Of all the miter saws on the market, the dual compound miter saw is the most versatile and therefore the most useful for carpenters. This type of saw will also be the most expensive, however, so when choosing the best dual compound miter saw for your purposes, be sure to consider your budget. Unlike a standard miter saw, the dual compound version features a track or bar that allows the blade to move over larger pieces of wood; the motor and blade can also be pivoted so cuts can be made at various angles.
It is always a good idea to buy a dual compound miter saw from a reputable manufacturer. Many manufacturers offer warranties that will protect the unit against breakage due to manufacturer defects. If the unit breaks, the manufacturer may repair or replace the unit free of charge. Lesser known manufacturers may also offer such warranties as well, but another distinct advantage of buying from a reputable company is the availability of replacement parts. Blades and any other removable part on the dual compound miter saw can break down or wear out after time, and replacement may be required. A well-known manufacturer will more than likely have such parts readily available for purchase.
Consider the types of jobs you will be performing with the dual compound miter saw so you can choose the most appropriate size. The size of boards that can be cut with the saw will depend on how far the blade and motor can slide on its track as well as how large of a platform the machine has for stabilizing the wood and the saw. Think about the cuts you will be making as well; the head of the saw should swivel quite a bit to allow for various angles of cuts.
Other features you may want to look for when purchasing a dual compound miter saw include dust collection systems, easily adjustable platforms, and appropriately placed handles. Try to avoid saws that use a lot of plastic components; the most rugged models will be made from metal components, though this will add weight to the unit overall. Make sure the saw features a blade guard that retracts automatically when the cutting head is lowered. This will prevent accidental contact with the moving blade, which can lead to severe injury. This guard is usually made of plastic or metal, and it will slide upward to prevent the guard from contacting the piece of wood during cutting.