Why buy a Sliding Miter Saw? Benefits and Problems

Many of you looking to buy a new miter saw might be confused thanks to plenty of products being sold today. You may not have the knowledge or experience with these tools to know which one is for you. 

Do not worry! I am here to help you clear one of your doubts. Do you need to buy a Sliding Miter Saw? If so, what are the advantages and disadvantages of owning one?

Why buy a Sliding Miter Saw

Why buy a Sliding Miter Saw? A sliding miter saw combines the functionality of a compound miter saw and table saw, allowing you to work more efficiently on longer pieces. You can perform different types of cuts without moving the wood too much. It is not heavy, big and is more affordable than a table saw.

Read on as I explain to you how I embarked on my journey with the sliding miter saw. I will discuss its capabilities, compare it with other types of miter saws and other related queries. To add to this, I will also review the sliding miter saw that is my personal favorite, which will allow you to understand what features you should look for in such a product!

When I started using miter saws, I was very happy with the precision of the angle and bevel cuts I made. After some time though, I realized that miter saws had one major drawback. 

The length of the piece you could work on using a miter saw was very restricted. It often meant I had to readjust the piece from time to time, increasing the hours I spent on a workpiece.

Personal experience with mitter saws

When I did my research on how I could be more efficient with my miter saw, I heard of the sliding miter. Its innovative rail design allowed for the miter to move alongside the workpiece, allowing you to make similar cuts along the length of the piece.

My first experience with it stunned me. The whole process of making angle and compound cuts became a seamless experience. I was able to perform a variety of cuts by making adjustments to the blade and its position on the rail. It also allowed me to work on pieces that were longer, without having to shift the piece on my workbench. Both these advantages allowed me to work more efficiently and finish my work quickly!

However, the downside to using this machine was its bulky design and heavyweight. I had to install it in my workshop once and for all. Moving it around is quite difficult, and would need considerable human effort in doing so. 

The sliding miter saw also cost me quite a bit of money. My absolute requirement for one gave me a reason to spend a large amount of money. However, not many others may have that luxury.

Do I Need a Sliding Miter Saw?

If you are someone who does a lot of miter dependent cuts like angle and bevel cuts on workpieces longer than an 8”, then you require a sliding miter saw. You must also have convenient space and storage facilities to ensure you can accommodate this machine.

If you require a saw mainly for straight and long cuts, a table saw just about serves your needs. Modern table saws have improved designs that make them portable and compact. We have made a detailed article about best table saws for beginners, and we covered other topics in that article as well.

Miter saws on the other hand provide you with the blade tilt allowing for precise and accurate angled cuts. Thanks to its pivoting arm and rail-free design, it allows you the opportunity to cut at extreme angles.

— Also read: What can a Miter Saw do that a Table Saw Can’t?

Sliding miter saws are large and bulky machines that allow you to perform longer cuts than regular miter saws. These are especially beneficial for handymen who need to perform compound cuts on long workpieces, as the time to readjust and perform cuts reduces drastically. However, you will need a lot more room not just for the machine, but for clearance of the rail-based system to operate smoothly.

Is a Sliding Miter Saw Worth it?

If you are someone who works on long workpieces that require angle and bevel cuts, then purchasing a sliding miter saw is absolutely worth it. If you are looking for a compact and portable saw that can do the same, then this may not be the product for you.

Sliding miter saws provide great functionality and versatility while sacrificing the compact and portable aspects of the machine. As a result, it caters to a very specific need of working on long materials that need compound cuts.

If you are looking to carry your saw around to different job sites to accomplish the required work, then a sliding miter saw is way too bulky for ease of movement. The hassle involved in moving the saw from one place to another is just not worth it.

What is the advantage of having a sliding miter saw?

A sliding miter saw offers the best versatility when it comes to compound angle cuts. It also helps you work on longer pieces while ensuring great efficiency through your cutting process.

A sliding miter allows the blade not only to pivot, but also to tilt along the axis of the blade and move along the rails. This three-dimensional movement of the blade allows you to make precise cuts along a long piece that are not easy to accomplish otherwise. 

It also allows the user to get creative with their cuts, allowing for more intricate details to be made in the workpiece. The user does not have to worry about the time aspect either. Lock the piece in place and start the machine, and you are good to go. 

However different the cuts to be performed are, you can complete it without having to realign the piece. This allows you to be more efficient and accurate in the process of sawing.

What is the best sliding miter saw for the money?

After years of use, and with my knowledge of power tools, I can safely say that the DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw is one of the best value for money saws out there. Manufactured by Dewalt, a leader in the power tool industry, this saw has many great features that you get, while not being too heavy on the wallet.

DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 12-Inch (DWS779)

CC: Amazon
  • The powerful 15AMP, 3800 RPM motor provides high power output, making the task of cutting through most materials a simple and quick process. 
  • The double bevel saw with a cam lock miter handle allows you to make easy and precise adjustments to your blade, ensuring the highest precision and accuracy when cutting through the material. You can read more about the features from this link that will redirect you to Amazon.


  • Great sawdust collection system, upto 75% of the dust generated is collected
  • Rugged and durable construction cuts through most materials without much effort 
  • Easy adjustments improve efficiency, saves time
  • Sliding action on the rails is smooth, allows for quick movement of the blade
  • Great value for money


  • No guiding system for more accurate cuts
  • Slight issues while installing extensions
  • A clamping system could be better
  • The small font on the manual make it hard to read

Sliding vs Compound Miter Saw, Which one is Better?

A sliding miter saw incorporates all the functionality of the compound miter saw and more. If portability is not a major concern of yours, then the sliding miter saw is definitely the better saw.

Sliding miter saws allow for the same functionality as a compound miter saw. It has the ability to make angle, bevel and compound cuts just like the compound miter, without sacrificing precision and accuracy.

Where the sliding miter saw stands out is the use of the rail system. While it makes the design bulky, it gives your saw that much more flexibility and versatility to perform cuts along longer pieces of wood in a more efficient manner.

As a result, the sliding miter saw is better than the compound miter saw, unless you are looking for something that is portable and easy to transport.

What is the difference between a compound miter saw and a sliding compound miter saw?

A compound miter saw has a two axes blade movement system while a sliding compound miter saw has a three axes blade movement system. Also, a compound miter saw is more portable and compact than a sliding miter saw.

The primary difference between a compound miter saw is that it lacks the rail system of a sliding compound miter saw. As a result, you can make angle and compound cuts from one fixed spot only, as the blade can rotate about its access and pivot with the help of the blade arm extension. 

A sliding compound miter saw however can move along the rail, thereby moving along the workpiece and making cuts at different lengths along the piece. This gives the blade a third dimension to move about.

The rail however increases the weight of the sliding compound miter, while making the design bulky. Compound miter saws are therefore easier to transport from one location to the other frequently, while the sliding compound miter saw is more of a fixed installation. 

Related Questions:

What is a compound miter saw used for? A compound miter saw is used for cutting angles along two axes. Thanks to the pivoting arm, it can make angle cuts. The blade tilt functionality allows for the user to make a bevel cut at the same time, allowing you to perform a compound cut.

What is a sliding miter saw used for? A sliding miter saw is a compound miter saw that can move on rails. This allows the user to cut longer pieces along its length without having to move the workpiece often.

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