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Mitre Saws

Multi-Tasking Mitre Saws

The mitre saw's versatility makes it an indispensable addition to any workshop. Depending on the type of mitre saw you purchase, you may be able to make up to four different kinds of cuts: mitre cuts, crosscuts, bevel cuts and compound cuts. Often used for structural framing, the mitre saw can also be used for much smaller projects such as creating picture frames and planter boxes.

Types of Mitre Saws

All mitre saws produce precise angled cuts ideal for a wide range of uses. There are three types of mitre saws: sliding, compound and sliding compound.

Sliding Mitre Saws

Sliding mitre saws have their blade mounted to a sturdy metal track similar to radial arm saws. This design allows you to push the blade forward instead of down and increases the cutting capacity to accommodate wider materials. Sliding mitre saws can perform crosscuts and mitre cuts, and are typically heavier than compound mitre saws.

Sliding Compound Mitre Saws

Sliding compound mitre saws combine the advantages of cutting capacity found in sliding mitre saws with the cutting flexibility of compound mitre saws. If your home improvement projects require a gamut of cutting angles and sizes, this is the perfect mitre saw for you.

Compound Mitre Saws

Compound mitre saws have their blade mounted to the arm for a downward cutting motion. It can swing left and right to produce crosscuts and mitre cuts, and tilt for bevel and compound cuts. Dual-bevel models allow bevel and compound cuts in both directions without flipping your workpiece. Compound mitre saws are ideal for narrower materials.

Saw Type Bevel Options Cuts Key Benefits
Sliding Mitre Saw
  • No bevel
  • Crosscuts
  • Mitre cuts
  • Sliding head allows you to cut through wider workpieces
Compound Mitre Saw
  • No bevel
  • Single
  • Dual
  • Crosscuts
  • Mitre cuts
  • Bevel cuts
  • Compound cuts
  • Dual-bevel models allow bevel and compound cuts in both directions without flipping your workpiece
Sliding Compound Mitre Saw
  • Single
  • Dual
  • Crosscuts
  • Mitre cuts
  • Bevel cuts
  • Compound cuts
  • Sliding head allows you to cut through wider workpieces
  • Dual-bevel models allow bevel and compound cuts in both directions without flipping your workpiece

Mitre Saw Features to Consider

Cutting Capacity

The blade diameter and ability to slide are key factors in determining cutting capacity. The standard blade diameters for mitre saws are 10" and 12". While larger blades can handle longer cuts and are ideal for cutting wider crown moulding and hip rafters, smaller blades allow more precise cuts on smaller workpieces.

Easy-to-Read Indexes

For fast and accurate cuts, check the mitre and bevel indexes to make sure they are visible and easy to read during use.

Positive Stops/Detents

Look for positive mitre and bevel stops that make it quick and easy to adjust for common angles, but make sure you can make minute adjustments near the positive stops.

Sliding Fence

A sliding fence provides full-height support for mitre cuts and slides out of the way for bevel cuts.

Adjustable Handle

Some models offer multiple handle positions, so you can adjust your grip for maximum comfort and control.

Electric Brake

An electric brake enhances safety and helps you prepare for the next cut fast by stopping the blade just seconds after you release the trigger.

Easy-Change Blade System

Some saws offer one-step blade changes. If you switch blades frequently, minimize downtime by choosing a system that makes swapping them out simple and easy.

Dust Port

A dust port allows you to connect a dust bag or wet/dry vacuum to your saw, so you can collect sawdust as you cut for a clean, clear workspace.

Laser Guide

Laser guides help to ensure the blade is lined up correctly with your intended cut line.

Mitre Saw Stands

Mitre saw stands support your material and allow you to work at a more comfortable height. They are generally foldable and easy to set up; some have extensions to support longer pieces and wheels for enhanced portability. Many major brands offer universal designs that accept all makes of saws.

Mitre Saws Glossary of Terms

Mitre Cut

A mitre cut can be made as a left or right mitre where the blade is set at an angle other than 90° to the length of the board. This kind of cut is often used for creating joints.

Bevel Cut

A bevel cut is made using a compound mitre saw that allows the blade to tilt. A single-bevel compound mitre saw will generally tilt to the left to make angled cuts less than 90° to the width of the board, whereas a dual-bevel compound mitre saw will allow the blade to tilt left or right and make angled cuts greater than 90°. Bevel cuts are ideal for window and door trim.

Detents

Detents (also referred to as positive stops) are set stops made at the most common mitre and bevel angles.

 

 

Crosscut

A crosscut is a basic 90° angle cut to both the length and width of the board; this cut is ideal for decking and framing boards.

Compound Cut

A compound cut (mitre and bevel) is one in which both the length and width of the board is cut at angles other than 90°. Compound mitre cuts are ideal for crown moulding.

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