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A workshop isn't complete without a miter saw. But what are the differences between a miter saw, a compound miter saw, a dual compound miter saw and a sliding compound miter saw? Keep reading and we'll help you complete your shop with a saw that's perfect for you.
A miter saw is a specialized tool that lets you make cuts at a variety of angles. The saw has a blade mounted on a swing arm that pivots left or right to produce angled cuts. You can use a miter saw to quickly make cuts for crown molding, picture frames, door frames, window casings and more. You'll find three variations:
Compound Miter Saws feature blades that pivot left and right for angled cuts and tilt in a single direction for beveled cuts. Manipulating the saw on both of its axes at once yields a compound miter cut. Compound miter saws are useful for picture frames, crown molding or any project that requires angled cuts in two planes. They offer the advantage of making compound cuts in one pass.
Dual Compound Miter Saws function like compound miter saws, but while compound miter saws tilt in only one direction, dual compound miter saws can tilt both left and right. They can quickly create bevels at any angle.
Sliding Compound Miter Saws have all the versatility of compound miter saws and a sliding feature, similar to a radial arm saw, allowing you to move the blade forward and backward. The major advantage of the sliding feature is the increased length of cut it provides.
Look for features that can make your work easier and offer greater versatility:
Beyond the features available, there are additional considerations when shopping for a miter saw.
You can mount a miter saw to a work bench for shop use. If you'll be transporting the saw to different work sites, remember that lighter models will give you increased portability.
The blade is a key part of the saw. Different blades are available for different applications. When purchasing a blade, make sure it's compatible with your miter saw. A few common blades include:
When using an extension cord with a miter saw, make sure you have a suitable cord. Follow the device manufacturer's recommendations for compatible extension cords and see Power Cord Safety Tips.