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Miter & Chop Saws

Saws are a major part of the woodworking process. Over time, specialty saws have been developed that allow hobbyists and professionals to undertake complex projects with less time and effort. Miter saws and chop saws each have specific functions but can also be used for many general purposes.

What do miter saws do?

Miter saws allow the user to cut materials on an angle. They are used for such things as cutting baseboards and trim in the construction setting; cutting picture frames in a commercial setting; and, creating angled cuts in the craftsman's workshop.

What are the different types of miter saws?

Miter saws come in both low-tech and high-tech models. Powered miter saws have blades from 8 to 12 inches. The models that use the 10-inch blades handle most jobs. Manual saw: This is a special hand tool that uses a miter box to guide the fine blade to make an angled cut. Standard power saw: This is a used frequently in construction that is designed to cut wood at an angle. Compound miter saw: This is a useful when used on crown molding or picture frames that allows cuts from many angles through the pivot of the blade from right to left. Sliding compound miter saw: The sliding compound miter saw cuts similar to the compound miter but with the additional function of a sliding-blade housing that allows for a longer cut on wider pieces of wood.

What saw is used to make a bevel edge?

Using a compound miter saw or a dual bevel compound miter saw, the bevel cut is done quickly. Additionally, the sliding compound miter saw may be used in instances where the wood to be cut is larger than the other units can handle. The compound part of these units is found in the way the blade can be tilted as well as rotated at its base. Sometimes the bevel can be one in either direction. This gives maximum assistance to woodworkers or construction workers who are making picture frames or installing crown molding.

What is a chop saw?

A chop saw is used primarily to cut metals and plastics. They are designed specifically to cut down on the heat that can be produced from the friction of cutting metal materials. Chop saws make both angled cuts and straight cuts.

How do you use the laser function?

Using the laser line function on the miter saw provides assurance that the cut will be exactly where it is needed.

  • Mark the line to be cut as normal.
  • Be sure to wear eye protection as with all power tools.
  • Do a test cut on a scrap piece of wood to make sure the laser has not shifted or moved since the last use.
  • Once confirmed, line up the wood with the red-light line and cut as normal.
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