Best 10 Inch Cordless Miter Saw
Best Cordless 10 Inch Miter Saw – Head To Head
For this installment of our Best Cordless Miter Saw, we took a look at the top three 10-inch cordless sliding miter saws. 10-inch miter saws are popular with carpenters because of their reduced size and weight with the comparable cutting capacity to larger 12-inch saws.
This size saw will probably fit your needs whether you are a professional contractor investing in a new miter saw for speed and accuracy, a homeowner seeking the safety and accuracy of a miter saw, or a woodworker looking to upgrade a shop saw. This tool will see a lot of cuts, so you want to make sure you find the right 10-inch cordless miter saw that meets your needs at a price you can afford.
If this is your first time reading one of our Head to Heads, trust that our crew poured over each saw to give you a comprehensive look at these tools. We provide our readers with insights you can only expect from seasoned pros, arming you with all the information you need before investing in a miter saw.
Best 10-inch Cordless Miter Saw Evaluation Format
Once again our team has put some serious time and effort into our Best 10 Inch Cordless Miter Saw evaluation to bring you the most comprehensive information available. For this evaluation, we broke things into several categories including Precision & Accuracy, Performance (speed/power), Features, Ergonomics, Dust Collection, Decibels, and Price. For each of these categories, we will rank the saws, and in the end, we will name the Best 10-inch Cordless Miter Saw based on the combined results.
- Precision, and Accuracy – In this category, we evaluated the accuracy of the miter saws, out of the box, and how easy it is to make adjustments.
- Performance [Power / Speed Test] -We looked at cutting speed as an indicator of saw motor performance.
- Run-time – Lots of Pros think run-time is important. The performance evaluation took a very deep dive into the power of the saw motors and how well the saws managed repetitive cutting of framing lumber.
- Features – An overall comparison of features and specifications.
- Ergonomics – Ergonomics are really important to users and an important category to consider when purchasing any power tool. In addition to traditional ergonomics, we also included functionality in this category.
- Dust Collection – Construction is a messy business and dust is one of the biggest evils in our industry.
- Decibels – We evaluated the sound level in decibels
- Price – Price is always an important factor in determining which saw is best for a user. We’ve included the current pricing found online for each of the saws “as-tested,” at the time of publication.
10″ Inch Cordless Track Saw Specifications
Before we present the Best 10 Inch Cordless Miter Saw test results, it’s helpful to set the stage by listing all the features and specifications for comparison. Specific differences in the saws are listed below.
Makita 10-inch Miter Saw XSL06PT
- Blade Diameter: 10″
- RPM 4400
- Weight 60.6 lbs
- Max angle 60
- Max Bevel 48
- Two 18 Volt batteries [36V Operating Voltage]
- 5 Ah Battery Packs used in this testing.
- Watt-Hours: 36V x 5 Ah = 180 Wh
Metabo HPT 10-inch Miter Saw C3610DRAQA
- Blade Diameter: 10″
- RPM 4000
- Weight 45.5
- Max Angle 55L 60R
- Max Bevel 48
- Laser and LED light
- 36 volt
- 4 Ah Battery Pack used in this testing.
- Watt-Hours: 36V x 4 Ah = 144 Wh
Milwaukee 10-inch Miter Saw 2734-21HD
- Blade Diameter: 10″
- RPM 4000
- Weight 45
- Max Angle 50/60
- Max Bevel 48
- 18 volt
- 9 Ah Battery Pack used in this testing.
- Watt-Hours: 18V x 9 Ah = 162 Wh
10-Inch Miter Saw Accuracy and Precision
To be consistent all three saws were equipped with a Makita 60-tooth 10-inch blade.
Many users that buy a miter saw will open the shipping container and begin to use the saw right out of the box. Framers or other craftsmen that are not too concerned with the finest accuracy come to mind. However, other users will care a lot about the accuracy of their new saw and want to tune it to as near perfect as can be achieved.
For a finish carpenter, or woodworker a miter saws ability to make an accurate cut must be routinely checked and maintained because a little misalignment can cause compounding errors on a project.
We checked the calibration of the saws out of the box, recorded our findings, and then calibrated the saws, noting the level of difficulty to get them tuned up. Miter saw calibration is a critical step because a difference as small as 1° over a 1-in. span will result in a 1/64-in. the gap in the finished miter joint. Similarly, 3° over 5-in. span gives you a 9/32-in. gap.
10-Inch Cordless Miter Saw Accuracy Testing Winner – Milwaukee
Milwaukee scored 5 total points and took number one in ALL but one category. Makita came in second at 7-points and Metabo HPT 10-points.
|Accuracy/ Precision||Cross Cut||45 Deg Miter||Bevel||Table & Fence||Totals||Ranking|
The TBB crew wanted to give the readers an idea of how well the saws scored on accuracy right out of the box. We looked at the following areas:
- Table flatness
- Fence flatness
- Bevel accuracy when set to 0 degrees
- Miter accuracy when set to 45 degrees.
- Crosscut accuracy when set to 90 degrees
Table Flatness – For table flatness, we used a Bridge City Tool Works 24 inch stainless steel flat edge. We placed the flat edge onto the table and first looked for any light that could shine between the table surface and the stainless flat edge. Where the light shone through, we took a set of machinist feeler gauges and determined the size of the gap under the flat edge. We recorded the data and proceeded to check the fence accuracy. We turned the Bridge City flat edge and held it up to the lower part of each saws’ fence. Some of the saws have a single piece lower fence and others have a two-part lower fence. We measured any gap between the fence and the flat edge and noted the maximum reading from the feeler gauges.
0-Degree Bevel – For 90-degree bevel accuracy, we adjusted the saws to contact the factory setting for a 90-degree vertical cut. Then we used a Wixey digital gauge to measure the degrees between the table of the saw and the body of the blade. The Wixey gauge can be set to zero out any inclination in the saw as it sits on a bench. This enables the user to read the accurate relative difference in inclination between the table and the blade. We zeroed out the gauge each time we took a reading.
45-Degree Miter – Cutting 45-degree miters is a critical function of these types of miter saws. We measured the factory 45-degree cuts by setting the saw to its 45-degree setting. We made a cut into 2×4 lumber and read the actual cut with a digital T-Bevel gauge. For each cut, we zeroed the gauge. Then we took the reading and recorded the data. This type of gauge is accurate to one-tenth of a degree.
90-Degree Cross Cut – For this test, we set the saw to the factory 90-degree setting for a cross-cut. We crosscut a piece of plywood that had one edge squared with a track saw. We took the ‘cut-off’ piece and flipped it 180 degrees along the long axis. We lined up the two pieces against a straight edge and noted if there were a gap between the two halves along the cut edge. If we saw a gap, we measured this gap with feeler gauges. By flipping one of the pieces 180 degrees, this meant that any deviation from a 90-degree cut would show twice the error than just measuring one side by itself.
Miter Saw Performance
For the performance section, we tested the run-time and speed of cut with the battery sold with the saw in a kitted form.
Power Test – Winner Makita
The Power Test is a good indication of what the saw and blade configuration can cut. We made five timed cuts in 7-1/4″ LVL lumber and recorded the average time.
Finally, we conducted a speed test to quantify the power each saw displayed on a challenging piece of engineered lumber. This is a simple test with some uncontrolled variables, but our methods were fair.
|LVL Speed Test||Ave. Sec.||Rank|
We had the same operator conduct each cut, with the instruction to let the saw do the cutting, apply as much pressure as the saw and blade would allow. We waited for the blade to come to a complete stop, indexed the material, and then started a fresh cut. Time was started from the time the blade hit the wood till it exited out the back of the LVL and completed the cut. We timed 5 cuts per saw and took the average time. The Makita saw averaged 2.6 seconds per cut, followed by Milwaukee at 2.7, and Metabo HPT in third place at 3.7 seconds.
Run-time Test – Winner Milwaukee
For the run-time test, we made repetitive cuts in KD lumber until the battery was exhausted or thermal overload prevented further cutting. Operators were instructed to start the saw and bring it up to speed. Bring the saw forward, make the cut, wait for the blade to stop, reset, and repeat.
|2x6 KD Run-time||# Cuts||Rank|
The Milwaukee cut 279 cuts in 2×6 lumber and cut amazingly well until the very end. No thermal overloads were encountered. In second place was the Makita with 203 cuts. The third place was Metabo HPT with 180 cuts.
Run-time Normalization by Watt-hours
Each of these saws came with a different sized “energy power plant” or battery configuration. As you can imagine, the saw with the greatest watt-hr battery theoretically has a leg up on its competition for run-time cuts. Whenever we do a cordless tool comparison, we level the playing field by taking the results and dividing the results by the number of watt-hr for the particular saws’ battery. In this way, the reader can see which saw has the most effective combination of battery technology, stamina, and motor power on a per watt-hr basis.
In this H2H, the batteries varied both in voltage and amp-hrs. We derive the watt-hrs by multiplying the load voltage by the amp-hours. The following table shows the results of the run-time test when normalized.
|Normalized Cuts Per Watt-Hr|
After running the calculations, Milwaukee came in first, followed by Metabo HPT and Makita.
10-Inch Miter Saw Features – Winner – Makita
Comparing tools from multiple brands is never easy but the devil can live in the details at times so a comparison is certainly warranted. The Milwaukee was the only saw running at 18-volts, the Makita uses two 18-volt batteries [36 volts] and the Metabo HPT uses an 18-36 Volt Multivolt battery running at 36 volts.
|Dust port capability||1||2||2|
|Compact / Forward Slide||1||1||2|
|Wireless Vac Activation||1||2||2|
|Blade Guard Operation||1||1||1|
The Makita saw won the features section due to a combination of their maximum angle/bevel cuts, double dust port, wireless vacuum activation, excellent outriggers, and forward rail design. Overall the Makita is a solid design, with high-quality built-in features with real-world trim carpentry use. Makita knows saws!
Second place went to the Metabo HPT and Milwaukee came in third with a solid bare-bones design.
Notable 10-Inch Miter Saw Features
Laser vs. LED Shadow Light – The Makita and Metabo HPT miter saws both have a built-in laser that indicates one side of the blade and can be adjusted to display “left-of-blade” or “right-of-blade.” This laser also has a separate on/off switch. The laser displays the line-of-cut with the tool turned off and the blade not spinning, which we liked for lining up cuts.
In general, the TBBCrew is not a fan of lasers and prefers the blade shadow light option similar to the Milwaukee saw. This shadow light marks the blade in ANY lighting situation, and unlike a laser, never has to be calibrated since it casts a shadow of any blade mounted on the saw onto the workpiece. It’s foolproof.
Dust Collection In the past, dust collection was not a particularly important focus for tool manufacturers. We’ve felt that dust ports were like LED lights, tool manufacturers threw them on a tool to say they had the feature. Those dust ports, like many LEDs, neither worked well nor are they efficient.
Today, that’s changed, and many manufacturers are pushing innovation in the dust collection area. This change is largely driven by user safety requests and demand. The trend, without a doubt, is to make tools more efficient at capturing dust. We’re seeing it now with silica dust in the concrete industry and in the proliferation of wood dust collection solutions. Moreover, we all can appreciate having less mess to clean up at the end of the day.
Additionally, when remodeling in someone’s home, an effective dust extraction system is a SOLID tactic to prevent dust from spreading to other areas of the home. We all know that dust inevitably finds its way beyond the work area and settles on all horizontal surfaces and duct-work. So anything we can do to reduce that migration prevents additional clean up time and cost and makes us more professional.
READ – Remodeling “in-place,” Best Practice Dust Control on a Remodel ~ by Rob Robillard
Makita recognizing this move towards more efficient dust extraction worked to improve their dust collecting process. The Makita 10″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw has dual-port dust capturing system. This is evidenced by the two dust tubes and large dust collecting mouth, behind the blade, at the base table.
AC / DC Option – The Metabo HPT is the only miter saw of these three with the capability to run on battery or corded power. Metabo HPT accomplishes this with a battery pack adapter that attaches to a 20-foot cord and “brick-like” inverter.
Forward Rail Design – We found the Makita and Metabo HPT forward rail design to operate smoothly. The forward rails also take off significantly less space behind the saw. This takes up less room in the shop or on the job site. If you have a small shop or work in cramped spaces regularly this feature can open up a lot of floor space.
On the Makita there was no slop in the saw head, the bevel and angle mechanisms reeked of quality, and the miter head and slide locking pins are the nicest design we’ve seen on a saw.
Makita Auto-Start Wireless System – The Makita offers an auto-Start Wireless System (AWS™) that enables wireless power-on/power-off with an AWS-equipped dust extractor.
With AWS, the vacuum/dust extractor runs only when the trigger on the tool is pulled; when it’s released, the vacuum stops. This reduces noise on the job site, allows for longer run time for a cordless vacuum, and eliminates over-reaching to turn the vacuum on and off.
The AWS-capable tool is enabled with an optional small wireless transmitter inserted into a port on the tool. The transmitter can communicate with a Makita dust extractor also equipped with an AWS-transmitter.
The AWS-equipped tool can also communicate with ANY corded dust extractor with an on-board AC outlet and the optional Makita AWS Universal Adaptor. The Adaptor has an AWS wireless transmitter, and plugs-into the dust extractor’s on-board AC outlet. The transmitter and adapter are optional and do cost more money but the convenience, long-term time savings, and efficiency make it an investment worth considering.
Ergonomics – Winner – Milwaukee
The ergonomics evaluation in this section is purely subjective and based on the opinions of the testing crew. After a full day of running performance tests, the team spent several hours in the shop testing and ranking the saws in seven  categories including:
- Miter Adjustment
- Bevel Adjustments
- Fence Adjustment
- Transport / Balance
We weighed each saw, and carried the saws upstairs, through doorways, transported one-handed to open doors or gates, and loaded/unloaded the saw into a work vehicle. Depending on the primary application of your miter saw needs, transportation is a major part of the day to day considerations you’ll want to take into account before committing to a new saw
|Miter Angle Adjustment||1||3||2|
|Bevel Angle Adjustment||1||2||3|
Milwaukee took the ergonomics section with a score of 8 points. Makita came in at 13-points and Metabo HPT was 16-points.
Milwaukee won every category except the switch and grip. It has a clean and simple design that is very intuitive to use. It is also lightweight and was the easiest to transport.
Dust Collection – Winner – Metabo HPT
First, we conducted a dust collection test. From carpenters working in finished spaces, to shop workers who want to reduce the amount of airborne dust in their environment, knowing how well a saw will integrate with a vacuum is an important measure of performance for any user.
We made 25 cuts on a 2×6 piece of KD lumber and measured the volume of wood dust that was collected by the vacuum. Additionally, we assessed the buildup of dust that didn’t make it into the vacuum but accumulated on the table and fence of the tool. The result of the dust collection test are depicted in the table below:
Metabo HPT took first place by capturing 9-ounces of sawdust compared to the second place Makita [8-ounce] and third place Milwaukee at 6-ounces. The Metabo HPT has a 2-inch port that is in line and 2-1/4″ back from the bade. This port travels with the blade as the saw head slides.
The Makita has one, smaller, dust port that travels with the blade and the other port is stationary and is located behind the fences. The Milwaukee dust port is set back approximately 8-inches from the back of the blade when the head of the saw is pulled fully forward on the rails.
Decibels – Winner Metabo HPT
OSHA allows 8 hours of exposure for up to 90 dB, for exposures 95dB and greater, the exposure limits drop dramatically. So clearly these saws all need hearing protection.
Note that we tested these saws in a no-load capacity, under load the saws are louder.
The quietest saw was the Metabo HPT at 95.2 decibels followed by the Milwaukee at 96.6 decibels and the Makita at 100.3.
Pricing – Milwaukee
Below we’ve included the current pricing (at the time of publication). Pricing is based on kit price.
The best-priced 10-inch miter saw was the Milwaukee at $ 499.00 coming in $20.00 less than the Metabo HPT saw which is priced at $ 519.00. The Makita was the highest saw set up coming in at $599.00.
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Overall Best 10 Inch Cordless Miter Saw – Winner Milwaukee
This was a very close scoring comparison. The best 10-inch miter saw goes to Milwaukee with 15-points followed by the Makita with 16-points and Metabo HPT in third place with 17-points.
|OVERALL WINNER||Milwaukee||Makita||Metabo HPT|
|SawDust Weight oz.||3||2||1|
|LVL Speed Test||2||1||3|
The 10-inch Milwaukee miter saw offers fewer features than the Makita and could be better on the dust collection but it shined where it mattered. It scored tops in important areas such as accuracy, ease of use, run-time, and ease of transportation. When equipped with a 9.0 ah [or higher] battery this saw crushes run-time.
While Milwaukee took first place, we’d be remiss to talk about the very close second place Makita saw. In many people’s eyes, the Makita is a better built, higher quality saw. The team felt that Milwaukee is more suited for jobsites and the Makita for work shops or high-end finish carpentry setups.
The Makita saw took first place in the LVL speed test, features, and second in almost everything else. It’s a hundred dollars more than the Milwaukee, but the team felt it’s better built, loaded with features, and has outstanding dust collection capability. The team felt that the adjustments were easy to use and precise, and the saw head was stiff with no slop.
The Makita scored lower in the “out of the box accuracy,” however, we were easily able to adjust it to make precise cuts. The only things the team felt needed improvement was the bevel adjustment which seem overly complicated, and the team would like Makita to consider using the blade shadow light vs the laser.
I had a Makita “chop-saw” 26 Years ago, back then Makita WAS the go-to company for woodworkers and carpenters. It’s no surprise that the 10-inch Makita miter did so well, they have a long history of making quality carpentry tools ~ ROB
The third-place Metabo HPT performed well but not at the same level as the other two. The team felt that the offset motor provided excellent sightlines, the dust collection is excellent, it has good power, easy to use controls, and the forward slide makes for a more compact saw. It’s in the middle of the pack for pricing and let’s not forget the AC/DC option for this saw. That alone makes this saw an attractive option for a contractor wanting the flexibility to be able to plug in or cut the cord.
Best Value 10-Inch Miter Saw – Milwaukee
The team was unanimous in choosing the 10-inch Milwaukee miter saw as the best-value miter saw. The Milwaukee saw comes in $100 less than the Makita, was accurate, has decent features like the blade shadow light and flip bevel adjustment, and has the power and run-time to make it a serious contender on any job site.
The team loved the front chop cut locking feature and noted that the saw head had no slop. It was a top performer in this head-to-head test and will no doubt give you years of service.
The MOST Comprehensive Information Available
Our ALL Pro contractor team put some serious time and effort into our Best 10 Inch Cordless Miter Saw Head-to-Head evaluation to bring you the most comprehensive information available.
These tests and evaluations are very difficult, take a lot of time, and ultimately limited in scope as we’re not a professional testing company and we’ve got limited time to evaluate the tools. We cannot do long-term testing that would shed light on durability and we can’t possibly test every application that you might use one of these saws for.
We get lots of comments about how we make the final rankings. As we’ve stated, there are hundreds of ways to compare tools. The good news is we’ve openly shared ALL the data from our tests, and you can rank the tools however you want. Don’t care about an item we ranked? No problem. Simply remove that from the matrix above and re-rank them. Hopefully, you’ll find this Head-To-Head useful when comparing 10-inch cordless miter saws.
If you have a moment, please check out our other Head-to-Head Tests.
10-Inch Cordless Sliding Miter Saw Video Review
About the author
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