One question that a lot of people have when they are buying a miter saw is just how wide a cut can be made with this particular saw. In this article we will look at how big a cut a 10 inch miter saw can make since they are by far the most common size. We will also discuss what you can do if you need to make a bigger cut.
A standard 10 inch miter saw can handle cuts of up to six inches in most cases. There is however some variation in this so you will have to check your particular saw. If you look at your saw blade you will notice that it is wider in the middle than it is in the bottom or the top, clearly the closer to the middle of the blade you can get when you are making the cut the wider you will be able to go. Some saws allow you to go deeper than others, particularly if you are using a compound miter saw. This will allow you to get another inch or so. That being said you should probably not expect to get more than six inches with a 10 inch miter saw.
One thing to keep in mind is that the six inches that you get returns to a straight cut, this is something that a lot of people do not think about when they are buying a miter saw. They assume that because it can cut six inches they will have no trouble cutting a 2×6, this is not however the case. If you cut a miter on a 2×6 the distance that you have to go is going to be a lot longer than six inches. If you have a 10 inch miter saw you should assume that a 4×4 is the largest piece that you will be able to cut.
If you do find that you have to cut a piece that is larger than six inches and all you have is a 10 inch miter saw you do have a couple of options. The first is that you can simply cut as far as you can and then flip the piece over the finish the cut. The downside is that not all angles can be cut this way. The other issue is that lining up the cuts can be a problem, although a laser on your saw will make things a lot easier.
Another option that you may want to consider if you have a piece that is a little bit too big for your 10 inch miter saw is to use a piece of wood to raise the cutting deck. This will allow you to get closer to the middle of the blade which will give you more distance. Not all saws have the motor mounted high enough off the deck to make this possible so you will have to check if this is an option with your saw. If you do use this method make sure that you attach the wood firmly to the deck so that it does not slide around while you are cutting.
The above methods for making cuts larger than six inches with a 10 inch miter saw are stop gaps that you can use if it is something that only happens occasionally. If you are going to be making cuts of more than six inches regularly you will want to make sure that you get a saw that can handle them. Basically you have two options, one is to move up to a 12 inch miter saw, the other is a sliding 10 inch miter saw. Most people will find that the sliding 10 inch miter saw is the better choice for their needs.