Choosing the Best Miter Saw – Things To Consider

The right miter saw can bring craftsmen years of satisfaction with professional results and comfortable operation. Though it may take some time, finding the saw that best compliments your specific needs is time well spent. Remember these simple steps to help you find the miter saw that best fits you.

First it’s important to know how you’re going to use your miter saw. Homeowners and home-builders usually require two entirely different tools. Become familiar with the differences between a standard, compound, and sliding miter saw – A standard miter saw offers the perfect amount of power tool for most homeowners – it’s usually the least expensive and consequently, also, has the fewest features. Compound miters are only a bit more expensive and have the ability to bevel cut, or tip the blade to either the left or right side (0° – 50°). Some can bevel in both directions allowing operators to miter and bevel within the same cut (-50° through 50°). A sliding miter is just like the compound saw but with the ability to cut dadoes and with extension rods that allow the saw blade and motor to move forward and back; this enables the cut length to be longer than the blade diameter. Therefore, sliding miters will generally pull the most out of your wallet. Serious carpenters, craftsmen, and contractors should invest in either a compound or sliding miter saw.

Determine the blade size you’ll need from the tool. Blades size at 8″, 10″, and 12″ (10″ and 12″ being the most popular). Just as the cost of the blade is likely to increase with its size, your application base also grows. The more you plan to do with your saw, the bigger you’ll want the blade to be. Many homeowners purchase a miter saw for home renovations and for projects like molding, the bigger the saw, the easier and more precise your final results will be. Allowing your needs to determine the size and power of a tool ensures you’ll be using the right one.

Research brands to find which manufacturer meets the most of your needs. Here, there are a few things to consider; many craftsmen are already loyal to a specific brand, this shouldn’t stop you from cross checking other manufacturers to ensure your getting the most for your money. Remember, no manufacturer or tool is built in entirely the same way; just like you, most manufacturers have a specialty, or a tool they build best – For the best miter saws, I gravitate to Festool, Makita, and Bosch. Festool is always the most expensive investment, but if are lucky enough to own or have experienced Festool, you know why, and you know its worth it. Otherwise, Makita and Bosch produce extremely high-performance miter saws with a range of options to suit all types of users.

Upon doing a bit of research, you should also make a budget. Remember that it’s far too easy to either spend too much or spend too little – determine what you can (and are willing) to spend on a saw and stick to your budget; if you have a limit already in mind, you’re much more likely to stick to it. Also keep in mind that cheap and expensive power tools are cheap and expensive for a reason. The expression “you get what you pay for,” is perhaps its most true in the tool industry.

Check for a good warranty. Having a good warranty with your tool usually means you’re buying from a company that entirely trusts their product will satisfy you – this is a good feeling to carry with you on the job. Most industrial manufacturers include a one year warranty on their miters.

Lastly, before you make the final cut, if you can, it’s good to tinker with the saw a bit to ensure the tool is comfortable under your operation. Many specialty stores will also provide tool demonstrations if you ask, this further ensures you are investing in the tool that most compliments your individual needs. In the end, finding the miter saw that best compliments you and your individual needs is only a few bits of well-worth-it research away. Best of luck!

What to Look for When Buying Your Ideal Miter Saw

bosch miter sawAs a homeowner sometimes we have to make educated decisions about our purchases for some of the things we need to maintain our households. That includes buying tools like a miter saw. The best way to figure out which miter saw that you’d like to purchase is to consider your needs. Research what is available in the market by checking out the popular woodworking magazines that review power tools. Specialty magazines have more insight into what is important for the woodworker than a more general publication that reviews everything.

With your choices in mind here is a checklist of the things you should look for before choosing your miter saw:

Size – Miter saws come in 3 sizes. They are 8 inch, 10 inch, and 12 inch. That is the size of the saw blade. The 8 inch miter saw is not very handy because it is so small that you may not be able to cut much more than a 2 by 4 piece of lumber straight across. The 10 inch and 12 inch are more handy for the homeowner as they are able to cut across bigger pieces of wood.

Features – Miter saws have a few features that should be considered. There are regular miter saws which only crosscut a piece of wood. There is the compound miter saw which is able to cut an angle or bevel or an angle and bevel at the same time. There is the dual bevel miter saw which is able to cut a bevel on both left and right from perpendicular. The most versatile of all is the sliding miter saw. The saw usually slides on a rail that allows you to cut wider pieces than the regular miter saws.

miter saw

Quality – Sometimes warranty can be a good indicator of quality. After all, if the warranty is a good one then the product should be too. Most tools will have a 1 year warranty but some might have 2 years. What I look at is how the tool is made. Is it robust? Is it made with quality materials? Is it made with stamped steel pieces or cast metal pieces? Is there a floor model that you can look at? Sometimes stores are lax in the maintenance of their floor models and dewalt miter sawthey might show signs of abuse or poor quality in the construction of the tool. If you saw a tool that had a broken piece on it would you buy that model if it looks like it could happen to you after you bought it?

Specifications and Price – Finding the best miter saw for the best price can be the most rewarding. First, you should weigh all the factors before deciding which model of miter saw you’d like to buy. Is it big enough? Is it the right kind? Can it cut the sizes of wood at the angles you want? Some miter saws can cut sharper angles than others. Would that be a consideration for you? And what about price? Does it fit in your budget? Can you get away with a cheap model for the job that you are doing? Or do you want one that will be good for the jobs you’ll be doing in the future? Can you wait for it to be on sale? Sometimes miter saws go on sale for deep discounts or will be packaged with miter saw stands. It’s up to you to balance your needs with how much you can afford.