Miter Saw / November 2, 2018 / Daniela Nilsson.
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.
The longer you can build it the better off it will be for you but any length of saw table is better than no table at all. My miter saw table measures 8 Feet to the left of the saw blade and another 8 feet to the right of the saw blade. This way I can support the full length of a sheet of plywood on either side. The saw table is constructed over 2 x 4 framing and contains multiple storage drawers below the table which I use to store small tools and supplies. If you prefer the space underneath the saw table can be left open for shelf space or lumber storage. I suggest that the top surface be 3/4" Melamine or Formica over 3/4" particle board.
The standard miter has a blade pivot from right to left to cut miters; this standard saw is however becoming less popular as compound miters have more applications and are only slightly more expensive. Compound miters have the ability to bevel cut or tip the blade to either the left or right side (0° - 50°). Some can bevel in both directions allowing operators to miter and bevel within the same cut (-50° through 50°). Lastly a sliding miter saw is just like a compound miter but with extension rods that allow the saw blade and motor to move forward and back. This motion increases the blade cut capacity enabling the cut length to be longer than the blade diameter.
This is incredible handy and especially helpful when cutting molding. Miter saws are available with one one bevel (single bevel blade tilts to the left) and two bevels (dual or double bevel blade tilts to the left and right). 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.