Anybody that is a serious woodworker likely owns a miter saw, they are possibly the most versatile tools you will ever buy. Making compound cuts is tricky if you don’t own a compound miter saw so they are well worth getting one. Attempting to be a woodworker without a miter saw is difficult, therefore it should be one of the first power tools you buy.
In large part the type of miter saw that you choose is going to be determined by how much you can afford to invest and how serious you are about woodworking. When it comes to picking out a miter saws you normally get your moneys worth. There is usually a large price difference based on the size and the quality of the saw that you choose. It is usually sound advice is to get the highest quality saw that you can afford. A miter saw is an incredibly versatile tool and choosing the highest quality one you can afford will help guarantee that you get maximum use out of it.
Generally compound miter saws come in three different sizes 8, 10, and 12 inches. When we speak about the size of a miter saw we are actually speaking about the diameter of the blade. The larger the blade the bigger the piece of wood it can cut. Even though miter saws come in three different sizes the eight inch saw is so limited in what you can do with it that it really isn’t even worth considering. The ten and twelve inch versions are really the only ones you are going to need to decide between. It is unlikely that most woodworkers will ever encounter a piece of wood that is too big for a ten inch saw so that is normally sufficient for most needs. The twelve inch miter saw is intended mainly for professional carpenters who frequently need to cut through larger pieces.
The sliding compound miter saw is usually the best option when it comes to miter saws. With this type of saw you can pull the saw through the wood after you have lowered it, you can also cut miters and bevels. This makes it possible to cut larger pieces of wood. The compound miter saw is the the next step down, you can’t pull it through the wood but it can cut miters and bevels. Most people find this to be a good choice it is just more limited as to the pieces of wood that it can handle compared to a sliding compound miter saw. A standard miter saw is the next step down but since it not able to cut bevels it is extremely limited and not really worth considering.