Top Tips For Mastering the Compound Miter Saw

It may seem like using a miter saw is efficient and easy. As with any tool, however, it helps to have some tips and tricks to make sure you create accurate and safe cuts, every time. Here are some of the best ones we found on

Push Back the Fence

If you extend your fence, you can cut bent pieces of wood or molding accurately. All it takes is one small change--push the fence and its extension back so it’s not in the way. This works for warped or bent flat boards, as well.

You Only Need One Blade

Blades often come with your miter saw. While these original ones work just fine, if you’d like better cuts for plywood and hardwood, take out the first blade and replace it with one whose tooth count is high and the rake is negative. You can cut all kinds of wood with this.

Make Sure You’re Carrying Compactly

In order to make your saw easier to hold and transport, rotate the turntable to the left or the right completely. This will move the handle to the center of gravity, which creates better balance.

Use a Block to Set Bevel Angles

Creating setup blocks is a lot easier than reading the bevel scale of the saw, as the scale has dusty cursors and lines that are tough to make out. Simply cut a piece of scrap wood for your block, square your table to the saw’s fence, and put the block at edge in order to impact the tilt of the blade.

Make Sure You Are Holding Things Down

Good cuts can easily be ruined by a creep. Use a clamp to hold down your board and keep it from moving, even a little bit, as you make a cut. While it may be inconvenient to use a hold-down clamp, because some aren’t steady or are hard to adjust, it will help the accuracy of your cuts.

Put Your Wood on a Higher Level

If you can’t cut through a large board’s width, try this trick: putting the board on a platform so it’s raised. While this might be odd at first, it’ll help with the crosscut capacity of your saw. A piece of plywood that’s put in can widen your cut bit by bit. Put in as much plywood as you need to raise your workpiece as high as you need to cut all the way across.

Increase Your Precision with a Subfence

You can make an addition to your saw with a subfence to help you make right-angle cuts very precise. To create a subfence, use a board that’s the same length as the original fence of your saw. You’ll need dense wood like maple. Cut a gap to collect sawdust that’s about one eighth of an inch wide, at one edge. Attach the board to the fence, and cut a slot through the whole board.

Make Sure the Blade’s Completely Stopped

If you lift the blade before it’s stopped, you might send small pieces of wood or lots of sawdust shooting everywhere. Being patient can increase safety as you’re working. Make your cut and count from five before you lift.


Published by Lavismichel Inkel


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