The Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw just may be the best darned miter saw on the market today. I don’t say that lightly, as I’ve worked with miter saws for year, but this is a really good saw that’s sure to impress even the most experienced carpenters. In my shop we have [...]
How to Choose the Best Miter Saw
Miter saws are invaluable tools for carpenters, construction workers and wood working enthusiasts. These saws can be used to do miter cuts, bevel cuts and even crosscuts. Every professional shop has at least one miter saw, and people who do a lot of their own carpentry work at home usually have one too. They are powerful tools, but you need to know what you’re looking for to get the best miter saw for your needs.
Types of Miter Saws
There are three basic types of miter saws for various needs:
- Basic Miter Saws – with no bevel and no slide
- Compound Miter Saws – with single or dual bevel
- Sliding Compound Miter Saws – same as a compound saw, but with a slide
The next thing you need to consider, after the type of saw, is the cutting capacity. Miter saws are built with a specific maximum capacity for cutting materials. The two most popular sizes are 10” and 12”. A 12” miter saw will allow you to cut larger pieces of material, like 8” crown molding. For most people a 10” miter saw offers plenty of capacity, but make sure that you know what you’ll be cutting most often to get the right capacity miter saw for your needs.
Compound miter saws give you the ability to do bevel (angled) cuts. Single bevel miter saws only tilt to one side. Double bevel miter saws tilt to both sides. Not everyone will need a compound miter saw, but if you do, make sure that you know whether or not to get a single or double bevel model.
Cordless Miter Saws
If you need to move your saw around a lot, you may want to get a cordless miter saw. These saws give you the freedom of not dealing with a power cord while you are cutting. While they are very handy in some circumstances, you have to remember that you probably won’t have quite as much cutting power. It’s also a good idea to have a spare battery charged up, in case your main battery dies in the middle of a job. Cordless miter saws are very convenient, but they cannot replace a fully powered standard miter saw in terms of power or work capacity.
There are quite a few brands that have made a name for themselves by building top quality miter saws. Here are some of the top miter saw makers:
Make sure that you know the type, cutting capacity and other features that you need in a miter saw. Then choose a company that has a good reputation and read some miter saw reviews to choose the best miter saw for your own needs.