The best way to choose a miter saw

Miter saws are capable of making cross cuts in pieces of wood, soft metals and plastic, with the aim of forming perfect angles that allow the elements to be joined correctly to create furniture and other objects. However, there are different types of miter saws that have specific uses, so it is necessary to take into account certain characteristics before buying one.

The different types of miter saws and their application

The miter saw is made up of a work table that is used to place the pieces and some guides to achieve cuts at different angles 30°, 45°, 60° and in some cases 90°. It is a machine similar to the circular saw, although it is considered more precise, since the result does not depend on the user’s pulse, but rather has adjustment systems that ensure a professional finish.

A first classification can be between manual saws and those that work with an electric motor. The former in turn come in two different designs, one that has a miter box and a rectangular saw, flat but with very fine teeth. Miter boxes have a default width, so their use is limited to the size of the miter box. On the other hand, there are also metal-supported miter saws, which consist of a frame that tensions and supports the blade, as well as a firmer work table that offers cuts from 15° to 90°.

Manual saws are useful for domestic use, since they are used to make simple cuts in small pieces, but they demand a lot of work from the user, in addition, they require some expertise, so they are difficult to use for beginners.

As for electric miter saws, these work with a motor that rotates the blade, generally, the saw is incorporated in an articulated arm, to bring it closer to the piece by hand and make inclined or straight cuts. Most models also include a moving platen on the work table, which allows cross-cutting from 0 to 180 degrees.

The electric miter saw is a powerful tool, providing the ability to cut larger pieces of different materials depending on the blade used. In addition, it can be used for long working hours without causing too much fatigue to the user.

How do I know which electric miter saw I need?

This is one of the concerns that you must resolve before you decide to buy an electric miter saw, since this is directly related to the actual use that you are going to give it. The objective is that you make a good investment, so the first thing is to think about your needs, and then find a machine that meets those parameters and is consistent with your budget.

Even if you want to have the best miter saw of the moment, first think about the space you have available to place it, since some equipment is quite large and is not recommended for small houses. On the other hand, there are quite portable models that you can easily move from one place to another and store them when you are not using them.

Power is another feature that can increase or decrease the final price of the miter saw. If you want to carry out simple DIY projects sporadically and from the comfort of home, then it will not be necessary to invest a large amount of money in a professional saw, but you can check the most basic equipment that offers medium power. Now, if you are going to use the saw every day in a workshop, then a high-end saw is better for greater precision and cleaner results.

As for the budget, the utility of the miter saw justifies the investment, for example, if you are going to use it to produce furniture and other pieces as part of a venture, it is worth spending money on a more resistant and durable tool, since one of low-end will not withstand constant use and in the long run you will have to spend twice as much.

Telescopic electric miter saws have an extendable arm, to provide a wider and deeper cutting range, which allows thicker pieces to be cut, but can be more expensive and are indicated for carpentry workshops where extreme precision is necessary.

However, even if you choose one of the cheapest, it is good that it has a turntable with the respective measurements correctly marked, as well as a clamp to fix the piece, both top and side cutting guides, a disc protector and if possible connector for the vacuum cleaner, which will be of great help to keep the space clean.

What should I take into account when choosing a miter saw?

One of the most relevant characteristics is the power of the motor, which in many cases is variable, between 1,200 and 2,000 W. In this sense, the rotation speed can be between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm. These data are of great importance when selecting the saw, since at higher power it can cut harder materials and in less time.

Most miter saws come with one or more blades included, but each saw can have a different use depending on the type of material you’re cutting. In this sense, the discs generally have between 40 and 60 teeth, according to experts, a greater number of teeth allows finer cuts.

The stability of the table is also important, as this allows for clean cuts. It is usually made of steel or cast aluminum and must include the respective adjustable stops to keep the piece in the correct position. The work table may also have a clamping system to prevent movement while cutting.

The width and height measurements of the cut are essential to know the size of the pieces that we can cut. Basic miter saws have a maximum width of around 140mm, but more advanced miter saws can offer up to 320mm. 

As we have seen, there are many variables that influence the selection of a miter saw, but the best way to choose one is by taking into account each characteristic and comparing it to your particular needs, in this way, you can make a better investment.

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