How to choose a miter saw for wood
Additional features of the miter saw
Every modern saw is equipped with additional features designed to increase comfort when working with a miter saw and provide the necessary level of safety.
Choosing a miter saw
It is impossible to imagine the field of woodworking without the use of a special tool. One of the popular tools is a miter saw. Already from the name it becomes clear that its main purpose is the processing of the ends of the blanks, that is, the transverse cut of wood. This differs from the circular saw, which is used for ripping.
Understanding how to choose a miter saw is not very difficult, but only if you understand the basic concepts and characteristics. In any case, a consultant will help you, but the process will go faster if you know what questions to ask. Further in the article we will consider the device of miter saws, their technical characteristics, additional functions and consumables.
The main thing about choosing disks
All important information about the disc is indicated in the label. You can find it on the canvas. Knowing what exactly to look for, you can easily choose a disc for yourself, however, many points are not as obvious as you would like. If in doubt, it is better to consult a consultant than to take risks and take the disc “by eye”. Often, the best option is to consult with someone with real work experience. If this is not possible, be guided by two main characteristics: determine the diameter that suits a particular saw, and choose a blade depending on the material that you will be sawing.
This feature allows you to customize the saw for certain materials. Different types of wood, materials based on it, plastics, plexiglass, etc. require different values of the number of revolutions of the disk.
The presence of a laser allows you to see the trajectory along which the cut will pass. This is important when cutting at an angle, as you will spend less time getting ready to work.
Cutting depth limitation
This feature aids in grooving or trimming jobs by limiting the depth to which the disc can plunge.
If the saw has this function, it will maintain a stable speed even under load. Constant electronics will add revs if they start to drop due to load. This allows you to get an even cut, the same along the entire length.
Types of gearboxes, their advantages and disadvantages
The connecting link between the electric motor and the saw blade is a gearbox that transmits and converts the motor torque. On miter saws, two types of gearboxes are used. with a gear or a belt drive.
The gears of the gear train, which provide a rigid connection of the shafts, seem to be more reliable. They do not slip or fly off like a belt, and there is nothing to break there. It would seem that manufacturers of miter saws should give preference to such a reliable system. However, in practice, the belt drive on these tools can be seen more often than the gear.
What is the reason? There is also a downside to the reliability of the gear train. In the event of an emergency situation, the gear reducer may fail, and then it will need to be completely replaced or serious repairs in a specialized service center.
The “unreliability” of the belt drive can also be looked at with different eyes. Yes, sometimes the belt flies or even breaks, but in order to install it in place or replace it with a new one, special knowledge and skills are not required. an ordinary user can also cope with this task. In addition, the belt provides some damping of radial and axial vibrations, which helps reduce wear on bearings and other engine components.
In the event of an emergency overload of the tool (for example, when the saw blade is jammed), even a well-tensioned belt will slip, which will save the metal parts of the motor from destruction. And the saw with a belt drive produces incomparably less noise, which is also a rather significant factor.
Belt Drive Miter Saw.
By the way, some manufacturers (including such reputable ones as Bosch and DeWALT) have completely excluded the gear unit from a number of their models by installing the saw blade directly on the motor shaft. This solution also has its pros and cons. On the one hand, the load on the bearings increases, on the other hand, the noise emitted by the tool decreases, the reliability of the structure increases, and maintenance and repair are simplified.
The device and functionality of the miter saw
The trimming device is easy to understand from the figure, which shows the main components of the tool. Everything else is just add-ons that do not change the principle of operation, but only improve functionality and usability.
Handle with power button 2. Saw blade 3. Protective cover. 4. Clamp for fixing the workpiece.
Workpiece stops. 6. Mechanism for fixing the table at a given angle. 7. Horizontal angle adjustment scale 8. Table.
Vertical angle adjustment mechanism 10. Dust collector. 11. Engine 12. Carrying handle.
The main elements of the miter saw are an electric motor and a saw blade made of high quality, ultra-strong steel. The motor, the saw blade and the gearbox connecting them make up a functional block, here is also a handle with a toggle switch.
The entire block is attached to the base. the bed, on which the workpiece to be sawn is placed. On the base are fixed the turntable, which moves when the cutting angle is set, and the stop. The beds of relatively expensive devices are made of durable and lightweight aluminum or magnesium alloys, which ensures not only the reliability of the base, but also the mobility of the entire tool due to weight reduction.
The functional unit is connected to the bed via a pivot arm using a spring-loaded hinge. The swing arm is called a pendulum, and the miter saws of this type are called pendulum.
The pendulum provides movement of the working module. To perform a cut, the lever must be lowered down, “drowning” the saw blade in a stationary workpiece (for unobstructed sawing, there is a slot in the swing circle of the bed). This is the simplest version of a miter saw. As a rule, all modern models are equipped with a mechanism that ensures the rotation of the desktop, along with all mechanisms, in a horizontal plane.
Thus, the guides and table elements remain stationary, and the tool itself changes its position in the horizontal plane. The use of such a tool gives more opportunities for facing.
The saws of the combined type have another hinge that allows the lever to rotate about the vertical axis (that is, with such saws, the cutting angle can be changed in two planes). Often, rotation around the horizontal axis is allowed only in one direction. opposite to the electric drive.
But there are models that allow you to tilt in both directions.
Such technical solutions greatly expand the list of functionality of the tool. Cutting inclined in relation to the vertical allows you to face workpieces whose height is greater than the active radius of the disc.
The cutting width of a miter saw is relatively small, especially when working at an angle or tilt. For example, an average pendulum saw with a 10-inch disc at a right angle will cut a 95 x 95 mm bar or a 69 x 135 mm board (setting any other angles reduces the allowable workpiece size). In other words, the miter saw is not suitable not only for ripping, but also for cross-cutting wide workpieces.
To increase the cutting width, the saw is equipped with a traction function. The working block at the trimmer with this function moves not only around the hinge axis, but also along the mowing line of the cut along the guide rods, due to which the maximum kerf at an angle of 90 ° increases from 80-180 mm to 280-340 mm. Such tools are called pull-through miter saws or horizontal motion saws.
At the same time, the mechanisms that implement the movement of the saw along the workpiece differ depending on the manufacturer and model of the device.
The purpose of the miter saw
The very name “trimming” serves as an indication of the purpose of this saw. the design of the ends of the workpiece, cutting wood across the fibers. In this it differs from its closest relative. a circular saw, which is usually used for longitudinal cutting of wood.
Modern powerful motors and particularly robust saw blades allow crosscutting to cut not only wood, but also plastic, thin metal profiles and pipes, wood-based composite materials. For these materials, the concepts of “longitudinal” and “transverse” are very conditional: if such terms are used, then we are talking not about the structure of the material, but about the shape of a specific workpiece. Of course, the shape of the workpiece can be very diverse, sometimes without a clearly defined longitudinal axis.
The applicability of a miter saw in one case or another is determined solely by the convenience of feeding a particular workpiece. Thus, the name “miter saw” cannot be considered fully reflecting the potential of this tool, just such a name has historically been assigned to stationary circular saws with a movable cutting unit.
A miter saw can cut material not only at a right angle, but also at an arbitrarily chosen angle, for which it is sometimes called an electric miter box. over, in many modern devices, it is allowed to change the angle not only in the horizontal, but also in the vertical plane, that is, it is also capable of sawing at an angle. With the miter saw, you can even select the grooves if necessary.
As you can see, the capabilities of this tool are much wider than you might have thought at first. It is not surprising that trimming can be found more and more often in small carpentry industries, on construction sites, in home workshops. They are resorted to in the manufacture of window frames and door frames, when laying floors (cutting parquet boards, laminate, skirting boards) and other finishing works (sawing lining, various aluminum and plastic profiles), in the manufacture of wooden furniture.
Almost all modern models of miter saws have some kind of additional devices and functions aimed at facilitating work and increasing safety. At the stage of selection, the future user of the tool will have to figure out which of them are really necessary to solve the typical tasks facing him, and which will be an unjustified waste of money.
The dust extraction system consists of a branch pipe and a dust bag or hose of an industrial vacuum cleaner connected to it. The second option is preferable, since it allows you to more effectively capture the fine dust of the material being processed, which is formed when performing an accurate cut when the saw operates at high speeds and / or with discs with an increased number of teeth.
The dust extraction system should not be considered as an additional, optional function, even if you are faced with the task of choosing a miter saw for your home, i.e. low-intensity episodic work on it is assumed. Working without a dust extraction system, you risk not only the safety of the equipment available in the workshop (and first of all the saw itself), but also your own health.
The blade guard completely covers the saw blade until it is immersed in the material to be cut, significantly reducing the risk of accidents when using the miter saw.
Cutting depth limitation is used for grooving or trimming of profiles.
The laser “draws” the guide line on the workpiece where the saw will cut. The presence of this option increases the accuracy of the cut (especially when sawing at angles other than 90 degrees), facilitates the work, reduces the time for preparatory work.
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Illumination of the working area is useful when working in workshops or workshops with insufficient general lighting.
Smooth start provides a gradual set of revolutions by the engine when turned on, which prevents the tool “jerking” at the start, reduces the risk of saw failure due to a sharp current surge and the likelihood of equipment jamming at the beginning of work.
Automatic shut-off when the saw blade is jammed is another useful feature to increase safety when working with a miter saw.
Adjusting the number of revolutions allows you to vary the cutting speed. Most miter saw models do not have this function. However, it allows you to better tailor the sawing process to the characteristics of the material being processed. Recommended for those who intend to work not only with wood, but with various materials based on it, plastic, plexiglass, etc.
Choose and Use a Miter Saw. Ace Hardware
Maintaining constant rpm during load increase. With this function, the engine speed does not drop with strong pressure, since the electronics make their own corrections to the speed. As a result, the cut is neat and clean.
Brush motors look much more attractive from the point of view of the ratio of dimensions and power. With a comparable mass, the torque of a collector motor is several times greater than that of an induction motor. It is capable of delivering up to 5-10 thousand rpm, and the organization of the control system and speed stabilization is much simpler.
It is not surprising that despite the disadvantages of collector motors (high noise level, the need for regular maintenance, which consists in replacing collector brushes), most miter saws are equipped with them.
However, there is another option based on modern semiconductor technologies. the golden mean between asynchronous and collector motor types. We are talking about brushless or brushless motors (marked with the letters BL from English brushless). In valve motors, the brush-collector unit is replaced by an electronic unit, characterized by negligible resistance and a huge switching speed of electronic power valves.
Motors of this type combine all the advantages of asynchronous and collector motors. high torque and efficiency, quiet operation, unpretentiousness to external factors, long service life, no need for regular maintenance. Valve motors are increasingly being installed on modern high-quality miter saws, because their only drawback. the high price. is more than compensated for by so many advantages.
Varieties and choice of motor for trimming
Most often, the miter saw motor is located to the right of the blade. However, on some machines, it is shifted back to maximize the view of the working surface (regardless of which hand the operator is using) and not create obstacles when cutting an oblique cut. such saws, as a rule, have a tilt of the working head in both directions.
Two types of electric motor are installed on the end faces. asynchronous and collector.
Often, novice craftsmen who do not have sufficient knowledge, but have a great desire to acquire a new tool, ask the question: “How to choose a miter saw for wood?” This question is not entirely correct. Any trimming will cope with sawing wood, because it was created for this. But how much you like the result of the work depends not so much on the tool itself, but on the equipment installed on it. the saw blade.
Technological slots. 2. Fitting diameter 3. Outside diameter.
Outside diameter value 5. Maximum rotational speed of the disk 6. 96-tooth trimming disc.
Disc thickness value 8. Bore value.
How to choose a dusty disc
As mentioned above, the most important thing is to initially understand what kind of material the master will work with in the future. This fact will also become the main one when choosing the disc itself. The outer and bore diameters are taken into account here. For example, the outer diameter of the disc can vary anywhere from 21 to 30 cm, but the landing diameter is most often 3 cm.
But not only the diameter of the disc is important, the power of the engine must also be taken into account. That is, if the disc is large and the motor is weak, the tool can quickly fail.
Also, the quality of the work performed is influenced by the type of material from which the tool is made and the sharpening of the teeth of the disc itself, well, and its geometry.
By the way, if we talk about teeth, they can behave differently. Let’s say some provide good speed only with the longitudinal cutting method, others cut very neatly and cleanly, but still others work well only with the transverse cutting method.
Therefore, it is important to take into account that for the correct cutting you need to choose the right model of the tool and know how to handle it. If all the necessary operating conditions are observed, then the level of performance will be quite high.
What most customers choose
Some buyers find the Corvette miter saw to be the best option. The reason for this is the presence of a laser pointer, as well as a longitudinal broach. This saw has the ability to increase the cut up to 43 cm.
But there are even more advanced models, for example, the DeWALT miter saw is equipped with a special XPS system. This system is famous for the fact that thanks to it, a shadow leaves the disc, which guarantees additional illumination. This makes the cutting process more accurate.
But the Metabo miter saw has a special mechanism, thanks to which you can adjust the tilt and rotation of the dusty disc. By the way, these models are most often used for personal use, these are the so-called circular saws. This design is the most popular.
The Interskol miter saw, on the other hand, has a very simple design. This includes:
- saw blade;
- a handle that has a start button;
In order to spray the material at the desired angle, it will be enough to turn the table itself or the saw blade. Well, if we are talking about the trimming of this manufacturer, then it is most often equipped with a disc that can turn in different directions.
Varieties of miter saws for wood
Many experts believe that wood miter saws are best used for miter cuts. With this tool, you can cut the desired material with maximum accuracy. And when it comes to the need to cut the material at a specific angle, this is an important factor. Most often, end plates are used during joinery, assembly or any other finishing work. For example, this can be the manufacture of a door frame, laying a floor or a frame for a window opening.
But, in order for the result to be as accurate as possible, you should choose the right saw model and know exactly how to use it. Let’s start with the fact that you should decide on the purpose of trimming (as the people call this type of saw). As mentioned above, it is used to cut wood. Although, there are times when it is used to process materials such as:
Among the main characteristics of this device are the following:
- good speed of work;
- light weight;
- accuracy of work.
Another place where trimming is often used is furniture manufacturing workshops. This is where this tool is needed. After all, it’s not easy to make a decorative leg for a chair or any other complex structure.
How the mechanism works
It is important to note that the main load in this mechanism falls on the disk that is spinning. That is why manufacturers make it using a fairly durable material.
Some craftsmen call this saw “assembly”. And there is a simple explanation for this, the Vedas often use it during the installation of any structures. Thus, greatly facilitating your work.
If we talk about the construction of the saw as a whole, then it should be noted that it is quite simple. It consists of elements such as:
- saw blade;
- motor and gearbox;
- the handle on which the release button is located;
- structure base.
As for the engine itself, it can also be of several types. For example, there are products that have an induction motor installed, and there are those that have a collector motor. In the first case, the device operates in the most silent mode, and the service life of such a mechanism is much longer. In the second case, the main plus is that the engine itself does not require special attention and constant repair and maintenance.
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The engine can be located in different places, but most often it is located on the right side of the disc. Although, there are options where the engine can be located in the back. By the way, such a product is very convenient to use when cutting objects at a certain angle.
How safety is respected
In addition to the fact that the master must understand which saw model to use to complete the task, he must also comply with the necessary safety rules. This is important both for personal safety and for the safety of others.
It is important to understand that trimming of any brand is, first of all, a power tool that is equipped with cutting objects. Therefore, when working with this product, it is imperative to wear safety glasses so as not to damage your eyes.
Many designs, such as the Metabo miter saw, are equipped with an automatic shut-off system. It works when the disc is stuck.
There are other convenient functions, for example, soft start or auto-lock during disk replacement. These are the characteristics of the Makita miter saw.
And when the tool has special protection against electricity breakdown and a good system of fixing the material, which is processed, like, say, a Bison miter saw, then the work process will be facilitated.
And, of course, do not forget about the presence of a casing that is worn on the cutting device and protects the master during work.
Many manufacturers equip their products with a special electrodynamic brake system. They stop the engine very smoothly and quickly after it is disconnected from the power supply.
What to look for when buying
There are some tips that you should follow in order to make your purchase successful and useful, namely:
- It is necessary to initially understand how often the tool will be used. The number of functions that the saw should have depends on this. If frequent use is not expected, then you can take a tool with a minimum set of functions. And vice versa. If frequent use is expected, then you should take a professional tool with a sufficient set of options.
- The device must first of all be secure. For example, the presence of a special protective casing that covers the disc itself during operation will help protect yourself and others.
- Product weight and dimensions. It is clear that if the weight of the product or its dimensions are too large, then the master who works with it will find it difficult to cope with his task.
- Disk size. The saw blade must have a diameter of at least 20 cm.
And, of course, we must not forget about such characteristics as the width and depth of the cut. After all, it is these indicators that will determine what material can be processed with this device. It should also be remembered that the larger the disc diameter, the better. If you follow all these tips, then the device will last a long time and will be as effective as possible.
Features and differences of the product
It must be said that the saw blade can only rotate due to the fact that the motor carries out transmission, and this happens through the gearbox. The transmission can be either gear or belt.
It cannot be said that one of these programs is better than the other. They have their own characteristics and differences. For example, a toothed gear eliminates the possibility of slippage that occurs if the device is operating under high load. But the belt drive works almost without noise. Thanks to her, the disc does not vibrate. This also contributes to the product having a longer service life.
Sometimes a side saw can act as a sawing machine, in which case it is called a combined.
It cannot be said that such a product can completely replace a sawing machine, but for home use it is quite acceptable. Especially if it is important to reduce the time for work and there are restrictions in space.
There is also a miter saw with a broach, in this product the disc is installed on several rails, most often on two. They are located in parallel, thanks to this, the disc itself can move in different directions. There is also another technical parameter that characterizes the product. the cutting width of the material that is being processed. This figure is large enough.
By far the best tool for ultra-precise cutting of any material. The main thing is to choose the right model.
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Which manufacturer to give preference to
In addition to the fact that you need to be able to choose the right model, you should also know which manufacturer to give your preference to.
Of course, the cut that the end plate makes is not very large. But, if it needs to be increased, then the structure is equipped with an additional traction function.
The Makita miter saw has a working unit that is mounted on special rods. It has stands that fold out. Therefore, this saw is most often used at home. If you need to process parts of large sizes, then you will need to install an additional support.
Almost all trims are placed on a special bed, it has a round section, making it very easy to set the cutting angle.
Of course, if we talk about the reliability of the tool. It is better to choose one with a frame made of aluminum or magnesium alloy. For example, a Bosch miter saw has exactly this type of frame. over, the weight of such a tool is only 15 kg.
When making a purchase, you need to consider all these characteristics. Then the process of using the tool will be convenient and pleasant.
Features of “trims” from various manufacturers
The cutting end of the miter saws from the manufacturer Hitachi is adapted for inclines of 30 and 15 degrees. This was a real discovery, since earlier the possibilities of “facing” were limited to 45 degrees.
Where are the Japanese “trims” made??
Edging saws of this manufacturer are represented today by 350 types. They are produced in eight factories. Countries such as Romania, Great Britain and Germany are involved in the production of miter saws. There is one enterprise on the territory of these states. Five more factories are located in Japan.
Professional machine Makita LS 1040
You can work with a 26 cm saw blade. This diameter is ideal for trimming flat workpieces, the width of which is 13 cm. At an angle of 45 degrees, the cutting depth is 67 mm, and at an angle of 95 mm. The assembly of the units of this miter saw is very high quality. The electrical product provides a broaching mechanism, which is highly appreciated by consumers working with wide wooden blanks.
Who makes miter saws?
In the market of power tools for the manufacture of “facing” companies such as Bosch, Metabo, Hitachi, DeWALT and Makita are in the lead. In addition to these companies, Corvette products have proven themselves well.
How to choose the right “trimming”?
The consumer will be able to purchase a model, use it effectively and, most importantly, not regret the purchase made if he observes the following rules:
- “Trimming” is purchased after determining its purpose and operating conditions.
- Pay attention to the saw blades. Coarse-toothed discs are recommended for rough cuts. Fine cuts are made with fine-toothed discs.
- The saw must be safe. It is recommended to buy a tool with a special protective cover.
- If “trimming” is purchased as a portable tool, then it is desirable that it be small and lightweight.
- Attention should be paid to the ergonomics of the power tool: its power and the rotational speed of the disc. For work at home, experienced craftsmen recommend “trimming” with low power. Disk rotation speed is the same for all models.
Functions of hybrid models
If the craftsman needs to cut or unfurl boards, the combined miter saws for wood will come in handy. Hybrid models are effective for light, routine jobs. The tool is equipped with a disc and a riving knife. If it is necessary to dissolve the board in the set, a special table for the workpiece is attached to the product. Hybrid saws are in great demand among the consumer who wants to acquire quality tools and at the same time save money.
According to many professional craftsmen, hybrid trimming models, in comparison with specialized ones, are much worse, since combined saws are not highly accurate and reliable in operation. Therefore, the hybrid model cannot replace a power tool such as a specialized wood miter saw.
How the instrument works?
Stationary miter saws for wood are compact devices that are mounted on workbenches using screw fasteners. The bed of the workbench is cast, which ensures stability in the process of processing large workpieces. A massive base, a cutting head, an electric motor and a working handle are the elements that are equipped with stationary miter saws for wood. indicate that this tool, unlike a manual one, is not easy to operate and requires serious maintenance.
DIY wood miter saw
It is not difficult to make such a tool on your own, especially for those who love and know how to craft. For work you will need:
- the “angle grinder” engine, the power of which is 2.2 kW, the number of revolutions. 2800 per minute;
- steel sheet;
- welding machine;
- set of files.
The manufacturing process consists of the following steps:
- Make a bed. It is necessary because the future facing is a rather heavy tool.
- For the bed, a metal corner and racks from an iron bed are well suited.
- Use a sheet of steel to make a work surface. Its edges should be processed using a file.
- Build a pendulum saw stand. It is welded from a channel.
- Place the stand on a metal sheet. Its height should be 800 mm.
- Install the electric motor on a special stand that moves on hinges.
- Adapt the box. It is necessary for protection against swarf.