Sliding vs Non-Sliding Miter Saw: Choosing the best option

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by how many tool choices there are out there? Specifically miter saws and what are the different types of sliding vs non-sliding miter saw out there?

Well, there are actually two huge differences to focus on when it comes to miter saws. There is a sliding miter saw and non-sliding miter saw option. Don’t stress, I am here to help you understand the difference.

These are the two major differences and what you should focus on when choosing a miter saw. I am going to go over the Pros and Cons of both. By the end of this article you should be able to make the best decision of what miter saw is best for you.

With a couple things to consider like cost, portability and function. Everyone has their skill set and different projects they want to do. Knowing what you want to accomplish with your miter saw is the first step in choosing which one is best for you!

Let’s get to it!

What type of work can you accomplish with a miter saw?

Have you ever wondered what projects you can accomplish with a Miter Saw? The possibilities with this are seriously endless…but, here are a few of the most popular projects you can accomplish with your miter saw!

Accent Walls: You can accomplish so many different types of accent walls with the ability to make what ever miter cuts you need to.

Furniture Pieces: You can build some of the cutest furniture pieces that will last you years with just a standard miter saw.

Window/Door Trim, Crown Molding & Baseboards: You can install your dream trim and baseboards finish work with just a miter saw helping you accomplish all of those different angles.

The list goes on and on of what you can accomplish. The Miter Saw is one of our most utilized tools in our garage! It has helped us create so many amazing things in our home!

Let’s get one thing straight before we go any further.

The Biggest Myth about Miter Saws…

They are all created equal, FALSE!

That is the biggest myth I have ever heard. They are not all created equal and here is why…

There are many different features that Miter Saws can have. Some are super expensive and have all the bells and whistles. Then some are very affordable and have basic features. 

Knowing what you need to have to accomplish your project goals is what is most important. Having the most expensive tool out there won’t make you the best at what you are doing. 

Practicing and choosing the right tool for your skill level and project needs is what you should keep in mind when reading this article.

Let’s help you choose the best Miter Saw for you!

Pros and Cons of Sliding vs. Non-Sliding Miter Saw

When it comes to precision woodworking, a miter saw is an essential tool in your arsenal. However, one of the most significant decisions you’ll face is whether to opt for a sliding saw or a non-sliding miter saw. Both types have their own set of advantages and drawbacks, and understanding these can help you make an informed choice based on your specific needs.

Non-Sliding Miter Saws


  1. Cost-Effective: Non-sliding miter saws are generally less expensive than their sliding counterparts. This makes them an attractive option for hobbyists or those on a budget.
  2. Compact and Lightweight: Without the additional sliding mechanism, these saws are usually smaller and lighter, making them easier to transport and store.
  3. Durability: Fewer moving parts mean less can go wrong. Non-sliding miter saws are often more robust and can withstand heavy use over time.
  4. Ease of Use: Simpler mechanics mean they are often easier to use and maintain, which can be beneficial for beginners.


  1. Limited Cutting Capacity: The primary drawback is the restricted cutting width. Non-sliding miter saws are best suited for smaller pieces of wood, as their cutting capacity is limited to the blade’s radius.
  2. Less Versatile: While they excel at basic cuts, they may not be suitable for more complex projects that require cutting wider boards.

Sliding Miter Saws


  1. Increased Cutting Capacity: The sliding feature allows the blade to move forward and backward, significantly increasing the width of the cut. This makes it ideal for larger pieces of wood and wider boards.
  2. Versatility: Sliding miter saws can handle a variety of cuts, including crosscuts, bevels, and compound cuts, making them suitable for complex projects.
  3. Precision and Smoothness: The sliding mechanism provides smoother and more precise cuts, which is crucial for professional-grade projects.


  1. Higher Cost: Sliding miter saws are more expensive due to their advanced features and increased capacity.
  2. Size and Weight: These saws are generally larger and heavier, making them less portable and requiring more storage space.
  3. Maintenance: With more moving parts, sliding miter saws require more maintenance to keep them in optimal working condition. The sliding mechanism can also wear out over time, necessitating repairs.

Choosing the Right Miter Saw for Your Needs

The decision between a sliding and a non-sliding miter saw ultimately comes down to your specific requirements and budget.

When to Choose a Non-Sliding Miter Saw:

  • Budget Constraints: If cost is a significant factor, a non-sliding miter saw provides excellent value for money.
  • Basic Woodworking Projects: For simple cuts and smaller projects, the non-sliding miter saw is more than adequate.
  • Portability Needs: If you need a saw that’s easy to transport and store, the compact nature of a non-sliding miter saw is a major benefit.

When to Choose a Sliding Miter Saw:

  • Complex and Large Projects: If you’re working on larger pieces of wood or more complex cuts, the sliding miter saw’s increased capacity and versatility are invaluable.
  • Professional Use: For professionals or serious hobbyists who need precision and a wide range of cutting capabilities, the sliding miter saw is worth the investment.
  • Long-Term Investment: If you view your tools as a long-term investment, the added features and capabilities of a sliding miter saw may justify the higher cost.

Beginner Friendly Sliding and Non-Sliding Miter Saw Options

Best Craftsman Sliding Miter Saw

The best Craftsman sliding miter saw currently available is the Craftsman V20 7-1/4-Inch Sliding Miter Saw (CMCS714M1). This saw is highly regarded for its blend of portability, precision, and power, making it a top choice for both DIY enthusiasts and professional woodworkers.

Key Features:

  1. Cordless Convenience: Powered by a 20V lithium-ion battery, providing flexibility and mobility without the constraints of a power cord.
  2. Cutting Capacity: Capable of cross-cutting up to 8 inches at 90 degrees and 5-1/2 inches at 45 degrees, making it suitable for a variety of materials and projects.
  3. Single Bevel Design: Offers bevel cuts with stops at 0°, 45°, and 48°, enhancing versatility.
  4. LED Light: Integrated LED cut line positioning system for improved visibility and accuracy in low-light conditions.
  5. Portability: Weighs only 21.8 pounds with the battery, making it easy to transport and ideal for job site work.
  6. Efficient Dust Collection: Helps maintain a cleaner work environment, reducing the time needed for clean-up.


  • High-Quality Cuts: Excellent precision for detailed trim work and carpentry.
  • Portability: Lightweight and cordless design enhances mobility.
  • User-Friendly: Easy to use with a minimal learning curve.


  • Limited Bevel Range: Single bevel limits some angled cut capabilities compared to dual bevel models.
  • Battery Life: While adequate, the battery may require frequent recharging during extended use.

This saw is a solid investment for those needing a reliable and versatile miter saw that balances power, precision, and portability​.

Best Craftsman Non-Sliding Miter Saw

The best non-sliding Craftsman miter saw available now is the Craftsman 10-Inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw (CMXEMAR120).

Key Features:

  1. Powerful Motor: Equipped with a 15-amp motor that delivers 4,500 RPM, providing ample power for various cutting tasks.
  2. Single Bevel: Allows for precise bevel cuts up to 47 degrees, enhancing versatility for trim and molding work.
  3. Compact Design: Weighs about 28 pounds, making it relatively portable and easy to handle.
  4. Durability: Sturdy construction ensures long-term reliability and performance.


  • Precision Cutting: High RPM and sharp blade ensure clean, accurate cuts.
  • User-Friendly: Easy to adjust and operate, suitable for both beginners and experienced users.
  • Affordable: Offers excellent value for the features provided.


  • Limited Bevel Range: Single bevel design may be restrictive for complex angled cuts.
  • Dust Collection: The dust collection system could be more efficient.

This model is praised for its balance of power, precision, and affordability, making it a top choice for those in need of a reliable non-sliding miter saw​.

PRO TIP: Buying a good quality blade can be a great addition that can make your cuts even more precise. A good blade can also help you avoid tear-out which will minimize the amount of finishing work you have to do at the end.

Before you invest in a Miter Saw

Hopefully by now you weighed out your options based on skill level, project needs, portability needs and cost. These questions will help you pick the perfect Miter Saw for you!

Choosing between a sliding and non-sliding miter saw depends on a variety of factors including your budget, the complexity of your projects, skill level and your portability needs. 

Non-sliding miter saws are excellent for straightforward, smaller-scale work and offer a cost-effective, durable option. 

Sliding miter saws, on the other hand, provide greater versatility and precision, making them ideal for larger and more complex tasks. 

Carefully consider your specific needs and different applications to make the best choice whether that be a sliding vs non-sliding miter saw for your woodworking endeavors. 

If you need help deciding on other saws like a Table Saw or Circular Saw we have a great resource to help you with choosing those also!

If or when you get one of these, I’d love for you to tag us on Instagram so I can see what you create! 


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