So you just bought that shiny new miter saw and you need some advice on how to use it. Or maybe you are seriously considering buying one and want to learn. This article will help you learn about the miter saw and some helpful tips on how to cut effectively with one.
Change out the blade
Most Miter saws will come with a standard blade that is capable of making cuts but to best serve your projects switching to a 60-80 tooth saw blade will make your cuts cleaner and more precise. The more teeth in the blade will also reduce tearout and provide a smoother end to your newly sawn lumber.
Use stop blocks for multiple cuts
Looking to make multiple cuts that are all the same length? Measure the desired length and clamp a piece of wood to the miter fence. Adding a stop block will ensure each board is cut to the exact same length and will speed up your work!
Wait for the blade to stop spinning
Lifting the miter saw while the blade is still spinning can cause damage to your project and even pose a safety hazard. Lifting the spinning blade can cause the wood to splinter and can leave saw marks across the grain. Moving the spinning blade can potentially launch your work or the extra cutoff across your workshop.
Build a workbench for your saw
Building your own workbench to house your miter saw will increase your usable space. It is also nice to have the extra length on either side of your fence for longer boards.
Do what a miter saw does best!
A tip for adjusting angles is to square your saw blade before changing the angle to the desired miter angle. Making sure your miter saw set at 0 degrees is truly 0 degrees will give you a true 45 degree adjustment(if that is what you are after). Angled cuts are great for making picture frames, baseboards, or even window trim!
Make sure your wood is flush with your fence
Before lowering the saw, make sure your wood is flush with the fence. This will ensure a nice, clean and straight cut! Also, make sure your hand is on the wood to stabilize your cut but be sure to keep it far away from the blade!
Consider a miter saw with a slide
A miter saw with a slide will increase the width of cuts your saw can make. This can be a great feature to consider when you need to cut wide boards frequently.
Miter Saw buying guide
Looking to buy or upgrade your current miter saw? Here is a list of some good features to consider and some extras that may make your cuts more accurate:
- Dust Collection
- Positive stops on your common angles
- Quality blade guard
- Slide Miter Saw
To make the choice easier for you, we’ve also put together an in-depth miter saw buying guide that includes some specific recommendations.
A Miter saw can be a great tool in your woodworking arsenal. I hope these tips and features help you out when building that next project!