Buying Tips For Mitre Saws

It’s used to make precise crosscuts in wood and other materials such as light metals and plastics. It will cut at precise lengths and dimensions.

Buying Tips For Mitre Saws

If you have a workshop, a mitre saw can be an essential purchase. Much more precise than a table saw, this multifaceted tool is perfect for either do-it-yourself addicts or professional builders. This tool is quick cutting, versatile, cuts at an exact angle and has a wide variety of options depending on which type of mitre saw you choose.

There are four basic types of mitre saws, and you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions before making purchasing one:

  • What materials do you have to cut? (width and depth, types and sizes of materials)
  • Will you be making complicated compound and bevel cuts?
  • Do you need a mitre saw for extended cutting times?
  • Do you have the use of power outlets?

There are four different types of mitre saws:

– The Compound Mitre Saw:

This model is generally ideal for cutting thicker materials that need a large amount of space between the blade and the top of the worktable. The head can be inclined in one direction while you make a cut with a slanted edge and it is perfect for projects that demand angled cuts in two different planes. Although it’s a little pricier than the simpler chop saw, this version allows you to make compound cuts in one pass as opposed to several passes.

– The Bevel and Dual Bevel Mitre Saws:

The single beveled compound mitre saw can make single bevel cuts on one side of a project, while a dual bevel compound mitre saw removes the demand of turning or flipping the material when making cuts from the opposing edge. It also lets you bevel the head in both directions.

– The Sliding Compound Mitre Saw:

This model is better used for larger width cuts and are practical for cutting short, but wide materials like deck wood and shelving wood pieces. It comes with a sliding ability so the saw can slide along a guide and possesses the versatility of a compound mitre saw. The sliding property lets the saw perform a wider cut.

– The Chop Saw:

This particular model is perfect for quickly – yet precisely – cutting materials such as steel, wood, cast iron and metals. It’s the most basic model of mitre saw, with the blade’s head positioned on a swing arm that moves in two directions to make angled cuts. This model is very useful for total cuts, but most don’t offer a way of limiting cut depths, so it is best to use this model for jobs that don’t call for exact angles. Some manufacturers of this model offer a laser guide system as an extra feature that allows for more precise cut outlining.

Cut Definitions

  • Cross Cut: Typically made against the wood grain, this is a simple, 90-degree cut.
  • Mitre Cut: Made from the back to front of material, an angled cut that can join two pieces of wood. A 90 degree corner is made when two pieces of wood are cut at 45 degree angles.
  • Bevel Cut: A cut made at a slant alongside the thickness of the material.
  • Compound Cut: A dual cut that includes both a mitre and a bevel cut.


A blade is the most vital component of the saw, and there are interchangeable blades accessible for separate applications.

  • Steel Blade: This is the most affordable blade and works adequately for cutting soft wood (not to be used on ferrous materials), but it loses its sharpness promptly, dulling when used on hardwood.
  • High–Speed Steel Blade: More durable than a regular steel blade and stays sharpened for longer periods of time.
  • Carbide-Tipped Blade: Although considerably pricier than other blades, the carbide-tipped blade remains sharper than regular steel or steel high-speed blades.
  • Size of Blade: The thickness of the blade should be selected based on the depth of the wood that needs to cut in one pass.

Keep in mind that the more teeth on a blade, the sharper the finish will be to the cut. Blades come with teeth numbers in 40, 60, 80 and 120. For less sharp, or rougher cuts, a 40-tooth blade will get the job done. But when you want a sharp, smooth finish, always opt for a blade with a higher number of teeth. The finish of the cut depends on the blade, motor power, and the number of blade teeth.

Other Features

When picking a mitre saw, look for these key features:

  • Blade Size: The most prevalent mitre saw blade sizes are 8″, 10″ and 12″. Blades that are larger sized in diameter are capable to make longer, extended cuts.
  • Positive Stops: Factory set points guarantee exact, accurate cuts on fixed angles, and extra positive stops mean smaller amounts of setup time.
  • Self-Retracting Blade Guard: Guarantees much more visibility of the cutting line. The guard is lowered when the saw is in the raised position, completely covering the blade.

Electric Brake: A safety feature that allows the blade to stop in two seconds, while models without an electric brake can take up to 12 seconds to come to a complete stop.

  • Shaft Lock: Disables both the blade and shaft, making it easier to switch out the blade.
  • Dust Bags: For collecting sawdust and waste material, this fastens directly to the saw for an easier cleanup
  • Table Extensions: Can be affixed to the sides of the saw so the user is able balance extended boards and secure an accurate cut.
  • Sliding Fences: Gives extra support for extended boards during mitre cuts and allows you to slide the material out of the way for bevel cuts.
  • Portable Stand: Gives a strong base which allows the user to adjust the height of the saw for easier use.

Read More: