Best Compact Miter Saw for 2020
In the future, it will become necessary to cut larger pieces of wood with a miter saw. For example, if you want to make a table top or cabinet doors.
If you are planning to buy a new table saw, then there are some things which need to be considered before making your purchase decision.
The first thing to consider is the size of the piece you plan to cut. A small board might not require much power, while a large piece may require more than one person to operate.
You can save money by buying a smaller model, but you have to pay for less powerful motor. Also, when cutting larger pieces of wood, you will need additional tools such as jigs and templates so that they do not get damaged during the operation.
Another consideration is whether you would like to use a router table or a table saw. A router table allows you to work at different angles, whereas a table saw only cuts straight lines.
If you decide to go with a router table, then you will need two separate tables: one for the base and another for the blade holder. These are usually made from solid wood; however, they can also be made out of plastic or even aluminum.
Some tables have fences, which can be adjusted to the right dimensions. The fence has two parts: one that can be moved and the other that is stationary. The space between the two should be equal on both sides so you can see exactly where it is going in the wood.
Miter saws are easier to store than table saws, for obvious reasons. They also cost less, usually ranging from $ 100 to $ 300.
If you are lucky, you might even find one at a yard sale or flea market for less than $ 100. Some of them even come with laser guides, which can help you cut more accurately and quickly.
The main disadvantage is that they are usually smaller than table saws and can only cut wood in a straight line.
A combination of the two tools is obviously more expensive than just buying one, but it also gives you more flexibility when working with wood.
Whether you are a professional or just a weekend warrior who likes to work on your own projects, it is important to have the right tools. This is especially true when working with wood because you do not want the material to get damaged due to a blunt or dull blade.
You can find reasonably priced models that can get the job done without breaking the bank. With so many options available, there has never been a better time to buy one of these tools.
Some models are more expensive than others, so it is a good idea to have a set budget before you start looking. It also does no good to buy a miter saw stand if you do not have a saw to put in it yet.
Before you make your final purchase, be sure to read a few miter saw reviews so you know that you are getting the most for your money.
An important thing to remember is that some of these models are better suited for the professionals, while others are great for the hobbyist or weekend warrior. If you fall into the latter category, then some of these saws might be too complicated or intimidating for you to use.
One of the features to look for is the laser guide. This feature makes it easier to cut straight lines and can come in very handy especially for someone who is new to operating a miter saw.
Older models do not have this feature, so it is something that was added on to the design in later years. Having everything digital is also a nice feature because you will not have to worry about adjusting the saw by hand.
These types of tools are powered either by electricity or propane, so make sure you have a good supply of whatever you need before you head out to the job site.
Lastly, always be sure to follow all safety instructions. These tools can be very dangerous if not used properly.
Some of the most common accidents occur when the person is cutting wood and the item falls on top of them or if a piece of wood hits someone in the head. Always wear the appropriate safety gear and never take shortcuts.
As long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the saw correctly, you should have no problems with it. Making the right purchase can be a bit confusing because there are so many different models available, but as long as you take your time you should find one that will last for years to come.
Miter saws are used all the time in construction projects and are a great help to any company that has a lot of wood to cut. They can also be used for household projects, which is why many people like to have their own saw at home.
If you don’t have a lot of space, you may want to look into one of the mini miter saws that are available. These compact models are about half the size of a regular one, but can still get the job done.
Miter saws are a great investment for anyone who has alot of wood to work with. Some people even use them for metal and non-standard items, such as marble and granite.
It all depends on the model that you buy. Make sure you read the miter saw reviews before making your final decision so you get the most for your money.
Miter saws come in different sizes and are capable of cutting at various angles. The smaller ones are often called chop saws and can cut at forty-five degrees on both the left and right side.
Depending on the model that you get, some can cut at different angles on the top and bottom side as well.
Using a miter saw is very simple. First, secure the item that you plan on cutting to the table.
After this, you are ready to make the cut. The process is fairly self-explanatory and all you have to do is follow the instructions that come with your particular model.
Keeping your miter saw clean and in good working order is also important. This helps to prevent unnecessary accidents and ensures that it will last a long time.
Most of the parts on a miter saw are either plastic or metal, but there are a few that are made out of wood. It is important that you always clean off any wood shavings immediately to avoid rust and other wear and tear on the tool.
Miter saws can be a little bit on the expensive side, but they are well worth the money. If you plan on doing a lot of work with wood, this is the tool for you.
Not only will it help you complete the job quicker, it will also make the job safer by ensuring that you cut the wood at a proper angle.
If you ever need to cut stone, metal or anything non-standard, you can always temporarily adjust your miter saw for these types of materials. You may need to make a few minor adjustments before cutting non-standard items, but most miter saws are very easy to adjust.
When making this type of adjustment, always remember to change it back when you are done. Leaving your saw adjusted for something other than wood can cause problems and may even damage some of the internal parts.
Miter Saws Are Commonly Used For:
MDF (Dense Medium Fiberboard)
Any Non-Metal Material (depending on the proper adjustments)
The History of Miter Saws
The first miter saws were developed all the way back in 1777 by an Englishman by the name of Robert Hope. He was the one who came up with the idea of a circular saw that could make cuts at different angles.
This was a huge step forward in technology, and today we still use this basic concept.
Until the mid 1800’s most wood and lumber was cut by hand using axes and saws. It was very hard work and it took a long time to complete even the simplest of tasks.
In 1836 a man by the name of John Thurman came up with an idea for a machine that could help make accurate angles for certain types of woodworking joints. It wasn’t until the 1880’s when a man by the name of Obed Hussey came up with a similar idea that our modern day miter saw came about.
The first miter saws were steam-powered, and the ones used today are electric. An American by the name of David Muir is considered to be the one who invented the electric model that is in use today.
These early miter saws were very heavy, and not very efficient. This did not stop the development of this tool, and today they are one of the most widely used power tools on the market.
In 1929 an American by the name of Arthur Denton came up with the idea of adding a laser to a miter saw, this was a huge step forward in efficiency. Now miter saws can be guided by a thin laser line instead of using pencil marks which is a much quicker and easier process.
Today this tool is widely used in just about every industry and profession.
If you ever plan on doing any sort of carpentry or woodworking, a miter saw should be one of your first purchases. The ability to make accurate cuts quickly will help save you time and money in the long run.
These saws can be used to make a wide variety of cuts, and if you ever need to make non-standard cuts there are ways to do that as well.
If you are planning a large project that involves a lot of cutting, you should look for a miter saw stand. These devices hold your miter saw in an elevated position which makes the work easier and more comfortable.
You can also use these stands outdoors since they protect your tool from the elements. A good stand will also provide convenient storage and allow you to roll the entire unit from place to place.
The miter saw accessory that every DIY person should have is a good blade protector. These devices are placed on the bar of your saw to add a measure of safety when making cuts.
The guard will cover the top and bottom of the blade preventing you from making any contact with it. When you need to remove these for any reason, they can be quickly detached and then just as quickly reattached.
How To Choose The Best Miter Saw
Budget: How much are you willing to spend on this tool?
Saws can range in price from several hundred dollars all the way up to a thousand, so there is a miter saw out there for everyone.
Corded Or Cordless: There are pros and cons with both types of saws. A corded saw will never lose power unless the cord is pulled out or damaged.
A cordless will never have to be plugged in, but you will always have to be aware of how much charge it has left.
Rotating Head or Fixed Head: A fixed head requires that you manually rotate the work piece, this is safer because there are no loose cords or handles that can accidentally swing around. A rotating head allows you to make angled cuts without having to rotate the material yourself.
Sliding Compound Miter Saws or Fixed Bevel Saws: A sliding compound miter saw allows you to make both bevel and miter cuts. A fixed bevel saw can only make bevel cuts.
Most professionals prefer the sliding compound miter saws because of all the adjustable features it provides. If you don’t need all those bells and whistles, the fixed bevel saws are much easier to store and transport from job site to job site.
Types Of Cuts You’ll Be Making: Different types of wood require different types of cuts. A miter saw that works great on one project may not work at all on another.
The main types of cuts you’ll be making are miter cuts, bevel cuts, and compound cuts. Miter cuts are made across the grain of the wood, bevel cuts are angled cuts that are perpendicular to the grain, and compound cuts are a combination of both. You’ll want to choose a tool that allows you to make all three.
Blade Or No Blade: Some miter saws come with a standard blade, and some don’t. If yours doesn’t come with one, you should probably buy a good quality blade before trying to make any cuts.
Collar Or No Collar: The last feature you’ll want to be aware of is whether or not the tool has a collar. A collar is that extra piece that you can add on to the base of the tool.
This allows you to make flush cuts.
Other Important Features
Maneuverability: If you are going to be moving your tool around a lot, it needs to be compact and light weight. A heavier saw will wear you out quicker and be more dangerous since it is more likely to move on its own while in use.
Durable: Look for a tool that is solidly built. You want it to be able to stand up to the rigors of everyday use.
Storage: Some miter saws come with a built in storage feature that allows you to hang the tool on a wall. This takes up less room and keeps your work area free from clutter.
Quick Release Feature: Quick release features such as a lever or button are important because they allow you to quickly change or remove blades.
Angle Markings: Some tools come with angle markings that allow you to easily reference common angles. This is a feature that is mostly reserved for more expensive models.
Dust collection: Some saws have features that help to channel the dust and debris away from where you are working, this helps to keep your work area clean and allows you to see the cuts more easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get a miter saw stand?
Stand or no stand? That is the question. While some models do come with a stand, other models require that you build one yourself. If you don’t already own a stand, you may want to buy one because they greatly improve the functionality of the tool itself and also keep it safely stored away when not in use.
How much does a good miter saw cost?
The price of this tool really depends on what you need it to do. If all you need is a tool that can make straight cuts, you can buy a cheap model for under $100. If you want to be able to make compound miter and bevel cuts, the price goes up quite a bit. If you want a tool that is light weight and can make precision cuts, be prepared to spend well over $500. Do I need to adjust the angle or can I just start cutting right away? Some models come with preset angles that allow you to quickly and easily get to the desired measurement without having to measure or adjust the saw first. Other models require that you adjust the saw before each and every cut.
How Do I Choose the Right Miter Saw?
So now that you know what to look for, how do you go about choosing which model is right for you? Well, that all depends on what you plan to use it for. Don’t just think about big projects such as building an entire deck or a lawn swing, think about everyday jobs like cutting baseboard or window trim.
Think about how you will be using the tool and then narrow it down to a few models that seem to fit your needs. Check online to read reviews and see if others have had success with the models you are considering.
Also, don’t forget to check the price and consider how often you are going to use the tool and whether or not the higher price is really going to be worth it to you.
Once you have done your research, pick the one that seems to be the best fit for you. Try not to get too caught up in the excitement of buying a new power tool.
Instead, concentrate on how you are really going to be using the tool and what features you will really need to have a great experience.
If you are still not sure or would like some help, feel free to leave a question in the Q&A section. Our editorial team will be happy to offer suggestions.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Desk-top cutting machine with tiltable saw (S Ushiwata, R Imamura – US Patent 5,425,294, 1995 – Google Patents)
- Electric miter saw (K Miyamoto, T Dehari, K Hoshino – US Patent App. 07/043,137, 1990 – Google Patents)
- Miter saw utility stand (GD Cleveland – US Patent 4,874,025, 1989 – Google Patents)