Compound Sliding Mitre Saws
A good saw is essential. Mitre cuts are what make a mitre joint. Mitre joints are used for joining two pieces, wood or metal usually, at an angle. Mostly used in frames and boxes, but recently I was cutting metal lengths for making thirty benches. The big bad workshop saw was out of action, so I was using a mitre saw to cut and drop about five hundred legs, braces and other little bits.
The metal was only 25mm square steel tubing, so I didn’t need a compound sliding mitre saw. The difference those two little words, ‘compound’ and ‘sliding’, translate into a mitre saw which can handle large widths. You can pull out, drop down and cut back. If you’ve got a lot to do, and a regular hand saw and mitre box won’t cut it, a compound sliding mitre will make your life a whole lot easier – guaranteed.
What to look for and shop for:
- Single or Double Bevel – The bevel refers to angles away from a vertical position, that is, the Y-axis. A single bevel will only tilt the saw one way, double bevel goes both ways.
- Mitre – This is the rotation of the base on the Z-axis.
- Blade Arbour or Bore – The size of the hole which you sit on the machine, 30mm is common, meaning lots of compatible blades, 1″ is less so.
- Dust Extraction – Does it have extraction points for a larger system or a built-in bag?
- Voltage – 110 V or 240 V? Lots of sites require 110 V but 240 V is the standard for UK households
- Width Capacity – Will it be affected by the angle of the mitre and bevel?
- Depth Capacity – Will this also be influenced by the angle of the cut?
Bosch Professional GCM 12 inch – Our Number 1
The Bosch GCM 12 is a superb all-round mitre saw. It has a massive cutting capacity, millimetre perfect accuracy and excellent build quality – especially the smooth arm action. This mitre can handle everything from small and fine cuts to the largest of timber sizes. It’ll fit right into your workshop, or can be packed down to take out on jobs – with nothing left awkwardly sticking out.
If you’re a DIY-er or a hobbyist this is likely to be a bit out of your price range, but for a professional the Bosch Professional GCM 12 is a firm friend indeed.
The Bosch GCM 12 has a dual arm sliding mechanism which keeps things accurate for long periods of time – while retaining a compact size for those operating in a small space. The slide on a mitre saw can get a little sticky and bumpy over long periods of use, though you won’t find that to be the case with the Bosch in question. Having a dual arm holds the line for much longer and through many heavy duty cuts, you won’t have to re-calibrate as often as you would on a sliding mechanism, as the arms only have one way to go.
Being having a 12 inch blade and a yawning reach means you can get through large timbers and steels (maybe change the blade before tackling this though). The motor clocks in at 2000 W you can wield this thing left and right thanks to the double bevel. You can find the Bosch in 240 V or in 110 V for taking to the site. All that power is released slowly with the Soft Start system, the Soft Start electronic controller also makes it easier and safe to control speeds when cutting through mild steel or hardwood.
Bosch also make brakes for cars, and given the high rpm you can get out of their mitre saws, it is no surprise their Intelligent Brake System and corporate expertise are involved here. The Intelligent Brake System will detect when something is getting a little too hot and heavy and reduce the speeds – potentially to a halt – before something bad happens.
- Big capacity for cutting depth, 104mm and width 341mm
- Smooth cutting action that lasts for life with the Dual Arm system
- Great customer support and spare part sourcing through Bosch
- Double beveled with a huge range of degrees covered
- Fold away arms instead of protruding rails
The cut capacity on the Bosch is big, at 0° you can get through 104mm in depth and 341mm in length. That’s enough to deal with an 8 by 4 inch railway sleeper in no time. The extra inch, many mitres cap at 3 inches, really opens up what you can use the Bosch for in terms of construction jobs. Making this an especially attractive mitre saw for those in the roofing and wood frame game.
The mitre angles can be set nice and wide. You get 52° of angle to the left and 60° on the right. The bevel, double bevel, goes to 47° on the left and the right. You can easily adjust the trench and groove for depth setting, there are a few bolt to click, slide, and then lock back into position.
When you consider the capacity and the power you might think the Bosch is purely for the workshop. But its compact design means you can fit it into a van without taking up acres of space. There are arms rather than guiding rods, which tend to stick out, and these fold away neatly. Despite the size, the GCM 12 does weigh 32kg, so take it easy when you’re moving it about.CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE!
Bosch ship the GCM 12 with a 305mm blade, it comes with a 72 tooth wood blade as standard. Unlike DeWalt or Festool who go for an LED and shadow based guidance system, Bosch stick with the laser. This is a matter of debate, laser or shadow, both have their weakness. But the Bosch laser, as you’d hope for the price, is bright and visible in day time, its Class 2, so don’t be tempted to look into it.
Dust extraction is taken care of either into an external bag or you can hook it up to an extraction system, Bosch have their Click and Clean, which is analogous to Festool’s Cleantec.
This is one of the best mitre saws money can buy, you’ll be the envy of the site when you heave this out the van. It’s got power, capacity and plentiful support should something (ha) go wrong with it. The dual arm action is as smooth as you will find and the folding arms make this powerful design super compact.
- Mitre setting: 52 ° L / 60 ° R
- Saw blade diameter: 305mm
- Bevel setting: 47 ° L / 47 ° R
- Rated input power: 2,000W
- Cutting capacity, 0°: 104 x 341mm
- Cutting capacity, 45° mitre: 104 x 240mm
- Cutting capacity, 45° incline: 51 x 341mm
- Tool dimensions: 670 x 820 x 690mm
- No-load speed: 3,800rpm
- Saw blade bore diameter: 30mm
- Weight: 32.1kg
DeWalt are, like Ryobi or Bosch a very reputable and sought after tool maker. The DWS780 is a hefty machine, capable of zipping through dainty profile cuts and large diameter timbers. The heavy duty motor is able to cut through all types of materials (within reason, no diamonds).
This is a double bevel saw, able to go to angles of 49° in both left and right directions. The mitre lock function has made it easy and fast to adjust the angles between 0° – 50° on the left and 0° – 60° on the right. What’s more is that there are pre-set stops at 22.5° and 45° for super fast adjustment to the common standards.
There are nut and bolt adjusters for cutting to precise depths. The DeWalt can handle 110m of depth, which is a yawning void compared to some other mitres in this guide – because this is the professionals tool of choice.
- Quick stop adjustments for angles on the mitre and bevel
- Double doubled for quick cuts
- XPS Shadow line cut indicator blows lasers away
- Capable of 303mm wide cuts and 110mm deep cuts
- Available in 110 V and 240 V
Weighing in at 30kg this is not a lightweight mitre cutter, unless you’re a ‘big lad’ you’ll probably prefer to keep it in the workshop, than to take it out on the more mobile jobs. The footprint of the machine is large too, 82.6 x 58.6 x 48 cm.
Instead of a laser guide, the DeWalt XPS Shadowline casts a shadow of where the blade will be, with a little LED creating the line. This is superior to a laser in my opinion, and similar to the Festool’s tech in terms of accuracy, simplicity and most importantly visibility. There’s very little adjustment required on the blade once you, heave, it out of the box.
The DeWalt has a 30mm arbour on its blade. And you can plug it straight into a regular home socket. Included in the box are a 60 tooth blade, one blade spanner, a dust bag and a material clamp. DeWalt offer a one year warranty on the product – but this thing can last a lifetime with its build quality.
All in all, the DeWalt DWS780 is a high quality, high powered mitre saw. You won’t be running up any stairs carrying it, but you can bring it with you due to the carry handle. Maybe it is best in the workshop it’ll chew through anything you want.
- Power Input: 1675 Watts
- Power Output: 960 Watt
- Blade Speed: 1900 – 3800 rpm
- Blade Diameter: 305 mm (12″)
- Blade Bore: 30 mm
- Bevel Capacity: 49/49 °
- Mitre Capacity (right/left): 60/50 °
- Cutting Capacity at 90°/ 45° (W x H): 211 x 112 mm
- Cutting Capacity at 90°/ 90° (W x H): 303 x 110 mm
- Cutting Capacity at 90°/90° (W x H): 345 x 76 mm
- Cutting Capacity at 45°/90° (W x H): 268 x 63 mm
- Cutting Capacity at 45°/90° (W x H): 345 x 44 mm
- Cutting Capacity at 90°/45° (W x H): 244 x 76 mm
- Max. Cutting Capacity at 45° / 45°: 212 x 76 mm
- Max. Depth of Cut [Saws]: 170 mm
- Weight: 24.8 kg
- Depth: 470 mm
- Length: 770 mm
- Height: 396 mm
- Available in 110 V and 240v
Evolution Power Tools Rage 3-DB
The Evolution Rage 3 is a sliding mitre saw with a reach of 320mm – offering a solution to most DIY or floorboard cutting situations. The blade is 255mm, and included, but you might want to swap it for a higher quality one as there is a downside to the Rage, its slow rpm. That could be an issue as the arbour size is an imperial 1″ (25.4mm) rather than the more common 30mm arbour.
Clocking in at 2,500 rpm, this is slower than other mitres in this guide. However it does have a far more powerful motor, a whopping 2500 W of power can get thrown down. This lower speed is effective for cutting metal, but when it comes to trims and finer jobs there is a risk of catching and ending up with a rough edge – more work with a sander could sort this though.
Out of the box the Evolution Rage did require some tuning. What I’ve gleaned from the Evo is that it is more for a hobbyist or DIY-er. If you’re searching for a mitre that has millimetre accuracy, you’re unlikely to be satisfied with the Rage 3.
Evolution offer the Rage with additional blades, specialist wood blades, diamond tipped blades, an R255-TCT. But these are extra costs, when it might have been more appealing to throw them in at a lower price.
- Laser guidance line and double bevel for quick and accurate cuts
- But the blade is slow, and can produce rough edges at times
- Double bevel action is rare at this price point
- The non-standard blade sizing is a head scratcher
For accuracy there is the laser guidance line and a double bevel facility, no need to flip the piece. In terms of angles and depths, the maximum for a straight cut is 80mm deep by 320mm wide. So this should handle everything but the largest of timber sizes. When you head away from a 0° angle the capacity starts to decrease. At 45° you’re looking at 40mm of depth and 225mm of width. This is still pretty good capacity.
The large base is a plus point and fitting given the gaping sizes the Rage 3 can handle. You’re able to clamp big pieces down in a way that’s secure. Even more so if you opt for the Evolution mitre saw table.
You can get the Rage 3 in either 110 V or 240 V, so its good for the site as well as the garage-cum-workshop. There’s dust management built-in, but it doesn’t work as effectively as the Bosch or Festool systems.
Ultimately, it is a tricky one. For a hobbyist who wants to work with wood and metal, I think the Evolution Rage offers great value. But this is a large mitre saw, which implies use in more professional environments.
However it doesn’t seem to hold up to the promise. Another downside is that it uses a non-standard blade, Evolution have shot themselves in the foot a little bit there. Freud blades are something you might want to consider if you do opt for another brand. That said the included blade is capable of cutting through mild steel, non-ferrous metals, wood and plastic. This is great in terms of cutting down on fiddly blade replacement time.
For the price and the features, if you’re not too fussed about down to the millimetre accuracy the Evolution Rage won’t be getting you too angry. If you do, there’s a 3-year warranty for UK purchasers, win-win.
- Motor (110 V): 1600 W
- Motor (240 V): 2000 W
- No Load Speed: 2500 rpm
- Max Bevel (Left / Right): 45° / 45°
- Blade Diameter: 255mm
- No. Teeth: 28mm
- Arbour: 25.4mm (1″)
- Kerf: 2mm
- Max. Cross Cut (0° x 0°): 320mm x 80mm
- Max. Bevel Cut (0° x 45°):320mm x 40mm
- Max. Mitre Cut (45° x 0°):225mm x 80mm
- Max. Compound Cut (45° x 45°):225mm x 40mm
- Mild Steel Plate (Max. Thickness): 6mm
- Mild Steel Box Section (Max. Wall Thickness): 3mm
Festool make some top quality gear. They have excellent extraction systems, superb design and searing power. This Festool KAPEX KS 60 sliding compound is a 110 V model. It can handle a 47°/46° cut on each side and power through a staggering mitre angle of up to 60° on each side.
This is certainly not a DIY fan’s mitre. This is a cabinet-making, fine-artist, sculptors tool. The precision on Festool kit – and the lovely way their boxes stack with each other means I will forever miss my old university workshop with all that lovely Festool kit in it.
Festool’s mobile dust extraction unit works across the Festool range and is one of the best I’ve come across. Without proper extraction or PPE you’re really heading for some lung trouble dear reader. Cleantec is Festool’s bayonet fitting for connecting to the extractor and the tool. It is superior in design to standard bayonets, it is a shame its so proprietary.
- Perfect for mobile use
- Cuts boards and panels in dimensions up to 305 mm by 60 mm
- Antistatic function on the dust extraction and tools prevents static charges from accumulating
- Electronically control and adjust speeds and monitor temperatures
- LED spotlight for accurate judgements
The KAPEX has a plethora of features which make it a versatile sliding mitre. To start, consider the depth cutting limiter. The KAPEX 60 cuts up to… 60mm. This is deep enough for most and with a reverse cut is absolutely banging. Inclining both ways, as it does, means you can work super smooth. The mitre degrees run up to 60, which is why this is such a premium bit of kit, when 45 does the job most of the time, the KAPEX goes further.
Instead of a laser, the Festool has an LED light which shows the way to cut. This is better than a measly laser. I really like the ergonomics Festool add to their products too. The carry handles are comfortable, the cord-holder and safety flap are all design for the workspace.
All this is within a body which has slimmed down to the bare minimum. It is staggeringly lightweight for its capabilities – weighing 17kg. With a power consumption of only 1200 W, Festool are certainly working some magic, and that magic is actually the Multi Material Control (MMC). The MMC digital controls keep tabs on speed and temperature when working with materials as diverse and difficult as steel and ceramic.
- Power consumption: 1 200 W
- Idle engine speed: 1300 – 3500 min
- Saw blade diameter: 216.00 mm
- Cutting depth 90° / 90°: 305 x 60 mm
- Cutting depth at 45° / 90°: 215 x 60 mm
- Cutting depth 45° / 45° (left): 215 x 40 mm
- Inclination angle: 47° / 46°
- Mitre angle: 60 / 60 °
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 661 x 475 x 430 mm
- Dust extraction connection diameter: 27/36 mm
- Weight: 17.80 kg
- Cutting depth 60°/90°: 150 x 60 mm
- Cutting depth 45°/45° (right): 215 x 20 mm
Bosch Professional GCM 8 SJL
Bosch are a big brand name, so naturally you probably kind of want it. On the more expensive end of our selection of mitre saw, but with a high quality finish and functionality.
Bosch make the Professional GCM 8 SJL in both 240 V and 110 V, testifying to the quality and market that Bosch are aiming for – as 110 V in the industry standard (not legally just de facto) on larger sites. You can take the Bosch straight out of the box and cut – this was the most accurate mitre out of the box of all, with no adjustments required.
- Available in 240 V or 110 V
- Cuts up to 312mm wide and 70mm deep on straight cuts
- Can handle going deep on a 45° mitre cut
- Saw blade diameter of 216mm and an arbour of 30mm
- Includes blade and clamp, but no dust bag!
The GCM 8 is capable of cutting 312mm widths. Capable of handling laminate, parquet, decking and flooring without changing the blades – or add a tungsten carbide for cutting metals. The Bosch GCM 8 is a professional grade tool. The thing weighs 17.3kg – light enough to boss about and easy to carry with its handle.
Compared to the previous model, the Bosch GCM 8 has a 15% greater cutting surface and has 100 W more of power. This 1600 W motor can drive the blade to speeds of 5,500 rpm – for a proper quick and clean cut.
The design is safety conscious, red means get your fingers out the way, the blue and steel cutting surface offers a good contrast to most materials. There’s a refined angle adjuster which offers easier and faster changing – just lift one lever and lock it at the desired angle.
There are two side extensions which can be pulled out to keep things steady and safe when processing in a difficult or awkward setting. In terms of dust extraction there are the standard outlets on the rear of the saw, which can be attached to a hoover or external dust bag. And on the saw arm itself sits another outlet.CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE!
Bosch have pioneered Soft Start technology, which increases the lifetime of the motor. You wouldn’t want the full 1600 W being thrown down immediately. When it comes to cutting the Bosch has a laser line projecting down onto the material in question. The capacity is large – a straight 0° cut can go to 312mm in width and 70mm down. And the 45° mitre cut can handle 214mm in width and still keep going down to 70mm.
This saw only tilts one way, but it is fine to just reverse your cuts, it does one thing and it does it very well. Like the bigger brother, the GCM 12, there is Intelligent Braking incorporated into the GCM 8, this improves the safety and security of your hands, eyes and ears when going through tough materials.
For a professional looking at a mobile and powerful mitre saw, the GCM 8 is a very powerful and versatile option. It is lighter than the GCM 12 but you do lose some of the yawning capacity and the double bevel.
- Cutting capacity, 0°: 70 x 312 mm
- Cutting capacity, 45° mitre: 70 x 214 mm
- Cutting capacity, 45° incline: 48 x 312 mm
- Mitre setting: 52 ° L / 60 ° R
- Bevel setting: 47 ° L / 2 ° R
- Tool dimensions (width x length x height): 910 x 460 x 410mm
- No-load speed: 5,500 rpm
- Saw blade diameter: 216mm
- Saw blade bore diameter: 30mm
- Weight: 17.3kg
- Power: 1400 W
The VonHaus compound sliding mitre has some nice features and has a rather pleasing on the eye design and finish – I especially like the clear safety flap but you just know it is going to get dusty and grimy in no time. As seems to be rather standard these days, there is a laser guide which projects out the cut line. It’s useful, but not super bright, and we’ve done without lasers for decades! Amazingly, the VonHaus is ready to go out of the box. Although it is best to do some test cuts to check the alignments.
VonHaus make a large, medium and small version of a mitre saw. This is VonHaus’ mid-sized sliding mitre. It can handle 220mm by 70mm when cutting a straight bevel. When cutting mitres at 45° x 0° it’ll handle 155mm by 70mm. At 0° x 45° it’ll handle 220mm by 35mm and when maxed out at 45° x 45°, 155mm by 35mm.
The VonHaus takes a 210mm (8″) blade and pulls 1500W of power. It is very sharp and very fast. It feels like it should cost more than it does, with the smart, compact design and its efficiency.
Included as accessories are a dust bag, an Allen wrench, a wood clamp and two extension bars. I like the compact size of the 1500W model, it is a testament to that design I mentioned earlier – fitting down to 58 x 43 x 31cm when folded.
- Cut up to 210mm in a straight bevel
- +45°/-45° Mitre Cuts
- Dust bag for capturing any debris
- Includes a wood grip to keep section steady
- Built-in laser guidance
- ‘Open source’ blades
Another good feature is the length of the cable – 2 meters is in that nice middle ground of length, any longer and it becomes a pool of cable on the floor, any shorter and you have it either fixed in location or an irritatingly stretch extension cord doing the work.
In general is a smaller mitre saw, there’s no denying that, you can tell when you start to try compounding the cutting angles and lose out on depth, a couple of smart cuts will still get through things thicker than 35mm though. A note on blades – VonHaus do not currently sell their own, instead you’ll need to source a blade with a 210mm diameter and a 30mm blade arbour diameter. Anything to those specs can be used – tungsten carbide, carbon, and so on.
VonHaus might not be a big brand name, but this is very capable compound sliding mitre. There’s a great potential for use in a DIY or professional capacity – though we cannot speak to its long term durability. That saw cuts very well for the price, and has surprised even professionals for its durability and quality.
- Voltage: 220 – 240V
- Power: 1500W
- No-load Speed: 4500 rpm
- Blade Diameter: 210mm
- Blade Arbour Diameter: 30mm
- Max Cutting Depth: 70mm
- Straight Cut Capacity: 220 x 70mm
- Mitre Cut: 45° Left: 155 x 70mm
- Table Angles: 45°
- Folded Size: L58 x W43 x H31cm\
The Lumberjack has an 8″ blade, with 70mm of depth to its cut. The slide gives you 210mm cutting width. The 45 degree cutting angle is pretty standard for mitres, so you don’t get anything extra in that regard. Lumberjack has added a laser cutting guide. This projects a line onto what you’re cutting, although in bright light it is difficult to see. In aesthetic terms, I’ve definitely seen more attractive looking beasts in my time.
This mitre saw is very easy to set up, minimal instructions in a five page booklet. It even comes with a little two in one Allen key and Philips screwdriver for tightening all the necessary screws and for changing the blade. Changing the blade on any mitre saw can be tricky to say the least. I like to have a little wrench and a ruler to support the screw as it goes in.
- 210mm cutting width
- Adjustable 70mm cutting depth
- Includes a handsome package of accessories – leg extenders and spare parts
- Aluminium cutting base is comfortably heavy – the saw weighs 12.5kg in total
There’s a comprehensive accessory kit with the Lumberjack, such as length extending supports for those long pieces of material. A nice work clamp. A bag for dust extraction. And amazingly, a spare set of motor brushes.
The slide of the arm feels well made, but the guard feels a bit flimsy. When cutting you can change the depths up to 70mm – so you won’t make a bad cut on purpose. That said, the motor, 1500W, doesn’t produce proper cabinet-making quality cuts, there can be a few loose ripped edges at times. Maybe some really nice sharp blades would make a difference in this regard though? I’d grade the Lumberjack as a tool suitable for either carpenters just setting out or a keen DIY enthusiast.
- Motor : 1500W – 230V
- Blade Diameter : 210mm
- Bore Diameter : 30mm
- No Load Speed : 5000rpm
- Straight Cut 0° x 0° : 210 x 70mm
- Bevel Cut 0° x 45° : 147 x 70mm
- Mitre Cut 45° x 0° : 210 x 35mm
- Compound Cut 45° x 45° : 147 x 35mm
- Angle Auto Stops : 0°-15°-22.5°-30°-45° Right/Left
- Tilt Stops : 0° to 45°
- Net Weight : 9.8kg