how-to-spot-a-good-quality-hand-mitre-saw

     
 

How to spot a top-quality hand mitre saw

 
         
         
  Shop for Mitre Saws  
         
         
     

When purchasing a hand mitre saw it’s especially important to select a good quality model if you want your cuts to be accurate to the degree.

 
         
     

Smooth rolling action

 
  Smooth rolling action  

This is key to a clean and accurate cut. If there is a working model set up in your local home improvement shop or builders merchants, you should test out the saw by doing a few strokes with it.


A well-built tool will have a smooth and controlled cutting action, with the blade rolling smoothly through the guide rods, without wobbling.

 
         
     

Minimal clearance between the guide rods

 
 

Minimal clearance between the guide rods and the blade

 

When sawing, the blade moves between several guide rods, which prevent it wandering off course and keep it cutting in a straight line.

 

Though the blade moves between these rods, it doesn’t actually come into contact with them, or a lot of friction would be produced as the blade moves back and forth.

 
         
  A lot of clearance  

You should look for a hand mitre saw with minimal clearance (the smallest possible gap) between the blade and the guide rods. 

 

A lot of clearance will mean the blade can move very freely between the guide rods, potentially sawing off course, and making it very hard for you to achieve the exact angle you want.

 
         
 

 

 

A high fence

 
  The thicker your material, the higher the fence will need to be to support it.  

When sawing, your workpiece should be placed on the bench and clamped against the back fence, to hold it securely in place.


The thicker your material, the higher the fence will need to be to support it. Look for a tool with a high fence, that will support a wide range of material thicknesses.

 
         
  Some models have adjustable backing plates attached to the fence  

Some models have adjustable backing plates attached to the fence, which offer additional support to the part of your workpiece that is closest to the blade.

 
         
     

Variable angle selection

 
 
Variable angle selection, all hand mitre saws have an angle guide.
 

All hand mitre saws have an angle guide, which allows you to set the angle you require for your cut, by moving the pivot along the scale, and locking it in position.

 

Some models have preset angles which will usually be the ones most commonly used for joint making. Others will allow you to set the saw to any angle. This is a useful feature as it means you can cut a variety of different cuts rather than just the preset ones.

 
         
 

 

It’s also useful because if any of the preset angles are slightly off, you can allow for this by sawing an angle or two either way. With the preset angles alone, if they are off, all your cuts will be.

 
         
     

A perfectly vertical set-up

 
  A perfectly vertical set up The frame and guide rods in which the blade sits should be absolutely vertical.  

The frame and guide rods in which the blade sits should be absolutely vertical.


You will be able to check this by standing behind the handle of the tool and looking down it, or by viewing the saw from above.


If any of the guide rods or the frame are even slightly leaning to one side, then the blade will not be able to cut accurately.

 
         
     

A strong, stiff blade

 
 
Look for a blade with very little flex in it, if the blade is too thin it will flex in the material as it moves backwards and forwards.
 

When making accurate angled cuts, which is usually what a hand mitre saw is used for, you want a blade that’s going to cut straight. If the blade is too thin, it will flex in the material as it moves backwards and forwards. This can sometimes result in the blade becoming bent and damaged, but it can also cause it to run off course, ruining your cut.

 

Look for a blade that is strong and stiff, with very little flex in it. The blade does not necessarily have to be thick, but it should be able to resist bending when moving in the frame.

 
         

how-to-spot-a-good-quality-hand-mitre-saw

     
 

How to spot a top-quality hand mitre saw

 
         
         
  Shop for Mitre Saws  
         
         
     

When purchasing a hand mitre saw it’s especially important to select a good quality model if you want your cuts to be accurate to the degree.

 
         
     

Smooth rolling action

 
  Smooth rolling action  

This is key to a clean and accurate cut. If there is a working model set up in your local home improvement shop or builders merchants, you should test out the saw by doing a few strokes with it.


A well-built tool will have a smooth and controlled cutting action, with the blade rolling smoothly through the guide rods, without wobbling.

 
         
     

Minimal clearance between the guide rods

 
 

Minimal clearance between the guide rods and the blade

 

When sawing, the blade moves between several guide rods, which prevent it wandering off course and keep it cutting in a straight line.

 

Though the blade moves between these rods, it doesn’t actually come into contact with them, or a lot of friction would be produced as the blade moves back and forth.

 
         
  A lot of clearance  

You should look for a hand mitre saw with minimal clearance (the smallest possible gap) between the blade and the guide rods. 

 

A lot of clearance will mean the blade can move very freely between the guide rods, potentially sawing off course, and making it very hard for you to achieve the exact angle you want.

 
         
 

 

 

A high fence

 
  The thicker your material, the higher the fence will need to be to support it.  

When sawing, your workpiece should be placed on the bench and clamped against the back fence, to hold it securely in place.


The thicker your material, the higher the fence will need to be to support it. Look for a tool with a high fence, that will support a wide range of material thicknesses.

 
         
  Some models have adjustable backing plates attached to the fence  

Some models have adjustable backing plates attached to the fence, which offer additional support to the part of your workpiece that is closest to the blade.

 
         
     

Variable angle selection

 
 
Variable angle selection, all hand mitre saws have an angle guide.
 

All hand mitre saws have an angle guide, which allows you to set the angle you require for your cut, by moving the pivot along the scale, and locking it in position.

 

Some models have preset angles which will usually be the ones most commonly used for joint making. Others will allow you to set the saw to any angle. This is a useful feature as it means you can cut a variety of different cuts rather than just the preset ones.

 
         
 

 

It’s also useful because if any of the preset angles are slightly off, you can allow for this by sawing an angle or two either way. With the preset angles alone, if they are off, all your cuts will be.

 
         
     

A perfectly vertical set-up

 
  A perfectly vertical set up The frame and guide rods in which the blade sits should be absolutely vertical.  

The frame and guide rods in which the blade sits should be absolutely vertical.


You will be able to check this by standing behind the handle of the tool and looking down it, or by viewing the saw from above.


If any of the guide rods or the frame are even slightly leaning to one side, then the blade will not be able to cut accurately.

 
         
     

A strong, stiff blade

 
 
Look for a blade with very little flex in it, if the blade is too thin it will flex in the material as it moves backwards and forwards.
 

When making accurate angled cuts, which is usually what a hand mitre saw is used for, you want a blade that’s going to cut straight. If the blade is too thin, it will flex in the material as it moves backwards and forwards. This can sometimes result in the blade becoming bent and damaged, but it can also cause it to run off course, ruining your cut.

 

Look for a blade that is strong and stiff, with very little flex in it. The blade does not necessarily have to be thick, but it should be able to resist bending when moving in the frame.