Sliding miter saws are more versatile, but they're expensive and bulky. If you can get by without the wide horizontal cutting capacity afforded by a slider, a 12-inch chop saw can save you a pile of money — and maybe even a few visits to the chiropractor.

For this review I rounded up professional-grade offerings from all the major power-tool manufacturers: single- and dual-bevel models from Bosch, DeWalt, and Hitachi; and single-bevel tools from Makita and Ridgid (which don't currently make dual-bevel models). After using these eight saws for many dusty hours, I learned a lot about what traits...

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