Miter Saw Tricks Every DIYer Should Know

posted 4/2/2019 in Kreg Tool Tips: Cutting & Measuring by Kreg Tool

Miter Saw Tricks Every DIYer Should Know

Miter Saw Tricks Every DIYer Should Know

Do you know that your miter saw can do more than just make simple crosscuts? Use these tips to accomplish more in your workshop.

FREE PROJECT PLAN: Miter Saw Dust Hood

How To Crosscut Boards

How To Crosscut Boards

A miter saw is one of the handiest tools you can own for building projects. Here are some tips for using one accurately. To cut, first make sure that your board is pressed tightly against the saw fence. If the piece is long, support it so that you're not having to hold it down. 

Be sure to hold the piece in place as you cut, and keep your hand well away from the blade. To cut, squeeze the trigger, let the blade get up to speed, and then pull the blade down into your wood. Make sure to give the blade time to cut, rather than forcing it.

WATCH VIDEO: How To Crosscut Boards on a Miter Saw

How To Crosscut Wide Boards

Crosscut Wide Boards

Many miter saws have a sliding feature for cutting wide boards. To use it, pull the handle all the way toward you. Then, cut as you are pushing down and back toward the fence. This pushes your workpiece against the fence and allows the blade to cut properly. Finally, be sure to raise the blade and let the saw stop before you retrieve your piece.

WATCH VIDEO: How to Crosscut Wide Boards on a Miter Saw

Make Repeatable Cuts

Make Repeatable Cuts

When you need to cut multiple pieces to the same length, you can measure each one and cut it, but that introduces opportunities for errors.

A better way is to use a stop. With the stop, you can just measure once, set the stop, and cut as many pieces as you need. You can make your own stop by clamping a piece of wood to a saw fence.

If you’re doing a lot of cutting, you’ll want to invest in a stop system, like the Trak & Stop System from Kreg. With a stop system, you get a built-in measuring scale, and a stop that you can just swing into place when you need it, then swing out of the way when you don’t.

WATCH VIDEO: How To Make Repeatable Cuts Using Stops

Cut Angles

Cut Angles

A miter saw is great for cutting pieces to length, but it’s also great for cutting angles. You can cut two kinds on a miter saw. A miter is an angled cut across the face of a piece, and a bevel, is an angle through the thickness. To cut a miter, simply turn the blade. Miter saws have built-in stops at common angles, such as 45°. 

For a bevel, there are a couple of options. You can tilt the saw head, and then make your cut. For narrow pieces—up to 3" or 4" wide, it’s easier to just stand the piece on edge, and then cut the same way that you would to make a miter.

WATCH VIDEO: How To Cut Angles on a Miter Saw

Console Table

Create Tapers

When you're building a table, adding a short taper at the ends of the legs can really enhance the appearance. Here's a way to create them on a miter saw.

The trick is a simple jig that holds the leg while you cut. You can make one using this free template by gluing a couple of boards to a piece of plywood. One of the boards supports the leg as you cut the tapers. The other board allows the jig to be clamped to your saw.

WATCH VIDEO: How To Create Tapers on a Miter Saw