Miter saws are unmissable for every woodworking expert or beginner. With a miter saw, you can make cuts quickly and efficiently. In this guide, we will tell you what a miter saw is and when you should use one.
What is a miter saw
Miter saws are made to cut wood at desired lengths and angles. They are an ideal tool for moulding, trim work, baseboards, and rafters. This is due to the fact that most of them have an adjustable bevel so that the saw can make cuts at different angles.
You can compare all our favorite Miter Saws in our guide: Best miter saw for beginners
Different miter saw sizes
You might have noticed that Miter saws come in different sizes. The most common are 10-inch and 12-inch miter saws. But what do these different sizes actually mean?
When talking about the size of a miter saw we are talking about the maximum blade size that will fit on the saw. The size you need depends on the project you are working on.
If you can afford it, it is better to buy a larger miter saw than you might need. It is always possible to put on a smaller blade on a large saw.
Here is a handy guide if you are wondering which saw blade size you will need:
Difference between a dual bevel and single bevel miter saw
The Bevel of a miter saw indicates whether it can angle one way or both. A double bevel can tilt in either direction whereas a single bevel miter saw only goes one way.
A dual bevel miter saw is often more expensive and only needed for experts. For beginners, we recommend a single bevel miter saw.
Sliding miter saws
If you are looking to cut wide pieces of wood, a sliding miter saw might be a good option for you. With this type of saw, the saw blade is extendable toward the front. It can be used to make cuts in wood with a back-and-forth motion.
When to use a miter saw
Now that we know what a miter saw is we need to know when to use it.
Miter saws are ideal if you are looking to make straight, quick, and consistent cuts in wood. Therefore they are ideal for framing, molding, and baseboards since these require a lot of straight-angle cuts.
Miter saws are specifically designed to cut wood. If you want to cut metal or aluminum a better alternative would be a chop saw. However, small, non-ferrous metals can also be cut with a miter saw. Read our guide: Can you cut metal with a miter saw for more information.