Miter Saw Tips and Tricks


A miter saw is a versatile cutting machine. It consists of a fast-spinning blade that is attached to a handle. The operator lifts the blade and lowers it onto a piece of wood. Within a few seconds, the blade cuts through the material. A miter saw is used to make cross cuts at specific angles (known as miter cuts). A miter saw along with a circular saw or table saw are good foundation tools to get when you start woodworking. To start with you want to be using a good quality miter saw. A good quality machine does not have to be expensive, there are a number of good but cheap miter saws available on the market.

For best results, follow these tips and recommendations.

  1. Lower the Blade Slowly onto the Wood 

miter saw.jpg To avoid splintering the wood, lower the circular saw blade slowly. Thin pieces are susceptible to splintering. Allow the blade to spin at its maximum speed before cutting the material.

If you are working with wide boards, it’s recommended to place the good side of the board facing down. This will reduce the chance of splinters and tears.

  1. Use a Backboard to Block Flying Debris

While using a miter saw, pieces of wood and dust will fly everywhere. One way to block flying debris is by placing a backboard around the target material. As the material is cut, so is the backboard. This method of cutting also has another benefit. The backboard will act as a guide for the saw blade as it is lowered into the target material. The blade will pass through the backboard first and then arrive at the target material. This will help the operator cut the material slowly and accurately.   

  1. Transport the Miter Saw by Lifting it by the Base

To safely transport a miter saw, lift it by the base with two hands. This method is recommended by professionals. This is the best way to lift a miter saw without sustaining injuries. Avoid lifting the miter saw by the saw handle or any other structures the are available on the surface of the miter saw. Place your hands around the miter saw base at both ends and carry it to a new location.  

  1. Remove Dust with an ABS Plumbing Elbow

Dust is a common problem while cutting wood on a miter saw. Dust flies everywhere. Hopefully, it travels downward and lands on the table or the floor next to the work bench. The goal is avoid flying dust that travels several feet away from the work area and dust that interferes with the worker. One way to minimize flying dust is by attaching a ABS plumbing elbow. This will direct dust downward and away from the operator. The size of the dust chute varies among different miter saw models. Measure it before shopping for a compatible plumbing elbow.

  1. Cut Several Pieces of the Same Length Quickly by Drawing a Stop Line

Another helpful tip involves cutting several pieces of wood of the same length. If you cut one piece of wood at a specific length, you can mark that length on the miter saw with a pencil. Draw a line on the miter saw at the edge of the wood. Place the next piece of wood at that line and cut. This is a simple way to align the wood without having to measure its length. After all the pieces are cut at the same length, you can erase the line.

  1. Protect Your Ears and Eyes While Cutting

While working with a miter saw, your eyes and ears could get damaged if they aren’t protected. Loud noises from a running miter saw and noises generated from cutting materials might stop you from working. Also, if dust or wood chips strike your face, you might stop working and seek medical attention.

The best way to protect your eyes is by wearing safety glasses. To protect the ears, wear ear plugs or earmuffs. With these safety gear, you will be protected from flying debris and loud noises. The cutting process won’t hinder you from completing your work.

miter saw in operation.jpg


  1. Trim the Edge Off a Piece of Wood with this Method

Cutting the edge off a piece of wood isn’t easy. You might cut too much if you aren’t careful. Here’s a helpful suggestion. Lower the saw blade and place the woodpiece against it firmly. Then, raise the saw blade and turn it on. After the saw blade reaches its maximum speed, lower it and cut the edge of the wood. You won’t have to push the wood piece into the blade. The teeth of the blade will reach the edge and cut it.   

  1. Add a Wooden Guide to Make Cutting Easier

It’s not easy holding a piece of wood while cutting it with a miter saw. To make the process easier, build a wooden guide. A guide will provide support for the target material while it is being cut. You can push the material into the saw blade much more easily. You might have to screw the wooden guide into the miter saw base. An alternative method involves placing a wooden guide next to the miter saw and stacking a wooden block on the guide with a clamp to reach the height of the saw surface.   

  1. Miter Saws are Right-handed – Hold the Material with Left Hand

Most miter saws are right-handed. Use your right hand to lower and raise the saw blade. Use your left hand to hold the material in place. Avoid switching hands or crossing hands while operating the miter saw. This could lead to accidents and horrible injuries.

With these nine tips and suggestions, it will be easier to operate a miter saw efficiently and safely. As you become an expert at operating a miter saw, you might be able to start your own business. With the right tools and techniques, you will be regarded as an expert in the field of miter sawing.



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