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How to Choose the Right Miter Saw
There are many different miter saws available, from $100 all the way to $600. Here is a basic guide to choose the right one for you.
If you are a homeowner and you like to do things yourself, then chances are you are going to need a miter saw. It is essential for cutting angles. But what kind do you need? Let's take a look.
A miter saw is basically a blade that comes down and chops wood in half, either in straight cuts or angled cuts. Because the wood is stationary and the blade is moving, the tool makes accurate cuts.
If you want the cut straight, leave the gauge at zero. For angled cuts, move the gauge's arrow to the desired angle. Then place the board on the cutting surface against the fence and lower the blade.
A compound miter also tilts the blade in order to bring three dimensional cuts together, such as when crown moulding comes together in a room. Set your miter, then your compound, then lower the blade.
The back of the saw has a gauge on it as well to make sure your compounds cut is as accurate as your miter cut. It also goes up to 45 degrees.
The more money you invest in your miter saw, the bigger the blade, fence, and work surfaces are. These lead to more accurate cuts, which leads to a better finished product.
A bigger blade and wider work surface also means you can cut larger boards without having to flip the wood and make a second cut.
Another advantage of a more expensive miter saw is the dual bevel feature. If you can compound the blade each way, the wood stays still. When the wood stays still, your accuracy improves.
This miter saw has the dual compound feature, plus the blade slides on a set of rails. This provides the maximum room to cut a variety of different sizes, matching up with whatever job you are doing.
It also has a dust bag that mounts on the back of the blade over the sliding rails. This will gather up a lot of the sawdust as the blade cuts the wood.
Once you pick out your miter saw, then you need the right accessories for your job. Most saws have a general purpose blade included with them, such as this 40 tooth blade.
As with any saw blade, the higher the tooth count, the smoother the cut. This fine finishing blade has 80 teeth, which is perfect for working with trim and crown moulding.
Finally, if your working with long boards and trim, a miter saw stand helps hold the board still as you are working. And like I sad earlier, the more your board sits still, the more accurate your cuts
A miter saw can be useful for many projects around the house. The most important thing to remember is to purchase a saw to match the jobs you will be tackling. This will ensure the job's done right!
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Lowe's LEF manager and fine artist