How To Use A Sliding Miter Saw

Last updated: November 17, 2020
Published 2:08 pm

Introduction

Miter saws vary in their sizes, shapes, and colors. The standard size of a regular saw or a chop saw is between 7.25 inches to 12 inches; this is the blade’s measurement. A blade larger than the regular size can cut through wider boards. Bench miter saws, also commonly known as compound miter saws, have specialties that allow them to do more than just cut miter angles; they are able to make bevel cuts because they have an arm that turns, and this allows the blade to tip to the side. They are called compounds saws because they have a tilted angle and miter angle planes that enable them to make angle cuts at a time.

Standard Or Sliding Miter Saw, Which Is Better?

Sliding miter saws are similar and have the same versatility as the compound miter saw, but they are more flexible because they have a sliding arm that allows the user to move the blade backward and forward, and this gives the user an increase in cutting length. The sliding miter saw makes cuts that are a few inches wider than the diameter of the blade. However, they are more expensive than regular non-sliding saw. If you cut wide materials often, then you should invest in a sliding miter saw; that’s if it’s within your budget.

Sliding miter saw makes cutting so much easier, and they save you a lot of time. The basic sliding miter saw has an in-built trigger in its handle, and some models also feature a safety button that needs to be pressed before you can pull the trigger. If you want to make, a straight downwards cut, simply start by pressing the safety button before pulling the trigger and waiting for the saw’s blade to reach the maximum torque. After all that, slowly lower the saw to the material you are working with and make a cut. Control the saw to cut downwards.

After making your cut, let go of the trigger while the blade is still inside the material and let it stop completely before you raise it out of the material. A compound miter saw has the ability to make bevel and miter cuts simultaneously. A miter saw has a wall where you can rest the board’s back for support while cutting; this helps keep the board in place and allows your miter saw to make cuts to the exact degree you chose.

The majority of miter saws come with a clamp; this clamp acts like a second hand that safely holds the board in place while cutting. If your saw does not come with a clamp, ensure that you safely keep your hands far away from the blade while still holding the board firmly against the wall. No matter what you do, do not reach underneath the saw while it is rotating; it doesn’t matter whether it has a guard or not.

Operating A Sliding Miter Saw

Operating a sliding miter saw is relatively easy if you know the right steps; there is a right way to achieve a sliding cut:

  • Begin by placing your board against the wall and clamp it.
  • Before you put on the saw, draw the blade close to your body until the saw is directly above the margin of the board.
  • To start the saw, pull the trigger and wait for it to reach the maximum torque known as peak rotation speed, and then pull the blade down to cut into the material.
  • As the blade is rotating, keep moving it backward and forwards as the saw cuts through the wood.
  • Once the blade is done cutting through the material, pull the saw up, and let go of the trigger to stop the blade.

You must be cautious while using this tool. Ensure that you take time and read the user’s manual that comes with the tool before operating the saw and also wear your safety equipment.

Power Tools Safety Tips

It is better to be safe than sorry; there are safety precautions that you need to take in order to prevent accidents. Here are some safety tips:

  • Tools tend to get hot during use. To avoid burns on your skin, ensure you put on gloves or use a cloth instead.

[LIT-B](If you intend on using the tool for an extended period, make sure you wear hearing protection.)

  • If your work includes grinding and demolition, which raises airborne dust and debris, ensure that you wear a respirator or dust mask.
  • To reduce vibrations when working with a hammer drill or demolition hammer, wear cushioned gloves. You should take breaks to limit exposure to vibrations.
  • Store your power tools properly. Do not leave them in the rain or under wet conditions because it could cause the tool to electrocute the user.
  • Always use both hands when operating a hammer drill, grinder, and demolition hammers. Use both hands for maximum control.
  • If you are working with a concrete grinder, make sure that you inspect it for any cracks, chips, or missing parts. Immediately change any damaged wheels and operate the grinder with a guard.

A sliding miter saw will handle cutting a thick material such as a fence post better than a compound miter saw would. Many people also use sliding miter saws to cut thick woods such as boards, lumber, and logs. Miter saws are available in both single and dual-level models, and we have discussed the use of the single bevel models; these models only let you make bevel cuts in only one direction, either right or left. If you want to make matching cuts, you will have to flip the workpiece to the other side and reset the angle, ensuring that it is accurate before making the second bevel cut. However, if you are using a dual bevel saw, you will be able to make cuts on both sides simultaneously; you simply use its pivoting hand to flip the saw.

If your work entails a lot of fine-tuned professional tasks such as framework and molding, or you work with raw materials and doing a lot of milling or squaring, then a sliding miter saw is your best bet. However, if you are used to using a table saw to cut through wide boards, and you can handle a circular saw properly, then you do not need a miter saw.

If you own a miter saw and you want to use it to cut through materials that are thicker than 8 inches, you will need to purchase a good sliding saw. But if you’re going to make a 45 degree cut on molding or picture frame, you can buy a cheap non-sliding 10 inch saw.

Conclusion

The advantages of using a sliding miter saw over a non-sliding miter are a lot; the main benefit is being able to cut wide boards. If you need a miter saw most of the time, then it is an excellent investment to make. But keep in mind that they are more expensive than regular miter saws, but they are worth every penny.