5 Best Miter Saws Under $200

The miter saw is a precision power tool used for crosscuts on wood, metal, and other materials as well as miters. These powerful saws mount a circular blade on a mechanical arm and then bring the blade down onto the material to be cut in a rapid smooth motion.

Also referred to as a drop saw, it can usually be found in two versions: a sliding miter saw, or a compound miter saw. Fortunately, these exceptional cutting tools can now be found with a limited budget. Technological advances and heightened competition in the marketplace have led to affordable quality options for consumers to consider.

Metabo HPT C10FCG 10" Compound Miter Saw, 15-Amp Motor, Single Bevel, 0-52 Degree Miter Angle Range, 0-45 Degree Bevel Range, Large Table, 5 Year Warranty
Our top pick
Hitachi Power Tools Metabo 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
  • Adjustable bevel stops
  • Precision cuts at lots of angles
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • Great for novices

Top Picks for the 5 Best Miter Saws Under $200

  1. Best Value Miter Saw Under $200:: Hitachi Power Tools Metabo 10-Inch HPT C10FCG Compound Miter Saw

An impressive compound miter saw at an even more impressive price. The miter rotates both left and right with angles from 0 to 52° for flexibility and versatility.

A laser alignment system ensures precision cutting with this powerful 1800 watt 15A motor. A versatile machine design makes bevel and miter cuts to 45° and cuts plastic, aluminum, or wood with the correct blades.

A 45° tilting saw blade offers precise bevel, compound, and miter cuts. This saw will cut moldings, PVC, 2X4s, and more with a 15A motor and 4800 RPM speed at one of the lowest prices on the market.

Ready to use as soon as you remove the packaging, this Delta Miter saw with a 15A motor is easy to operate with a large base and turntable, 10 miter stops, an electric brake, and a laser marker.

Precise cutting is the winning feature of this budget-friendly, lightweight, and portable Miter Saw from Genesis. Weighing ony24 lbs. you can take it wherever you need to.

If your budget is limited to $200 you can find a good performing miter saw for your project needs.

Let’s discuss what to expect with this budget and what to look for to get the best miter saw for your project needs and value for your money.

What Is a Miter Saw?

This is a drop saw that is commonly used for cutting moulding and trimming. It is used to make miter or crosscuts on multiple materials. Most miter saw blades are made of carbon steel and will be coated for easy cutting and to resist rust and corrosion.

Miter Saw Types

When it comes time to purchase your saw, it’s important that you purchase the best type of miter saw for your cutting needs. The three principal types of miter saws available are

·      Basic Miter Saws

A basic miter saw is only used for miters and the cutting angle can be set from 0 to 45° from both right and left sides. These saws are not usually used for bevel cuts.

·      Compound Miter Saws

A miter saw is identified as a “compound” saw when it offers more than one function. They can be found with bevel cutting capability, miter cutting capability, or a combination of the two.

·      Sliding Miter Saws

The sliding miter saw does exactly what the name implies, it features a sliding arm.  This will permit you to make bigger crosscuts on wider boards of the material you are cutting.

There are miter saws that have bevel cutting capabilities, both single and double. These will be found on compound miter saws and are incredibly convenient. The saw arm on these machines is capable of swinging in both directions and performing precision cuts.

The bevel cutting capacity will add weight to the miter saw, but the precision performance is enviable. A sliding compound miter saw that offers double bevel cutting capacity offers maximum versatility for your project needs.

Other Important Miter Saw Features to Consider

Once you have decided the type of miter saw that best satisfies your workshop needs, some other features will influence the overall cost of the saw.

Saw Blade

A saw is a saw because of its blade. This is one of the principal features of any cutting tool. Your saw blade and the number of teeth will indicate cut width and cut depth in any material. Blades can be found in sizes in a range from 5 to 12 inches. However, the most commonly used blade sizes are the 8, 10, and 12-inch blades. 

Miter Saw Motor

Most miter saws will be equipped with a 15-amperage motor which will produce a sufficiently high RPM speed. Some may come with a smaller motor capability such as 10A or 13A. The higher the amperage, the more cutting capability.

Power Source

Most miter saws run on a household electric current of 120V.

Markings

Miter saw markings are important and should be highly visible so you can read them regardless of the light level. Many settings have detents positioned for the most popular angles, so you can set your saw quickly. Some saws feature technology to position angles near detents.

Stops: Depth and Positive

Positive stops are manufacturer positions for quick cutting. The more there are the faster you can obtain the desired angle. Thumb-activated stops adjust faster.

The depth stops control the blade height to regulate how deep cuts are.

Miter Saw Accessories

Accessories are intended to increase convenience when operating a power tool. You may end up selecting one brand rather than another based on the extras that come with a specific saw. These extras may include clamps, extra saw blades, wrenches, dust collectors, and more.

Laser Marking

When a miter saw features a laser light, this can increase your precision during cutting substantially. These beams are set to move across the material to be cut at the desired angle. If you are purchasing your very first miter saw, this feature can be especially beneficial.

Blade Brakes

Another feature that is appealing for novice miter saw operators is the addition of blade brakes. If you are not yet accustomed to operating a miter saw, electric braking will stop the saw blade efficiently and rapidly.

The Benefits of Using a Miter Saw

A miter saw offers several benefits that are important in projects requiring precision cutting.

·      Various Angle Cuts

There are multiple angle cuts to be made with a miter saw. Many other saws will require an additional tool or accessory to perform angle cuts.

·      Precision

The principal reason for using a miter saw is the precision cutting that it performs on a variety of materials. Cuts will be accurate making your project so much easier t complete.

·      Efficiency

These saws perform smooth cuts, despite the material thickness and cut very rapidly saving you valuable work time.

·      Easy Operation

This is an incredibly easy power tool to use even for newcomers. Read the manufacturer operating manual before using it.

10 or 12-Inch Miter Saw?

Blade size will influence the cost of the saw as well as the weight. 10-inch miter saws offer good performance, weigh less, and might be more budget-friendly.

If you will be cutting thicker lumber or material, a 12-inch miter saw is recommended to ensure precision when cutting.

Is a Sliding Miter Saw Necessary?

If you will be cutting wider pieces of lumber or other materials, a sliding miter saw will facilitate your work. The saw blade will slide outward enabling you to cut across wider pieces of your materials.

Top Picks for the 5 Best Miter Saws Under $200:

1. Hitachi Power Tools Metabo 10-Inch HPT C10FCG Compound Miter Saw

Metabo HPT C10FCG 10" Compound Miter Saw, 15-Amp Motor, Single Bevel, 0-52 Degree Miter Angle Range, 0-45 Degree Bevel Range, Large Table, 5 Year Warranty

Amps 15A – Arbor Size 5/8” – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 5000 – Voltage 120V – Weight 24.2 lbs.

What We Liked
  • Adjustable bevel stops
  • Precision cuts at lots of angles
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • Great for novices
What We Didn’t Like
  • Does not come pre-assembled
  • Saw fence a bit light
  • Quality control issues reported

An impressive compound miter saw that is available at an even more impressive price. Tha’s what manufacturer Hitachi has accomplished with this model of miter saw. The miter can

rotate both left and right with angles from 0 to 52° making it incredibly flexible and versatile fo multiple cutting neads.

It offers a single bevel that features adjustable bevel stops. Table space is generous so you can use clamps to keep your material stable. And it comes with extras like a wrench, dust bag, and brush to clean your work area so you won’t be spending more on accessories. 

2. General International Compound Sliding 10-Inch Miter Saw

GENERAL INTERNATIONAL 10" Compound Sliding Miter Saw - 15A Dual Slide Rail Chop Saw with 0-45° Bevel & Laser Alignment System - MS3005

Amps 15A – Arbor Size N/P – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 4400 – Voltage 120V – Weight 29 lbs.

What We Liked
  • Budget-friendly miter saw
  • Cuts wood, PVC, and other materials
  • Bevel angle 45°
  • Comes with a dustbag, aluminum fence, table clamp, and extension bars
What We Didn’t Like
  • No extras
  • Tilting for angles is limited to 45°
  • Durability could be improved

While it’s not that easy to find a quality compound sliding miter saw for under $200, General International does just that. The saw features dual slide rails guaranteeing stability and precision cutting thanks to a built-in laser alignment guidance system.  A push-button lock mechanism allows you to change blades safely and rapidly. Bevel and miter cuts are performed up to 45° of aluminum, plastic, and wood with the correct blades.

Best Budget Miter Saw Under $200: 

3.Chicago Electric Single Bevel 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw

Amps 15A – Arbor Size 5/8” – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 4800 – Voltage 120V – Weight 27.78 lbs.

What We Liked
  • Convenient 2-pack
  • Reduced vibration
  • Compatible with several saw types
  • Accurate cuts with a thin kerf
  • 3-year warranty
What We Didn’t Like
  • A little noisy
  • Can dull quickly

A 45° tilting saw blade affords precision bevel, compound, and miter cuts for 2x4s, moldings, PVC, and much more. While some saws will tilt more, this affordable saw does the necessary 45° angles. This saw may feel a little bit more lightweight compared to some, consider the money you are saving. If you plan on using your iter saw daily you may want to find a saw that is a bit more durable and abuse-resistant, although you’ll pay more. But for the occasional DIY project or hobbyist this is a fine miter saw, to begin with.

  • Best Easy-to-Operate Miter Saw Under $200:

4. Delta ShopMaster S26-262L 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw

Amps 15A – Arbor Size 5/8” – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 5500 – Voltage 120V – Weight 31 lbs.

What We Liked
  • Bevels left 0 to 47°
  • Miters to 45° both left and right
  • Laser marker
  • Electric brake
What We Didn’t Like
  • Collection bag doesn’t get all the dust and shavings
  • Supporting ribs in the dust chute aid clogging

While this miter saw brings lots of extras with it, the thing I liked most was the fact that this miter saw is ready to use as soon as you remove it from its box. No assembly is required. It features a larger base adding to stability with a generously sized turntable.  Little to no vibration is present during cutting.

This saw comes with 10 positive miter stops and features a front lock control system. A laser line indicator aids precision and weighing 31 lbs., it offers portability.

  • Best Portable Miter Saw Under $200

5. Genesis 10-Inch 15A GMS1015LC Compound Laser Guided Miter Saw

Amps 15A – Arbor Size N/P – Blade Size 10-inch – Speed RPM 4600 – Voltage 120V – Weight 24 lbs.

What We Liked
  • 2-year warranty
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 9 positive stops
  • Laser guide for precision
What We Didn’t Like
  • Laser light life is short
  • Clamping design needs improvement as it can obstruct the saw motor when you drop the blade

Use this Genesis miter saw for 45° precision cuts for crown moulding, frames, shadow boxes, and more. Laser cutting guidance system for rapid alignment. Electric brake allows for fast stopping and an arbor lock aids in rapid blade changes. Comes with a 60T carbide blade, clamp, wrench, 2 extension wings, and dust collector. 9 positive stops for common angles.

Top Brands of Miter Saws

Power tool manufacturers, many of whom are well-known, produce miter saws across an ample price range. Among these you’ll find:

  • Bosch
  • Craftsman
  • Delta
  • DeWalt
  • Genesis
  • Makita
  • Metabo
  • Milwaukee
  • Skilsaw
  • Wen

Conclusion

Miter saws are important when performing precision crosscuts and miters. Making exact cuts is not as easy as one might think. The miter saw provides precision cutting efficiently and rapidly affording your projects the accuracy required while saving you time to dedicate elsewhere.

4 Best 12-Inch Miter Saw Blades 2022

If you are in the market for a miter saw blade, with so many quality blades available, your search can be challenging, so we did the searching for you.

And to save you time, instead of navigating multiple websites and watching endless online videos, we created a buyer’s guide to help you get started with the principal factors to consider when choosing.

DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw Blade, Crosscutting, Tungsten Carbide, 80-Tooth, 2-Pack (DW3128P5)
Our top pick
Dewalt 12-Inch 80-Tooth Miter Saw Blade
  • Sleek build
  • 11-in-1 multi-cooker
  • Impressive safety features

The biggest challenge you may encounter when using a miter saw blade is the cut fineness and the number of teeth your blade should have. While we opt for a finer cut that requires less sanding, much will depend on what you intend to cut.

Top Picks for the Best Miter Saw Blade

Best Overall 12-inch Miter Saw Blade: Dewalt 12-Inch 80-Tooth Miter Saw Blade 2-Pack

The 2-pack includes an 80-tooth saw blade and a 32 tooth 7° ATB tungsten carbide construction-grade blades with a thin plate and thin kerf.

Best 12-inch Ultra-fine Miter SawFreud Diablo 100 Tooth Ultra Fine Saw Blade

The 100-tooth cutting performance makes cutting effortless and has much less waste. Laser-cut stabilizer vents impede vibration noise. A Parma-Shield coating resists corrosion, rust, and aids in preventing gumming.

Best 12-inch Heavy-Duty Miter Saw BladeForrest 12-inch Chopmaster CM12806115 80-Tooth Miter Saw Blade

A heavier than standard steel plate hand-straightened blade contributes to better stability and high performance with up to three times longer lifespan.

Best Budget-friendly 12-inch Miter Saw Blade:  Wen 2-Pack 12-inch Miter Saw blades

A convenient two-pack of a 32-tooth and an 80-tooth blade at a budget-friendly price. Machine cut and carbide-tipped blades for cutting woods of any kind, a protective coating resists corrosion, rust, heat damage, resin, gumming, and more

How Do I Select the Best Miter Saw Blade? 

Before making your selection, there are several things that you need to decide.

Material and Coating

Generally, in woodworking shops, miter saw blades will be made of steel. However, there are miter saw blades made in a variety of materials depending on what you want to cut. Your first consideration when purchasing a miter saw blade will be what material you intend to cut.

Blades are available for woodworking, ceramic, masonry, metal, plastic veneer, or plywood. Because steel blades tend to dull after use, many blade tips may be made from other materials like carbide or diamond-tipped blades. Blade coatings include powder coating, Teflon or PTFE and chrome serve. Coating resists rusting and corrosion and facilitates cleaning.

Size

Miter saws have sizes and as such will indicate the size of the blade that you need. Saws can be found in sizes from 5 inches to twelve inches. The most popular and common saw sizes are 8, 10, and 12-inches. The saw itself will indicate the correct size of a saw blade. Twelve-inch saw blades permit longer cuts.

Blade Thickness

Some manufacturers will mark the thickness of the saw blade. Blades that are thinner in width tend to make faster cuts, but the thicker blades have a longer lifespan. Not all brands will list blade thickness per se, but they will identify blade kerf which is the width of material removed during the cut by the offset teeth on the blade.

Tooth Count

There are many options when it comes to tooth count. Blades can have anywhere from 14 to 120 teeth. The tooth count will indicate what can be cut with the blade and the type of cut it can perform. Miter saw blades should feature about 80 teeth. The higher the tooth count, the cleaner the cut.

Tooth Shape

Teeth will have a specific shape to facilitate certain types of cuts. They will be shaped to do crosscuts or rip cuts. Some blades will be identified as combination blades meaning they can do both. For a miter saw, blades will be ideally Alternate Top Bevel or ATB so that crosscuts can be performed. Other tooth shapes do work but may leave rougher edges on the cut.

Gullet Size

The gullet is the space between the saw’s teeth. It is a round area cut into the saw plate that enables debris removal during cutting. Miter saws will use blades that have been designed specifically for crosscuts, so there will be more teeth and more spaces, but spaces between the teeth will be much smaller.

Blade Type

Typical blade types for a 12-inch miter saw are

  • ATB – Alternate Top Bevel
  • ATBR – Alternate Top Bevel with Raker blades (for crosscutting and rip cutting)
  • Hi-ATB – High Alternate Top Bevel for extra-fine crosscutting such as melamine
  • FTG – Flat Top Grind for teeth aligned for flat tops square with the saw blade

What Kind of Materials Do Miter Saw Blades Cut?

Miter blades are available for woodworking, ceramic, masonry, metal, plastic veneer, or plywood cutting. The manufacturer’s blade label will indicate what material the blade has been designed to cut.

12-inch Miter saw blades are generally used for cutting chipboard, softwood, plywood, and hardwood.

What Kind of Cuts Do Miter Saw Blades Make?

Miter saw blades are usually employed in what is known as “crosscuts”. This is because they do not cut along material but across it. Some miter-saw blades are identified as dual-purpose blades that work for crosscuts and as ripping blades. Ripping blades are used to cut along the grain rapidly.

Can Miter Saw Blades Be Sharpened?

Yes, they can be sharpened by hand or by a professional. Sharpening by hand will work for a limited number of applications.

Our Top 4 Best 12-Inch Miter Saw Blades

1. Dewalt 12-Inch 80-Tooth Miter Saw Blade 2-Pack

DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw Blade, Crosscutting, Tungsten Carbide, 80-Tooth, 2-Pack (DW3128P5)

Blade Material: Tungsten Carbide| Blade Type:  ATB | Number of Teeth:  80 teeth and 32 teeth

What We Liked
  • Convenient 2-pack
  • Reduced vibration
  • Compatible with several saw types
  • Accurate cuts with a thin kerf
  • 3-year warranty
What We Didn’t Like
  • A little noisy
  • Can dull quickly

The 2-Pack DeWalt miter saw blades featuring Tungsten Carbide 12-Inch miter saw blades heads the top of our list because DeWalt has covered precison cutting and ripping in one package. The 2-pack includes an 80-tooth saw blade and a 32 tooth saw blade for mitering, trimming, and ripping softwoods, chipboard, and hardwood with exceptional precision.

These are 7° ATB blades with a thin plate that offer thin kerf for rapid, smooth cuts. Durability is a priority for De Walt, and it shows. The tungsten carbide construction-grade blades are designed with computer balancing to prevent breakage and impede vibrations.  The maximum RPM is 7,000. Finally, these blades are also compatible with chop saws, radial arm saws, table saws as well as miter saws.

2. Freud Diablo 100 Tooth Ultra Fine Saw Blade

Freud D12100X 100 Tooth Diablo Ultra Fine Circular Saw Blade 12"

Blade Material High-Density Carbide – Blade Type  Hi-ATB – Number of Teeth  100 

What We Liked
  • 100 teeth for fine cuts
  • Stabilizer vents
  • Super thin laser cut kerf
  • Non-stick corrosion-resistant protective coating
  • Grit-sanded cut edges
What We Didn’t Like
  • Expensive

For exceptional ultra-fine cutting, it’s hard to beat Diablo’s 100 tooth fine miter saw blade. This is another tried and true miter saw blade. Why is it so highly rated? The 100-tooth cutting performance makes cutting effortless and provides for much less waste. Stabilizer vents are laser cut to impede vibration and trap noise while working.

Finished cuts offer grit-sanded edges and this blade cuts through hardwoods as if butter. An original Parma-Shield coating resists corrosion, rust, and aids in preventing blade gumming while protecting against heat. The blade speed is 6,000 RPM.

3. Forrest 12-inch Chopmaster CM12806115 80-Tooth Miter Saw Blade

Forrest CM12806115 Chopmaster 12-Inch 80-tooth ATB Miter Saw Blade with 1-Inch Arbor

Blade Material Double-hard C-4 submicron Carbide – Blade Type  ATB – Number of Teeth  80 

What We Liked
  • Thin kerf
  • Stable with consistent rigidity
  • Can be resharpened
  • Eliminates splintering and tearing
What We Didn’t Like
  • Expensive 

This is what we consider a heavy-duty blade. This blade is produced with C-4 double-hard submicron carbide allowing it to last up to three times longer than a standard carbide blade. The 80-tooth blade offers an exceptionally thin kerf at 1/8-inch. The arbor is a standard 1-inch hole.

Thanks to the heavier steel plate, this blade offers amazing stability during use and eliminates most splintering even on ply veneers. The blade is a 30° ATB with a 5° negative face hook for optimal cutting performance.

4. Wen 2-Pack 12-inch Miter Saw blades

WEN BL1232-2 12-Inch 32-Tooth and 80-Tooth Carbide-Tipped Professional Woodworking Saw Blade Set, Two Pack

Blade Material Steel Tungsten Carbide dipped – Blade Type  ATB – Number of Teeth  80 teeth and 32 teeth

What We Liked
  • Convenient budget-friendly 2-pack
  • Heat expansion slots
  • Protective coating
  • Ultra-thin kerf at 1/10-inch
What We Didn’t Like
  • No warranty

Wen offers a convenient two-pack of a 32-tooth and an 80-tooth blade at an affordable and budget-friendly price. The blades feature a one-inch arbor and are machine cut and carbide-tipped for cutting woods of any kind. Expansion slots for heat allow the blades to expand and contract for precision cutting.

A protective coating resists corrosion, rust, heat damage, resin, gumming, and more. The thin blades have a kerf of 1/10-inch. These blades are also compatible with most 12-inch table saws and worksite saws.

Top Brands of Miter Saw Blades

Top manufacturers of 12-inch miter saw blades include

  • Craftsman
  • De Walt
  • Forrest
  • Freud
  • Hitachi
  • Irwin
  • Makita
  • Neiko

Conclusion

There is a lot to consider when selecting a 12-inch miter blade saw. But your most important consideration will be deciding the kind of work you will be doing with the miter saw blade and then selecting one based on your project needs.

7 Best Cheap Plasma Cutters

Plasma cutting is gradually becoming the most popular cutting method for metals, regardless of whether you are a professional or a DIYer. One reason that may cause many to pause when considering whether to purchase a plasma cutter, is the cost which can arrive at prices of several thousand dollars. Especially for hobbyists, that’s a lot of money to spend for a machine that has limited functions.

Despite economic considerations, plasma cutting remains one of the most cost-effective methods for cutting materials without the use of inert gases as well as one of the most efficient. Plasma cutters offer great safety, rapidity in cutting, versatility, and consumables that are budget-friendly. These cutters can also cut metals with thicknesses up to an inch.

If you’d like to own a plasma cutter but aren’t ready to invest a substantial amount of money, fear not! I’ve put together a list of the best cheap plasma cutters that will manage any task you may have along with important tips to aid you in your selection.

Top Picks for the 7 Best Cheapest Plasma Cutters

Best Overall Cheap Plasma Cutter: Lotos Plasma Non-Touch Arc 50A Cutting Machine

Our top pick
Lotos Plasma Non-Touch Arc 50A Cutting Machine
  • 50 Amp Digital Inverter Air Plasma Cutter
  • Automatic Dual Voltage / Dual Frequency (110/220V 50/60Hz)
  • PAPST Advanced German Cooling System

Cuts efficiently through metal that is rusty, painted, or rough with little slag. The Pilot arc allows you to cut without touching the metal and it has a 60% duty cycle at 50A.

Best Premium Cheap Plasma Cutter: Forney Easy Weld Plasma 251 20P Cutting Machine

This plasma cutter from Forney cat cut aluminium, stainless and mild steel that is thin up to ¼-inch. Great as a basic plasma cutter it is generator-friendly in case you don’t have an outlet.

Best Value Cheap Plasma Cutter: PrimeWeld Portable Inverter 50A Plasma Cutter

Built with portability in mind, this compact cutter will cut mild steel to 5/8-inch thick and softer materials to ¾-inch. A duty cycle of 60% at 50 A and an LCD digital screen affords lots of value for the cost.

Best Budget-friendly Cheap Plasma Cutter: Super Deal Plasma Inverter DC Cutting Machine

With a high speed and a high temperature, this plasma cutter is exceptionally economical. Its high duty cycle of 60% means less power consumption and it comes with overheating and over-voltage protection.

Best Powerful Cheap Plasma Cutter: Yeswelder Plasma Cutter with Non-Touch Pilot Arc

A non-touch pilot arc and IGBT inverter technology impress as this 55A plasma cutter can manage ¾-inch thicknesses when cutting. Duty cycles run at 100%@35A or 60%@55A meaning you’ll save time when working.

Best Beginner Cheap Plasma Cutter: Display4Top Inverter DC Dual Voltage Plasma Cutter

An LCD screen lets beginners monitor everything they do and this plasma cutter features built-in protection for overheating making it beginner safe. Easily transportable thanks to a comfortable grip handle, it features a 60% duty cycle.

Best Cheap Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor: Hobart Airforce 500564 Built-in Air Compressor Plasma Cutter

While this machine may cost more than others, it comes with a built-in air compressor meaning you get maximum portability and easy storage thanks to small dimensions and no need for a compressor.

If you are in the market for a budget-friendly option, never base your choice on a cheap price alone. Look for the best quality you can find at a reasonable and affordable cost and consider the value that they offer for the amount you pay.

What Is a Plasma Cutter?

A plasma cutter simply said, is a cutting machine used to cut materials like aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, or any conductive metal. The machine uses electrically conductive gas to bring energy from a power source to any conductive material. 

Because of this energy transfer, the machine cuts through conductive metals with exceptional speed producing precision cuts.

How Does a Plasma Cutter Work?

Let’s start with plasma. When we think of forms of matter, three come to mind: gases, liquids, and solids.  All can be modified into another state through energy. Ice is water in a solid form. With the introduction of heat, it returns to water. 

When you increase the energy by heating the water, it becomes steam, which is a gas.  If you further increase the heat, the gas will be ionized and be electrically conductive. It becomes plasma. After gases, liquids, and solids, plasma is the fourth state of matter. 

A plasma cutter works by creating an electric arc and sending it through a gas that is passing through a small, constricted nozzle opening. As the electric arc meets the gas, it increases the gas’s temperature, and the gas enters the fourth state of matter or plasma. 

Because conductive metals become part of the conductivity circuit, the plasma’s electrical conductivity will cause the arc to transfer to the metal allowing for cutting.

The Benefits of Using a Plasma Cutter

There are several important reasons to invest in a plasma cutter.

·      Ease of Use

Plasma cutters are generally portable so they can be moved where needed and some are so lightweight, that they can be managed by you alone.

·      Precision

Precision cutting is one of the principal benefits of a plasma cutter thanks to a very small cut width. This means that metal edges and the area immediately surrounding the cut will not be adversely affected by incredibly intense heat.

·      Safety

Plasma cutting operates using a gas that is not highly flammable, making it a much safer alternative when cutting.

·      Savings

These machines cut very rapidly saving on time with little or no waste. It proves to be a very cost-effective process.

·      Speed

When it comes to rapidity, the plasma cutter is the winner over other types of cutting, hands down. It’s much easier to operate and cuts rapidly saving you time. It also offers a two-second piercing if your application requires inside piercing making it incredibly faster when compared to Oxyfuel piercing.

·      Versatility

Plasma cutters use an electric arc for metal cutting meaning that any conductive metal or durable material can be cut. One tool cuts quickly and precisely through aluminium, brass, copper, iron, stainless steel, steel, and more.

What to Consider When Choosing a Plasma Cutter

There are several things to factor in when selecting your plasma cutter so here are my recommendations to assist you when choosing.

Amperage 

The amperage of a plasma cutter will tell you what metal thickness can be cut. If the power source is higher, say with 220Voltage, the amperage will also be higher, and this will allow you to cut metals that are thicker.

Duty Cycle

A duty cycle is super important because it refers to how long the plasma cutter will be able to cut without having to stop and cool down. Duty cycles are based on periods of ten minutes. 

Imagine a 60% duty cycle at a precise amperage.  The duty cycle tells you that the cutter will run for six minutes before it needs to stop and cool down to prevent overheating. 

Cutting Capability 

How thick the material that a plasma cutter can cut is fundamental when choosing. You need to know the average metal thickness that you plan to cut often. When selecting a plasma cutter look for a metal cutting capability of roughly ten inches per minute. 

Severance Thickness Cutting

The severance thickness numbers signify the thickest piece of metal that the plasma cutter can cut. At the severance thickness, the plasma cutter cuts exceptionally slowly and does not produce adequate heat for a precision cut. Severance cuts appear rough and feature dross. 

Plasma Cutter Consumables

Plasm cutters have five parts that consumables and they have life cycles that differ. Consumables include 

  • electrode
  • nozzle 
  • retaining cap
  • shield cap 
  • swirl ring 

Based on the material being cut a little damage will be unavoidable such as molten splatter. If the hole in your plasma cutter’s nozzle is not perfectly round your cut will show this. Plasma cutters that cost more tend to have consumables that last longer.

The Pilot Arc 

Better plasma cutters will integrate a pilot arc as the cutting tool. A pilot arc allows cutting where the torch tip never touches the metal. This is fantastic for cutting painted, rusty, or mesh metal because the arc remains uninterrupted. 

Voltage 

Plasma cutters that use 110/115/120V power source inputs run using the home indoor power outlets. Power is limited at this voltage. If you need more power a 220V plasma cutter is the correct choice. There are also plasma cutters with both 110V and 220V.

An Air Compressor that is “Built-in”

If the plasma cutter you select does not have an air compressor built into the machine, you will need a separate air compressor to be able to cut. There are plasma cutters with air compressors directly integrated into the machine, but they cost more. 

Weight 

If you need to use a plasma cutter in more than one location and portability is an issue, look for a lightweight cutter. Plasma cutters that integrate inverter technology weigh less. Should there be a built-in air compressor, it will weigh more.

 

Safety 

We cannot emphasize safety enough when it comes to plasma cutters. Some plasma cutters will offer over-heating protection as well as over-voltage protection.

7 Best Cheap Plasma Cutters

Best Overall Cheap Plasma Cutter : Lotos Plasma Non-Touch Arc 50A Cutting Machine

Amps 10-50A – Cutting Ability 1/2-inch – Voltage 110V/220V 50/60Hz- Duty Cycle 60% @50A – Weight 19.4 lbs.- Dimensions 15 X 6 X 12 inches

What We Liked
  • ½-inch clean cut
  • Dual voltage 
  • Non-touch pilot arc
What We Didn’t Like
  • Wide cuts compared to other cutters

Lotos gets the vote as top pick thanks to its ½-inch cutting ability in a compact lightweight machine. This ½-inch thickness is its clean-cut rate, while the severance rate is ¾-inch. To improve cutting depth, you need a 220V power source, but a cable is included.

The cutter requires little assembly. It uses a pilot arc non-touch tip, and this means the nozzle and electrode will last longer. A one-year warranty is included.

Best Premium Cheap Plasma Cutter:Forney Easy Weld Plasma 251 20P Cutting Machine

Amps 20A – Cutting Ability ¼ -inch – Voltage 110V – Duty Cycle 35%@20A – Weight 21.5 lbs.- Dimensions 15.13 X 8.13 X 12 inches

What We Liked
  • Simple assemblage
  • Ground clamp provided
  • Temperature indicator
What We Didn’t Like
  • Low duty cycle
  • Uses lots of consumables
  • ¼-inch cutting capability only

This is a terrific plasma cutter for DIYers and hobbyists. It can easily work with any 120V power source, and a regulator is included for your air compressor, so you just plug it in and are ready to begin. The ground clamp is a comfortable 8 ft.

The cutting torch is made to drag directly over the metal so you will use more consumables, but it increases precision and balance. The only con is a low duty cycle. The unit includes a temperature indicator to warn of overheating.

Best Value Cheap Plasma Cutter:PrimeWeld Portable Inverter 50A Plasma Cutter

Amps 50A – Cutting Ability ½ -inch – Voltage 110V/220V – Duty Cycle 60%@50A– Weight 22.5 lbs.- Dimensions 15can cut cleanly to 5/8-inch X 6 X 12 inches

What We Liked
  • ½-inch clean cuts
  • Dual voltage
  • 60% @50A duty cycle
  • Portable 
  • LCD screen
What We Didn’t Like
  • Only comes with 2 nozzles

Built for portability, this compact machine cuts cleanly through 5/8-inch and ¾-inch soft metals. A long duty cycle and dual voltage give this cutter that extra that makes it very attractive as a budget option. The amperage range is 10 to 50A but for 50A you need 240V.

Best Budget-friendly Cheap Plasma Cutter:Super Deal Plasma Inverter DC Cutting Machine

Amps 50A – Cutting Ability ½ -inch – Voltage 110V/220V – Duty Cycle Not provided – Weight 22.5 lbs.- Dimensions 18.5 X 11 X 13.5 inches

What We Liked
  • Drag torch use
  • Compact
  • Dual voltage
  • Cuts through paint and rust
  • 50A output
  • 1-year warranty
What We Didn’t Like
  • Short 6 ft. ground lead
  • Torch lead length is variable

While this budget offering may not come with the same quality as other cutters, it is a good option for home DIY projects on a budget. Cuts may not be as clean, but it will cut through rusty or painted metals. The compact design and dual voltage make it an appealing budget option.

Best Powerful Cheap Plasma Cutter:Yeswelder Plasma Cutter with Non-Touch Pilot Arc

Amps 20- 55A – Cutting Ability ½-inch clean, ¾ -inch severance – Voltage 110V/220V  50/60Hz – Duty Cycle 110%@35A, 60%@55A – Weight 14.55 lbs.- Dimensions 16.14 X 6.49 X 11.81 inches

What We Liked
  • 13 ft. torch lead
  • Air filter included
  • Aluminium handle
  • Spare consumables included
What We Didn’t Like
  • Air hose quality is bad
  • Manual is written badly

A convincing option with a 55A output, it features a non-touch pilot arc so consumables last longer. It cannot be used with a CNC table but the Longevity AG60 torch gets the job done. A flip-up cover keeps the control panel safe and dust-free. An unusual factor is a choice to make 120V the main power and use an adapter for 240V. The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty and a 30-day refund guarantee.

Best Beginner Cheap Plasma Cutter: Display4Top Inverter DC Dual Voltage Plasma Cutter

Amps 20-50A – Cutting Ability 5/8-inch – Voltage 110V/220V – Duty Cycle 60% – Weight 37.5 lbs.- Dimensions 20.4 X 15.4 X 10 inches

What We Liked
  • Inverter technology 
  • Overheating protection
  • LCD screen
What We Didn’t Like
  • A bit heavy
  • Complicated assembly

This plasma cutter from Display4top is a terrific option for beginners. It offers dual voltage capacity and uses inverter technology for current regulation. The LCD screen lets you monitor every step you take during operation. It does require assembly which may appear complicated, but everything necessary is provided.

Built-in overheating protection safeguards use so the machine shuts off automatically if need be. It is a little weighty at 37 lbs. but still manageable.

Best Cheap Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor: Hobart Airforce 500564 Built-in Air Compressor Plasma Cutter

Amps 20A – Cutting Ability 5/8-inch – Voltage 120V/240V – Duty Cycle Not provided – Weight 31 lbs.– Dimensions 16.5 X 18.5 X 11.25 inches

What We Liked
  • The Air compressor is built-in 
  • Lightweight
  • Rapid cutting
  • Precision cuts
  • Easy to operate
What We Didn’t Like
  • Not dual voltage operating only on 120V
  • Not ideal for thick metals

This impressive Hobart Plasma cutter comes with a built-in air compressor and at 31 lbs. it is lightweight. The cut zone is less heat affected to prevent warping. No gas pressure settings are necessary and there is less slag to clean up after use. User-friendly and portable.

It features a post-flow cooling system with a fan-on-demand. LED lights indicate warnings for temperature and torch readiness. An automatic shut-off offers safety thermal protection. It uses pilot arc technology for cutting.

Top Brands of Plasma Cutters

Many major manufacturers of welding equipment produce plasma cutters. Well-known brands with a reputation for dependability are a guarantee for quality.  Research to see if one of the major manufacturers offers an affordable option that matches your budget. 

You’ll get quality as well as well-developed customer service. Replacement parts and consumables will also probably be more obtainable with a well-known brand.

Popular brands include:

  • Eastwood
  • Hobart
  • Hypertherm
  • Lincoln Electric
  • Lotos
  • Miller
  • Primeweld
  • Yeswelder

Conclusion

Do cheaper plasma cutters perform? Indeed, they do. If you are an occasional welder that needs a plasma cutter for DIY home projects, you can find high-quality machines at a price that won’t break the bank. 

Take the time to determine exactly what you need a plasma cutter for. What materials and thicknesses will you be cutting and how often? Check out client reviews when considering a specific machine. Finally, factor in the cost of consumables, as over time they will determine the plasma cutter’s cost-effectiveness for you.

5 Best Copper Pipe Cutters

Professional plumbers deal with repairing and mending copper pipes almost daily, and one of the immediate challenges is cutting through this tough, rugged piping. Leaky or damaged pipe sections create emergencies where there is no time to waste when resolving a situation.

Now, however, cutting copper pipes has become much easier thanks to specifically designed copper pipe cutters that cut quickly, and cleanly making them both efficient and convenient. They also are much more reliable when dealing with tubes and pipes in tight or hard-to-reach spaces.

Whether renovating or repairing, it’s time to have the perfect tool on hand to get the job done. Here’s my take on the best copper pipe cutters the market has to offer.

Top Picks for the 5 Best Copper Pipe Cutters 

Best Overall Copper Pipe Cutter: Rigid Quick-Acting #31632 Tube Cutter 151

Our top pick
Rigid Quick-Acting #31632 Tube Cutter 151
  • X-CEL knob for cutting tubing more quickly and easily with a larger, more ergonomic design
  • Quick-acting design, I-beam construction and hardened wear surfaces for reliable durability. Thrust-bearing slide assemblies for smooth operation
  • Features a convenient fold-away reamer to clean and insure a better connection

An ergonomic design with angled cutting capabilities for tight spaces offers superb precision cuts.

Best Power Tool Copper Pipe Cutter: Milwaukee Cordless 2471-20 M12 Lithium-Ion Copper Pipe Cutter

Milwaukee offers a high-caliber, proficient power tool copper pipe cutter that is cordless facilitating if you need to move around when cutting together with an extensive range of cutting.  

Best Single-Handed Use Copper Pipe Cutter: Rigid Close Quarter #86127 118 Tube Cutter

Precision even with single-handed use distinguishes this well-constructed, versatile copper pipe cutter.

Best Hard-to-Reach Spaces Copper Pipe Cutter: Rigid Heavy-Duty #32820 Pipe Cutter

Seamless, quick-cutting copper pipe cutter in a unique design to reach awkward spaces.

Best Budget Copper Pipe Cutter: General Pipe Cleaners  AutoCut  ATC12 Copper Pipe Cutter

Great grip with extra turning leverage and automatic adjustments make this well-balanced copper pipe cutter an ideal option for those on a budget.

As a DIYer when it comes to my home plumbing projects, I discovered early on that reaching the copper tubes in my home wasn’t quite as easy as I had hoped. Not only that, but I also needed a way to cut out damaged sections for replacement. So, I went to work to find out how I could manage small copper pipe repairs. I was delighted to discover copper pipe cutters and how these tools function.

What Is a Copper Pipe Cutter?

Most homes will have some copper pipes. These are robust tubes that resist corrosion and UV rays making them a popular dependable choice. They also feature a biostatic condition that prevents bacteria from growing inside. As copper is an expensive metal, a precision cut is needed for both installation and removing and repairing sections of piping.

Pipe cutters are tools specifically designed to cut or slice through piping. They are a mainstay in plumber’s tool chest thanks to their convenience, efficiency, portability, and reliability. This tool affords the clean precision cut that is so important when repairing or replacing segments of piping. They are generally smaller and more manageable than traditional tools like hacksaws and easy to carry on jobs.

The type of cut made will be clean requiring little to no deburring and clean up. Pipe cutters do vary based on the pipe materials they are designed to cut through. They can be found for plastic, steel, aluminium, and of course copper piping.

How Does a Pipe Cutter Work?

Pipe cutters contain a wheel inside their design that will cut through a pipe as the cutter rotates around the pipe. Factors such as piping thickness and blade sharpness will influence the number of rotations necessary to successfully cut through a pipe.

Types of Pipe Cutters

There are quite a few different kinds of cutting tools used for pipe cutting. Not every type is appropriate for copper pipe cutting and each will bring its supply of benefits and drawbacks. Among these you’ll find:

  • Ratchet cutters (These cutters use a ratcheting action to cut tubing but are most often used on PVC, CPVC, and PEX pipes.)
  • Saws (Hacksaws can cut through most plumbing piping, Jigsaws that work on copper with metal cutting blades, Power miter saws that work on copper with metal cutting blades, and Reciprocating Saws that also require metal cutting blades.)
  • Snap cutters (A snap cutter is generally used for clay, iron, and concrete pipes.)

 

The Benefits of Using a Copper Pipe Cutter

Pipe cutters have a wide range of cutting uses and tend to be adaptable to the situation and quite versatile when used. Some of their most popular uses include 

  • Repairing pipes
  • Cutting piping to the desired length before proceeding with the installation
  • Cutting out pipes or sections of pipes before removal and replacement

These compact tools can offer significant advantages over traditional tools like a hacksaw

One of the principal benefits of a copper pipe cutter is that often you need to remove a damaged section of piping in a small or very tight space. This situation often means that it will be impossible to use a larger cutting tool or if you can manage to use a larger tool, you may run the risk of damaging surrounding pipework.

Copper pipe cutters are manufactured for specific piping sizes meaning that you get a good fit for the pipe you need to cut thus avoiding misalignment or even slipping during cutting. When space is limited, these small tools will require less space to operate in.

What to Consider in a Copper Pipe Cutter

If you are up to managing small plumbing issues by yourself, then a copper pipe cutter should find a place in your toolbox. When searching for your best copper pipe cutter, consider these factors.

·      Auto cutter

Aside from having a manual pair of cutters, an auto-cutter is ideal for all those places that are impossible to reach and above all work in. These cutters function in the worst of conditions and they do not require that you tighten the tool after every rotation is completed. The tool will do so automatically. Look for a dependable brand that will enjoy a long lifespan.

·      Thumb Cutter

If you need to cut pipes in a tight space but from an angle, a thumb cutter will be more convenient.

·      Cutter size and Handle

If you need to cut larger copper piping, perhaps for a new installation, look for a cutter with larger body size as well as handle. This will aid in the rotation around larger pipes. Some may even feature a built-in ream for precision cuts. When dealing with larger pipes, a larger cutter will ensure a clean cut. This will also enable any soldering you may need to do.

·      Power

Copper pipe cutters may be pneumatic, hydraulic, electric, or manual. Most are manual because they are less expensive and offer greater portability. For larger pipes, an electric pipe cutter will be a better choice as the motor will do the work.

·      Cutter Strength

When dealing with manual pipe cutters, select the correct size of cutter for the pipe diameter and make sure the cutter is appropriate for cutting copper.

Our 5 Best Copper Pipe Cutters

Best Overall Copper Pipe Cutter: Rigid Quick-Acting #31632 Tube Cutter 151

Cutting Thickness Capability ¼-inch to 1 7/8-inch (6 to 42mm)

What We Liked
  • Lightweight at 1.05lbs.
  • Easy to use
  • Hardened steel build
  • Good cutting
What We Didn’t Like
  • Expensive
  • Needs practice for the correct pressure app

This copper pipe cuter from Rigid provides seamless cutting for excellent results. It is an optimal choice for both professional plumbers and DIYer handymen. It features a rotary system that in its simplicity can handle smaller or larger pipe cutting necessities.

The 151 Tube Cutter cuts right through hard copper with ease and requires only a few moments to get the job done effectively regardless of angle or space.

Features:

  • Ergonomic design for comfort during operation
    • X-CEL wheel pin and ball detent means you can change the cutter wheel rapidly
    • Foldaway reamer
    • Cutting capacity is ¼-inch to 1 7/8-inch (6 to 42mm)

Best Power Tool Copper Pipe Cutter: Milwaukee Cordless 2471-20 M12 Lithium-Ion Copper Pipe Cutter

Cutting Thickness Capability 6mm to 50mm

What We Liked
  • Top-quality
  • Great handle
  • Can run on batteries
  • Good for tight places
What We Didn’t Like
  • Expensive
  • May not cut through bulky copper piping

This power copper pipe cutter from Milwaukee features a water-resistant casing to protect the motor from leaks when cutting pipes. The motor can reach 500RPM meaning you can get the job done faster than when using a manual pipe cutter or saw. The design allows for reduced clearing space down to 1.5-inches from the wall.

Eight various batteries from Milwaukee are compatible with this tool although it does not come with batteries or a battery charger included.

Features

  • Great for small spots
  • Large easy-grip handle
  • Cutting capacity from 6mm to 50mm
  • Auto-bolstering shaping wheel

Best Single-Handed Use Copper Pipe Cutter: Rigid Close Quarter #86127 118 Tube Cutter

Cutting Thickness Capability ¼-inch to 1 1/8-inch (6 to 28 mm.)

What We Liked
  • Great grip
  • Great cutting ability
  • Replacement wheels are easily found
What We Didn’t Like
  • Without instructions

This small gem is designed for those very uncomfortable tight spaces. A knurled screw knob makes use easy. The auto-feed cutting wheel tightens automatically after one tightening of the knob. There is also a spare cutter wheel in the knob.

The cutting capacity ranges from ¼-inch to 1 1/8-inch (6 to 28 mm.). This tool also features a special knob to tighten the feed screw. It can be easily used singlehandedly increasing convenience.

Features

  • Super for small spaces
  • Auto-feeding cutter
  • Large, knurled knob for easy handling

Best Hard-to-Reach Spaces Copper Pipe Cutter: Rigid Heavy-Duty #32820 Pipe Cutter

Cutting Thickness Capability 1/8-inch to 2 inches (3 to 50 mm.)

What We Liked
  • Sturdy heavy-duty design
  • Ideal for challenging spaces
  • Easy-to-use
  • Affordable
What We Didn’t Like
  • Instructions could be improved
  • Some difficulty when cutting near tops of pipes

Rigid offers us a heavy-duty pipe cutter with an original design in this 32820 Model Pipe Cutter. The quality build ensures rapid precision cuts in an easy-to-operate cutter. The best thing about this particular cutter is that it features an extra-long shank to protect any adjustment threads.

The extra-large handle means that adjustments are quick and easy, and this 2-A pipe cutter can be converted to a three-wheel cutter by simply substituting the rollers with a cutter wheel. This cutter has cutting capabilities that range from 1/8-inch to 2 inches (3 to 50 mm.)

Features

  • Extra-long shaft
  • Extra-large handle
  • Can be converted to a 3-wheel cutter
  • Lifetime warranty

Best Budget Copper Pipe Cutter: General Pipe Cleaners  AutoCut  ATC12 Copper Pipe Cutter

Cutting Thickness Capability ½-inch diameter

What We Liked
  • Efficient
  • Budget-friendly
  • Durable
  • Automatic pressure adjustment for cutting
What We Didn’t Like
  • Only for ½-inch in diameter copper pipes

This is a neat little automatic copper pipe cutter that is well-balanced and will handle difficult spaces at a great price. Designed for ½-inch in diameter copper pipe, it uses a general wire spring and spring-loaded cutting wheel to provide constant cutting pressure.

If you like the idea of a turning handle, there is a ratchet turning handle that can be purchased separately. This is easy and very quick to use. The cutter is snapped onto the pipe, you close the cutter’s gate and then proceed to turn in either direction. The cutter wheel will automatically tighten around the pipe that is being cut. It has no knobs or twisting mechanisms to use. There is no risk of crimping tubes.

Features

  • Fantastic for small spaces
  • Lightweight
  • Spring-loaded cutting wheel
  • Ratchet handle available separately
  • Turns in either direction for cutting
  • Automatic cutting pressure adjustments

Top Brands of Copper Pipe Cutters

Many manufacturers and brands produce pipe cutters. A well-known reliable brand will offer quality which is essential when selecting your pipe cutter. But because some brands offer many types and above all sizes of pipe cutters, you’ll want to do your research before purchasing so that you get the best pipe cutter for your specific project needs.

Popular brands include:

  • Irwin
  • Klein
  • Lenox
  • Loreso
  • Milwaukee
  • Rigid

Conclusion

Copper pipe cutters should be in the toolbox of anyone doing home plumbing repairs. If you feel up to the challenge, look into copper pipe cutters that are appropriate for your home or business pipe sizes and their locations for a tool that will provide you with good access.

How to Put a Blade on a Circular Saw for...

Put a Blade on a Circular Saw for the First Time

If you have received or purchased a circular saw and are preparing to use it, one necessary step will be mounting your saw’s blade for the first time.

Knowing how to put a blade on your circular saw will come in handy because every so often you will need to replace a blade that becomes dull after use. After all, a saw is only as good as its cutting blade. Bad blades translate into bad cutting performance with rough and inaccurate cuts.

Another good reason to know how to mount a cutting blade is that if you plan to cut various materials, you’ll need to mount a specific blade for cutting a specific material. Differing blades will perform various cuts like cross cuts, finish cuts, rough cuts, and perhaps rip cuts. So, unless you have different saws with different blades for every material you need to cut, it’s important that you can put a blade on your circular saw with relative ease.

cutting the wood in a blade

How to Put a Blade on a Circular Saw for the First Time

Follow this step-by-step guide to mount your circular saw blade.

Step 1: Preparing Your Saw

Unwrap your saw and remove any packaging. Place your saw on a worktable or workbench. If you have tried out your saw to see if it runs without the blade by plugging it in, make sure that it is not plugged into any power source or has a battery. You do not want it to accidentally turn on as you are mounting a blade for the very first time.

have a lot of blades in a picture

Step 2: The Correct Blade

Depending on what you intend to use your saw to cut during its first use, make sure you have the correct blade. Also, consider that if you have purchased a specific type of blade for the saw’s first operation and not the blade provided with the saw, it must, in any case, be the correct size. Remember that a ten-inch blade circular saw needs a ten-inch blade.  Each circular saw unit requires the same sized blade. Never attempt to place a different-sized blade on your circular saw.

cutting a wood in the blades

Step 3: Secure the Blade Guard

Circular saws come equipped with blade guards. Pull the blade guard back to expose where the blade needs to be mounted. 

Step 4: Loosening the Saw’s Arbor Nut

A circular saw usually will come with a wrench that is used for loosening the arbor nut. Using this wrench loosen the arbor nut. If your saw is a direct-drive circular saw, the wrench should be rotated in a counterclockwise direction for loosening. If the saw is a worm-drive unit, rotate the wrench in a clockwise direction to loosen the arbor nut.

Step 5: Mounting the New Blade

Slide in the new circular saw blade into the arbor nut’s slut and begin to tighten the arbor nut. Do not overtighten your arbor nut, because it will tighten up some when you begin cutting. It is sufficient to tighten it firmly

Tip: Get the blade rotation direction correct. Mounting a circular blade so that it rotates in the correct direction isn’t merely positioning the blade according to the side you seeThe direction of the teeth for cutting should point upward. Saw blade manufacturers use blade covers that feature an arrow indicating the direction in which the motor rotates. Also, a directional arrow will appear on the saw blade as well. When you install your new saw blade, verify that both arrows match directions. With right-side blade saws, blade labels will normally face outward, whereas, with left-side blade models, the ugly side of the blade will face outward and be visible. In any case, keep saw blade teeth facing upward.

Step 6: Test Your Circular Saw

Once you have completed mounting the saw blade for the first time, connect your circular saw to a power source by plugging it in or by inserting batteries. Perform a test run to verify that the saw is running correctly and that it is cutting correctly. If so, you have successfully mounted your circular saw blade for the first time.

Conclusion

Always check any manufacturer’s recommendations when setting up or using your saw for the first time, including putting on a saw blade.

Which Way Does The Blade Go on a Circular Saw?

Which Way Does The Blade Go on a Circular Saw?

If you are new to working with a circular saw, you may find yourself in a dilemma, and believe me, we’ve all been there at one time or another. There we are staring at an unmounted saw blade and a new circular saw and wondering which is the correct direction for the circular saw blade.

the blade is round shape

Particularly if it’s a first-time quandary, and without any help from someone experienced in using circular saws and replacing blades, it will be easy to put your blade on backward. Imagine mounting the saw blade backward and then attempting a cut! OH! the saw will turn the blade but cutting correctly will be an entirely different matter. 

Teeth Direction and Blade Rotation

Your circular saw motor is designed so that when the blade rotates the teeth on the saw point up as they enter the wood being cut. This design affords stable precision cutting with safety in mind.

As the teeth encounter the material, they will cut from the bottom through the material to the top. The direction of the blade rotation will also pull wood chips or splinters together with sawdust inside the blade guard where they then are ejected through the saw’s dust port. Keep in mind that this type of saw is the opposite of a table saw which cuts down from the top.

the blade is rotating a circular

Circular Blade Direction

Mounting or changing a circular blade so that it rotates in the correct direction isn’t as easy as it might seem. It’s not merely a question or orienting a blade according to the side you see. 

The important thing to keep in mind when mounting your circular saw blade is that the direction of the teeth for cutting should point upward. Everything else falls into place by following this rule.

Saw Blade Manufacturers to the Rescue

Saw blade manufacturers do help with identifying the correct blade rotation direction. When your purchase a saw, it will come with a blade cover. Most blade covers will feature an arrow that indicates the direction in which the motor rotates. Generally, there will also be a directional arrow placed on the saw blade as well. When you install your new saw blade, it’s simply a question of verifying that both of these arrows match directions.

Right Side Blade Models

For saws that have a blade-right setup, the direction of the saw blade will usually position the blade label facing outward.

The saw blade  using a cutting a hard material

Left Side Blade Models

For those circular saws that have the blade-left setup, it is probable that the ugly side of the new blade will face outward. However, these are general indications and not necessarily true for every brand or model of a circular saw. Don’t fall into the trap of how the blade looks when it is mounted. Rather, double-check the direction of the saw teeth when the blade is mounted.

Conclusion

Keep those teeth on your circular saw blade pointing upward and you should be ready to cut right up until your next blade change.

Are Miter Saw Blades Universal?

Are Miter Saw Blades Universal?

When cutting wood especially for workshops that do a lot with wood, a miter saw is one piece of equipment you don’t want to be without. Because the saw blade is pretty much the defining element, it’s important to know the level and limits associated with these blades.

the blade is using cutting a wood

Are Miter Saw Blades Universal?

The Miter Saw will use a rotating blade that ideally is circular. As there are lots of circular blades available, know that they feature differing characteristics for differing uses. So, in response to the query are miter saw blades universal, the answer is no because they come in varying sizes for a variety of individual tasks meaning they are not universal nor interchangeable.

There are various kinds of circular blades that can be installed on a Miter Saw and they are used for specific cutting tasks. Selecting the correct blade is essential to achieve the best possible results.

the blade is made by still iron

Blade Sizes

Size matters when cutting. Miter saws are manufactured to use blades in sizes of

  • 8 inches
  • 10 inches
  • 12 inches

Saw Blades for a Miter Saw

Here is a selection of saw blades that can be used for work with a miter saw and blade uses.

Crosscut Saw Blade

This is a blade used for cutting across the grain of a type of wood. If you use a hand saw, it is nearly impossible to achieve a clean cut across the grain. The crosscut blade resolves this problem.

the saw blade is very hard

Laminate and Plywood Saw Blades

One of the challenges of cutting plywood is to avoid chipping the back veneer when cutting. This is also true when cutting plastic laminates because they are brittle. Saw blades designed for this type of material are conceived to prevent chipping and splintering. A triple-chip tooth is created with this challenge in mind.

Melamine Saw Blade

Melamine wood, used in cabinet making, has a top coating that is present on both sides of the wood to be cut. During cutting, melamine chips easily, so to effectively cut this somewhat brittle coating, saw blades will have a higher tooth count to produce a cleaner cut.

Ripping Saw Blade

Made for cutting hardwood, their design is intended to reduce the amount of feed resistance when cutting. This saw blade will feature fewer teeth for this purpose.

Non-ferrous Saw Blades

The use of a Miter Saw is not limited to woodworking. These saws can be used to cut aluminum, copper, and even brass used in construction. This saw blade will cut through hard metals.

Steel Saw Blades

This type of saw blade is used to specifically cut through any type of steel including pipes, studs, rebar and channels, and rods. These blades are produced in carbide steel making them more durable and more resistant to breakage.

Maintain Your Selection of Saw Blades

To ensure durability, saw blade maintenance is a must. You’ll avoid having to replace them often.

Keep in mind these few recommendations to get the best performance from your saw blades.

  • Clean saw blades with specific cleaning solutions to remove pitch after using the blade for cutting.
  • Avoid dropping blades or allowing saw blade teeth to come into contact with other metal tools as these teeth, generally produced in carbide tend to be brittle and can easily break or chip. 
  • Keep your blades sharp for quality cutting. If feed resistance increases, it’s time to sharpen with the correct sharpening tool or at a shop that sharpens blades professionally.

Conclusion

There are different Miter Saw Blades for various applications just as there are different materials that need to be cut. One blade will not work for every kind of material and selecting the correct blade will not only guarantee cutting performance but will contribute to maintaining your Miter Saw in tip-top condition and to your tool’s lifespan.

Do I Need a Miter Saw Stand?

Do I Need a Miter Saw Stand?

If you own a miter saw, then you know miter saws for purchase generally do not come with a stand. While technically you do not need a miter saw specific stand to operate your saw, you will need a strong, level work surface that your saw can be secured to for optimal operation and safety reasons.

Any workbench or table that can support your saw’s weight and the weight or the lumber or material that you are cutting, will suffice.

However, the great thing about a miter saw stand is that if you need to move your saw, or even transport it to a worksite, miter saw stands are designed for portability. This can be an asset if you need to work at different venues. It will save you the time of inventing a makeshift stand and permit you to get to work on your project immediately.

using cutting hard material

Can You Use a Miter Saw on the Ground?

Due to safety concerns, using a miter saw on the ground is not recommended. It can cause you to trip and depending on the weight of your saw, which often exceeds fifty pounds or more, moving it onto or up from the ground can lead to a back injury.

Another reason not to use a miter saw on the ground is the manufacturers’ recommendation to secure the saw to the work surface, table, or workbench. This can be realized by bolting the saw to the surface. It would be challenging to bolt a miter saw to the floor.

Miter saws also require a great deal of space, not for the saw itself, but they need space on either side when cutting long pieces of materials.

If your workspace is limited, you may feel that using a miter saw on the ground is a good alternative. But most, if not all, manufacturers highly recommend bolting the miter saw to the work surface. Theoretically, you can use a miter saw on the ground, it’s just not a good idea. A workbench or a miter saw stand is more appropriate and safer when operating a miter saw.

the saw blade is very sharp

Principal Reasons for Not Using a Miter Saw on the Ground

Trip Hazards

If you position your miter saw on the ground along with its power cord, you’ll need to be constantly looking out for where you place your feet. And if you’ve cut lumber, you’ll need to be sure you don’t trip over that as well. There will be any number of things near the saw that can cause you to stumble and trip. You may also damage both your saw and the material you are cutting by kicking it accidentally.

Back Injuries

You’ll have to bend over to position your miter saw on the ground. You’ll also have to bend over to lift it when you are finished. Miter saws weigh well over fifty pounds, so you are at risk for a back injury, especially if you are moving the saw alone.

Electrical Hazards

If you happen to work on the ground and it is wet, you are at risk for electrical shock and even electrocution. While a ground fault circuit interrupter can protect you should electrical current come into direct contact with water, it’s better to avoid this altogether. 

the blade is very long

Lack of Stability when Cutting

Because it is highly recommended that miter saws are bolted or at least clamped to the cutting surface like a workbench or table for stability, when working on the ground this is impossible. When a miter saw is not securely fixed to the surface, the saw can experience kickback meaning that the saw’s spinning blade can shift dangerously and suddenly. This happens when the blade runs up against a particularly hard knot or a hidden nail.  The saw should not move at all when in operation.

Less Precision when Cutting

When cutting, most people will place a cutting mark on the material they are cutting for precise measurement. If your saw is placed on the ground, it may be more difficult to accurately judge if your saw blade is lined up with the cutting mark. This is easier when you can view this at eye level and not at ground level. Practically every major manufacturer of a miter saw states that they must be mounted on a level, stable surface.

immediately.

In Conclusion

Whether you use a stand specifically created for miter saws or a level work surface, you do need an appropriate surface that your miter saw can be secured on. Miter saws are potentially dangerous power tools and should be treated as such. 

Follow manufacturer recommendations, use PPE, and above all, secure your miter saw to a flat stable surface for exceptional cutting performance and your safety. 

Do you need a miter saw stand? Maybe not, but it will most certainly make using your miter saw a bit easier.

What Size Miter Saw Do I Use to Cut a...

What Size Miter Saw Do I Use to Cut a 6X6?

Anyone new to using miter saws will probably ask the question ‘What size miter saw do I need to cut?’ followed by measurements. If you’ve just acquired a miter saw, congratulations on selecting an exceptional power tool. Now let’s consider what size you need to get your cutting task completed.

The size of a miter saw to use will be based on what kind of project you plan to do. What kind of cutting do you need to do for your project? 

Generally, if your project is bigger, you’ll probably need, and want a twelve-inch miter saw because it will be able to complete deeper cuts with more ease and precision.

If on the other hand, you will be working on smaller project components, a ten-inch miter saw will probably be more than adequate to accomplish what you need to be done.

the saw blade is very strong

Nonetheless, some applications will require the 12-inch miter saw for better performance and results. There is no universal miter saw for every task.

Consider the Task

How big is the project you are working on? Is it a small DIY home project, a home renovation, a piece of furniture, or even a photo or painting frame for your wall? Once the size of the project is defined, it will also help define what size of miter saw you need.

the saw is cutting very strong materials

Miter Saw Sizes

Miter saws are produced and can be acquired in the following sizes

  • 7.5-inch
  • 8-inch
  • 10-inch
  • 12-inch

Is a 10-Inch or 12-Inch Miter Saw Better?

There is no correct reply or even a bad answer to this question. Both miter saws are excellent power tools, so why select one saw as opposed to the other? Follow this basic principle: if you are working on a smaller project, go for the 10-inch miter saw. 10-inch Miter saws are great for cutting 2X4 lumber pieces.

If instead, you are working on a larger lumber cutting project, the 12-inch miter saw will permit you to make deeper cuts into lumber. For example, a treehouse, or a renovation project will most probably require larger lumber pieces, that are also denser. In this case, the 12-inch miter saw will cut more deeply with greater ease and without any major issues because the blade diameter is larger.

the saw is cutting wood

Can a Miter Saw Cut 6X6 Lumber?

The fact that a miter saw is a flat cutter works against cutting taller lumber pieces. No saw can cut directly through a 4X4 piece at a bevel angle of 45°. Likewise, no saw can crosscut 6X6 pieces of lumber.

Can a 12-Inch Miter Saw Cut a 6X6?

A 12-Inch miter saw is a powerful saw and the largest that you will commonly find in a power tool section of the local hardware store. You can find larger if you shop in a specialty tool store or department. The 12-inch miter saw will be able to cut through a 6X6 piece of lumber however not on a single go. These are great saws for 2X6 cuts. 

If your miter saw is a dual bevel or compound miter saw, it becomes easier to do a deeper cut thanks to the sliding feature that facilitates the cut because the arms can be extended.  

The 12-inch miter saw is a fantastic tool choice for heavy-duty projects and tasks.

Can a 10-Inch Miter Saw Cut a 6X6?

A miter saw with a 10-inch blade installed can cut a 6X6 lumber piece, only it cannot do so with one single pass. This will require a bit more effort as the blade diameter is quite small for the piece of wood you are cutting. To do this cut with a ten-inch blade you’ll need to follow several steps to complete your cut.

If you don’t mind the extra steps, a 10-inch blade is very handy and versatile. It is easier to manage and also will cost less to purchase.

Can a 10-Inch Blade Be Installed on a 12-Inch Miter Saw?

Installing a ten-inch blade on a 12-inch saw is not automatic. It can be done but requires extreme care and attention to safety. Both the 10-inch and the 12-inch blades’ arbor holes need to be very close in size. If these holes are identical in size, it will be impossible. 

The installation of a 12-inch blade on a 10-inch miter saw is not possible because smaller miter saws feature a more limited capacity.

Conclusion

As a newbie, you may find miter saw sizes somewhat confusing. Consider first and foremost the size of the project you will be doing. If you are cutting larger pieces of lumber that require deeper cuts, the 12-inch miter saw is probably the best choice. For smaller projects like building your picture or mirror frames, a 10-inch miter saw is a great option. Remember that 12-inch miter saws cannot cut through a 6X6 on a single pass, but require several passes to complete a cut.

Can a 10-Inch Miter Saw Cut a 4X4?

Can a 10-Inch Miter Saw Cut a 4X4?

Often used for cutting trim or molding, a miter saw is a great power tool to have on hand for home improvement projects or small woodworking tasks. The 10-inch miter saw is particularly popular with hobbyists both for functionality and price. However, the temptation to use a miter saw on larger pieces of wood is strong, if nothing else for convenience because you already have one in your workshop.

the modern saw has measurement ruler

Can a 10-Inch Miter Saw Cut a 4X4?

A common question posed by hobbyists about the 10-inch miter saw is if it can cut a post that is 4X4. This is a valid question and is often asked for one of two reasons: or because you don’t want to damage your miter saw, or because you don’t want to cut a good piece of lumber badly so that it can’t be used.

All things considered, it’s not really any more complicated than cutting a 4X4 post with a 12-inch compound miter saw. The steps are direct and simple to follow.

Will a Miter Saw Cut a 4X4 with a Single Pass? 

A lot will depend on the miter saw you use and how much adjustment your saw can handle. One method for attempting to cut a 4X4 in a single pass with a miter saw is to adjust the miter saw’s blade guard with extreme care. This will slightly increase your blade’s cutting capability. The more clearance a blade has, the deeper the cut can be.

Adjusting a blade guard should be done with extreme caution for safety purposes, however, if this is not a possibility, you can still make a single cut with a miter saw that is a dual bevel. This is because a sliding saw has a greater range of motion, and its head can be tilted forward a bit. With the saw head tilted forward, the blade will move forward as well, hence cutting capacity is increased.

the saw is made still iron and plastics

Reasons to Not Use a 10-Inch Miter Saw to Cut a 4X4

Cutting a 4X4 with a miter saw isn’t the easiest method for cutting this or other larger pieces of wood. For one thing, it requires more time. Also, the possibility to cut with a 12-inch miter saw, usually means that the 12-inch has two extra inches, and the saw is probably a sliding dual bevel compound saw model that has considerably more cutting capability. Larger miter saws also have more power behind them.

Ten-inch saw blades will also dull faster, meaning more sharpening and eventually earlier replacement. So, even if using a 10-inch miter saw appears to be a less expensive alternative when cutting a 4X4, you will probably save more money over time by using a 12-inch miter saw despite the initial investment being more costly. Blade costs and electricity do tend to add up quickly.

Another consideration is the risk of kickbacks. Saw kickbacks occur when the saw is used to cut the wrong material. This can happen with a 10-inch miter saw from cutting hard 4X4s that are pretty thick.

Finally, using a miter saw for something for which it is not intended, means you can overload and damage the saw’s motor. Pushing your miter saw to the limit with heavier cutting can damage it permanently and any damage, for this reason, may not be covered by a warranty.

the saw has different sizes

How to Cut a 4×4 with a Miter Saw

If you only need to cut a 4X4 once or very occasionally, even if the 10-inch miter saw is not the ideal cutting tool, it can be used. If you need to use a 10-inch miter saw, it is important to know how to do so to protect the saw, the blade, and your safety. Preparation will play a large part in getting the cut done correctly.

Necessary Tools

  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Miter saw
  • Workbench or work table

Our Step-by-step guide for cutting a 4X4 with a 10-inch miter saw.

Step 1: Marking Your 4X4

Using a pencil and a square, measure accurately and mark your 4X4 post using the pencil to endure a precision cut. Mark the 4X4 post on all four sides.

Step 2: Prepare the Miter Saw

Secure your miter saw to your workbench or work surface if you don’t have a miter saw stand. The workbench or table must be stabilized. This is particularly important because you will be running the motor at its limit.

Configure and calibrate the angle of the saw blade so that it will fall downward in a straight manner at a 90° angle. Check your angle by using the square. It’s important to check so that the calibrations are correct, and the cut will be precise.

Step 3: Position Your 4X4 Post

Place the 4X4 post on your workbench and position the line you have marked directly under the blade. If you are not required to make repeated cuts, you can fix your 4X4 post directly to the workbench to avoid any kickback from the miter saw.

Step 4: Cut the 4X4

This is the step that requires the most attention and care. Turn on the saw head while it is still positioned in the upright location. Bring the saw head downward toward the cutline very slowly. At the same time push down firmly on the 4X4 to keep it in place.

It is important to push slowly so that you prevent kickback as much as possible. Because a 10-inch miter saw does not have the required power for thick wood pieces, and to guarantee a smooth cut, you will need to cut it on all four sides.

Once you cut the first side, return the blade upward and shut off the saw. Turn the post to show another marked side and repeat the cutting procedure. By making four cuts, you stress your miter saw less.

Tip: Avoid arranging the blade guard to enable pushing the blade through in one or two cuts. This will help to prevent rough cuts and damage to your saw.

Conclusion

You can cut your 4X4 with a 10-inch miter saw. It’s a difficult cut to make and practice makes perfect.

Take your time and don’t be in a rush. With care, calm, and attention, a 10-inch miter saw can get the job done.

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