blade?

Different models come with a specific thickness of a 12-inch blade. The only similar thing is the blade diameter, which is 12-inches long.

On average, the kerf is 0.102 inches. The number for plate thickness is about 0.079 inches.

How Much Does Average A 12-Inch Miter Saw Weigh?

There is no specific weight for these tools. Different manufacturers build saws with their own materials and components. That’s why the weight will vary.

Overall, a 12-inch miter saw is about 40 – 90 lbs heavy.

How Thick Of A Piece Of Wood Can I Cut With A 12-Inch Miter Saw?

The rule of thumb is, a 12-inch miter saw can cut a piece of wood at 7,5 inches wide at maximum. This number is ideal for any carpenter who needs a powerful miter saw to cut large pieces of materials.

A 12-inch saw can successfully trim a 4×4 or a 4×6 wood piece in one application.

What Are The Main Safety Issues With The 12-Inch Miter Saw?

Most carpenters have three main safety issues when using these power tools.

The most serious problem is the lock. As the wood piece does not stay in place, many woodworkers use their hands to hold it. When the material slips, their hands will move under the blade. As a consequence, they will get injured.

Many modern models now feature fence clamps on two sides of the table. They will keep the wood piece in place, and you can keep your hands far from the blade.

The second issue is, the saw creates dust and debris during operation. The dust may fly into your eyes or get into the motor, causing clogging problems. If you don’t get rid of the dust, the machine can easily overheat.

It is recommended to buy a pair of safety glasses. They will protect your eyes from dust and debris. Many high-end 12-inch saws now come with a dust collection system. They will suck all wood waste to prevent motor clogging.

The final issue is the loud noise during the operation. There are many types of hearing protection equipment on the market. You can buy these and protect your ears.

How To Adjust The Laser On A 12 inch Miter Saw?

These steps apply to most laser guides on miter saws:

  • Step 1: Make a test cut on a clamped down scrap piece (not all the way through the piece) to see where the laser is currently.
  • Step 2: Remove the blade guard and the housing of the laser guide.
  • Step 3: Loosen the screws on the laser guide and adjust the laser according to your test cut.
  • Step 4: Tighten those screws and put everything back.
  • Step 5: Do another test cut. Repeat the process for futher adjustment.

Can I Use A 10-Inch Blade On A 12-Inch Saw?

Yes, you can if your arbor supports such blades. With a 10-inch blade, you may have a faster spinning speed from the speed.

Because of its smaller size, this blade will put down more pressure on your workpiece as well.

Conclusion

Those are our reviews of the top five products on the market. Have you found the best 12 inch miter saw to buy?

In our opinion, the DEWALT DWS779 deserves to be the best saw overall and easy to use. The machine comes with adjustable components that help you set up the blade in any position you like.

You can also extend the sliding rails to increase the cutting capacity.
Not far behind is the BOSCH Power Tools GCM12SD. Its adjustment system is the most convenient to use. The gauges are clear and correct, while the selecting levers are easy to handle.

The Makita LS1219L is also worthy of another mention. The Japanese machine offers the most stability out of all items on our list. Everything from the soft-start feature to the base design promises a safe and smooth operation.

Anyway, each product has its own attributes. The decision is yours. Make sure that you check all the factors that we have explained in the buying guide. They will help you pick out the most suitable product for your requirements.

To summarize, the most important things you need to look for are the cutting angles, safety features, power, precision systems, and sliding mechanism.

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