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❈ Power Miter Saws ... Buyers Guide

The Home DepotDesigned to cut precise angles in molding, trim work, rafters, and in general carpentry. They can be set to any angle and have stops that make it simple to set the saw to angles you'll cut most often. The cuts are precise, clean, and quick - important to the professional carpenter.

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A Simple Tool to Operate:

There are a few things that are immediately obvious when operating a miter saw.
  • Although saws are adjusted at the factory, vibration during transport can knock the saw out of alignment
  • Check to see if the cut is square and the bevel accurate before your first project
  • A board clamped at both ends will pinch the blade during the cut
  • Clamped at both ends could possibly throw board violently away from the saw
  • Clamp only on one side of the blade

Two Types of Miter Saws:

  • Basic Miter Saws: Cuts a miter (the angled cut you see when you look at the top of the board) and only a miter
  • Compound Miter Saws: Will cut either a miter, a bevel (the angle you see looking at the edge of the board), or both
Most carpentry, including crown molding, doesn't require a compound miter. A compound miter saw comes in handy, however, when cutting angles on the ends of wide boards, when cutting rafters, or when making custom frames. The geometry of a compound miter means that the angle of the miter and bevel are set to something other than the final result. If you're cutting a 45° miter that also has a 45° bevel, for example, you would set the miter gauge to 35.26° and the bevel gauge to 30°.

Making a Cut:

Check the saw's manual for the proper setting, and plan on making make plenty of test cuts.
  • Cutting slowly reduces splintering
  • Always bolt or clamp the saw to a stable surface
The miter saw cuts precise angles that would be difficult to get with other saws. While you can set it to any angle, there are also preset stops for the most common angles. Loosen the handle, depress the lock plate, and swing the miter table until it snaps into the desired setting. Re-tighten the handle before making the cut. To cut a bevel or make a compound cut, loosen the bevel lock knob, set it to the desired angle, and tighten.

Safety Alert:

Like all saws, the miter saw is potentially dangerous.
Keep your hands well clear of the blade, and wait for the blade to stop spinning before you remove any scraps. Small pieces can fly out of the back of the saw, and bounce back, so remove any scraps before making a cut. Do not wear rings or other jewelry, or loose clothing. Wear hearing protection, safety glasses, and a dust mask when making cuts.
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miter sawMakita 15 Amp 12" Compound Miter Saw

Makita 12" Compound Miter Saw combines power, performance and ease of use for most common miter cuts. Perfect for a range of applications including woodworking, cabinetry, deck building, framing and more. The dynamically balanced, 15 Amp, direct-drive motor is engineered to never slip or bog down like belt-drive units. It features a precision-machined aluminum base for accurate cuts. For ease of use, there's a horizontal D-handle design for comfort.

miter sawDeWalt 12" Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

The DeWalt 15 Amp 12 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw is driven by a powerful motor for advanced cutting power in a compact, lightweight design. With extended bevel and miter capacities, this saw powers through dimensional lumber and molding at angles up to 50 Degree left and 60 Degree right for versatility. Tall sliding fences support crown molding up to 7½" nested, base molding up to 6½" vertically against the fence while easily sliding out of the way for bevel cuts.

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