How to Use a Compound Miter Saw

Have you recently bought a compound miter saw for your workshop but not sure how to use it? Here’s everything you need to know.

A compound miter saw is one of the most versatile tools which can be used to make clean crosscuts on wood stock and can also be used to make bevel cuts by just making a few adjustments in the saw.

If you have never used a compound miter saw before, then you might need to read the instructions first and learn more about your saw before you actually start using it.

Don’t worry, with the help of this article, you will be able to use your miter saw quickly and efficiently. You will learn how you can make an angled and a bevel cut at the same time with a great precision.

Things you will need:

  • A Compound Miter Saw
  • A Miter Saw Table
  • Stock
  • Safety equipment like eye goggles, earplugs, face mask, etc.

Instructions to Follow:

Step 1: Understand a Miter Saw

You first need to learn what a miter saw is and how many designs are available on the market. You also need to understand what all features do a compound miter saw come with and how it can help you out in your projects. Once all this is done, you can move forward a step in using your own miter saw.

Check out our Miter Saw Buying Guide for more details.

Step 2: Set up a Miter Saw table

Once you have properly researched about a miter saw and understand its functions and features, then you need to first set up a saw table where you can place your miter saw to work.

If you need to work on a long lumber stock then you might need to use the floor to place your miter saw or an improvised workbench to make your job easier.

Step 3: Read the manufacturer’s manual

Once the table is all set up and your stock and compound miter saw are placed on the workbench, you need to read your operator’s manual before you start with anything.

Make sure you read all about the safety rules and the correct type of extension cord to be used for your miter saw before you proceed with anything. Understand the tool’s requirements before you start using it else you would end up overloading your tool’s electrical circuit.

Step 4: Learn about your saw parts

Get yourself acclimated to the different saw parts like an angle scale, an angle indicator, saw blade guard, power switch, locking clamps, and so on. Also, make sure that the miter saw is always in the DOWN position when not in use.

Step 5: Unlock your Saw

Now, you need to place the stock on the saw bench so you need to release the saw. Make sure that you raise and lower your saw a few times to see how the blade will make its way through your material. Once you do this, you will find it easier to use the miter saw without causing any accidents when you are cutting something.

Also Read: How to use a Circular Saw like a Pro

Step 6: Place a scrap material and plug your saw in

Make sure that you first place a small piece of scrap material on the bench before you use the saw. Then plug your saw in and check if it works properly or not.

Ensure that the stock is long enough to fit snugly against the backrest of your saw bench and will hold its position while cutting. If you are cutting short pieces of stock or have reached the end of the stock then there is a chance that you might need to keep them in place for the saw blade to do its work.

Step 7: Make Compound cuts

Make different angled cuts on the stock pieces and then join them together to see how it fits. If you want to join two pieces at an angle, then you would need to cut each piece into half the angle of the required joint. So if you want a 90-degree joint then you need two pieces that are cut at 45-degree angle.

Step 8: Practice with Scrap Material

Use scrap materials to practice your cuts before you start using it on an actual material. This will give you time to refine your saw operating tactics and will give you a chance to rectify it so that you can make precise and accurate cuts on the actual material.

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