How to Cut 45 Degree Angle Cuts on Wood Trim

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Installing trim where corners meet requires you to know how to make a 45 degree cut.
Installing trim where corners meet requires you to know how to make a 45 degree cut. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Installing wood trim is one of the final jobs in finishing the interior of the home. Its job is to provide a smooth transition between walls, windows, and flooring. When cutting trim for 90 degree corners, you are required to cut each board with a 45 degree cut. This joins the two boards with one uniform joint. Cutting these boards is simple if you understand basic geometry. The proper tool for this job is an electric miter saw.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter's square
  • Miter saw

Measure the wall from corner to corner where the trim is installed with a measuring tape

Transfer this measurement to the trim and mark the cut line with a carpenter's square and pencil.

Adjust your miter saw to make a 45 degree cut. This is typically done with an adjustment mechanism on the back. Open the mechanism and angle the miter saw until its gauge is aligned with the 45 degree marking and lock in place.

Align the trim's pencil line with the miter saw's cut line and hold the trim in place with one hand. Make sure the hand holding the trim is sufficiently away from the blade during operation.

Activate the miter saw with the other hand and guide the blade slowly into and through the wood.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear eye protection when using a miter saw.

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