A miter saw is the tool of choice for DIYers and professional workmen who need to perform precise and repetitive cuts. The machine is ideal for laying deck boards, cutting a piece of furniture, working on ceilings and framing.
Few contractors can do without a good miter saw, whether they are working in the wood frame construction field or responsible for the various stages of finishing a project.
Miter saws offered by professional tool manufacturers fall into one of four categories. These include the compound, basic, sliding compound and cordless miter saws.
For one-off jobs, the basic models will do the trick. On the other hand, caution is in order if you plan to use this type of saw intensively. The quality of the tool should not be neglected since it may wear out quickly.
How to Decide Which Size Miter Saw is Right For You?
Although the market is monopolized by 10- and 12-inch blade models, there are other variants for specific applications. The best miter saw with blades smaller than 10 inches is typically light and compact but has limited cutting capacity.
For workers who move their miter saws frequently or work in a place without electricity, cordless units provide handy technology that makes it possible to rely on Li-ion battery power.
Although the performance of the first generations of these variants was rather modest, the newer models are more powerful. Users can work for longer before recharging. The NiCd batteries were abandoned due to the low electrical density of its chemical compound – nickel-cadmium.
Miter saw reviews: Key considerations
Some of the key factors to consider when buying a miter saw include.
The power of miter saws varies from 13 to 15 amperes regardless of the model. The higher the amperage, the more powerful the device. There are two types of configuration: the blade is connected to the motor by a belt and the blade connected directly to the motor.
A high-end direct drive unit has the same qualities as a belt drive: both are precise, comfortable and do not produce too much vibration. The direct drive motor delivers more power, which is why the belt drive configuration is disappearing.
Entry-level devices require regular replacement of the motor brushes to extend its working life. The need for replacement is less common on high-end saws. Belt belts also require regular replacement.
This feature is designed to show only the portion of the blade needed for cutting, the guard retracts when the blade is lowered. It is typically made of transparent plastic.
The best miter saw options available on the market are fitted with a laser guide. This feature consists of a red light beam that allows the user to position the workpiece in the right way. When the guide is properly adjusted, the laser is very effective, but it is limited to indoor use since the beam is invisible in bright light.
Handle and trigger
The shape and configuration of the handle and trigger is based on standard ergonomic principles for safe and efficient use. Everything is a matter of preference, so it is important to try the handle before buying. The handle can be horizontal, vertical or even adjustable on some models.
Indicator and angle scale
This refers to the pointer, which indicates to the angle of the blade relative to vertical backsplashes (guides). The blade rotates 45 degrees to the left or right.
The market is filled with electric models and cordless models. You should choose your miter saw according to specific needs. Cordless models are suitable for nomads while electric models are made for those who work in the workshop or worksites with access to electricity. To quickly finish your projects, opt for a model with an interchangeable blade. A large blade allows you to cut large moldings while a small blade is very accurate.
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