Best Mitre Saw 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

A mitre saw offers all the benefits of a circular saw plus the ability to cut really accurate angles. If you want to do serious woodwork or any sort of metalwork, then you probably need a corded mitre saw. If, however, you only do light work then you might want to consider a cordless mitre saw.

Our experts have gone out and reviewed the best mitre saws in the UK market.

Let’s get right to it!

The Best Mitre Saws – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Einhell Dual Drag Crosscut and Mitre Saw TC-SM 2131/1
  • Type: Corded Crosscut and Mitre Saw
  • Wattage: 1800
  • RPM: 1900
  • Cutting Depth: 310 mm (90°) to 210 mm (45°)
  • Angle of Cut: -45 ° - +45°
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Evolution Power Tools R255SMS+ Compound Saw
  • Type: Corded
  • Wattage: 2000
  • RPM: 2500
  • Cutting Depth: 300 mm (90°) to 210 mm (45°)
  • Angle of Cut: -50 ° - +50°
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Ryobi EMS190DCL ONE+ Mitre Saw
  • Type: Cordless
  • Wattage: cc 90 (with 5Ah battery)
  • RPM: 4500
  • Cutting Depth: 108mm at 90° variable at other angles
  • Angle of Cut: 0,15,22.5,31.6 and 45 degrees (pre set)
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Best Mitre Saws

Einhell Dual Drag Crosscut and Mitre Saw TC-SM 2131/1

Einhell has built its brand on creating products which deliver where it matters but still come in at a reasonable price. They’ve certainly done that here. Overall, this is the best mitre saw on the UK market.

Set-up is easy and the saw clamps securely into place. The blade does its job quickly, accurately and reasonably quietly. There’s enough depth of cut and RPM to cope with even heavy-duty projects like fencing.

It is true that general build quality could be better. On the other hand, if you treat your tools with reasonable care, this is only a minor issue. At the end of the day, if you want this sort of quality cutting, plus more robust build quality, then you’ll need to be prepared to pay a lot more for it.

You might be happy to do that if you regularly undertake serious DIY projects, maybe you’re almost a pro. For most people, however, this mitre saw will be robust enough for their needs. If so, then its affordable price makes it the best value mitre saw on the UK market.

Specifications

  • Type: Corded Crosscut and Mitre Saw
  • Wattage: 1800
  • RPM: 1900
  • Cutting Depth: 310 mm (90°) to 210 mm (45°)
  • Angle of Cut: -45 ° - +45°

We like

  • Solid value for money
  • Works on laminates and plastic as well as wood
  • Secures very firmly

We dislike

  • For once, nothing to say!

Final Verdict

Given the affordable price and the quality, this is the best mitre saw you can buy.

Evolution Power Tools R255SMS+ Compound Saw

Overall this is the best compound mitre saw on the UK market. It has great build quality, is easy to set up and folds down to a fairly compact size for transport and storage. Most importantly of all, it cuts really well. 

The default saw blade is a multimaterial one. You can, however, swap this out for a wood blade or upgrade to a diamond blade to cut through the hardest of materials. As long as the blade is up to the job, then the motor is. It has 2000 watts and 2500 RPM. There’s also a generous 3M of cable, so you do have quite a bit of freedom to work away from a wall socket.

You may need a bit of practice to use this mitre saw effectively. In particular, you probably want to practice trench cuts on scrap lumbar before doing them for real. Unlike some other brands, the blade comes down in an arc. This means that the further back you cut, the deeper the cut gets. Some people might find it a challenge to adjust to this, but practice makes perfect.

Another minor issue is that this saw isn’t the fastest to spin up. It takes about two seconds. This may not be ideal for big jobs. That said, the average DIYer, even a serious one, probably won’t even notice.

There is, however, one weak point in this compound mitre saw and that’s the laser. It’s neither particularly bright nor particularly accurate. This means that really your best option is probably to mark your material some other way.

Specifications

  • Type: Corded
  • Wattage: 2000
  • RPM: 2500
  • Cutting Depth: 300 mm (90°) to 210 mm (45°)
  • Angle of Cut: -50 ° - +50°

We like

  • Comes with multimaterial blade, great for reclaimed timber
  • Powerful motor
  • Folds down very compactly for storage and transport

We dislike

  • Laser could be brighter (and more accurate)

Ryobi EMS190DCL ONE+ Mitre Saw

The reason this is the best budget mitre saw in the UK is that the overall build quality and performance are both much better than you’d expect for the low price. Overall, this mitre saw is very robust. In particular it clamps securely into place so you can cut with confidence. The 24-tooth TCT blade performs very well on even thicker wood.

Serious DIYers might be frustrated with the pre-set mitre options, but they aren’t the target market for this product. Crafters, DIY beginners and occasional DIYers will probably be very happy to have a simple option for changing the mitre.

The fact that this mitre saw is cordless means that you have the flexibility to use it anywhere. Battery life will depend partly on what battery you buy and partly on what work you are doing. In general, however, Ryobi batteries are high-quality as well as decently priced.

You’ll get the best value for money if you have other Ryobi tools and can share the battery. This can also be helpful for cutting down on the need for storage space. Even if you don’t, the mitre saw is still an economical buy.

Specifications

  • Type: Cordless
  • Wattage: cc 90 (with 5Ah battery)
  • RPM: 4500
  • Cutting Depth: 108mm at 90° variable at other angles
  • Angle of Cut: 0,15,22.5,31.6 and 45 degrees (pre set)

We like

  • Very user-friendly
  • Affordable price for a cordless mitre saw (even if you have to buy a battery)
  • Can be used anywhere, even where there’s no power outlet

We dislike

  • Pre-set mitres can be restricting
  • Not enough power for laminates and plastics

Evolution Power Tools R210SMS+ Sliding Mitre Saw

This sliding mitre saw comes in a lot of pieces. Fortunately, it also comes with an excellent instruction manual. As a result, it’s really easy to put together as long as you take your time. In the unlikely event that you do get stuck, there are plenty of video walkthroughs on YouTube.

Once you get this sliding mitre saw assembled, it’s really lovely to use. The only potential issue is the low-RPM motor. The main disadvantage of the low RPM motor is, of course, that you lose a bit of power. You also lose the ability to choose between soft-start and hard-start.

On the plus side, the lower RPM means less time to spin up and down. This makes the loss of soft-start and hard-start less of an issue. It also means that the saw is noticeably quieter in operation.

Even with the lower RPM, this motor is still of a very decent standard. For example, this mitre saw happily glides through laminate flooring. It’s hard to see it having a problem with anything the average serious DIYer is going to want to do.

Specifications

  • Type: Corded
  • Wattage: 1500
  • RPM: 3750
  • Cutting Depth: 230 mm (90°) to 150 mm (45°)
  • Angle of Cut: -50 ° - +50°

We like

  • Comes with a high-quality, multimaterial blade
  • Precise cuts
  • Decent length of cable

We dislike

  • Is a bit of a pain to set up

Final Verdict

This mitre saw is certainly the best sliding mitre saw for under £200. It’s a great tool at a great price.

Bosch Professional GCM 800 SJ Sliding Mitre Saw

The Bosch Professional GCM 800 SJ Sliding mitre saw certainly isn’t the most affordable, but it is excellent value. The power and precision are both unbeatable. Despite this, however, this saw is very lightweight and surprisingly compact. In fact, it’s close to perfect.

The frustrating point about this mitre saw is that the issues with it could all have been easily fixed at practically no extra cost to Bosch. Possibly the most annoying point is the fact that the instruction manual is, literally, a waste of paper. Fortunately, this saw is very intuitive to use. It’s also popular enough for the answers to any questions to be available online.

It’s mildly annoying that there’s no included dustbag. Admittedly, you can improvise one, but at this price, you’d have thought Bosch could have put one in the box. Similarly, the absence of a laser really isn’t a huge issue. 

Lasers can be handy but they really only work well in fairly dim light and that’s not ideal for using power tools (or even manual tools). That said, at this price point, it would have been nice to have had one.

The last minor gripe is that this mitre saw isn’t ideal for trench cutting. We’ve heard of people dealing with this by switching out the provided nut with one from a local hardware store. This might be something to investigate if you do a lot of trench cutting. Alternatively, you might just want to practice until you’re comfortable using this saw “as is”. Again, it’s a minor frustration rather than a huge issue. Overall, this is still a great sliding mitre saw.

Specifications

  • Type: Corded
  • Wattage: 1400
  • RPM: 5500
  • Cutting Depth: 270 mm (90°) - 190 mm (45°)
  • Angle of Cut: -47 ° - +47 °

We like

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Excellent motor
  • Really accurate angles
  • Mitre detents allow for preset angles

We dislike

  • No dust bag included

Mitre Saw Buying Guide

What is a mitre saw?

A mitre saw is a saw which is designed for making mitres. Mitres are a type of joint. They are used to connect two pieces of material at a right angle. This is usually achieved by cutting the ends of both pieces so they make a 45° angle. Mitre joints are popular because they combine a snug fit with plenty of space to apply glue and give a neat finish.

What is a compound mitre saw?

Compound mitre saws are the standard DIYers mitre saws. They have a mechanism for tilting the blade to offer more flexibility in what the mitre saw can do. In particular, if you have a lot of skirting boards to replace, then a compound mitre saw will make your life a whole lot easier.

The next step up from a regular compound mitre saw is a sliding compound mitre saw, often just known as a sliding mitre saw. These are essentially the same as regular compound saws, except they can slide out on a rail to extend the cutting width. They are therefore a good investment if you regularly cut large sheets of material.

Double bevel mitre saw vs single bevel mitre saw?

A bevel is basically a cut at an angle. A double bevel mitre saw has a blade which can be tilted either left or right to cut from either direction. A single bevel mitre saw has a blade which can only be tilted in one direction and hence has a more limited cutting range. If you need to cut the material from the other direction, you have to flip it over.

To visualize this, think of an old-school clock face. A double bevel mitre saw would typically be able to cut from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, whereas a single bevel mitre saw would typically only be able to cut between 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock.

Objectively, therefore, double bevel mitre saws are definitely better. They are, however, also more expensive. This means that if you only use a mitre saw occasionally and/or only use it for light work, then you might be better to save your money and just buy a single bevel mitre saw.

How to use a mitre saw

Your mitre saw should come with instructions which tell you not only how it works, but also how to use it safely. Some otherwise high-quality mitre saws have really poor documentation. If you buy a mitre saw with this problem, then try searching for the tool on the internet.

You may well find that the manufacturer’s website has a lot more information. Even if it doesn’t, popular models of mitre saw will often have plenty of user-generated content. If you still can’t find what you need to know, then try asking on one of the popular internet forums.

Here are some general tips on using a mitre saw safely. They apply to any model of mitre saw.

Think about what you’re wearing

Always wear safety glasses (not just regular eyeglasses). Consider ear defenders, (especially if you use a mitre saw regularly). If you have long hair, then make sure it is well out of the way. At least tie it back, consider putting it up.

Make sure your clothes are tight enough that there is zero risk of them flapping into the blade. Ideally, remove all jewellery. At the very least, remove all loose jewellery (like long necklaces). Think about your footwear. Make sure it has plenty of grip so you are secure on your feet.

Make sure your work area is safe

Make sure that you are working in a clean, dry area, which is free from tripping hazards and has plenty of light. Keep other people away from the area unless they are actually working. Keep children and pets out of the area completely.

Watch your fingers!

Some mitre saws will have lines to show you where your hands should be. If they don’t, then aim to keep them at least 15CM (6”) from the blade. This may seem a lot but it’s actually a minimum.

If you drop something, then leave it be until the blade has completely stopped. Likewise, if your phone rings, then stop the blade before you answer it. Never leave a blade running unless you can give it your full attention.

Treat the blade with the respect it deserves

Use the right blade for the right purpose. Even “multimaterial” blades can have their limits. If you want to cut something really tough, like brick or ferrous metal, then you need to invest in a blade which is up to the task.

Make sure that you allow the blade to stop completely between cuts. If necessary, give it a little time to cool. Make sure that you unplug the mitre saw (or take out its battery) before touching the blade (e.g. to change it).

Keep your mitre saw clean and well-maintained

All tools need to be kept clean and well-maintained in order to work effectively and mitre saws are no exception. After each use, give the blade a quick brush down with a plastic or nylon brush and a once-over with some solvent.

If you detect signs that your blade isn’t cutting the way it used to (and you’re sure you’re using it on the right material), then try giving it a proper deep clean with a blade-cleaning solution.

Sharpening your mitre saw blade

If cleaning your saw blade doesn’t solve the problem then your blade probably needs sharpening. There are plenty of videos on how to do this. Essentially you just go over the cutting edge of the teeth with a file. Ideally, you want to have the blade in a vice when you do this.

If you have a really good blade, you might want to send it away for professional sharpening every now and again. The cost and time of this can be balanced against the fact that a professional will generally do a better job than an amateur.

How to cut coving with a mitre saw?

Cutting coving with a mitre saw is actually fairly easy. The hard part is getting the measurements right in the first place. Here is a guide from start to finish.

Measure the length

The trick to measuring the length correctly is to make sure that you measure the edge which goes against the wall. You can make your life a lot easier by marking this edge in some way. It doesn’t really matter what you use as long as you can see it clearly. Nobody’s going to know it’s there once the coving is in place.

Measure the angles

Never assume that an angle is exactly 90°, even if it looks like it is. Proper angle finders are affordable to buy, take up hardly any storage space and are really easy to use. They can make your life so much easier when cutting coving.

Translate the room angle into mitre angle

Just divide the actual angle by two and set your angle to + and – the answer. For example, if you do find a perfect 90° then you will need to cut at +45° and -45° (or 315°).

If you are using a double bevel mitre saw, the easiest approach will probably be just to keep feeding through your coving and changing the angle of the blade as necessary. Assuming you line up your coving properly to being with, this should ensure that you only ever cut the wall edge.

If you’re using a single bevel mitre saw, you absolutely can cut coving very neatly and effectively. You’re just going to need to make sure that you always cut the right edge. Again, if you mark it clearly, you’ll reduce the likelihood of making mistakes.

Conclusion

If you use your mitre saw regularly, then you might benefit from the convenience of a double bevel mitre saw. These have a much greater cutting range than single bevel mitre saws and hence can be more convenient to use. They are, however, also more expensive (and a bit more complicated) than single bevel mitre saws. This means they might not be the best choice for light and/or occasional users.

Although buying a mitre saw is an investment, your mitre saw can earn its keep (and more) if you need to replace flooring, skirting boards or coving. It’s also useful for general woodworking projects such as making custom furniture. This can be really handy if you need to make the most of every space in your home.

Come check out our other reviews of the best circular saws, best scroll saws, and our article on how to set up a DIY table saw.