Last Update: 10 Jan 2021

What is a Sliding Miter Saw & Compound Miter Saw?

James Kelly
James Kelly

Hi! This is James. I'm a professional writer and working on this field for a long time. Basically I love to write about everything related to tools, diy and home improvement. All my writings speak for itself as I'm passionate about this. I love to explore new things as well as new places whenever I get free time. You'll never find me free for this reason!

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Miter saw has now become very popular for its advanced features. You can use them for various kinds of woodworking projects.

You may find many options while buying a miter saw. But, picking the right one is a tough job to do.

Sliding miter saw and compound miter saw are the main two types of miter saw you can get. They are quite similar to each other. That’s why some people find it challenging to choose one of these two.

To make the picking part easy, we offer this article to you. You will find everything on what is a sliding miter saw and compound miter saw in this context. Additionally, some essential buying strategies are also given to assist you.

By the end of this writing, you can easily differentiate between these two major types of the miter saw.

Major Difference Between Sliding Miter Saw & Compound Miter Saw

Sliding miter saw and compound miter both have lots of things in common. Yet, there is one major difference.

A sliding miter saw includes rails. This feature grants the movement of the blade over a wide section of an object. This also allows the miter saw to cut over a material that a compound miter saw blade can’t reach.

On the other hand, the compound miter saw does not have any rails. For that reason, you will notice nothing obstructing the cutting arm. This feature allows the operator to cut thick material entirely.

What is a Standard Miter Saw

Before mentioning the details regarding the sliding miter saw and compound miter saw, let’s talk a little about the standard miter saw.

Standard miter saws mainly perform angled crosscuts. Among all the models of standard miter saw, some allow you to adjust the angle. And Some allow you to choose from specific angles like 15, 30, and 45 degrees.

Once you establish the angle desired, you start to make a clean and accurate cut by holding the workpiece averse to a fence.

To cause the cut, you have to push down the circular blade in smooth motion through the workpiece.

What is a Sliding Miter Saw?

Sliding Miter Saw

A sliding miter saw is a kind of miter saw prepared with rails to move the blade forward and backward over a workpiece. This characteristic allows you to cut more in-depth than the regular type of miter saw.

One more important thing about the sliding miter saw is that you can make a compound cut with this miter saw.

Additionally, sliding miter saws are essential in cutting many extensive boards. And you will not be required to flip the workpiece and make a cut on the other side. You will feel much more comfortable while cutting a larger workpiece with a sliding miter saw.

This type of miter saw can do all the things that a standard miter saw can do. But, it has one additional feature that is you can slide it while doing a cut.

However, making an angular cut with a sliding miter saw is very troublesome. So, avoid making extreme angle cuts when working with this saw.

The blades you are going to use for your sliding miter saw need to be matched with the saw’s blades.

Advantages of Sliding Miter Saw

Disadvantages of Sliding Miter Saw

What is Compound Miter Saw?

what is a sliding miter saw

Compound miter saws are considered much more advanced as they do more than usual miter saws.

However, they work just like a standard miter saw but have one difference. It includes a pivoting arm by which you can position the blade at different angles rather than 90 degrees.

They even give you more versatile control over the miter saw. These miter saws are handy in making bevel cuts along with miter cuts smoothly.

We all have heard about miter cuts. Right?? It generally signified joining. But, the bevel cut is slightly different from the miter cut.

Miter cuts are angled across the horizontal plane where bevel cuts are angled across the vertical plane.

The compound miter saw has little variations in its model.

A standard compound miter saw consists of only one side tilting blade, left or right. For that reason, you have to manually turn the workpiece around to cut in the adverse direction.

To remedy this, you can also use a dual compound miter saw. This miter saw contains pivots that are useful to tilt the blades in both rights and left directions.

Again, if you are doing both miter cuts and bevel cuts frequently, then using a compound miter saw will be very handy for you.

Advantages of Compound Miter Saw

Disadvantages of Compound Miter Saw

So Which One You Should Buy?

This question’s answer ultimately depends on what projects you are working on. Since the size of the workpiece material is the main difference between these two types of miter saw.

Secondly, you should be concerned about your budget. A compound miter saw is less high priced than a high end sliding miter saw.

Thirdly, if your projects include cutting baseboards, creating picture frames, and molding to size, you can go with the compound miter saw. Otherwise, go with a sliding miter saw for making accurate cuts through broader materials.

Fourthly, think about how much space you have. As we mentioned earlier, a sliding miter saw requires a more extensive area and also heavier. So, you can move them quite often.

However, you can use a miter saw stand for easy movement.

On the other hand, compound miter saw much more comfortable moving from one place to another.

These are the top things to consider while buying a miter saw.

Different Sizes of Miter Saw

So, we all know about what is a sliding miter saw and compound miter saw. Now let’s check out the various sizes of the miter saw you can use.

Less Than 10 Inch Miter Saw

These sizes of miter saws are great for cutting smaller base, door trim, and crown. And if you program portability, then these are the best choices.

10 Inch Miter Saw

These miter saws are useful in combining portability and capacity.

12 Inch Miter Saw

These are suitable for cutting deeper elements like 1×12. And if you intend to use a stand, these will work great for you. Most importantly, to cut the vertical crown, you must use these sizes of miter saws.

Final Verdict

A miter saw can be used for several tasks. Such as angled cuts, miter cuts, trim works, multiple angled cuts, regular board cuts, etc.

Among all the types of miter saw, in this article, we only focus on two significant types of miter saw: sliding miter saw and compound miter saw.

We have provided all the details concerning what is a sliding miter saw, its advantages and disadvantages, and compound miter saw with its advantages and disadvantages.

These two may seem quite the same type. But, we’ve gathered some important information regarding how they differ from each other.

We hope this article helps you to choose the suitable one for your project.

What is a Sliding Miter Saw & Compound Miter Saw? 1