What's a Miter Saw

02 Aug

Compound miter saws are developed to help you make crosscuts or square cuts or beveled cuts. They work by pulling the motorized circular blades down into the wood in plunging action.

They are very versatile and can be used for different jobs. However, they are not great for cutting wide stock or ripping lumber.

With a compound miter saw you can easily adjust both the bevel and miter cuts, thus giving them leg up on the basic miter saws. They generally make the bevel cuts in a single direction, either right or left. However, there other models that pivots in the both directions.

This greatly allows added flexibility to the cutting jobs. The extra versatility of the saws is very important for the tasks such as the cutting of crown moldings.

Materials of Construction

Compound miter saws are usually made from aluminum or steel. Sometimes its handle and blade guard may be made of heavy-duty plastic. This ensures that it is easy to handle and getting hold of the machine. Comfort is needed when using the saw. The use of rubber or plastic reduces the vibrations produced by the machine while on use. Most of the miter saws are constructed in order to withstand the serious workloads.

Tool Advice and Tips

You should consider purchasing a compound miter saw stand to use in supporting the long pieces of wood while you are cutting them. The stand makes it easier to keep the work piece steady.

What you are supposed to do is to press your material against saw’s fence and then push the blade steadily into wood. You should always allow the blade to work for you. therefore you should not pull it through wood.

Another important to take into account is the blade size. The machines come typically in 12, 10, and 8 inches. With large blade size you are assured of longer cuts. The other things you should consider include the laser guide, dust bag and electric brakes.

The laser guide is important for making the precise cuts. The dust bag is used for collecting the sawdust and the electric brakes for emergency stopping of the machine.

The location where you are going to use the compound miter saw determines the type of machine you are going to use. If electrical power outlet is not an issue, then you can go for a cordless miter saw. It is important to note that heavy use drains the battery very quickly.

Since their introduction into the market, the best compound miter saw types have become more popular, more advanced and incredibly very useful. In fact, where accurate miters and precision crosscuts are concerned, there is no better machine than this one.

The machine allows users to work very fast and with greater accuracy. With this type of machine, users can perform the miter cuts, square cuts, angled cuts, and bevel cuts. In addition, they are able to work with larger pieces of materials. It is a multipurpose tool that is not matched with miter saws currently on the market.

The high performance of the compound miter saws offers craftsmen a double-edged sword. The tools can undertake a wide range of applications since they are built in various sizes with different focuses, benefits and features.

This poses a difficulty in choosing the right machine that meets your needs. The information below will guide you to choose the right miter saw for your needs:


The very first point is to consider the applications and your uses of the miter saw. You should understand your thoughts on how you will be using the machine.

How frequently are you going to use it? What materials will you be cutting? What location are you going to use it? Will you be cutting crown molding with a miter saw? Having a plan and a budget before you start to work is a great idea that will guide you to make sound a decision.

The best compound miter saws may cost more, but will do the job better and last longer.

Cutting Capacity

Depending on your job tasks, it is advisable to choose a 12-inch or 10-inch cutting capacity. Staying within these parameters will ensure you can easily make larger cuts.

However, it is important to note that the cost of the machine increases with the increase in cutting capacity. There a few considerations you should take into account when choosing between the sliding and compound miter saw:

Bevel Controls

These are important in adjusting the blade angles to make cuts along the board thickness. It is a handy tool that is very helpful when you are doing the cutting molding. The machines are usually available in single or dual bevels.

Extension Wings

This is a feature that is designed to increase the cutting capacities of compound miter saws. The machine is built with the slide-out extension that supports the larger boards.

Sawdust Collection

This is a great feature that comes with any high quality miter saw. You should ensure that your machine is fitted with a filter or a bag to collect the sawdust as soon as it is created.

This machine is known for its versatility and precision on beveled, angled, and square cuts. However, this tool is not used in the right way it can be quite dangerous- especially when cutting acrylic. The following are some of the habits and tips to use in order to reduce the risk of the injury occurring:

Wear Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment

Commonly known as PPE in industrial set ups, they will protect your whole body in case of a mishap. You should always use safety glasses and wear the appropriate clothing. If your compound miter saw is very loud, then it is advisable to use ear muffs or any other appropriate hearing protection.

Table Guard

Usually a compound miter saw is equipped with the blade guard. This equipment should never be removed or disabled. You should check it occasionally to ascertain that it functions as required and will not bind when lowering or raising the saw. In addition, you should check whether it is sharp and fastened properly to the saw arbor. It is important to note that an improperly installed or dull saw blade is extremely dangerous. Another safety tips when installing or checking the saw blade, is to unplug the machine from the power source.

Adjustable Fence

Most models of the compound miter saw that are currently in use feature an adjustable fence. You need to ensure that your fence is appropriately adjusted for the particular cut you are going to make. Also, the stock should be placed firmly against the fence and table as you make the cut. You should be aware that free handling is ill-advised and very dangerous.

Clean Your Saw

It is your role to ensure that the compound miter saw is very clean before using it. Also, after using it, it should be cleaned and stored at the right place. The cutoffs from the previous cuts or a lot of sawdust can interfere with the current cutting operation. The result can be very dangerous. Therefore you should keep a small bucket or box nearby to accommodate the small cutoffs.

Use Common Sense

Whenever you are using a machine, you need to take your time and concentrate on the cutting operation. You should be aware that hurrying can lead to lots of mistakes. Always avoid alcohol and drugs when working. In this way, you will be less inclined to make mistakes that can cause serious injuries.

* The email will not be published on the website.