A miter saw, with its versatility and heavy-duty cutting ability, is an indispensable part of professional woodworking and even at homes. However, with the different miter saw types in the market, you might have a hard time finding the right one for your job.
Hence, we asked our professionals to build a quick one-stop guideline on the types of miter saws with their best uses. Also, they were asked to sort out the advantages and disadvantages of each of the miter saws.
And do you want to know the result?
Yes, the result is an in-depth guideline on the topic to quickly help you find the best miter saw of its class that meets your necessity and eases out the cutting job.
Table of Contents
Types of Miter Saws and Their Usage with Pros and Cons
A miter saw is also known as a chop saw for its operative cutting system. The blade comes straight down on the cutting material from a higher position, just like we use a knife to chop meats or vegetables. That’s why it gets the name chop saw. Also, the standard miter saw comes with a table, and it tilts both in the left and right, facilitating you in various types of cuttings.
Also, the tilting enables you to adjust the angle of your cross-cuts with greater accuracy. The cutting depth and capacity are determined by the blade diameter. But what are the different types of miter saws?
Let’s see them one after another with the best uses. Also, you will know their pros and cons to make a solid decision shortly.
Standard Miter Saw
A standard or basic miter saw as the name refers, is the most straightforward and simple form of the miter saw. It has a blade mounted on the base with the arm. It is good at performing bevel cuts on both sides from -45° to +45°.
People use the basic miter saw for bevel and angled cuts. Furthermore, you may also use it for lengthwise or continuous rip cuts, but it depends on the blade’s width. Also, note that the rip cutting ability of the standard miter saw is strictly limited.
The standard miter saw blade comes with a 10” to 12” blade length. However, some have larger saw blades. It also comes with an adjustable scale allowing you to set the bevel angle accurately. Also, the angle degree adjustability depends on brands and models.
Some standard miter saw permits you to adjust the cutting angle to 1° each. On the contrary, other miter saws permit you to adjust the angle at 5°, 10°, or 15° intervals.
- A standard miter saw is best used for beveled cuts.
- It also allows you to perform minimal rip cuts
- It is also used for complicated cross cuts with accuracy.
- Quick angle adjustment
- Cutting accuracy
- Easy to use
- Ideal for beginners
- Limited capacity
- Not meant for heavy-duty jobs
Sliding Miter Saw
A sliding miter saw comes with an added rail. The rail enables the blade of the miter saw to go back and forth across the cutting material. The rail on the sliding miter saw provides better cutting depth compared to the same-sized standard miter saw without rails or tracks.
The sliding miter saw doubles its cutting capacity with a range from 10” to 12” cutting capacity. It is handy to use the sliding miter saw in the old renovations and colossal crown moldings. It is because these heavy-duty cutting jobs require handling large baseboards, which the standard mite saw can’t. Also, it is perfectly made to tackle oversized wood pieces to cut them into more manageable sizes in a short time.
But the good things don’t end here.
Some high-end sliding miter saw comes with an unthinkably large slider allowing it to reach even 14” to 16” cutting capacity. It is way higher than any non-sliding miter saw. Also, the sliding saw is suitable for both bevel, and miter cuts, much like the compound miter saw.
Henceforth, the sliding miter saw is a popular choice among professionals for its versatility and enhanced cutting capacity. Nonetheless, the key difference between the sliding and compound miter saw is the width of the cutting material they can tackle with ease.
- Both in bevel and miter cuts
- Cutting oversized wood and baseboards into manageable sizes
- In-home renovations and crown molding
- 2X more cutting capacity than the non-sliding miter saw
- Easy maneuvering on the provided rail for accuracy
- Suits both professionals and DIY workers
- Made for heavy-duty cutting projects
- Takes a huge space for mounting
- It is a costly investment
Compound Miter Saw
Compound miter saw, as its name suggests, includes both bevel and miter cuts in the same saw blade. It enables you to perform angle cuts at a 90° angle along with the regular miter cuts. So, it is a convenient saw type than the standard miter saw with bevel cutting capacity only.
It can perform all three basic cuts, including angle, bevel, and the complicated angled-bevel cuts, let alone the miter cuts. Thus, it is one of the most versatile kinds of miter saws you will ever find. The cutting capacity, however, depends on the width of the miter saw blade.
Whether you perform square or bevel cuts on the wood, you will find the compound miter saw yielding the most accurate cuts. For better performance, you may consider mounting the saw on a table, workbench, or on any base that provides stability.
Moreover, you can use the compound miter saw for cutting both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, and even masonry jobs. Although these cuttings are a little bit complicated, still engaging the compound saw will be an affordable option.
- In miter and bevel cuts at any angle
- In crown molding and making picture frames
- Any furniture that needs two plane joints
- In metal and plastic cutting projects
- Extremely versatile uses
- An affordable option for metal cuts
- Ability to mount on any solid base
- The 1st time use is seriously complicated
- Not a good option to kick off a woodworking career
Compound Sliding Miter Saw
The compound sliding miter saw successfully meets the best of both sliding, and compound miter saw. It is equipped with a rail that elevates the capacity of cross cuts of the saw. Also, it performs compound cuts helped by a left-bevel.
Thus, you will love its enhanced cutting capacity with the versatile abilities in both miter and crosscuts and not to forget the bevel cuts. Also, enhanced cutting depth means it can handle larger baseboards and wood pieces with ease.
- Best for cutting lumbers like 1X12 or 2X12 into more manageable sizes
- It has better cutting efficiency in both bevel and miter cuts
- Elevated cutting depth
- Combines rail for quick sliding
- Ideal for construction sites
- A large saw and needs massive space for mounting
Single-Action Compound Miter Saw
It is used to make cuts at a specific angle on one side of the cutting material. If you want to cut the other side of the material, you will have to move the single-action compound miter saw on the other side of the element.
It is a widely used saw for its bevel and miter cutting ability. Also, it is a compact saw and doesn’t need huge space for mounting. It is also easy to use and suits homeowners and DIY workers thanks to its much affordable pricing.
- Angled cuts in one side
- In small renovation projects
- DIY furnishing at homes
- A compact and manageable size
- Affordable pricing
- Very easy to operate
- Cuts on one side only
- Lacks versatility
Double Compound Miter Saw
A double compound miter saw effectively includes a standard miter table, the basic sliding rail or track, and the beveling. Also, it bevels on both sides, unlike the single-action compound miter saw. As it has bevels on both ends, you won’t have to flip the cutting material to perform the cuts on every side. It saves your time and frees you from the hassle of altering the material side.
When you work on larger and longer cutting materials, you will love its dual bevel cutting facility as it saves you from frustration. Also, it excels in crown molding and base molding cuts with a flat base.
- Mitered cuts
- Bevel cuts without altering the material sides
- Large cross cuts
- A time-saving cutting tool
- Ideal for cutting longer materials
- Prepare base flats without flipping the material
- It is a massively expensive miter saw
- Not for hobbyists
Cordless Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Most compound sliding miter saws are equipped with a cord to connect with the power outlet. Hence, it limits its reaching and maneuvering ability. The cordless sliding miter saw comes with all the possible benefits of the sliding and compound miter saw and adds a little more advantages to it. It runs with a battery and, thus, is free of reaching limits.
Also, the cordless version of the sliding miter saw is compact and suits homeowners. As it operates with a cordless function, the overall noise generation is also minimal.
- In constructions sites where workers have to move frequently with the saw
- Homes and DIY work with its compact size
- Compact size
- Quiet operation
- Enhanced reaching facility
- Limited cutting depth
- Lacks power
LED/Laser Miter Saw
It is the miter saw type that has recently seen unthinkable popularity is the laser miter saw. It comes with laser guidance for better accuracy and enhanced cutting precision. Also, its LED light will illuminate the workspace contributing further to the cutting accuracy.
The blade of the miter saw is connected with the washer, and the light comes through it. Thus, it properly highlights the cutting line and results in smooth and accurate cuts.
- Accurate and précised cuts
- More in professional base
- Cutting smoothness
- Easiness with the highlights
- A slightly expensive miter saw
These are the eight most common types of miter saws you will find in the market. For regular use, the basic miter saw will work fine. However, professionals will prefer using the sliding miter saw, and compound miter saw for different cutting purposes.
And you may choose the compound sliding miter saw if you truly want the best benefits of the two miters saw types at the same too. But for that, you should be ready to spend a hefty amount. Last but not least, you should invest in the LED miter saw for developed cutting accuracy and smoothness.