If you are a wood working fanatic and loves to complete plenty of wood projects including DIYs and other home based work, you should definitely know some miter saw tips and tricks.
Not only this will make your work potentially easy but durable and less time consuming. To complete your serious wood working tasks, a miter saw is the right tool for you.
A miter saw is such a wood working tool that is widely used for various purposes and daily tasks.
It is innovative, well-equipped and organized tool that makes the task of completing the work instant and rapid.
In this article you will learn some very useful miter saw tips and tricks that will shave off a huge amount of time along with providing ultimate short cuts and methods which can lead to better précised cuttings.
What Is A Miter Saw
Before getting your hands on a miter saw, you should merely have an idea about what actually a miter is.
This will help you in determining and observing whether you need a miter saw or some other saw for your uses.
A miter basically is a type of cut you create at a certain angle across the face of the wooden piece.
That wooden piece can be in the form of a plank, log and lumber etc. A miter cut is either a 45 degree or 90 degree angle.
However, due to very slight difference between a miter and bevel cut do not get confused between them.
Miter cuts are used to create picture frames, window or door frames and other trim works.
What Is A Miter Saw Used For
Before getting to know the further details and tips and tricks, let’s understand what a miter saw is.
There might be a lot of people who would want to use the miter saw but are not fully aware of its mechanism.
Before buying a miter saw you should always know how frequent you are going to use this tool because according to me it is useless if you invest money on a miter saw just to use it twice in a year.
A miter saw moves comparatively faster and also makes the work easy. It is a tool that enables you to perform various cuts at different angles.
It is a perfect tool for those peoples who mostly work for crown moldings, picture frames, window casings, door frames etc.
With a right sharpened blade you can easily create clean and accurate cuts at whatever angle you want.
Different Types Of Miter Saw Sizes
You will find various different sizes of miter saws in the market. They might be ranging from very small to large sizes.
However, selecting the right miter saw size can be confusing but with proper acknowledgment of your desired projects you can easily pick one of your choices.
Usually there are three miter saw sizes that are 7.25”, 10” and 12”. These sizes are basically the diameters of the blade.
This determines the size and strength of the blade you are about to use. A 7.25” miter saw blade is fit for small trim projects it can also easily cut moldings.
However, this miter saw blade cannot cut much bigger and wider cuts. It is also very sleek in design.
A 10” miter saw blade is compatible for a large piece of wood that is around 5×5”.
It can create comparatively wider straight cuts. This type of blade can also tackle a 45 degree angle cut safely as long as the wooden piece is a 2×4.
A 12” miter saw blade is the largest and the widest blade as compared to the other two blades.
This size of blade can easily handle a 8” or 8×2” wider wooden piece. Along 45 degree angle, it can cut a 6” wider or a 2×6 wooden piece.
Sliding Vs Non Sliding Miter Saw
There are two man different types of miter saws such as sliding miter saw and non-sliding miter saw.
Each one of them has their own specialty. They are often used for different purposes and are very versatile.
A sliding miter saw is efficient in cutting wide trim boards and can easily cut across the entire length of the wooden board across the marks.
It increases work efficiency drastically when handling huge pieces of wood.
A sliding miter saw also has a hands-down option which enables you to cut huge projects like house renovations etc.
However, a sliding miter saw can be quite expensive and heavy to deal with due to involvement of extra machinery along with it.
On the other hand, a non-sliding miter saw is perfect for creating beveled cuts. It is extremely ideal for cutting corners, crown moldings and picture frames etc.
For the external or internal usage for home you can easily achieve trim pieces through this tool. This machine is comparatively very pocket-friendly and light weight.
However, unlike a sliding miter saw it does not have sliding rails thus it cannot cut larger wooden pieces or completely across the entire length of the wood. It is also more time consuming.
What Is A Bevel Cut
A bevel cut might seem complicated and frustrating as it is quite similar with the miter cut. Let’s just don’t get it twisted.
The easy way to explain a bevel cut is that; it is an angled cut which is relative to the material’s face.
It usually involves cutting the end of a wooden work piece at a certain angle. Some examples of bevel cuts are baseboards, chair railings, crown moldings etc.
This type of angle cut is created in such a way that the two ends can be joined together in the corners of the walls where the baseboard can meet.
Made A Mistake Using A Miter Saw? So What, Learn
Something which is extremely crucial to understand is that it is completely okay to make a mistake.
Nobody is perfect from the beginning they make mistakes and learn from it. Practice is the essential part of gaining experience.
You merely learn a lot from your own mistakes which create a clear path for you so that you don’t commit those mistakes again.
This applies to personal as well as professional life. You gain knowledge about the endless possibilities that you might encounter during your professional life.
The key to being successful in life is to learn from the mistakes and errors you made rather than making it go waste.
You should not be afraid if the things go wrong or your work was not up to the mark.
These mistakes polish your skills and expose you to various experiences and possibilities.
Consider your mistakes as a process of learning new things so that you reach your goal in no time as a professional.
15 Miter Saw Tips And Tricks Every Woodworker Should Know
It can easily cross cut lumber, crown moldings, and can also accomplish several repetitive cuts.
Even though the mechanism and operation of a miter saw is quite simple but these miter saw tips and tricks will make your process and experience easier and faster.
A person who chiefly works with wood projects and make use of a miter saw very frequent should know these 15 salient tips and tricks.
By A Stop Block Make Repetitive Cuts
For this step you do not really have to measure out again and again in order to make repetitive cuts.
This step applies to any sort of work you are handling whether it is a construction, home renovation, furniture or any other basic wood project.
To carry out repetitive cuts just set the measurement on the miter saw and then clamp a stop block.
Stand right beside to the exact length you desire to cut and then you can create several repetitive cuts in no time.
Professional wood workers or carpenters might already know this trick.
- Use A Portable Miter Saw Stand
It can be nearly impossible or difficult to work with a miter saw that does not have any sort of support from the saw stand.
While using a miter saw at your own work shop you can place the saw on the workbench and take support from it.
However, at remote and distant job sites where you cannot take your workbench along with you, you desperately need a mobile and portable miter saw stand.
Install Laser Guide
Installing a laser guide to your miter saw would be the best decision someone could take. Some new models also already have built in laser guides.
A laser/LED light enables you to cut faster and more précised. The laser light illuminates the line you marked for cutting, this will give better idea about the cuts.
Whenever you are about to cut you do not have to further stress yourself about the alignment of the marked line and the blade.
Let The Blade Reach Maximum Speed
This tip is one of the most important tips you should learn about a miter saw.
A miter saw has a very high spinning blade so when you switch on your machine, wait until the high spinning blade is at its maximum speed before you start the process of cutting.
This will take only a few seconds. This tip is crucial from both the aspects of your safety and better cutting.
Letting the blade reach the maximum speed before bringing it down on the wooden piece will ensure that there are no interruptions or rough cuttings.
Cut Wider Boards With A Miter Saw
It is recommended to cut wider boards with a miter saw if your miter saw is a non-sliding one.
A non-sliding miter saw typically limits the types of cuts you can create. However, you can still cut wider boards by the help of a miter saw.
The entire process is quite simple and easy, all you have to do is place a board just beneath the wider board you intend to cut.
Now you can make a cut. Depending on the thickness of the board placed under, you will observe increased cutting capacity by an inch or ½ inch.
You can also cut wider boards by flipping over the boards after creating cut on one side.
Improve The Saw Blade
Improving or upgrading your saw blade from time to time will save you from a lot of stress and frustration. A blade quality determines the type, strength and quality of the cuts.
A good quality blade will result in better, fast, precise, thin and accurate cuts whereas, a worn out blade will result in rough and blunt cutting with a lot of chip outs.
No matter what sort of saw you have whether it is a table saw, miter saw or a circular saw, you should always keep a check on your blade.
Your saw might have the best strength and motor but if the blade is not in a good condition or of good quality, your efforts are still going to waste.
Mark Danger Zones
Even if you have followed all the safety measures and installed all the guards, you should pay proper respect to whatever kind of dangerous saw you are using.
The best way to do so is to keep your hands at least 6 inches away from the high speed blade while cutting.
To remind you about the danger zones where the blade might come, mark them with a bright red bold marker.
Draw distinct red lines on the saw bed and fence as well so that you don’t keep your hands on them while cutting.
Construct Miter Saw Jig To Hold Moldings
Miter saw is an expert of cutting crown moldings yet it can be a little complicated and tricky for all those people who just began working with wood.
However, by constructing a miter saw jig you will find it immensely easy to cut crown and cove moldings.
Auxiliary Fence To Cut Small Pieces
It is extremely dangerous and risky when you are cutting smaller pieces rather than large wood pieces because they are much difficult to organize and handle.
The small pieces can easily fly away at a high speed while cutting and can hit you or any other person near you.
Apart from maintaining a safe distance between your body parts and the saw blade it is also necessary to add an auxiliary fence to your saw.
An auxiliary fence is a type of fence that will prevent the cutoffs from falling directly into the blade and hitting you in reverse.
Clamps To Hold Small Pieces
Larger wooden pieces are comparatively easy to cut than the smaller pieces. These smaller pieces can create fuss.
In order to keep the small pieces of wood in place you can use a clamp. Use a clamp to hold the small pieces firmly to the auxiliary fence.
This will ensure safer and accurate cutting along with no flyways or hitting of the cutoffs.
Use A Sacrificial Board
Another alternate to the auxiliary fence is the sacrificial board. If you don’t own an auxiliary fence, you can use a sacrificial board as a backup to hold the small wooden pieces.
This will also prevent the small pieces to fall towards the blade thus preventing any sort of throwing of pieces into the air at fast speed.
Even if you are using either both the mediums or any one of them, make sure you never lift the blade while it’s still spinning.
Lifting the blade while it’s still spinning can catch small pieces.
Buy A Double Tilt Saw
It is often prescribed to use a double tilt double bevel saw rather than a single tilt saw because they make your trim work or even the cutting of bevels rapid and easy.
The double tilt allows you to create bevels at both the directions of your work piece rather than flipping over it.
But if you rarely work complicated and usually have simpler cutting projects, you can look for a single tilt saw with good quality blade.
See Through Blade Guard
A blade guard is very important when it comes to wood working, it is a safety feature which must needs to be installed in any kind of saw.
However, the purpose of the blade guard might become useless if the blade guard is not see-through.
Without having a transparent blade guard you would have to life the blade guard every time to adjust the blade with the work piece.
This will waste a lot of time and efforts.
Easy Blade Changing
The carpentry or wood work depends upon the blade.
The entire work revolves around it thus it is very necessary to own a saw with an easy blade changing system. The process should be rapid and instant.
The blades are changed and replaced quite often to increase the functionality thus it is necessary to have a miter saw with an onboard blade wrench to make the changing of blades easy.
Your safety can never be over exaggerated. Apart from all the mechanism of a saw it is important to keep your safety the first priority.
You should always follow all the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer along with wearing safety goggles and earmuffs.
Always maintain a safe distance between your body and the saw. Never wear accessories, long loose clothes or sleeves.
Unplug the saw before changing the blade and never cut free hand. Don’t leave the saw blade running while you are not present at the moment.
Hoping this article was beneficial enough to provide you with the complete information about the miter saw safety tips and tricks.
These essential tips and tricks should be kept in mind before you start your journey as a wood worker or even if you are a professional.
You can make more use of your simple miter saw by installing several features and making it innovative or by using it with different methods rather than spending more than what you have.
Q1. What is a tough table saw for pro level wood working projects?
Ans. The DeWalt DW744X is a powerful and strongly built and tough table saw for pro level wood working projects.
Q2. Can you use a miter saw as a table saw?
Ans. You can use a 12 inch table saw blade on a 10 inch miter saw blade because the blades are interchangeable and come in different sizes for different purposes.
Q3. What is the easiest saw to use for beginners?
Ans. The argument is inevitable, a huge proportion of population recommend miter saw while the others recommend a table saw because it provides control to the new beginners.
Q4. What is the best miter saw for the money?
Q5. What can I do with a miter saw?
Ans. By the help of a miter saw you can windup a lot of work such as:
- Miter cuts
- Angle cuts
- Regular board cuts
- Trim work
- Compound angle cuts
- DIYs such as flooring and remodeling.