ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

10 Tips for your Compound Miter Saw

Updated on April 14, 2012

A compound miter saw is the most versatile tool for making angled, beveled and crosscuts. Some compound miter saws bevel in both directions and use a sliding miter track to allow easy crosscuts similar to a radial arm saw. No matter what type of miter saw you own, use these miter saw tips and tricks and you can be sure you’re going to get the most out of your miter saw.

  1. Miter Gauges - The miter gauge on your miter saw should have the most common stop points marked. 15, 22 ½”, 30 and 45 degree angles should be laid out. Some miter gauges will set to a 52 degree cut. This is used to make cuts for crown and other angled molding pieces.
  2. Miter Saw Stands - When you’re on the move with your miter saw, you’ll need a quality stand to make accurate and safe cuts. Be sure to buy a stand that has adjustable stops and extendable arms to get the most out of your portable miter saw stand.
  3. Miter Saw Setup - Before you first use your new miter saw, it’s a good idea to adjust the angles, bevels and gauges to ensure that the blade is set to the proper angles. Use a speed square to check the blade against the table for square 90 degree cuts. Make a few test cuts to determine angles and beveled are accurately set on your saw as well.
  4. Safely Cutting Materials - Always be sure to wear the proper eye and ear protection when using a miter saw. Set the miter gauge and the bevel to the proper settings, and then clamp the work piece against the fence using a clamp. Start the miter saw and allow the blade to come up to speed before plunging the blade into the stock.
  5. Tall Stock - When large pieces of molding and baseboards are placed into a miter saw, they often must be laid flat to cut all of the way through the material. This can make beveled cuts very difficult. Use a 2x4 extension against the fence to push the stock further out. This will allow the larger part of the blade to come into contact with the stock, making a deeper cut through the materials.
  6. Using a Stop - A miter saw is great for cutting multiple pieces of the same length stock quickly and accurately. By using a stop to cut pieces quickly and efficiently, you increase you production speeds without sacrificing on quality. To really increase you cutting speeds, stack multiple pieces together to allow the miter saw to cut multiple pieces at one time.
  7. Long Stock - When materials are too long to fit on a conventional miter table, you’ll need to add extensions to your miter table to prevent the materials from bending and flexing during the cut.
  8. Preventing Tear Out - Tear out is when the saw blade rips the grains of wood out during the cut. This can be prevented easily on sensitive materials by installing a blade with 60 teeth or more.
  9. Bevels and Miters - When marking the cut for bevels or miters, be sure to pencil in the direction of the cut. It doesn’t need to be accurate, but showing the angle can prevent costly mistakes.
  10. Cutting to the Line - Be sure to make your pencil mark on the outside of the cut. Align the blade so that it cuts just to one side of the pencil line to ensure super accurate cuts every time.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • eugbug profile image

      Eugene Brennan 

      6 years ago from Ireland

      A miter saw is also useful for cutting lap joints if the depth of cut can be easily adjusted. Usually it is necessary to use a wood spacer against the rear fence so that the blade can extend beyond the back of the timber being cut.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)