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Choosing miter saw

Currently, the market offers many saws that were previously considered quite expensive and now have quite affordable prices. And now we are talking about such a necessary and sometimes simply necessary thing in the household like a miter saw.

Need to saw skirting boards, moldings or wall paneling? For all your angled cuts, whether manual or electric, miter saws can make cuts up to 45° or 90°. Crosscut and miter saws allow for a better width of cut due to the integrated pull function.

Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page, that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a miter saw.

Electric miter saw

An electric miter saw is composed of a table and a motor that guides the saw blade. The motor and the saw blade are part of the saw. This is mounted on an articulated arm, similar to a circular saw, and can thus be guided to the piece of wood positioned on the table, making straight and angled cuts. In addition to this function, the saw is attached to a movable and graduated work plate that allows cross-sections from 0 to 180°. The electric miter saw makes it possible to cut stronger pieces of wood without effort, with precision and in larger quantities.

The features of an electric miter saw

To make the right choice of your electric miter saw, you need to think about the workpieces you want to saw. If you want to panel yourwalls or lay skirting boards, an electric miter saw with low power and cutting height will be sufficient. For more extensive work and higher requirements, you should consider the following points!

Motor power

The motor power ranges from 1,400 to 2,000 watts, depending on the model. The saw blade rotates at a speed of 3,000 to 5,000 rpm. Power and speed are directly related to the capacity of the saw to cut material.

Saw blade

The saw blade is chosen according to the material to be cut (PVC, wood, non-ferrous metals), and the number of teeth, often between 40 and 60, is important for the finishing of the cut.


The cast iron, aluminum, or steel table has adjustable stop angles. These allow the workpiece to be sawn to be placed in the correct position. Clamps are available as accessories to clamp the workpiece, just like in a vice.

Cutting height

The cutting height determines the size of the workpieces be sawn. You should not forget this, especially if you want to saw rafters!

Cutting width

The cutting width determines the width of the workpieces is sawn. Expect a width of about140 mm for a simple miter saw and up to 320 mm for miter saws with pull function.

miter saws chosing

Working principle of a miter saw with pull function

A saw is called a radial saw when it allows cross-cuts through a rail guide that allows the saw to move on the table. This independent machine is found as a device on some miter saws to increase the width of the cut. The table has a protrusion to allow the saw to make such cuts.

Some miter saws with pull function are mounted on a rail above the table to benefit from an even higher cutting height. This type of saw can be three-phase (the greater the cutting height, the higher the lest) and also allows miter cuts.

Features and advantages of a miter saw

As with any tool, accessories and options provide more user comfort:

  • a laser system for easy indication of the cutting line;
  • an extraction system to discharge dust through an external vacuum cleaner;
  • screw clamps to be able to fix the saw on the workbench;
  • stops and clamps to hold the workpieces in the saw;
  • extensions to hold the workpieces in place overall;
  • a transport trolley for more mobility;
  • a slow start-up to avoid jerky movements;
  • a speed regulator to adapt the speed to the material;
  • a function to saw recesses as a router would allow;
  • a precise adjustment of the miter and angled cuts.
Miter Saw choose

Advice for choosing miter saws

When looking for a suitable chop, pull and miter saw, you will be confronted with a number of terms that can confuse a layman. The standout ability of these particular saws is sawing at different angles. In this regard, the saw can be tilted both horizontally and vertically. Learn more about the possible angles and tilts in our choosing guide. If you want to buy a pull, chop and miter saw, there are some aspects to consider.

Power in watts, idle speed, and adjustable speed

Many buyers of power tools initially pay attention to the wattage output of a tool as specified by the manufacturer. However, the power consumption says far less about the actual performance than it does about the power consumption. Most tools in a chop saw tests have a power rating between 1,200 and 2,000 watts. A power of around 1,600 watts is sufficient for most work in a domestic environment.

The speed is also often used as a guide to power. But the manufacturer’s specification refers to the idle speed. This is significantly reduced when the saw blade hits the workpiece to be processed. The idle speed for some units is between 1,300 and 3,500 rpm, while for others it is around 5,000 rpm.

Depending on the model, you can regulate the speed of the tool and thus adapt it to the material to be processed. Constant electronics ensure that the speed of the saw remains as constant as possible during operation.

Saw blade diameter in mm, cutting width in mm, and cutting depth in mm.

Most crosscut saws that you can find in stores are suitable for saw blades with a diameter of 216 mm. This means that they are suitable for a cutting depth of around 6 cm as well as a cutting width of around 30 cm at the same time. However, the manufacturers for their tools specify specifically how the cutting width and cutting depth turn out. As a rule, the cutting depth of the various devices is between 36 and 70 mm.

The values vary depending on the angle. They are usually specified for angles of 90° and 45°. Pull, crosscut and miter saws with 100 mm cutting depth are less common, but these models are also available in stores. The cutting width of most pull, crosscut and miter saws are 305 mm at 90° and 215 mm at 45°. Of course, there are also devices that deviate from these values.

Caution: Pull saws, crosscut saws, and miter saws are not suitable for processing workpieces made of metal.

Head tiltable up to what angle and saw table rotatable up to what degree?

For pull, crosscut, and miter saws, both the saw head and the saw table can be moved. The saw table can be rotated to adjust the horizontal angle. Tilting the saw head changes the vertical angle. The following table uses a fictitious example to illustrate how the cutting height and width change when you vary the angle of the saw table or saw blade:

Rotated saw table (horizontal miter) Tilted saw blade (vertical miter) Cutting depth x cutting width
70 mm x 312 mm
45° links 70 mm x 225 mm
45° rechts 70 mm x 225 mm
45° links 45 mm x 312 mm
45° rechts 20 mm x 312 mm
45° links 45° links 45 mm x 225 mm
45° rechts 45° links 45 mm x 225 mm
45° links 45° rechts 20 mm x 225 mm
45° rechts 45° rechts 20 mm x 225 mm

Working comfort and safety: LED light, dust extraction, and soft start.

Always select the appropriate angle.
An LED light illuminates the workpiece exactly where you are sawing. This makes your job easier even if you’re working at a less well-lit workbench. Some models have a special laser built in that casts a line on the workpiece – exactly where the cut will be made.

A dust extraction system allows you to connect a vacuum cleaner that sucks up chips and dust as soon as they occur. On the one hand, this means you always have a clear view of your workpiece, and on the other hand, you breathe in considerably less dust. Soft start increases safety and comfort when working with the pull, cut and miter saw.

If the power fails or the unit is stopped by pulling the power plug, this technology ensures that the saw blade restarts slowly as soon as the unit has power again. This prevents violent jerking, which otherwise poses a high risk of injury.

Weight in kg and volume in dB

Depending on the model, a chop, pull and miter saw weighs between about 11 and 20 kg. Since the devices are usually used stationary, the weight is less important for transport. During the work itself, the rather high weight automatically ensures a secure stand. Since the saws can sometimes get quite loud, we strongly recommend that you wear hearing protection. Quieter saws reach about 85 dB, louder models go to work with well over 90 dB.

miter saw how to

Tips on how to work safely with a pull saw, chop saw, and miter saw

To help you work not only accurately, but also safe with your chop saw or miter saw, we’ve put together some tips for you on how to use these tools:

  • always work in a concentrated manner
  • do not switch on the tool if you cannot absolutely concentrate on the work for whatever reason
  • do not work hastily or hectically, but calmly
  • take off jewelry and accessories before you start working
  • tie long hair into a braid
  • do not wear too loose clothes
  • clean the saw immediately after work with a hand brush or a brush to have the device ready for the next use

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