What Does A Miter Saw Do? What You Need to Know to Use it Properly
Whether you are a professional or a DIY lover, knowing the types of saws that you need is important. A miter saw is one of the most popular tools for woodworkers. The saw is versatile and easy to use. You can also use it to cut different types of materials.
Unlike other saws, a miter saw is straightforward to operate even for beginners. Miter saws have blades ranging from 6-12 inches. The blades are designed with carbon steel, but other manufacturers add a coating to make cutting easy.
In this guide, we are going to learn the different ways in which you can use a miter saw. You will also find the types of miter saws available as well as the benefits you will get. Let us get into details.
Different Types of Miter Saws
If you are buying your first miter saw, you need to know there are different types. Having an idea about each of these saws and how they differ from each other is important. The following are the common types of miter saws that you will find.
Basic Miter Saw
This is a basic tool with more limitations, unlike other tools. The tool doesn't have a bevel, but it also provides accurate miter and crosscuts. It is lighter and suitable for handling simple tasks. On top of that, the saw comes at an affordable price.
Compound Miter Saw
This is a type of miter saw that can rotate the blade head at different angles. Therefore, it is easy to cut wood even beyond 90 degrees. There are two types of compound miter saws that you can get. These include a single and dual bevel compound miter saws.
The nature of this tool makes it suitable for various types of cuts, which include miter cuts, bevel cuts, compound, and crosscuts. As compared to the basic miter saw, a compound miter saw is hard to use, and it also comes at a high price.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The tool features a sliding arm, and it is the most expensive. If you have 12-inch sliding miter saw, you can cut larger pieces of materials. The tool is ideal for professional woodworkers.
Cordless Miter Saws
These are saws that are perfect for people who want portability around the workshop. The saw can either be basic, sliding, or compound.
Different Uses of a Miter Saw
A miter saw can perform three major types of cuts. These include crosscuts, miters, and bevels. However, it is not limited to these three, there are other ways in which you can use the tool. I will take you through a detailed cut on how to use this saw.
Making Regular Crosscuts
A cross-cut refers to any cut (straight-angled) that you make on material, and it is parallel with the edges. They are the most basic types of cuts you can do even with other saws.
In a situation where you are cutting material in half, a miter saw is the right tool to use. This is because of its stability and power. With a miter saw, you can cut any board into half without problems. Since it is a stationary tool and heavy, it is stable, so it will not move when you are cutting.
Another reason why a miter saw is suitable for regular crosscuts is you can line up the cut line with ease. Some models also have a laser guide to help you make the most accurate cuts.
Miter Cuts/ Angled Cuts
As you can guess, this is where the name of the saw is derived. Miter cuts are angled cuts that you make through a piece. Unlike cross cuts that are parallel to the side of the workpiece, miter cuts are diagonal at various angle degrees.
However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the blade of the miter saw is angled. It simply refers to the cutting direction. The tool has guides that allow you to place the material on the right angle you need to cut.
Bevel and Compound Cuts
These are any cuts you make, and they are angled through the material instead of across it. When making these cuts, you need to move the saw in left right and then angle the saw cut path. These cuts are essential when cutting complex angles.
Other Extra Uses
Making repeated cuts-
When you are making similar cuts of the same length, a miter saw can do the job perfectly. You need to put a stop at the end of the work surface and then butt the material against the stop. This will help to make repeated cuts that of the same length.
You can achieve that to help you enjoy the functionalities of the tool. With a built-in workbench, it is easy to hold the boards securely in place when you are cutting.
Cutting larger wood-
This is possible if you have a sliding miter saw. Other saws can be hard to use for this job because you will need to flip the piece over severally if the material is too wide.
YouTube video Credit Woodworking for Mere Mortals
Benefits of a Miter Saw
A miter saw provides a wide range of benefits. Some of them include the following:
Miter saws are essential tools for regular, angled, compound, and general DIY cutting projects. The tool is versatile and easy to use hence making it the most common in many workshops. If you are planning to make any of the above cuts, a miter saw is the right tool to have. I believe you now know how you can use a miter saw and get the best from the tool. So, if you want to make gates, frames, boxes, ledges, and other things, get a miter saw.