Miter Saw Comparison: A Compound Or Plain Electric One

If miter saws could be put into just two major categories, we would simply have a plain electric miter saw and a compound miter saw. These two can be designed into variations that can do different things.

Many people beginning to work with wood often ask themselves what the difference is between a compound miter saw and a plain electric one. So, we decided to do a miter saw comparison with the main aim of answering this question.  We will also look at the job that each one will be best at. For some fantastic DIY project ideas we recommend you head over to Highland Woodworking.

What A Miter Saw Does

Before comparing these two types of miter saws, let’s start with a reminder of what a miter saw is designed to do. While there are different brands and types of miter saws in the market, they are basically designed to help make accurate miters and crosscuts on a workpiece.

The cuts are made when a spinning blade in the shape of a circle cuts into a workpiece. The cutting is short and controlled. Some people call a power miter saw a circular saw that has been put on steroids.

Comparing the Compound Miter Saw and the Plain Electric Miter Saw

Let’s start by looking at a compound miter saw. The compound miter saw is not only designed to cut at a 90-degree angle; it also allows you to cut with the blade tipped to the side. This allows you to do two angle cuts simultaneously. This is the reason why your compound miter saw is a popular choice for those who want to cut moldings, especially your crown moldings.

On the other hand, with the standard miter saw, if you are working with crown molding, you need to ensure that you position them upside down on the saw table. To do this kind of work with a standard miter saw is a cumbersome and taxing exercise. You will realize that it is difficult to fit the crown molding under the blade of your standard miter saw.

Okay, maybe sometimes it fits, but now you discover you have a new challenge. Against what, do you lean the molding? You will now have to make a plan for your molding to rest against. While all of the above can be done, it just indicates the challenges that you will have when you are using a standard miter saw. This is the reason why we say this will test your patience and skills.

When you are using a compound miter saw, the problems we discuss above have essentially been solved. You can easily set the angle of the blade. This allows you to make the compound cut while your molding lies flat on your saw’s table. This method is not only easy but allows you to make accurate cuts.

Types of Compound Miter Cuts

Let’s understand the compound miter cuts a little more. When you are shopping for one, you will discover that there are basically two types. One is the slide compound miter saw and another is the standard compound miter saw. And what’s the difference?

Since the compound miter saw can slide, it can easily cut through boards that are thicker and wider. If you are a pro, this would be your choice of miter saw as you will be able to be more accurate when cutting angles.

The Difference in Cost

As you can see, a compound miter saw can do a lot more. This means that you will pay more for it than you will do when you are buying this type of miter saw than you will do when buying a standard one. If your work involves doing a lot of molding and you have the kind of money that they are asking for, this will certainly be your choice of miter saw.

There are a number of other features that you can use in your miter saw comparison. For example, you want to look at how the saw is powered. If you are going to be working on sites that do not yet have electricity, you may discover that a battery powered tool will be your best option.

You also want to check out other features such as LED illumination so that you can clearly see the workpiece and any markings on it while you are working.

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