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The best mitre saws, sometimes called chop saws, are an invaluable addition to your tool shed. They can be used to simply cut in an efficient, highly accurate way, or cut mitres and bevels to create angled joins.
Largely mitre saws are used for timber, but many saws can also cut plastic and metal, sometimes requiring a separate blade, sometimes not. They're often used for decorative DIY timber elements around the home, including trim, skirting boards and beading, but they're also a great choice for making the cuts required for laying a laminate or wood floor, and for laying decking.
(MORE: How to Lay Decking)
If you're considering adding a mitre saw to your tool shed, take a look at our pick of 5 of the best available right now.
What is the Best Mitre Saw?
1. Ryobi EMS190DC 18V ONE+ Mitre Saw
A budget-friendly cordless mitre saw
Blade diameter: 190mm | Maximum width cut: 108mm | Maximum depth cut : 45mm | Maximum mitre: 45°
Ryobi is one of the go-to names for cordless tools, and a cordless mitre saw at this price point is a great find. Cable length is a huge bugbear when using a mitre saw, so going cordless can free you from the clutches of extension cables, especially great if you're working in a large room or across a bigger renovation project.
The saw blade is fixed, not on a sliding mechanism, which means that you can only cut widths of material up to 108mm straight (and less on a mitre), so keep this in mind when deciding on your mitre saw, as some larger skirting boards, for example, can be taller than this.
As with any corded power tool of this nature, the battery isn't going to last a hugely long time, so it's always best to invest in two to ensure you've got one charging while using the other.
2. Evolution R255SMS 240V 255mm Sliding Mitre Saw
A good quality mitre saw that packs in plenty of features for the price
Blade diameter: 255mm | Maximum width cut: 300mm | Maximum mitre: 50°
Though £170 might not necessarily sound the most budget-friendly for a mitre saw, comparatively, with the features the Evolution R255SMS packs in, it's offers great value for money.
The large cross cut span, the slide-mounted blade and the laser guide are all invaluable features to make this tool work harder for you, and will help greatly increase the variety of projects you can use it for, making the cheaper, but less-feature packed alternatives a bit of a false economy.
There are a few things to watch out for with this mitre saw, however. The integrated clamps are somewhat awkward to use, slowing down the cutting process, and you may be better served to invest in some stand-alone clamps where required. The two metre cable is fine, but a more generous cord would help for use on a larger site without the need for extension leads.
Lastly, this mitre saw is quite large, even when packed away, so storing it can be difficult.
3. Makita LS0714LN 190mm Slide Compound Mitre Saw 240v
The professionals pick for a sliding mitre saw
Blade diameter: 190mm | Maximum width cut: 300mm | Maximum mitre: 57°
There's a reason why this Makita tool is favoured by professional carpenters — it's super light compared to many mitre saws on the market, making it easy to transport, carry on site and store. With a piece of equipment that's often big and bulky, this isn't something to overlook.
Of course, Makita is a mid-to-premium range, so it has some brilliant features too, including the laser guide and dual-mitre head, meaning you can cut mitres on both sides of the blade. The ball-bearing rail mechanism also promises a smooth, precision cut when using the sliding function.
The adjustable arms are a great feature too, allowing for much more support to long timbers than many makes and models available, while the feet can also be adjusted easily to help stabilise the saw when in use.
Of course, the Makita LS0714LN comes with a price tag to reflect this, so may only be a suitable pick for those using the tool more consistently, or with deeper pockets.
4. Evolution FURY6 210 Multi-Purpose Mitre/Table Saw
A clever mitre saw that integrates a table saw for extra function
Blade diameter: 210mm | Maximum width cut: 115mm | Maximum depth cut: 55mm | Maximum mitre: 45°
This mitre saw that doubles up as a table saw is a clever design, but likely best suited to DIYers than professionals. The table saw adds extra functionality, but it's unlikely to be useful enough for a carpenter to use. Around the home, however, it's brilliant for helping get a great finish on small interior decorating projects and adding versatility for timber cuts a mitre saw just can't achieve.
The Evolution FURY6 uses the same technology that allows the brand's tools to cut metal, plastic and timber all with the same saw blade, however, as it's a fixed saw blade, not mounted on a slider, it has quite a short maximum cut, more than 50% less than many sliding mitre saws.
It's still great for most projects, including skirting boards and mouldings, so don't overlook a fixed mitre saw if these are the only jobs you need to tackle with it.
5. Draper Precision Hand Mitre Saw
A sturdy manual mitre saw
Blade length: 550mm | Maximum width cut: 170mm | Maximum depth cut: 100mm
If power tools aren't your thing, or you only need a mitre saw for one small job, a manual mitre saw might be the answer. This sturdy buy from Draper is a good mid-level mitre saw that will last, and make light work of cutting timber, even if it does require a bit more elbow grease than an electric mitre saw.
One added benefit is that a manual mitre saw will likely cut to a much larger depth than a power mitre saw, and the Draper Precision hand mitre saw can cut to heights of 100mm. This allows it to cut bevels, but it's unlikely to be large enough for use cutting exterior corners for skirting boards.
What to Look for When Buying a Mitre Saw
As with most power tools, if you're buying for use in your own home, powered by your mains electricity, you'll need to make sure you buy the 240V version, not the 110V, as this will require a transformer to operate directly off mains power.
When it comes to features, check if a mitre saw has a laser guide for accurate cutting. Without this, you'll find it harder to cut to your ink line initially, until you get a sense of how to level the blade through experience.
A sliding mitre saw is usually beneficial over a fixed saw head, as it means you'll be able to cut to much larger widths. These are however larger, making them harder to store, and heavier, which can be an issue for transporting them.
Most mitre saws include integrated clamps to hold down your material, ensuring you can use them safely without having to put your hands near the blade. When cutting long lengths of timber, these may not be strong enough to keep your timber balanced and your cut accurate, so consider investing in extra clamps or having an extra pair of hands help out when cutting.
When it comes to cutting a mitre, many mitre saws have a range set between 0° and 45° — usually that's all that's required. There are likely to be several pre-selected angles that the saw will click to for cutting a mitre. Look for the one with the largest range.
More Best Buys for Your Tool Shed
Hugh is Digital Editor of homebuilding.co.uk and has worked on a range of home, design and property magazines, including Grand Designs, Essential Kitchens, Bathrooms, Bedrooms and Good Homes. Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture and green homes, and moonlights as an interior designer, having designed and managed projects ranging from single rooms to whole house renovations and large extensions. He's currently renovating a Victorian terrace in Essex, DIYing as much of the work as possible. His current project is a kitchen renovation which involves knocking through walls and landscaping a courtyard garden.
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