What to look for in a mitre saw

Mitre saws are commonly used for sawing angles, both precise and rough cuts. There are various types of mitre saws, including manual, compound sliding (sliders) and compound fixed (back saws).

Below is a simple guide to help you choose the best mitre saw.

What to look for in a mitre saw

1. Know what you want to cut

Before considering a specific model, you should have a clear idea about the material you need to cut, what type of result you want and how often you will use your mitre saw. The materials you intend to work on will determine the type of saw you need.

Know how much power you need

The type and power of the motor in an angle grinder affect its use. Electric angle grinders are available between 1/2″ to 6″ disc sizes, with 750 watts or more. Typically, an electric mitre saw’s power output is between 750 watts and 1.5 kW.

The rule of thumb is that the higher the blade diameter, the more powerful your mitre saw needs to be. You should also consider whether you want a cordless or corded model. The average blade diameter for a sliding mitre saw is 270mm. The more teeth the blade has, the finer the cut and vice versa.

2. Consider blade size and type

A mitre saw’s cutting capacity varies with different types of blades. Mitre saw blades made from carbon steel are the most common because they offer a good balance between durability, economy and hardness. The hardness allows the blade to hold its edge for longer, which becomes more important the thicker the material being cut. Blades made from high-carbon steel or alloy can achieve a higher hardness and durability than carbon steel blades and may be more effective on some materials such as aluminium and cutting abrasive plastics like masonry boards.

3. Decide on a budget

The price of mitre saws can vary widely depending on their features, so it’s important to work out what you need before searching for a new mitre saw. Most saws are worth spending the extra money on as they offer better accuracy and ease of use. As an extra feature to look for, having a laser guide on the saw is an extremely useful feature for accurate cuts.

4. Get the right saw for your needs

There are different types of mitre saws. A manual mitre saw is the cheapest, but you will need to make all the cuts manually. If you do not have much use for a mitre saw, a manual one may be a good choice as they tend to be less expensive. Electric mitre saws are more common and suitable for small to medium-sized jobs.

Sliding mitre saws are more expensive than fixed saws but are generally regarded as being easier to use for larger jobs. Sliders are capable of cutting wider materials and have a larger capacity, usually between 800mm to 1000mm. There is also an option for compound cuts with sliders which means you can change the angle of the blade in relation to the mitre fence to allow for even wider cuts.

Compound saws can be used as either sliding or fixed but are more expensive than other types of mitre saws. They tend to have an increased cutting capacity and accuracy over manual and electric models, making them the best choice if you need to make a lot of precise angled cuts frequently.

5. Check reviews before buying

It’s always wise to do your research before buying any product by reading reviews. As with anything, customer reviews can be helpful when comparing similar models of mitre saws. It’s always best to do some research before spending money on a new product online or in-store.


Mitre saws are available in many different shapes and sizes, and there is a wide range of features and accessories to choose from. It’s best to clearly define your needs, compare products and finally conduct some research before buying.

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