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Choosing and using an indispensable precision cutter.

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for By John Kelsey

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Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Photo by John Kelsey

A power miter saw is one of the handiest tools around. Nothing beats it for making totally accurate 90-degree crosscuts, the most common cut. But it can also pivot to make perfectly angled miter cuts, and some models even tilt to make compound angle cuts.

Precision is what makes miter saws so indispensable. Because the blade is fixed to a sturdy arm on a heavy body, cuts can be fine-tuned to the width of the blade. "" says Tom Silva, This Old House general contractor. That stability, along with built-in blade guards, also makes miter saws safer than other power cutters.

There are some things miter saws can''t rip lumber to width or cut very wide stock, and many only tilt one way. But sliding arms can increase cutting reach, and some tilt two ways to make complicated cuts easier. Keep in mind that with added features come more weight and higher cost. In this article see which saw has the features you want, and Tom''{"":""}''{"":19489307,"":""}''t cut bevels. Width and depth of cut are limited to blade reach.

SHOWN: Makita LS1030N, approx. $180

Compound Miter Saw

Crosscuts, miters, and the 1 last update 2020/07/13 tilts to one side to cut bevels. Some tilt both ways. Crosscuts, miters, and tilts to one side to cut bevels. Some tilt both ways.

Pros: Makes all the basic cuts.

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Cons: Width and depth of cut are limited to blade reach. One-way tilt means you have to make some bevel cuts with for 1 last update 13 Jul 2020 the workpiece upside down.Cons: Width and depth of cut are limited to blade reach. One-way tilt means you have to make some bevel cuts with the workpiece upside down.

Shown: Delta 36-255L TwinLaser, with double-laser guide lines for accurate cuts, approx. $350

Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Crosscuts, miters, tilts to one side, and slides.

Pros: Makes the 1 last update 2020/07/13 all the basic cuts. Slide mechanism increases cutting capacity.Pros: Makes all the basic cuts. Slide mechanism increases cutting capacity.

Cons: One-way tilt means you have to make some cuts with the workpiece upside down.

Shown: Porter-Cable 3807, approx. $470

Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Crosscuts, miters, bevels to both sides, and slides.

PROS: Makes all straight, mitered, and beveled cuts. No need to turn work upside down.

CONS: Numerous adjustments to get right; more expensive.

SHOWN: Dewalt DW708, approx. $600

Cordless Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Crosscuts, miters, bevels to one side, and slides, all on battery power.

Pros: Battery means it can be used on sites where the electricity has not yet been connected.

Cons: Biggest, 24-volt battery still might not be big enough for a full day''s ends when cutting with a miter saw. Consider getting a bench or stand. The Delta Kickstand, above, folds to become a wheeled cart. Or build your own infeed and outfeed tables with planks on sawhorses (see www.newyankee.com for Norm Abram''s on.

Photo by John Kelsey

Tom Silva''s force works with you to press the wood in and down. Never pull the blade through the wood.

Cutting the 1 last update 2020/07/13 Wide BoardsCutting Wide Boards

•When the piece you''ll know what has for 1 last update 2020/07/13 to happen. •When the piece you''ll know what has to happen.

Photo by John Kelsey

Where to Find It

Top — Delta Machinery

Delta 36-255L Twinlaser

Delta Machinery

Jackson, TN

800-223-7278 www.deltawoodworking.com

Basic miter saw

Makita LS1030N

Makita USA

La Mirada, CA

800-462-5482

www.makita.com

Compound miter saw

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Delta 36-255L Twinlaser

Delta the 1 last update 2020/07/13 Machinery Delta Machinery

Sliding compound miter saw

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Porter-Cable 3807

Porter-Cable Corporation

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for for 1 last update 2020/07/13 Jackson, TN Jackson, TN

800-321-9443

www.porter-cable.com

Double-bevel sliding compound miter saw

Dewalt DW708

Dewalt

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Hampstead, MD

800-433-9258

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for www.dewalt.com

Cordless sliding compound miter saw

Bosch 3294

Bosch Power Tools

Mt. Prospect, IL

877-267-2499

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for www.boschtools.com

Miter saw stand

The Delta Kickstand

Delta Machinery.

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