Double-bevel mitre saws are designed so that the blade can be tilted to the left or right. These saws are more functional because of their ability to back-cut in any direction. With single-bevel saws, the material must be spun around or flipped, which can cause chipping of the material and the inability to see your line.
Double-bevel mitre saws are typically described by the saw blade size, which is usually 10 or 12 inches, but smaller saws may be purchased. (The more teeth the blade has, the finer the cut that can be made. A 40-tooth blade is good for rough framing, whereas one with 80 or 100 teeth is used for installing trim.)
The cutting action of a double-bevel mitre saw has either a hinge or a sliding action. Hinge-action saws cut the diameter of the blade, whereas a sliding mitre box can cut to about 16 inches wide at 90 degrees and about 12 inches wide at 45 degrees.
Range of Motion
Some mitre saws will cut only up to about 48 degrees while others will cut a 60-degree angle or very close to it.
Table and Back Fence
The table size is important if you plan on cutting wide material. A short table and back fence results in less stability while cutting. Choose a saw that has an adjustable back fence on both sides of the blade. To safely cut wide boards, the back fence should be tall and long enough to allow you to firmly hold the material against the fence.
Some saws include a laser light that projects a thin line on your material to show where the blade will cut. Others include light bulbs on each side of the blade, which is very popular with contractors. A digital readout is an option with some models, and others can be hooked up to a vacuum cleaner.