Miter Saw Vs Sliding Miter Saw: Which One Is More Suitable?

A miter saw is an important tool in woodworking. It can help you to make complex cuts like bevel or angle cuts. 

But do you know that miter saws include sliding and non-sliding miter saws? How do these tools differ from each other and which one is better for you?

Today, let’s learn more about miter saw vs sliding miter saw!

Miter Saw Vs Sliding Miter Saw

What Is A Miter Saw?

A miter saw, or a non-sliding miter saw, is a power saw equipped with a swing blade. You can move the blade from different angles to make different cuts.

When using a miter saw to cut, you will secure the material on the saw base. Then, you will move the saw blade to make the cuts. Thus, the length of the cuts will depend on the width of the saw blade. 

A basic miter saw with a 10-inch blade can work well with 6-inch wide materials. It is good at making accurate and clean angle cuts, bevel cuts, or compound cuts. 

A miter saw, or a non-sliding miter saw, is a power saw equipped with a swing blade

Advantages of a non-sliding miter saw

  • Non-sliding miter saws have a simple structure and are easy to use
  • The pivoting arm of a non-sliding miter saw can tilt at any angle. So, you can make extreme angle cuts with high precision.
  • The size of a non-sliding miter saw is smaller, so it needs less room for storage. This saw is also easy to carry or move due to its lightweight.
  • Non-sliding miter saws have an affordable price

Disadvantages of a non-sliding miter saw

  • Non-sliding miter saws can’t cut long wood pieces. 
  • The blade of non-sliding miter saws seems to wear out quickly.

What Is A Sliding Miter Saw?

A sliding miter saw is a type of miter saw that comes with rails. These rails allow you to move the saw blade forwards or backward to cut the material.

With the rails, a sliding miter saw can cut boards with width up to 16 inches. So, it is more convenient if you usually work with large wood pieces. 

Sliding miter saws also produce precise crosscuts, angle cuts, or bevel cuts. But the rails limit the movement arc of its pivoting arm. So, you may find it difficult to cut at maximum angles with this saw. 

The rails of a sliding miter saw 

Advantages of a sliding miter saw

  • The rails allow you to slide the blade forwards and backward to cut longer and thicker boards.
  • The wider cutting capacity will save you  a lot of time adjusting the cutting angles or the boards.

Disadvantages of a sliding miter saw 

  • The rails have restricted the ability to make acute angle cuts of sliding miter saws. 
  • The structure of a sliding miter saw is more complex, so it’s more difficult to use. You will need to have some experience to use sliding miter saws properly and effectively.
  • A sliding miter saw also requires more time and effort to set up.
  • Because of the rails, the size of a sliding miter saw is quite large. You will need more space to store it. This saw is also rather heavy, so you may find it difficult to move or carry.
  • The price of a sliding miter saw is higher.

The Differences Between Miter Saw Vs Sliding Miter Saw

1. Cutting capacity

The size of boards that these saws can cut is the main difference between them. A non-sliding miter saw can’t cut large boards as a sliding miter saw. 

For example, with a 10-inch blade, a non-sliding miter saw can only cut boards with a maximum 6-inch width. 

Meanwhile, with the same blade size, a sliding miter saw can cut a 12-inch board. If you use a 12-inch blade for this saw, it can make 16-inch cuts.

Besides, with a larger capacity, a sliding miter saw saves you more time when cutting. You will not need to adjust the board or the cutting angle so many times. 

2. Angle cut variety

A non-sliding miter saw can make cuts at any angle due to its pivoting arm.

On the other hand, the rails equipped in a sliding miter saw restrict its cutting angle. It is difficult to use a sliding miter saw to cut acute angles. 

3. Portability

In terms of portability, non-sliding miter saws prevail over sliding miter saws. Sliding miter saws have built-in rails. So, they are heavier and bulkier than their non-sliding counterparts. 

A non-sliding miter saw is easier to carry along. It also takes up less space for storage. 

4. Price

Because of a more complex design, sliding miter saws are more expensive than non-sliding miter saws. From $100, you can have a non-sliding miter saw. 

But a sliding miter saw will cost you at least $125. A good sliding miter saw can cost around $400. 

In Which Case Should You Choose A Non-Sliding Miter Saw?

If you need to make various angle cuts or bevel cuts, use a non-sliding miter saw. Non-sliding miter saws don’t have rails. So, their pivoting arm can move in an arc and make extreme miter cuts. The bevel cuts produced by non-sliding miter saws are also more varied. 

This saw also has a lightweight and compact size. So, if you want a high portability tool, go for a non-sliding miter saw. It is also suitable for small woodworking shops that don’t have much space for storage. 

Besides, the non-sliding miter saw is cheaper. Thus, if the price is what you are concerned about, this saw is an affordable choice. 

In Which Case Should You Choose A Sliding Miter Saw?

A sliding miter saw will be your best bet if you often work with longer wood pieces. It also works well with thick wood stock due to its larger capacity. 

Because they are quite heavy and bulky, sliding miter saws are suitable for DIY projects. You can set up a sliding miter saw in your home workshops. It will be a perfect tool for making crown moldings in your house. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are sliding miter saws better than non-sliding miter saws?

A sliding miter saw is better when you need to cut large pieces of wood. The rails of the sliding miter saw permit you to move the blade forward and backward. So the length of cuts is also larger. 

2. I need to renovate my home. Which one should I choose?

When renovating your home, you will have to work with different sizes of boards. So, a sliding miter saw is a better choice. 

With this saw, you can create nice crown moldings for your home. Besides, you can save a lot of time when using a sliding miter saw. 

With a wide cutting capacity, it can make very quick and precise cuts with small lumbers. 

3. Are sliding miter saws less accurate than non-sliding miter saws?

No, sliding miter saws will make the same accurate cuts as non-sliding miter saws. The rails only restrict the ability to make extreme angle cuts of a sliding miter saw. The precision of cuts is not affected. 

4. I already have a table saw. Do I need a sliding miter saw?

If you have a table saw, you don’t need to buy a sliding miter saw. A table saw can make all the cuts that a miter saw can make. 

It also works better with long wood pieces. You can make cuts in any length with the table saw. But if you need more accuracy for bevel or compound cuts, you will need a miter saw. 

5. Which one is better for a contractor: a sliding miter saw or a non-sliding miter saw?

Contractors usually have to move a lot. They will need a saw with high portability to carry along. Therefore, a non-sliding miter saw is more suitable. Its lightweight and compact size will be more portable than a sliding miter saw. 

Final Words

We have provided you with all the information on miter saws and sliding miter saws. They have many differences and each saw has its pros and cons.

Depending on your needs, you can consider choosing a sliding or non-sliding miter saw. We hope that this article will be useful for you. 

If you have any questions about miter saws, please leave a comment. Don’t forget to visit our website regularly to get updated with the latest information about power tools.

Thank you for reading!

Reference Source: Which Miter Saw is better Sliding vs Fixed

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