The other part of a good miter saw setup…
Anyone who’s tried to cross-cut several pieces of lumber at an angle on a table saw knows how helpful it is to have a dedicated miter saw on the job, but only if it’s accompanied by a good miter saw stand. Because of the nature of wood that’s used with a miter saw, it must have some support along its length, and the feed ought to be smooth. A miter saw stand can give you long extensions and roller feeds in a lightweight, compactable, portable table. You’ll find that a dedicated stand will help you meet your budget by making your work faster and smoother and reducing the amount of re-cuts and waste.
Things to think about
When researching miter saw stands, what are some things you should think about?
Price is always a consideration, and in this category, there’s a wide range. If you pick up a generic work stand for about $50-75, you’ll get the length that you need but no roller feed. For work that involves cutting down large pieces into lots of smaller pieces, you can find a stand with roller supports starting at about $100. A stand that provides continuous support from end to end and has built-in fences along the extension starts at $350 and isn’t quite “portable”, but for a long-term job that demands lots of small pieces and precision cutting, having continuous support and fence alignment is well worth the cost and effort of setting it up at the beginning of the job.
Extension length of the miter saw stand
Another feature to look for is the length and type of support. Practically every model of miter saw stand has a different extension length, ranging from 7′ to 17′ and more. Long extensions are more likely to sag and less likely to support heavy stock, so look for very sturdy extension rails or supporting legs at the end. In addition, most portable saw stands do not offer support between the end and the saw, which is annoying if you adjust the length for a large piece but cut it into many smaller pieces. If this is you, look for a stand that has multiple rollers along the extension length (about $200). Again, continuous support is a pricey option but can be worth it.
The portable miter saw stand market is surprisingly limited, considering how much room there is for diversification and improvement. Why don’t more tables have multiple rollers? Why aren’t there fence attachments? Why do only a handful of tables include support at the ends of long extensions? When your goal is portability, every ounce counts, but an extra pound of metal would be worth its weight in added convenience and precision. In any case, with enough patience and clamps, you can take a basic portable miter saw stand and turn it into a shop-worthy table with the precise fences and stops you need to make your job fly by.