There are so many different types of saws on the market today that figuring out what you need exactly might be tricky. To choose a truly suitable tool, you have to understand the characteristics of each kind.
In this article, I’ll talk about devices with a double bevel feature. What is a double bevel miter saw? Why are these tools effective? Are they irreplaceable in a workshop?
I’m sure that after reading it, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and understand whether you need such a tool, or you can get by with a classic model.
Double Bevel Compound Miter Saw Guide
A dual bevel saw is an indispensable machine in carpentry. Unlike standard models and even more so circular saws, it allows you to make an ultra-precise double bevel cut. With it, you can build door and window frames, cut parquet boards and laminates, process aluminum, and plastic C-channels, and much more.
What is a dual bevel miter saw?
With miter saws, you can cut a wide variety of materials (provided you have the right blade), but they are primarily designed for woodworking. The existing subtypes of these tools greatly facilitate the processing of workpieces, which can be really convenient for large-scale work. Double bevel instruments are no exception.
In this type of device, you can turn and tilt both a disk and a head itself in the direction you want. It greatly expands the possibilities of using the device. Besides, if you need to do several different cuts on one workpiece, you do not have to turn the material over, as it should be done with standard models.
Simply move boards and change the blade and/or head angles. Technically, you can make such cuts with a compound saw, but the need to constantly turn workpieces (especially if there are really a lot of them) on the other side slows down the workflow.
Difference between dual bevel and compound miter saws
It is not difficult to understand the difference between these types. The term ‘compound’ is applied to those tools in which a head with an attached blade can be tilted.
You can do bevel and miter cuts with it, but only in one direction. It distinguishes these devices from standard ones, which can rip material only at right angles.
Although compared to classical models, compound miter saws are more versatile; they still do not offer the same flexibility as dual bevel miter saws. In the latter, a head with a disk tilts to both sides.
If necessary, it allows you to make cuts at different angles without turning your workpiece, but by adjusting the head at once to rip the material as you need.
Single bevel vs. double bevel
As you have probably understood from the previous part of my article, compound and single bevel saws are different names for the same tool. Its head with a blade can be tilted to one side (usually to the left), hence the word “single” in the title.
A double bevel saw is an improved version of the previous device, the head of which you can turn both left and right. Despite this seemingly insignificant difference, it comes with higher usability, increased productivity, and the ability to complete complex projects quickly.
The opportunity to cut without flipping the workpiece is extremely useful when working with challenging materials such as plywood. Chips might form on it where a blade enters a sheet.
That is why it is convenient that you can cut at different ends of a workpiece but at the same time on one side of a sheet. You can rotate plywood so that chips appear on the side that will not be visible.
Reasons to use a dual bevel miter saw
The advantage of all types of miter saws is their incredible cutting accuracy. The devices considered in this article are good because they can perform the so-called compound cuts.
They are a combination of the bevel (tilt relative to material thickness) and miter (tilt relative to material width) cuts. Some kinds of projects like doorstops and photo frames simply cannot do without these kinds of rips.
What is the main difference between a single and a dual bevel mitre saw if both of these tools can do complex cuts? The second option allows you to make mirror rips without having to turn wood.
For example, you need two cuts in the opposite direction at both ends of the board if you build a door frame. With a double bevel saw, you can cut one end, change the tilt of a disk, and cut the other. Remember that you should calibrate your instrument for the work result to be perfect.
Someone might think that all this is too easy. However, this feature is really handy if you work on a large-scale project where you have to do such symmetrical cuts several times a day.
Do I need a double bevel miter saw?
If you’re asking yourself whether you need a saw that can tilt to both sides, then carefully consider your tasks. Suppose you regularly make cuts in different directions and at various angles, as professional carpenters do, and you are tired of constantly turning boards.
In that case, you definitely cannot do without a dual bevel tool. Opt for simpler models if the need to do cuts in different directions arises from time to time.
Of course, the double bevel feature saves a lot of time if you regularly handle many boards. However, this versatility tends to be worth the extra money.
Comparing a single vs. a double bevel miter saw, the second one is much more expensive. From my experience, I can say that all these “fancy” features pay off only when they are constantly used. Otherwise, I think it won’t be that tiresome for you to turn a workpiece and cut the other side.
In addition to the higher cost of a double version, I also draw your attention to its more complex design, and, therefore, more bulky construction. It is less mobile and takes up slightly more space than single bevel saws.
Besides, given its great capabilities, you will need to spend some time getting used to working with it and learning how to cut in different directions.
After deciding which type of device you want, you can choose a specific model. As with any saw, you should pay attention to power, speed, RPM control, cutting depth and width, soft start, automatic shutdown, and so on.
If you want even more freedom of action while working, check out a dual bevel sliding mitre saw, which moves along the work surface.
Definition of a bevel cut and a miter cut
The simplest and most commonly required cut that conventional tools can make is a 90° straight one. However, in addition to it, other options might be needed in woodworking.
A bevel cut is made obliquely relative to the sheet width (or length). The angle can be any other than the right one. To do it, turn the head of your device to the left or right from the axis. Typically it is used to create windows, boxes, doors, frames, etc.
In contrast, a miter cut is performed at an angle relative to the workpiece thickness (depth). In this case, the angle can also be any that you need, except for a straight one. To create this cut, adjust the tilt of a blade. You can often see it used by professionals in joinery or welding jobs.
There is also a third cut type that combines the features of these two. It’s called a compound cut. You will need to adjust both the saw head and the disk to get the angle you want in relation to the board width and depth.
If you have any difficulty with estimations, use a specialized calculator. As you can imagine, it is almost impossible to do such high-quality cuts with hand-held tools. That is why miter saws with a solid and stable base are used.
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What is a compound miter saw?
Compared with standard models, compound machines have slightly improved functionality and, therefore, are more versatile. Modern devices cut workpieces at various angles, even in two planes. Powerful motors built into them help cut wood, plastic, thin metal profiles and pipes, and wood-based composite materials.
Compound miter saws are also called single bevels because they can generally tilt in only one way. You need a dual bevel saw if you want the head and blade to turn both left and right. If your work is commercial, you cannot do without such a device.
Thanks to its versatility, it performs well in small carpentry businesses, construction sites, and even in-home workshops. Regardless of the purpose of using a device, do not forget about the standard safety measures.
Get Dual Bevel Miter Saw for Pro Tasks
This type of saw is a handy tool in certain situations. If you plan to work with wood and other materials for commercial purposes, you should definitely buy one.
If your intention is to use the functionality offered by double bevel saws once or twice a month, I recommend you not waste your money and choose a standard or single bevel option. However, it is up to you to decide.
Please share your opinion on a dual bevel miter saw. Do you have any experience using it? Do you think that every DIYer should have such a model?