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How to Buy a Compound Miter Saw

10 min read


Compound Miter Saws for DIYers Table

A compound miter saw is a must-have tool for DIYers.

It makes cutting quickly and accurately much easier, so any home project can be completed the right way the first time.

Here’s a summary of the key points about why you should get one:

Accurate cuts
Decrease project time
Good value for money
Improves safety

Compound miter saws provide accuracies to meet a variety of needs, and are faster than hand saws.

They also offer good value for money, making them an excellent long term investment.

And most importantly, they provide a safer environment while completing projects.

Finally, they’re extremely versatile, and can be used for most jobs around the house.

Defining the Compound Miter Saw

A compound miter saw is a handy tool that used for trimming and creating precise cuts.

It can make angular cuts and is quite accurate.

It has a spinning, circular saw blade mounted on a swing arm that pivots so you can make beveled cuts.

It also has the ability to tilt, allowing you to cut at an angle.

This makes the compound miter saw a great choice for trimming, molding, and making crosscuts in wood of any shape.

It can also cut into metal and plastic.

It is one of the most versatile saws you can buy.

Our Goal

Our goal is to provide readers with helpful information on how to buy a compound miter saw.

Compound miter saws are great tools that can help make home DIY projects much easier and more efficient.

With the right saw in hand, DIYers can make precise and accurate cuts without expending much effort.

We’ll teach readers about the features to look for when shopping for a compound miter saw, as well as the different types and models available.

Additionally, we’ll provide practical tips on how to properly use the saw to ensure safety and good results.

In the end, our aim is to have well-informed readers that know exactly how to choose and use the perfect compound miter saw for their projects.

What Sets Compound Miter Saws Apart


Compound miter saws are advantageous because they have features not found on regular miter saws.

They have two blades that can move both vertically and horizontally so they can make angled cuts in both directions.

This makes them perfect for creating miters and bevels on different types of wood.

They also have a compound pivoting head, which allows for more precise cutting of angled cuts.

This is perfect for cutting crown molding and other decorative trim pieces.

With a compound miter saw, you can get precision, accuracy, and efficiency, making it an ideal tool for a wide range of tasks.

How Compound Miter Saws Work

Compound miter saws are like regular miter saws, but they have more features and can make different cuts.

They use a blade that spins quickly and the piece of wood is held against the spinning blade, allowing you to make miter cuts.

The blade’s motor is adjustable, so you can set it to make miter cuts, bevel cuts, or compound cuts.

Compound miter saws also have different blade sizes to choose from, which will allow you to make different types of cuts depending on what you need to do.

The saw’s angle is adjustable too, allowing you to make cuts that fit whatever you’re working on.

Features to Look For

When looking for a compound miter saw, there are a few important features to consider.

Make sure the saw has good quality blades, as they are essential to getting clean cuts.

Also think about power—motor wattage and blade speed should be considered when looking for a compound miter saw.

It’s also a good idea to consider the saw’s adjustability; look for easy-to-use adjustments for bevel, miter, and depth.

You’ll also want to consider the saw’s dust collection capabilities and flexibility when it comes to cutting different materials.

Finally, a compound miter saw should be ergonomically designed to be comfortable and easy to use.

When to Use a Compound Miter Saw

Common Applications

Compound miter saws are great tools for a wide variety of woodwork projects.

They’re most frequently used for making accurate and precise cuts like long angle cuts and bevel cuts.

You can use a compound miter saw to cut through wood, plastic, and metal.

It’s perfect for baseboard installations, door and window trims, crown moldings, and picture frames.

You can use a compound miter saw to make smooth cuts with minimal effort, and it can help you quickly and easily cut angles and joints.

If you’re installing hardwood flooring, a compound miter saw is also essential.

The fast and accurate cutting you can do will save you both time and money.

Compound Miter Saws In Your Workshop

Compound miter saws make great additions to any home workshop.

They can easily substitute for other tools or be used together with them.

They are perfect for making detailed, angled cuts in a range of materials, from wood to plastic.

They can also be used to trim moldings or frame a piece of art.

Plus, you can take on bigger projects with more intricate cuts.

If you already have a circular saw, a compound miter saw can save you time by quickly cutting multiple angles in a single pass.

This saves you time, energy and money.

Compound miter saws can also be used with a variety of accessories like jigs and sleds for even more precise results.

Techniques and Tips

When using a compound miter saw, it’s important to follow some key techniques and tips.

When cutting wood, it’s best to set the blade depth to the total thickness of the workpiece.

Start the cut from the left side of the workpiece to ensure a smooth cut.

To create accurate cuts, always use the miter saw’s fence to guide the workpiece.

Prior to cutting, double check that both sides of the blade are sharp and the teeth are pointing downward.

To avoid kickback, use a push block and make sure that it is in contact with the workpiece before turning on the saw.

Also, don’t be afraid to firmly hold the workpiece against the saw’s fence as you make the cut.

Lastly, be sure to wear eye protection and hearing protection whenever operating a compound miter saw.

What To Look For In A Compound Miter Saw

Compound Miter Saw Options

When picking out a compound miter saw, there are a variety of options to consider.

Depending on the project you’re doing, certain techniques may be better than others.

For example, crosscutting requires the saw to move at a straight, uniform speed.

This requires a saw with a power motor and adjustable speed.

When making bevel cuts, choosing one with an adjustable bevel angle is ideal.

If you plan on making multiple cuts, look for a compound miter saw with a miter stop and miter angles that can be preset.

Pay attention to the miter capacity to make sure it can handle what you’re looking for.

An adjustable fence is also a great feature to have.

Finally, look for safety features like a blade guard, dust collector, and anti-kickback pawls.

These will help you get the job done safely.

Choosing the Right Compound Miter Saw

When buying a compound miter saw, it’s important to consider the project you plan to use it for.

Are you working on furniture, frames, trims, decks, or even something more complex? Different saws are designed for different tasks, so pick one that best fits your project.

You should also take into account the size and power of the saw.

Do you want a small portable saw for light tasks or a more powerful saw for larger projects? Most miter saws can make up to 45 and 90 degree angles as well as have a capacity of cutting larger pieces of wood.

Think about features, too.

How easy is it to adjust angles? Does it come with a dust collection system? How accurate are the miter and bevel adjustments? Does it have an LED or laser light for precision cutting?

Finally, look into safety features.

Does the saw have dust collection ports? Is it equipped with shields and guards that help prevent sawdust from coming into contact with the operator? Taking all these into consideration can help you make an informed decision on the right compound miter saw for your needs.

Brand Reliability

When it comes to reliable compound miter saws, you can’t go wrong with brands like DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita, and Ryobi.

These manufacturers have a solid reputation for producing durable and powerful tools.

You can also trust their protective technology, such as dust extraction systems to help keep your work area clean.

For people looking for more budget-friendly options, Skil and Ridgid offer good saws that are reliable and will last you a while.

With any of these brands, you can be sure you’re getting a quality saw that will last you a long time and get the job done.

Safety Measures and Precautions


Compound miter saws can sometimes have issues.

If you hear a loud noise when the saw is running, first check that the blade is securely tightened on the saw.

Make sure the blade is in proper working condition and that it is rotating freely.

If the noise persists, turn off the saw and inspect for any damaged parts or pieces that need to be replaced.

If the saw won’t turn on, make sure it is plugged in and that the switch isn’t set to the “off” position.

Check your saw’s fuse and the outlet to make sure the power is working.

It may be necessary to replace the blades if they are dull or broken.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Maintaining a compound miter saw is essential for keeping it working properly and efficiently.

Make sure to lubricate the saw blade and components regularly to reduce friction.

Clean out sawdust, chips and other debris from the blade and motor regularly to prevent clogs and overheating.

Replace dull or broken blades regularly to ensure a clean cut.

Check the laser guides and marks for accuracy to make sure you’re making precise cuts.

Inspect the saw for wear and tear, tightening any loose bolts or screws.

Check the power cord for wear and tear and replace any damaged cord.

Finally, periodically check the lubricants and motor controls as well as the saw’s bearings, joints and springs.

Doing so will help you get the most out of your saw.

Staying Safe

When operating a compound miter saw, make sure you are wearing proper safety gear, including goggles, gloves, and ear protection.

Keep the area around the saw clear of accessories, and always ensure your workspace is tidy and well lit.

Never place your fingers close to the blade, as accidental contact may cause serious injury.

Always keep a firm grip on the saw while it is in use, and make sure to secure the wood you are cutting in something that will be able to hold it firmly.

Finally, make sure to turn off the saw and unplug it when it is not in use.

Safety should always be your top priority.


Buying Your Compound Miter Saw

Buying a compound miter saw is an important decision for any DIY enthusiast.

Before making the purchase, make sure to consider the type of saw you need, the size and weight of the saw, the safety features, and your budget.

There are different types of compound miter saws, including basic models, sliding models, and cordless models.

Make sure to get the saw that will best meet your needs and budget.

Also, check the saw’s weight since you may have to move it around a lot.

Pay attention to safety features, such as a guard that prevents sparks and dust from flying out.

Lastly, consider the cost and search for the best deal.

Taking all these factors into consideration will help you find the perfect compound miter saw for your needs.

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