Beginner’s Guide: How to Buy the Right Miter Saw

Want a new miter saw? In our buyer’s guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know to make the right buying choice.

A miter saw is another important woodworking tool which can make it easier to make angled cuts and 90-degree crosscuts. You just need to pull the circular blade down onto a piece of wood in a plunging motion and voila, your wood has the appropriate cut.

This type of saw is really versatile and can be used for making a variety of cuts which include cutting a two-by-four, a window trim, and so on. Although you can’t use them to rip lumber or cut wide stock, they still have several cutting uses which makes them an essential tool to have in your woodworking workshop.

Are you looking for a miter saw for the first time ever? Then, our list of top 6 factors and features to consider when buying a miter saw can really help you in making the right decision.

Use

The first thing that you need to consider is the use of your miter saw. Will you be using it for window trim or cutting wider pieces of stock? Are you likely to use it for a basic molding or would you use it to make cabinets and furniture?

Once you have decided the use of your miter saw, it will become easier for you to make the choice. Make sure that you determine your miter saw needs and then decide whether you want a durable and professional model or if you are good with an entry-level miter saw model.

Never used a miter saw before? We’ve got you covered, check out the video below.

How to use a Miter Saw?

 

Budget

You will find a Miter Saw in every price range so it is important that you set up a budget for yourself so as to not make the mistake of choosing a miter saw that is way over your budget. You will find a Miter saw for as low as $99 or as high as $1200 so decide your budget constraints.

You can get a decent quality miter saw in a $200-$500 price range but it is important to keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

So, if you go for a cheap miter saw, then you might have to compromise on both quality and features but that doesn’t mean you need to buy an expensive model too. You can just check the features that you want and then buy the cheapest model which offers you the desired features.

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Blade Size

You also need to determine the blade size of your miter saw before you make any decision. A Miter saw usually comes in 8, 10 and 12 inches and as is the case with most woodworking tools, a bigger blade size means that you can make longer cuts.

You can also consider a laser guide to make precision cuts but make sure you buy the miter saw with appropriate blade size else you would end up buying different blade sizes to accommodate your woodworking needs.

Miter Saw Blade Types and Sizes

Miter Saw Blade Types and Sizes

Corded or Cordless

If you are likely to work in areas that don’t have an electrical outlet nearby, then you might need to consider buying a cordless miter saw but it will be expensive and heavier to use.

You will also end up draining your battery power quickly if you use it for heavy-duty woodworking projects so you will need to keep an extra battery pack with you to ensure your work doesn’t stop.

In such cases, a Corded Miter Saw is often useful and allows you to work for a longer period of time with a high power and efficiency.

Type of Miter Saw

There are three types of Miter Saws that you would need to consider when making a decision – a Basic Miter Saw, a Compound Miter Saw and a Sliding Miter Saw.

A basic power miter saw can be adjusted to your miter cuts and are usually ideal for projects that include trimming studs, frame a house, and so on. You can use this type of miter saw for projects when you need to make a simple cut which is 90 degrees or less and you want your power miter saw to be fast.

A compound miter saw can be adjusted for both miter and bevel cuts which makes them an advances version of a basic miter saw. You can use this saw to make a bevel cut in one direction, either the left or the right, but there are many models which offer you a flexibility and can be used in both the directions.

A sliding miter saw is the most versatile type of miter saw as it can accommodate both longer and shorter pieces of wood and have the motor and the blade assembled together on a movable arm which allows you to do a variety of cuts with great ease.

You also have many advanced models which have the blade tilting both to the right and the left directions, allowing you to work on a variety of projects.

See the different miter saws in action here

 

Weight

Another important thing to consider when buying a Miter Saw is the weight and the size of your tool. If you are planning to move it a lot and transport it to your work area or your friend’s place frequently, then you might want to consider a compact model which is easy to carry around.

However, if you aren’t going to move it a lot after the initial set up, then you can just with a normally sized miter saw and don’t need to think too much about its weight.

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