Miter Saw Buying Guide

People have special needs and for us carpenters, one of the greatest hindrance that we experience in everyday work is cutting wood. Sounds easy to do but it is actually hard to accomplish if you have certain specifications to meet like cutting a wood in angles, making the perfect crowns and don’t forget about cutting curves. All of these are nearly impossible to accomplish if you only have a manual manpowered saw.

So, how do you make this task achievable as well as easy? Simple, you get a miter saw. It is powerful, accurate and long lasting. You are not limited with the possibilities you can do especially that there are a lot of miter saws in the market. There is no uniform design to follow which gave companies the freedom to design whatever they like but this made it hard for us users. Choosing the best miter saw is tricky though certain guidelines to follow will make your purchase worth every penny.

Look at the Brand

Don’t judge a book by its cover as they say but if a company has made a good reputation with its products then the chances of being dismayed is smaller. There are certain brands to take note since they have made a name for themselves which gives these products the priority when left choosing with two equally designed products but of different brands.

  • Makita


If you are in a store that has a portion for Makita products only, you might want to go with that aisle directly. The brand has been in the motor tools business for nearly a century. This vast amount of experience has taught them a thing or two about what the customers want and what their devices need.

Their process of building starts with choosing only the best grade steel as well as using only 97% pure magnetic copper for their motors. They also test their tools under extreme conditions that cannot be simulated under normal work conditions which made these products tough and highly tolerant. If that’s not enough, you wouldn’t even have to worry about defective products since inspections are tight. They perform a 19 point inspection for the motor alone as well as running it in maximum for 3 minutes.

Read our reviews about Makita LS 1221 12 Inch Compound Miter Saw Kit

  • DeWalt


Quality and perfection is what is being described with DeWalt. Overall, it only just comes below the ranking of Makita and that is because they impose nearly the same level of strict building. Though if you are on a budget and in the pursuit for a cheap miter saw, might as well stay away from this brand. Despite its high-quality tools, priced between mid-levels to expensive, the cheaper ones are actually no good. Not all are bad, they just have their own ups and downs with the downs dominating.

DEWALT DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw Reviews

  • Hitachi


Currently, Hitachi is being described as a fading brand in the tools business but that is not an accurate description. Compared to other brands like the Ryobi, the Hitachi is still a preferred choice. They don’t put that much planning and innovation to their design so don’t expect some well-packaged saws as well as some logical and ergonomic features. In terms of quality, they still stand a chance to compete with Makita.

Review of One of the Best Compound Miter Saws: Hitachi C10FCE2

Common Features You should find

  • Blade

No miter is a saw without a blade which is actually quite obvious but what is actually not obvious is the size of the blade. A lot of people new to carpentry work are always bothered on what diameter of blade they should use and in all honesty, it is actually a very tough choice since bigger is not always better.
Choices in the market range from 12, 10 to 8 inches. Larger ones have higher cutting capacity but are harder to control and work with if you have very small wood to cut. Smaller ones on the other hand are impossible to use with thicker wood.

  • Movable parts

Miter saws have a lot of moving parts which enables them to be flexible in any situation. Among the parts that needs to be moveable are the table and the neck. The neck should not only be limited to going down but also to go sideways, a feature essential for cutting crowns. The table should also turn for easy angle cuts for baseboard and other flat boards.

  • Motor

The key to a perfectly cut wood is a perfectly strong motor. Don’t just look at the motor and be deceived with size but instead be more technical. Nothing much to remember, the motor should at least be 15 amps and be able to achieve 5, 000 rpm without a load. If it satisfies this criteria, you have a sufficiently good motor that can cut through any type of wood.

Additional features

As what I’ve said, there are many variations, and companies tend to put a lot of features to make it more functional. You might find the following features in some selected saws.

  • Guide laser – for a preview where your blade is going to cut.
  • Overhead light – convenience to cut in the dark.
  • Synchronized blade cover – for active blade protection.
  • Dust tube – for a mess-free working environment.

Conclusion

It is normal to experience dilemma when buying your miter saw. Even the experienced laborers still have problem choosing theirs. Just remember that the blade size must fit the type of wood you are cutting and that the motor should suffice the standards mentioned. For additional work flexibility, choose a saw that has a moveable neck and a turning table. If you suffice the three but caught up between two saws, let the brand names be the tie breaker.

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