A miter saw is only as effective as its reliability and durability. Choosing the best miter saw you can find will ensure that you get the best performance possible and that you are able to enjoy your tool to the fullest. Careful comparison will also ensure that you get a power tool that meets the highest standards for safety. This is always an important concern, especially when it comes to miter saws, which may pose a safety hazard when improperly operated or constructed under less than optimal standards.
Evaluating the different types of miter saws is a much simpler task when you know what it is you are looking for. There are actually a few different types of these tools, each of which is designed for specific tasks. Each type also has its benefits and drawbacks.
First up are the basic miter saws that are commonly used for trim cutting and cross and miter cuts. Because these designs typically don’t have a bevel option, they are pretty much limited to making miter cuts. Although they may not be the most versatile miter saws around, they are quite accurate, and sufficiently effective for most basic cutting jobs.
Compound miter saws can be used to make tilted or bevel cuts, due to the addition of a bevel. They can also be used for miter cuts simply by making a quick adjustment. These types of miter saws come in single bevel and dual bevel designs. Compound miter saws are most effective at cutting crown moldings and the like, performing even more complex jobs with ease and accuracy.
For sheer versatility, a sliding compound miter saw is what you need. This is by far the most versatile type of miter saw available and the most costly one as well. It provides all the benefits and capabilities of a compound miter saw, with the added capability to cut wide and thick pieces of wood due to the inclusion of a sliding arm. Although overkill for most home woodworking jobs, the versatility and enhanced capabilities of these models make them pretty hard to beat.