Best 05 Types of Miter Saws : (Pros-Cons-Usage-Images)

Miter saws are lightweight cutting tools. That can be used for woodworking, metalworking, etc. It is mostly used for the high accuracy cross cuts, miter cuts, and bevel cuts. When we buy a miter, saw we can observe mainly 05 types of miters saws in the market. These are with different functions, pros, and cons. So let’s see what are the 05 best miter saw types and their pros, cons, usage, and other factors to be considered before you buy them.

Miter saw types can be classified into 05 with their main functions and usage.

Type of the Miter SawMain Functions
Regular/ Conventional miter sawCrosscuts, 90°, and 45°cuts
Sliding miter sawCrosscut, Miter cut, sliding
Compound miter sawCrosscut, Miter cut, Single side bevel cut
Compound sliding miter sawCrosscut, Single side bevel cut, Miter cut with sliding
Dual compound sliding miter sawDual bevel cut, Crosscut, miter cut, sliding
Miter saws and their functions

Miter saws are classified according to their functions. So let’s see all in detail about these functions and their usage step by step.

Before you search for the miter saw, you must know the parts and functions of the miter saw.

01. Conventional Miter Saw

Conventional miter saw
Conventioanl miter saw – Image credit :

Conventional miter saw/Regular miter saw/Manual miter saw is the same-named miter saw in the industry. We can name this as the 1st version of the miter saw. The conventional miter saw has basic functions. At first, that was with the saw blade, and when the electricity was used rotational saw blade was used with an electric motor. You may have seen a chop saw. It is the basic miter saw using the saw blade. But conventional miter saw is with the saw blade. The earliest miter saw was composed of a backsaw in a miter box.

Miter box image
The Miter Box

Early miter saws consist of wooden or plastic three-sided boxes with 90° and 45°. Later rotating saw blade is used instead of a conventional saw. It is mostly used to cut the 45° angle for both wood and metal basic cuts. The base sizes were  8¼” for the small miter saws.

The conventional miter saw is unable to pivot its blade in a vertical position. But it can pivot left or right position to cut the bevel. These kinds of miter saws can be seen in traditional woodworking. When the electric miter saw blade was introduced, this was used for both woodworking and metalworking.

Easy to handleManual sawing process
Less spaceSlow process
Not much accuracy
Pros and cons of conventional miter saw

02. Compound Miter Saw

Compound miter saw – Image credit:

The compound miter saw name is based on its function. Normally basic miter saw is used to cut limited angles. But this has extended a bit with using the compound miter saw.

If the cutting axis is tilted to a single direction, it is called a single compound miter saw. Using a single compound miter saw, you can cut both bevel and miter cuts easily. Compound miter has developed into the higher level for the miter and bevel cuts.

Compound miter saws are powered by an electric motor with a suitable cutting blade. Most cutting blades are 10 inches and 12 inches. When using a compound miter saw, you can cut easily both bevel and angle cutting together.

Due to the limited cutting capacity, thicker workpieces are not able to use. Compound miter saws are really useful.

Easy to operateLarger in size
High accuracySingle side bevel
Limited size capacity
Pros and cons compound Miter Saw

03. Sliding Miter Saw

Moving rail miter saw – Image credit: BOSCH
Fixed rail miter saw – Image credit: Makita LS1219L

Sliding miter saw is another type of miter saw. It can cut deeper cut in wide range with considering the fixed miter saw. There is a rail that can move the blade and handle it horizontally. As a result, it can cut wider workpieces into deeper ones.

The cutting depth is 4-5 inches. If you use 12 inches saw blade, you can cut a little bit more than 5 inches. But not 6 inches heigh workpiece.

Normally sliding range is about 15 -12 inch kerf.

According to the rail fixing, we can see different types of sliding saws

  • Fixed Rails – Rail is fixed to the body and saw is moving along the rail.
  • Moving Rails – Rail is fixed with the saw and motor and it slides on the body of the saw.
  • Articulating Hinge – This is know as the axial glide saw. Hinge system is used instead of sliding mechanism.

When you use fixed rails or moving rail sliding, saw you would need extra space for the rail movements. But articulating hinges will require the least space for the miter saw operations.

More than that, sliding miter saws are higher efficient than fixed miter saw. I can explain this like this.

When a fixed miter saw cut the workpiece, many teeth need to contact the material. At this time, we can see some tearings burning marks.

Fixed miter saw cross cut
Sliding miter saw cross cut

But if you use a sliding miter saw, you can have a proper crosscut because we have to slide outside of the workpiece and then push the rotational blade to the workpiece. At this time, fewer cutting teeth are engaged with the cutting surface. As a result of this, we can expect a more efficient and clean cutting surface.

High size capacity
Deeper cut
More efficiency
Pros and cons of Sliding miter saw

04. Compound Sliding Miter Saw

Compound sliding miter saw – Image credit Dewalt DWS780

In the compound sliding miter saw can be used for the single side bevel cuts, miter cuts, cross cuts with sliding the saw head. The saw head is moving forward and backward using the rails, and it can pivot left or right side. Due to the sliding function, it can increase the size capacity of the workpiece. But there is a limited bevel option due to the single side.

If you use this, you will need to flip the workpiece in order to have the dual bevel option. Due to the sliding function, a larger size workpiece can be cut.

Mostly this tool is used for the  2″×12” or 1″×12” workpieces.

Work with larger size workpieceSingle side bevel
Deeper cutRequire more space
More efficiency
Pros and cons of compound sliding miter saw

05. Dual Compound Sliding Miter Saw

Dual sliding miter saw – Image credit: Rigid R4221

Finally, a dual compound sliding miter saw is with combining all the functions together. It is the most used miter saw, and it has developed well in today’s tool market. Dual compound sliding miter saw can cut cross-cut, left or right bevel, miter cut, with sliding.

Due to the sliding mechanism, it can cut larger sizes of workpieces with any bevel angle. When you use this, you don’t need to flip the workpiece in order to left-right bevels. Using a bevel scale and angle, you can easily do this. Normally dual compound sliding miter saws are expensive. If you are looking for the budget miter, saw you can move to another.

You can use both 10 inch, and 12 inches blade sizes in this miter saw.

Both left-right bevelMore size and more space
High accuracyHigh power consume
More efficiency
Pros and cons of dual compound sliding miter saw

Related Topics

Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.