Fences and Extensions

Flip Fence: When the saw head is leaned over for bevel cuts, you have to move the fence out of the way. Some saws pivot the attached fence, flipping it upside down and outboard of the saw. On single bevel saws, such as the Makita LS1221, only the left fence flips, while on dual bevel saws, like the Hitachi, both fences must move out of the way. You only need to flip one at a time, however, depending on the bevel angle you're cutting. One drawback is the lack of tall support near the blade. This can make it harder to cut vertical pieces or crown molding held at an angle on the saw's table.

Sliding Fence: Sliding the top part of a saw's fence over is another way to move it for bevel cutting. You unscrew a knob or release a cam lever on the back of the fence, slide it over in its track, and lock it back down. Single bevel saws, like the Ryobi TS1552LA and Bosch 3912, only slide the left fence.

Dual bevel saws, such as the Craftsman, DeWalt, and Ridgid, slide both left and right fences, and the Milwaukee slides its left fence but must remove the right, leaving tall workpieces unsupported.

Table Extensions: Extending the table of the miter saw provides more support for stabilizing long workpieces, but in the case of the Bosch, the extra 3-1/4 inches hardly seem worth it. Longer extensions of steel bars, like on the Ryobi, are also found on the Craftsman and Makita. Ryobi and Craftsman extensions also have adjustable stops for repeat cutting of relatively short lengths.

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Credit: Photo: dotfordot.com

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Credit: Photo: dotfordot.com

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Credit: Photo: dotfordot.com