There are three types of miter saws available in the market: compound miter saw, dual compound miter saw, and sliding compound miter saw. With the present options of corded and cordless models, you can find a suitable miter saw for making angled cuts to create items like door frames, photo frames, window casings, and crown moldings. You can also use a miter saw for cutting angles to create boxes.
The miter saw, or chop saw, is designed mainly for crosscutting wood. It uses a thin circular saw blade mounted to an arm that swings back and forth in a wide-angled arc. The swinging motion of the blade allows it to make cuts along (or mitering) the face of lumber. Of all the types of power tools used in woodworking, this is certainly one of the most important ones around. While other machines are likely to take their place someday, nothing can replace the accuracy and versatility of this humble machine known as the chop saw/miter saw. What makes these devices so popular is that they can be used for a variety of applications. In fact, you can use the miter saw as a more sophisticated replacement for a circular saw or a jigsaw. Its clean cuts and precision are respected by professional craftsmen. A miter saw is a stationary power tool that is very similar to a miter box, except it comes with its own circular saw blade which makes angled crosscuts on workpieces of various materials such as wood or metal.
What to Pay Attention to When Buying a Miter Saw
Below mentioned are the features you should look for in a miter saw before sealing the deal.
The blades play a significant role when looking for a miter saw. Blades with large diameters help in making longer cuts. You could look for a blade size suitable for your project; however, most people prefer using an 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch miter saw size. If you are looking for a finer cut, then having a blade with fewer teeth would be your best option.
Miter Saw Application Capacity
It is also important to consider the capacity of the saw itself. For instance, if you want to use the miter saw for framing photos or making windows casings, then getting one that can handle these tasks practically (without any damage) should be high on your priority list. If you plan on using it occasionally for smaller DIY projects like cutting molding or baseboard, then investing in an expensive model may not be worth it; instead, you can go for something more affordable and durable. You could even look for rental units if working on smaller projects alone is common at your workplace.
Make sure you set a budget for your miter saw purchase. Keep in mind that high-end models with professional features might be the best option if you plan to use this machine often; however, it is important that you consider your needs and budget before making any final decision.
Higher amps equal the cutting strength of the miter saw. Get the one that offers higher amps for a powerful and smooth outcome.
When it comes to electric-powered miter saws, 2 types of motors are available: direct drive and worm gear. Direct drive motors are the more popular ones due to their high speed, which is better for crosscutting lumber. On the other hand, you can get a miter saw with worm gear if you plan on doing plunge cuts or want greater control over speed settings.
Positive and depth stop
Positive stops are set points that help you to make accurate cuts on certain angles. With this feature, you can make quick adjustments to set up cuttings in a short duration. Depth stops allow you to set the height of the blade controlling the depth of the cuts you make into the workpiece.
The electric brakes stop the momentum of the blade instantly by reversing the electric current in the saw motor. This feature is a must-have in saw miter.
It is important to have a blade guard so you can protect yourself from injuries. It works by covering the lower part of the blade, preventing it from touching any surface.
Extensions are an essential feature if you want to work with long pieces of lumber. Keep in mind that larger saws have extension tables, which are significantly bigger than those belonging to smaller units. Extension tables do not give as smooth cuts as one would expect, but they are still better than no extension at all. If you plan on using this machine for extended periods and need a larger table space then always check before buying and make sure that the miter saw has extension wings; otherwise, they may be available separately depending on your model.
Laser guides cast a beam onto your workpiece helping you to make precise cuts. Having this feature in a saw miter will help you greatly in completing the work quickly and accurately.
The grip area should be non-slippery so you can have a solid hold while locking in your hand. This is especially important if you are working on projects for extended periods. Make sure the handle has an ergonomic design to ensure comfortability so you will not get fatigued easily after long hours of work.
For efficient cutting, the fence must be made with smooth and aluminum material that does not scratch or scrape your lumber during cuttings; it should also be capable of adjusting into several positions depending on the height of the chopping. Always check for this feature before making any final decision since having one greatly affects accuracy and performance in general.
If woodworking is part of your profession, then it is recommended that you choose a miter saw with dust-collection capability. These units are usually equipped with in-built vacuum cleaners so the sawdust is retained inside the machine for optimal performance.
Miter Saw Accessories
Once you have selected the best model for your requirements, keep in mind that there are additional accessories to consider buying along with it. Make sure to check out all available options before making any final decision.
For convenience purposes, most models of miter saws come with extension tables or wings; however, if yours does not include one, then you can get it separately depending on your needs and budget. Additional extensions can be helpful when working with longer pieces of lumber; however, they do not provide the same smoothness of cut as one would expect.
Best Miter Saw Reviews
There are lots of different miter saw models out there in the market, so here we’ll shortlist the top three quality miter saws here to make the buying decision easy for you.
Bosch GCM12SD Axial Glide Miter Saw
Bosch GCM12SD comes with a powerful 15 AMPs motor, providing 3800 Rpm speed. With this 12-inch sliding compound dual bevel saw, you’d be able to make smooth cuts. This model incorporates two sliding base extensions that offer added support.
The axial glide mechanism in the saw helps you make convenient and precise cuts, while the Squarelock quick-release fences with single-touch lock/unlock technology help you get the accurate alignment for cutting. All in all, it’s the best miter saw available in the market, providing durability, longevity, and flawless cutting quality.
- Comes with a powerful motor and two extensions for added support.
- Excellent durability with metal gearbox and aluminum rail system.
- Provides 3800 RPM speed, thus increasing the cutting accuracy.
- Quite expensive.
- Does not have an efficient dust collection system - you will have to invest in a vacuum cleaner accessory for this model if you want to avoid any mess during your work or cuttings.
Makita XSL08PT with AWS
Makita XSL08PT is a cordless miter saw with exceptional cutting quality, beating even the corded ones in competition. With its ultra-powerful brushless motor, you get a cutting speed of 4,400 RPM. This model features an auto-start wireless (AWS) Bluetooth technology for connecting optional tools. Moreover, you can also use this saw without utilizing this additional feature.
The front bevel adjustment makes the cuts consistent and convenient, while the dual dust collection ports aid excellently in the clean-up performance.
Overall, Makita XSL08PT is the best miter saw, considering it is cordless yet still doesn’t compromise the quality, precision, and durability of the miter saw.
- Very powerful cordless saw with high RPM.
- Front bevel adjustment makes the cuts very convenient.
- Battery operated, so you can use it anywhere without facing any issues regarding lack of electricity or cords to link the saw.
- Quite expensive.
- Cannot cut material more than 3 inches wide, due to width limitations of this product model.
Metabo HPT 36V MultiVolt C3610DRA
Metabo HPT C3610DRA is a MultiVolt miter saw that functions on a dual-power system. You can either run it on a 36V battery and enjoy the mobility that comes with cordless tools or use the AC adapter with a cord and work non-stop.
This dual bevel sliding miter saw allows you to make accurate cuts smoothly. Its 10-inch blade provides sharpness and precision during the slicing of your workpiece. The laser guide helps you get the correct alignment, which enhances the accuracy of cuts. It’s the best miter saw for handymen who’d like to switch between cordless and corded during work.
- Runs on both battery and an AC adapter for an uninterrupted power supply.
- Front bevel alignment with single-hand adjustment makes it very convenient to use.
- Can cut through material up to 3 inches wide, thus increasing the convenience of working with this type of sliding miter saws.
- Quite expensive.
- Cannot be used as a portable device due to its bulkiness and weight - you would have to place something sturdy under this model so it doesn’t tip over when in use or during transportation
The above-mentioned miter saws are the best ones available in the market. However, you could check out other models considering the price and compatibility with the tool.
Hopefully, you can pick the best miter saw from our top three reviewed products without a doubt.