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Buy a Miter Saw

Updated on April 5, 2011

How to Buy a Miter Saw

Anyone who is a serious woodworker likely owns a miter saw, they are one of the most versatile tools you will ever possess. They are definitely worth the investment since making a compound cut can be awkward without one. Trying to be a woodworker without a miter saw is a real hassle, so it should be one of the first power tools you buy.

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Often there is a substantial difference when it comes to the price of miter saws. Normally the difference in price is determined by what kind of miter saw, the size and the quality. generally it is best to buy the highest quality miter saw that you can afford, you will enjoy the advantages of having a top quality saw. A high quality compound miter saw will make your work so much simpler and will save you a lot of headaches. It is almost always money well spent.

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Normally compound miter saws come in three different sizes 8, 10, and 12 inches. We are actually taking about the diameter of the blade when we talk about the size of the miter saw. A larger blade can cut a larger piece of wood. The eight inch saw is very limited when it comes to what you can do with it so although there are three sizes of miter saw available only the larger two are worthy of serious consideration. Which means that you are going to have to decide between the ten and twelve inch options. The biggest single factor when it comes to determining the price of a miter saw is usually the diameter of the blade. Ten and twelve inch saws are far more common although you can get an eight inch miter saw as well. That being said the cutting capacity of the eight inch miter saw is so limited that there is no reason to give it serious consideration. The 10 inch compound miter saw is easily the most common since it can be bought at an affordable price and most people find it meets their needs. A 10 inch blade can handle almost all of the cutting that all  but the most serious woodworkers is likely to come across. Twelve inch miter saws are capable of handling pretty much anything but they also come with a pretty steep price tag. In most cases only a professional carpenter is likely to need a saw this large but some serious amateurs may want to consider it.

The sliding compound miter saw is usually the best option when it comes to miter saws. This type of saw will let you pull the saw through the piece after you have lowered it, are also able to cut miters and bevels. This allows you to cut larger pieces of wood. The compound miter saw is the the next step down, you can’t pull it through the wood but you can cut miters and bevels. It is more limited in the size of wood that it is capable of handling compared to the sliding compound miter saw but most people still find it a useful tool. A standard miter saw is the cheapest option but since it can’t cut bevels it is extremely limited and not hardly worth considering.


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