Compound Miter Saws

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Compound miter saws pick up where regular miter saws leave off. The main function of a standard miter saw is to make crosscuts in hardwood, extrusions, plastics, and other materials. The saw does this with the help of detent stops at common angles such as 15, 30, and 45 degrees.

A compound miter saw, on the other hand, is intended to handle bevel work as well. When beveling is combined with miter cutting it allows builders to cut at "compound angles" for custom work and specialty jobs. The world, as any carpenter or other designer will tell you, is not made up of 45- and 90-degree angles, which is why compound miter saws continue to do so such booming business.

Take Advantage of Compound Miter Saws

Compound miter saws boast a short downward movement that is quick, accurate, and efficient. The result is a tool that runs circles around its predecessors, the table saw or radial arm saw, both of which still have their places, just not when it comes to mitering. If you've got baseboard cutting to do, crown molding to build, or any sort of framing task on the road ahead, there's no tool out there that will give you the mileage that a compound miter saw can.

As with regular miter saws or any other woodworking equipment, a compound miter requires constant supervision. A 10-inch carbide blade thinks nothing of solid oak, so it doesn't take too much imagination to deduce what it thinks of fingers and thumbs. Be sure to carefully read the safety manual that accompanies your purchase to learn about some of the lesser-known potential hazards that come with the territory.

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