There are three main tasks that a miter saw can easily do. Doing it with a different type of saw or tool usually makes everything too complicated. Although this is not limited to these goals, I will focus on them for now.
A. Regular shortcuts
If you want to cut a board in half, almost always the best choice will be a miter saw (other options are hand saw, circular saw, radial saw, etc.). The reason for this is three times:
1. The machine is stable and strong. It is very unlikely that you will meet a board that you will not be able to cut. And because it is stationary and relatively heavy, you can put it on the workbench and do not worry that it will move when you put wood on it or go for cutting.
2. It is very easy to set the cutting line. After placing the board on the fence, you can move the handle down to see where the blade crosses the board. Some are even equipped with laser guides that clearly show where the cut will be. You don't even have to place the saw on the workpiece.
3. (With a sliding saw) You can cut wide boards with a sliding saw. I'm talking about a sliding saw 12 - which cuts a board about 12 wide depending on its thickness.
This task would be difficult to do with the same accuracy with almost anything except a radial saw or table saw. These machines don't make much sense if you already have a miter saw. Not to mention that the budget for one of these machines will have to be much larger.
B. Angled Cuts
These types of cuts are what you would typically call a miter cut. The angle is made by turning the saw to one side of the other.
Most of the miter saws that I have seen can cut around 50° to the left and right. Some better ones may have a larger range, but they will always be limited by the blade size and length of cut.
This cut is useful in a number of situations:
1. Any type of woodworking project that has angles. You can make a lot of furniture and woodworking projects using strictly right angles everywhere, but eventually, you will come across a situation where you need to miter some boards together. But eventually, you will come across a situation where you need to miter some boards together.
The angled connector is a common part of the things you will build. Even if you want to create a simple picture frame, you will have to round the corners. The boards were held together with two Kreg screws.
2. Pruning work will require cutting out all kinds of angles. If you are rebuilding a house or finishing a basement, you will need a miter saw to complete this type of work. I can't think of another way to limit DIY finishing work.
3. Floors, other DIY projects, etc. There are many situations when you will need to move the saw and cut something at an angle. If you put the floor, you may need to cut a few slats at an angle. And even if you have a square room - sometimes the walls are not completely square, but you want to stick well.
C. Angular and complex cuts
Things can get complicated here, but don't let them stop you from taking advantage of all the benefits of a complex miter saw.
Miter and compound cutting is performed by moving the saw to the left of the right, as in the previous chapter, and then setting the saw cutting path at an angle.
This type of cut is useful for complex angles, such as a board that extends diagonally in two different planes
You may not need this type of cutting often, but when you do, you'll be glad you have the tool to do it.
One of the advantages of having a miter saw that will make miter cuts is that you can trim the angle to a wide board, such as 1 × 10. This can easily be done with a sliding saw.
Here are a few things to consider when considering the suitability of a miter saw. I will mention a few additional uses here:
1. Repeatable cuts
Sometimes you will have to make many cuts of the same length. To do this, you can put a stop on one end of the work surface and rest the workpiece on this stop. This will allow you to make repetitive cuts at exactly the same length.
It would be difficult to do it with something like a circular saw or hand tools.
2. Built-in Workbench
You can build a workstation that integrates the miter saw with its functionality. This makes it easier to position the boards and hold them in place during cutting.
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