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Sometimes, the best home improvement equipment is more than just equipment–in the case of a miter saw stand, it’s helped one Tennessee couple rebuild after experiencing loss and theft, just days before Thanksgiving 2020 and the middle of a pandemic.
Tracy and Dan Heard, who’ve lived in Powell for almost two decades, saw an opportunity in a 1.5-acre plot of land nestled between the downtown region and off of the railroad tracks that run across the town.
Their family has grown up visiting and playing games at what was once a park, and the Heards felt it was time to bring something new. But it wasn’t easy, even with confidence and the best equipment.
Using a miter saw, the couple created a food truck and stand. Inspired to bring something new to their community, they pressed on, even when the pandemic delayed some of their plans, and a thief meant rebuilding some of what they’d started.
Now, a food truck and a farmer’s market are planned to bring a little joy to the community–and all of this was done with perseverance, a vision, and the right tools to bring their dream to life.
Of course, you don’t have to have a big vision to make use of a miter saw. In this article, I’ll tell you how to use a miter saw and why it’s so important to find the best miter saw stand for safety and effectiveness.
Once you know how to use and find the best miter saw stand, you’re well on your way to creating and improving whatever home project you have in mind.
What is the purpose of a miter saw?
A miter saw is an important tool for a variety of home improvement projects. Miter saw allows you to make specialized, angle cuts and are especially useful for projects that require odd angles.
My favorite ways to use a miter saw include molding, working with door or window frames, and even do it yourself projects, especially woodworking.
Compared with traditional saws, a miter saw is able to make more precise crosscuts, with longer cuts along the wood grain. Guards and laser guides are used to make sure the cuts are precise and stay in line. Guards are also important, as miter saws can be dangerous and a cause of home improvement accidents.
While miter saws are quite useful, a commonly cited drawback is that they tend to produce a lot of mess, both from wood chips and dust.
Miter saws come in a variety of different types, which include: miter saw boxes; power miter saws; compact miter saws; and miter saws that either slide or come with laser/ LED technology.
Is a miter saw stand necessary?
Assuming you’ve already found the best miter saw and are ready to start your project, you may wonder if a miter saw stand is really a must-have. As someone who always tries to save money when I can, hesitation or even feeling you can get by without a miter saw stand is understandable.
That said, a miter saw stand is a must-have for a few reasons, all of which boil down to safety and precision. Miter saws can be dangerous and even hard to use for even the most experienced DIY guru. Of course, having more safety and control is even more important if you’ve never used a miter saw before.
The short answer? You can technically operate a miter saw without a stand. But that doesn’t mean that it’s advisable. Here are my top two reasons why.
Safety and Security
My first reason why you should buy a miter saw stand is safety. While a guard for a miter saw can protect you from flying debris, what it can’t do is help you control the saw as you operate it.
Especially true for power saws, the unusually angled cuts can be hard to control. A stand can help secure and guide your saw, even as you make the most challenging cuts, and make it less likely that you’ll injure yourself in the process.
Precision and Efficiency
If you’re working with picture frames, mouldings, or even making some serious kitchen renovations, you’re likely using a miter saw to do the job because you want to make sure that you’re making precise cuts.
Using a miter saw stand gives you more control, making those precise cuts easier and perhaps more accurate. While talented and coordinated individuals may well be able to make precise cuts without, a miter saw stand provides that extra stability to make your job easier and arguably more efficient.
How do you find the best miter saw stand?
The good news is that there are many options for miter saw stands. The bad news is that, at times, the selection can be confusing if you don’t know what to look for. It’s important to note that not all miter saw stands are universal, and depending on your miter saw and the projects you have in mind, you may find a stand is a better choice.
That said, here are some key factors I look for to find a great miter saw stand.
The very most important factor in a miter saw stand is quality construction. Ideally, you want to find a stand that is both durable and stable.
A miter saw stand should stay immobile as you cut and be built to last. Aim for a stand that can support no fewer than 300 pounds. I prefer stands that support around 500 to 600 pounds, as that gives you more wiggle room for larger projects and may also indicate a greater degree of stability.
For materials, don’t compromise—your best off with solid steel. Solid steel is stable for projects and one of the most durable options. Meanwhile, a generous stand space, leg lock, and clamping brackets are critical for adding the support you need.
Adjustability and Portability
For the most versatile miter saw stand, look for one that has multiple clamps or clamp adjustment features. Other features I love include wheels or the ability to collapse parts of the stand to make it easier to store or transport.
Just make sure that these features don’t distract from the overall stability of the miter saw stand. Another plus is a stand that comes with a kit to make those adjustments easy. If you are looking to move the stand, you may opt for one that is lighter in weight (under 100 pounds).
Working Space and Features
In addition to clamps, you need to pay attention to features that will impact your working space. Aim for saw stands with generous space for cutting– around 8 to 10 feet ideally–and extension arms for a good grip. Other pluses included rollers or sliders for working with long pieces of metal or wood, as well as brackets for easy mounting,
Finally, the best miter saw stands come from a company with a solid reputation–not only within the home improvement industry but, more importantly, among customer satisfaction. I also like to see warranties and/ or refund policies that are both straightforward and generous. Not only do these provide reassurance for purchase, but they also exhibit a degree of confidence from the company for its products.
What are the best miter saw stands?
Now I’ll give you my recommendation for the best miter saw stands you can buy, no matter what projects you have in mind. Each of these miters saw stands provide a mix of stability, adjustment, and must-have features to ensure that you can make cuts both safely and effectively.
Best Miter Saw Stands from Amazon
Amazon may not be the first go-to retailer for home improvement supplies, but it actually has a great selection of highly rated and durable options at budget-friendly prices. The trick is to avoid the especially cheaper stands and go for ones from reputable manufacturers.
Best Portable: BOSCH Portable Gravity-Rise Wheeled Miter Saw Stand
At a price point of well under four hundred dollars, an excellent customer rating, and from a well-respected company, this miter saw stand is one of your best options for a portable miter saw stand that you could buy on Amazon.
The 8-inch wheels make it easy to move, even over harsh terrain, which ties in perfectly with the easy setup and breaks down.
You’ll have an impressive 18 feet of working space and the ability to adjust for using almost any miter saw. I also love that it’s made out of solid steel, and at just 76 pounds, it’s lightweight. Bosch also offers a one year warranty on basic parts and 30 days for returns.
Best Folding: Bora Portamate – PM-8000 Miter Saw Stand WorkStation
This miter saw stand from Bora offers one of my favorite solutions if you’re tight on storage space. Priced at under six hundred dollars, these miter saw stands are great when you’re tight on space but still want a sturdy and durable stand.
Usable with almost any miter saw it features a workspace with 30” wings that can be folded or extended, plus extensive room–up to 90”.
In addition, I love the wheels with a rolling stand that still manages to stay secure. For added storage, the entire table saw surface can fold and even flip over to be used as a table for other projects and planning. Made of solid steel, it’s both sturdy and attractive, with a peg whole for other power tools, plus a one year warranty.
Best Versatile: ToughBuilt Gravity Miter Saw Stand with Universal Tool Mounts
Looking for a miter saw stand that you can use for multiple projects? I love this option for ToughBuilt, which comes in at a reasonable price of just under $250 and offers many great features for such an affordable price point.
The heavy-duty steel construction frame, made in the United States, allows you to use almost every brand of miter saw and has a high range of adjustments, so it’s useful beyond one project.
Multiple grips and adjustable and great for transportation, along with special handles, lockable feet, and additional cam locks.
Rubber tires mean you can use this miter saw stand no matter the terrain. It also allows you to work with up to 10 feet of material at a time–more compact than some models but still useful for most home projects. Finally, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Best Lightweight: TACKLIFE Miter Saw Stand
If you want a lightweight option that’s still durable, consider this miter saw stand from Tacklife. While I don’t recommend a lightweight option for all, and certainly not all projects, it can be a great option, both for smaller projects and for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable dealing with a heavier option and may be new to DIY work.
It weighs a mere 21.6 pounds, with easy installation and the ability to fold for storage. The iron frame is resistant to rust and is meant for outdoor use.
Even with its light frame, it can support up to 330 pounds and can be used with most miter saws and chop saws. It also comes with quick-release mounting brackets, as well as rollers and end stops for safe transportation, plus rubber non-slip feet.
Best Budget: ToughBuilt – 124″ Miter Saw Stand Universal Tool Mounts
If you want one of the best miter saw stands, but need to stay under two hundred dollars, it can be challenging to find options.
That’s why I recommend this miter saw stand, with a universal tool mount, from ToughBuilt. This is a great tool to have overall, especially if you aren’t planning heavy-duty projects and just want a basic but well-built option for more effective and safe sawing.
Choose from a space-saver friendly 77-inch option or a more generous 124-inch option. Made of heavy-duty solid steel, the tub frame provides added stability. Multiple support pegs can be used for a variety of saws and tools, and the 2 work stops and quick release mounts make any project easy to complete.
It comes with a lifetime warranty, is made in the United States, and is handy to have for lighter projects and even for using other types of saws, like hacksaws and jigsaws.
Question: How do you use a miter saw stand?
Answer: To use a miter saw stand, you need to make sure that you have your material lying flat and properly clamped and secured. You should adjust so that the material does not wiggle and make sure you have extra space for sawing.
Be aware of your surroundings, and work in an open space, preferably outdoors, with proper ventilation. Adjust supports to the length you wish to cut the material, and wear protective goggles to make sure you avoid debris hurting your eyes.
Question: Can you use a Mitre saw as a table saw?
Answer: Miter saws and table saws are different. While a miter saw makes cross and angled cuts and is used for molding.
They are best used for work that requires precision. Table saws, on the other hand, are more effective for larger projects and can handle more material at a time, and are suited for straight cuts. In a pinch, you can use a miter saw for some projects, but it won’t be able to make rip cuts, nor is it practical for working on large pieces of wood or drywall.
Question: What size miter saw do I need?
Of course, even the best miter saw can’t make up for a miter saw of improper size or shape. A 10 vs 12 inch miter saw is the usual debate. The right size of the miter saw depends on the project. For a project that requires wide cuts, opts for a 12 inch or larger saw stand. For precision work, a 10-inch size saw can be easier to handle.
Finding the best miter saw stand comes down to taking a long, hard look at durability and stability. Whether you’re working on a large project or just looking for some great renovations, it’s a way to invest in your safety.