The Unique Features of Miter Saws

Miter saws are just one type of saw out of the many that can be used to cut wood or non-wood materials. However, this saw is more versatile and useful than a lot of its competitors. It can be used to perform a wide variety of cuts on materials of a range of sizes without much adjustment needed. How does the miter saw accomplish all of this? The regular features of a miter saw are unique enough to make this an irreplaceable tool for many contractors. Read on to find out what makes this saw so special! 

  • Miter saws are designed for crosscuts and miter cuts. As indicated by the very name of the saw, the ability to perform miter cuts is embedded into the very purpose is these saws. Crosscuts of all types and at many different angles become much easier. 
  • Laser guides help you make the right cuts. When you have an accurate laser guide to show you how your blade will land on the wood before you put the saw blade down, you can more easily avoid making mistakes or messing up the cut by even a small margin. 
Miter saw with laser guide
  • Miter saws are available in a number of diverse models. Just because one particular saw does not have everything you might want, that doesn't mean you won't find another saw that will have all your desired features. The 3 main types of miter saws are the basic miter saw, the compound miter saw, and the sliding compound miter saw. 
  • Miter saws are measured by the size of their blades. Most commonly you'll find these 4 blade sizes: 7-1/2 inches, 8-1/2 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. If you want a wider crosscut and more features, 10 and 12 inch saws are the best options. If you want a general purpose miter saw and you do not need to cut wider pieces or you aren't interested in more advanced features, 7-1/2 and 8-1/2 inch saws are a great choice. 
Dust bag
  • Dust collection is essential for miter saws. Most, if not all miter saws feature a dust collection system in the form of a dust bag that attached to a tube or hose around the blade area. These dust bags are okay for collecting around 30% of dust, so if you want better results you should look for a miter saw with hookups that allow shop vac adapters to be attached and used. Shop vacs pick up closer to 70% of dust generated while cutting.
  • Angles can be locked in and preset. If you make a lot of miter or bevel cuts at a certain angle that is not already preset into the device, you can usually make a custom positive stop at that angle to help you reach your precise measurement more quickly. Most miter saws come with the most common angles preset in the tool. 
  • Portability of a miter saw gives you an advantage. Yes, some other saws, such as hand saws, may be portable as well, but the miter saw is one of the saws which can be used to make extremely accurate cuts that are very difficult for other saws to carry out. Miter saws are great to have on any job site, because they are precise and easy to use, so being able to fold them in and carry the saw around to other locations is a distinctly advantageous feature. 
  • Built-in clamps keep your work from jumping around on the saw table. Larger saws and more expensive miter saws usually have upgraded clamps attached to the saw which will help to hold your material against the fence as you're cutting. Some of the lower end saws will either come without a built-in clamp or else the clamp will not be as effective. However, these saws will usually have a place designed for you to install your own clamp instead. 
  • Saw handles are designed to absorb shock. Needless to say, the better the design of the saw the better the handle will be at absorbing shock. Lower end miter saws may not have great shock or vibration absorption, but a lot of them have above average or great absorption abilities. This makes it more comfortable to use the saw for longer periods of time. 
Safety clamp
  • Saw blades on miter saws can be easily interchanged. This means that if you have a project which requires hard wood or plastic to be cut instead of soft wood, you can switch out the blade and keep going without a lot of hassle. Some saws make the process a little more difficult, but on many it is a rather quick and easy task to switch to a different blade. 
  • Adjustable fences give you flexibility with cuts. When you are able to move the fence back and forth, you create a better platform for keeping your work steady no matter how large or small of a piece you are cutting on the saw table. 
  • The above are some of the basic features or parts common to most miter saws. However, there are some features or parts that are unique to some models or particular types of miter saw. These can be found in more detail on miter saw reviews. When it's time for you to buy a miter saw, you should read the features list closely to ensure that you're getting the best you can for your money, as well as a tool that will really do the job you need it to! 

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5 thoughts on “The Unique Features of Miter Saws

  1. How accurate is a miter saw when it comes to cutting pieces of wood that sit on their edge? I’ve read that there are clamps that will keep the wooden plank in place on the table of the miter saw, but can they hold a piece if its sits on its narrower end, on the edge?

  2. Is the fence adjustable in the sense that it moves back and forth or does it go up and down as well? Will the fence help me cut a piece of wood at an angle with its features; is it able to be set at different angles?

  3. My miter Saw has a crosscut range of about 10″. Can I somehow increase this range? I have a DeWalt sliding compound miter saw.

  4. We just recently bought a new house with my family and are about to move out. Being s woodworker, I have a compound miter saw that I need to take with me. I’ve never had the need to take my saw anywhere outside the workshop in the past; I know it’s portable, I just never had the need to take it ‘out of office.’ That’s why I want to ask for your advice on how to transport my saw the best and safest way possible. Thanks in advance,

  5. Like you said, cheaper saws tend to vibrate more. I have a cheaper saw. Is there any way, any tool that I can use to better cope with the vibration? Not enough money for a better miter saw model right now.


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