Sliding vs Non Sliding Miter Saw Comparison and Review

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The miter saw family comes with a range of saw options that allows you to specifically tailor your saw selection to the job at hand. You may be deciding between buying a sliding miter saw, and a non sliding miter saw. To help you decide, we’ve compared the sliding vs non sliding miter saw here. This will help you understand which saw is right for you and the job you have at hand.

Sliding Miter Saw Overview

​What is a Sliding Miter Saw?

A sliding miter saw will allow you to make accurate angled cuts by using a sliding motion to move the saw blade. Just like the sliding vs double bevel miter saws, it is set up like a traditional miter saw but has a few tweaks in it for the proper woodworking project. With the sliding miter saw, it uses a rail to move the head of the saw backward and forward. This allows for the cutting of thicker and wider width materials.

Th​is saw can cut with all the accuracy of a standard miter saw but offers you added versatility​ as it can cut those fine corners you need for certain applications in one pass. You’ll appreciate that you are able to cut a longer length with the sliding saw and don’t have to worry about flipping your material over to continue the cut.

Sliding miter saw to be used for woodworking vs non sliding miter saw

Sliding Miter Saw Applications

​Using a sliding miter saw provides you a range of applications for cutting. You can use a sliding miter saw to cut molding and trim work like a scroll saw.

It provides plenty of versatility as it is able to slide back and forth so you can cut longer lengths of wood without having to flip the material over. This can save you time as you cut and ensure you get an accurate and straight edge cut that extends the full width of the piece.

You can also cut a variety of angle cuts with a sliding miter saw by dialing in the degree of cut. This will allow you to create those specialty corners that are needed with crown molding or trim work. It can help the edges of these pieces fit together seamlessly. With a regular miter saw you would need to use a tool similar to a table saw fence or table saw sled.

Sliding miter saws are a good option if you have lighter duty cutting that needs to be completed, especially if it has a wider width.

We’ve put together a comprehensive review of the best 12″ sliding compound miter saw available.

Compound Miter Saw Overview

​What is a Non Sliding Miter Saw?

​A non sliding miter saw is often referred to as a ​compound miter saw. This type of saw pivots both left and right to create angled cuts. A non sliding miter saw can create beveled cuts by tilting in one direction as needed.

The main benefit of a non sliding miter saw is the ability to create compound miter cuts by using both axes of the saw at the same time during cutting.

Because a compound saw has a range of abilities it, it is a very flexible saw that can be used in a range of applications. It has a good cut accuracy just like a circular saw that can make one pass cuts on longer length wood material.

Non Sliding Miter Saw Applications

​A non sliding miter saw has a large range of applications. Because it has the ability to make beveled cuts, it is a good saw for creating corners that need to fit together securely. These corners would need an accurate angled cut and require two planes to join the corners together with good fitment.

Ideal projects for a non sliding miter saw include picture frames and crown moldings. It is also a good saw for creating trim pieces for the exterior of a house.

Compound saws are good saws to use for heavy-duty cutting of wood pieces that have a large width. You can also use a compound saw to cut metal with the right blade attached.

Sliding vs Non Sliding Miter Saw

​When you compare a sliding vs non sliding miter saw, there are many differences that separate the two saws as well as similarities that join these cutting tools together. Because the two saw types are from the same family, they share the same ability to cut with a great deal of accuracy and precision.

Both saws use a 10 or 12-inch blade and allow you to dial in the degree to cut by adjusting a handle on the protractor fence.

You’ll find that sliding saw can cut wider wood materials because it can slide forward and back, giving you a full range of motion as you cut. You don’t have these capabilities with a non sliding saw as it more limited capacity than a sliding miter saw, but can cut longer lengths as needed.

A non sliding saw can also create beveled cuts because of its ability to create compound cuts, which can allow you to get that finished look on your wood piece. A sliding saw is unable to provide this type of cut, but like a​ chop saw, it is able to give you a clean finished edge that will help you complete any wood project with ease​.

Man looking at comparisons of miter saws sliding vs non sliding miter saw

Overall a sliding miter saw and a non sliding saw have similar stature, and unless you know exactly what you were looking for, you might not be able to tell the saws apart. Weight on the units is similar, depending on the ​​saw model​​​, ​you will find that both saws occupy a similar footprint.

The deciding factor between the two saws is really on your need to cut longer lengths or if you need to cut wider widths. The non sliding miter saw is more a heavy-duty application saw while it is best to use the sliding miter saw in light-duty applications that don’t require a ton of cutting.


​When we compared the sliding vs non sliding miter saw, we saw that these two saws are very capable. If you have to choose one to add to your workshop, you’ll want to look at adding a sliding saw. This saw provides all the features of a non sliding saw while offering you more with its front and back pivoting abilities. You’ll be able to cut wider width material, which will prove to be a handy feature when you are working with larger crown molding or trim work.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.