Before you can actually buy a mitre saw, there are a number of things that you need to know about, so you can make an educated decision when it comes to selecting the right product for your needs. If you can take just a little time to understand these, then you will know exactly which is the best mitre saw you need for your needs, and avoid buying the wrong one.
I have completed a full page description of what mitre and bevel joints are, which is worth reading if you are unsure.
This buying guide has been put together to assist you in that decision making process by providing you with reliable information all in one place.
Many people research products thoroughly before they purchase them, and this process is more important with mitre saws than it is with many other goods. That is because there are a few different types available and a wide range of manufacturers making them. Browse through our topics below to get started.
Types of Mitre Saws and Their Variations
At first the terminology used to describe these saws may sound a little confusing. We want to cut through all of that and just make it a lot simpler to understand. These saws simply have a blade that is mounted on to a swinging arm. This arm can then move to the left, to the right and will produce a mitre cut.
With compound saws you can also do a bevel or an angled cut. There are three variations for you to consider. These are:
- A standard basic mitre
- A compound saw
- A sliding compound saw
The key purpose of this saw is to be able to cut a joint known as a mitre. Typically these will be angled joints such as 45 degrees, 60 degrees etc. All mitre saws will have a number of popular pre-set angles.
These would be classed as a basic “entry level” saw. The reality is that for the huge majority of people this is probably not the best saw to buy. You are always better off paying just a few extra pounds and getting a sliding version.
Where you do need to be careful though, is that some of these saws are poorly made, and you want to avoid those. Read More Here about this basic mitre saw..
Hopefully in this guide we can clear that up for you. If your mitre saw has a bevel feature it simple means that you can cut an angle into your wood.
Not only do you get the standard mitre joint, but you also can get a bevel, which simply means you get two different cuts. When you combine together a mitre and a bevel it is called a compound joint.
If you make furniture or work with crown moulding, then you will need a saw that can bevel. There are two types, single and dual and you can find out more details about those by clicking here.
This feature is really all about what length and depth of wood will be able to cut. You will probably have heard of a chop saw and it is a term that can be very confusing. The best way to think of this is that a chop saw, or a mitre saw with no sliding action are one and the same thing.
For example if you were working on skirting boards, a bit of framing, dado rails etc, then you don’t need a sliding feature. However if you are working on something like fencing posts, kitchen worktops or larger pieces of wood, then a sliding action is an essential feature. You can read more here about sliding compound saws.
This feature is often ignored and it really should not be. In fact we would go as far as to say, that if you are going to be working in a confined area such as a garage, a workshop or even indoors, then you should give the removal of sawdust some serious consideration. If you saw, then you know there will be dust and over time that can be dangerous.
Dust can get just about everywhere including your eyes, ears and more importantly be breathed into your lungs. Sadly many people laugh this off or just say it is a hazard of the job, but we strongly believe that it is so simple to deal with, that you should consider this an important feature to consider. You can read more about dust collection and extraction here.
The features we have covered above are the ones that we consider to be critical in your decision making process. If you get those right and have narrowed down your choices, then it is worth a look at some of the “nice to have features.”
Different manufacturers add different features, some even say gimmicks, to their saws to make them stand out from the main stream. These are features like, laser guides, lighting, clamps, variable speed options, rear fences. There are even cordless options available. Read more here about the other important features
Typical blade sizes are 8″, 10″ and 12″. You will often see descriptions like “multi-purpose” and some manufacturers describe them as TFT, or TPI. As a general rule of thumb, the more teeth there are in a a blade then the finer the cut will be.
If you have not bought a miter saw before, this is a critical decision, so we have provided you with a size chart, that should help you make that important decision. Read more here about choosing mitre saw blades.
To complete this buying guide we thought it important to mention stands. When we use a mitre saw we lost count of the number of times when we wished we had a stand. It really is like having an extra arm.
Ask any joiner who works on different sites just how useful these are and how much easier they make the job of cutting through wood. You can read more about mitre saw stands here.
If you understand most of this guide, then you should be in a better place to know which type of mitre saw will suit your own specific needs. If you are experienced at making joints then a good quality mitre saw will simply make your life easier.
If you are fairly new and just learning about working with wood then it is best to first learn a little about the different joints. That way you will just get a lot more use out of your purchase.
I trust that you have found it helpful.