It doesn’t really matter if you’re cutting wood is something that you do on a professional level or woodworking is just a hobby for you, buying a miter saw is certainly a smart move. You might not have a need to make crosscuts on a regular base, but when you do, miter saw can help you a lot. Not only will it help you do precise miters and crosscuts, it will also save you quite a lot of time.
If you’re still not convinced that a miter saw deserves a place in your tool collection, you should know that in general, these saws are very cheap. In fact, you can find one for the price of less than a hundred dollars. Still, you might need to pay a bit more, if you want your miter saw to come equipped with a number of superb features.
Of course, even the best miter saw on the planet is not too expensive. In fact, there are some really marvelous products offered online. The trick is only in finding it. If you’re not an expert on this subject, you will find this list very useful. Here are 5 most important things to pay attention to when choosing a miter saw!
1. The Speed of the Saw
Obviously, if you are looking to use the miter saw to cut something else apart from wood, you will need to get several different blades. There are special blades designed for materials such as aluminum, light steel or even concrete. But, the blade is not the only factor when it comes to cutting different types of materials. You also need to pay attention to the speed of the saw. You won’t be able to cut some materials if the speed of the saw is too fast. Others might get ruined if the speed is too low. That is why you need a saw with adjustable speed settings.
2. Saw Angle
The whole point of the miter saw is that it allows you to make angled cuts. In most cases, the maximum angle at which you can tilt the saw in order to make the cut is 45 degrees. Usually, the miter saw can be tilted to only one side, either left or right. However, in some situations, you may need to change the angle quite drastically, so if the miter saw only tilts to one side, it can slow you down.
Make sure to thoroughly think about whether this is a really issue. If that is the case, then you are in a need of a double-bevel miter saw. This type of saw costs a bit more than a regular miter saw, but it seems worth it, as it enables you to make different cutting movements.
A thing about miter saws is that they can’t make too deep cuts. In fact, most of them are designed to be used with the blades of up to 12 inches in size. This can be a problem if you’re looking to cut thicker workpieces. But, the solution is rather simple – buy a sliding miter saw instead of a stationary. Using a sliding miter saw is equally easy as operating the stationary saw, but the difference is that the former will allow you to slide the saw head forward while cutting, thus increasing its cutting capacity.
4. Saw Stand
Operating a miter saw without stand is not only impractical, but also very dangerous. However, the problem is that carrying a heavy-duty work table is not a good option. Still, there is a simple solution – buy a miter saw that comes along with a foldable legstand. This is a great option as it allows you to fold the stand and carry it you whenever you need it. If the stand doesn’t come with the saw, you can buy it separately, as this item is usually pretty affordable. On top of that, you can use it for other purposes as well, like keeping other tools nearby, for example.
5. Features for Precision Cutting
Laser, lights, workpiece clamps – all of these items can improve the cutting precision significantly. Laser for example, will show you the exactly the spot on the workpiece where the initial cut will be made. This saves a lot of time as there’s no longer a need to mark each separate workpiece. When it comes to the lights, it’s obvious why this feature is great. With a miter saw that features lights, you will be able to do precision cutting even at night. Another item that can improve the precision is the clamp, which will keep the workpiece in its place during the cutting process.
These 5 things are those that make a miter saw great cutting-wise. They will help you do the work quickly and with much better precision. But, there are also some items that you must not forget. They have nothing to do with cutting, but about your safety! Think about safety glasses or a helmet, which will keep the sawdust away from your eyes and lungs. Speaking of dust, it’s wise also to buy a vacuum collector, which will prevent the dangerous particles from coming near you, but also from entering the inside of the miter saw.