Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. I am excited to announce that I have partnered with The Home Depot Prosepctive tool review program. I received all these tools for free, and I am paid for these posts, but these opinions are my own.
Links to buy:
I work with The Home Depot as part of their Prospective program, which means I get to try out new tools coming to market and give my thoughts and opinions on them. This quarter I received two cordless miter saws from Milwaukee and Makita that have completely changed my mind about the corded vs. cordless debate when it comes to getting a new miter saw. I’ll go ahead and spoil that for you now: these new cordless/brushless miter saws are so good there is no reason to own a corded miter saw any longer… hear me out.
This article is not a comparison of these two saws. This is more of a showcase of their features, and how each has their own merits depending on your shop or job site set up. The bottom line is cordless miter saws are so good now I think corded saws will someday be obsolete for most shops.
By now we are used to battery powered devices as many of us carry around a tiny portable computer in our pockets in the form of a cell phone. While I believe today’s modern smart phones are one of the most important devices ever created a side effect of always having a cell phone in use is battery anxiety. There is nothing worse than going to use your phone when you really need to and discovering its completely dead. Its only natural for that same battery anxiety to spill over in to battery powered tools like the Milwaukee and Makita miter saws I am highlighting today. When you are in your shop or on the job site you expect your saw to work as advertised right when you need it. No one wants to get stuck on a project waiting for a battery to charge. This is where these two saws shine.
The Makita 18V cordless 10” miter saw can make up to 334 cuts of 2x4 lumber in a single charge! The Milwaukee 18V cordless 10” miter saw can make up to 40 cuts on a single charge! Your workflow may be different than mine, but I don’t make that many cuts in a week. Probably not that many cuts in two weeks. For me this completely eliminates any battery anxiety concerns, and I can remember to throw the battery on the charger once a week.
Let’s talk abut corded saw start up. Raise your hand if you dread that jump when a corded saw fires up. It’s now hard to type this because I have my hand raise… Over time we get used to the start up jolt of a corded miter saw, but I find it startles those who are using a miter saw for the first time. With the Milwaukee and Makita cordless saws this issue is non existent. Cordless saws offer a smoother start up which feels more natural, and speeds up my work flow. Another bonus of cordless miter saws is the electric brake which allows for fast but smooth stoppage of the saw blade. All around using both the Makita and Milwaukee cordless miter saws makes for a more enjoyable experience in the shop.
Let’s talk motors. These two miter saws both feature brushless motors. Why is brushless better you ask? Brushless motors have less friction which means the motor runs cooler. This allows for longer tool life. Both of these saws retail for $599. That’s not a small price to pay, but its an investment in a quality tool that’s going to last for a really long time.
Corded miter saws tend to be heavy, and they always must be near an outlet. In my shop I designed a mobile miter saw station that allows me to roll my miter saw anywhere I need without searching for an outlet. Outlets are at a premium in my shop, so having one less tool plugged in is always a bonus. Sometimes you need to cut longer pieces of lumber, and for this I like to take my workpiece outside. I work a lot with reclaimed barnwood, and these boards are often 10 foot or longer. I like that I’m not limited to the space in my shop to cut long material.
Now let's get into some of the quick hits and features of each saw.
Makita 18-Volt 5.0Ah X2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless 10 in. Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser
Runs off (2) 18v Makita batteries
Makes up to 334 cuts of 2x4 lumber on single charge
Batteries charge in 45 minutes
Can cross cut a 4 x 12 inch beam
Can cut nested crown molding 6 5/8” tall; vertical 5 1/4” tall
Forward actuating arm allows this saw to sit flush against the wall
Large aluminum base provides stable platform
6 positive stops left and right at 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45, and 60 degrees
Bevels 0-48 degrees left and right
Dual dust collection ports
Automatically adjusts cutting speed and torque for each cut
Weighs only 27.3 pounds
Laser marks cut, and can be adjusted left or right of blade
Bevel lock located on front for east access
Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 10 in. Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Runs off (1) 9.0 AH 18V battery
Makes up to 400 cuts on one charge
Compatible with the M18 system featuring over 200 tools
Dual bevel with 9 detents and easy access bevel lever
Easy access dual bevel detent lever
Shadow cut line indicator
Dual bevel with 9 detents
Easy access blade change
Top and side carrying handles
In conclusion you can’t go wrong with either miter saw. If you already have Makita tools and batteries I would expect you would go for the Makita. Likewise for the Milwaukee. The main takeaway from getting to use both of these saws is how far this technology has come. Its time to cut the cord when it comes to miter saws, and that’s a great thing!