When looking into mitre saws, all the different types on the market can become overwhelming; from sliding mitre saws to compound models, then single bevel to dual bevel saws, it can be difficult to know which saw is right for you and your work.
All mitre saws are excellent for making detailed angled cuts or cross cuts, however, dual bevel and single bevel versions differ slightly in their approach to cutting.
We have put together a small guide about single bevel mitre saws below to help you figure out if this kind of mitre saw is right for you.
What Is a Mitre Saw?
Firstly, before digging into all the bevels and comparisons, its good to know what a mitre saw itself is. A mitre saw is a powerful tool that can make angled cuts such as the popular 45-degree angle cuts for forming joints or making frames, this is done by a high-quality blade and is very easy to use if you are a beginner woodworker.
The mitre saw itself works by a swing arm which pivots either right or left to make angled cuts, this is powered by its motor system, with some of the best mitre saws having a laser guide integrated for a more accurate cut.
What Is a Bevel Cut?
A bevelled cut is similar to an angled cut but goes through the whole thickness of the board and not the width, bevel mitre saws allow this cut unlike regular mitre saws, they can also perform a; regular crosscut, compound cut and an angled cut.
These compound bevel mitre saws have much more versatility for cutting than a standard mitre saw, however, you may still be wondering what the difference is between a single bevel mitre saw and a dual bevel mitre saw.
Single Bevel VS Dual Bevel Mitre Saws
Single and dual bevel mitre saws are excellent for getting angled cuts other than 90-degrees, both differ however in the directions they can perform a bevel cut in, making them more suitable for particular woodwork uses.
We've compared the two types of mitre saws below with their advantages and disadvantages.
Single Bevel Mitre Saw
A single bevel mitre saw comes with a pivoting function that allows you to make angled cuts in a single direction only, this means when you want to make a bevel cut in the other direction you will have to flip your work over. It's important when flipping your wood that the angle matches the previous.
These types of saws a great for people who are on a budget and want an upgrade from a regular mitre saw, they also allow for much more versatility and are very straightforward to use as there blade only cuts in one direction.
Drawbacks of single bevel saws have to be the flipping which is time-consuming and can lead to inaccuracy if you can't get the angles to match up on the other side. They're also much less suitable for handling long pieces of material in comparison to dual bevel models.
- Very affordable.
- Easy to use for beginners.
- A great upgrade for hobby woodworking in comparison to a regular saw.
- Flipping the material can lead to inaccuracy.
- Time-consuming in comparison to dual models.
- Not suitable for lots of large work.
Dual-Bevel Mitre Saw
Dual bevel mitre saws allow you to make an angled bevel cut in two directions rather than one, saving time and helping accuracy so as you can get the same cut either side of the wood. This kind of saw is great for professionals who want the most accurate cut possible, especially for longer pieces of wood.
Disadvantages of this mitre saw have to be the fact they are expensive which may not be ideal for people who are looking to do woodworking as a hobby.
- Versatile and can perform a variety of cuts.
- More accurate.
- Saves time.
- Very expensive.
Overall, both bevel mitre saws are great for making a variety of cuts, if you can afford it then it's much better to go with a dual bevel saw, however, if not, a single bevel still offers more versatility than a regular mitre saw.
For larger pieces of material, or if you need to cut on a time limit then a dual bevel mitre saw is probably the better option.
What Makes A Good Single Bevel Mitre Saw?
When looking for the best single bevel mitre saws there are a few key features you should be looking out for; from motor power to blade size, these are all factors that can influence how your mitre saw performs when cutting.
We have put together a list of the most essential features to look out for in your new mitre saw below.
- Motor power & speed - If your mitre saw has higher amps then the more powerful it is, this is generally anything between 10 amps and 15 amps. The speed of your saw also matters, this is measured in RPM, the higher your RPM then the faster the blade can cut which is great for thicker materials. RPM's can range anything between 3,500 - 5000 RPM.
- Blade sizes - The larger the diameter of your blade then the longer cuts it can perform, this can be anything from 8 inches - 12 inches depending on what you need.
- Fences - If you are looking to cut taller material then a fence can provide support, sliding or flip ones are also great if you want to keep them away when making bevel cuts.
- Dustbags - Having a dust bag attached to your saw is great for collecting excess sawdust and can make clean-up much easier.
- Table extensions - For cutting large and long sized material a table extension is very important, they can also help you make more accurate cuts due to their support.
- Safety features - Some safety features to consider in your single bevel mitre saw are an electric brake, blade guards, and laser guides.
Why Do I Need a Mitre Saw?
If you are looking to just make general straight cuts in your woodwork then you probably don't need a mitre saw and would be better off choosing a more versatile circular saw. However, for making accurate angled and bevelled cuts, a single bevel mitre saw is much more suitable.
We have listed out some of the benefits you can get from purchasing a mitre compound saw below -
- Better accuracy and precision - With a mitre saw you don't have to spend time finding angles or double guess yourself as they lock in at the angle you set, allowing you to get consistent and precise results every time you cut material.
- Saves time - Automatic blades of these mitre saws are very fast and can cut through even the thickest of woods easily, mitre saws with larger blades are even better for heavy-duty work.
- Very easy to use - You don't need to be good at maths or a professional carpenter to use a mitre saw, they can be used by beginners easily and allow you to cut all kinds of angles with no stress.
- Can make a variety of cuts - Whether you are looking to make wide cuts, compound cuts, bevel cuts or cross cuts, bevel mitre saws are very versatile and can easily create the joint or finish you need for your woodwork.
Safety Tips For Using a Single Bevel Mitre Saw
When using any kind of power tool, you need to be aware of how to keep yourself safe during, before and after the cutting process. Especially if you are a beginner woodworker and it's your first time using a power tool like this.
- Wear safety protection - When working you should wear eye protection to prevent sawdust from going in your eye, ear protection is also necessary as mitre saws can become quite loud when cutting.
- Keep your mitre saw secure - If your planning to cut heavy-duty large pieces of wood, you should have your saw nailed down to prevent it from wiggling while cutting and causing an accident.
- Never let your hands wander near the blade - You should keep your hands at least 6 inches away from the blade at all times, this is the best way to avoid injury when cutting.
- Push the blade and never pull - When using a sliding mitre saw you should never pull the blade and instead push it away from you.
- Don't raise the blade - You should never raise the blade of your mitre saw while it's spinning as this can ruin the accuracy of your cut, instead wait for it to completely stop then raise it.
- Keep the blade low and unplugged when not in use - For safety reasons its a good idea to keep the blade of your saw low and locked down, this is especially important if your woodshop is within children's reach.
A single bevel mitre saw is perfect if you want to upgrade from a regular mitre saw and make a variety of different cuts with your wood. However, if your looking for something a little faster and more accurate then you could consider switching up to a more expensive double bevel mitre saw.