So many that it can be very confusing to figure out which one works best for you. If you find it difficult to decide whether you need a sliding or compound miter saw, you are in the right place.
Although these two saws have a lot in common, there is a big difference. A sliding miter saw has rails that allow the saw blade to move forward and backward over wide pieces of material. You can cut through material that can not be touched with the saw blade of a compound miter saw. Find out here
Even compound saws have their advantages. Since they have no rails, nothing stands in the way of the cutting arm. That means they are better for thicker material. Let’s take a look at some of the basics behind miter saws in general and go into more detail about these special saws.
Before we go into the details of sliding and compound miter saws, let’s take a quick look at how a standard miter saw works.
Basic miter saws are designed for the production of angled cross-sections. On some models, you can select the desired angle and even adjust it by one degree, while other models preset the most popular angles.
Once the angle is set, hold the material against a fence to keep it nice and straight and to get a clean, precise cut. To actually perform the cut, a circular blade is pulled down and through the material in a single smooth motion.
What is a compound miter saw?
Now that you know a little more about a simple miter saw, it will be a little easier to understand why a compound miter saw is a completely different animal.
Composite miter saws are much more specialized because they do more than just miter cuts. They work as a standard miter saw with a difference. The blade has a swivel arm that can be tilted at a different angle than 90 degrees. This means that you can do not only miter cuts but also miter cuts.
Why do you need a compound miter saw as opposed to a standard miter saw? Because of the versatility. The ability to perform bevel cuts really opens up the possibilities for projects.
Miter cuts are intended for joining. Imagine a picture frame. The 45-degree bevel cuts at the end of each side make the corners a perfect 90-degree angle.
How is a diagonal cut different? Instead of extending over the surface of the material, a chamfered section runs through the thickness of the material. Here’s another way to think about it. A miter cut is angled through the horizontal plane, while a beveled cut is angled through the vertical plane.
Bevel cuts are usually made for finishing purposes but are also suitable for cutting crowns or other work that requires angled cut in both the vertical and horizontal planes.
That’s not all. There are also variations on the combination saws. A standard compound miter saw has a blade that tilts only one way to the left or right. That is, if you have to cut in the opposite direction, you will have to physically flip the material over and access it from the other side.
If you use this cut frequently, moving the material all the time can quickly become tiring. Another option is to invest in a dual-compound miter saw with a left and right swivel saw blade. Again, this is not a tool everyone needs, but it is very handy if you do a lot of work requiring miter cuts and miter cuts.
What is a miter saw?
A sliding miter saw is very similar to a compound saw because it performs both miter and miter cuts. The big difference is the breadth of material they can handle.
The key to this difference lies in one word: gliding. A sliding miter saw can do everything a composite miter saw can do, except that it also has rails that allow you to push the saw forward and backward. This increases the cutting performance significantly because you can cut much thicker pieces of material.
The only disadvantage of this type of saw over a gliding version is that you start to carry out projects that require wide pieces of wood. This is the main reason why it is helpful to know the type of projects you are tackling before you go shopping.