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How to Buy a Compound Saw

10 min read


Compound Saws for DIYers Table

DIYers can find compound saws to fit almost any budget.

For convenience and better results, consider investing in a good quality saw.

Saw Type Benefits
Circular Great for a variety of projects, from making cutouts to cross cutting boards
Miter Perfect for creating precise angles on trim
Compound Miter Versatile, as it can make miter cuts, bevels, and compound angle cuts
Table Easy to maneuver and great for making straight cuts
Radial Versatile, as it can make miter cuts, bevels, and compound angle cuts with precision

Defining the Compound Saw

A compound saw is a powerful tool typically used for high-precision woodworking projects.

It is composed of a blade that’s mounted on a carousel-style arm that can be adjusted to produce straight, angled, or beveled cuts.

It is designed to make very precise cuts which are made possible by the saw’s ability to move along multiple axes.

Compound saws are typically easier and quicker to use and require less setup time than other power saws, such as miter and circular saws.

Our Goal

Buying a compound saw can be the key to making successful home improvement projects.

Our goal is to provide you with all the information and tools you need to make sure you end up with the right saw for your needs.

We’ll educate you on the types of compound saws out there, which features to look for, the importance of safety, and tips for getting the best results.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to confidently select the right saw and start your DIY project.

What Sets Compound Saws Apart


Compound saws have many impressive advantages compared to other saws.

They have the power to make precise cuts at multiple angle in one pass.

Compound saws also come with an adjustable depth and bevel, and these saws can easily make bevel and miter cuts.

With a compound saw, you will be able to make complicated cuts with ease and accuracy.

Furthermore, it eliminates the need for extra tools during woodworking projects.

Besides that, you can make repetitive cuts the same way, time after time, with better results.

Compound saws are also lightweight and portable, so you can make cuts without having to move around large tools.

Lastly, they are extremely affordable and easy to maintain, making compound saws a great choice for anyone looking to save time and money.

How Compound Saws Work

Compound saws are great tools for a variety of cutting needs.

They work through several different parts and motions.

The saw has a cutting blade that has multiple angled teeth.

This blade is driven by a motor, which causes it to rotate around a pivot point.

Different parts on the saw produce a backward and forwards circular motion at the same time.

This creates a unique combination of cutting angles that is effective for making a wide range of cuts.

Compound saws also have adjustable angles for beveling, which allow the operator to set the saw at different settings for cutting at various angles.

This makes compound saws great for cutting complex shapes.

Features to Look For

When buying a compound saw, it’s important to consider certain features.

First and foremost, look at the size and weight of the saw.

A saw that is too big or too heavy may be difficult to handle.

Make sure you also look at the price and the warranty.

Is the saw within your budget and does it come with a good warranty? Additionally, take a look at the saw blade – make sure it’s made of good quality.

Finally, check the depth of the cut and the angle cuts that the saw can make.

With these features in mind, you’ll be sure to find the right compound saw.

When to Use a Compound Saw

Common Applications

Compound saws are versatile tools that can help with a variety of tasks.

They are especially useful when cutting curves and circles, where they can make accurate, smooth cuts.

They can also be used for cutting long boards or when cutting tiles and other masonry materials.

In addition, compound saws can be used to create special effects such as gradually increasing or decreasing the size of a template’s openings or making angled cuts.

Compound saws are also a useful for making joinery cuts in woodworking projects.

Finally, compound saws can be used to cut metal pipes and other materials which require intricate, precise cuts.

Compound Saws In Your Workshop

Compound saws can also be used in home workshops.

They can be used as a substitute for tools like a coping saw or a hacksaw.

Compound saws can make cuts in pipes and pieces of metal with ease, great for DIYers attempting to put together projects.

Compound saws are very versatile tools, able to make regular and compound cuts in wood and plastic.

To make curved cuts in wood or other materials, a compound saw can be used with a router and template.

Even if you already have jigsaws or other tools in your workshop, a compound saw can be a versatile addition, able to quickly and accurately cut for various projects.

Techniques and Tips

Using a compound saw requires additional safety precautions than other saws.

Always wear safety goggles and gloves when operating one.

When starting the saw, apply a little pressure to the wood you are cutting and use a slow speed.

This will help minimize kickback and make the saw easier to control.

Make sure the teeth of the saw blade are in good condition before using, and never put too much pressure on the blade.

It’s also important to clamp the wood securely in place while cutting.

To make accurate cuts, focus on keeping the saw handle parallel to the cut line.

If you’re making a curved cut, use a series of short strokes to help maintain your accuracy.

Regularly clean the saw’s base plate and blade to keep them free from buildup.

If you follow these tips, your work with the compound saw will be much easier and safer.

What To Look For In A Compound Saw

Compound Saw Options

When looking for a compound saw, it’s important to consider the various techniques and tips available.

Look for saws with adjustable drive shafts to allow for different bevels.

Variable speed settings allow you to make cuts at different speeds, letting you tailor your saw for specific materials.

Look for saws that are well-balanced and easy to move around for greater control.

Digital bevel indicators help with alignment and angles for the desired cut.

A compound saw with a built-in dust extraction system will help with the clean up after the job is done.

Finally, consider a saw with an adjustable locking fence for precise cutting angles.

Taking the time to consider these options will help you get the job done with maximum efficiency and accuracy.

Choosing the Right Compound Saw

When shopping for a compound saw, it is important to consider your needs.

Think about the size of the job you will be completing with the saw.

A larger saw is typically better for larger jobs, whereas a smaller saw might be better when working on a small project.

Additionally, look for a saw that is comfortable for you to use and can cut easily.

You can search online, read reviews, or ask a professional for help deciding what is best for your project.

Additionally, assess the accessories and blade options for each saw.

Look for durable blades that can provide you with a smooth and accurate cut to suit your needs.

Finally, consider the cost of the saw and the warranty options.

Make sure that what you are purchasing falls in line with your budget.

Brand Reliability

High-quality, reliable compound saws can be found from trusted brands like Bosch, Skil, Black and Decker, and Craftsman.

These brands have a long history of creating durable and dependable saws to help you get the job done.

Bosch saws are particularly known for being some of the most reliable on the market, and many companies continue to be loyal to them.

Craftsman is another well-known name providing durable products that will last for years.

Skil and Black and Decker are both reliable brands offering a variety of models and sizes.

All four brands produce reliable saws with a variety of user-friendly features, so shoppers should have no trouble finding something ideal for their projects.

Safety Measures and Precautions


Compound saws can sometimes experience problems or performance issues.

One of the most common troubles is power supply-related.

If the power switch does not turn the saw on, make sure it’s still plugged in correctly and the breaker has not been triggered.

If this does not fix the problem, it could be due to a fault in the saw or a power tool accessory.

Another common trouble is burning or binding of the blade.

This tends to result from too much pressure on the saw or a dull blade.

Make sure to replace or sharpen the blade as needed.

Lastly, if the saw won’t cut straight, adjustments may be needed to the saw’s guides and/or blade.

Refer to the manual for specific instructions on how to do so.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Compound saws need regular maintenance and upkeep in order to stay in good condition.

Make sure to wipe down the saw frequently with a soft cloth to remove accumulated dust and debris.

Replace any broken parts as soon as possible with new saw blades or handles specific to the saw.

Adjust the blade tension each month to keep it running at a safe level.

Keep the saw blade sharp and oiled occasionally to ensure a smoother cut.

If the saw slows down during operation, check the dust collection system for clogs and then empty or clean it as needed.

To prevent accidents, make sure the saw is unplugged before performing maintenance and check that the power cord is not frayed or cracked.

Finally, always read and follow the owner’s manual for specific safety and maintenance instructions.

Staying Safe

When operating a compound saw, it’s important to stay safe.

Wear protective eyewear, a face mask and appropriate clothing to cover your arms and legs while working.

Make sure your workspace is well lit and uncluttered.

Keep your hands away from the blade and use a push stick if needed.

Secure the workpiece in a vice before sawing.

Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions before making any cuts.

Take frequent breaks to rest and keep a first-aid kit on hand just in case.

Most importantly, keep kids and animals away from the saw and your workspace.

Following these steps will help keep you safe while using a compound saw.


Buying Your Compound Saw

No matter what a DIY enthusiast is looking for in a compound saw, there are a few things they should keep in mind.

First, make sure to research the different types of saws so you can find the right one for the job.

Second, think about the cost and how much you’re willing to spend.

Finally, don’t forget to buy the right safety gear and read the instruction manual for your saw.

With these considerations in mind, you’ll be sure to find the best compound saw for your needs.

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