Sliding vs Non-Sliding Miter Saw | Ultimate Comparison & Differences


In order to be as productive as possible inside the workshop, you will need the right tools at your disposal.

However, you likely won’t be able to get everything you want right away because budgets are still something we all have to adhere to. Because of that, we often have to make tough choices regarding which tools to get.

For instance, in the battle featuring the sliding vs non- sliding miter saw, which one should you actually get for your workshop?

That’s the question we’ll answer in this article.

What is a Miter Saw?


Before we dive into how the sliding miter saws differ from the non-sliding miter saws, let’s first go back to basics by rediscovering what the basic miter saw actually is.

The miter saw is designed to be a hyper-efficient tool. If you’re using it correctly, it should be able to cut through even a thick piece of wood in a matter of seconds without leaving much waste in its wake.

It’s also designed to be very accurate. Once you set it to make a specific kind of cut, it will repeatedly produce that cut as long as you don’t fiddle around with its position or its settings.

Miter saws also allow you to execute specific kinds of cuts.

Crosscuts involve the miter saw simply segmenting a piece of wood into two pieces along a straight line, while angled cuts do that on top of slicing the wood from a specific angle. Angled cuts are also sometimes referred to as miter cuts, according to Industry DIY.

Bevel cuts are accomplished by first setting the blade to a specific angle and cutting into the wood. Pieces produced via bevel cuts are often used as molding.

Lastly, the miter saw can also be used to create a compound cut. Compound cuts are created by combining angled and bevel cuts. The pieces of wood that come from compound cuts are also typically used to complete a home’s crown molding.

What is a Sliding Miter Saw?

sliding-compound-miter-sawThe sliding miter saw bears a close resemblance to the more conventional miter saws, though you will notice some differences if you take a closer look.

To be more specific, you’ll see that sliding miter saws feature rails. These rails are not just for design. They can also be used to move the head of the saw back and forth depending on what you’re cutting.

According to Lowe’s, that feature is quite similar to something you’ll see on a radial arm saw.

Because of those sliding rails, you will be able to cut larger and wider pieces of wood.

The main advantage of having a sliding miter saw is that you won’t have to constantly flip over a wide piece of lumber just to finish cutting it because you can just move those rails instead.

Sliding miter saws are remarkably versatile. If you have a good one in your workshop, it will allow you to finish your projects faster.

What is a Non-Sliding Miter Saw?

non-sliding-mite-sawNon sliding miter saws are known by a variety of names. Some refer to them as compound miter saws, while others may know them as bench miter saws.

When you first look at a non sliding miter saw, you may think that it is identical to the sliding variant. Some differences do exist though, which is why it’s important to view the sliding vs non sliding miter saw matchup closely.

Non sliding miter saws do function much in the same way as their sliding counterparts. The biggest difference is that they lack those rails that will enable them to accommodate wider pieces of lumber.

On the plus side, with no sliding rails getting in your way, you will be able to achieve a greater arc on your cuts. For projects that won’t require you to process larger pieces of wood, a non sliding miter saw should work just fine.

Sliding vs Non-Sliding Miter Saw: The Differences between Them

Let’s now get into the finer details of the sliding vs non sliding match-up by looking closer at how they differ from one another.

  1. Cutting Capacity – Arguably the most notable difference between the two saws is related to cutting capacity. A 10-inch non sliding miter saw should be able to complete a crosscut on a piece of wood that is about six inches wide. 10-inch sliding miter saws can double the cutting capacity of their stationary counterparts. The larger cutting capacity is made possible by those movable rails.
  2. Price – In most cases, the bench miter saw will be more affordable than its sliding counterpart. That’s due in part to the latter featuring more components. If you’re trying to follow a strict budget, the stationary saws may work better for you.
  3. Space Occupied – As stated above, sliding miter saws have more components. Because of that, it should come as no surprise that they also take up more space. You may have to clear out more room in your workshop for your newly purchased sliding miter saw.
  4. Portability – You can probably bring both the sliding and non sliding saws with you on the road, but you’ll probably have an easier time moving the latter around because they’re usually smaller.

Sliding vs Non Sliding: Which One Should You Choose?

Upon closer examination of the sliding miter saw vs non sliding miter saw match-up, the former comes out ahead if you’re judging them based only on how functional they are.

Being able to cut wider pieces of wood is a nice bonus. You also won’t have to deal with the annoying issue of having to turn a piece of wood over just to finish a cut if you’re using a sliding saw.

However, if you don’t have the biggest budget or workshop, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing a non sliding miter saw. You’re sacrificing some functionality, but you’re getting back some extra money and additional space in your workshop.


Did you enjoy this article comparing the non sliding miter saw to the sliding miter saw?

Though the two aforementioned power tools are remarkably similar, they vary enough in certain ways that you can’t just blindly pick one.

It’s important to take into account what kind of project you’re undertaking, the budget you have, and the amount of space in your workshop before making your purchase. Otherwise, you may end up with a miter saw that does not fit your needs well.

Please feel free to leave your comments below and don’t hesitate to share this article with others who may need some assistance when it comes to differentiating non sliding miter saws from sliding miter saws.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *