The best miter saw stand
If you own a miter saw and you want repeatable accuracy and all-day working comfort, you really need a good stand -- one that's been specifically designed for the purpose. We've been looking at a number of common styles and some modern innovations, so we can help you choose the best. At the end of our quick and easy buying guide, you'll also find some recommendations. Our favorite, the DeWalt Rolling Stand, comes from a brand with a terrific reputation for quality. It offers a sturdy, flexible platform with great mobility that's ideal for both amateur and professional contractors.
Considerations when choosing miter saw stands
The single most important thing with any miter saw stand has to be stability. If you don't have a rigid working platform, you won't get accurate cuts. Legs should be well spaced and have some kind of locking mechanism. They need to provide adequate support when the arms are fully extended.
Rubber feet are common and help prevent the stand from sliding around. Sometimes they're adjustable for better leveling. A weight rating is a good indication of the structural strength but not necessarily of stability. Both need to be considered.
Tubular steel (round or square) is usually used for the main frame, powder-coated to prevent rust. Upper sections are occasionally aluminum to reduce weight. In most cases, slotted and sliding mounts are provided for bolting the miter saw to the table, though a few have an MDF sheet that you drill to mount onto it.
For most users, portability is essential. Basic miter saw stands usually fold quite easily, into reasonably compact units that are easy to carry. However, the saw itself usually has to be removed. More advanced designs have built-in mechanisms making them easier to set up and break down -- in some cases a single lever does the job. It's very convenient, but pricey. This type almost always has wheels too, making them easier to move around. With some you can leave the saw in place. That doubtless saves time for the busy professional, but it does make for considerable size and weight if you need to lift it on and off a truck. It's worth thinking about if you move it on a daily basis.
Adjustable arms provide support for the long pieces of lumber that are often cut with miter saws. Check the full length, to make sure they're adequate for the work you do. Mostly these consist of a simple square- or round-section tube, but some actually have rollers, which makes moving the workpiece just that little bit easier.
The cheapest miter saw stand costs around $60, though rigidity can be suspect. We'd expect to pay $80 to $100 for a strong, basic model. There's plenty of choice in the $150 to $200 range. If you want wheels, pneumatic or mechanical assistance, or those where you don't need to remove the saw, you'll pay close to $300.
Q. Are miter saw stands universal, or do I have to buy the same brand as my saw?
A. We'd be cautious about the term "universal," because there are so many different saws out there -- but stands have lots of adjustability, and most miter saws follow a similar mounting-hole pattern. We wouldn't expect problems, but it's worth checking. Customer feedback often highlights if a particular model won't fit.
Q. Is a miter saw stand a good idea for my shop at home?
A. Absolutely. One of the main reasons for having a proper stand is to provide stable cutting in any location -- so why not in your garage or shed? Choose one where you can leave the saw mounted, and you've got a great space saver, too.
Miter saw stands we recommend
Best of the best: DeWalt's Wheeled Miter Saw Stand
Our take: Tough, heavy-duty rolling stand can mount bench planers as well as saws.
What we like: Pneumatic assist for easy setup. Versatile tool fitting. Rollers on infeed and outfeed supports. Rubber wheels help transportation. Compact for storage. Strong, powder-coated steel frame with 300-pound weight rating.
What we dislike: A few problems with mechanism -- some won't fold down properly.
Best bang for your buck: Bora's Portamate Heavy-Duty Folding Miter Saw Stand
Our take: Strong, yet relatively lightweight frame at a very competitive price.
What we like: Compact and easy to carry when folded. Sturdy steel construction, powder-coated for durability. Takes up to 12" saws, and can support 500 pounds. Comfortable work height.
What we dislike: Inconsistent quality control. Some units have poor welding.
Our take: Clever folding mechanism and wheeled frame, ideal for the busy tradesperson.
What we like: Fast mounting and take-down thanks to easy-to-use lever system. Saw stays mounted. Big pneumatic wheels make it easy to roll. Extension bars offer huge capacity.
What we dislike: Expensive. Customer support is poor on rare occasions parts are missing.
Bob Beacham is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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