A manual miter saw is a large back saw, 20–30 inches (60–90 cm) long, which is used either in a wooden miter box or in a metal frame that allows cutting miters of any specified angle. Although this type of miter saw is still sold and used for applications such as picture framing, it has largely been displaced by the motorized miter saw – a common power tool in carpentry and joinery operations.
Power miter saws will crosscut long stock, cut picture frame molding, fit crown molding, and quickly cut multiple boards to the same length. They are fast and cut angles with repeatable accuracy. Compound miter saws have the additional ability to tilt to make compound angle cuts. Power miter saws have replaced the radial arm saw in many woodworking shops, although they are more limited in the kinds of cut they can make.
Precision is what makes power miter saws so indispensable. Because the blade is fixed to a sturdy arm on a heavy body, cuts can be fine-tuned to the width of the blade. This stability, together with built-in blade guards, also makes miter saws safer than other types of power cutter.
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