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How to Buy a Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Updated on December 9, 2010

Sliding Compound Miter Saw


Usually the most frequently used tools that any woodworker will ever buy is his miter saw, especially a sliding compound miter saw. Trying to cut both bevels and miters without one is an exercise in frustration. If you are a serious woodworker you really can’t do without a compound miter saw. There are a couple of details that you should think about before you purchase your miter saw this will help to make sure that you buy the perfect one for your requirements.


In regards to the cost of miter saws there can be a pretty big difference in what you will pay from one saw to another. Usually the difference in price is determined by the type of miter saw, the size and the quality. Without a doubt you will definitely appreciate the benefits of owning a top quality saw so it is normally a good idea to get the highest quality saw your budget will allow. You will help you avoid a lot of headaches and make your work so much more pleasant if you get a good quality compound miter saw. It is almost always money well spent.


It is normally possible to get a compound miter saw in three different sizes 8, 10, and 12 inches. We are really taking about the diameter of the blade when we talk about the size of the miter saw. The larger the piece of wood that you need to cut the larger the blade you will need. Although miter saws come in three different sizes the eight inch saw is so restricted in what it can do that it really isn’t even worth considering. The ten and twelve inch versions are really the only ones you are going to need to choose between. The biggest single thing when it comes to determining the cost of a miter saw is usually the size of the blade. The normal sizes are 8, 10, 12 inches with the two larger ones being much more common. That being said the cutting capacity of the 8 inch miter saw is so limited that there is little reason to give it serious consideration. A 10 inch miter saw is sufficient for most people and can be bought for an affordable price, it should come as no shock that it is the most common size. Few people will ever have any requirement to cut a piece of wood that the 10 inch blade can’t handle. Twelve inch miter saws are capable of handling pretty much anything but they also have a pretty steep price tag. In most cases only a professional carpenter is likely to need a saw this big but some serious amateurs may want to consider it.


The best option when it comes to miter saws is the sliding compound miter saw. This type of saw will not only allow you to cut both miters and bevels you are also able to pull the saw through the wood after you have lowered it. This means you can cut larger pieces of wood. the next step below this is the compound miter saw which will allow you to cut both miters and bevels but it can’t be pulled through the wood. It is more limited in the size of wood that it is capable of handling compared to the sliding compound miter saw but it is still a useful tool. A standard miter saw is the next step down but since it is incapable of cutting bevels it is very limited and not really worth considering.

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