Miter Saw / November 30, 2018 / Tina Abrahamsson
Miter saws are one of the most popular most widely used power tools in the tool industry today. Because of their portability convenient capacities and overall accuracy a miter saw can be found in nearly every wood-shop garage or pickup truck. Miter saws are generally designed to produce fast accurate crosscuts into a workpiece typically for framing or molding applications. The workpiece is pressed up against an angled fence to ensure the most precise cutting angles as you work. The fence generally sits at a 900 angle but can be adjusted as needed for a particular cut. While most miter saws have a miter index that allows users to precisely modify their cut angle in one degree increments most also have capacities which allow for quick and accurate cut stops at common cut angles like 150 300 and 450.
A slightly more expensive and far better alternative is to use a metal track or tracks with a flip-up stop and measuring tape built in. Such a device is manufactured by Kreg Tools and is available in 4-foot track lengths that can be butted together to make longer lengths. My miter saw table requires four 4-foot tracks two for each side of the saw. The track is mounted to the top of the wooden fence you just made. You will have to adjust the height of the wooden fence (2 1/4"+ above the table top) so that the bottom of the flip-up stop clears the table by about 1/16" in the down position. The nice thing about the flip-up stop is that it can be flipped up out of the way without losing its measurement setting along the measuring tape.
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. Extension Wings: 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 theyre cracked up to be. Conversely on a more high-quality saw theyre a definitely a convenient extra.