Miter SAW guidE

Build Better. Build More.

Not sure what the difference is between compound, sliding, chop, and miter saws?
Wondering how to get more out of your miter saw?
Wondering how to tune your miter saw?

We've curated this guide to give you the info you need to know all in one place.

WHICH TOPIC DO YOU WANT TO EXPLORE FIRST?

Learn What A Miter Saw Is Best For

  • Types Of Cuts A Miter Saw Can Make
  • The Best Uses For A Miter Saw
  • Features To Look For In A Miter Saw
  • Miter Saw Cut Capacity
  • Single vs. Double Bevel Miter Saw
  • Sliding vs. Chop Saws

Build My Miter Saw Skills

  • How To Tune Your Miter Saw
  • Supporting Longer Material For Safer Miter Saw Cuts
  • Miter Saw Blades

Discover New Projects

  • Projects For Your Work Space
  • Project Ideas To Build Your Cutting Skills

Learn What A Miter Saw Is Best For

Types Of cuts a miter saw can make

Cross Cuts

Miter Cuts

Bevel Cuts

Compound Cuts

the best uses for miter saws

 Trim & Molding  

 DIMENSIONAL LUMBER  

 NARROW PLYWOOD  

Miter saws are great tools for cutting trim, molding, and dimensional lumber. The width and thickness of your board is determined by the saw's blade diameter and whether if makes fixed or sliding cuts.

Features to look for in a MITER saw

Although miter saws have many features, these are the four features to pay the most attention to when purchasing a new miter saw.

15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw
15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw

15-amp 10" Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw

$231.99
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10 Million Dollar Stick
10 Million Dollar Stick
10 Million Dollar Stick
10 Million Dollar Stick
10 Million Dollar Stick
10 Million Dollar Stick

10 Million Dollar Stick

$16.45
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miter saw cut capacity

Curious what size boards your miter saw can cut? Here's a quick reference for each size of miter saw (capacity is for 90° cross cuts).

  •  10” Miter Saw = 5-1/2” Boards  
  •  12” Miter Saw = 7-1/4” Boards
  •  10” Sliding Miter Saw = Boards Around 12”  
  •  12” Sliding Miter Saw = Boards Just Over 12”

single vs. double bevel miter saw

  Single Bevel  

A single bevel miter saw only tilts in one direction. You can still make all the same cuts as a double bevel but there is some additional work involved in making sure you are cutting the correct direction.

 Double Bevel  

A double bevel miter saw will tilt right and left for bevel cuts. This is very useful when cutting trim and molding (especially crown molding). A double bevel gives you greater flexibility in angle combinations without having to change the position of your material.

sliding vs chop saw

 Sliding Miter Saw  

A sliding miter saw has added rails that allow the saw blade to slide front to back during a cut. This means you can cut wider boards.

Pros

  • Increased cross cut capacity
  • Increased miter cut capacity
  • Variety of angle combinations

Cons

  • Heavier than a fixed miter saw
  • Larger size requires more space
  • More expensive than fixed miter saws

 Fixed Miter Saw (Chop Saw)  

A fixed miter saw, sometimes referred to as a chop saw, has a blade and motor housing that pivots at a single point. It makes cuts by pulling the saw down into the board.

Pros

  • Lighter and easily portable
  • Compact size saves space
  • Less expensive than sliding miter saws

Cons

  • Limited cross cut capacity
  • Limited miter cut capacity

Build My Miter Saw Skills

CRASH COURSE:

HOW TO TUNE YOUR MITER SAW

To get the most out of your miter saw, it needs to be accurate. Even being off a 1/2 degree adds up! 

  • Check if it's tuned to 90° (:25)
  • Check that the table is flat (:45)
  • Check the angles (:52)
  • Check the bevel angle cuts (:52)

CRASH COURSE:

supporting longer material for safer miter saw cuts

The table on a miter saw is typically small, so it's important to have good supports when cutting longer material. Grab some scrap wood and make simple material supports!

  • Why it's important to support material (:22)
  • Simple "T" supports (:41)
  • Auxiliary supports (1:25)
  • Auxiliary fence (1:55)
FastCap® 16' ProCarpenter Tape Measure
FastCap® 16' ProCarpenter Tape Measure

FastCap® 16' ProCarpenter Tape Measure

$9.63
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Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark
Kreg Multi-Mark

Kreg Multi-Mark

$14.99
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Johnson Johnny Square Easy-Read Aluminum Rafter Square
Johnson Johnny Square Easy-Read Aluminum Rafter Square
Johnson Johnny Square Easy-Read Aluminum Rafter Square
Johnson Johnny Square Easy-Read Aluminum Rafter Square
Johnson Johnny Square Easy-Read Aluminum Rafter Square
Johnson Johnny Square Easy-Read Aluminum Rafter Square
Johnson Johnny Square Easy-Read Aluminum Rafter Square

Johnson Johnny Square Easy-Read Aluminum Rafter Square

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Kreg Square-Cut™
Kreg Square-Cut™
Kreg Square-Cut™

Kreg Square-Cut™

$11.99
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CRASH COURSE:

MITER SAW BLADES

Allen and Mike give you a crash course on the importance of not only a good quality blade, but also selecting the right blade for the material and types of cuts you're making.

Finish Blade
Finish Blade
Finish Blade
Finish Blade

Finish Blade

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Ripping/Framing Blade
Ripping/Framing Blade
Ripping/Framing Blade
Ripping/Framing Blade

Ripping/Framing Blade

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General Purpose Blade
General Purpose Blade
General Purpose Blade
General Purpose Blade

General Purpose Blade

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Discover New Projects

Projects For Your Work Space

Rolling Miter Saw Stand

Miter Saw Dust Hood

Project ideas to Build Your Cutting Skills

Farmhouse Headboard

Outdoor Chaise Lounge

Tiered Serving Tray

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