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What is a Miter Saw Used for? | Everything You Need to Know

A woodworker’s inventory is never complete without a miter saw. There are different lengths of boards, some are smaller and some are big. If you are a woodworker you will have to deal with all the sizes, so what is the perfect way to cut these boards properly into smaller parts?

Miter saw has made the woodworker’s life a lot easier, since woodworkers can do plenty of things with the miter saw. It is very comfortable to use, you attach it to the benchtop and bring the boards through that for cutting.

However, as I mentioned there are a bunch of uses of the miter, and beginners might not be aware of that. If you want to know what is a miter saw used for, then this very guide is for you.

What is a Miter Saw?

Miter saw is a cutting machine that is used to make angle cuts and crosscuts on wood pieces such as a wood board. Not only these two cuts, a miter saw can make different cuts but that is specialized in these two fields. The working process of the miter saw is very appealing. The miter saw is placed on a workbench and the weight makes it very stable so that it doesn’t move when you cut wood pieces. Plus, there are mounting options as well, people mount the miter with the workbench for optimum safety.

For making a cut, you pull down the circular saw blade onto the wood piece that you intend to cut. The cutting process is very efficient and comfortable. It is like cutting a carrot by continuously feeding it towards the moving blade. In miter saw, the work-piece is placed against the fence of the saw, this makes sure that you get an accurate cut. This position gives a good angler between the longest work-piece edge plane and the blade plan.

See More: In-depth comparison between a miter saw and a circular saw

In standard cutting position, you can get a 90-degree cut from the miter saw. The reason why most people prefer miter saw is because you can easily rotate the blade into different angles depending on your cutting need. Some go 50-degree and some go beyond that. The easy blade turning makes the cutting work faster and very efficient. However, there are a few types of miter saws that are used for different tasks.

See More: How to cut 22.5 degree angle on a miter saw?

Types of Miter Saw

There are mainly three types of miter saws in the market and they fulfill different needs. Here are short summaries of each type.

Standard Miter Saw

If you need faster cutting with maximum accuracy, then you are probably looking for the standard miter saw. This saw comes in different sizes and has different power capabilities as well. The weight isn’t very much but it will give you good stability for sure.

For making angled cuts and crosscuts, they are best. You can make 90-degree and 45-degree angled cuts very easily with it. The price isn’t very high; you will get a decent standard miter saw within a moderate budget.

Compound miter saw

Making bevel cuts are a little tough but that becomes easier when you have a compound miter saw. Apart from the bevel cut, a compound miter saw can make basic cuts like the standard miter saw as well. That being said, compound miter saws are more versatile than the standard miter saw.

Different compound miter saw models come with different capabilities, some come with dual bevel mode, some come with single, and there are some other advanced features as well. This saw is a little expensive compared to the standard one.

Sliding compound miter saw

This is a blend of the compound and standard miter saw but it comes with more capability. As the name implies, you can make cuts by sliding the saw blade to cut through materials.

In sliding compound miter saw, there are three more types, which are

  • Single sliding compound saw.
  • Double sliding compound saw.
  • Cordless sliding compound saw.

Uses of a Miter Saw

Mainly there are three things that miter saw is specialized in doing. First, we will be discussing those three things and then will move to other tasks as well. So here you go!

Making Regular Crosscuts

For cutting a board perfectly, there is no better choice than a miter saw. You can cut a board with a hand saw, a circular saw, a radial arm saw, etc. But none of them cuts the board as better as the miter saw.


Why miter saw is best for board cutting?

Below is the answer!

  • Miters saws are the very powerful and best part, they are highly stable. It doesn’t matter what board it is, you will be able to cut it down to small parts precisely with a miter saw.
  • It is a stationary machine and it is pretty heavy. So when you put it or mount it on a bench and you put the board through it, the machine will remain in place, it wouldn’t move as you take the board through the machine. And that’s what is the most comfortable part of a miter saw.
  • Another satisfying part of the miter saw is, lining up the cut line is very easy. After placing the board against the fence by turning down the handle you can see where exactly the blade with going through, you will see the exact cut line.
  • And best of all, some miter saw comes with laser light, and that light shows you through where the blade will be cutting the board. This enables you to get accurate cut lines very easily.
  • With a sliding saw cutting a wide board is easy as well. By sliding saw, I mean 12-inch sliding saw and it can cut the board 12-inch-wide, it depends on the thickness of the board.
  • There are few other tools that can do the work more easily and those are the Radial arm saw and table saw. These two tools can do the task. But why should you look for other tools if you have a miter saw? Plus, these two tools are way too expensive, so a miter saw would be an easier and affordable option for a woodworker.

There is a detailed guide about the comparison between a miter saw and a table saw that might be helpful and easy to understand the point.

Making Angled Cuts

Making angled cuts are also very easier with a miter saw. Angled cuts are also called miter cuts. And for making an angled cut you will have to turn the saw in an angled direction. That being said, most miters saw cannot make the angle more than 50-degree on both sides but there are few models that go beyond, they have a large range.

See More: Expert’s guide on how to cut 135 degree angle on a miter saw?

Actually, how many angles the saw would be able to make that depends on a few things such as the size of the saw, size of the blade, etc. Woodworking projects require angled cuts, and a good miter saw will enable you to a lot of angled cuts to make beautiful furniture and wood pieces.

But sometimes in woodworking there comes situations when you need to make angled cuts on boards in one go, for faster and accurate angle cuts. Tasks like making a photo frame will require miter corners and all the corners need to be the same so that you can set them together nicely.

And you can make angle cuts on boards together very easily with a miter saw. You have to use the screws. Miter saw shines when it comes to trimming work as well.

Tasks such as remodeling the house, or completing a basement or stuff like that can be done pretty easily with the help of a good miter saw. This very machine does an excellent job for the DIYers as well.

Making Bevel and Compound Angle Cuts

Making bevel and compound angle cuts are a little complex, in the beginning, this seems a little daunting but you shouldn’t let that stop you from having the perk of owning a good miter saw. You have to move the saw to the left of right and then you have to angle the path of the saw cut.

This is a little complex cut as mentioned before. However, this cut isn’t required often but when it comes if you have a miter saw, you can get it done.

Some Other Things Miter Saw Can Do!

Except for the three cuts mentioned above, there are some other things as well that a miter saw can do. Here are them!

Making Repeatable Cuts

If you are a regular woodworker then sometimes some work requires many board cuts of the same length. With a miter saw you can make these cuts faster and very easily. You have to give a slight effort. Set a stop at the end of the work surface and then push the work-piece against that stop, and start cutting.

You will get the same size cut every time. Doing this with other machines like circular saw would be a little hard. And hand tools will take both lots of time and energy.

Making a Workbench

You can easily make a work station on the bench with the miter saw. If you set a miter saw permanently in a workbench, sizing the boards or gathering them and cutting them accurately will be easier. The saw would be set under the bench and you will get an even surface to work with the boards.

And Finally….

If you are still here, you must know what is a miter saw used for. I have tried to give as detailed information as possible. Hope this helps!

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James R. Robertson
James R. Robertson

James R. Robertson is an expert advisor in all types of saws. His hobby is using different types of saw tools and has over 8 years of experience. Based on his experience with different types of saws, he is sharing his opinion about various saws. So that a beginner can get started right away. Happy reading!

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