The Ultimate Guide to Compound Miter Saws-What They Are, How They Work, and Who Should be Using Them
Compound miter saws are an excellent type of miter saw with an extending arm that provides a lot more cutting capacity than the standard fixed-position models. This makes it possible to cut wider pieces of wood and other materials without having to stop, turn the piece around, and re-cut from a different angle.
These tools also have adjustable angles on both sides of the blade, so you can cut at positive and negative angles at the same time. With all this in mind, let’s take a closer look at what you need to know if you’re interested in one of these useful devices.
What is a compound miter saw?
A miter saw is essentially a saw that cuts at a right angle, which is the angle that wood pieces are commonly joined together. Miter saws are used to cut wood and other materials like plastic, tile, and vinyl. They have one or more saw blades that rotate rapidly and are kept in place by a guard.
The compound miter saw is a type of miter saw that has an extending arm with a pivot point at the top that allows you to cut much wider pieces of wood than you could with a similarly sized fixed miter saw. Compound miter saws can cut at an angle just like regular miter saws, but they can also extend in two directions. This allows you to cut a much wider piece of wood from the top, so you don’t have to stop and turn it around to get the job done.
How do compound miter saws work?
Compound miter saws have an extending arm that allows you to reach wider pieces of wood without having to turn them around.
Many saws also have an adjustable pivot point that allows you to adjust the angle of the arm to the left or right. These saws all have a positive-stop rotating wheel that allows you to set the cutting angle on both sides of the blade. They often have a bevel wheel, too, that allows you to easily adjust the cutting angle on one side of the blade.
The saw base has a movable fence that allows you to move the wood forward and back as you set it on the table. The fence has a stop on it, as well, so you can set the wood at a precise distance from the blade. This makes it easier to cut pieces of wood to a specific length.
When should you use a compound miter saw?
You should use a compound miter saw when you need to cut pieces of wood that are longer than what is possible with a standard miter saw. A shorter saw will only allow you to reach pieces that are about 2 feet long. These saws are also very useful for cutting wider pieces of wood.
A compound miter saw will allow you to reach pieces that are up to about 16 inches wide, so you don’t have to turn the piece around and re-cut from the other side. These saws are also very powerful, which means they can cut through thick pieces of wood quickly. This makes them a good choice for cutting through thick pieces of wood.
What are the different types of compound miter saws?
There are several different types of compound miter saws available on the market today, and they each have their own unique features.
Below are a few of the most common types of compound miter saws, as well as their features and uses.
Folding compound miter saws
They are the most compact type of compound miter saw that you can find. This makes them great for homeowners who don’t have a lot of space in their garage. Folding compound miter saws are a bit heavier than fixed compound miter saws, but they’re still easy to use and a great option for most people.
Fixed compound miter saws
Fixed compound miter saws are the most common type of compound miter saw. They have a large, fixed arm that doesn’t pivot or extend, but they’re still great for cutting wider pieces of wood.
Sliding compound miter saws
Sliding compound miter saws are a bit different from the other types of compound miter saws. They have an extending arm like other compound miter saws, but the arm slides on a track. These saws are the most versatile, but they’re also the heaviest and costliest.
What to look for when shopping for a compound miter saw
There are a few features that you should look for when shopping for a compound miter saw.
First, you’ll want to check the size of the saw’s cutting capacity. You should be able to fit the widest pieces of wood you plan to work with within the saw’s cutting capacity.
There are also several important safety features to keep in mind as you shop.
- A saw with a good dust collection system will keep your work surface cleaner, which will make it easier to work with.
- A saw with a good blade guard will protect you from any kickback, which can be very dangerous.
- A saw with an auto-shutoff feature will turn off if it senses the blade coming into contact with your work surface, which is a good way to protect your fingers.
Tips for using a compound miter saw
- Keep your hands away from the blade.
- Never guide wood with your hands.
- Keep your fingers away from the blade as soon as it starts to rotate.
- Keep your work surface clean and uncluttered. This will make it easier to work with your tools.
- Wear proper safety gear like gloves, eye protection, and hearing protection.
- You should also keep your blades sharp and clean. Dull blades can create kickback that could cause injury. Wear safety gear, keep your hands away from the blade, and keep your work area clean.
- Your compound miter saw will perform much better and be safer to use if you do those things!
The compound miter saw is an excellent type of miter saw that provides a lot more cutting capacity than the standard fixed-position models. This makes it possible to cut wider pieces of wood and other materials without having to stop, turn the piece around, and re-cut from a different angle.
These saws also have adjustable angles on both sides of the blade, so you can cut at positive and negative angles at the same time. These saws are very powerful, which means they can cut through thick pieces of wood quickly.
It’s important to keep these things in mind if you’re interested in buying a compound miter saw.