The miter saw is a precision power tool used for crosscuts on wood, metal, and other materials as well as miters. These powerful saws mount a circular blade on a mechanical arm and then bring the blade down onto the material to be cut in a rapid smooth motion.
Also referred to as a drop saw, it can usually be found in two versions: a sliding miter saw, or a compound miter saw. Fortunately, these exceptional cutting tools can now be found with a limited budget. Technological advances and heightened competition in the marketplace have led to affordable quality options for consumers to consider.
- Adjustable bevel stops
- Precision cuts at lots of angles
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Great for novices
Top Picks for the 5 Best Miter Saws Under $200
- Best Value Miter Saw Under $200:: Hitachi Power Tools Metabo 10-Inch HPT C10FCG Compound Miter Saw
An impressive compound miter saw at an even more impressive price. The miter rotates both left and right with angles from 0 to 52° for flexibility and versatility.
- Best Sliding Miter Saw Under $200: General International Compound Sliding 10-Inch Miter Saw
A laser alignment system ensures precision cutting with this powerful 1800 watt 15A motor. A versatile machine design makes bevel and miter cuts to 45° and cuts plastic, aluminum, or wood with the correct blades.
- Best Budget Miter Saw Under $200: Chicago Electric Single Bevel 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
A 45° tilting saw blade offers precise bevel, compound, and miter cuts. This saw will cut moldings, PVC, 2X4s, and more with a 15A motor and 4800 RPM speed at one of the lowest prices on the market.
- Best Easy-to-Operate Miter Saw Under $200: Delta ShopMaster S26-262L 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
Ready to use as soon as you remove the packaging, this Delta Miter saw with a 15A motor is easy to operate with a large base and turntable, 10 miter stops, an electric brake, and a laser marker.
Precise cutting is the winning feature of this budget-friendly, lightweight, and portable Miter Saw from Genesis. Weighing ony24 lbs. you can take it wherever you need to.
If your budget is limited to $200 you can find a good performing miter saw for your project needs.
Let’s discuss what to expect with this budget and what to look for to get the best miter saw for your project needs and value for your money.
What Is a Miter Saw?
This is a drop saw that is commonly used for cutting moulding and trimming. It is used to make miter or crosscuts on multiple materials. Most miter saw blades are made of carbon steel and will be coated for easy cutting and to resist rust and corrosion.
Miter Saw Types
When it comes time to purchase your saw, it’s important that you purchase the best type of miter saw for your cutting needs. The three principal types of miter saws available are
· Basic Miter Saws
A basic miter saw is only used for miters and the cutting angle can be set from 0 to 45° from both right and left sides. These saws are not usually used for bevel cuts.
· Compound Miter Saws
A miter saw is identified as a “compound” saw when it offers more than one function. They can be found with bevel cutting capability, miter cutting capability, or a combination of the two.
· Sliding Miter Saws
The sliding miter saw does exactly what the name implies, it features a sliding arm. This will permit you to make bigger crosscuts on wider boards of the material you are cutting.
There are miter saws that have bevel cutting capabilities, both single and double. These will be found on compound miter saws and are incredibly convenient. The saw arm on these machines is capable of swinging in both directions and performing precision cuts.
The bevel cutting capacity will add weight to the miter saw, but the precision performance is enviable. A sliding compound miter saw that offers double bevel cutting capacity offers maximum versatility for your project needs.
Other Important Miter Saw Features to Consider
Once you have decided the type of miter saw that best satisfies your workshop needs, some other features will influence the overall cost of the saw.
A saw is a saw because of its blade. This is one of the principal features of any cutting tool. Your saw blade and the number of teeth will indicate cut width and cut depth in any material. Blades can be found in sizes in a range from 5 to 12 inches. However, the most commonly used blade sizes are the 8, 10, and 12-inch blades.
Miter Saw Motor
Most miter saws will be equipped with a 15-amperage motor which will produce a sufficiently high RPM speed. Some may come with a smaller motor capability such as 10A or 13A. The higher the amperage, the more cutting capability.
Most miter saws run on a household electric current of 120V.
Miter saw markings are important and should be highly visible so you can read them regardless of the light level. Many settings have detents positioned for the most popular angles, so you can set your saw quickly. Some saws feature technology to position angles near detents.
Stops: Depth and Positive
Positive stops are manufacturer positions for quick cutting. The more there are the faster you can obtain the desired angle. Thumb-activated stops adjust faster.
The depth stops control the blade height to regulate how deep cuts are.
Miter Saw Accessories
Accessories are intended to increase convenience when operating a power tool. You may end up selecting one brand rather than another based on the extras that come with a specific saw. These extras may include clamps, extra saw blades, wrenches, dust collectors, and more.
When a miter saw features a laser light, this can increase your precision during cutting substantially. These beams are set to move across the material to be cut at the desired angle. If you are purchasing your very first miter saw, this feature can be especially beneficial.
Another feature that is appealing for novice miter saw operators is the addition of blade brakes. If you are not yet accustomed to operating a miter saw, electric braking will stop the saw blade efficiently and rapidly.
The Benefits of Using a Miter Saw
A miter saw offers several benefits that are important in projects requiring precision cutting.
· Various Angle Cuts
There are multiple angle cuts to be made with a miter saw. Many other saws will require an additional tool or accessory to perform angle cuts.
The principal reason for using a miter saw is the precision cutting that it performs on a variety of materials. Cuts will be accurate making your project so much easier t complete.
These saws perform smooth cuts, despite the material thickness and cut very rapidly saving you valuable work time.
· Easy Operation
This is an incredibly easy power tool to use even for newcomers. Read the manufacturer operating manual before using it.
10 or 12-Inch Miter Saw?
Blade size will influence the cost of the saw as well as the weight. 10-inch miter saws offer good performance, weigh less, and might be more budget-friendly.
If you will be cutting thicker lumber or material, a 12-inch miter saw is recommended to ensure precision when cutting.
Is a Sliding Miter Saw Necessary?
If you will be cutting wider pieces of lumber or other materials, a sliding miter saw will facilitate your work. The saw blade will slide outward enabling you to cut across wider pieces of your materials.
Top Picks for the 5 Best Miter Saws Under $200:
Amps 15A – Arbor Size 5/8” – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 5000 – Voltage 120V – Weight 24.2 lbs.
- Adjustable bevel stops
- Precision cuts at lots of angles
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Great for novices
- Does not come pre-assembled
- Saw fence a bit light
- Quality control issues reported
An impressive compound miter saw that is available at an even more impressive price. Tha’s what manufacturer Hitachi has accomplished with this model of miter saw. The miter can
rotate both left and right with angles from 0 to 52° making it incredibly flexible and versatile fo multiple cutting neads.
It offers a single bevel that features adjustable bevel stops. Table space is generous so you can use clamps to keep your material stable. And it comes with extras like a wrench, dust bag, and brush to clean your work area so you won’t be spending more on accessories.
Amps 15A – Arbor Size N/P – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 4400 – Voltage 120V – Weight 29 lbs.
- Budget-friendly miter saw
- Cuts wood, PVC, and other materials
- Bevel angle 45°
- Comes with a dustbag, aluminum fence, table clamp, and extension bars
- No extras
- Tilting for angles is limited to 45°
- Durability could be improved
While it’s not that easy to find a quality compound sliding miter saw for under $200, General International does just that. The saw features dual slide rails guaranteeing stability and precision cutting thanks to a built-in laser alignment guidance system. A push-button lock mechanism allows you to change blades safely and rapidly. Bevel and miter cuts are performed up to 45° of aluminum, plastic, and wood with the correct blades.
Best Budget Miter Saw Under $200:
Amps 15A – Arbor Size 5/8” – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 4800 – Voltage 120V – Weight 27.78 lbs.
- Convenient 2-pack
- Reduced vibration
- Compatible with several saw types
- Accurate cuts with a thin kerf
- 3-year warranty
- A little noisy
- Can dull quickly
A 45° tilting saw blade affords precision bevel, compound, and miter cuts for 2x4s, moldings, PVC, and much more. While some saws will tilt more, this affordable saw does the necessary 45° angles. This saw may feel a little bit more lightweight compared to some, consider the money you are saving. If you plan on using your iter saw daily you may want to find a saw that is a bit more durable and abuse-resistant, although you’ll pay more. But for the occasional DIY project or hobbyist this is a fine miter saw, to begin with.
- Best Easy-to-Operate Miter Saw Under $200:
Amps 15A – Arbor Size 5/8” – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 5500 – Voltage 120V – Weight 31 lbs.
- Bevels left 0 to 47°
- Miters to 45° both left and right
- Laser marker
- Electric brake
- Collection bag doesn’t get all the dust and shavings
- Supporting ribs in the dust chute aid clogging
While this miter saw brings lots of extras with it, the thing I liked most was the fact that this miter saw is ready to use as soon as you remove it from its box. No assembly is required. It features a larger base adding to stability with a generously sized turntable. Little to no vibration is present during cutting.
This saw comes with 10 positive miter stops and features a front lock control system. A laser line indicator aids precision and weighing 31 lbs., it offers portability.
- Best Portable Miter Saw Under $200
Amps 15A – Arbor Size N/P – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 4600 – Voltage 120V – Weight 24 lbs.
- 2-year warranty
- Lightweight and portable
- 9 positive stops
- Laser guide for precision
- Laser light life is short
- Clamping design needs improvement as it can obstruct the saw motor when you drop the blade
Use this Genesis miter saw for 45° precision cuts for crown moulding, frames, shadow boxes, and more. Laser cutting guidance system for rapid alignment. Electric brake allows for fast stopping and an arbor lock aids in rapid blade changes. Comes with a 60T carbide blade, clamp, wrench, 2 extension wings, and dust collector. 9 positive stops for common angles.
Top Brands of Miter Saws
Power tool manufacturers, many of whom are well-known, produce miter saws across an ample price range. Among these you’ll find:
Miter saws are important when performing precision crosscuts and miters. Making exact cuts is not as easy as one might think. The miter saw provides precision cutting efficiently and rapidly affording your projects the accuracy required while saving you time to dedicate elsewhere.