Woodworking is not an easy task. It takes all the strength you have to do such an activity. And in order to help you achieve your projects easily without taking all the sweat and strength in you, you might want to consider having the basic tools to make the process of sawing faster and cutting boards easier!
Most of the time, in doing woodwork, you will find yourself dealing with 1×6’s or 2×4’s boards that are usually 8 feet in length. And you might ask yourself how you can cut these boards to a smaller length the best way possible.
The answer to that is by cutting them with a miter saw. A miter saw is a type of saw that can easily cut the boards in a crosscut. This tool is also stationary, which means that you can place it on a top bench and directly cut the wood to it.
There is also what we call a circular saw. Dealing with a circular saw to cut boards will be more difficult than using a miter because circular saws are handheld. Handheld tools are difficult to handle especially if you are dealing with wider boards. And this is especially true if you are still a beginner and trying to get a good idea about all of these power tools.
If you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional woodworker planning to purchase a miter saw, but are still having a hard time deciding whether it’s a good idea or not, worry no more! This article has done in-depth research and has gathered facts and factors that will let you know how a miter can change your woodwork game and why having a miter saw in your wood shop is a must.
Interested to know more about the miter saw and its uses in different situations? If yes, then scroll down. You’re in the right place.
Uses of a Miter Saw
To start with, there are several tasks that a miter can complete with such ease and convenience. Doing these tasks with a different type of tool or a different kind of saw would only make it more complicated and harder. So, why not choose a miter and make your life easier, right? To further elaborate on what a miter saw can do, here are the following woodcuts that a miter can easily do:
A. Regular Crosscuts
If you want to cut a board into two equal sizes, using a miter saw is the perfect choice for you. Other options would include using a circular saw, a handsaw, a radial arm saw, and many more. But these tools would not compare to a miter for three different reasons:
- Using a sliding miter saw, you can easily slice wide boards that are 12 inches wide. Depending on the board’s thickness, a 12’’ sliding saw can automatically cut a 12” wide board. How awesome is that?
- With a miter saw, lining up the cut line will be an easy task. For example, if you set a board against the fence, you can easily move the handle down to see where the cut is going to be. Some miter saws even come with a laser guide. This guide allows you to clearly see where the blade will cut the board. In this way, you won’t even need to set the saw against the workpiece.
- Lastly, a miter saw has powerful and stable machinery. It can cut through every possible board you could ever encounter. The machine is also heavy and stationary. These factors play a vital role in its efficiency. Heavy and stationary miters can be easily put and set aside in your wood shop or workbench without you having to worry about it moving around when you use it to cut wood or set the board on it.
B. Angled Cuts
Angled cuts are a type of cut which is also known as the miter cut. To create an angled cut, you can turn the saw from one side to the other. The range capacity of the miter to create an angle cut depends on the blade size and the length of the cut. Most miter saws on the market today can cut about 45 degrees to 50 degrees to the left and to the right.
There are 3 different uses of a miter cut (but it’s not limited to these situations alone, of course):
1. Miter cuts are useful in any furniture project that has angles. You can create a ton of woodworking tasks and furniture by strictly using right angles. By using right angles, you could create nice-looking masterpiece-like designs, no matter the size of the wood work or furniture. Eventually, you will come across a project where you’ll need to miter different angles of boards together and you will thank having a miter saw as your handy-dandy tool.
Even making a simple wood picture frame placed in your house, office, or even in the classroom, needs mitering on the corners in order to join them together. A joint miter allows different pieces of angled boards to come together, forming a single art piece. You can use Kreg screws to hold the boards together.
2. If you are a DIY enthusiast and you are planning to make DIY projects such as flooring in your own space or remodeling your house or your client’s room, an angled cut is very useful. In this situation, you will be required to cut something at an angle by sliding your miter saw around. You will also need to cut some slats at an angle if you are putting the flooring down. If you have a square room, then, it is easier to get a snug fit. However, there are situations where the walls are not completely square so a miter cut is essential in order to perfectly achieve the perfect flooring you want.
3. A trim work will require all kinds of angled cuts into it. For example, if you are finishing a basement or remodeling your house, or completing some type of woodwork, owning a miter saw is a must. Trim works are more difficult especially if you don’t have a miter and you need all kinds of angles to be cut.
C. Bevel and Compound Angle Cuts
Bevel and compound angle cuts are pretty complicated to do. Whether you are a beginner newbie or a master craftsman, these kinds of cuts are done with a good level of difficulty. This cut is accomplished by angling the path of the saw cut and moving the miter saw to the left or right.
This type of cut doesn’t occur much often unlike the first two cuts mentioned above. But in situations where you need these types of cuts, you will be glad that you have the miter saw to complete it. Miter saws will truly come in handy whenever you need them.
One of the advantages of having a miter saw in your workbench is that you can make these bevel cuts possible. Cutting at an angle, like doing a 1×10 wide board, is easily done when you have a sliding saw.
D. Other Considerations
We can’t deny that miter saws are indeed very functional and useful in different types of situations. The following lists below are some of the extra uses of having a miter saw at your house or in your workspace:
1. Repeatable Cuts
If you are doing multiple projects of the same type of cut and appearance, achieving repeatable cuts is more difficult to do when you use other types hand tools or a circular saw.
Doing repeatable cuts such as those that are of the same length and size, is easier and quicker with a miter saw. To achieve repeatable cuts at the exact same length, all you have to do is to put a stop on one end of the work surface. Then, butt your workpiece against that stop. Repeat the process, and just like magic, you’ll have the cuts exactly the way you want them.
2. Built-in Workbench
Creating a workstation that integrates the miter saw is an advantage for you to maximize its full functionality and capacity. Having a built-in workbench makes your woodwork easier because the incorporated workbench with a miter saw would allow you to hold your boards in place while you make a cut and also position your boards with relative ease.
3. Sliding Saw
A sliding miter saw has this advantage because it allows you to cut wood that have wider lengths and pieces. It is highly recommended to have a sliding miter saw if you always deal with boards that are 10 to 12 inches wide. Having a sliding saw makes it a lot easier for you to flip the piece over every time you cut a wide board. Although other types of power tools can still achieve this, the miter saw does the job with lesser effort.
Having a miter saw has a lot of advantages and can also be used for a variety of needs. These include making angled miter cuts, creating regular board cats, achieving compound angled cuts, and many more! Miter saws are also very useful with trim works and with DIY projects such as flooring, remodeling your own house or space, and so much more!
If you are planning to do any of these activities and you need to achieve several certain cuts, a miter saw is the perfect companion to accomplish any project you wish to complete, and to complete with design!
There are also other tools that may come in handy, but it is guaranteed that nothing is as versatile and functional as having a miter saw, whether you use in your workstation or in your home.