There are many options when it comes to sliding miter saws. So many that it can be really confusing when you try to figure out which one is best for you.
If you have difficulty deciding whether you need a miter saw or a complex saw, you've come to the right place.
Although these two saws have a lot in common, there is one big difference.
The sliding miter saw has rails that allow the blade to move back and forth on wide pieces of material. They can cut material that the miter saw blade simply cannot touch.
Compound saws also have their advantages. Because they have no rails, nothing prevents the cutting arm. This means they are better suited to thick material.
Let's take a look at some of the basic rules associated with miter saws and let's get to each of these special saws in a little more detail.
Before we get into the details of sliding and compound miter saws, let's take a look at what a standard miter saw does.
Basic miter saws are designed to perform angular cross cuts. Some models allow you to select any angle and even adjust by one degree, while others are set to cut at the most common angles, such as 15, 30 or 45 degrees.
After setting the angle, you hold the material by the fence to make it pleasant and straight for a clean, precise cut. To actually make the cut, the round blade is pulled down and through the material in one smooth motion.
Now that you know a little more about the basic miter saw, it will be a little easier to understand why a complex miter saw is a completely different beast.
Miter saws are much more specialized because they perform more than just miter cuts. They work the same as a standard miter saw with one difference. The blade has a swivel arm that can be tilted at an angle other than 90 degrees. This means that in addition to miter cuts, you can also do miter cuts.
Why do you need a complex miter saw instead of a standard miter saw? Because of its versatility. The ability to perform phase cuts really opens up the types of designs you can do.
The angled cuts are intended for joining. Imagine a picture frame. The corners join together to create a perfect 90 degree angle thanks to 45-degree miter cuts at the end of each page.
So how is the cutting phase different? Instead of cutting the surface of the material, the phase cut passes through the thickness of the material.
Here's another way to think about it. The cut at an angle is inclined under the horizontal plane, and the cut at an angle at a vertical angle.
Miter cuts are usually made for finishing purposes, but they are also useful for cutting crown molding or other work that requires cutting at an angle in both the vertical and horizontal plane.
It's not everything. There are also differences between compound saws. A standard angle saw has a blade that tilts only in one direction, left or right. This means that if you need to make a cut in the opposite direction, you must physically rotate the material and approach it from the other side.
If you often use this cut, continuous shifting of material can quickly become tiring. Another option is to invest in a double combination miter saw that has a blade that rotates both left and right. Again, this is not a tool that everyone needs, but it is really useful if you do a lot of work that requires both cutting at an angle and beveling.
A sliding miter saw is very similar to a composite saw because it also performs miter and miter cuts. The big difference is the width of the material they can handle.
The key to this difference is one word: sliding. A sliding miter saw can do anything a complex miter saw can only have rails that allow you to move the saw forward and backward. This significantly increases the cutting efficiency, because it allows you to cut much thicker pieces of material.
One of the advantages of a complex miter saw is that it has a larger cutting arc. Because there are no rails, it is possible to shift the available height so that they can cut thicker material than a sliding miter saw using the same size blade. Typical blade sizes are available in 10 ″ and 12 you, and here you can read about the differences.
If you are working on something that requires thicker material, this is definitely a reason to use a miter saw over a sliding one.
Miter saws also take up less space. If you do not have much space in the workshop, stick to the folded miter saw.
All other things are equal, the compound miter saw is also slightly cheaper. If you're worried about your budget, it's a good idea to use a compound miter saw.
The only downside to getting this type of saw in the sliding version is that you start doing projects that require large pieces of wood. This is the main reason why you should know what projects you will implement before making purchases.
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