How to Choose a Compound Miter Saw

If you want to make perfectly exact cuts repeatedly in wood or other materials then you need to choose a compound miter saw. A compound miter saw differs from an ordinary one in that it not only has blades which pivot left and right, it also tilts to make bevelled cuts. This is useful if you’ll be making frames for windows, doors or pictures. Here’s what you need to look for when making your choice.

The Blade

The depth of the cut is dependent on the size of the blade.  The finish of the cut is dependent on the number of the teeth in the blade; the greater the number of teeth, the finer the cut.

You will need to choose your blade for the type of material you will be cutting as they differ for wood and various metals.

Most saws are supplied with a middle range 8, 10 or 12 inch blade.


Choose a saw which offers preset adjustments and which mitre to either right or left as this is much quicker to use.


The sliding action allows the saw to cut wider pieces of material. If you want greater width make sure the saw you choose has sufficient slide capacity for your needs. For example, picture frames won’t need much slide but dining table legs may well need greater slide capacity.


A compound miter saw will always bevel but a dual compound miter saw will tilt in either direction, which means that you won’t need to turn the wood. This would be useful if you intend to make furniture or ornamental mouldings.

Safety Features

Ensure that the saw you choose has a blade guard which makes certain that the blade will move away from you, and will send the sawdust away from yourself as well as the material you’re working on.

Another safety feature is that the controls should be positioned in such a way that your hands will not be anywhere near the moving blade while you operate the saw.

Additional Features

There are a few additional built-in features which you might find useful when using your miter saw:

Laser lines which indicate where the cut will be
Variable speed
Adjustable arms and clamps for supporting and securing your material.


When sawing any material a lot of dust is created and if you’ll be working in a small workshop or garage then, for your own comfort and safety, you will want to buy a dust extraction attachment for your miter saw.

Have a look around┬áCompound Miter Saw and you’ll be sure to find the right compound miter saw for your requirements.


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