What is a miter saw for and how to choose a tool, video review
Precision and accuracy are required in the manufacture of joinery. In order to achieve the desired result and speed up production processes, a path has passed from the invention of the miter box to the creation of the miter saw. About the device, principle of operation, application and safety measures
What is a Miter Saw used for?
A miter saw, also called a miter saw, is a portable machine designed for cutting or sawing at a right or required angle of the end of a wooden workpiece. There are also stationary models, they are installed in factories for the serial production of products from light alloys, polymeric materials, wood and wood products. The name comes from the merger of the words “butt”, which means a transverse perpendicular or angled cut, which has the shape of a workpiece to be machined, and “US” is an abbreviation of the words Corner Joint.
Portable miter saws are arranged as follows: a bracket is installed on a horizontal solid bed on the side farthest from the carpenter. Pivotally attached to the bed, it can move from left to right and in the opposite direction. You need such a rotation for an angle cut. A lever is mounted on this bracket by means of a hinge that allows up and down movements. This node is the “pendulum”. A circular saw with an electric motor is fixed to the pendulum. The saw blade is mounted on the rotor shaft or driven through a gearbox or belt drive.
Recently, cross-cutting with a “broach” has been in great demand among specialists. These are two rods horizontally fixed on the bracket, along which the lever with the saw can move. The device allows you to increase the cutting width.
All modern miter saws are equipped with dust bags. Instead of bags for stationary use, you can connect a vacuum cleaner.
The algorithm of work is quite simple: the operator sets the workpiece on the bed, makes the markings. Adjusts the saw to cut in the desired direction, at the desired angle. Then he turns on the saw and lowers it with the help of a pendulum mechanism on the workpiece. By applying a slight downward force, the workpiece is trimmed. (Cross section).
Miter saws are used to process various materials. From wood to soft non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and its alloys. For cutting plastics and other polymeric materials. For each type of work, special saw blades are used. They differ in type, size of the tooth, material of the cutting edge, angle of sharpening (attack).
It is possible to use trimming for cutting ferrous metals, but as a rule, this is not done. Since there are special pendulum saws for cutting metal. They are equipped with abrasive discs or saws designed for cutting metal. Their landing holes differ from the sizes of saws, but craftsmen with the help of homemade adapters still adapt. At the same time, there is a high risk of breaking the facing or getting injured.
- Bed with rotary table.
- Pendulum mechanism.
- Electric motor.
- Working tool. saw blade.
There are design features and applications. So some saws have:
- Broaching mechanism.
- Laser marker. Line marking cut.
- Local lighting. Backlight.
- Dust extraction system.
- Protractor angle indicators and linear markings.
They can be conditionally divided into three groups:
- Low-power, up to 1 kW. They are used for small works in baguette workshops, making designer furniture, in everyday life.
- Medium power crosscutting, from 1 to 1.5 kW. They work at construction sites, finishing works, in frequent workshops.
- The most powerful, from 1.5 kW and above. Professional equipment of stationary or combined type. It has a system of settings of an analog or electronic type, a high degree of accuracy and protection against injury and electric shock. Can be used for long-term continuous work. Are expensive.
The most popular brands of miter saws:
Each manufacturer presents its products as unique, having no competitors in terms of individual characteristics and reliability. In most cases, these are just marketing tricks to generate interest.
How to choose a facing
It is unlikely that a person who has no idea what to do with it or is far from carpentry will decide to buy a miter saw. Having decided to buy a facing, he will face a rather difficult task. a choice. In order for it to be correct, you should decide:
- What is it for. What kind of work is to be done? Make furniture or picture frames. Build or repair, renovate or restore.
- What is the nature of the work. Traveling or stationary.
- For professional use or for household.
Based on the task, you need to select equipment. If, according to the principles of their work, all endings are the same, then in terms of additional devices and configurations they can be very different. In addition, the power and weight and size characteristics are different.
What are the differences and what to look for when choosing?
Miter saw motors can be installed in three types:
- Asynchronous. The engines are archaic, heavy and noisy. Reliable and durable at the same time. The transmission of rotation occurs through a gearbox or using a belt, since the electric motor itself does not develop more than 3000 revolutions, which is clearly not enough for facing.
- Collector (brush). They are massively used on many types of household and industrial equipment, due to their high speed and maintainability. Have such disadvantages as brush wear, noise, interfere with radios and other devices.
- Brushless. Synchronization takes place using an electronic unit. The motors are reliable, with low noise level, high-speed. The main disadvantage is the price.
The weight depends on the power of the electric motor: the more power, the heavier the machine. Low-power machines are also good for stationary use, take up less space and are easier to carry during field work, take up less space in the trunk of a car.
On some types of trimming, the saw blade is mounted directly on the rotor of the electric motor. In this case, apart from the simplicity of the design, there are no advantages. Such a machine can only make a side cut on the side opposite to the engine. The speed of rotation of the disk is equal to the speed of rotation of the rotor.
On side saws of a higher class, belt drives or gearboxes are installed. Each has its own advantages. So the belt drive does not make noise, it is easy to change the belt in the event of a break. Will not burn the engine under excessive loads.
The gearbox is more reliable, but it makes noise if it breaks down as a result of wear or excessive loads, and requires professional repair. Repair or replacement is not cheap, it takes time, which is unprofitable for commercial use.
For precise fit of parts, a graduation is applied on the bed and work table, with which you can set the horizontal angle of the saw.
The pendulum and the lever have an analogue protractor scale. With its help, vertical corners are set.
On the desktop there is a ruler. Serves for marking along the length of the workpiece.
In order for the adjustment to be simple and convenient, you should choose a facing, where the markings are clearly and contrastingly visible. It should be embossed on the riveted plate or in the body of the part. Printed with ink is quickly overwritten, after a while nothing is visible. This is important during work, when everything is dusty.
Additional equipment and options to make your work easier.
You need to choose a saw with the maximum number of attachments and devices that facilitate work and increase safety. And there are several of them:
- Double saw blade guard.
- Laser marker.
- Dust bag with the ability to connect a vacuum cleaner.
- Soft start of the electric motor.
All modern saws have an overload protection system, electric motors are protected from overheating.
The choice largely depends on the budget allocated for this purpose. The more bells and whistles, the more expensive the machine. The cooler the manufacturer, the higher the price.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to choose for business or domestic purposes saws from the most famous manufacturers who have service centers in your region that give real guarantees.
How to use a Miter Saw. A complete beginner’s guide
How to use the saw correctly
Field of purchase, before using the circular saw, you should carefully read the rules of operation. The basic requirements are spelled out in the manual attached with the product passport.
Prepare the installation site. This could be a table or a workbench. Its height should be comfortable for the operator’s work. They use different methods to adjust the height. The use of ladders, very good for the requirements of working with a power tool, adjust the legs. The main thing is that the saw should be horizontal and tight. No swing or distortion. There should be a free approach to the working area. Nothing should interfere with the movement of the workpiece, no matter how long it is.
- There should be no wires or foreign objects in the work area.
- You can not adjust the workpiece with your hands while the saw is working.
- Do not sweep, remove shavings and sawdust before the saw stops.
- When working with a miter saw, you must be careful, observe safety requirements.
Sliding miter saw: purpose and application
In order to cut wooden blocks at absolutely any slope and angle, use a miter saw. This is because this tool has a number of advantages over conventional trimming.
Today you can find a huge number of various options from leading manufacturers. It is also possible to make the instrument yourself at home.
In addition to the main functions, there may also be additional ones, such as:
- Dust extraction is very necessary, because when working with a miter saw, you can notice the release of a large amount of wood dust, as well as sawdust. Thus, having this function, you can be sure that garbage will be immediately removed from the place of selection without further spreading around the room.
- Expansion of the countertop. this function is ideal for those who work with laminate or long bars.
The purpose of the miter saw
- Firstly, it is important to use a saw when laying out skirting boards, baguettes, as well as when working with clapboard. After all, it is the tool in question that is capable of performing diagonal cutting of any materials with great accuracy.
- Secondly, an end saw will come in handy when carving narrow bars, rails, boards.
The device has a simple design. The basis is a functional module, which consists of:
- working circle, electric motor with a gear;
- handles with switch.
This module is attached to a special base. When making this device at home, it must be borne in mind that the electric motor can be used in two types: either collector or asynchronous. The latter work much quieter, and are also characterized by greater practicality and endurance.
As for the electric motor, it is installed on the right side of the saw blade. Although on the market you can also find models in which the engine is mounted behind the disc. This option is definitely more convenient, because the view does not overlap, which is especially, by the way, when the tool is tilted.
The gearbox transfers (belt or gear) movements from the motor to the saw blade.
The gear train works easily without slipping even at maximum speeds, in turn, the belt is more practical, since it significantly reduces vibration and reduces sound.
It is worth noting that there are also direct drive models that are the most reliable option. However, their torque is much lower.
What is the broach used for? It is thanks to the broaching mechanism that the miter saw is able to cut even the widest boards.
Since the saw is a rather dangerous cutting object, in order to prevent unforeseen injuries, any of the manufacturers adds a protective cover to its design.
As for the devices of increased power, then for the greatest safety they are usually equipped with a soft start. Such a part is characterized by a blocking of the torsion mechanism when replacing a circle and a complete stop when the circle is stopped.
Laser and electronic equipment
In rare cases, a broach miter saw contains electronic components. However, there are models that are characterized by the presence of electronic regulation of the rotation speed. This creates an excellent opportunity to control the workflow.
In the modern world, many manufacturers strive for excellence and innovation, therefore they are increasingly introducing the most daring and expensive ideas. For example, laser aiming in a saw is an optional but very useful and expensive option.
With the help of a laser, a clear cutting line is drawn. This function is especially necessary for inexperienced craftsmen.
What Can You Do With a Miter Saw? Should You Get One? | WOODWORKING BASICS
Criteria for selecting a broached facing
In order for the acquisition to bring only benefits, and the money was not wasted, you need to decide before buying:
- what will you need a tool for. after all, a saw with a broach is necessary when making a professional wide workpiece. If rare use is planned, you can limit yourself to the usual household-class trimming.
- with the size and weight of the saw. it is also recommended to clarify the maximum free travel of the working head.
- what diameter of working discs is needed. it is worth noting that you need to choose based on a diameter of 0.2 m (but not less).
- how safe is the tool that is being purchased.
Also important parameters are the indicators of the depth and width of the cut.
The advantages of this class of instruments are their compactness, portability and accuracy. This saw is used when working with wood, plastic and aluminum profiles. Since the perfect fit of elements is very important for the beautiful appearance of furniture, as well as doors and window frames, miter saws are most often used in the furniture industry.
They are also relevant for any woodworking. They can also be seen at the baguette production, two in the process of trimming the ends of complex aluminum structures. In general, wherever there is a need for precise cutting of parts at any angle, convenient and functional trimming is used. For household chores, they always take devices of a simpler design and smaller dimensions. But they will also help you quickly sheathe the wall with clapboard, install windows and doors, carefully lay parquet, laminate.
Features and Capabilities
The practical capabilities of the miter saw include:
- Table rotation mechanism. The rotation of the work table is responsible for setting the cutting angle. The limit value may differ depending on the model and manufacturer. Standard rotation angle. 45 degrees. But there are saws that can rotate up to 62 degrees, and this allows you to work even with the most complex curly materials;
- Inclined cut. Cutting the material at any angle in the vertical plane is a functional feature of each trimming. It is she who contributes to the fact that trimming has become one of the most demanded tools. To reduce the cost of the design, budget models have been developed with an inclination only in one direction, which slightly limits the functionality and this, in principle, is enough for small housework or repairs. But, as a rule, professionals acquire trimming with an inclination in both directions (right-left). This greatly expands the capabilities of the machine and there is no need to twist the workpiece in different directions in the process. An inclined cut in such devices is available within 45-47 degrees;
- Broach function (radial cantilever). The miter saw motor is mounted on special guides, which allows you to move across the workpiece itself and enable cutting along a length of up to 340 mm. This is about twice that of conventional miter saws;
- The presence of a top table. The upper table transforms the tool into a versatile tool. Longitudinal and transverse cutting of the bars is performed on it. You get two functions. facing and sawing. It is very convenient for small workshops, where it is impossible to place two machines or for an installation, when it is not convenient to take two machines at the same time;
- The presence of a laser. The laser miter saw is handy for complex plywood workpieces where high precision is required. The glowing laser beam indicates the line to be cut;
- The presence of a belt drive. This type of gearbox allows you to achieve a high level of sawing accuracy and minimizes backlash. This type practically does not fail and is characterized by ease of operation;
- Cutting line lighting. Practical and convenient illumination of the working area is essential for maximum precision. This parameter helps to achieve a neat cut at any angle;
- Dust removal function. Most models have a dust removal function, but it’s worth noting that it cleans about 70%. Therefore, experienced builders recommend using special construction vacuum cleaners;
- Reliable and sophisticated electronics help to achieve maximum cutting accuracy by showing the angles of turns and tilts. The digital display shows the exact angle of rotation and angle of inclination in degrees. But the electronics do not affect the stabilization of the device (this function is only available for some models of certain brands).
Characteristics and features of miter saws
Trimming is used where it is necessary to cut at a given angle. Similar work is performed by other saws, as well as a jigsaw, and even a hand saw. But where it is necessary to make a cut extremely accurately and accurately, especially with the mass production of identical parts, trimming is indispensable.
It is often also called a “miter saw”, for the reason that the expression “cut with a mustache” by carpenters means sawing at a given angle.
Expert of the category “Construction equipment”
Nuances when choosing: what to look for
Wood Miter Saw. What Should It Be? What to look for when choosing a model for frequent use?
- Saw blade, its diameter, table shape and saw design. It is these parameters that determine the capabilities of the miter saw in practice.
- Saw power. The power of the electric motor helps you choose a device for a given amount of work.
- Possibility of tilting to one side. Models with an inclination in both directions can be safely purchased for frequent use and work with a large amount of material. They are practical and convenient, suitable for sawing any part. At the same time, models with a turn to one side are somewhat limited in operation.
- The presence of a rim drive or helical gearbox is responsible for the reliability of operation and the accuracy of sawing. Therefore, such models are bought for large-scale work with various kinds of blanks.
Crosscutting is practically a circular saw. It has a not too complicated design. it consists of two working units: a cutting part and an electric drive. In general, this is a frame to which the cutting head of a device with a saw blade is hinged. The mount differs in that it is pendulum. The cutting disc swings like on a rocker, allowing you to set the desired angle in the horizontal plane, as well as the required tilt in the vertical plane. The types of miter saws are quite different, they differ in functions and capabilities that greatly facilitate the work of a joiner, furniture maker and builder.
Popular trimmer manufacturers
Finally, I will introduce you to a few of the most popular manufacturers of trimmings in order to understand how they earned their popularity among consumers.
Einhell. popular German brand with excellent workmanship and materials. A striking example. saw Einhell TC-SM 2131 Dual. The model is characterized by ease of use and high cutting accuracy. It is comfortable and versatile, and the slopes to both sides and the presence of a chip bag simplify the work process. The advantages are also workpiece support stops, a laser module, a well-thought-out ruler scale and a clamp with which fixation is carried out.
Metabo is also a German manufacturer. The Metabo KGS 216 M pulling miter saw is functional and reliable. This is a versatile and practical device that copes with the task in the shortest possible time. The advantages of the model are ease of transportation, fast and reliable fixation of workpieces, convenient table extensions, high vertical stop, 36 months warranty.
There is no need to advertise the Japanese brand Makita. Her technique is always very high quality and durable. The Makita MLS100 table miter saw meets all the hopes of joiners and furniture makers. This is a robust construction that is often used for cutting a variety of materials. The advantages of the model are the function of adjusting the cutting depth, the ability to connect a vacuum cleaner, as well as stopping the engine when overloaded.
Shepach is a German company that has long conquered the hearts of Ukrainians with excellent quality equipment. The Scheppach HM 100 lxu miter saw is a combination model with a high performance level. Its advantages are the perfect balance of each element. The engine runs at low noise levels, vibration of the cutting unit is almost completely absorbed by the clutch.
Miter saw table DeWALT DW713. the English model, which is characterized by productivity and compactness. It can often be found in manufacturing or construction sites. Its main feature. this is a soft start and instant engine shutdown.
Fox Company presented its miter saw with Fox F36-257DB broach on the Ukrainian market. I have already spoken about the benefits of the traction function above. This model can be successfully used for facing dimensional workpieces, and the engine power is quite enough for working with hard wood and all sorts of soft metals (in particular, aluminum).
The Utool UMS-12L miter saw is characterized by a low price, but at the same time. very worthy parameters. The cross cutter can cut a tall workpiece over 100 mm and has a belt drive. Disc change is quick and safe thanks to the spindle lock.