Mitre Saw General Construction
It is always nice to have a few great features on your saw, but in my opinion, it is better to focus on how the saw is made, and the way it is actually constructed and put together. Most good quality brands will make their saws with high quality materials, and for saws this should be either cast aluminium or cast steel.
It is this that will ensure that your product is durable, can stand the work you will put it through, and last for a very long time.
I have always found that one of the best ways to get a good feel for a product is to read actual user reviews. That is what I do myself here on this website and then collect them all in one place. That certainly takes time but it does give you a really good basis for making a final decision.
You may have noticed that I have included the general construction in my customer concerns section, and there is a good reason for that.
When I reviewed many of the saws, and looked at all of the reviews in detail, poor construction was a common theme. This ranged from difficult to use guides, to poor fence construction and all the way through to cheap plastic knobs and screws. In every single case, this was because the saw was cheap, felt light, and used hard plastic for some of the main working parts. As you can imagine that is a recipe for disaster.
Picking The Brands
When I narrowed my selection down to just a few brands, that was through a process of elimination. I just wanted to get down to those brands who have been around for a long time, and have consistently delivered high quality products over the years.
For sure I always look at new and emerging brands and check those out over a period of time. If they are good I will add them, and if not, then they just will not be on my site. For now I have settled for what I believe to be the top 5 brands for mitre saws on the market. You can read more about these by clicking here.
Construction Features To Check Out
You can sometimes tell just by looking at a product how well it is built. Even if I am buying online, I will always go and see the product in a store first. If I still like it I take a note of the price and then search online, as nine times out of ten I can find it cheaper there.
The overall feel and look of the product should be good. If you are in any doubt compare the saws that you see, and almost right away you will realise why one costs £50 and the better brand will cost £100.
Please don’t get me wrong as I am not a “brand freak,” but I do believe that in the end you get what you pay for.
This should glide with some considerable ease and with absolutely no up and down movement. The turntable handle should be easy to pull out and push the table around.
There should also be several pre-sets that can easily be locked in, simply by releasing the knob or handle. Just make sure it moves easily in both directions and that the lever or knob is strong and will not break easily.
You want this to be a nice firm movement, but one that does not have any kind of play with it.
A Good Fence
As you may already know having a good fence that is completely straight is a key requirement. This should be tall, strong and there should be no movement in this whatsoever. After all this is what you will be pushing your wood up against, and it has to meet these basic requirements.
Many of the fences that you will see have both measurement markings and/or some type of spirit level. In my opinion, the level is way more important than some type of ruler on the fence. I can always measure any piece of wood quite easily, but I can’t really measure if the wood and saw are perfectly horizontal.
Personally that is why I like to have some type of spirit level on my saw, as at least then I know I am cutting 100% vertical.
Hopefully you have found this useful, and my recommendation is to have a good look and feel of any product you are considering buying. Once you have actually held it and moved it around, then you can go searching for the best prices. The top of the range will almost always be Dewalt, and that is a good benchmark to measure anything else against.