What Is A Miter Saw?


When you need cut molding or trim you will turn to your trusted miter saw, which is also commonly known as a chop saw or even a drop saw. This power tool will enable you to make quick and extremely accurate crosscuts at any selected angle.

Sliding Compound Miter Saw vs Non-Sliding

Different saws will enable you to accomplish different jobs. The compound miter saw will enable you to make miter and bevel cuts, but do you need a sliding one or a non-sliding one to get the job done right? Let us have a look at the differences between the two and get the low down on what type of jobs each is suited to.


The stationary compound Miter saw is generally called a “bench miter saw” or just a compound miter saw. These saws allow you to cut at more than one angle and this is what results in a bevel cut. The pivoting arm will allow you to angle the blade to one side, thereby achieving a bevel cut. The reason they are called compound saws is due to the fact that they can cut at two angles simultaneously, a miter and a bevel cut.

A huge advantage to using the compound miter saw is that Not being limited by any sliding rails, you will be able to achieve a greater cutting arc that you would use a sliding compound saw. This comes in very handy when you are going to be cutting corner joint moldings and the like. The downside to this type of saw is that your ability to cut through wider pieces of material is limited.

That is not to say that you will not be able to cope with most of the jobs you want to take on, however, you will be limited to cutting through about 6 inches. This may not sound very wide, however, most woodworkers will not have the occasion to have to cut through the wider material than that. They are particularly great for cutting crown and different types of molding.


So what is the difference between a sliding and a stationary compound miter saw, well basically it is the fact that the sliding saw has rails to enable you to slide it forward or backward while cutting. The sliding version of the saw is able to accomplish almost anything that a stationary saw can, and it will cut through thicker materials which your stationary one will not be able to handle. A 12-inch blade sliding miter saw will be able to cut through around 16″ of material.

That is a lot more than your stationary saw will be able to do. They are great for cutting things like fence posts, lumber or even logs. To conclude, the sliding miter saw will be able to get through a lot more material than a stationary one and is great for heavy-duty cutting such as through logs and other wider materials. However, the sliding miter saw does come with a higher price range.

If you are going to be doing some DIY woodwork at home you will probably not need this extra capacity, and the stationary miter saw would suit your needs perfectly. Avoid spending those extra dollars for a saw with the extra cutting capacity that you will most likely never need so opting for the stationary miter saw makes more sense.

What is a Compound Miter Saw?

A miter saw is a specialized tool that will enable you to cut through a variety of materials, at a variety of angles. These saws have a blade that is mounted on a swing arm that will pivot to allow you to make the angled cuts you need. Compound miter saws, in comparison to miter saws, will not only pivot from left to right, but the blade also tilts to allow for beveled cuts.

Using a compound miter saw gives you the accuracy you need to making crosscuts on wood, no matter whether you are looking to make a square cut, angled cut o a beveled cut. An added advantage to these saws is that you can often make an angled, beveled cut at the same time.

This enables you to get an accurate and complex compound cut when using a compound miter saw as opposed to a standard miter saw. The sliding compound miter saw gives you all the advantages of the stationary compound miter saw, with the added advantage of being able to cut through wide pieces of wood easily.


Having the right equipment makes woodworking and other DIY tasks a whole lot easier. Having a compound miter saw will allow you to make accurate cuts in wood, both beveled and angled. Whether you choose a sliding, or non-sliding compound miter saw, your woodworking tasks will be a lot less arduous using one of these saws.

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