Miter saws are the cutting appliances used to make precise crosscuts and miters in workpieces such as tiles, wooden, marble or porcelain artwork, etc. Various types and forms of the miter cutters are available ranging from manual to power graded miter saws and from simple to complex saws. The basic tool is a manual miter saw which is suspended onto rollers having a miter box that allows making exact and accurate miter cuts. These simple types of miter cutters are occasionally employed by the hard-core woodworkers and have largely been replaced by power graded tools.
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The power miter saw uses a circular spinning saw blade that helps to make quick and exact miters in a workpiece. The workpiece is supported against the fence of saw thus allowing precise cutting angle which is typically fixed at 90°. Additionally, the power miter saws also render miter index that serves to change the angle of the blade according to the position of the fence. Besides manually change the angle, some miter indices also allow to quickly change the angles according to the set points. These saws are relatively small in size and therefore portable as compared to manual one.
Most miter cutters are referred to as ‘chop saws’ or ‘drop saws’ available usually in four different types. These being the standard miter saw, compound miter saw, sliding compound miter saw and dual compound miter saw. The standard miter cutter has one point around which its cutting blade moves vertically at an angle of 90 degrees relative to the table. Thereby it only cuts the workpieces held flat or vertical to the fence. The compound miter saw allows accurate crosscuts and miters by virtue of its blades that can pivot in several directions including vertical movement, curving side to side rotation and tilting motions towards its table. Hence compound miter cutters serve to make crosscuts at angles that are acute than 90 degrees relative to its table. Moreover, it also allows crosscuts at two angles simultaneously that is both angle and bevel cuts.
The next type of miter saw is the sliding compound miter cutter which is more likely a compound miter saw with a difference of its blade and motor, which can slide out from the table thus allowing thick and wider workpieces to be cut. The last type, a dual compound miter saw is somewhat similar to the above-mentioned type with a change in its blade and motor movements, which can tilt in left to right position. This type of cutting technique renders more flexibility for making complex cutting angles such as required in crown molding.
In addition, all power graded miter saws are provided with special arrangements by the manufacturers which generally include a laser guide to allow precise indication of the area where crosscuts are to be made; A guard to cover the teeth of the blade which is sometimes automatic and can retract when saw is to be used against a workpiece; A dust bag connected to the saw and collects the sawdust made during the process of cutting and a safety clamp in order to lock the workpiece before making precise and small cuts.