How to use a Miter Saw

Miter saws were created to be able to cut miter joints. It is time-consuming and difficult to do so by hand and thus, the miter saw was born out of necessity. It may be for small jobs on baseboards, a home renovation, or perhaps a pet project where woodworking is concerned, you can’t go wrong with a miter saw that can help you get the best accurate cuts at a faster, smoother rate.


Before that, you must know that there are there are three types of miter saws that have different functions:


  • Standard type – this type of miter saw creates 45-degree angle cuts to the left or to the right straight-up on the board.


  • Compound type – it can cut at a compound angle because the blade can be tilted.


  • Sliding type – it was created to have the saw that can slide along the arm to allow more range of the material to be cut.


Safety measures when using a miter saw

Miter saws are safe to use as long as you follow instructions and precautionary means. Even a small accident could cause you so much time, or worse.


  • Make sure that the cord is unplugged while the blade is being changed or when not in use.
  • Keep both hands on the surface and not anywhere under the table.
  • Your fingers should be away from the path of the blade.
  • Wear safety accessories such as a pair of goggles everytime you’re to use the miter saw
  • Before lifting wood and changing it, be sure that the miter saw had already come to a full stop.


Efficient cutting with the miter saw


  • The blade will fall on the material depending on the latter’s thickness as well as the angle to be cut. Keep the following in mind: Make the necessary measurements, mark the board and extend that mark across the material. Check the path of the blade after making contact with the wood. Make the necessary adjustment on the position of the wood before proceeding with cutting.


  • Boards tend to be long and to be able to cut without expending too much of your energy minding your position, let most of the board’s length rest on the saw while cutting. Look for extra scraps and pile them up next to the saw to serve as the support if you’re cutting a board that’s too long. You may also use a saw stand with some support for your miter saw for longer materials.


  • Use the fence that’s at the back of the saw base then position and hold the material there. You may also use a clamp but be sure that the material is away from the blade at least 6 inches. Proceed cutting but be sure that one hand is on the handle of the saw. Your arms should both be in front and uncrossed with your feet planted firmly on the ground.


  • Turn on the miter saw’s power and wait for it to pick up speed. Carefully lowers the saw down to the wood. Wait for the board to get fully cut then take your finger off the miter saw trigger. Wait for the saw to come to a full stop before lifting it off.


  • The same types of cuts can be sped up by using paper tape on the length instead of making measurements one-by-one. You can simply remove the tape when the cutting is done.


  • If you want more accurate cuts, try using a stop block. Find a quarter-inch thick of wood and put cut pieces of carpet tape on its back. The saw should not be plugged into an electrical source and the blade is lowered. Measure the point from the teeth to the fence where you’re going to stick the wood block. Start cutting while the block is against the board you’re cutting. The cuts will turn out to be equal in length. Clean up the stop block.


Additional miter saw tips and tricks

  • Some materials will be sold that were left unpolished. You can just cut it off before taking measurements and the actual cutting of the wood so that you won’t have to worry about how it will look.


  • Cut the wood smoothly by making the wood go through it instead of the other way around.


  • The best cuts are made with blades that have more teeth. For cuts to be used on construction projects, use a blade with 50 teeth. If you’re going to cut moldings, make use of a blade with 90 teeth for smoother cuts.


  • Look for blades with a lower number of teeth for chemically treated wood to get smoother cuts. It will also do good for your miter saw motor as it will not be as strained.