Sliding vs Non Sliding Miter Saw: Best Choice For You! (2021)

If you’ve come across this article, you’re already set on getting yourself a miter saw, but that brings with it another decision that has to be made. Miter saws have distinctions within themselves, specifically the discussion between a sliding vs non sliding miter saw. Both of these types of miter saws have their own set of pros and cons. We’ll dive deep into both of these tools and help you decide which one is the best choice for you!

Non-Sliding Miter Saw

Non-Sliding Miter Saw

What is A Non-Sliding Miter Saw?

When it comes to more common tasks, the non-sliding miter saw becomes the go-to choice for most woodworkers. They are especially useful if you have a big flooring job coming up. However, the basic function of non-sliding miter saws is that they allow you to make a variety of cuts with a lot of ease.

From desired angled cuts, to straight cross cuts, you will get a lot of choices at your disposal. Given that you can make cuts with ease, it will also make it better for you to know that these compound miter saws are also easy to set up and get familiar with.

Sliding Miter Saw

Sliding Miter Saw

Based on our description of the non-sliding miter saw, you can gather that the sliding miter saw has a very obvious differentiator from it. The sliding miter saw comes with the feature of you being able to slide the blade of the saw towards you. This enables you to not only gain more versatility in terms of cuts, but you can also make your work much more efficient. 

Being able to move your saw around while making the cut, will enable you to cut much larger pieces. Not to mention, you’ll also be allowed the freedom of not having to flip your pieces around as much either. All in all, it is pretty similar to a non-sliding miter saw, with the added benefit of you being able to cut larger pieces with ease.

Types of Cuts for Miter Saws

Types of Cuts

Non-sliding miter saws are quite easy to work with as we have already mentioned, but you will also appreciate how easily you can achieve a few different types of cuts with them. 

Cross Cut

This is a cut on wood that goes across the grain.

Rip Cut

This is a cut that goes parallel to the grain of the wood you are trying to cut.

Miter Cut

This is a cut specialized for the miter saw. It uses its miter gauge, that sets up a specific angle for the saw, so that you can get the desired cut with precision and a smooth finish.

Bevel Cut

Any compound miter saw will have both a miter gauge and a bevel gauge. The bevel gauge allows you to tilt the blade of the miter saw, so that you can place the blade exactly where you want, and achieve a bevel cut. 

Compound Cut

The compound cut is the mixture of the miter cut and the bevel cut. Both the saw and the blade are tilted to a specific angle, and will allow you to achieve the compound cut. The compound cut is especially important when it comes to tasks such as crown molding, and makes miter saws very worthwhile for the task. You can even look into finding the best miter saw for crown molding, as there are quite a few on the market.

What about sliding miter saws though? Well, we have already mentioned that they are both pretty similar, so don’t worry, sliding miter saws will also be able to take care of all of these cuts! The one time you will face issues is when you’re trying to make intricate and delicate cuts, and in this case the sliding miter saw might pose an issue. You might feel a little restricted sometimes trying to work with such complex angles. 

Blade for Miter Saws

Choosing the right type of blade for your miter saw is very important, and we think it is one that you need to research on as well. You can look into the best miter saw blades out there to help you out, but you must always remember that the size of the blade must match the size of your miter saw. These instructions are pivotal for the usage of both the sliding miter saw and the non-sliding miter saw.

Safety for Miter Saws

Miter saws in general are a very modern type of power tool, and they are designed to keep their users safe. 

When it comes to non-sliding miter saws, you won’t have to worry too much about any danger. These are quite safe to use, and you don’t need to be an expert in woodworking to handle them. However, you should always make sure to keep yourself safe in every way possible, by wearing gloves and safety goggles, etc. The non-sliding miter saw itself will also have built-in safety procedures to help you out as well!

When it comes to sliding miter saws, they’re not dangerous, but given that they have an additional moving part added on, they are a little more dangerous when compared to non-sliding miter saws. However, it is still the same concept, and you really don’t have much to worry about with these miter saws. It’s always good to keep yourself weary though!

Prices of Miter Saws

Prices of miter saws vary from very cheap to quite expensive. However, that mostly depends on the brand you want and how many perks that specific miter saw offers. 

A non-sliding miter saw is no doubt going to be the cheaper option, and you can also find quite expensive ones. However, a sliding miter saw will definitely be higher in price. They have the added ability of being able to cut for a longer period of time and also reach a deeper cut depth.

Pros and Cons of Sliding vs Non-Sliding Miter Saw

Now that we know a lot more about each of these miter saws, let’s break down the pros and cons of a sliding miter saw to a non-sliding miter saw!

Non-Sliding Miter Saw

Sliding Miter Saw

  • Powerful saw
  • Easy to use
  • Good with very precise and complicated angles
  • Precise and accurate cuts
  • Can not be extended when cutting larger pieces
  • Powerful saw
  • Easy to use
  • Has a larger cut depth
  • Precise and accurate cuts
  • Hard to readjust
  • More expensive
  • Doesn’t work well with very complicated angles

Making Your Choice: Non-Sliding Miter Saw or Sliding Miter Saw?

With everything out in the open for you to know now, which one should you choose? Well, there are a few factors out there that should determine your choice on whether you should get a non-sliding miter saw or a sliding miter saw. Let’s look into them!

Size and Weight of the Saw

When it comes to choosing the right saw, you need to factor in how big of a saw you really want, and whether or not portability needs to be considered for you. It is a given that sliding miter saws are larger than non-sliding miter saws because of the additional parts they have. Thus, you need to really wonder if the additional weight and size of the miter saw will affect your work or not. 

Angles of the Cuts

Another very important factor you have to remember about, is the angles you’ll be cutting. As we have already mentioned, a sliding miter saw isn’t the best choice if you’re going to be cutting very intricate and complex angles. For these types of angles, the non-sliding miter saws are the better choice. 

It is good to remember though, that a sliding miter saw can extend up to 16 inches extra, and if the pieces you work with are roughly this wide, then the sliding miter saw is really the better choice for you. You will save yourself time and effort by making these cuts with one attempt rather than multiple ones. 

Size of Wood

Coming on to the size of the wood, you need to be aware of how big the pieces you’re cutting will be. If you’re going to be cutting small wood pieces (around 2 to 4 inches), then a non-sliding miter saw makes more sense for you. However, if you’re going to be dealing with wood pieces around 12 to 16 inches, a non-sliding miter saw will force you to be flipping and readjusting a lot. So, make your choice wisely!

The Takeaway

When it comes to making the right choice between sliding vs non-sliding compound miter saws, there really needs to be a lot taken into consideration. However, we hope our article delved into every issue you needed to know about!  If you are someone who delves into intricate work and doesn’t deal with large wood pieces on a regular basis, you might want to consider a non-sliding  compound miter saw. However, if you find yourself undertaking jobs that have large pieces of wood, a sliding compound miter saw will really be the way to go for you! Both these compound miter saws are necessary when it comes to woodworking, but the choice needs a lot of thought!

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