Woodworking Essentials: Miter Saws


A Better Way to Work: Part 4
By Marc Adams
Pages: 47-54

From the April 2008 issue #168
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Power miter saws, for the most part, are saws of our generation. They were first introduced to the hobbyist market in the mid-1970s but really took off in the 1980s. They have become so popular that they have all but replaced the radial-arm saw.

Power miter saws are about the handiest
of all power saws because they are:

  • portable
  • easy to set up
  • relatively inexpensive
  • very accurate
  • available in a variety of sizes (both in blade size and horsepower).

Above all, miter saws have a high degree of precision, consistency and repeatability; you can shave off just a little bit until you get the perfect cut. And when used properly can be very safe.

One of the greatest attributes of power miter saws is that not only do they do a great job making perfect 90° cuts, they also can make angle and compound cuts up to 45° to either side of the blade. Most saws have built-in brakes that help stop the blade after the trigger is released. And there are specific miter saws with specific blades (and techniques) that can cut through most anything, including plastic, metal, paper products, composites, stone, solid-surface materials and of course flesh and bone.


From the April 2008 issue #168
Buy this issue now