The miter saw has been popular since the 1970s and is a must have power tool for any workshop or DIY enthusiast. They are designed for easy and accurate cross cuts at a selected angle. This has made them essential for picture framers but they are also used in crown molding, door frames, window casings and general DIY as well as heavier duty work.
It all sounds very straightforward right now but when you pop down to the local hardware store, or browse online, you are confronted with a myriad of options and alternatives. It can all be a bit daunting and overwhelming if you are not that familiar with them but relax, I will take you through the various options so that you can select the one that is right for you and your needs.
All miter saws have blades that pivot on an axis to cut at your desired angle. Essentially, there are three main variations of miter saws to decide between, depending on your specific requirements.
Compound Miter Saws — for cutting at various angles and can tilt in one direction (left or right) to cut a bevel. This is handy if you wish to cut at two different angles, when cutting molding or picture frames for example.
Dual-bevel Compound Miter Saws — as above but can tilt in both directions, left and right. This allows you to cut bevels and angles and not have to turn the work over.
Sliding Compound Miter Saws – The addition of the slide lets the saw slide or move backwards and forwards, thus allowing you to cut wider material.
Ok, so that was relatively straight forward. Now it starts to get slightly more complicated. We are going to examine two of the main choices you will have to make when selecting which miter saw to buy. That is; single vs double bevel miter saw.
We already discussed the Miter saw Vs Sliding Miter Saw. Right, the next choice is:
By now you will have a pretty good understanding of the options so far. There is one more choice to make. Again, it really comes down to what sort of work you wish to do, so give that some serious consideration.
Let me explain the difference between single and double bevel saws.
Bevel: Bevel controls allow users to adjust the angle of the blade to make angled cuts along the thickness of a board. This is incredible handy and especially helpful when cutting molding. Miter saws are available with one bevel (single bevel, blade tilts to the left) and two bevels (dual or double bevel, blade tilts to the left and right).
Miter Saw Single Vs Double Bevel
When you are doing work that requires angles in two planes, a single bevel saw will be sufficient. Remember, it can make bevel cuts only in one direction, either left or right, and cut your miter angle. So again, for picture frames and crown moldings, this is perfect.
If you require bevel cuts on both sides of the wood or material, you will have to turn the wood over to make the second cut. This can be tricky as you have to match the angles perfectly. If you get it wrong, it will result in wasted time and materials as well as much frustration.
So, the solution is pretty simple and the name says it all. If you do have to make bevel cuts on both sides of the material, and don’t want the frustration of trying to flip the material to do it manually, go for the dual bevel miter saw.
You are able to swing the saw itself to make perfect, matching bevel cuts on both sides. This certainly makes life a lot easier and will result in less wastage and frustration and save you a whole lot of time.
In order to make a bevel cut in the opposite direction, single bevel saws require that stock be flipped end for end (which can be a pain). Double bevel saws, on the other end, offer simple bevels to both the left and right. While double bevel miter saws are more expensive, the price difference (about $50 – $100) is almost negligible if you use the feature.
With the exception of Bosch miter saws whose bevel controls are conveniently up-front, most saws’ bevel controls are placed at the back of the saw. While this is typical and more-or-less intentional, it has proved less ergonomic than up-front access.
To increase cutting capacities, some saws are also built with slide-out extension wings to support larger boards. While in theory this is a great feature, unless you invest in a more expensive tool, these wings are often not all they’re cracked up to be. Conversely, on a more high-quality saw, they’re a definitely a convenient extra.
Some saws are built with the motor fixed above of the blade. This makes for easier bevel cuts (especially in thick stock) and typically offers a better line of site while working.
If you only have to do this occasionally then you could get away with a single bevel saw but if the work requires multiple dual bevel cuts it is well worth getting the dual bevel option. As always, there is a slight drawback. The additional benefit of the dual bevel does sacrifice a small amount of accuracy, with the single bevel being more precise. The dual bevel is also slightly more expensive.
Although there is more to every miter saw than the few features listed above, these points should help you find the right path to the right saw. Between big cutting capacities, bevel adjustments and sliding-tubes, there is a miter saw out there that will perfectly compliment your needs.
This fact, of course, brings us right back to our first consideration – that at the end of the day, the most important part of any miter saw is its operator. It once again comes down to the type of work you intend doing. While the dual bevel is more convenient when doing that kind of work, it can still be done with a single bevel with a bit of effort. By the same token, if you are going to need to do multiple, dual bevel cuts, the extra expense will be more than worth it. You will save time and material and a lot of stress in the long run. Know what you need from your miter saw and go looking for one with those expectations in mind.
Since the birth of the first chop saw, miter saws have steadily become more advanced, more popular and incredibly more useful. In fact, where precision crosscuts and accurate miters are concerned, there is scarcely a better tool than a miter saw.
Allowing users to work faster and with far greater accuracy, to perform compound miter cuts, bevel cuts and to work with larger pieces of material, the multipurpose miter saw is a tool that little else can contest.
The world of high-performance miter saws, though, offers craftsmen a kind of double-edged sword. Because the tools can perform so many applications, because they’re built in many different sizes with different features, focuses, and benefits, choosing the best miter saw for your life and workload can be surprisingly difficult. Accordingly, I’ve put together the below information (Miter Saw Vs Sliding Miter Saw) to guide you (or compound slide you) in the right direction.
You: Ultimately, the first point to consider is not necessarily on or about the miter saw at all. Instead, your first thoughts should be about how you are going to use the tool. How often will you use it? What will you need to cut? Where (shop, garage, job site) will you work with it? and etc. Having a plan and a budget before you begin looking seriously for your miter saw will help you make a better decision.
Cutting Capacity: The most popular and most universal miter saws typically offer a 10-inch or 12-inch cutting capacity. Though you will find miter saws with capacities that are both larger and smaller than this, I recommend most users stay within those parameters.
Across the board, a 12-inch sliding compound miter saw offers the greatest cutting capacity, but it will also be a more expensive, heavier tool. Choosing between a compound and a sliding compound miter saw, then, requires a few considerations.
On a compound miter saw, the blade moves in three general directions. First, the blade moves up and down in a chopping motion. Second, the blade moves about 45-degrees to the left and right for miter cuts, and lastly, the blade will lean either to the left or to the left and right to perform bevel and double bevel cuts.
Although compound miter saws are typically more portable and less expensive than sliding compound miter saws, they also have less capacity for wider boards. Most often, a compound miter saw will be unable to through-cut a wide board with a single pass.
A sliding compound miter saw does all of the things a compound miter saw does while also adding a few more things to the pot. For starters, a sliding compound miter saw is designed with two rail-like tubes that allow the blade to move back and forth in a larger range of motion. This grows crosscutting capacity by a few inches and allows users to through-cut wider boards (usually with one easy pass).
Because of these tubes, though, sliding compound miters saws are typically heavier, they are less portable and they’re more expensive. With the exception of some Bosch and Makita miter saws that utilize a kind of articulating arm in lieu of sliding tubes, sliding compound miters also require more room (especially at the rear of the saw) to work properly.
To get technical for a very brief moment (and using the average 10-inch compound miter saw and the average 12-inch sliding compound miter saw (opposite ends of the spectrum to bookend your possible cutting capacities), 10 and 12-inch miter saws usually offer the following cutting capacities:
I trust that the information has simplified the various options available and now you can make your decision with ease. The most important aspect to consider is the type of work you intend doing, how often and with what type of material. Once you are clear on that, the decision will be easy. It is a fair investment and you do not want rush into it and have regrets down the line.
In consideration of the most popular style of saw available, this article is to discuss the merits of each according to what project you have in mind. With a complex project, you may have to consider purchasing a single, two saws or even the whole three as they all offer different cutting options for different jobs.
For the sake of definition, all of these tools use circular saw blades but there are sometimes different tooth designs according to cutting requirements.
To avoid confusion I will define this “circular saw” as a handheld tool utilizing a circular blade which also sometimes called by the generic term “Skil Saw”. A definition of the circular saw could also encompass any power saw using a circular shaped blade that spins around an arbor to cut through various materials, often wood.
A circular saw can be used either handheld or it can be fitted in some way to a purpose machine. Circular saw blades have teeth that hook in such a way as to continually pull the wood towards the blade so they require the skill of handling to retain accuracy of cutting. The blades a redesigned for each material they are intended to cut and concerning wood they can make rip cuts, crosscuts or combination of the two.
Because circular/skil saws are designed to be used free hand the material being cut has to hold firmly in some way, usually in a vise or by clamps. If the wood can move, catch and jam on the saw injury could result so caution is always required when handing a circular saw freehand.
Circular saws can be either left or right-handed, depending on the side of the blade where the motor sits. A left-handed saw is easier to use by holding in the right hand, and alternatively a right-handed saw if held to the left so the operator does is not required to lean over the saw to see the cutting line. The base of the saw can be adjusted to alter the depth of cut and can be tilted up to 45º in relation to the blade for mitered cuts.
Circular saw blades are usually tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) for longevity and precision but high-speed steel (HSS) blades are also available. Blade diameters vary according to each saw from 5.5 inches to 24 inches. The blades cut straight and accurately with a narrow kerf to give a relatively smooth surface finish however in cases where burrs remain these have to be smoothed with sandpaper.
They are usually relatively small and portable and fit circular saw blades usually size 8, 10 or 12 inch that determines the depth of cut. There are different types of blade depending on what material is to be cut and the more teeth in the blade generally make a finer cut. Blades come in many designs to choose depending on the material to be cut – for crosscutting, ripping, multipurpose, plywood, plastic laminates among others. You can purchase blades as you need.
A saw bench or table saw is a woodworking bench that consists of a circular saw blade fitted underneath and driven by an electric motor. The blade protrudes upwards through the table surface and the wood is pushed manually across the blade edge.
Modern table saws vary the depth of cut by moving the blade up or down through the slot in the table and the miter angle is controlled by the angle of the blade. The firm edge, known as the fence that supports the wood that you are cutting needs to be very firm and hold accurately as well as being able to be adjusted easily. Most table saws have 10-inch blades which work fine for most tasks providing blade quality is good.
You can choose a table that allows adjustment of the angle for miter to cuts to left or to right, but not both. Most tables have choices tilting to the right, and ultimately it comes to personal choice which will suit you. When it comes to cutting miters you have to use a tool called a miter gauge that fits into the tabletop to guide the wood as it is fed through the saw. It is imperative this miter gauge fit firmly for any accuracy of the cut.
Also critical to accuracy is the tabletop surface and all good table saws have a cast iron table that is milled smooth and flat to within 1/1000th of an inch. When it comes to precision and accuracy for miter cuts for moldings frames and so on a quality miter saw will always be the better option.
A compound miter saw rotates on a vertical pivot that allows the cutter head and the blade to tilt sideways or be set for beveling (or both) in order to make accurate miter cuts as well as rotation of the table. The saw blade can be set to various angles with setting for the more popular such 45º for right angle joints.
The miter saw is operated by manually by pulling a circular saw blade down onto the material to be cut. The material is usually held firmly against a “fence” to ensure the material is secure and the cut, precise and accurate.
Miter saws are dedicated to cross-cuts, so long rip cuts are not possible. These miter saws are commonly used for producing framing and cutting moldings. A miter saw has essentially 4 basic cuts
There is also some difference in blade construction for table circular saws and miter saws. For the table circular saw the teeth have a hook that continually pulls the wood towards the blade and depth of cut is controlled by how it is set in the table. The blade for the miter saw has a negative hook at the end which holds the material against the fence while cutting which aids stability.
There are some absolute differences.
A table saw is perhaps more versatile for many woodworking jobs in that it will perform rip cuts lengthwise, some cross cuts as well as cutting some miter angles, however, the miter angles are limited in options and accuracy. There may also involve a lot more handling if you are wanting to make a lot of miter cuts for a particular project. Being a table it is also not particularly portable although sizes vary considerably
A miter saw is the best option if most of your projects require miters for cabinet making or moldings. A table saw would not offer the same accuracy, refinement or ease of use. However, a miter saw is useless if your job requires material to be ripped.
A circular/skil saw is lightweight and very portable and can with some skill be used for ripping and basic miter cuts but will not do either job as well as a dedicated table saw or miter saw.
Reciprocating saws are a great tool item for any working man or woman, whether they practice home improvement as a hobby or are part of a contracting team for their career. First invented in the early 1950’s, this type of saw now comes in many varying weights, sizes, abilities and aspects. You can purchase a cordless reciprocating saw, which will allow you to take it with you to any site, no matter how far. But you might go with reciprocating saw accessories.
The saws are efficient as well, due to their customization of blade you can cut through virtually any material with it. They are easier to use than a manual saw and have a comfortable grip. The saws can also be used for multiple purposes, such as sanding, detailing and scraping. With all of these positive characteristics, you would think reciprocating saws come with a hefty price, but the saws are actually affordable.
Basic reciprocating saws without accessories can cost as little as $40-$50 where professional grade models may be as much as $200 (but typically these models include lots of accessories, back-up batteries, and attachments). If you are looking into purchasing a reciprocating saw, consider buying accessories that may or may not come included along with it. Listed below are several important attachments and extras to help make the experience with your new reciprocating saw an easy and safe one.
It is important to buy some safety accessories to go with a reciprocating saw, especially if this will be your first time using the tool. Keeping your hands and eyes protected when working with woods or metals will ensure no fragments cut or scrape your skin or sensitive corneas. We will explore most essential items you need before using a reciprocating saw. The products reveal the best quality and low cost – all of these accessories combined should cost no less than $90 and no more than $150 depending on which attributes you value in each product.
The initial need for your new tool is something to carry it around in and protect its condition. Some reciprocating saws will come with a tote or bag of some kind to keep it safe from damage and make it easy to transport. If you happen to find one you like enough to purchase that doesn’t include a bag, there are plenty of inexpensive options for your new saw.
Here a list of some Tool Box the utmost Reciprocating Saw accessories
First, decide what is more important to you – storage space or organization. Tool bags tend to have more volume for you to put your items in, reciprocating saw included, while tool cases are typically made out of a hard plastic and feature two or more compartments allowing you to divide your tools up.
A good example of a well-rated and affordable tool case is the Dewalt Long-Handle Toolbox Organizer. With over 500 reviews and near-perfect rating, many hard-working men and women have trusted this item and found great use from it.
They enjoy the ability of the case’s compartments to be easily removed from the case itself – allowing the worker to transport just the bare necessities from one place to another. That case can cost anywhere between $20-$30.
If you prefer something with a strap and more room, and a little less organization doesn’t bother you, look into tool bags. Black and Decker sells the Matrix Wide-Mouth Storage Bag for the same cost as the DeWalt tool case but features an adjustable shoulder strap.
The strap will make toting your tools around more comfortable for you. It’s also larger than the tool case, offering up to 21 inches in length of space almost any size or model of reciprocating saw will fit. Customers love its durability and exterior pockets for easy access to items.
Some brands, such as Milwaukee, produce tool cases designed specifically for reciprocating saws, such as the M 18 Fuel Heavy Duty Tool Case. Made from a durable plastic, this case claims to be the perfect amount of space for your reciprocating saw and based on reviews, that claim holds up. The case is around $120, making it a large purchase for some, but it a good investment for those looking to keep their saw safe and in factory condition.
A popular choice for gloves is the long-running, trusted brand, Carrhart. Their Ergo Knuckler gloves feature nylon and rubber textures with indention to help with grip. The Ergo Knuckler gloves are breathable, ensuring your hard work doesn’t lead to sweaty, slippery hands.
They have raving reviews, stating they’re comfortable, have a great grip, and perfect fit. The gloves cost around $13. However, if searching for something to wear specifically when utilizing a reciprocating saw, mechanics gloves might be better suited, such as the Bob Dale mechanics gloves.
People feel safe in some gloves, so they reviewed and recommend them highly.
The Bob Dale brand produces several kinds of working gloves, all geared towards different needs, such as rancher’s gloves, climbing gloves, and operator’s gloves. Their range of options for blue-collar workers shows they are a dedicated and trusted source with lots of knowledge of the field.
The Bob Dale mechanics gloves are a synthetic leather and cotton mesh of fabric, making them breathable and offering stretch. They are best for work involving a reciprocating saw because they have the ability to absorb shock, alleviating your body from the vibrations of the saw. The Velcro band at its wrists allow for a safe, perfect fit around any size wrist. They cost around $20.
DeWalt is another brand that working men and women trust to produce quality products that always have safety and efficiency in mind. The company’s safety goggles feature an adjustable strap, allowing for a great fit and ensuring comfort for long wear.
The lens even provides UV protection for those projects on hot summer days. The goggles cost around $10. Theses Goggles will play an important role in the time of work with power tool, specially we recommend these as reciprocating saw accessories. Because these goggles are made to protect the eye from any kind of dust which extracted from your project.
Saw Attachment Kit
Spyder is a well-known brand for distributing kits that come with multiple accessories, giving you and your saw the edge you need to get any job done.
Featuring five different attachments, including a brush, three different scraper sizes, and a detailer saw, the Spyder kit is well-received because it can fit virtually every reciprocating saw and gives its user the ability to do more with their tool. The kit costs around $30. Other helpful attachments that may be additionally purchased are scouring pads, useful when cleaning hard-to-remove grease from grills, or grout rakes, making removing unwanted grout from in between tile easy.
Products to Help Maintain Your Saw
An important tactic in maintaining your saw is to charge it regularly and to keep your blades clean and dry. Rust or oxidation of the metals can damage the utility of your reciprocating saw. Never wear down your saw. If you experience grinding or the saw isn’t running as smoothly as it once did, look into replacing any of the products listed below. Having these accessories as back-ups with you will ensure that your saw is always in top working condition.
Blade Holders and Clamps
A great way to keep your reciprocating saw working like new for years to come is to invest in blade holders and clamps. They are bought as kits, featuring several small parts, all to help with restoring the quality and utility of your saw.
Know the brand and model of your reciprocating saw before shopping for these items as they are sometimes made specifically. For instance, BOSCH brand produces a clamp kit that only works for BOSCH brand reciprocating saws.
Charging regularly may lead to the necessity of a replacement battery. Most saws will come with a lithium battery, others will include an extra one or two. Purchasing batteries that are made by the same company as who makes your reciprocating saw may be the best choice, as, often times, the saws have varying sizes and some batteries may not fit. However, there are some companies catering to the market by generating 100% compatible batteries.
Such is the case with the Makita 4390D replacement battery, which comes with a one-year warranty for just $40. Another battery that may be compatible with your reciprocating saw would be Milwaukee brand’s 18 V lithium battery. These are designed specifically for cordless power tools and can be purchased in packs of two for around $80. The batteries typically attach to the bottom of the saw and if charged, will give your tool instantaneous power once attached.
Having replacement holders, clamps and batteries are essential in keeping your saw in great condition, and this final product may help ensure this as well. Carbon brushes are used in power tools as a conductor of energy to keep the tool functioning. Sometimes, these brushes may require replacement due to the damage vibrations from the equipment piece and weather will cause. Replacement, as needed, will help extend the life of a reciprocating saw, enabling you to keep tackling all of your projects. The Makita Carbon Brush set is compatible with many reciprocating saw models, has high reviews, and in only $10 or less. Customers say Makita’s replacement kit is easy to install, making a necessary process an easy and painless one.
Reciprocating saws are the perfect choice for any man or woman interested in home-improvement, D-I-Y crafts, or has a career in contracting or construction. The fact that they’re cordless gives them extra mobility and no need to worry or struggle with cords around the garage or job site.
They are powerful, having the ability to cut through almost any surface. The customization of the saw gives you the freedom to install many different attachments and perform almost any task. Maintain your saw and keep yourself safe while using it and your investment in this power tool will last you many more projects.
There are a lot of variety of reciprocating saw uses. The style or the type of project can let the operator know which blades will be the best used for work. Many do it yourself projects require a reciprocating saw. The operator of reciprocating saw must know that the most important step is to remember safety measures that make projects or tasks with a better outcome.
This refers to a type of saw that achieves the cutting action through the push and pull reciprocating motions of its blade. It is mainly used by professional contractors, and homeowners who use it for Do It Yourself tasks. If you would like to tackle a major remodeling project or repair, then reciprocating saw is a must have tool. These saws are preferred by many, due to their superior abilities and features compared to other types of saws, which include;
Modern reciprocating saws come with special types of blades. These blades are meant for different applications. If you select the right blade, you will be able to tackle your tasks with ease.
Reciprocating saws are very simple in their most basic form. They cut almost everything, whether it’s wood, PVC or metal. In fact, they are demolition tools in nature. Here are the top six reciprocating saws uses for both professional contractors as well as homeowners.
Sometimes you may decide to take down the tree branches in your home. A reciprocating saw is the best tool you need. The coarse blade is excellent in cutting woods and tree branches with less effort.
The PVC pipes are normally located in obscured places. The process of replacing PVC pipes needs a reciprocating saw’s metal-cutting blade. These blades slice through the pipes easily. The fine-tooth blade that resembles the hacksaw is highly recommended. You will be able to cut PVC pipes with ease even if you are in an awkward position.Making Wall Indentation
When remodeling your house or any other unit, you may have to place some wires on the walls. This is where you will need the services of a reciprocating saw. It will enable you to make a perfect indentation on the walls. You will then place the wires on the walls with ease.Demolition
Reciprocating saws makes demolition to be an easy task. You can use the coarsest-tooth blade to cut pins and nails which are difficult to remove. The same applies to cutting plaster. If you would like to cut stones, cast iron or ceramic tile, then you should use the toothless blades which are coated with tungsten carbide abrasive grit.
Reciprocating saw blades are run alongside the framing components to cut the plywood sheathing. This works perfectly in windows and door openings. You can also cut the roof shingles, walls and other places where the roof shingles and plywood sheathing run wild. This is possibly the main reason why professional contractors consider reciprocating saws to be their favorite tool.
Reciprocating saws are simple to operate. However, you should always ensure that you are safe. When cutting PVC pipes which are located above your head, you should always ensure that you wear the dust masks and the safety glasses as needed. In case the PVC pipes contains debris and dusts, your eyes will always remain protected.
The best part of a reciprocating saw uses is it can cut through so many different materials. The reciprocating saw can cut through any material. The reciprocating saw is a good tool for any wood worker’s work bench.