How To Choose Your Next Miter Saw

by Brino Z. Qui

The Miter Saw is a really useful tool in many workshops. They can make the miter cuts that their name implies, and bevel cuts, compound cuts, and crosscuts as well. If you have a lot of cutting to do, the speed at which they make these cuts is a godsend. If you are looking into getting one for yourself, here are some things to consider.

First, you need to think of what type of cuts you will make. If your projects need nothing more than miter cuts and crosscuts, then you may be satisfied with the more basic Miter Saws.

If you want to make bevel cuts or even compound cuts (which is the combination of a miter and bevel cut), you will want a Compound Miter Saw. What makes a Compound Saw special is that the blade can tilt, so it makes more versatile cuts. If you want to avoid having to flip materials over as you cut them, get a Dual-Level model of this saw that allows you to tilt the blade in both left and right.

Next, you need to think about the size of material you plan to cut. Larger blade sizes allow you to cut larger materials. Most people are just fine with a ten inch model. Smaller blades might be good for more precise cutting, but will really limit the size of boards you can cut. The twelve-inch model can be convenient, especially for cutting larger materials, but they do cost significantly more than the smaller models.

Finally, you should consider if you would rather have a corded or cordless model. Plug-in saws are generally going to run forever, of course, but they lack the convenience of being able to easily carry your saw around without worrying about plugs. If you plan to be working on a site or a project for a long period at one time, even the models with larger batteries might run out. You could consider buying extra batteries or foregoing the cordless models altogether if you don’t want to bother worrying about a battery.

Those are the most important considerations to mull over while choosing a Miter Saw, but there are also features and gadgets you might want to consider as well. First, look at the saw and its guides and indexes. Will they be easy to read when you are operating it? Also consider the Compound models with sliding heads. If the material you will be cutting is very wide, this feature will be very helpful.

If you plan to exchange blades often, you will want a model where installing and removing them isn’t such a hassle. Some models also come with an electric brake, which is a safety feature that insures the blade stops moments after you release the trigger. Finally, for the neat people out there, some come with a dust port which help you collect all the sawdust you make while you work.

If you were wondering how to choose a Miter Saw, I hope this article at least gave you some ideas. Remember, if you think about exactly why you’ll be purchasing a Miter Saw in the first place, then you will be much more informed when you arrive at the hardware store.

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