What Is a Compound Mitre Saw

What Is a Compound Mitre Saw: Types, Benefits, and More!

Last Updated on January 10, 2023

Compound mitre saws are special types of saws used in different woodworking projects to cut wood at different angles. You can use a compound mitre saw to cut door frames, crown moulding, window casings, and picture frames. Mitre saws also allow you to cut wood at a faster rate than other types of saws.

Miter saws are different from circular saws as they are available in different designs and sizes. In this article, we will give you insight into the question, “what is a compound mitre saw?’ We are also going to show you how compound mitre saws work.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

The Compound Mitre Saw

A compound miter saw is a special cutting tool that comes with a cutting blade. A cutting blade is mounted on an arm that moves, making it easier for you to cut wood at a certain angle. You can use it to cut a 45° miter on a piece of wood or a crown moulding. A mitre is an angled cut that lets you join two planks of wood. It is made across the face of a plank of wood.

What’s more, a compound miter saw can be used to make bevel cuts on wood. A bevel is an angled cut through the thickness of a piece of wood. It makes it easier for you to join two workpieces. You can use it in a wide variety of woodwork projects to join products like crown moulding and baseboards.

A compound saw can also make a crosscut on a plank of wood. This is a cut across the grain of a certain piece of wood.

Moreover, a mitre saw helps you to make compound cuts on different pieces of wood. As the name hints, a compound cut is a combination of both a bevel cut and a miter cut. Compound cuts are mostly found on crown mouldings.

Different Types of Miter Saws

There are different types of mitre saws available. Let’s take a look at each one of them below:

Single-Bevel Compound Mitre Saw

A single bevel compound mitre saw can cut wood at different angles. However, the pivot can tilt in only one direction, making it easier for you to cut a bevel.

Dual-Bevel Compound Mitre Saw

Just like a single-bevel mitre saw, a dual-bevel compound mitre saw can make bevel cuts at different angles and can tilt on both sides to make bevel cuts.

Sliding Compound Mitre Saw

As the name implies, a sliding compound miter saw comes with a rail system that lets you slide the mitre saw as you are cutting wood. Due to this, sliding miter saws can cut large pieces of wood. They can also make crosscuts on a large workpiece.

Different Parts of a Mitre Saw

To fully understand miter saws, we should be familiar with their different parts.

Circular Saw Blade

A blade is used to cut a piece of wood. Saw blades are made from different materials and have different sizes. The bigger the blade, the easier it cuts bigger workpieces. Saw blades also rotate at a certain speed, making it easier for you to cut wood easily. The cutting capacity or cut capacity of blades may differ.

Blade Guards

The blade guard covers the blade and prevents any injuries. In some models, the blade guards can be moved.

Bevel Adjustment

A bevel adjustment makes it easier for you to tilt the blade to your most preferred angle so that you can cut a bevel on a piece of wood.


A scale lets you adjust the mitre angle that you want to use while cutting a workpiece. It rotates the saw, depending on the angle that you have selected. Not to mention, it has different degree markings that indicate the angle that you are using while cutting a piece of wood.

Apart from that, other models come with a lock mechanism that locks the saw at a certain angle, making it easier for you to cut.


This is a strong and flat surface that holds your workpiece and keeps it stable as you are cutting it. In some models, the fence can be easily moved from one point to another point. Not to mention, some models make it easier to know the measurements of the wood that you are cutting.


A vise secure is a part that secures the mitre saw on a flat surface. You can also use it to hold long planks of wood in one position.

Power Switch/ Trigger

Found on the handle of a mitre saw, a trigger activates the rotary motion of the blade. It gives you control over the whole compound mitre switch. The handles of most saws have a nice design that lets you press the trigger as you are cutting wood. Not to mention, as soon as you release the trigger, the blade will stop rotating.

Other models come with a laser beam that guides you through a cutting line. Some other saws also offer you a dust bag and a dust extraction system, which cleans up the area that you were working on.

Different Saw Blade Sizes

The size of a compound mitre saw blade is measured in inches. The maximum cutting depth may also differ, depending on the blade size. Compound mitre saw blades are available in four different sizes: 12″, 10″, 8 ½”, and 7 ½”.

  • 12″ saw blades are used to cut thick planks of wood and big workpieces like fencing posts. While such saws can cut through large planks of timber, they are quite heavy.
  • The 10″ miter saw can through thick chunks of wood. However, it is lighter and more portable than the 12″ miter saw. This saw might be suitable for you if you’re looking for a powerful and lighter option.
  • 8 ½” and 7 ½” compound mitre saws are suitable for light tasks. Such saws are portable and can also be moved easily. You can find all the sizes at a home improvement store.

Corded Compound Mitre Saws vs Cordless Mitre Saws

Compound miter saws are available in two different designs; cordless and corded—a battery powers cordless compound mitre saws. Plus, cordless compound mitre saws come with a charger that lets you charge the battery that you are using. Such saws can be moved easily from one point to another. For instance, you can use it to cut wood even when you are outside.

On the other hand, a corded compound mitre saw has to be connected to a power source to start. Corded compound miter saws have a power cord that is used to power up the whole unit. Also, corded compound miters are more powerful than cordless compound mitres. However, a corded mitre saw might limit your movement. While some corded compound saws may have a short power cord, extension cords can help you increase the length.

A Mitre Saws vs Chop Saw

Since various people confuse a mitre saw with a chop saw, we are going to show you the difference between the two.

Like a mitre saw, a chop saw comes with a blade mounted on the arm. However, you cannot adjust the arm to cut planks of wood at different angles. A chop saw cuts wood at 90° only. In precise, chop saws cannot cut wood at different angles.

On the other hand, a mitre saw can cut wood at various angles like 45°, 22.5°, and 90°.

Get a Mitre Saw For Your Workshop

So what is a compound mitre saw? It is quite versatile and can be used to cut planks of wood at different angles. With a mitre saw, you can work on various woodwork projects. Mitre saws are available in different designs and sizes, making it easier for you to get the one that is suitable for the woodwork projects that you like working on. You can even use it to reduce the length of a plank of wood.

Do you have a mitre saw? OR are you still planning to get one? Do you have other tips you’d like to share with others? Tell us all about it in the comment box below!

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