Almost every construction site and many DIYers now have a sliding mitre saw. The name sounds complicated, but the saw is much easier to use than you’d think.
Actually, it is a table saw or a circular saw with a rotating saw blade, but in addition you can also set different angles with this saw.
What can you cut with it?
Actually, almost all materials if you have the right saw blade.
Why do you need this kind of saw?
There are many different saws, but why do I now need a sliding mitre saw. With a table saw or circular saw, you can also adjust the angle of the saw blade!
The advantage of this saw is that you can not only adjust the inclination of the saw blade by up to 45°, but also the mitre, i.e. the angle with which you want to place the workpiece. For a picture frame that would be 45° at each corner for each bar. Thus, the two bars complement each other at 90°.
You can also make a compound cut (double mitre cut). This is what the cut is called when you adjust both the inclination of the saw blade and the mitre at the same time. An example would be a pyramid with any angle of inclination of the sides.
What types are there?
You can choose from the following types of tools:
Mitre saw; sliding mitre saw; mitre saw with upper table
For many applications, such as the cutting strips, the former is completely sufficient. However, the benefit of a sliding mitre saw is that you can pull the saw blade towards you and increase the cutting width. This is advantageous for wide workpieces, for example when cutting floorboards. This makes the sliding mitre saw, despite its mouthful of a name, an indispensable helper in the workshop and for interior work.
As a special feature, there is also the crosscut and mitre saw with upper table. This saw can then be used in a similar way to a table saw.
There are now mid-range devices that dispense with the power cord and can be battery-operated. This increases flexibility when using them and allows you, on site, for example, to work wherever the saw or workpiece is needed.
What should you consider when purchasing a saw?
Which saw you should purchase for your workshop depends most of all on how often you’re going to use the saw. If you only occasionally want to cut off a few strips or boards at an angle, a cheaper saw will usually be enough for you. Unfortunately, these saws are usually only delivered with cheaper saw blades. These should best be replaced with better ones in order to get great results.
If you also want to make yourself a shelf or piece of furniture yourself, you should buy a mid-range saw. With these saws, the motor power is higher, so you can cut materials better and more easily, and often a light and a laser are included in the accessories.
For the ambitious DIYer, there is also the professional class. Although the price of these devices is several times higher, you get a saw that leaves nothing to be desired in terms of precision and accuracy.
You should definitely look out for the following points:
- What cutting / sawing performance does the device have?
- Is soft start available? (slower start of the saw blade)
- Which angle / mitre can be adjusted?
- Can the settings be easily read?
- What is the maximum cutting height of the saw? (Note: usually the cutting height is only indicated for 90°. At 45° the cutting height is reduced!)
- What is the maximum cutting width of the saw?
- Can a vacuum cleaner be connected in place of the chip bag?
- Does the saw have an additional light source installed?
- Is there a laser provided for projecting the cutting pattern?
What should you pay attention to when using the mitre saw?
As a saw is always a dangerous tool, you must pay attention to the following:
- Have you found a place where you can easily put all of your workpieces into the saw? Somewhere outside would be best.
- Before use, check whether all safety-related things (cables, switches, saw blade protector, etc.) on the saw are functional.
- Is the saw blade working or is it faulty? In case of defects, replace the saw blade.
- Is your saw suitable for all your planned cutting (material, cutting height, cutting width, etc.)?
- Remove any loose clothing and jewellery to prevent injury.
- If you have long hair, tie it up or wear headgear.
- Do you have protective goggles, ear protection and a dust mask ready? Even if the machine purchased has a dust outlet, allergy sufferers or people with respiratory diseases in particular should wear a dust mask.
- For smaller workpieces, you absolutely need a cutting gauge with which you can secure the workpiece securely on the saw table. Never try to keep the workpiece free on the work table. The resulting sawing force is always greater than your hand strength and rips your hand away from the piece you are sawing so that your hand ends up in the saw.
- For longer pieces you need a safety stand. The height of the safety stand must be exactly level with the work table, otherwise you won’t achieve a clean, angled cut.