December 28, 2021

What should you never cut with a miter saw?

  • Do not cut pieces smaller than 20 cm (8 in.) in length.
  • Do not cut stock with loose knots, splits, defects, or foreign objects such as metal stones.
  • Do not cut solid timber along the grain.
  • Do not cut freehand. Allow the stock to lie on the table against the fence.

What is a miter saw?

A miter saw is a tool that allows you to make cuts at various angles. It comes with a saw blade mounted on the arm that makes pivots from both the right and left sides for angled cuts. The tool is for frames and window casings. 

The miter saw comes in three variations. That includes the dual compound and the sliding compound. The compound miter saw that pivots tilt in a single direction for bevel cuts. They make compound cuts in one pass. Unlike the first miter saw that tilts one-way, the Dual compound miter saws tilt from the left and right. 

That allows it to make quicker bevels at multiple angles. The Sliding compound miter saws are versatile. They come with a sliding feature that allows you to move the blade forward and backward. The sliding feature increases the length of the cut. 

If you are looking for a miter saw with more cutting power, you should consider higher Amps. Precise cuts produce flawless surfaces. There is a need for more positive stops to avoid time-consuming project set-up cuts. Saws with thumb-activated stops are ideal for quick adjustments. 

There are different models to consider when buying a miter saw. You have the smaller unit mounted on a workbench, and you can have a bigger one that does not require transportation to and from work. There are multiple sizes of blades that suit the needs of different applications. 

What is important is buying a blade compatible with your miter saw. You might blame your miter saw for a technical fault. The extension cord has to be the right one for the miter saw. See our post on the Best Miter Saw for Homeowner.

What is the purpose of a miter saw?

Power miter saws are for angled cuts for molding, trim work, rafters, and other carpentry applications. They also make straight crosscuts. Equip them with the right blade for maximum performance. Its versatility makes it a hybrid tool for professional carpenters and DIYers. 

The saw is for trimming and molding. These make miters and crosscuts on a workpiece. The blade of a miter saw is between eight and twelve inches. It is portable and gained popularity due to its quick and accurate miters. They are also efficient for crosscutting.

Miter saw safety rules

  • Wear safety glasses or a face shield.
  • Use a dust extraction system, and a respirator.
  • Wear appropriate hearing protection.
  • Wear protective footwear when necessary.
  • Attach the saw to a workbench or other rigid frame and operate the saw at waist height. 
  • Make adjustments secure before cutting. 
  • When making adjustments, make sure the power is off, and the machine is not moving.
  • Keep one hand on the trigger switch and handle and use the other hand to hold the stock against the fence.
  • Keep hands out of the path of the blade.
  • Keep guards in place.
  • Remove adjusting keys and wrenches.
  • Use a crosscut or combination blade.
  • Make sure the blade rotates in the correct direction.
  • Secure and clean the blade and arbor collars.
  • Keep the blade tight, sharp, and set so that it cuts easily.
  • Only cut one workpiece at a time.
  • Allow the motor to reach full speed before cutting
  • Wait for the saw to stop moving before removing the work.
  • Follow instructions for lubricating and changing accessories.
  • Keep the work area clean. 
  • Visibility is key.
  • Make sure the saw switch is in the OFF position before plugging in.
  • Unplug tools before servicing and when not in use.
  • Check for damage, repair, or replace damaged parts.
  • Keep motor air slots clean and free of dust and chips.
  • Use proper accessories designed for the saw and job.

Miter saw safety test

  • Never attempt to remove scrap material from the cut zone until the blade has stopped 
  • rotating. Keep your hand off the on/off switch. 
  • Keep the saw blades well lubricated where necessary. 
  • If cutting long stock, support the long end to prevent the material from binding or jamming 
  • the saw blade.
  • If using outside, or in a damp location, make sure the saw is connected to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter(GFCI). 
  • Keep the electrical cord out of the way of the material and operator. 
  • Lock the saw blade in its safest position when work is complete, and you are leaving the 
  • work area. 
  • Caution others in the work area to wear safety glasses.

Miter Saw Tips

  • Use a stop block for repetitive cuts. 
  • Use a mobile miter saw stand for efficiency.
  • Install a laser for quick cuts.
  • Cut wider boards with your miter saw.
  • Allow the blade to reach maximum speed before letting it down on the workpiece.
  • Replace your saw blade.
  • Add an auxiliary fence for cutting small pieces.
  • Use a red marker to mark danger zones
  • Secure small pieces with clamps.
  • Use a see-through blade guard for safety.

What materials can you cut with a miter saw?

  • Manufactured wood 
  • Composites
  • Plastic
  • Mild steel

FAQs

Can you cut straight with a Mitre saw?

The Mitre saws make straight crosscuts when equipped with the right blade.

Why are my 45-degree cuts not lining up?

That happens if you cannot get the miter joint to close perfectly. You might have cut one piece too long or too short. Sometimes the blade itself was not perpendicular (90 degrees) from the base.

How big of a board can a 10inch sliding miter saw cut?

A saw with a 10-inch blade makes right-angle cuts across a board 5 1/2 inches wide. The cutting capacity of a 10onch Mitre saw allows you to work with 2×6 pieces of lumber. However, if the wood is dense, you need to make two cuts instead of one.

You can also use a 10-inch sliding miter saw to cut 2×4’s at a 45-degree angle. With the 10 inch blade, you can cut into wood or plywood up to 2 inches, unlike 1.25 inches with a non-sliding miter saw.

What is the advantage of a sliding Mitre saw?

They create bevels at any angle. The sliding feature, just like a radial arm saw, allows you to move the blade forward and backward. That is how you get an increased length of cut it provides. The saw is versatile.

Why does my Mitre saw cut crooked?

The reason for this is because of the way the saw is tilted. Once the saw is ready to make a bevel cut, the blade pulls the material in towards the saw blade. If the material is not secure, the material will move mid-cut and make the miter saw bevel cut not straight. This may also happen when using poor quality cheap miter saws.

What is the difference between a slide compound miter saw and a regular miter saw?

The sliding miter saw has rails that allow the blade to move forward and backward. That makes the sliding miter saw handle much wider materials than a regular miter saw.

David D. Hughes
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