These are the Kings of power mitre saws, and are the ones chosen by professionals, contractors and people who do a lot of woodworking or a lot of DIY, or Home Improvement projects. They are the most expensive but they are the ultimate choice in the range of mitre saws that are available today.
Almost anyone who does any amount of woodworking will almost certainly have one of these in their workshop.
Professional frame makers, cabinet makers and just about anyone who works with wood will have a variety of power saws, planers, routers etc, and among those will be the sliding compound.
They do of course have all the features of the standard compound mitre saw, but the main addition is that the saw can slide or glide, and that means you can work with much larger pieces of wood. That is in essence the main difference, but for serious users, it is a huge difference and of great benefit.
Have a look at the video below, where you will see the clear advantage of having a sliding version of this powerful saw.
The Benefits of Having A Sliding Saw
Cutting Longer Lengths of Wood
I think that you will agree that this is an impressive tool, that makes it useful for just about anything you will ever need to do with mitres, bevels or compound joints. They are great on all types of wood and for me, the fact that I can cut up to about 14″ in length just makes a huge difference for me.
The Sliding or Gliding Element
Many users actually complain about the slide which I find strange. The reason for that is that the huge majority of the cuts you will make do not require the slide. As such, the slide can be more of a hindrance than a help. Many of the newer models, like the one shown in the video from Dewalt, have a locking position on the slide and that does make a huge difference.
Make sure if you are going to buy a sliding version, that it has this feature, as it just makes doing all of your tasks and projects a great deal easier.
If you don’t need to cut longer pieces of wood, then there is simply no need to go with one that slides and a standard compound saw will do your job perfectly well.
Again if you believe that you will be making a lot of bevel style cuts, then this saw will certainly help you out. For a long time professionals were used to a single bevel on a power saw. In today’s market though, almost all of the bigger brands have gone for the dual option. That just makes a great deal of sense as it saves you having to turn long lengths of wood around in confined spaces.
So if you agree that a dual is the way to go, and I would recommend strongly that you go down that route, then how the bevel adjusts is an important consideration to make. On many of the saws that I looked at and reviewed, the releasing mechanisms, and the adjustment methods were rather poorly designed.
The reality is that it doesn’t have to be like that at all. You want your standard position to be set at zero, and then be able to eaasily adjust a variety of angles to the left and right.
If you noticed in the video, this one from Dewalt makes that process pretty simple. That is exactly how it should be. On some of the saws however you have to adjust a couple of locks and knobs at the same time, which to be honest is rather fiddly and awkward.
Again, if you will be using the saw frequently, you will need to change the blades. That process should be simple. Normally it means loosening off the guard, and then removing the nut that holds the blade in place. The entire process should take about 5-8 minutes. Just watch out for saws where you have to take off several parts to do this, as those can be a real time waster, especially when you are busy.
So in summary, if you are considering getting a mitre saw, then the only big decision you need to make is really what lengths or depths of cuts you will want to be able to make. For many users this will be typically 2 x 2, or small floorboards or frames for windows, doors and pictures. A standard version will do the job really well. However, if you will want to work on 4 x 4 or on shelf type sizes of wood, then you will need a sliding compound to get those types of tasks completed.
Top 3 Compound Sliding Saws
There are hundreds of these saws available in the market place. Manufacturers compete very heavily on these to try and get their market share. To keep things a bit simpler I have narrowed these down to my favourite three. This is of course based on value for money, quality of cut and overall reviews and ratings.
Dewalt 305 mm Compound Slide
It is very expensive but it is probably the best on the market today. If you can afford it just buy it and you will not ever need to worry about having the right saw again.
In the main though, this will be used by contractors and joiners and anyone involved with the woodworking industry. For them this would be a solid investment as it will give them years of cutting accuracy.
Evolution Rage3-S Multi-Purpose Sliding Saw
For the busy amateur and keen DIY person this is a more affordable option. This is a smaller saw but will be able to handle many of the typical household jobs. This choice of saw will do exactly what it says on the tin. It costs around £150 so still not cheap, but it does represent really good value.
It is well made, is strongly put together and well assembled and has a 210 mm cutting blade that can get through just about anything you can throw at it.
This saw comes with a well written manual which makes the set-up process very easy, and using this one could not be easier. This is a very popular choice for many guys who like doing various projects in the home, garage or around the garden.
Bosch PCM 7 S40 Compound Sliding Saw
Bosch is a popular brand choice in the UK. Of all their saws this one would top my list. It costs around £200 but you do get good value for your money. The customer service from Bosch is also particularly good. I have a few garden tools that I have bought from this brand.
Seldom anything goes wrong with them, but when I have contacted them in the past, they have been swift to respond and also dealt with any issues.
The PCM 8 is the upgraded version of this one and is slightly more expensive. This one has been around longer and has stood the tests of time and if I had to pick, well it would be the older version.
This is a nice solid compound slider with a good reputation. You can read more by clicking here.
Summary of The Compound Sliding Saws
The bottom line with these is that you are going to pay £150 at the low end to get a mitre saw that does all the joints and also slides so as you can cut wider pieces of materials. A good quality one will set you back anything between £200-250 and that is ideal for DIY and people who work quite a bit with wood.
For a professional or contractor, then I would just advise to get a good Dewalt Saw. There are plenty to choose from and it is all about what your budget will allow.