Cordless tools have changed the tradesman’s craft all for the better. Until recently, such a workhorse as the miter saw has been waiting in the wings for a more improved source of portable power, which is exactly what we have in the Lithium-Ion battery.
Finally, we have an attractive variety from which to select the best cordless miter saw.
It is time for both the skilled professional and the DIYers to discover the incomparable convenience of milling finish pieces with machines that hold up to the challenge of portability.
This is the chance to take your versatility with you to demonstrate your expertise in finish carpentry. Read on for more help in deciding which cordless miter saw is the best choice for you.
Top 5 Cordless Miter Saw Reviews
1. DEWALT 20V MAX 7-1/4-Inch Miter Saw, Tool Only (DCS361B)
This highly rated sliding compound cordless miter saw is a great find. Designed for better accuracy and visibility, it has an integrated XPS cross-cut positioning system for trouble-free cut-line indication.
It comes with a 7 1/4 -inch blade and features a 3 ½-inch vertical maximum, 3 5/8-inch nested crown and has the capacity to handle 2 x 8-inch horizontal cutting. Able to manage the most common cuts necessary, this is a real workhorse that demonstrates the Dewalt prowess in the market.
It uses a 20V Single Max Battery Pack (DCB204) sold separately that is enough power to mill 183 cuts of 2 x 4 pine or 275 cuts of 3 ¼-inch pine baseboard. It has a single left bevel that ranges from -3 degrees up to 48 degrees.
You have up to 10 positive stops on the adjustable stainless-steel miter detent plate. This gives you both speed and accuracy for optimal productivity.
Angle adjustments are easily facilitataed with an easy-to-see oversized bevel scale. This is a solidly constructed, smooth action, compact, lightweight machine, only 30 lbs for easy transport and storage.
2. Makita XSL06PT 18V x2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless
Makita is the pioneer of battery technology with a system that has the fastest recharge rate of all other models on the market. This brushless, cordless Lithium-Ion 10-inch dual bevel sliding compound miter saw has as much as a 50 percent longer run time with increased power and longer tool life.
Makita XSL06PT delivers very fast and efficient cutting with up to 4,400 RPM. It has Automatic Speed Technology to modulate cutting speed and torque for optimal efficiency.
It is a 2-steel rail sliding system but offers single slide-glide function for the smoothest accuracy straight out of the box. The unique footprint means this machine can easily fit flush against a wall.
The engineering on this saw includes the innovative direct-drive gearbox and guard system for superior vertical cutting of 5 1/4-inch capacity, nested crown of 6 5/8-inches, making it the largest in its class. Use it to crosscut 4 x 12 stock at 90 degrees.
Miter range both left and right is from 0 to 60 degrees with the expected positive stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45 and 60 degrees. The bevel lock is conveniently placed right in front where you are standing for quick and easy adjustments ranging from 0 to 48 degrees both left and right.
3. DEWALT DHS790AT2 FLEXVOLT 120V MAX Corded / Cordless 12″
This one is a double-bevel compound sliding cordless miter saw. It features FLEXVOLT technology and is touted as the first battery that automatically adjusts voltage when you change tools.
The 120V brushless motor is extremely powerful with a long run time compared to corded brushed motors. It is capable of cutting 310 baseboard crosscuts on a single charge.
DEWALT DHS790AT2 has that oversized miter scale for easy reading and optimal accuracy. The fences are tall and able to slide. They will support up to 7 ½-inch nested crown and up to 6 ¾-inch vertically placed stock.
It has the ten positive stops on the adjustable stainless-steel miter detent plate. The range goes from 0 to 60 degrees on the right and 0 to 50 degrees on the left for increased capacity.
It offers a no-load 3800 RPM, and has a 5/8-inch arbor. The vertical capacity for baseboard against the fence is 6 ¾-inches, nested crown is 7 ½-inches and the horizontal capacity is 16-inches lying flat with horizontal crown molding capacity at 13 ¾-inches.
4. Milwaukee 2734-20 M18 Fuel, 10″, Dual Bevel, Sliding, Compound Miter Saw
The Milwaukee M18 is impressively designed for efficiency and can deliver up to 400 cuts per charge. It has 4,000 RPM no load, maximum bevel of 48 degrees and maximum miter from 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left.
You have a maximum vertical cut capacity of 5 ¾-inches, and you can do a maximum crown nested of 5 ¼-inches. At 90 degrees it will cut 2 x 12 stock lying flat.
On the front of the saw is a miter lock with a trigger detent release with positive locks, or you can override the locks to freely move the saw.
If you want to use it as a chop saw, you can engage the chop lock, pull it into place and you have a chop saw that will not slide.
Up front, the D-handle has a built-in safety for the trigger, and it also has an LED light that you can easily turn on just by pushing the switch or it will automatically come on when you pull the trigger. It also gives you a shadow line.
On the left-hand side of the saw you have the head lock down pin, and you also have the 3-position bevel lever, a very nice feature. When you pull it up, it sits in its detent position. Pulling it up further releases its detent allowing the head to tilt over to its next detent position.
If you hold it up as you move it, you can override the stops. It can be positioned at 22.5, 33.85 and 45 degrees, and you can bevel to 48 degrees in both directions. This feature is both easy to reach and convenient to adjust.
On the right-hand side of the saw you have a locking adjustable depth stop. Toward the back is the release lever for the slide. The battery is conveniently placed on top and easy to get to from either the front or the back.
I used Milwaukee’s high-demand 9.0Ah power battery and the 5.0Ah power battery with a noticeable difference between the power and run time on these. The saw weighs about 45 pounds.
The design of this saw differs from most other saws on the market. The slide is toward the back of the saw rather than the front, but this does not alter the head deflection.
There is an unusually long distance on the run to get to the dust collection bag, which makes this system perform under par. The fences are easy to adjust or even remove, but at different positions, they can rock easily.
This saw is everything I expected it to be. It comes with a 40T blade, but I switched it to a 60T blade and got pristine, clean cuts. More teeth will eat up more juice, but the difference is negotiable.
5. Ridgid R48607K 18-Volt 7-1/4 in. Cordless Brushless
The Ridgid R48607K 18V Cordless Compound Miter Saw is extremely lightweight, and does not have the same capacity of larger models. It is convenient for getting as much as 300 cuts on a 2 x 4 on a single charge.
It comes with a 5.0Ah battery that’s included with the saw. This high-capacity version for maximum power and run time has the standard slide rail system. Line it up and slide it in place.
The same blades that fit on your circular saw will fit on the ridged making your motor very efficient this increasing your battery run time.
It has a maximum 48 degrees to the left and right. There are positive stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6 and 45 degrees.
To override and reach the maximum 48 degrees, you just release the lock on the handle, so it is free to move to any position you choose. You want to be sure it is set in the locked position before you run the saw to ensure nothing moves.
There is an LED light that you can engage without activating the saw blade, or you can engage the saw and the light will come on. This lighting feature projects a line showing exactly where you are going to cut.
There are two different colors of light that essentially appear on either side of the blade. Where the two different lights meet is where you line up the board with your marked line for the perfect cut.
This model has an electric blade brake that automatically stops the blade from spinning when you release the trigger. The space capacity lets you cross-cut a 2 x 8 or cut a 45 degree angle through a 2 x 6.
It has three different handles for ease of portability and only weighs 24 pounds. Just remove the battery and lock the saw in lock-down position and you can eve carry much like a suitcase.
How To Choose The Best Cordless Miter Saw
Both skilled tradesmen and amateurs should be pleased to learn that viable, portable, battery-powered cordless, brushless miter saws are now available. The brushless motor is standard on cordless saws since it helps prevent overheating from continued use.
Unlike Ni-Cad batteries, the larger capacity Lithium-Ion batteries offers the advantage of delivering full power right up until the point they are drained. Both corded and cordless miter saws are around the same cost, so the decision really comes down to your personal preference.
Choose your machine based upon your needs. Consider these basics when making up your mind:
- Standard miter saw – only cuts a fundamental miter angle
- Single-action compound miter saw – allows for the blade to bevel to one side only
- Double-action compound miter saw – allows the blade to bevel to both sides and is an excellent choice for cutting crown molding
- Sliding bevel miter saw – includes rails enabling a sliding saw head to accommodate larger stock such as 2 x 12-inch floor joists. With this expanded capability, the sliding bevel miter saw has effectively replaced the radial arm saw.
Priorities: Voltage, RPM And Blades
Power is everything when it comes to cordless miter saws. When you need to accomplish those crosscuts, miters, bevels and compound angles with the utmost accuracy, the miter saw is the only choice.
While both the table and miter saws may share similar functions, nothing produces the intricacy and precision work as effectively as the miter saw. You can be assured of effective results with enough voltage, powerful RPM and using the blades that will get the job done.
Don’t Settle For Less On Voltage
Before you look at any other features, first make sure you are considering a saw that provides sufficient voltage. The standard power level is typically 18 volts.
Anything below that would make the tool ineffective for your purposes. Anything more certainly makes the work go more smoothly. The tools reviewed here are 18V and higher, including the dynamic FLEXVOLT.
Sizes And Types Of Blades
Your choice of blade has everything to do with the type of stock you are milling. The blade that comes with most machines is good enough, but if you want to improve your precise cuts, consider getting a blade with more teeth. Just keep in mind that driving a blade with more teeth will eat up more energy.
Larger diameter blades will allow you to make deeper cuts. When you are doing a lot more cross-cutting or working with thicker board materials, such as in building a deck, a larger blade with more teeth will give you that cleaner, quicker cut. Miter blades range from 7 ½, 8, 10 and 12-inches.
Revolutions Per Minute – RPM
The RPM shown for a saw you are thinking about purchasing shows you how fast the blade spins without resistance, or when there is no load on the table. Manufacturers correlate the RPM to the battery power but check to be sure you are at least getting the minimum standards.
Those machines with a greater than 4,000 RPM are typically found on professional miter saws. They will have the fastest spinning blade. Less than that is suitable for the home machine. Look to your blade with lower RPM if you think you want to achieve a cleaner cut.
These high-powered tools are designed with built-in protection or safety features that you can look for when making your choice of the best cordless compound miter saw to buy.
Blade Guard – all portable miter saws come with a blade guard to keep you safe from the spinning blade. Designed to move out of the way as you start cutting, it is highly advised that you do not try to remove these guards. The speed and various angles of these saws are tricky making it so easy to inadvertently inflict permanent physical damage.
Instruction Manual – even though most people typically toss this handy guide aside, I strongly advise you to read the instruction manual that comes with your new tool from front to back before you even use it. It is the best preparation guide for using your new saw.
Blade Brake – some saws come with an automatic brake to stop the blade as soon as the trigger is released. It can take a while for the blade to stop spinning, and you should never proceed with any cuts until it has.
Dust Collection – these saws come with a dust collection bag that fits where the excess sawdust is expelled. You can attach a vacuum hose to this spout so that you are collecting the sawdust as it comes out. Neither method collects 100 percent of the sawdust, but it reduces the airborne dust that is perilous to breathe in.
Weighted – portable saws are weighted in order to provide stability. This is to control the movement of the tool and avoid it springing back sharply or falling quickly.
Controls – machines tend to have controls in different places so check to see if they are positioned for ease of access. This can be of more significance to those who are left-handed.
Stops – sometimes you want to change the depth of the blade to control how deep the blade penetrates. This is useful on dado cuts. There may also be spindle and shaft locks that fix the saw so that you can more easily change the blade.
Table – your best advantage for stability as you run your saw is to have it securely attached to a table. This raises it to a properly comfortable height, typically snaps into place or can be securely screwed down so that nothing is moving as you work. It is also safer for handling longer pieces.
Advantages Of Cordless Miter Saw
Obviously, the portability of a cordless miter saw is its best advantage as a solution to a multitude of conditions. I list many of them here for your consideration:
- Safety without being tethered to the wall
- You can go to the work rather than needing to bring the work back to the shop
- Infrastructure build is easier and faster to accomplish when power is typically unavailable at this stage and framing stock is heavier to lug around
- Excellent for medium duty
- Time saver
- Less wear and tear on you, the operator
- Brushless motors for longer life
- Lower maintenance
- More efficient when knocking out that punchlist
Drawbacks Of Cordless Miter Saw
If you are not fond of batteries, the cordless solution might not be the one you prefer. Any cordless machine is not going to have the same reliable reserve of power that you get with corded models. You will need to remember to charge your cells so that you are prepared to be mobile. Other drawbacks include:
- Trading mobility for maximum consistent power
- Not being the best option for heavy work as the power level decreases with the drain on the batteries
- Weight of the batteries add to the overall weight you are carrying around with you
Chop Saws Vs Miter Saws
It can be easy to confuse a miter saw with a chop saw since they do resemble one another. That saw you admired that neither miters nor bevels is a chop saw, good for the kind of abrasive cutting wheels best used for metalworking such as tubing or bar stock intended for welding. The chop saw is shy on accuracy when it comes to angles.
If you have your mindset on using your angle saw interchangeably, I would give you one warning: You risk marring your fine wood stock when you have cut metal on the same machine.
The hot sparks that come off the metal when it is cut penetrates the surface of the saw leaving it rough. You are better off having a dedicated machine for wood and another for metal cutting.
You want the different RPM anyway. For finish carpentry, you need to rely on the integrity of your machine to mill your pieces to your highest expectations of clean, accurate cuts. My best suggestion that you should preserve your angle miter saw by only milling wood on it and leave the scrappy work to the chop saw.
My choice for the clear winner in this group is the #5 – 2734-20 M18 Fuel, 10,” Dual Bevel, Sliding Compound Miter Saw. Of all the models reviewed here, it is the one that is the most versatile in its adaptability.
While it is not the lightest weight, it is a far cry better than the Makita or the DeWalt FLEXVOLT. I am impressed with the overall capacity of this machine and the fact that it never seemed to give up on power. This is the model that likely will perform whatever is asked of it on any location.
While the choice is one of personal preference, I hope to have offered the information on these models that help to decide on what would be the best cordless miter saw for your situation.