Best Miter Saw Reviews in 2018 [Compound, Sliding and Single Bevel]
Sometimes it’s best not to hire the professionals and rather do a DIY project yourself. Miter saws are the machines you need to make your projects successful. They’re quickly replacing hand tools and give you the ability to build your projects in no time. There are numerous miter saws to choose from. This article incorporates the best miter saw reviews in 2018 which should be very helpful in determining which model to use for your projects.
We have not included the Festool Kapex due to its price point but if you are interested, and have a bigger budget, check out our full Festool Kapex 120 review.
You can also read our buying guide after the below product reviews, which provides all the essential information you need to know for easy comparison.
1. Bosch GCM12SD DB Glide [Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw in 2018]
The moment we hear the name Bosch, we look up. Why? Because Bosch has generally become a synonym in many industries for quality products. Made in the USA we certainly think that the Bosch GCM12SD DB Glide is a reflection of this quality and makes a tough case for best miter saw. Look at the price of this product and compare it to the prices of other best miter saw reviews and you will see that it is designed for the professional and it sits in a class of its own.
When we saw how expensive this miter saw is, we decided to look at some of its features which we list below.
Bosch GCM12SD Miter Saw Pros
- The lack of gear clash makes this machine quiet when compared to others
- Two safety switches ensure that you can stop the machine anytime
- Equipped with an exclusive axial-glide system
- Cuts up to 14 inches horizontally and 6 ½ inches vertically
- Equipped with stainless steel scales and easy-to-read bevel
Bosch GCM12SD Miter Saw Cons
- It is quite heavy if you are planning to use it from different sites
Even though the Bosch GCM12SD DB Glide Miter Saw is relatively expensive, it certainly makes up for this in the features that it delivers. It runs rather quietly and it is easy to repair. Since working with a miter saw can sometimes be a dangerous exercise, we like the fact that this product comes with two safety switches from both the left and right that can allow you to stop the machine anytime.
We looked at a few other products in the market that can compare to the Bosch GCM12SD DB Glide Miter Saw and we found the DEWALT DWS779 Sliding Compound Miter Saw which is slightly cheaper. It is driven by a 15 Amp motor but delivers relatively slow speeds of 3800 revolutions per minute. You can also look at the Bosch CM12SD Dual Bevel Slide Miter Saw, if you want to stick within the Bosch range but get something cheaper. It comes with some of those great features of the other great miter saws from Bosch such as tall sliding fences that make setting up for bevel cuts quite easy.
We have great respect for products made by Bosch because this is a manufacturer that has proved itself over the years. This is why we have dubbed this saw the best sliding compound miter saw in 2018. Even though this product is not necessarily a cheaply priced saw under 200, it is one we can recommend especially for someone who is serious about the kind of work they are doing. If you are a starter and occasionally use this product, we would rather recommend you go for something a little basic and cheaper.
2. Hitachi C10FCE2 [Best Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw for Value]
For the price, this is easily considered one of the best miter saws. Whenever you use this miter saw, you’re guaranteed smooth and precise cuts. This Hitachi saw allows you to work on various projects using materials such as:
The flexible miter angles provide versatility to its various users. Trim carpenters, framers and woodworkers will enjoy the accuracy the product offers. Smaller circular saws like the roto razor cannot offer the same reliability as this Hitachi miter saw.
This saw cutter is strong and durable. It features:
· 15-amp motor that propels the blade as fast as 500 rpm
· 0-52° miter angle range
· 0-42° bevel range
· This miter saw has an automatic anti-kickback function. This ensures the startups are quiet and it reduces the vibrations
· The strong motor gives the miter saw the power it needs to cut through most materials with ease. You can cut with precision
· The power of the miter saw allows you to easily cut a 4×4 at a 90° angle. This applies to wood materials and aluminum slashes.
· This product weighs 26.3 lbs. The lightweight factor ensures the product is easily portable
· There is an elastomer horizontal grip so you can comfortably hold the saw; you still have full control of the saw. The elastomer grip reduces the vibration caused when the miter saw is in use. This contributes to you having smooth and precise cuts and is one of the top reasons it makes our "best miter saw" list
· With the elastomer horizontal grip, you don’t need to hold the materials while you work; you need to only hold the handle and the saw will control the motion of the materials
· The thumb-actuated positive stops allow you to easily and quickly change the miter angles
· Your workstation will be neat when you use this product. A dust collector is attached to the saw; any debris resulting from the use of the product will be captured by the dust collector, and this will help with easy clean up
· You’ve easy access to the carbon brush. This allows for easy replacement of the bush, which will contribute to its longevity and durability.
· With this product, you’ve the option of acquiring optional accessories such as the Hitachi blades: 115166, 725206, 310878, or 18108.
(These are additional blade models that have different serrated edges. The optional edges will give greater versatility in cutting the various materials.)
C10FCE2 Accessories Included:
C10FCE2 Miter Saw Pros
· Ready to use out of the box, there is no need for adjusting
· For small DIY projects, you don’t need to attach the saw onto a bench
· All the miter stops are precise and accurate
· Powerful motor allows you to cut through thick boards with ease
C10FCE2 Miter Saw Cons
· Some components are loose, for instance bolts
· Takes a long time for the blade to get to a full speed
· The dust collector doesn’t collect all the particles
· You may need to recheck and reset the squareness of the fence
· Missing the laser guide feature that the Hitachi C10FCH2 has
If you want versatility in your work projects for an affordable price, then this product will be the perfect buy for you. This is our best miter saw for value and you can still build and cut various materials. You’re guaranteed a smooth finish with little to no sanding. This miter saw is ready to use when you take it out of the box with no adjustments required. You’re always given precision with the materials you’re working with.
3. DEWALT DW715 [Best Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw]
The designers of the Dewalt DW715 Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw were working from a brief that asked them to create a product that could encompass the phrases smart, quick and powerful. The product of this was exactly that which is why we classified it as #3 on our best miter saw list - it can produce the most accurate cuts you can get.
You’re given much higher precision and accuracy with this DEWALT miter saw compared to its competitors. The single bevel compound type enables you to turn the work piece to replicate cuts. This doesn’t set you back in the deadline you will need to complete the project.
· There are 11 miter stops. These stops ensure there is increased productivity and precision when you use the saw
· One feature of this miter saw is the “Miter detent override.” With this you can override the miter stops and adjust to another miter setting. When you change the settings, the saw will not slip into other miter detents
· This product can cut through almost any thickness easily and accurately. There are three variables which contribute to the high performance:
- 115-amp motor
- 20-48°left bevel angle
- 3A 3° right bevel angle with a positive stop at 0°, 45° and 33.9°
· The three positive stops are useful in cutting crown molding. The cam lock miter handle keeps the angle in place.
· The powerful 15-amp motor gives the product a speed of 4,000 rpm. There is no load speed. The speed allows you to frame, mold and crosscut in a short amount of time. With this speed, you can easily cut through hard materials and each time you’re left with smooth finished edges
· There is a built-in fence. The fence is at your disposal for added support and accuracy. The tall fence supports 5 1/4’’ crown molding and a 6 1/2’’ base molding. The fence slides easily out of the way when you’re ready to make bevel cuts
· The carbide blade is strong; it cuts through wood with ease, even at a single angle
· The DEWALT miter saw model weighs 42 lbs. The lightweight factor and built-in carry handle provide convenient portability. You can lift it easily for storage
· The light weight factor makes it ideal for workers traveling to sites to complete jobs. It can be easily transported and stored in your car. It’s effortless to carry. The way in which you carry the miter saw ensures you don’t get into contact with the blades
· There are two additional accessories you can also purchase with this product. It includes a circular saw blade assortment, and a fine-finish blade saw. These two blades increase the versatility of the miter saw.
· In addition to the two blades, you can also acquire a saw stand. This stand is produced by the same manufacturers as the miter saw. The stand is a silver metallic color. This stand will carry most of the materials you want to work with
· When you purchase the product, you will receive:
o DEWALT 12’’ single bevel compound miter saw
o A durable carbide blade
o A blade wrench
o A dust bag
DW715 Miter Saw Pros
· The detents provide solid and accurate cuts
· You have a high level of control
· User friendly - even for amateurs
· Powerful motor to make continuous cuts
DW715 Miter Saw Cons
· Too much saw dust is created
· The newer version doesn’t have laser attachments
· The type 3 model is not compatible with the LED work light system
· There is no steel tube extension
The Dewalt DW715 Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw is a product manufactured for both the professional and the novice who occasionally wants to do some DIY at home.
The thin sharp blade ensures that you always get that perfect cut especially if you are looking for something to use on those elaborate cuts. It is single bevel, so you should expect to have the work upside down if you are looking for a dual bevel.
We looked at a few other products in the market with the aim of doing a comparison and we found the Hitachi C10FCH2 Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw at a much cheaper price that the Dewalt DW715. They both are single bevel compound.
You can also check out the Dewalt DWS780 Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw. This one would be the alternative for someone looking to do double bevels without the need to keep shifting the workpiece. Most woodworkers consider the DWS780 the best miter saw but it is typically triple the cost. You also get a 90-day money back guarantee.
The 11 miter stops ensure you cut materials accurately. This miter saw doesn’t have the laser guide which is useful for amateurs, however it’s completely user friendly. You can easily cut through thick wooden boards with this miter saw. You’re in full control of the saw; with one continuous motion, you can easily cut through your materials.
We love the features of the Dewalt DW715 Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw enough for us to recommend it to anyone who wants to buy it. It does not only have convenient bevel stops, it is also easy to transport because it is quite portable.
Like other Dewalt miter saws, it comes with a 90-day money back guarantee which makes us think that the manufacturers of the product have faith in it.
4. DEWALT DWS709 [Sliding Miter Saw Review]
The powerful motor ensures the blades cut through thick materials with ease, and you can cut most shapes in one continuous motion. Each time you use this saw you will cut exactly how you intend to.
· This miter saw allows you to complete home projects with ease, for example:
o Cut hard wood for windows and frame
o Cut oak for stair trends and handrails
This model allows you to easily recalibrate the angle guide. Simply loosen the four star bolts and adjust the stainless steel detent gauge. A wrench provided which matches the bolts allows you to remove it easier than using your hands, or an incompatible tool
· The dual horizontal railings with linear ball bearings contribute to the machine cutting accurately. These attachments also result in the longevity of the product.
· The qualities which provide the precision includes:
o 3800 rpm motor
o 60° right miter
o 50° left miter
·All the miter points are largely marked in red. This ensures the points are easy to read. This will safeguard you in picking the correct miter level without making irrevocable mistakes
· The key feature that puts the DWS709 on our best miter saw list is the sliding head. This sliding head allows you to cut large pieces of wood. Most other miter saws don’t provide this feature which makes completing projects on this saw very practical
· The fence is exclusively designed for this model. The fence cuts up to 2×14 dimensional lumber at 90° and 2×10 at 45°
· This product weighs 51 lbs. The lightweight feature makes it easy for you to move and store. You can easily set up the work station when you move the machine. You can use the miter saw outdoors. Just make sure that the miter is secured in place
· Once you’ve secured it, you’re ready to start your project. Working outdoors is smarter than indoors. Though a dust bag is attached with the miter saw, it doesn’t collect all the chip partials. The dust bag will be more functional if it’s attached to a vacuum cleaner
· The light stature of the product will not compromise its durability. The heavy-duty aluminum base ensures the machine is sturdy and strong.
· Included in the box when you purchase the product:
o One carbide blade
o One blade wrench
o One dust bag
o One material clamp
o One user guide
DWS709 Miter Saw Pros
· Extreme accuracy from the box without any adjustments needed
· Easy set up
· Reliable performance in every use
· It’s quiet when in use
DWS709 Miter Saw Cons
· Dust collector is ineffective
· No laser pointer
· A light is needed to help facilitate cuts
· There are fewer features compared to the previous models
This is a highly powerful miter saw. Within a single use you can perfectly cut different angles. This model does have fewer features compared to its precious model, but this fact will not prevent you from producing quality work. The large font on the machine ensures you select the intended miter detents; this prevents you from making costly or irreversible mistakes.
5. Makita LS1016L [Best 10 Inch Miter Saw with Laser]
The product offers a range of uses. The 10 inch blade makes it practical for finished work, remodeling, trim work and furniture making.
· This miter saw is practical for use by an extensive range of professions. Professionals include:
· The first time you use this miter saw you don’t need to recalibrate the miter detents. This allows you to begin your project immediately. If you are looking to start fast this is your best miter saw option. The startup is smooth and effortless and the machine has a very quiet operation
· Adjustments are made easier with the 2 front bevel scales. This also improves the visibility of the scale, which allows you to select the correct one each time
· The 15-amp and no-load 3,200-rpm speed give the miter cutter the power to cut through the materials you need to build your projects
· This model is equipped with an innovative direct-drive gear box and patented retractable guard system. These features are engineered to provide increased vertical cutting capacity.
· This model has the largest crown cutting in its class. It cuts wooden board that has a thickness of 6 5/8 ‘’
· The retractable gear guard allows for 4 3/4’’ base board vertical cutting capacity. At 90° you can cut 12’’
· The perfectly constructed components—which give the machine the precision and durability—you need include:
o Exclusive 6 linear ball bearings. These deliver smooth, rigid, adjustment free, highly accurate cuts
o The saw has a patented 4 steel rail sliding system. This increases the rigidness to provide ultimate cuts
o The 4 steel rails ensure less deflection
· The angles of the miter and the bevel allow versatility in all cuts. The stops include:
o 0- 52° left miter angle
o 0-60° right miter angle
o 0, 15, 22, 31.6 and 45° left & right miter positive stops
o 0-42° left and right bevel angle
o 22.5, 33.9 and 45° left & right bevel positive stops
· The construction of the machinery guarantees you will always have precision when you’re cutting. There are dual font scales which improve the visibility of the markings. The 1-turn miter lock system provides accurate adjustments and increases the efficiency
· Contributing to the performance of the miter saw is the 60-tooth blade. This blade can handle the toughest jobs
· For your added benefit, a built in laser will indicate where you will cut. This laser will be on whether the blade is on or off. You can make micro adjustments for precise “left of blade” or “right of blade” cutting. There is a see-through blade guard system. This system provides greater visibility and precision
· With a weight of 52.2 lbs., it’s one of the most compact in its class. This product provides great portability. The 4 steel railing sliding system requires 2” less rear space compared to competitors’ dual sliding miter saws
· If you want to work in the yard you can do so with ease because of the portability and the quiet operation
· This Makita miter saw makes use of a seal gear box. The gear box transfers the power to the blade instead of the belt. This guarantees a quiet operation. When you’re working in your yard, you can do so quietly without disturbing the peace
o Included in the set when you purchase the product: Makita LS1016L 10’’ dual slide compound miter saw
o 60T TCT saw blade
o Dust bag
o Triangular ruler
o Socket and hex wrench
Makita LS1016L Miter Saw Pros
· Very sturdy when in use
· Requires very little setup
· Quiet operation
· Powerful and fast
Makita LS1016L Miter Saw Cons
· The owner’s manual is not practical
· The fence extension is not easily adjustable
Skilled or professional handymen will have great uses for this miter saw. The projects are countless; you can remodel or make furniture with the Makita miter saw. This miter saw is very powerful, but this power doesn’t equate to a loud operation. It’s very quiet, even reaching the high 3,200 rpm speed. The 10 inch blade classifies this as our best miter saw for trim and small carpentry projects.
6. DEWALT DWS780 [12 Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw]
There is an ease of operation when you use this miter saw. The double bevel sliding head doesn’t require you to move the board to replicate cuts.
· The blade guard makes this miter saw user friendly. In most models, the safe guards pop down and interrupt your view. With the DEWALT DWS 780 model the safeguard is see through.
· This makes cutting through materials easier as you can see where the blade is aiming. A safeguard is an important feature of any miter saw
· The double bevel head provides the most versatility you will need for your bevel cuts. The sliding saw head allows you to work with large pieces of wood. You can quickly work through the wood with one motion
· This DEWALT model provides ultimate accuracy when in use without the need for recalibration. This miter saw will cut through all types of wood effortlessly.
· Professionals who want a durable, accurate, high capacity and portable must buy this product. Professions where this item will be valuable include:
o Cabinet markers
o Trim carpenters
o General contractors
· You know exactly where you’re cutting. This DEWALT machine has a built in LED light. This LED replicates a laser line. You will need not to recalibrate or readjust the blades. This provides higher accuracy than laser guides
· The LED light is in the XPS cross cut alignment system. It creates a shadow of the miter saw blade onto the work surface. This allows you to see precisely where you’re going to cut
· You’re guaranteed a long lasting product. The rugged guards, castings, fences bevel system and tough stainless steel miter detent plate are constructed to handle any work site conditions
· With the 15-amp and 3,800 rpm motor, you’re given the power to cut through delicate or heavy duty wood. The capacities include:
o 6 3/4’’ vertical capacity
o 7 1/2‘’ nested crown capacity
o 13 7/8’’ horizontal capacity
· The powerful amp and the no load operation ensure that you can quickly work through your project without compromising the quality of your cuts
· The back fence design allows you to cut 2×16 at a 90° angle and 2×12 at a 45° angle. A built-in rail lock latch simplifies and maximizes the vertical cutting capacity. The latch holds the head away from the fence
· You can cut with precision because of the bevel scales. There’s a 0-49° bevel angle with positive stops marking at 0, 22.5, 33.9, 45 and 49°. The scale and positive stops are both in the left and right direction
· The saw miters are at 50° and 60 ° left and right respectively. The miter detent plate features 10 positive stops. The positive stops are useful in making repeat cuts
· You can lock the angles between detents with the cam lock miter button. You can also override the angle adjustments without falling into detents
· With a weight of 56 lbs., you can easily move the miter saw around your workshop. There is a handle situated at the top of the machine; this ensures you can easily move the miter saw without encountering the blades
· The power cord makes for easy maneuverability. The cord is routed through the rail at the back which eliminates interference on the sides
· You will receive the following accessories when you purchase the product:
o One carbide blade
o One blade wrench
o One dust bag
o One vertical material clamp
DEWALT DWS780 Miter Saw Pros
· The miter saw makes clean accurate cuts
· The LED light guides you well while you cut
· The dust bag collects most of the debris
· Easy setup and adjustments
DEWALT DWS780 Miter Saw Cons
· Replacement parts are difficult to obtain
· The plastic head becomes loose at times
· There is no quick lock on the clamp
· The blade isn’t sufficient when working on fine details
The various professions who continuously uses miter saws will find this product highly useful. The double sliding compound provides convenience as you don’t need to flip the wood to replicate cuts. The carbide blade is strong. This produces clean cuts, and cleanup will be easy with this product; the dust collector captures most of the chips.
Miter Saw: Quick Comparison Chart
|Hitachi C10FCE2||5 year warranty 30 day money back guarantee||15 amps||35.9 lbs.||Single bevel compound|
|DEWALT DW715||3 year limited warranty 1 year free service 90 day money back guarantee||12 amps||47.4 lbs.||Single bevel compound|
|DEWALT DWS709||3 year limited warranty||15amps||51 lbs.||Sliding compound|
|Makita LS1016L||1 year warranty 3 month money back guarantee||15 amps||52.2 lbs.||Dual Slide compound|
|DEWALT DWS780||3 year limited warranty 1-year free service 90-day money back guarantee||15 Amps||56 lb.||Double bevel sliding compound|
Buying Guide for Best Miter Saws
Finding the miter saw suited for you is challenging. This is especially true when you’re a first-time buyer. There are various features to consider before making a final decision on which miter saw to purchase.
The buying guide below gives you the information you need to have a wider understanding of miter saws. You can compare the products as you understand the product descriptions.
Why do you need a Miter Saw?
A miter saws are an essential item for certain projects. It gives you the time and speed needed to complete a project within your required timeline. If you think you may need to make longer cuts check out our table saw vs miter saw guide.
If you purchase one of the top miter saws, it will constantly provide accurate cuts. The precision will reflect in the output of the project. With a miter saw, you won’t waste any materials. You will have control over the machine and the direction it will cut through your materials.
You can build almost any type of furniture with the miter saw including:
· Door casings
· Chair bases
· Staircase rails
· Picture frames
· Window casings
Types of Miter Saws
Basic Miter Saws
Basic miter saws are lightweight and relatively inexpensive. This saw is used only for simple projects. Projects include cutting trim and cross cuts. Basic miter saws provide no bevel options. You can’t make a variety of cuts.
Sometimes the best miter saws tend to be basic and are highly accurate compared to advanced miter saws. The simplicity of this type of saw makes it practical for beginners and casual wood workers.
Basic miter saws are practical for:
· Picture frames
· Simple moldings
· Carpentry finished works
· Cutting ceramic tiles
Basic miter saws are practical because they give the power needed to cut through materials at an angle. They’re more efficient than hand miter tools.
Compound Miter Saws
Compound miter saws can make straight, miter and bevel cuts. Compound models come in two options.
The single mode option is lightweight and generally less expensive. This model tilts in one direction which is usually at a 45° angle. If you need to make cuts on either end of the wood piece, you would need to turn the board to replicate the cut.
Dual bevels tilt in both directions. They are convenient as you don’t need to flip the work piece. Dual bevel models are practical options for projects that need bevel cuts. Another apt project includes crown molding which takes a bevel at both ends.
Dual bevel models provide convenience and are highly accurate.
Sliding Compound Miter Saws
This type is most versatile. You’re given the features of a compound miter saw with an additional sliding arm. The sliding arm allows you to cut wider and on thicker materials. This type of miter saw is most suited for larger projects.
Cordless Miter Saws
These provide the convenience of portability because they don’t have an electrical power source. The motor power of this type is usually between 18-24V, so they provide less power than electrical corded miter saws.
The downfall to this type of miter saw is the sessions in which it can be used are shorter. You will need to factor in recharge time. However, to optimize the work time, seek out rapid chargers or replaceable batteries.
Types of Cuts
When purchasing a miter saw it’s important to know exactly what types of cuts are possible. It’s best to purchase one of the best mitre saws that can perform all types of cuts. This will optimize your work project.
The blade will cut at a straight 90° angle through wood.
The blade makes a 90° cut that angles across the face of the wood. The angle is set between 0° and 45° using the miter index.
The blade tilts between 0° and 45°. This makes an angled cut across the face and the thickness of the wood.
The features presented help you in selecting a miter saw that brings ease into your life. Most miter saws are equipped with these features. To optimize your projects, it’s best to purchase a miter saw that contains all the features.
Laser Guide System
This feature is very useful. The laser guide will show a beam on the work piece which will indicate exactly where you’re going to cut. Laser guides can make the miter saw easier to use and assist in making accurate cuts.
Beginners will find this feature very useful because they are able to see where they are going to cut while getting used to the new machine. You’ll make less mistakes.
Miter Saw Dust Collection Systems
These assist in keeping your miter saw durable as they capture the dust particles before they get inside the miter saw. Buildup of dust hinders the performance of the saw.
There are various options available for dust collection.
These are bags that are attached to the miter saw. They are easy to install and uninstall. They are designed and fitted in a unique way that when the miter saw is in use, it collects all the chip particles. At times, dust bags are ineffective and don’t collect all the dust particles.
This resembles a vacuum cleaner. They usually come with a large hood that is placed over the miter saw. When it’s powered it sucks all the chippings created by the miter saw. This option is highly affective and provides a cleaner work area. Festool produces the best dust extractors on the market today.
This feature helps limit the depth in which you will cut. This ensures you don’t make any irreversible errors.
Sliding fence for Mitre Saws
It’s important to look for miter saws that have a sliding fence. This will provide added support for your work piece.
Extension arms are also referred to as wings. Extension arms are used to support long pieces of work. This is practical if you don’t have a table to support your entire project.
Also referred to as angle presets. The angled that are presets are the most common needed for projects. The positive stops save you time as you don’t have to take time setting the next cut.
Positive stops are presented in both miter and bevel angles. Most miter saws have an override detent which allows you to lock the settings.
Digital displays are easier to read compared to etched miter and bevel measurements. With digital displays, you can see the exact measurement including all the decimal points. You can set more precise angles with this type of display.
The Miter Saw Blade
It’s important to know the three basic characteristics pertaining to the miter saw blade. These characteristics refer to the teeth, kerf width, hook angle and gullet. These characteristics will determine the accuracy of the cuts.
· The teeth of blade ranges from 24 to 100 teeth. The larger the number of teeth the finer the cut. The more teeth your blade has the slower the cut will be
o For finished or rough cut, you will need a blade that has a larger tooth count, however with a smaller diameter. This results in a smooth finish with little to no sanding required
o For hard or soft wood, you will need fewer teeth. You may need to sand the wood after cutting as the blade will not produce a smooth finish
· The kerf width is the slot where the blade cuts the materials. With regards to the kerf width you’ve an option between a full kerf and a thin kerf
o A thick kerf usually cuts 1/8’’ and is intended for miter saws powered by three or more horsepower.
o A thin kerf with a thickness of less than 1/8’’ is suited for portability and used by general contractors. They require less power than full kerfs. They produce less waste
o The thinner the kerf the more vibrations you’re likely to experience
o The faces of the teeth are either ripped forward or backwards and not in line with the center of the blade. This refers to a hook angle: Positive hook: the teeth tip forward in the direction of the rotation
o Negative direction: The teeth tip away from the rotation of the direction
· The hook angle refers to how hard the blade will pull the material when it’s cutting. A positive hook will cause an aggressive cut and a fast feed rate. A negative to low hook angle is designed to cause little board movement during cutting.
· The gullet is the space between each tooth which allows for chip removal. The type of operation determines the gullet needed to effectively remove the waste.
o In a ripping operation, the feed rate is faster and the waste is larger. The gullet needs to be deeper to allow for the excess materials to be removed easily
o For a cross cutting blade, the chops are smaller and fewer for each tooth. The gullet is smaller to accommodate this change.
· When you’re replacing the blade, you need to purchase the correct one based on your project needs
· The tooth configuration is important for the type of project you will be working on. If you’ve inserted an incorrect blade, you will most likely experience a cut you didn’t intend
· The configuration of the tooth will determine if the blade will be practical for ripping, crosscutting or laminates:
o Flat top (FT): This is ideal for blades cutting through hard and soft woods. A rip blade design is usually associated with flat top tooth configurations. This design quickly and efficiently removes materials. The flat top tooth is the most practical design for cutting and raking materials out of the cut
o Alternate top bevel (ATB): This implies the blade teeth alternate between a right and a left hand bevel. This configuration produces a smoother cross cut on natural wood and veneered plywood. The alternating beveled teeth shapes a knife-like edge on either side of the blade. This will ensure a cleaner cut compared to flat top
o High alternative top bevel (Hi- ATB): This configuration is suited for extra fine cross cutting. It’s also suited for materials surfaced with melamine
You will need to change the blades to suit the different materials you need for your project. There is no blade that will cut through all the materials. When you purchase the miter saw ensure the blade can be easily removed to save you time.
The Miter Saw Motor
The more powerful the motor, the greater the chance the miter saw will last for a long period of time. A powerful motor ensures quicker cuts. This guarantees there is no stress on the motor when it produces the performance you require.
The common motor sizes for miter saws are between 10-15 amps. This amount is sufficient to produce work in a timely manner.
In addition to comparing the motor size, you will need to do the same with rpms. The rpms count will affect how smooth your cuts will be. The higher the count the smoother the cut.
Other Miter Saw Accessories
These accessories will ensure you get the most out your miter saw. The accessories are also helpful tools you might need to make your project a success.
Coving—or cornice jogs—are the best accessories to have if you want to work with crown molding. They are specifically designed for miter saws to ensure you constantly have the best angles. This accessory provides the most accurate and clean miter cuts.
Covings are portable. This portability makes it easier for you to crown mold, without moving the material you’re working on.
These are best used when working with wood. These clamps hold the wood in place while your hands are free to control the miter saw. When the wood you’re working on is held securely in place, it helps you to cut accurately and at a straight angle.
These clamps are offered in vertical and corner styles. Depending on how you work with the wood material you will find the style clamps to give you comfort and convenience.
Protractors assist those who take pride in their work and want accurate cuts. Protractors are highly practical for creating precise angles needed to make a miter joint. You’ve the option of selecting between a manual or digital protractor.
Miter Saw Safety features
Even the best mitre saws are dangerous if they are not handled properly or equipped with safety features. These features will ensure no accidents happen.
The blade guard is one of the most important safety features to have. They protect your face, hands and your body from being cut by the blade.
The blade guard covers the edge of the blade and lifts as the blade cuts into the materials. Blade guards are not sturdy at times and will fall while the blade is in use.
To have precision in where you cut it’s best to select a miter saw with a see-through blade guard.
Safety clamps are also referred to as vises. The material may shift during cuts, which is the reason safety clamps are needed. Their purpose is to hold down and lock the materials in a fixed position.
You don’t have to worry about the materials moving about when you cut. This ensures precision in cuts.
This is a switch built onto the miter saw. The switch prevents the blade from accidently turning on. When you need to work on the miter saw, you need to push the lock out before powering the machine.
These aren’t found in all miter saws, but this is also an important feature for your miter saw to have. When you let go of the trigger, the blade will automatically reduce the speed significantly; this will cause it to stop in a short amount of time.
Protection safety gear
It’s important not to rely on the safety features equipped on the machine. To have ultra-protection, it’s important to purchase and wear the gear to protect yourself.
· Purchase goggles to protect your eyes from any shards
· Wear hand gloves designed for construction to protect your hands from splinters
· Wear noise cancelling ear muffs to protect your ear drums against the sound
The Miter Saw Stand
Once you’ve selected and purchased a miter saw, it’s important to consider the workstation you will be working on. The stand on which the saw will be placed ensures you will receive the optimal use you need when working on the project.
Related: Top Stands in 2018
If you’re going to be traveling to work sites, a portable work station is what you need. There are two factors you will need to consider:
You will need to select a table that you find comfort in loading and offloading from your vehicle. It’s important the table is not too light or flimsy.
If the table is not sturdy, the materials that you’re working on will not be in a fixed location. This may cause cuts not to be accurate and the mistake may be unalterable.
Similar to weight you will need to be comfortable with the size you carry. The size of the table comes into effect on the location where you will be working. For instance, it’s difficult to carry a large table upstairs.
The size also matters when you need to transport and store the table. Fold down tables are practical for this use.
Versatility and capacity
You need a table to support the different types of miter saws. In addition, it’s imperative to purchase the stand that supports the height and weight of the various materials you’re working with.
When you invest in a stand, you expect it to last for a long period of time no matter what the working conditions are.
Before you purchase the stand, ensure the table is constructed with strong durable materials. Tubular steel is the strongest material used for the saw stand.
Best Mitre Saw: Conclusion
Improving your handyman skills begins by purchasing the best miter saw you can find. There are various types of miter saws, each catering for the individual needs of the user. Basic miter saws are practical for inexperienced users who want to do small DIY projects around the house.
There is an endless list of furnishings and objects you can make yourself. What do you want to build? The first step you need to take is to buy the miter saw suited for you. Use these best miter saw reviews to help you make your decision. With patience and practice, you can enhance your skill level. Then, your dream projects can become reality so you never have to call a professional again.
- 1 1. Bosch GCM12SD DB Glide [Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw in 2018]
- 2 2. Hitachi C10FCE2 [Best Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw for Value]
- 3 3. DEWALT DW715 [Best Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw]
- 4 4. DEWALT DWS709 [Sliding Miter Saw Review]
- 5 5. Makita LS1016L [Best 10 Inch Miter Saw with Laser]
- 6 6. DEWALT DWS780 [12 Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw]
- 7 Miter Saw: Quick Comparison Chart
- 8 Buying Guide for Best Miter Saws
- 8.1 Why do you need a Miter Saw?
- 8.2 Types of Miter Saws
- 8.3 Types of Cuts
- 8.4 Features
- 8.5 Other Miter Saw Accessories
- 8.6 Miter Saw Safety features
- 8.7 The Miter Saw Stand
- 9 Best Mitre Saw: Conclusion