Miter Saws – Basic Parts, Proper Uses And Types

Do you want to get a miter saw but don’t know which is best for you or how to go about it? This is common.

Sometimes, getting the right cutting tools for the job can put you in a dilemma. However, this doesn’t have to be so. Here, our goal is to guide you on choosing the right miter saw.

We’ll be touching on all relevant areas about the use of this type of equipment. This will also include a buying guide.

Are you ready? We are! Let’s jump to business right away!

What Are Miter Saws?

Miter saws are precision equipment cutting equipment for wood. These can be used to create accurate crosscuts and also to position mounted blades on wood.

Now, if you’re a woodworker, miter saws are among the basic equipment you’ll need.

Wooden boards will need to be cut into sizeable pieces or designs. This is where miter saws come into play.

Whether you’re dealing or working with 1×6’s or 2×4’s a stationary or mounted saws such as miter saws comes in handy.

  • Aren’t Miter Saws The Same As Circular Saws?

This is a good question to ask due to similarities existing between miter saws and circular saws.

The truth is; miter saws are indeed variations of circular saws. However, there are clear differences in how they’re used. Miter saws are mounted while circular saws are basically handheld devices.

With circular saws, you get the advantage of versatility in making short or long cuts across a piece. What more?

Circular saws enable you to make good short crosscuts.

Miter saws on the other hand are designed for precision. Though limited in applicability, miter saws help with the sawing or cutting of workpieces within a short time with precision. One of the limitations of miter saws is that cuts can only go as far as the blade length.

Because wood is fed to miter saws (because they’re fixed or mounted), they cannot be run along the workpiece.

Basic Parts Of A Miter Saw

To better understand how miter saws work, it will be necessary to understand its parts.

This saw consists of various parts such as the miter lock handle, guard, power switch, and handle. Others are the miter scale, table, fence, and side rails.

Newer designs of these saws come with additional features that may not be included in the parts mentioned.

However, these are the basic features you’ll find with most miter saws. Let’s discuss each briefly.

  • Miter Lock Handle

This part or component of a miter saw is generally used for adjustment purposes.

Specifically, the miter lock handle helps adjust the position of the miter table when miter cuts are being made.

  • Guard

As a safety precaution, the blade guard is mounted or fixed to cover the top half. This helps prevent accidents of any sort. In most miter saw models, the top half of the guard is unmovable, unlike the bottom half.

The bottom half is fixed to a hinge. This gives way when lowered and returns to position when raised.

  • Power Switch/Handle

Miter saws are installed with trigger-like power switches found in the handle. This makes miter saws easy and more convenient to operate.

  • Blade

The blade is an essential part of a miter saw used to affect all sorts of cuts. Blades come in varying sizes ranging from 5 to 12 inches in diameter. These size categories fit particular jobs.

You’ll need to mount a blade onto your miter saw based on the cut size you want to make.

  • Miter Scale

We earlier mentioned precision as one of the main features of this equipment.

This is where the miter scale comes into play. The scale is used to set specific cutting angles. The scale comes with a built-in indicator that rotates and points to your specific cutting degree.

  • Table

The miter saw table is simply the saw base. It consists of a flat and large flat portion onto which your saw is connected.

  • Fence

The fence is a sturdy surface used for placing your workpiece. The fence is installed to sit perpendicular to the saw.

The fence is made of various materials. These range from wood, and aluminum or cast iron.

Types of Miter Saws

Miter saws come in multiple variants. These range from the compound, standard, and compound sliding saws. Each of these Miter saw types serves a specific purpose as we’ll see.

Let’s proceed to discuss each of these as follows;

  • Compound Miter Saws

With compound miter saws comes easy maneuverability.

What more? This miter saw type is designed to provide dual bevel mode advantage and is also excellent for compound and bevel cuts. You’re able to make basic cuts with compound saws just like standard saws.

However, compound miter saws are best for bevel cuts. One clear feature of compound miter saws is the fact that they’re quite pricey. Also, compound miter saws won’t serve your needs when making very thick cuts.

  • Standard Miter Saws

Standard miter saws are mostly used for 90° and 45° crosscuts. There is an added benefit in terms of size options as well as cost. Standard miter saws are cheaper compared to other types of saws.

More so, you’re able to make fast and precise cuts.

Added benefits of standard miter saws include cordless options as well as power capabilities. The power ratings give you the choice to choose the right one for the job.

  • Compound Sliding Miter Saws

This type of miter saw is used for compound cuts, cross cuts, bevels, and miters. It comes with an added sliding advantage plus it’s the perfect fit for wider wood pieces.

Compound sliding miter saws come in three variants; cordless sliding compound, single sliding compound, and double sliding compound.

Miter Saw Uses

During our discussion so far, we severally referred to the applicability of miter saws. It’s important to clearly point out the uses of these saws.

Basically, these saws are used for 3 main types of cuts; crosscuts, bevels, and miters.

By now, you should have an idea of what miter saws are and what they can be used for. Before you get one, you should be guided by your specific needs. In other words, only buy one that fits your specific needs.

Leave a Comment