Miter Saw Vs Compound Miter Saw -Which Best For You 2022

Last Update On: January 25, 2022 // Author:

If you’re planning to get your new wood workshop, a new tool, the first thing you must consider is a saw. When you go to a store and have a look at the options, it may get confusing which one to choose. The job becomes even more daunting when you have to choose between a sliding miter saw vs compound miter saw. When the dilemma comes into play, and you have to deal with it, the most necessary thing is to know about them.

To select the right saw for your shop, you must know how they work and how they can match up your style of work. Not every type of cut on the wood will require the same mechanism on the saw you’re using for the cut. If you’re facing this problem now, stick to this article, I can help you decide which you’re going with.

Miter Saw Vs Compound Miter Saw: What’S The Difference?

If you’re setting up a new shop, it’s not practical to go for both the sliding miter saw vs compound miter saw. The most efficient way of deciding which one you should go for is to know all the major differences between them, such as:

miter saw vs compound miter saw

A Basic Miter Saw Mechanism

Although you’ll probably prefer a sliding or a compound miter saw, let me help you understand the basic miter saw mechanism first. Miter saws are popular among the woodworkers because of their efficiency at making miter cuts from different angles. Making angle cross cuts are more comfortable with miter saws because they come with a pivoting mechanism. You can choose any angle you want to work with and make a perfect cut on the workpiece.

Different Angles Of The Miter Cut

They will come with either a single angle like 15, 25, 30, or 45 or an adjustable angle option to make your cuts. A miter saw will have an adjustable fence that you can hold the workpiece to while cutting it. The cutting method is fairly straightforward with a miter saw as it has an angle locking system. Depending on how many angles you need, mark the piece with a pencil, and put the piece on the bed; pull the handle to cut with the circular blade.

The Appearance Of A Sliding Miter Saw

The miter saw and the compound miter saw will have an identical difference in the appearance and the mechanism. A sliding miter saw will have a slider in the back of the saw, which doubles the depth for the cut. It helps you make a perfect cut if you have a workpiece with a wider depth. The rails of the miter saw come super smooth for an easy movement back and forth.

The Different Mechanism In A Compound Miter Saw

A compound saw cannot reach as deep as a sliding miter saw would do on a wider board. The compound saw doesn’t come with the sliding rail, so it cannot reach as long as a sliding miter saw. Both of the saws may have the same diameter of 8, 10, or 12 inches with enough lumber thickness to land a miter cut. Making the most common 4 types of cuts with a compound saw is easier in operation.

Style Of Work

Both the miter saw and the compound miter saw can do almost the same job in different ways. You will land miter Bevel or crosscuts with both of the saws from different angles. Compound miter saws will help you even more with multiple miter cuts in the same setup with dedicated angle mechanisms. However, the compound miter saw lacks a rail that comes as an advantage with the sliding miter saw.

Bevel Options

The compound miter saw comes with options of either single bevel method or dual bevel. The dual bevel miter saws allow you to land miter cuts in both the left and right side of the workpiece without flipping the piece. All you have to do with a dual bevel saw is to pivot the saw and keep on cutting. It saves you a lot of time, especially if you’re working with a big workpiece. However, you will find dual bevel models in sliding miter saws as well with more complicated mechanisms.

Which One Is Best For You?

A Saw is the most important tool that you get at first after setting a workstation for woodworking. Choosing the right type of saw is crucial as both the options can be appealing because of their work. Here are some tips that can help you decide which type of miter saw you should go for:

  • The first and obvious thing to consider is the budget for the saw. A basic miter saw will be way cheaper than a sliding or a compound miter saw.
  • A basic miter saw may give you a fixed pivot angle other than a straight crosscut at 15, 30, or 45 degrees. But a compound miter saw will have way more options for the pivot and bevel options for cutting.
  • If you do a lot of tricky designs such as multiple pivots in the same cut, you must go for a compound miter saw. It will help you go with a wider range of directions and adjustments for the piece with fine cuts.
  • For bigger projects with wider lumber sizes and heavy pieces, go for the sliding compound miter saw. It will help you get both a wider cutting area and a deeper penetration if you have the right blade size.
  • While you’re trying to select the right miter saw, you also have to make sure the saw has the right blade size. Both the basic miter saw or the compound saw will have 8, 10, or 12 inches in diameter. Match up the size of your regular lumber sizes with the blade size for better cuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about miter saws and compound saws that you should know about:

Are miter saws dangerous?

Miter saws have adjustable pivot options; they can become pretty dangerous as the angles might get uncomfortable. However, proper practice and taking safety precautions will help you stay safe.

Can a miter saw cut straight?

Yes, miter saws are ideal for both straight cuts and bevel cuts with different angles with tilt mode. Make sure the tilt and the bevel angles are set on Zero degree to make a straight cut.

Do I need a compound miter saw?

If you have to make tricky and complex cuts and need good penetration, go for a compound miter saw. It can cut in both miter and compound cut in the same setting with the same pass.

Check out the reasons why you should choose a miter saw

Final Thoughts

A saw is one of the most used tools in a woodworking shop, and you must make the right decision while choosing one. Choosing a saw that can make multiple cuts is a far smarter option than a saw that cuts in a single direction. A miter saw is indeed the best option, in this case, to make your work way easier.

However, there are two options in the miter saw between the sliding miter saw vs compound miter saw, you should select the right one for the job. Basic miter saws and the compound miters saw both do a great job if you’re doing projects with simple joints. But a sliding compound miter saw can do multiple cutting works that you would need different tools to do.

Author - Lee Morris

Hi, I am Lee Morris, I have run a power tools business for woodworking. Where I sell mostly wood router, compact router, trim router, plunge router, wood lathe chuck, and many other power tools for woodworking.

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