Different Types of Miter Saws

Last Updated on November 26, 2021

Miter saw is a very practical tool, it can be used to quickly cut crown moldings, door frames, window frames, etc. Whether you are a professional carpenter or a novice woodworker, a suitable miter saw will play a big role. There are many types of miter saws on the market, let’s get to know them together.

Ed Niehaus, Chief Engineer of Rockwell International’s Power Tools Division, invented the miter saw in 1964. Rockwell did not apply for a patent for the design, which led to a large number of innovations and a variety of types.

Around 1982, the sliding compound miter saw was produced, and the wider cut made it quickly become the main cross-cut saw for woodworking.

The main types of miter saws

Standard miter saw

This is a simple version of the miter saw. If you want to cut materials with a limited width that does not exceed 8 inches, then a standard miter saw is the most suitable. Its blade is mounted on the arm, which can usually set between -45° and +45°. Some models have more preset angles, such as 15, 30 and 45 degrees.

The standard miter saw is a fast and accurate way of cutting wood. It is mainly recommended for cross-cutting and miter cut. Common specifications are 10 to 12 inches.

Compound miter saw

The compound miter saw is an upgrade of the standard miter saw. It has a pivoting arm that can be tilted to angles other than 90 degrees. In addition to miter cuts, you can also perform bevel cuts.

Miter cutting is cutting perpendicular to the horizontal plane of the wood, and is often used to join serveral pieces of wood, such as cutting on four pieces of wood when making a picture frame. However, bevel cut is a cut with an oblique angle to the horizontal plane of the wood, which can accomplish more complex tasks. When cutting crown moldings, a compound miter saw is your best assistant.

Sliding compound miter saw

If you need to cut large pieces of wood, a sliding compound miter saw is the ideal choice. The sliding compound miter saw is a guide rail added to the compound miter saw. The saw blade can slide along the track, giving it a larger horizontal range of motion, allowing you to cut wider wood.

At the same time, compared to non-sliding miter saws, the blades of sliding miter saws are less prone to overheating. Because with the horizontal movement of the blade, fewer teeth are engaged on the blade during cutting.

Sliding compound miter saw is divided into single sliding compound saw and double sliding compound saw. The double sliding compound saw allows the head to rotate on the left and right sides, which means that all angles can be achieved without repositioning the workpiece.

Laser/LED miter saw

In order to improve cutting accuracy, the manufacturer has added a laser guidance function to the miter saw. Some saws also have LED functions to better illuminate the work area.

How to choose the size of the miter saw

Common miter saw sizes are 10 inches and 12 inches, and portable miter saws have models under 10 inches. So how do we choose?

The 12-inch miter saw has larger blades and more power, but it’s also bigger and harder to move. If you need to cut deeper materials such as vertical crown tall, then it is the right choice. In addition, it works best when used with a stand.

If you don’t cut deeper materials often, a 10-inch miter saw is sufficient.

If portability is your priority, then models under 10 inches are ideal.

Types of miter saw blades

Cutting different materials with the correct blade can give full play to the best performance of the miter saw.

  • Carbon Steel Blades are inexpensive and very suitable for cutting plastic and cork.
  • High-Speed Steel Blades are usually used to cut harder materials such as hardwood. It can withstand a high temperature of 600 degrees Celsius, which ensures that the blade will not become dull when running at high speed.
  • Carbide-Tipped Blades are harder, which allows them to cut harder materials and are often used to cut metals


I hope that after reading this article, you will have a better understanding of different types of miter saws, and choose the right miter saw according to your needs. Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave a comment, we would love to hear your thoughts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *