How To Choose The Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw For A Small Workshop

The sliding compound miter saw is functional and efficient enough to cut the wood in the shape you like and this is all due to its adjustable pivot fence that allows cutting on a larger stock. This particular saw comes with a proper stand, vise clamp and the dust pot helps to collect the dust and keep the saw free from dust and ready for use at all times.

Choosing a slide compound miter saw is best for fine woodwork as you can make smooth angled cuts and build up fine crafty furnishings. The advantage of choosing this kind of miter saw are plentiful as you sure end up using a lower weight saw that is easy to use and the price is also affordable enough for you to buy.

Though there are various slide compound miter saws that can be bought according to the type of work you want to do with, it as different models are functional for different jobs. For the maximum height of the cut and the depth of the cut you need a different horse power model of the sliding compound miter saw.

The best thing about using a slide compound miter saw is that you can also cross cut wide plumber in a single pass. You can easily do comparison shopping through the fast paced internet which gives you the easy access to different varieties of online sites that sell sliding compound miter saw that is made of quality giving you the chance to make precision cuts in the size you want.

Electronic brakes are also designed in many quality slide compound miter saw brands and you can certainly buy the one that is more functional and economical for you. You can make critically accurate cuts using micro fine adjustments controls and a large vertical height capacity.

The First Sliders

Why Should You Choose A Sliding Saw?The hand powered miter saw has been around for ages. A high quality, properly sharpened and tuned miter saw in the hands of a professional could do amazing things. However, in the hands of the average handyman it would often produce sub-standard results.

Enter the power miter saw. Invented for Rockwell in 1964, by the mid-1970’s the electric miter saw had become a standard tool used by professionals and serious woodworkers everywhere. The 1980’s saw a rise in the popularity of the bevel miter saw, and soon 12″ models became available at an affordable price.

Then came the sliding miter saw, and the compound sliding miter saw. First 10″ and then 12″ sliding saws became something that a non-profession could invest in. In fact, for the typical shop, the 12″ compound sliding saw can take the place of that old standby, the radial arm saw.

Why Should You Choose A Sliding Saw?

The electric miter saw was a huge leap ahead for woodworkers everywhere, able to work with speed and accuracy that most couldn’t hope to achieve with a handsaw. However, it had limitations. Many of those were addressed when the bevel feature was added, allowing more accuracy on angle cuts and the ability to make easily repeatable compound cuts in complicated applications like crown molding.

It suffered from limitations involving the size of the boards it could handle. The 10″ saw handles 2 x 4 stock with ease, and 12″ models improved on that by being able to put 45 degree cuts on 6″ stock. Larger pieces than that required resorting to other methods.

With the advent of the sliding feature addition to the miter saw, many of the remaining limitations were removed. The 12″ compound sliding miter can handle complex cuts on the largest dimension lumber commonly available – able to cut a 45 degree cut on a 2 X 12 or a 4 X 4.

The Right Miter Saw For You

Eventually you will want to get involved with the overall specs of a potential miter saw. How powerful is it, whether it has effective depth stops, how well the fences will work for your application. The quality of the guards and the general construction. But the fact is that most quality tools will have similar abilities, and price will dictate most of those.

The first thing to consider is just how much saw do you need?

There are sliding compound miter saws available with all sizes of blades. Readily available are saws in sizes from 7-14″ to 12″. Obviously, the ultimate tool is a double bevel compound sliding miter saw. But is it really the saw you want?

If you have are a professional or have a home shop that you are planning on using and growing for the long run, a 12″ saw is the obvious choice. A top of the line unit will perform a plethora of operations, many of the same ones that a radial arm saw provide and more beside. It will give years of use while taking up much less space.

However, the 12″ slider is a beast. It’s heavy and has a large footprint that complicates hauling it around. You really have to decide how often you are likely to need all of the capacity that a saw like that offers. After all, how often do you need to make fine miter cuts on a 2 X 12.

For almost every job that you will need to do, the 10″ sliding bevel saw is more than capable. Though some versions of the saw are still a bit akward to haul around, they are a world away from the back breaking strain suffered when dragging out its bigger brother.

If the tasks that you perform are more on the lines of cutting deck rail or siding, perhaps you would be better served by one of the smaller sliding saws. a 7-1/4 inch model will square cut a 2 X 8 or a piece of siding, miter 2 X 6, only weighs 32 pounds and has the advantage of being able to use the same blades as your circular saw.

An 8-1/2″ model only adds another 5 pounds, and ups the capacities. It has the ability to cut up to a 12″ board and can make a 45 degree angle cut on an 8″ board.

Many or most of the smaller saws won’t have all of the features of the larger saws. Double bevel models may be scarce, and of course they will be under powered compared to their larger brethren. But you still have to think carefully before you buy a saw that you don’t need and that you may regret buying when you have to lug it around.

What To Look For?

Makita Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Powerful heavy duty motor – determine what you’ll be needing to use it for, will you be using it to cut tough 4×4 or 4×6 lumber, or will it be strictly for finish work.

10″ or 12″ blade – the most common sizes are 10 and 12 inches, if you’ll need it to cut through thicker or wider lumber the 12″ can make cuts through wider material and has a more powerful motor, you can still cut tough material with the 10″ but you’ll need to cut slower. If you only plan to use the saw for finish work the 10″ saw should be fine, in fact if you don’t use it often they do make battery operated units, however they have less power than corded units, but they’re even more portable as you don’t need a power supply.

Cutting angle – with some saws you can cut angles or bevel in either direction while some models you can only cut angles in one direction. Also some saws will cut at greater than 45 degrees which comes in very handy at times.

Quick release locks – some have dual stop systems that allow you to quickly switch from through cutting to a preset slot cut depth, and easily set cutting angles.

Look for a brand from a known manufacturer who’s been around a while. There’s nothing worse than having to replace the entire saw when a part malfunctions several years after you’ve purchased it and the manufacturer is no longer in business or the model is no longer available along with replacement parts. Some of the bigger companies will still have replacement parts years later even though that particular model is no longer being produced, in fact sometimes the newer models are designed to have interchangeable parts against the cost when deciding on a sliding compound miter saw. With new models the price usually reflects the performance, durability and features of the unit. If you’re buying a used second hand unit appearance should give you a general idea how much it’s been used, the upside is that you may be able to find a better deal, but the downside is that there’s probably not going to be a warranty unless there’s a receipt to go along with it.

The best option in our opinion is to get the most saw that your budget will allow. If you use the saw often you’ll make your investment back in no time in the amount of time you save. However, if you’re only getting it because you need it for a particular job you’re doing at the time as long as you don’t abuse it and the appearance relatively clean you can always sell it to another fellow worker, or on amazon or craigslist (power tools sell well). That way you’re only spending the difference between what you paid for it, and what it was sold for.

The bottom line

Buy the 12″. Seriously. OK, that’s a little tongue in cheek. For all of the reasons above, and the added little factor of money, you should seriously consider the smaller saws.

In fact, for many occasional light use applications that don’t require a high degree of accuracy, small sliding miter saws can be had for as little as $100.Be aware that saws in that price range will be underpowered, sloppy, inaccurate, prone to breakage, and likely to not last long if you push them.

But if what you want is a Cadillac and you are willing to pay the price when you occasionally have to drag it to a job site, then you will not regret buying a top of the line 12″ model. The fit, finish, and plethora of features are likely to bring a smile to your face every time you work with it. And that enjoyment will only be heightened when performing operations that you just can’t do as well with any other tool you own.

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