What is a Compound Miter Saw

Woodworking can be a taxing job if you don’t have the right tools to help you through the work. So today, we’re going to be talking about a tool that will make life easier for you; a compound miter saw. What is a compound miter saw? Well, we’ll take you through all the details of this machine!

Compound Miter Saw

If you’re already familiar with the miter saw and its functions, then you’ll be able to truly appreciate how flexible a compound miter saw is to cut wood. Miter saws allow you to make miter cuts, however, with a compound miter saw you can make bevel cuts and compound cuts!

What are the Differences between a Compound miter saw and a Miter saw?

Compound Miter Saw

Normal Miter Saw

You can see from the two pictures above, the sheer contrast in mechanisms within both the miter saws. One of them is a compound miter saw and the other is a basic miter saw (only capable of miter cuts). So, where do the biggest differences lie?

Well, we’ve already mentioned the first one. The compound miter saw, allows you way more flexibility and versatility when you work, due to the amount of cuts you can make. The basic miter saw however, only allows you to make miter cuts, and that might be enough for you. Regardless, if you’re ever in a bind, a compound miter saw could help out way more than a basic miter saw!

One more bit of information about the compound miter saw against the basic version that could help you with your choice, would be the fact that compound miter saws can come with varying degrees of extensions that range from sliding compound miter saws (discussed more in types of compound miter saws), to lasers added to them for even more precise cuts! 

If you want an in-depth guidance to provide you visual aids on the perks of these saws, we’re sure the following video will help you out!

Since we’ve been raving on about these types of cuts available with a compound miter saw, let’s go through them one by one in order to ensure we’re up to date on them!

Miter cuts

A miter cut is a basic cut that can be made by any miter saw. This cut requires you to set up specific angles for your desired cut. Your miter saw will have a miter gauge attached to it, and you can set it up at varying angles till 45 degrees.

Bevel cuts

A bevel cut requires a compound miter saw because this cut goes through the thickness of the wood you’re trying to cut, and creates a slanted cut through it. For this the miter angle needs to be at 0 degrees, and you set your bevel angle to whatever you want it to be from 0-45 degrees.

Compound Cut

This is the compound miter saw specialty right here. It is considered a compound cut whenever you have both the miter angle and bevel angle set to something other than 0 degrees. It allows for you to tilt and rotate the arm of your compound miter saw. Versatile, isn’t it? That’s the point when you’re using miter saws with additional perks added to them.

Types of Compound Miter Saws

The key thing to know about compound miter saws is that there are different types to be chosen from. We’ll be looking into these types and seeing the varying degrees of benefits each type brings. Let’s dive in!

Single Compound Miter Saw

A single compound miter saw is the basic version of a compound miter saw. Now what exactly does that entail? Well, it’s still better than a standard miter saw, as in it can make bevel and compound cuts alongside miter cuts. This makes compound miter saws heavily useful for crown molding. However, a single compound miter saw has a bevel angle that allows for the blade to only tilt to one side. It can either move to the left or right, but not both.

Dual Compound Miter Saw

Dual Compound Miter Saw

This saw is basically the same as the single compound saw, except for the fact that you can tilt the blade down on either side. Sometimes you want to work with the blade on the left, or sometimes on the right. Handy right? Even such minor versatility can help your woodworking skills skyrocket when you’re undertaking large projects!

Sliding Compound Miter Saw

We already told you we’d discuss this right? Well, we must tell you that these saws have a sliding feature that make it way more versatile than it already was! With all the other saws, you’d be stuck with a fixed width on your piece of wood, and the blade would be able to manage just that. However, with the sliding feature added to this saw, you can move your blade forward and backwards allowing you to cut pieces with a far greater width. Thus, for large projects requiring the utmost versatility, these sliding compound miter saws are the way to go!

What are the Benefits of Sliding Compound Miter saws?

As we’ve already seen, sliding miter saws bring more to the table, literally! However, standard compound saws also provide you with enough to work with. So, it depends on the type of work you’ll be engaging in!

Sliding miter saws are the way to go for you if you think you’ll be engaging in work that requires broad pieces of wood. Not only will this make your work more efficient, but you’ll also avoid any mistakes and the annoyance of readjusting your piece each time. They tend to be a little more expensive than standard compound saws, and require more space, but it mainly depends on the work you take on! 

If you’re really keen on delving deeper into sliding compound miter saws, then you should definitely learn about the differences between sliding miter saw and compound saw!

The Takeaway

There’s a lot of information on compound miter saws in here, we know! However, if you really want to learn about these machines properly, then a thorough look through this article can really set you up! We hope you can conquer your carpentry needs through this information and master the blade!

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