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What is the Best Miter Saw for your Needs?

Updated on October 29, 2010

The Best Miter Saw

The miter saw is maybe the most useful tools that any carpenter will ever purchase. This is particularly true of a compound miter saw.  There aren’t many things more difficult than attempting to make a compound cut without one You really need a compound miter saw if you have a workshop. There are a few details that you should consider before you purchase your miter saw that will help to ensure that you buy the right one for your requirements.

The amount you want to spend and how serious you are about your woodworking will be the most important determinants as to what type of miter saw you get. When it comes to deciding on the best miter saw you normally get what you paid for. According to the size and the quality of the saw that you select there is usually a large difference in price. It is usually good advice is to choose the best saw that you can afford. This will help make sure that you get the most benefit out of this extraordinarily versatile tool.

Usually compound miter saws come in three different sizes eight, ten and twelve inches. We are actually taking about the size of the blade when we speak about the size of the miter saw. A bigger blade can go through a larger piece of wood. The eight inch saw is extremely limited when it comes to what you can do with it so even though there are three sizes of miter saw available only the larger two are worth serious consideration. The ten and twelve inch versions are really the only ones you are going to need to choose between. It is rare that most woodworkers will ever encounter a piece of wood that is too big for a ten inch saw so that is usually sufficient for most people. Professional carpenters are really the only people likely to find it necessary to cut pieces that are too large for the ten inch blade and they are the people the twelve inch miter saw is primarily intended for.

Whether or not to get a standard miter saw, a compound miter saw or a sliding compound miter saw is the other important consideration that you are going to have to make. The standard miter saw is limited to cutting miters which puts a limit on how useful it is and makes it hardly worth considering. The compound miter saw is able to cut both miters and bevels; this makes it much more useful. The sliding compound miter saw offers the advantage of being able to cut larger pieces of wood since you can pull the saw through the wood after it has been lowered. Of course the price goes up as you step up from a standard miter saw to a compound miter saw to a sliding compound miter saw. The miter saw you choose is mainly down to your particular requirements but is is probably a good idea to go with a compound miter saw.


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