A miter saw is one of the most useful beginner tools if you want to get into wood working and home improvement projects. It can be a little intimidating though if you aren't sure what to look for or the terminology isn't making sense. So, let's break it down. When you are researching different miter saws to purchase you will see the words sliding, compound, single-, and dual-bevel to describe them. Lets dive into what these mean.
A sliding miter saw has rails that allow the blade to move towards you or away from you. Which means you are able to cut wider pieces of wood. For example a 10" Sliding Miter Saw can cut a 15" cross cut vs only 10" if it wasn't a sliding miter. A 12" sliding miter saw can do a 18" cross cut vs only 12" if it wasn't sliding. When you are thinking of the projects you want to start how wide is the wood? Make sure the miter saw you choose will be able to cut that width.
The other thing to consider when purchasing a sliding miter saw is where you want to store it. Some miter saws require clearance behind for when it is being used in the sliding position. One reason I love the Delta 12" Dual Bevel Sliding Cruzer Miter Saw is because it require zero clearance aka can be stored right up against the wall.
A compound miter saw can cut both a bevel cut and a miter cut which is necessary when working with crown molding or other trim that gets installed on a wall.
SINGLE AND DUAL BEVEL
A single bevel miter saw can only cut a left bevel and a dual bevel miter saw can make both a left and right bevel eliminating the need to flip your material around to make the opposite compound cut. If you are wanting to do crown molding or base molding cuts flat this saves you so much hassle.
The miter saws that I love and use are the Delta 12" Dual Bevel Sliding Cruzer Miter Saw. This is my go to saw for everything. If you are diving all in I recommend looking into building a table saw nesting bench for your new beauty to live on.
The other miter saw that I own and love is the Hart 7 1/4" Compound Miter Saw. I use the Hart miter saw mainly for when I'm going to someones house to help do walls or trim. Its super small and easy to carry around so its perfect to travel with!
Another 12" miter saw that I would recommend that is a little cheaper then the Delta 12" Miter Saw is the Dewalt Sliding Compound Miter Saw . The Dewalt doesn't have the same zero clearance as the Delta but is still a great saw if the zero clearance doesn't matter to you.
I hope this blog post helps you make a more confident decision when purchasing a miter saw. Message me if you have any questions.