Think of what actually makes up a miter saw. The following issues/features will determine what miter saw you might choose, so read carefully. If you're new to miter saws, this will be a great educational guide for you. Seasoned users may want to skip right to the products. Here are the issues/features to look for/be aware of for those new to these types of saws.
1. Do You Need A Basic Or Compound Miter Saw?
A basic miter saw is able to create simple cuts to wood and other materials. They have no bevel and no slide rather it's just a no frills saw.
A compound miter saw on the other hand is much more advanced, and will have a bevel, a slide, and other accessories to make more advanced and precise cuts. These types of saws can have single or dual bevels and be available with a wide variety of blade diameters. If you're serious about word working it's best to have a compound miter saw instead of a basic one because you never know what project you may need to complete. Better safe than sorry.
2. Amps Of Power
15 amps is generally the amperage of choice for professionals and home cutting enthusiasts alike. A miter saw with this amperage is powerful enough to make quick work of difficult materials and this amperage of motor generally lasts substantially longer than less powerful models.
3. RPM Speed
3,000 to 4,000 RPM speed is the industry standard for miter saws. This RPM speed offers the highest level of performance and presents the least amount of difficulty in completing projects.
4. Blade Diameter
How big the blade is will determine what kind of projects you'll be able to accomplish. In most cases, you'll want a bigger blade, rather than a smaller one. With a larger blade, you can get all the small jobs done but you get the added benefit of being able to accomplish really big jobs as well. Look for miter saws with a blade diameter of 12 inches. This blade diameter is capable of handling both large and small jobs with ease.
5. Bevel Capacity And Positive Stops
Being able to tilt the blade to the left and the right to make cuts, also called beveling, is important to most miter saw users. Generally, left/right tilt degree angles of 0-60 degrees is sufficient for most projects. You'll also want to find a miter saw that has "positive stops", meaning preset degrees where the blade locks into position. For example, for a specific project you may need to make a series of 22.5 degree and 31.6 degree cuts. Having exact "positive stops" in these positions will allow you to make quick work of the project.
6. Manufacturer, Warranty, And Amazon Review Score
Be sure to buy from a good manufacturer. Some great manufacturers of miter saws in the market today are Bosch, Makita, DeWalt, Hitachi, Ryobi, Milwaukee, and Skil. Also, you should ensure that your purchase comes with a long lasting warranty. Making the purchase will mean nothing if the product is defective from the factory. Finally, the Amazon review rating can be one of your best friends in the effort to find the best saw. You can rely on the past experiences of others to see if the miter saw you're looking at will be the right fit for you.