I’m going to cover the different options for purchasing these saws, as well as a few safety tips and extra terminology. Miter (also spelled mitre) saws are used to make straight and mitered cross-cuts in material. Standard Chopsaw: This saw pivots from a single point, and its blade is always perpendicular to the cutting table.
Compound Miter Saw: Compound miter saws can pivot both horizontally and vertically, meaning the blade can also swing side to side to create an angle. Sliding Compound Miter Saw: This tool is similar to a compound miter saw, but it also includes the ability to slide the blade back and forth on a metal rail as you make the cut.
In my experience, the compound miter saw is the best choice for most people trying to tackle small and mid-size projects. Weight: Compound miter saws range slightly in overall weight, usually depending on the body of the tool and how much plastic versus metal parts it includes. Extra Features: There are several added features to consider when shopping for miter saws, such as laser guides, dust bags and safety-lock features. Table saws are versatile tools; they allow you to cut large materials with relative ease, but they also provide smooth, precise cuts for materials of any size. There are many types of table saws, ranging greatly in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Adjustable Fence: The fence is a guide that runs parallel to the cutting direction of the blade and spans the length of the table. Table Insert: The arbor that holds the blades are hidden beneath the throat plate, which inserts into the table and surrounds the blade. Size: Table saws will range in size, with some versions offering a slide-out extension on the right side and a rear bar that helps support materials as they come out of the cut.
Jigsaw — Curved cuts out of wood around 2″ thick or less (check the saw for the max depth). Circular Saw — Straight cuts from wood up to about 5″ thick (check your saw for the max depth).
Now that you know what to look for and which saws to use for certain cuts, the fun can begin!! Tip from a woodworker…if you are unfamiliar with a table saw, probably the most dangerous power tool [things go wrong very quickly], my advice would be to take a night course in woodworking from a nearby community college. Thank you for the additional tips, but if you read through you’ll notice I do discuss sliding miter saws, and never standing inline with blade. We probably will not get into making your own fence or cradles, as this is not a woodworking site, but I will take your feedback into consideration and include links to good resources on blades and push sticks, etc. I like the safety trigger on this saw, which is a push button thumb-actuated style located at the top of the vertically-oriented handle. Comment Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business.
I am a DIYer--repairs around the house, build small furniture, help a neighbor or two from time to time. To do rips and cross cuts now I use the Eureka EZSmart rail guide system, and while it is a nice system I find it a bit cumbersome.
The saw can be placed on a floor, driveway, patio, deck,  or placed on a suitable portable stand. To obtain smooth cuts on plywood, and the like, purchase a separate 60 tooth carbide blade.
The Bosch 4100 is more suitable as a contractors "job site" saw, vs the smaller GTS1031 or a DW745. The Bosch 4100 will handle cutting and ripping larger stuff than on a Bosch GTS1031 or a DW745.
The Bosch 4100 is larger and heavier, and with the integral folding mobile stand---and is too large to fit into the trunk of most regular size automobiles. The light duty stands, available accessories, for the GS1031 or a DW745, are not suitably built to withstand heavy-duty use, like when cutting larger materials.
The GS1031 can be fitted with a shop-made readily removable auxilliary fence, for ripping longer and wider materials, as well and cutting grooves into the end of a work-piece. I think the Porter-Cable compact portable job site saw is better than the DW745, for comparable $$$.
With a single saw blade installed, there were only 2 threads exposed, beyond the arbor nut.


Perhaps DeWalt has since extented the threaded portion on the arbor, to accept dado blades. Btw, I was in a local Sears the other day and saw the 21829 on clearance for just over $400. This model is descended from the Ryobi BT3xxx series of saws, that has features only found on much more expensive offerings: * Sturdy folding stand!!
By the way, these machines are manufactured by Emerson Tools, who also have the Milwaukee & Ridgid brands. Be sure to check out the pictures of the 21829 - and get a feel for just how small a space it occupies when folded up - that's a value beyond words for us sharing our shops with stupid things like cars and such.
At only $400, you should have enough budget left to pickup a good blade, a bottle of CMT blade cleaner, and maybe even toss in a decent router too boot! And one last word of advice: no matter what saw you invest in, the first thing you do is build an OUT-FEED TABLE for it!
You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. After reading through Saws Part I and this post, you should be well versed on the different types of basic power saws and what to look for. This will help you understand what I’m talking about when describing the cutting capabilities of these saws. This allows you to cut a miter and a bevel at the same time (this is known as a compound miter). This front-to-back cutting movement allows you to cut much wider boards than with a regular compound miter saw.
The sliding compound miter saw can be very useful if you frequently work with larger widths of wood, such as 12″ and wider. Since this saw is stationary during use and is best used when clamped or even screwed down to a table, the weight won’t matter much when operating. You should definitely compare tools in person and feel them in your hands before buying; try pressing the trigger, gripping the handle and swiveling the miter adjustment to check the ease of overall maneuverability.
The saw consists of a circular blade mounted in arbor that sits within the table and can be raised and lowered to change the depth of cut. Bench-top table saws are the most lightweight, inexpensive option; they may not be as powerful or durable as more professional-grade table saws, but they are capable of handling most basic tasks with precision and ease.
It’s a good idea to inspect the throat plate to ensure it sits flush with the table, and also to try removing and reinstalling the blade. Cramping a table saw into an awkward space provides room for danger, so be sure to choose a saw that is large enough to support the materials you need to cut, and to place the saw with enough extra room for you to maneuver and support your material safely.
Always turn off and disconnect power when changing the blades: This will provide you with peace of mind when your fingers are near the blades. Minimize blade exposure: The best rule of thumb is to always ensure the minimum amount of blade surface is exposed.
This saw is stationary and has a guide fence perpendicular to the blade, making it easy to create straight, even cuts. There are so many great projects involving wood, and once you get comfortable using these saws (which you will, with a bit of practice), you’ll never want to stop. I’d avoid the chinese knockoffs of the old Delta (as shown above), as precision matters. Not only can are there specialized blades (to cut wide kerfs on purpose), but they have to be matched to the material, and can turn a pretty mediocre saw into a stellar one.
We might do an additional post on blades, but this is a starter post to familiarize people with the tools.
Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Bosch actually bought the DeWalt.  And he likes it -- although he hasn't let me put a ZCI on it yet or change the blade over to a Freud. The zero clearance throat plate took a bit of tweaking, but the add-on miter gauge slot bolted right on. That eliminates the tendency to lean over the blade when dealing with any cuts longer than a couple of feet. However, if you plan to do woodworking of any substantial size or complexity — shelving, cabinets, frames, you name it — these saws are going to become your best friend. Your DIY universe will officially be blown wide open, and the possibilities are endless for what you can make with these trusty tools at your side.


For example, it’s helpful to know that miter saws are used only for making cross cuts, bevel cuts and miter cuts. The manual version of a miter saw consists of a guide box with angled slots and a straight-tooth saw. However, if you already own a circular saw, bear in mind that circular saws also make beveled cuts, so it may cover your needs for wider boards. Still, I recommend feeling the weight of the saw’s arm and moving it up and down to see how it feels.
If you  plan to be cutting boards much wider than 12″, you should seriously consider the sliding compound miter saw.
If you’re cutting salvaged wood, logs or other natural materials, be sure to check the material for any hard removable knots, splinters, nails or other embedded debris, which might fly loose during the cut or jam the saw and damage the blade. They can be used for all kinds of cuts, including dado cuts, which are slotted cuts that are made by stacking several blades together.
Since bench-top versions are the most reasonably priced and realistic option for the average DIYer, I will focus on those for now. When evaluating saws, look for one that includes a fence that clamps onto the front and back and is easily adjustable to ensure parallel cuts.
If you plan to install it in a workroom, I recommend purchasing a heavier, more stable version, as any kind of movement of the table during cutting could be dangerous and cause inaccurate, sloppy cuts. This is the best saw for cutting large sheets of wood or tackling any complex woodworking cuts, like finger joints, grooves, etc.
For example, if someone is helping retrieve outfed stock (cause you are cutting lots of it) they need to stand to the side, even if at the end of a 10 ft outfeed table. For a DIY’er, best investment you can make is one of these courses, you can also go home with something great you have made. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others.
Currently I am lookng over the Bosch GTS1031 and the Craftsman 21829 with the gravity stand. No matter how cautious you are, when that 3' long board starts to fall off the back of the table, your instincts over-ride your brain and you want to reach for it.
For making rip cuts (long cuts along the length of a board), you want to use a circular saw or a table saw. Even with a dust bag, these saws produce a lot of sawdust and loose debris, so I highly recommend wearing a dust mask. To solve this issue, buy extra length when possible or use safety clamps to secure smaller pieces. This ability makes table saws particularly good for cabinetry, joinery and other furniture-making techniques. However, if money and space are unlimited and you’re investing in a long future of woodworking, my recommendation is for SawStop table saws. Also make sure the fence is sturdy; a rickety or cheaply made fence essentially defeats the purpose of having a fence at all. Table saws can be quite loud as well, so wearing ear protection is advised, especially if doing prolonged work. When making a cut, raise the blade so that the valley between the teeth just barely clears the height of your material. Never stand directly behind the blade if possible and always make sure your material is not titling upward as it moves across the table toward the blade.
Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published.
With a maximum width of about 4 to 6 inches, the miter box is not for large boards of wood, but it is very useful for cutting small, delicate pieces of wood such as dowels, decorative molding, balsa, etc. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.



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