Miter saws are valuable, must-have tools for any home or shop. They’re designed to cut window casings, picture frames, door frames, and crown moldings quickly and efficiently. They also make straight cuts for woodworking projects that you can complete yourself.
When faced with buying your first saw, you’ll find a wide variety of options. Here’s a guide to find the right miter saw for you. If you need more information be sure to check out MiterSawBuzz – Miter Saw Reviews.
What Are the Variations?
There are three types of miter saws that are available. Each type will have a saw blade that’s able to make cuts at different angles as it moves on an axis. However, there’s a few key aspects to each type that will help you with specific projects.
- Miter Saw. This is a specialized power tool which will help you cut wood and other materials at different angles, with a handle arm that has a mounted blade. The following are three variations.
- Compound Miter Saw. This saw features blades that tilt in one direction and which pivots both right and left. You can get a compound miter cut by making changes to the miter saw on both axes at the same time. Use this for a household or commercial job that needs special angle cuts on two different planes.
- Dual Compound Miter Saw. These have similar functions to the above regular compound saw, but these can tilt to the right and the left, rather than one direction.
- Compound Sliding Miter Saw. These saws contain all the features of the above compound saws, but also feature a sliding mechanism so you can cut backward and forward, achieving an increased length to your cut to accommodate wider pieces of material.
What Are the Features?
When you’re searching for a good miter saw, you should be on the lookout for features which will offer versatility and will make the job more efficient.
- The saw motor’s power is measured by amps. Greater cut power will be provided by higher amps.
- Size of the blade is important. Larger diameter blades make longer cuts, and the more teeth there are to the blade, the higher the price. Most sizes are eight (8), ten (10), and twelve (12) inches.
- Guaranteed (Positive) stops are points on the saw set by the factory that allow you to achieve exact cuts on specified angles. If you want to become more efficient with your time setting up your cuts, you’ll need more stops.
- Depth stops control how deeply the blade cuts by adjusting the height of the blade.
- Dust tubes and blowers aid in keeping sawdust away. You can collect sawdust directly from the saw by mounting dust bags.
- Articulated blade guards allow you to have a clearer view of the cutting line by keeping the guard clear of the stock.
- Your cuts can be guided accurately by laser guides or guide lights, which casts a laser line onto the wood or project a beam.
Other Things for You to Consider
Many things should be considered when you shop for a regular or compound miter saw. Blades are a key aspect, and when you purchase one, make sure it works with your project and your saw. For shop use, you can mount miter saws to workbenches.
If you’re not a professional, skip the 12” sliding compound saws, as they’re large and costly. Most DIYers go for the 10” sliding compound miter saws, and they’re less expensive to buy and maintain. If you’re budget conscious, the venerable miter box will do the trick at just $15.
By following these guidelines, you’re sure to find the miter saw that’s best for you.