A miter saw is a useful tool when you need to make cross cuts or miters. Compared to a standard table saw, you can make quicker, more accurate cuts.
While the miter saw is a handy power tool, it is also dangerous to operate without knowing what you’re doing. To protect your fingers, you should explore the most common safety recommendations for using a miter saw.
The top of the range miter saw brands will usually come with a number of important safety features however, there is no substitute for careful and responsible usage.
The following list of safety tips can help you to reduce the chances of injury when using a miter saw. Always make sure that you are free from distractions and are concentrating 100% on what you are doing.
Whenever you use a miter saw, you should first put on the necessary protective gear. Do not make a single cut without putting on goggles and ear protection.
Standard eyeglasses do not count as protective eyewear. You can find safety goggles that are large enough to fit over your glasses. These goggles are often made from a flexible plastic to prevent shattering when struck by a projectile, while standard glasses can crack and leave pieces of glass in your eye.
Ear protection is needed to protect against prolonged exposure to loud sounds. You can wear either ear muffs or ear plugs, depending on whichever option is most comfortable for you.
Some experts also recommend that you wear gloves, while others advise against it. Wearing gloves may limit your tactile response and ability to maintain a firm grip. If your fingers get too close to the blade, the thickest gloves may not protect against injury.
Along with the protective gear, you should avoid wearing any loose-fitting clothing, jewelry, and other items that may dangle over the blade.
Before you turn the miter saw on, you should inspect the machine. Double check to ensure that the guards are clean and in place. You should also check the blade fasteners.
While inspecting the saw, you should inspect your work area. Clean away any sawdust, debris, and pieces of wood that may be lying around. These objects can create hazards while you’re cutting.
If you’re wearing the right gear and have finished inspecting the miter saw, you can start cutting. When you make your cuts, use the following safety tips to reduce the risk of injury.
If possible, use clamps to keep your material secured to the table. If you cannot use clamps, you need to maintain a firm grip on the material throughout the entire cutting process.
You also need to keep fingers six inches away from the blade. Getting your fingers too close increases the chances of cutting one of them off. Following this safety tip also means that you should avoid cutting small pieces, as you need to get your fingers closer to the blade.
After every cut, wait for the blade to completely stop spinning before you raise it. Besides helping to prevent injuries, this step can help make smoother cuts.
As a final safety tip for using a miter saw, make sure that you read the instructions that came with the power tool. Miter saws from different manufacturers are not identical. They may have features that require additional safety measures. Read through the instruction manual before you make your first cut, and remember the safety tips discussed.
A table saw can be used for a wide variety of projects, making it an essential tool in your home workshop.
When you use a table saw, you need to remain aware of the fact that these machines can easily remove fingers and cause major injuries, if you are not careful. Before you start cutting, you should ensure that you know how to use the saw and follow all safety precautions.
You should know the basic parts of a table saw before you turn it on. While these tools may seem simple, knowing how the parts work together ensures that you can follow the remaining safety suggestions.
Table saws are comprised of a saw connected to a table top. The typical size of the table is 3 x 3 feet. However, larger sizes are available. The table is often made from aluminum or steel and designed to sit on a metal cabinet or stand.
The fence is a part that you will hear mentioned frequently in instructions and safety tips for table saws. The fence is a guide that runs parallel to the blade to keep the material that you are cutting at an even distance from the blade.
The blade is used to cut various materials, while the blade insert determines the gap on each side of the blade.
Table saws are also equipped with a blade height adjustment wheel and a blade angle adjustment lever for adjusting the type of cut.
Portable table saws like the DeWalt DWE7480 or DW745 will usually come with a blade guard on larger cabinet type table saws there may be no saw guard at all.
The clothing and protective gear that you wear is just as important as knowing the various parts of the table saw. Wear short sleeves and avoid any baggy clothing or jewelry that may get caught in the blade.
You should also wear proper protection for your eyes and ears. Wear protective goggles to protect your eyes from pieces of flying debris. Wear earplugs to protect your ears from the high decibel levels of the saw, especially if you’re going to be cutting for several hours.
While wearing gloves may seem like a good method for protecting your fingers, gloves can increase the risk of injury. Wearing gloves can reduce your gripping power and your ability to sense exactly what you are doing with your hands.
When using a table saw, keep the floor in front of the machine clean. Sawdust may create a slipping hazard, increasing the risk of falling into the blade.
You should also stand with your feet slightly apart to increase your balance. Maintain a comfortable stance and avoid locking your knees.
Once you have the right clothing and stance, you can start cutting. Make sure that the material is not touching the blade when you turn it on. Guide the material toward the blade, while keeping the material flat against the table.
You should also use the proper fence. When making rip cuts, use the rip fence. When making crosscuts, use a miter gauge.
Along with these tips, you should read the instruction manual comes with your table saw. Review the parts, guidelines, and safety instructions provided by the manufacturer, as some of the details of operating a table saw can vary based on the model.
If you are in the market for a new table saw then you may be a little bit bewildered by all of the different types of table saws that are available.
Some are small and compact whilst others are big immovable cabinets. There are different rip capacities and various in-feed and out-feed configurations.
The best way to discuss all of the different types of tables saws is to split them into two distinct groups:
Because they are designed to be portable these kinds of table saws tend to be a lot lighter and will generally have a lot smaller capacity and power than a stationary saw.
They are usually powered by a smaller 15 Amp motor and have a no-load speed range of between 3,500 and 5,000 rpm.
Bench top saws are usually considered to be the lightest and most portable of all table saws. They can of course be mounted on a stand or rolling stand but most users will just leave then mounted on a work bench.
Saws like the DW745 and DWE7480 are extremely popular choices here.
Some people will mount them in a small rolling cabinet that is easy to move about a work shop.
Generally speaking they will have a much smaller rip capacity and will be built to a much less sturdier design. All of this is in the name of weight saving so there is a trade of for that added portability.
Job site saws are a step up in terms of build quality to the smaller bench top saws. They are most commonly used by contractors on a site and will usually have some form of stand.
They will most certainly have a larger rip capacity and will be built from much heavier components.
The rip capacity is normally some where around 24". The fence will usually have a much more accurate fence adjustment. The motors too are usually a lot more robust and can with stand a lot more use on a busy job site.
They are normally sold with a stand as part of a package. The stand can either be a normal folding leg only design or they may have what is called a rolling stand. A rolling stand will not only have folding legs it will also have integrated wheels on the frame to make transport much easier.
Most stationary saws will generally be refferred to as a cabinet type table saw. Although there are a couple of other types like a contractor or hybrid saw they are rarely used today.
Cabinet saws are usually the larger table saws that most people are used to seeing in a woodworking shop or large garage.
They are considered to be the absolute best in terms of features, accuracy and power.
Most professional wood shops will make a considerable investment in their cabinet table saw, and they would expect the saw to put in several decades of faithful service.
Given that weight is actually a help here and not a hindrance, cabinet style table saws are made from only the best materials.
All of that extra weight is what helps them to be sturdier, stronger and a lot more capable at cutting.
These saws along with hybrid saws lie somewhere in between a smaller contractor type saw and a full blown cabinet saw.
Although the are somewhat portable they are usually only used on a site that will be worked on for some time that requires a bit more power than your average portable saw.
10 Inch vs 12 Inch Miter Saw - probably one of the first questions you'll have to tackle when purchasing a new miter saw.
What size miter saw will you need ?
If you buy a 10 inch will you regret it and want a 12 ?
A new miter saw is a pretty serious purchase for most woodworkers especially if you have never owned one before.
With 10 inch saws running at a significant discount to some of the high end 12 inch miters, price is usually one of the biggest factors that lead people in their decision.
Bear in mind that there are some smaller and larger saws available from 8-1/2 inch all the way up to 15 inch, however the 10 and 12 inch saws are the most suitable for the majority of people.
Everyone will have different needs when it comes to what kind of miter they will need. Are you a beginner just about to purchase their first saw or an experienced woodworker that has lots of projects on the go?
Although it is the most obvious thing it is not only the size of the blade that separates the two. Below you find a brief summary of each type and their strengths and weaknesses.
Usually the first choice for those that are starting out the 10 inch miter will have the following attributes:
The smaller blades are usually much easier to find in your local hardware store. Not only do they have much better availability they are also usually a lot cheaper.
Depending on the brand a 10" blade can be almost half the price of a similar 12". If you have a lot of projects and use your saw quite a lot this can mean a significant saving on on-going replacement blades.
If you prefer to have your blades sharpened a few times before retiring them the 10" ones are also a lot cheaper to have them re-sharpened.
Smaller blades spin faster when used with the same motor. For example through out the DeWalt Miter Saw range the smaller DW717 10" saw will spin at 5,000 RPM versus the larger DWS779 at 3,800 RPM even though both saws have a 15 Amp motor.
A faster blade will generally give much finer and more accurate cuts than a larger one. Given the smaller radius of the 10" blade it is less likely to wobble at maximum RPM.
The major drawback of course of a 10" miter is the reduced cutting capacity when compared to a 12" saw.
For the 10" saw you will usually get about 6" whereas some of the better 12" can handle up to 16".
12" miters are have a number of clear advantages over the smaller 10".
Firstly the cutting capacity is usually much larger, thanks in part to a much longer swing arm.
There are also capable of a much higher overall work rate than the smaller 10". 12" saws are built a lot heavier and usually the components can withstand a lot more abuse and heavy daily usage than the smaller saws.
The biggest negative point to the larger saws is of course the cost. They are generally a lot more expensive to both buy and fix if something goes wrong.
As outlined above blades are also more expensive to replace and to have sharpened.
The larger saws are also a lot heavier and bulky. This really isn't an issue if your saw is permanently mounted on your work bench. However, if you are moving it around a lot from job site to job site then it can be an issue.
Purchasing a good miter saw stand can make life a lot easier but does add to your overall expenses.
Ultimately the choice between a 10 or 12 inch miter saw will depend on your exact situation.
If you are a beginner purchasing their first saw and don't need a larger cutting capacity then the 10" saw is a good option.
However if you work as a busy carpenter on site and need a powerful saw that has a large cutting cpacity that can slice through crown molding all day long then the 12" saw is the one to get.
Miter Saw vs Circular Saw which saw is right for your power tool collection and do you really need both?
Although most experienced woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts can get the job done without the need for power tools in their garage, modern reliable powered saws can certainly make your cutting jobs not only faster but also more accurate.
Both the miter saw and the circular saw have their strengths and weaknesses. Below we'll take a brief look at what exactly each saw is and when to use one over the other.
Which one you choose will ultimately depend on your needs but in short a miter saws are used for cross cutting lumber and crown molding whereas a circular saw is best used for making rip cuts in sheets of wood.
The miter saw is usually one of the biggest purchases you are likely to make. And although you don't absolutely need one they can make certain jobs a breeze.
A miter saw is basically a spinning saw blade on a fixed arm. The fixed arm can allows the blade to be lower precisely from above allowing you to cut through lumber at a perfect 90 degree angle just like a chop saw.
However a miter saw can make cuts at a variety of different angles.
The "miter" in miter saw allows for the blade to cut across the lumber at different horizontal angles. The miter cut is always made at 90 degree to vertical.
Look at it this way a miter cut is any other angle other than 90 degrees across the width of a piece of wood.
Miters can also be used to make bevel cuts. A bevel cut is when you make a cut at an angle that is 90 degrees along the thickness of the wood.
See the image below for the different types of cuts an mite can make.
Miter saws are commonly used to make quick and accurate cuts across pieces of lumber. They are used most commonly to cut crown molding at the correct angles that allow for a seamless join especially in corner pieces.
One major disadvantage of a miter saw is that the are big and heavy and significantly less versatile than a circular saw.
The circular saw is a lot more common than the miter saw. They are significantly cheaper to purchase and can be bought in either corded or battery powered(cordless) models.
A circular saw is most effective at making long rip cuts in sheets of wood. So if you aim is to cut lots of sheets of plywood or dry wall then the circular saw is the best tool for the job.
Although you can make all of the same angled cuts with a circular saw as you can with a miter saw, they will always be less accurate.
What they lack in accuracy however they make up for in versatility.
A circular saw can be used just about anywhere as they are not fixed to a base or work bench like the miter saw.
DeWalt vs Hitachi miter saw - two of the most popular miter brands in use today.
At the mid range of the miter saw market is generally where you will find the best trade off between price and quality.
At the higher end of the market, although manufactured to an extremely high standard brands like Festool are usually 3 times the price of the offerings from the more popular mid range brands such as DeWalt and Hitachi.
Both brands have offerings in the 10 and 12 inch categories.
Usually the first thing to consider when buying a new miter saw is just how big a blade will you need. The larger 12 inch miters are always going to be a lot more flexible than the smaller 10 inch.
Personally I have always owned a 12 inch saw. The 10 inch however does have it's uses, they are generally better at making cleaner cuts than the larger 12 inch.
So if you do a lot of fine woodworking and do not need to cut large more basic pieces such as crown molding then it is best to stick to a 10 inch.
The other thig of note is that a lot of 10 inch miters are only single bevel whereas the majority of 12 inch miter saws are double bevel.
The average handyman or tradesman working on a busy jobsite will generally favor a 12 inch miter saw. Both Hitachi and DeWalt have multiple offerings in this size.
DeWalt have the DWS779 and DWS780 along with numerous older models and some cordless battery powered offerings too.
Although the DWS780 is the top of the line model from DeWalt I feel that the DWS779 is actually better value as it is commonly up to 50% cheaper than the DWS780 the only difference being the guide system.
Hitachi have the C12RSH and C12RSH2. Although you will commonly see the C12RSH on sale online and in many department stores it is important to realize that it is a discontinued model.
Between the DeWalt and the Hitachi the DeWalt is the superior saw. The most obvious difference between the two is the DeWalt's wider miter range. 50 left and 60 right. Whereas the Hitachi is 45 left and 57 right.
At 90 degrees the DWS779 can cut up to 16 inches whilst the Hitachi tops out at about 12.25 inches.
Not only that it has a much more solid feel to it especially under a heavy load when cutting harder wood varieties.
The Hitachi miter saw does however come with a 5 year limited warranty versus the DeWalt's 3 year.
If you are limited on space in your wood shop then the Hitachi has a big advantage over lots of other miter saws in that it's slide rail eliminates the need for rear clearance.
Easily the best miter saw for the money the DWS779 has bags of power and cutting ability. It can hit a no-load speed of 3800 RPM thanks to it's 15 Amp motor.
The configuration is a double bevel sliding miter saw with a 12 inch blade. It has a miter range of 50 degrees from the let through to 60 degrees to the right.
With double bevel capability it has a full bevel range of 49 degrees from left to right.
The DWS779 uses a more traditional laser guide system than the top of the range DWS780. The DWS780 is priced significantly higher than the 779 and that price increase is really only for the addition of the XPS guide system that the 780 uses.
The DWS779 is also backed by DeWalt's 3 year limited warranty.
The C12RSH2 runs at a maximum no-load speed of 3,800 RPM just like the DeWalt. The speed is pretty much standard for a 12 inch blade.
The Hitachi can cut 7-1/2 inch crown molding and cross cut at 90 degrees up to 12-1/4 inch.
Probably the C12RSH2's best feature is the sliding rail system. Traditionally the slide rail systems on miter saw will end up requiring a lot of rear clearance for the saw head to move through it's full range.
Hitachi have designed a slide rail that requires zero rear clearance, saving you space on your workbench.
The DW713 can spin it's 10 inch blade up to a no-load speed of 5000 RPM.
It is effectively a single bevel miter saw as you only get between 0 and 3 degrees bevel to the right with a full 0 to 48 degrees to the left.
The miter range runs from 50 left through to 50 degrees to the right. There are 11 positive detents at the most popular angles. The detents can be over-ridden for finer adjustments.
Just like the larger C12RSH2 the C10FsHC also features the same zero clearance slide rail system, so you can fit the saw flush up against a wall or on your bench top without being too restricted by the depth of the saw.
With a 10 inch blade and a 15 Amp motor we would really expect the maximum no-load speed to be significantly more than the quoted 3,200 RPM.
Choosing a new table saw ain't easy! Big brand like DeWalt have lots of offerings and all the similar model numbers can get a little confusing.
They currently offer 4 portable table saws the DW745, DWE7480, DWE7499GD and DWE7491RS.
The DW745 and DWE7480 do not come with stands and are intended to be used in the same location. They can of course be mounted to a rolling stand to covert them into a more versatile job site table saw.
Both units also work great when integrated into a cabinet as seen below.
The DWE7499GD and DWE7491RS come with stands included. You can choose either a rolling stand or the more traditional folding legged only. They are what is commonly referred to a job site table saws i.e intended to be used on building sites and can handle large sheets of stock
Performance wise between both sets of saws it is pretty similar. However the job site saws have a much bigger rip capacity of 32-1/2" versus the other two which are in the low 20"s.
To help give you a clearer picture of the full model range we have compared each set of tables saws separately below with a comparison table included for each.
Cut depth 90 degrees
Cut depth 45 degrees
The difference between the DW745 and the DWE7480 are in the rip capacity and in the motor speed.
The DWE7480 has a larger rip capacity of 24-1/2" than the DW745's 20" on the standard models, you can upgrade to larger rips but that comes as an added expense. As ever that measurement is when you are cutting to the right of the blade.
The motor in the older DW745 is only able to manage a maximum no-load speed of 3850 RPM. For the DWE7480 DeWalt redesigned the motor. It now has a maximum speed of 4800 RPM.
Generally the higher the blade speed the more accurate and cleaner the cut. So, if you are the kind of woodworker that needs to make finer more accurate cuts for furniture then the DWE7480 is the clearer choice.
Cut depth 90 degrees
Cut depth 45 degrees
From looking at the above table it is clear that they are pretty similar job site table saws.
Feature wise the major difference between the DWE7499DG and DWE7491RS is the safety features found in both saws.
The DWE7499DG has what is called "Guard Detect". This simply disables the saw if the blade guard has been removed. It can be over-ridden at the flick of a switch.
On the DWE7491RS there is a plastic cover on the switch to stop accidental power on's. If the saw loses power during operation it will not start once power is restored. You have to switch the saw to the off position and then bacj to the on position in order for it to work.
The DWE7480 is powered by a redesigned 15 amp motor. It has a maximum no-load speed of 4,800 RPM.
On the cutting front it has a rip capacity of 24-1/2 inches when cutting on the right side of the blade. Cutting on the left side of the blade it has a rip of 12 inches.
The adjustable fence uses a rack and pinion adjustment system, ensuring accurate and true adjustments every time.
The cutting angle can be adjusted through to 45 degrees. Of course the cutting depth will be affected at that angle. At 90 degrees you get the maximum cutting depth of 3-1/8 inch, whereas at 45 degrees you get 2-1/4 inch.
It comes with a 24 tooth Carbide blade. The blade protection uses a pretty standard anti-kickback feature and tool-less blade guard.
You can hook your shop vacuum up to the DWW7480 using a 2-1/2 inch dust port helping to keep your workspace that little bit cleaner.
The DW745 is the older model to the DWE7480. It has an older specification motor that gives a slightly lower top speed of 3,800 RPM.
The maximum rip capacity is also smaller and comes in at 4-1/2 inches shorter than the DWE7480 at 20 inches even.
You get the same rack and pinion fence lock, cutting depth and 24 tooth blade.
The DWE7491RS is a 10 inch rolling job site table saw that is powered by a 15 Amp motor. It has a maximum no-load speed of 4,800 RPM.
The rip capacity is a large 32-1/2 inches when used to the right of the blade. At 90 degrees you get a cutting depth of 3-1/8 inches and at 45 degrees you get 2-1/4 inches.
It comes with a rolling stand that has four sturdy legs that can be folded up during transport. The wheels used are quite large making navigating steps and cluttered building sites that little bit easier.
The DeWalt DWE7499GD is the newer version of the DWE7491RS seen above. It has the same 15 Amp motor with the same top speed of 4,800 RPM.
The DWE7499GD comes equipped with what is called "Guard Protect". "Guard Protect" will disable the motor and the spinning of the blade if the blade guard is not installed.
It is possible to bypass this feature using a bypass switch. This feature is the only major difference between this saw and the older model above.
The price is also much more expensive and realistically you should not have to pay so much extra for a blade guard system.
DeWalt are easily the most popular miter saw brand on the market they have had quite a few models down through the years and all of which have been top performers for their price point.
Right now it's top of the range offering is the DWS780.
But should you buy the DWS780, bearing in mind that it is the most expensive?
The main differences between the DWS779, DWS780 and DWS779 are that the DWS779 and DWS780 are essentially the same saw but the DWS780 comes with DeWalt's XPS guide system and is also roughly 50% more expensive than the DWS779.
The DWS709 is a much older model miter saw than the DWS779 and DWS780. If has a smaller rip capacity than the others two and is roughly the same price as the DWS779 depending on where you buy.
Below we have listed the specifications of each model and a comparison table. Ultimately your decision as to which one you should buy will depend on your usage needs.
Cross Cut Capacity
Cross Cut Capacity
Most buyers will probably have already whittled their decision down to between the DWS779 vs DWS780.
The DWS709 is rather lacking in it's cutting capacity despite still sharing a lot of other common specifications and features with the two newer models.
So ultimately you need to understand how the DWS780 and DWS779 compare to each other.
The DWS780 is essentially and upgraded DWS779. That upgrade comes by way of DeWalt's new XPS guide system.
The DWS709 and DWS779 and virtually all other miter saws you'll see from top brands use what is called a laser guide system.
A laser guide shines a laser in line with the miter saw blade to help you determine where the blade will make it's cut on your piece of wood.
The only disadvantage with using a laser guide system on a miter saw is that when you change the blade it can sometimes affect the alignment of the laser which will throw out the accuracy of your cuts.
If you are using you saw a lot like on a job site or in a busy woodworking shop then this may become more of an issue than for a regular home user that may only use their saw occasionally.
The DWS780 uses DeWalt's newer XPS system. The XPS shines a bright LED down the length of the blade. Because the light is projected as close along the blade as possible it ends up casting a shadow where the tip of the blade is.
This results in one of the most accurate alignments by sight that you can have. One of the other advantages is that because the LED is cast along the blade even if you change the blade you will not need to re-calibrate the shadow as it is formed by the new blade.
The DWS779 offers a great trade off between cutting performance and power and afford-ability.
It is a double bevel 12 inch sliding compound miter saw. It's 15 Amp motor is capable of achieving a maximum no-load speed of 3,800 RPM.
The DWS779 can make miter cuts in a range from 50 degrees left through to 60 degrees right.
Being a double bevel saw it's bevel angle runs in a range of 49 degrees in both left and right directions. There are positive bevel stops at the most commonly used angles of 0, 22.5, 33.9, 45 and at 49 degrees.
Weighing in at roughly 56 pounds it is a pretty sturdy saw. Once mounted to your work bench or on a stand the quality and smoothness of operation becomes aparent.
There are no cheap plastic parts used on any of the elements. The majority of the saw is constructed from precision casted parts that are finished to very fine tolerances. The detent plate of the miter is actually stainless steel which is a lot more robust than you will find on some cheaper brands.
With any of the miter saws listed above you will generally have two different means of providing a solid base from which you can safely use it:
Which option you choose will usually be defined by where you will most commonly be using you miter saw.
If you are always going to use the saw in your workshop or garage then the best way to both store and use the saw is to mount it permanently to a strong, stable and level workbench.
The workbench needs to have sufficient room behind it to clear the back of miter saw arm. Before you mount it you should move the saw through it's full range of motion before it is connected to the power.
Make sure that you can freely and accurately use all of the features of the saw and that it is at the right height. You don't want it too low so that you are bending over to use it and not too high so that you can easily reach the main handle.
If you are going to be using your miter saw on lots of different job sites then investing in a quality miter saw stand really is the only way to ensure that it is both easy and safe to use.
DeWalt have two different stands available to fit the above saws the DWX723 and the DWX724.
Of the two the DWX723 can hold slightly larger lengths of timber than the DWX724.
It can hold up to 500 pounds in weight and is capable of supporting timber up to 16 feet long.
Standing 32 inches tall and weighing in at about 5 pounds it is a pretty mobile miter saw stand. With folding legs it can be easily stored when not in use.
There is also a rolling version called the DWX726
Chop Saw vs Miter Saw – Choosing the Best Saw for the Job
Selecting the right saw is not always easy. There are dozens of options and some saws look very similar, including the chop saw and miter saw.
If you are currently trying to select a saw, take the time to compare these two choices. Discover the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of using a chop saw versus a miter saw.
Chop saws and miter saws have a lot in common. They both use large, circular blades. They also cut material from the top using a downward motion controlled by your hand.
There are two primary differences between a chop saw and a miter saw. First, the typical chop saw is larger than the average miter saw and more powerful. While the typical miter saw circular blade is 10 to 12 inches in size, most blades for chop saws start at 14 inches.
The other major difference is that a miter saw can be rotated to create angled cuts. The chop saw only cuts straight, 90-degree cuts.
The angled or mitered cuts allowed with a miter saw are useful for cutting molding.
The smaller blade also allows for more detailed work, which is necessary when working with smaller materials such as trim, molding, or framing.
These differences make a miter saw more versatile than a chop saw and thus suitable for a wider range of applications. For most home improvement projects, the typical craftsman is more likely to need a miter saw than a chop saw.
In fact, if you have a miter saw, there is little reason to purchase a chop saw. However, there are several benefits to using a chop saw.
As mentioned, chop saws tend to have larger blades and more power. These features make them suitable for use in commercial or industrial settings. A chop saw may also be used to cut through a variety of materials.
Due to the power of the chop saw, it is also often used in commercial settings when a large volume of material needs straight cuts.
Miter saws are available with a variety of features that can make certain jobs easier. One feature that is found on most miter saws is a laser guide.
This laser projects a laser beam to show you the exact spot where the cut will be made. The laser guide improves accuracy. While this is a useful feature, it is not a necessity.
Miter saws are also available with stops for added convenience. There are depth stops and positive stops for cutting set angles.
With the depth stops, you can limit the depth of your cut to the same depth every time.
With the positive stops, the miter saw can quickly be set to cut at a 45-degree angle, which is useful when making repeated cuts at the same angle.
Other features that you may look for include extension arms and a dust collector. The extension arms are recommended when you do not have a table for support. The arms also offer support when working with longer pieces of wood. The dust collector helps collect dust instead of allowing it to get everywhere.
You also need to determine which type of blade to get for your miter saw. While most miter saws use 10 or 12-inch blades, there are various types of blades with varying blade teeth.
The three most commonly used types of blades include carbide-tipped blades, steel blades, and high-speed steel blades. The carbide-tipped blades are often used for detailed woodworking, as they produce smooth cuts and last longer. The steel blades are the most affordable and are used for cutting softer woods.
When looking at the blade teeth, the number of teeth often determines the accuracy of the cut. With more teeth, the blade can produce finer, smoother cuts.
When shopping for a chop saw, you should pay attention to the type of blade, the motor, and the safety features.
There are two main types of blades that are commonly used for chop saws – abrasive blades and cold saw blades.
Abrasive blades tend to leave materials hot, as they produce plenty of sparks. The cold saw blades are more durable and do not produce as many sparks. They also cut at slower speeds, helping to create smoother cuts.
The motor is also an important consideration. You should look at both the horsepower and amps of the motor. The general recommendation is to find a chop saw with a 15-amp or higher motor. The most horsepower you will find is a 4-horsepower motor.
While a more powerful motor will help maintain productivity when used in a commercial setting, you should also look for motors that operate at low speeds. With lower speeds, the blade produces fewer sparks and finer cuts.
There are also certain safety features that you may want in a chop saw. For example, spark deflectors are useful for deflecting sparks away from the saw and the person operating it. Other safety features include blade guards and eye protection plates.
here are dozens of saws and each serves a general function. Choosing the right saw depends on the type of cutting you need to do.
The typical recommendation for home renovations and hobby woodworking is to get a miter saw. You can still perform the straight cuts that are possible with a chop saw. However, you also have the option of cutting at an angle.
Chop saws are mostly recommended for heavy-duty use, such as in a commercial or industrial setting. For example, if your shop or factory requires high-volume cutting that involves a lot of straight cuts, the chop saw is often the preferred choice. Chop saws are also suitable for cutting a variety of materials, including metal.
In the end, the saw that you select will also depend on your personal preferences. Just remember that a miter saw can perform miter cuts, while a chop saw is limited to straight cuts.