Buying a miter saw is not a hard task, but there are a few things you need to know before hitting that buy button on Amazon. Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to consider when choosing a miter saw.
There are three main types of miter saws, and it is important to understand how each one works.
Basic Miter Saw:
This is normally used for projects such as making cross cuts, cutting trim, and miter cuts. Lack of bevel option means that their cutting capability is limited to making miter cuts. They cannot do a wide range of cuts but are very accurate and great for simple cutting tasks. They are ideal for casual and beginner woodworkers.
Compound Miter Saws:
This differs from a basic miter saw in the sense that it can be used to make bevel cuts. You can adjust them to make both bevel and miter cuts. They are of two types; single bevel and dual bevel model. Single bevel makes bevel in one direction while dual level saw will make both right and left bevel cuts thereby saving you the hassles of having to move your workpiece when making the second cut.
Sliding compound miters:
This is the handiest type of miter saw you can get and is, of course, the priciest option. It has all features of a compound miter saw and a sliding arm allowing you to cut wider and thicker materials. Its increased cutting capacity gives it versatility. It suits woodworkers with larger stocks.
Laser Guide System:
While this may not be a must feature, a miter saw with a laser guide is very useful. An effective laser guide makes a miter saw easier to use and can help with more accurate cuts. Make sure to check if the laser guide system in a miter saw of your choice really does work effectively. Read many reviews of the saw while paying attention to what users say about laser guide system.
Type of Motor:
A motor determines if your preferred miter saw will have enough power to perform cutting tasks. For most miter saws, their motor power range between 10-15 amps. Unless you intend to be using your saw regularly, you don’t always have to have a very powerful motor. You will also need to pay attention to the maximum rpm a motor can provide as that will affect the accuracy of cuts. Also, know that direct drive motors last longer and have more power than belt-driven motors. Therefore, if you will need smoother cuts or you are planning on doing a lot of heavy cutting, you might consider going for a motor with a smooth start technology. This lessens the risks of power burst ups when the motor starts.
Dust Collection System:
Miter saws normally comes with a dust collection systems consisting of a dust bag, which, in most cases, is not very effective. However, there are some saws that have an effective dust collection system. Again, I would advise you to read as many reviews as possible paying more attention to dust collection system in particular.
An effective dust bag will keep your working area free of litter and also increase the lifespan of your miter saw by preventing entry of dust into its internal component. As I mentioned, most miter saws lack an effective dust collection system and thus if you find a great saw with a poor dust collection system, just go for it and compensate the shortcoming with a vacuum to keep dust under control.
A miter saw can pose a danger when operating, and thus it is good to choose one with adequate safety features. Go for miter saws with safety features such as fence guards and electric brakes. While all miter saws will have these features, make sure to know if they are strong enough.
Most miter saws have a standard blade that is fine for making rougher cuts. However, this might not be suitable if you want one that will make for finer cuts for woodworking projects. If you need finer finishes, you might need to go for a better blade. Make sure that the process of changing the blade of your preferred miter saw is not complicated.
It is important to do your research before buying a miter saw to settle for one that best suits your needs. Rise beyond price and brand popularity when choosing your miter saw. Use the above factors to narrow down your choices.