Things to Consider When Choosing a Miter Saw

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Miter saw is a highly useful professional-grade power tool that lets you make 90° crosscuts as well as angled cuts. The whole process requires you only to adjust the right angle and plunge the spinning blade down onto the workpiece. If you are already looking for a corded or a battery-powered miter saw, you probably know what it’s for and need to learn what to consider! Well, you need is the guide below.

Miter Saw Types

There are three miter saw types with different capabilities:

  1. Basic miter saw – this type is designed to make simple straight and angled cuts (miter cuts). It’s a good choice for most house framing and stud trimming jobs.
  2. Compound miter saw – this type can do both miter and bevel cuts to the left or to the right. Most models can bevel only to one side, but some are dual-bevel. This saw is useful for all kinds of miter cuts as well as for cutting crown moldings.
  3. Sliding compound miter saw – this type is the most versatile as it has all the capabilities of the previous 2 types plus a movable arm that can be retracted to cut wide pieces of wood. Similar to the compound miter saw this one can be single-bevel and dual-bevel.

Power Source Types

All the miter saw types listed above are also available as:

  • Corded – these miter saws are generally a bit cheaper but can operate only near a power outlet or a portable gasoline power generator. This type is preferred by woodworkers who never work outside the workshop.
  • Cordless (Battery-powered) – these saws offer the same features and cutting power as the corded models, but allow working at remote sites where you don’t have access to electricity. Standard battery packs are usually enough for the vast majority of projects, but you will need extra packs if the projects require batching hundreds of pieces.

Blade Size

Miter saws are typically available with 8”, 10”, and 12” blades, but even smaller sizes are sometimes available for DIY and professional uses that require extra portability. 12” and 10” blades are the most popular sizes, but there’s no need to chase them unless upgrading your home or any other project requires professional cutting capacities.

The math here is quite simple. The bigger blade you have, the deeper miter and beveled cuts you can make:

  • 12” miter saw cuts a 2×8 at 90° and 2×6 at 45°
  • 10” saw cuts 2×6 at 90° and 2×4 at 45°

Safety Features & Extras

All miter saws must be equipped with a blade shield that opens only when you plunge the rotating blade down. This is an essential safety feature that protects the operator from accidental contact with the blade. Besides, most modern miter saws already come with dust collection bags to make the workplace cleaner and safer. You can also opt for tools equipped with laser guides for extra precision and electric brakes for faster blade stopping.

Time to Shop

Now you can make a perfect choice, wait a few days for the package to come, and enjoy working right away. You may also need to consider other saw types for home remodeling. Don’t forget about safety and stay tuned for more useful tips!