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How Does A Miter Saw Work

How does a miter saw work? Does it use a special mechanism to operate itself? Well, we will answer all of these questions in this article. So read on!

If you are a carpenter, woodworker, or just the typical DIYer, you should already know the importance of a miter saw. This particular power tool works well in making cuts for door frames, picture frames, window casings, and crown molding. Moreover, you can also use this tool to make precise straight cuts from general woodworking projects. Of course, any saw can do this. However, with a miter saw, your versatility in the workshop is virtually unlimited.

Aside from wood, a miter saw can cut through different objects such as mild metal and several types of cement. If you just use the right miter saw blade, this saw can make perfect slices to a myriad of materials. Therefore, it is easy to say that this power tool is suitable for different kinds of projects. Even the typical weekend warrior will really love having this saw.

It is not a wonder anymore why many are curious as to how a miter saw works. After all, it has a design that is almost comparable to a circular saw. Therefore, there is a need to explore the entire system of a miter saw. In this way, you will grow a familiarity with this excellent power tool!

How Does A Miter Saw Work?

You can only discover the entire functionality of a miter saw if you know the whole parts of this tool. Of course, each of these components plays part in the operation of this machine. In the market today, there are different types of miter saws. Such of these are the sliding and compound miter saws. However, their function and system are just the same. There are just some added features that improve their respective performances on various projects.

Let us explore the anatomy of a miter saw.


The motor is the heart of every power tools. They cannot run without this crucial component. A motor in a miter saw is the one responsible for running the machine. Specifically, it produces the power to spin the circular blade once you start using it. Most of the miter saws you can see today have a motor that has a power rating of 10 to 15 amps. You don’t really need a powerful engine, especially if you are just doing simple house projects. On the opposite manner, you will need a miter saw that runs like a beast in heavy duty applications. Specifically, a motor that has a no-load speed of 3,200 RPM is already decent.

Moreover, there are two types of motors that you can choose. They are the direct drive and belt driven motors. As a recommendation, select the direct drive model because they are ideal for extensive projects!

The Blade

A saw would be useless if it doesn’t have a blade. After all, the cutting power of a miter saw is what you are really after. Once the motor starts running, the power it produces is being converted to torque. In return, the torque enables the blade to spin at a very fast rate.

By default, a miter saw comes with a standard blade. Usually, this blade is perfect for rough cuts, such as thick workpieces. However, if you are planning to do fine finishes in your woodworking project, then the standard blade is not enough. You will need to purchase several types of the blade to accomplish this. Specifically, you should have an elegant and high-quality blade to improve the precision and smoothness of your cutting.

The Miter

This tool got its name from this component. The miter is the one that indicates the angle of your cuts. Most of the time, the default angle of a miter is set at 45 degrees. Moreover, it usually works on one side. However, some of the best miter saws can do miter cuts on both sides simultaneously.

The Bevel

A miter saw is popular because of its capacity to create precise and accurate bevel cuts. As a result, this tool can create to cutting angles at once. In doing this, the head of the saw will lean to the side. Moreover, it will also rotate on the table of the saw.

Some miter saws have single bevel design. This means that they can only tilt in one direction. On the other, double bevel miter saws can tilt either left or right. For us, a double bevel miter saw comes advantageous. This is because there is no need for you turn your workpiece in making angled cuts. Of course, the bevel feature of a miter saw is essential. The quality and complexity of its angled cuts are better than any types of saws. Moreover, this ability of this power tool enables you to make crown molding and wooden furniture.

Dust Collection System

Nobody should consider this part as just a mere accessory. In fact, your miter saw may not work well without a dust extraction and management. When you are cutting, it is natural for residues to scatter all over. When you are always dealing with wooden materials, then you know this situation very well. The dust and debris are usually airborne, considering their size. As a result, there is a great tendency that they will enter on the internal components of your saw. Of course, this will lead to a gradual deterioration of your tool.

To further increase the lifespan of your miter saw, it should have a dust collection system. This technology uses a dust extractor or a vacuum to clear your working area from any rubbish.

Laser Guide System

We all know how precise a miter saw can be when it comes to cutting. However, some instances can limit its precision. If you are working on a harsh jobsite or dark area, making a sharp cut is quite troublesome. A laser guide system is essential to ensure that you have optimum visibility while you are working. Some systems are even projecting red lights so that you can clearly see the path you are cutting!

Shaft Locks

The shaft lock or spindle is the one that keeps the blade and shaft intact. In this way, changing the blades is easy and fast!

Table Extensions

A miter saw will also need the help of table extensions for optimal support and stability. The components are usually attached to the side of the saw to provide balance and rigidity!


Overall, the mechanism of a miter saw is not complex. It has a straightforward design and function that are ideal for many amateurs and non-professional artisans. Despite that, its function is not limited to a single application alone. With this tool, you can tackle different projects on your own.

Knowing how a miter saw works is essential for every owner of this tool. It improves your performance in your job, and it teaches you the right approach on how to maintain this tool properly! Now remember, with a miter saw stand, using your miter saw gets even easier.

Charles Larson

Hi, I’m Charles Larson. We do everything we can to support our readers with hundreds of hours of research and comparison testing to ensure you find the perfect tool for your workshop.

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