As with most power tool categories, there are many different best miter saw models currently available that cover all levels of requirements and specifications. Whether you just need a basic one for a bit of light work at home, or you need a high powered model for work purposes that will work efficiently through extremely heavy workloads, you will be able to find one to fit your needs.
The price of a miter saw is going to be a major consideration for most people, and you will find that the market is fairly competitive and you can find some very good models being sold at very reasonable prices. You also want to make sure that you get a saw that will have enough power for the work you intend it for, and that it has a big enough work area to accommodate the size of the materials you will be using.
A miter saw is used to make exact angle cuts in wood, masonry, metal or even concrete. Before power tools (and even still used today for those on an extreme budget) a hand saw and a miter box would be used to perform exact degree angle cuts. The exact degree angle cuts are necessary for joining two or more pieces of material together in a flush manner. So a power miter saw is simply a combination of the miter box and a circular power saw. It can provide amazing and exacting results in a very simple-to-use yet powerful way. A couple of the common uses of this type of saw are floor boards and crown molding; each needing to meet up flush at their joints.
There are a few different and distinct types out there and in this article we will cover some basics of each model. So let’s begin.
Compound – provides a rotating blade that pivots both vertically and horizontally creating angle cuts in dual planes. A compound miter saw has an arrangement of rotating the angle of the blade relative to horizontal plane. Because of this, this model is mostly used to make bevel cuts very easily. Many compound miter saws have a laser guide to exactly locate the cutting point before the cut is made by the saw.
Many compound miter saws have a cool safety feature. The blade guard always covers the rotating blade so that it doesn’t cut your hands. The blade guard automatically gets retracted when you pull down the saw blade for cutting and when the blade retains it’s original position the guard will cover the blade automatically.
Many manufacturers that manufacture miter saws have been selling online successfully. After some study I found that the cheapest is the “Wilton 8-1/4″ Compound Miter Saw 99100”. However the most popular miter saws have a price range between $150 to $600. Now that’s a big range to choose from .
It’s really difficult to choose the best miter saw amongst the many cool models available today. However I have included a listing of some of the most popular models from the amazon.com marketplace on the right side. These are the saws purchased by real people from amazon and used them. Make sure you read the customer reviews written by these people so that you can easily compare what you are looking for in the kind of cutting tool you are looking for.
A sliding miter saw is actually called a sliding compound miter saw. It incorporates these two key features: a vertical pivot that rotates allowing the blade to be tilted both horizontally and vertically and it has sliding arms horizontally which allows a much wider cut. This is a dedicated cross cut saw as long rip cuts cannot be done.
The sliding compound miter saw is a favorite amongst professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike because of its, precision, durability and portability. Even though they are portable they are robust enough to maintain their accuracy and very easy to set up. Since the back-piece is fixed against the fence, a kick-back is almost impossible and it helps to keep hands clear of the blade. Binding is rare because the saw head is drawn back, lowered and then pushed through the material.
The cut is made from above so adjusting for blade depth is not necessary when working with different pieces of material. Oftentimes, when working on a project, repeat cuts are needed and the sliding miter saw is made perfectly for this. Most saws have exact stops at commonly used angles and adjustable stops at 45 and 90 degrees allowing the head to easily tilt.
There is really only one disadvantage and it is a relatively minor one at that. Wood chips and dust tend to build up and due to blade placement, can be difficult to extract. You may also get an occasional flying wood chip. A basic sliding miter saw (not a compound saw) has the blade mounted solid to it’s sliding track. You’ll find this similar to a radial arm saw.Because of the forward sliding motion, you can pull the saw forward (after pulling down). This is good, because the sliding range allows you to cut wider pieces of material.
The blade on a standard sliding miter saw stays fixed. It does not rotate from left to right at an angle for bevel cuts. However, there is a swing arm at the bottom that swings 45 degrees from left to right. This allows you to make angled cuts or “miter cuts” If you’re looking to do crown molding on your house, or even baseboards and window frames, this is not the saw may not be for you. But, for straight forward angled cuts that are across the grain, this saw will do fine.
You can make a compound cut (like crown molding) with a standard sliding miter saw. It’s not a perfect way buy it can be done…try this…
This has the additional feature of tilting both right and to the left when making cuts. Many people prefer this type because it can be tilted on both sides, left and right, which makes it easier to cut complicated angles like what you can see in crown moldings. If you are on the lookout for the dual compound type of miter saw, you have come to the right place.
A dual compound miter saw allows you to make bevel or angled cuts on both sides without having to flip over the wood. This is ideal for crown moldings and beveled picture frames. This is the main reason why a lot of DIYers prefer to invest in a dual compound saw because it makes this complicated task much easier. You should also consider the portability of the material. Check if the machine is lightweight and can be carried easily from one place to another. Another feature that tells if the miter saw is portable is if it is cordless. It would be much easier to do your projects anywhere at home if you are using a cordless miter saw model. This also reduces the risk of accidents caused by tangled or frayed cords.
Check if the dual compound miter saw is powerful enough to meet your cutting needs. If you need to cut wood for long periods of time, you should opt for a powerful and heavy duty miter saw. It is important that you know how to read and understand the machine’s specifications to be able to choose the right one for your needs.
You have to choose a miter saw with the right cutting capacity. The bigger the blade and the greater the ability to slide, the better the cutting capacity. The standard diameters for miter saw blades are 10 or 12 inches. If you need to cut large pieces of wood, you should opt for a bigger blade for a more efficient performance. But if you need to cut smaller pieces of wood, you should opt for a smaller blade for a more precise cut.