Miter saws are used to make accurate angled cuts in wood, such as framing or molding, for a precise fit. A hand miter saw is used on smaller pieces of wood that would be dangerous to cut with a power miter saw. A hand miter saw consists of the saw and the base. Most hand saws can be used to make miter cuts, but a miter saw is short with small teeth to minimize splintering. There are two types of bases: platform, in which the saw swivels and the molding sits on an L-shaped rig; and box, in which the saw fits into pre-cut slots and the molding sits in a U-shaped box.
Things You'll Need
- Miter saw
- Miter saw platform or box
- Clamps (optional)
Measure the molding and mark it with the pencil.
Place the molding on the platform or in the box. If there is any bevelling, place it upward, so the flat side of the molding is against the work surface.
Secure the saw to the rig or slide it into the slots of the box.
Align the pencil mark with the saw blade.
Secure the molding to the setup. Some systems have attached clamps. If not, use other clamps to keep the board from sliding.
Hold the molding to the fence (backstop) with one hand and use your other hand to push the saw completely forward.
Begin to saw as you pull the saw toward you.
Continue with measured strokes until the saw cuts through the bottom of the molding.
Tips & Warnings
- Secure the platform or box to the work bench for easy use. Most systems are equipped to do so.
- Even strokes keep the blade from getting stuck and minimize splintering around the cut.
- Be conscious of whether you are measuring the short or long side of the wood. When in doubt, measure again before you cut.
- Wear gloves and safety glasses to prevent cuts and other unforeseen incidents.
- Saws are sharp. Be alert.