Several requests came in recently, for discussion about which cordless miter saw is best.
The answer to that isn’t as simple as considering which cordless platform you bought into. When it comes to many other types of tools, if you’re a Dewalt guy, then you’re probably not going to look at Milwaukee’s offerings, and vice versa.
Both Dewalt and Milwaukee have priced their flagship models very competitively, giving strong incentives for users to buy the kit versions, instead of the bare tools. They make it almost too easy to be willing to cross brand lines to buy their saws regardless of which cordless power tool brand’s platform you might have already bought into.
It’s as if you could pair an Android watch with an iPhone, or an Apple Watch to an Android phone. Milwaukee and Dewalt have lowered the barrier of buying into a different color as much as anyone could reasonably hope for.
I was also specifically asked to compare Makita’s 36V saw to Dewalt’s FlexVolt saw. I sent a request to Makita, telling them about the comparison intent, but they declined to respond.
Winner: Dewalt FlexVolt 12″ Sliding Miter Saw
The Dewalt FlexVolt 12″ sliding miter saw, model DHS790AT2 for the kit, is quite possibly the best miter saw I’ve ever used, corded or cordless. It’s powerful, precise, and there’s a huge user-friendly advantage in being able to power it with battery packs or an included AC adapter.
It actually runs a little better on battery packs, but the AC adapter is nice to have for longer work sessions.
I LOVE Dewalt’s LED shadow cut guidance system. It’s simply perfect. Milwaukee and Ridgid saws now feature similar functionality. Once you try it, it’ll surely spoil you. The shadow shows you exactly where your cut will be, and exactly how wide the kerf will be.
What’s not to like? That’s not a rhetorical question, I’m really asking. If you’ve used this saw, do you have any complaints?
I guess if I had to pick one thing to complain about, it would be the saw’s size and weight. It’s not unexpectedly large or heavy, but I’m hoping we’ll see a smaller (and less expensive) 10″ model in the future.
This saw runs off of (2) FlexVolt battery packs. If you’re buying this saw, the kit’s the better buy, even if you already have a couple of FlexVolt batteries. The bare tool is currently $649, and the kit is on sale for $699, from a regular price of $799.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Next Best: Milwaukee M18 Fuel 10″ Sliding Miter Saw
Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel brushless sliding miter saw is a good saw. It’s not flawless, but it’s good. I’ve never found it wanting for power, but others have pushed it through larger or tougher cuts and found that the saw doesn’t quite provide corded-like power.
I’ve found the saw to be a little more portable than the Dewalt.
The dust collection is… not as good as could be.
One selling point is that this is the best single-battery 10″ sliding miter saw on the market. I think it might even be the only one. It’s a good compromise between smaller and lower capacity saws, and the Dewalt FlexVolt.
I like the bevel adjustment mechanism. It’s different than on other saws I’ve used, but it works smoothly and with less effort.
Milwaukee has priced this saw very aggressively. Over at Home Depot, as of the time of this posting, the kit is $599, and you get your choice of a free M18 Rocket LED tripod light, a free M18 Fuel circular saw, M18 Fuel reciprocating saw, impact wrench, or extra 9.0Ah HD battery pack.
If you’re invested in Milwaukee’s M18 lineup, and don’t want to bother with another system’s battery packs, be sure to read some user reviews before sulking about the Dewalt being better.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
Worthy Mention: Milwaukee M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ Sliding Miter Saw
I need more testing time with Milwaukee’s smaller sliding miter saw, but it deserves some time in the spotlight. I think this is the best 7-1/4″ miter saw I’ve used. It’s compact, reasonably powerful, and I find it to be more user-friendly than Dewalt’s, which is slow and frustrating when it comes to blade changes.
Buy Now(via Acme Tools)
No-Show: Makita 18V X2 10″ Sliding Miter Saw
Makita’s new 18V X2 XSL06 10″ sliding miter saw looks interesting. There are 2 dust ports, and talk about a wireless vacuum activation feature or accessory. The sliding mechanism looks to give this saw a very compact footprint too.
I have some hesitations, though. There are some negative user reviews on Amazon for the corded version of the saw.
Compared to Dewalt’s FlexVolt saw, both the Makita and Dewalt force you to juggle 2 battery packs. But the Dewalt comes with an AC adapter, the Makita does not. If you want cordless and corded capabilities with Makita, you need to buy 2 saws. Makita’s X2 saw also has a smaller blade size and presumably lower cutting capacity.
Compared to Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel model, the Makita might have more available power due to being a 36V saw, but you have to juggle 2 battery packs, making sure to match them up to get optimal power and runtime.
It looks like it *could* have held its own, but, we don’t know that.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
We reached out to Makita USA, but they declined to respond to our request for a test sample. In the email I mentioned a reader’s request for a direct Dewalt FlexVolt vs. Makita 18V X2 comparison. I’m trying not to read into it, but I can’t help but wonder if it should be taken as a silent admission that the Dewalt FlexVolt is better.
I’ll update the post if anything changes.
Which would be your pick for best cordless miter saw? Do you have any requests for the future update to this post?