When you need to make a variety of different kinds of cuts for professional projects or complex home DIY tasks, a compound saw is a vital part of your toolkit. When you’re looking to upgrade your cutting performance by a miter saw, you need some direction.
Our guide will tell you how to choose a compound miter saw to help with your projects and complete your tasks. This is everything you need to know about a compound miter saw.
Different Types of Miter Saws
There are three basic types of miter saw, and they all have different abilities and purposes. Here’s what you need to know about the three kinds.
- Basic compound saws — These are all-purpose miter saws, and they have blades that pivot left or right to accomplish the angled cut. You’re able to make compound cuts in just a single pass.
- Sliding compound saws — If you frequently make long passes, you’ll need the sliding feature of miter saws. They allow you to move the blade forward and backward for a significantly increased cut.
- Dual compound saws — These options can tilt in any direction, giving you the flexibility to cut in multiple directions and create more complex products. They quickly create bevels and provide professional-looking cuts for a variety of needs.
To learn more about the difference between single bevel and dual bevel miter saws read this article: Single Bevel Vs. Double Bevel Miter Saw
Cordless or Corded Compound Miter Saws
The next piece of the puzzle determines how your miter saw receives power. The two options, corded miter saw and cordless miter saw, have both pros and cons.
Cordless Buying Options
Cordless choices are lighter weight and give you the freedom to take the tool wherever you need to go. This freedom comes at a price, however, because you’ll be on a time limit for the life of your battery.
If you go this route, you’re best suited for projects that take less time. You’ll also want to purchase replacement batteries to increase your work time if necessary. It’s not feasible to carry enough batteries to work all day, however.
Corded Buying Options
You’re tied to a cord and an outlet with these miter saws. However, they’re often more powerful and have more significant cutting capacities. The housing ensures you have the ability for bigger, more professional jobs.
You also have plenty of time to complete your jobs and projects without the threat of a battery running out. It gives you more options, but you won’t be able to move around a lot with your tool.
It’s important to decide what’s more important, freedom with time or freedom with the location. You can’t have both and must make the best decision for the types of jobs you’re most likely to work on.
The Size of The Blade
The blade is another consideration in your decision. There are two basic sizes of blades, ten-inch and twelve-inch. This might be a simple decision. Most machines come with ten-inch blades, which makes it easier to change the blades out or get replacements.
The upfront cost of a ten-inch blade is lower, and they move faster than a twelve-inch blade. However, your cutting surface is smaller, limiting the types of wood pieces you’ll be able to work with.
A 12-inch miter saw blade can make more significant cuts and drive more power to work with denser woods. This is going to give you so much more power to ensure that those complex professional jobs are good to go.
Unless you have an overarching need for a twelve-inch blade, it’s probably best to invest in a ten-inch miter saw for convenience and affordability. This is going to provide you with better capabilities and ensure that you have what you need.
Weight Of The Saw Machine
Weight is only a consideration if you plan to transport your miter saw to other locations. Typical uses for miter saws require a single location where you can work. You’ll be able to mount it to a table or other suitable work surface and complete your tasks.
If you do need to transport regularly, something lightweight is essential. You might not have all the power you want or the ability to cut larger pieces, but you’ll be able to move as you need to.
Compound saws do vary widely in price. However, because of this range, you can balance your cost and your needs with a wide range of affordable miter saw options. Just decide what’s important within your budget and go with that option.
Other Notable Features
There are some other miter saw features that will help make the operation of a miter saw much easier.
For example, sawdust can be a detriment to your health and the life of your machine. It can be an excellent option to have some dust control or containment system attached to your miter saw to help protect your respiratory system and improve your machine’s performance.
Laser guides and lights can help illuminate your job and ensure that you can follow a correct and measured line. These aren’t necessary but can help provide you with an easier route to follow.
An electric braking system is suitable for safety and helps ensure that you can stop the blade quickly and efficiently. When you pull the trigger, electricity flows to move the blade. Release and the electric current reverses, stopping the blade almost immediately.
Digital displays provide easy to read setting information, allowing you to make quick adjustments and easily see what’s going on with your machine. Again, not necessary, but this is a convenient and useful option if it’s in your budget.
Choosing The Right Compound Miter Saw: The Bottomline
Our buyer’s guide can help you make the right decision about your compound miter saw and ensure that everything you need to complete your DIY project is ready.
Take our advice in this buying guide so that you can navigate a compound miter saw that’s perfect for your needs. Then, you can use your new compound saw to create beautiful bevel edges with ease.