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.
- Crosscut saws are suitable for the precise cutting of workpieces made of different materials. You can use them to saw wood flooring and laminate, but also moldings made of plastic or aluminum.
- Good chop saws allow you to set specific angles, so you can also cut miters. The important thing here is the cut size and width at a 45-degree angle.
- Some chop saws also have a handy working laser. This helps you to make precise cuts.
What types of miter saws are there?
Miter saws without pull function
An inexpensive model is a chop saw without pull, which is mainly suitable for home use. Due to the small required space, it can often be placed in the basement at home or in the garage.
Despite the lack of a pull function, this chop saw can easily shorten moldings, panels, and wooden beams. Miter cuts are also possible up to an angle of 45 degrees. The special thing about these chop saws is the low prices, which are often less than 100 euros.
The advantages at a glance:
- saw cuts precisely and cleanly
- good motor power
- suitable for miter cuts
- favorable in the acquisition
The disadvantages at a glance:
- missing pull function
- strips must be narrow
- no possibility for double miter cuts
The miter saw with pull function
Pull-type miter saws are sold most often because they are a good choice both for home use and for professional use.
The main disadvantage is the required large floor space, which is not available in every home. With these models, the saw is first pressed down into the workpiece and then moved forward. The flexible turntable makes miter cuts easy.
Double miter cuts can also be made, as a lateral angle of up to 45 degrees can be achieved thanks to the flexible turntable. This type of crosscut saw is in the higher price segment and is only worthwhile if used frequently.
The advantages at a glance:
- sawing performance is very good
- powerful motor
- double miter cuts can be performed
- suitable for wide wood parts due to the pull function
The disadvantages at a glance:
- high purchase price
- required storage space large
- deadweight high
The table miter saw
Professional work is usually performed with a crosscut saw, which has a separate saw table. The advantage is the high stability, which can easily hold even large diameter circular saw blades. In such a model, the crosscut saw is firmly connected to the table and takes up a lot of space.
This saw is suitable in all types and thicknesses of wood, as it develops enormous forces due to its firm stand and powerful motor.
However, a pull function is not available on these high-priced devices.
The advantages at a glance:
- sawing power is high
- well suited as a professional device
- both miter cuts and double miter cuts can be performed
- excellent stability
The disadvantages in the overview:
- no pull function is available
- enormous space requirement
- expensive to purchase
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 your walls 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!
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.
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.
The cutting height determines the size of the workpieces being sawn. You should not forget this, especially if you want to saw rafters!
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.
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 least) 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.
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.
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
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 of 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|
|0°||0°||70 mm x 312 mm|
|45° links||0°||70 mm x 225 mm|
|45° right||0°||70 mm x 225 mm|
|0°||45° links||45 mm x 312 mm|
|0°||45° right||20 mm x 312 mm|
|45° links||45° links||45 mm x 225 mm|
|45° right||45° links||45 mm x 225 mm|
|45° links||45° right||20 mm x 225 mm|
|45° right||45° right||20 mm x 225 mm|
Weight and volume
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.
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.
Best Brands of Miter Saw
7 tips for Safe Use of Miter Saw
Tip 1: Ensure a safe stand
The stand must always be safe for the crosscut saw, as this is the only way to work without danger. Even with mobile models, the crosscut saw must be securely mounted on a stand so that it does not slip during the sawing process.
Tip 2: Freedom from dirt is important
The application area of the saw and also the workpieces must be free of dirt, dust, grease, and oil, because this is the only way to prevent contamination of the saw blade.
Tip 3: Choose tight-fitting clothing
When using a saw, it has proven to be important that the clothing fits tightly to the body and is not too loose. Otherwise, the risk is too great that some of the fabric will get caught in the saw blade.
Tip 4: Take off jewelry
Watches and jewelry were real traps in the test, and it is essential to take them off when working with the saw.
Tip 5: Protective clothing and hearing protection
It often happens that a sawed-off part falls to the ground and hits the feet. For this reason, it is important that the person working wears appropriate safety shoes. Suitable protective clothing is also available in stores. Headphones are suitable for hearing protection and are definitely advisable for continuous operation.
Tip 6: Mouth protection against fine dust
Sawing produces a lot of dust, so a mouthguard should be part of the equipment. This allows you to breathe freely, which makes the work much easier.
Tip 7: Maintenance work
If maintenance work, such as replacing the saw blade, is necessary, it is imperative that the power plug be pulled out beforehand. Saw blades are sharp even when not in use and should therefore only be touched with extreme caution.
Miter Saw For Beginners - Video
FAQ - Miter Saw
The crosscut saw is usually used with a saw blade that has at least 36 teeth. Thus, careful and accurate saw cuts can be made. If you want particularly precise cuts, you should use a saw blade with at least 74 teeth.
The stable workbench is an optimal base for a saw. Mobile workbenches, on the other hand, are unsuitable, as they usually do not have sufficient stability.
It is possible to have a saw blade resharpened at a carpenter’s, hardware store, or carpenter’s shop. In the test, it was also possible to do this work yourself, but the result from a professional is better in comparison.