Overview Of Mitre Saw
A miter saw is a powerful tool that makes crosscuts or miters in wooden pieces, plastic, or metal.
The simplest traditional saws have fixed angle stops that are set with the turn of a screw.
While some modern miter saws allow the operator to change angles more easily by using levers, springs, and collars.
Techniques Of Mitre Saw
There are two basic techniques used in cutting on a miter saw: freehand and the use of jigs.
While both techniques produce clean cuts when done properly, there are advantages and disadvantages to each method.
Free-hand cutting allows the operator greater freedom but requires more practice before achieving good results.
With practice, it soon becomes easy to make, square cuts every time with little or no waste.
The use of jigs allows the operator to make square cuts every time with little practice but it is necessary to have a jig for each different cut being made.
Once all the jigs are made, however, using them becomes second nature allowing production rates close to those of power tools.
Types Of Mitre Saw
There are three general styles of miter saws:
- Compound miters saws
- Sliding miters saws
- Chop-saw style miter saws
Compound miters saws
This type of miter saw is used for crosscutting and angle cuts.
Most compound miters saws can be angled from 0° to 50°, but some do go as high as 60° or even 65° which has made these types of saw very popular with woodworkers.
To provide such a wide range, compound miters saws use four sets of bearings
Two at the blade, one at the pivot arm/loose arm assembly, and one in the rear trunnion on some models.
A typical compound miter saw is similar to a table saw.
Where a vertically spinning blade mounted below a table goes up and down as well as back and forth across a horizontal cut line or kerf on its way through the stock.
Best Feature Of Compound Miters Saw
The best feature of compound miter saws is that they can make many cuts almost as well as a table saw can.
If the operator has enough space to use one and doesn’t mind the weight, it’s a good choice for making accurate cuts efficiently.
But because compound miters saws are very heavy for their size, they require a sturdy bench or stand which adds considerably to the cost.
Sliding miters saws
Unlike a compound miter saw where the blade is always perpendicular to the base, a sliding miter saw aligns itself with the material being cut.
This arrangement allows for wider cuts in thicker materials at a faster rate than can be obtained with a compound miter saw.
Sliding miters saws have the advantage of not having to handle as much cut stock as compared to a compound miter saw.
Because of the blade only moving perpendicular across the material instead of also going back and forth as on most compound miters or table saws.
Best Feature Of Sliding Miters Saw
The best feature of a sliding miters saw is that it’s safer for a novice to use than the traditional type.
Compound miters saws because the blade guard assembly covers the blade throughout its full range of motion.
That also makes it safer to use this saw around kids than other types of miter saws.
Chop-saw style miter saw
This type is used for both crosscutting and angle cutting and consists of only one pivot joint and a blade.
Since they do not have a loose arm and compound pivot mechanism, chop saws are generally less expensive than models with these features.
One big advantage of this style of miter saw is that it can be used as a bench or pedestal grinder by removing the blade and adding the appropriate wheel to the arbor.
Though not nearly as popular as other types, chop-saw-style miter saws are still used for certain applications where high production rates are needed.
Since this type of miter saw has only one arm, there is very little play in the cut.
Which makes it ideal for making back cuts on plywood sheet goods or cutting accurate waste out of materials like melamine-faced particleboard or MDF.
Best Feature Of Chop-Saw Style Miter Saw
The best feature of a chop-saw-style miter saw is its ability to run at extremely high production rates by relieving the operator from having to push and pull stock through the blade.
Another best feature of chop-saw style miters saws is that they’re easy to transport from one work site location to another.
Because they’re relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver.
Other Types Of Mitre Saw
A different approach to cross design is used by radial arm saws, which are large powerful saws with a circular cutting arm.
Smaller rotary cut-off saws are designed for one-handed use and make cuts using a spinning circular blade under the control of the operator.
Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The double bevel, a compound miter saw is the most common type of sliding miter saw.
This style can make angle cuts in either direction and has an adjustable pivoting arm.
Which allows it to cut crown molding both vertically and horizontally without having to reposition the blade or stock.
Best Feature Of Double-Bevel Sliding Miters Saw
One unique feature that’s found on many types of compound miters saws is a rip-fence slot at the rear of the table.
This slot allows for making crosscuts with long material like plywood sheet goods by using a ripping guide fence mounted in place of one side of the push handle assembly.
The best feature of double-bevel sliding miter saws is that they’re versatile and can be used to crosscut or rip cut material up to 45 inches in length.
Cordless Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Today’s cordless compound miters saws have all the convenience of a corded model without any of the hassles or limitations imposed by a power cord.
Cordless models can be powered using either removable battery packs, an AC adapter that plugs into a standard electrical outlet.
Or both depending on the particular type being used.
Best feature Of Cordless Sliding Miters Saws
One advantage that cordless sliding miters saws have over those that are plugged into an electrical outlet.
Is that they’re portable and can be taken anywhere as long as you have access to a battery charger.
Most models also come with carrying cases for easy transportation from one work site location to another.
How to select the best miter saw?
When selecting a type of miters saw, there are several factors you need to consider.
These include your skill level, how much versatility you need with the various types of cuts you’ll be making, and what’s most important to you is portability vs power.
Another factor is the size of material that can be cut using each type of miter saw because different sizes of stock require different cutting capabilities than others.
If possible it’s also good practice to borrow or rent several models at construction sites or sales outlets
Where these tools are sold so that you can test cut pieces of similar dimensions yourself before deciding which one would best suit your needs.
Blade Size Of Mitre Saw
Mitre saw blades come in three different sizes: 8 inches, 10 inches & 12 inches.
The eight-inch is by far the most popular choice since it is big enough to handle many cutting tasks.
But not so big that this type of miter saw cannot be easily moved around or stored when not in use.
Types Of Miter Saw Blades And Uses
The standard tooth design used on miters saw blades feature triangular points cut at alternating angles to give both push and pull cuts maximum strength.
When being used in a push cut application.
This type of blade is best suited for making crosscuts when the wood being cut is at least four inches thick or more.
For thinner lumber, rip blades are much better since they have fewer teeth that are ground to a much lower angle.
The result is that this type of miter saw blade has much greater strength in a pull cut where the teeth do not engage the edge of the board.
Being cut until after it has begun to move through the cutting process.
Miter saws come in a variety of styles and designs that are designed to cater to different users.
The best type of miter saw for your particular application depends on how much you’re able to spend as well as the type of materials you’ll be using.
Double-bevel sliding compound miters saws provide the most versatility because they can make both crosscuts and miter cuts at different angles either left or right.
Which is why they’re so popular among professionals.
Cordless sliding models have all the conveniences of a corded model once charged but don’t have any limitations imposed by an electrical cord.
Making them good tools for electricians, plumbers, or HVAC technicians who need to work in remote locations occasionally where power isn’t readily available.
Angle grinders are handheld tools that can be used for applications other than cutting, including grinding away old paint or rust
Removing weld spatter from cast iron components, and cleaning up rusted metal surfaces.
Without having to take any components apart first makes them good choices for mechanics or anyone who repairs cars on the side.
Cut-off saws make quick work of cutting large pieces of steel but don’t have much portability because they’re usually quite heavy-duty and bulky to use.
This type is best suited for construction sites where these materials are in abundance.