Miter saws are one of the most popular woodworking tools on the market. They come in both sliding and non-sliding varieties, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. So, which one should you choose for your next project?
In this post, we’ll compare the pros and cons of sliding vs. non-sliding miter saws, so you can make an informed decision before you buy.
Main Difference Between Sliding Vs. Non-Sliding Miter Saw
The main difference between sliding and non-sliding miter saws is how the blade moves. A sliding miter saw has a carriage that slides back and forth along the rails, while a non-sliding miter saw has a fixed base. Also, the sliding miter saw can crosscut wider boards since the blade can move further to the right or left.
The main advantage of a sliding miter saw is making wider crosscuts. This is because the blade can travel further to the right or left of the saw table. The size of their base limits Non-sliding miter saws, so they can only make narrower crosscuts.
The main disadvantage of a sliding miter saw is that it’s heavier and more expensive than a non-sliding model. Sliding miter saws also require more space to operate.
If you’re looking for a tool to make a wide cross cutter, a sliding m saw is a way to go. But if you’re tight on space or a budget, a non-sliding model will work just fine.
Sliding Miter Saw Pros
- Wider crosscutting capacity: A sliding miter saw can crosscut boards wider than a non-sliding saw. This can be handy for cutting large pieces of wood or for projects that require multiple cuts to be made at the same angle.
- Easier to adjust: With a sliding miter saw, you can move the blade to the left or right by simply sliding the carriage. This makes it much easier to adjust the saw for different cuts.
- Sturdier base: A sliding miter saw has a fixed base, making it more stable when used. This can be important for precision cuts.
Sliding Miter Saw Cons
- More expensive: Sliding miter saws are generally more expensive than non-sliding saws. This is because they require more complex mechanisms to enable the sliding motion.
- Heavier: Sliding miter saws are also generally heavier than their non-sliding counterparts, making them more difficult to move around.
Non-Sliding Miter Saw Pros
- Inexpensive: Non-sliding miter saws are generally much less expensive than sliding saws. If you’re on a tight budget, this can be a major consideration.
- Lighter: Non-sliding miter saws are typically lighter than sliding saws, making them easier to move around.
- Smaller footprint: A non-sliding miter saw takes up less space than a sliding saw on your workbench. This can be important if you’re limited on room.
Non-Sliding Miter Saw Cons
- You can’t cut wider boards: A non-sliding miter saw cannot crosscut boards that are wider than the blade. This can be a major downside if you need to make wider cuts than the saw itself.
- Less accurate: A non-sliding miter saw is less accurate than a sliding saw because the base is fixed. This can be a problem when making precision cuts.
How to Use Sliding Miter Saw
When using a sliding miter saw, the workpiece is placed on the fence, and the saw is drawn towards the workpiece to cut. The sliding miter saw can make wider cuts than a non-sliding saw.
Even more, the sliding miter saw has an adjustable bevel scale so that you can make angled cuts. The bevel scale is marked in degrees from 0 to 45 degrees. To set the bevel, loosen the bevel lock knob and adjust the angle on the bevel scale. Tighten the bevel lock knob when you have the desired angle.
The sliding miter saw also has a stop for making repetitive cuts. You can set the stop at different lengths to make the same cuts each time.
More so, you can use the sliding miter saw for making crosscuts and miter cuts. The workpiece is placed against the fence for crosscuts, and the saw is drawn towards the workpiece. The workpiece is placed on the table for miter cuts, and the saw is drawn towards the workpiece.
Set the bevel to 0 degrees and adjust the stop to the desired length to make a crosscut. Set the bevel to 45 degrees for a miter cut and adjust the stop to the desired length.
When using a sliding miter saw, always use safety glasses. Also, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before using the saw.
How to Use Non-Sliding Miter Saw
A non-sliding miter saw is a power tool used to make accurate crosscuts in wood. It is a specialized miter saw that doesn’t have a sliding mechanism to allow the saw blade to be moved forward and back. This makes it a good choice for smaller projects because it’s easier to move around.
To use a non-sliding miter saw, first decide what size of cut you need to make. Then, set the miter saw to the correct angle by adjusting the bevel and miter angles. Clamp your workpiece and slowly lower the saw blade into the wood. Apply pressure to the workpiece with your free hand to hold it in place.
Then, use your other hand to guide the saw blade through the cut. Be careful not to overextend the saw blade, or you may damage it. Once the cut is complete, release the pressure on the workpiece and raise the saw blade.
If you need to make a repeated cut, be sure to adjust the miter angle and the bevel angle each time. This will ensure that the cuts are accurate. Also, make sure to clean the blade after each cut to prevent it from becoming dull.
Further, a non-sliding miter saw is a great choice for smaller projects because it’s easier to move around. It’s also a good choice for beginner woodworkers because it’s less complicated to use than a sliding miter saw. However, be careful not to overextend the saw blade, or you may damage it.
So, which type of miter saw is right for you? If you need to crosscut boards wider than the blade itself, then a sliding miter saw is the way to go. If you’re on a tight budget or don’t have a lot of room to spare, then a non-sliding miter saw is a good option. However, if accuracy is important to you, you may want to consider a sliding miter saw.