The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: angle

Pull and chop saw

Saws are available in many different shapes and sizes and belong in the workshop to the machines, which are represented also in different variants. This is partly because they have their authorization mobile and stationary, but there are also different demands on the quality of the cut and the shape of the cut. In our post The right saw for every application We already present different saws and give an insight into their field of application.

A little closer, we take a closer look at the miter saw, which is available with and without a pull function. We want to clarify the questions for what they are used for, what needs to be considered and what their advantages and disadvantages are.

Important, as with all tools, is the aspect of work safety, who plays a very special role in circular saws.

Safety when working with miter saws

Saws work for a good work progress generally with sharp saw blades with more or less large teeth and are therefore subject to a special duty of care. In addition, the chop saw has a rotating tool in all variants, which garments and parts can grab, wind up or throw away. Even without direct contact with the saw, flying parts or shavings can cause serious injury. The wearing of safety goggles is unavoidable.

With Speeds of more 2000 min-1 Circular saws cause a not to be despised Noise above 85 dB lies. Therefore, always one should ear protection be worn.

Generally applies when working on machine tools with rotating tools a ban on work gloves, Although these are usually very robust and prevent cuts, but they are so stable that they do not yield when they are detected by the tool. What would have led to a cut or flesh wound without a glove can also cause severe broken bones and subsequent injuries by a break in the body into the machine.

When working with circular saws, always work with ear protection and goggles, but do not wear work gloves.

Differences between chop saw, miter saw, gooseneck miter saw and combi saw

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: angle

Crosscut and miter saw

A chop saw gets its name from the term "caps", which is certainly known to everyone as shorten, cut to length or cut off. This means that a chop saw only serves to cut wood strips to tree trunks with a simple tilting movement. Cross-cut saws are rather rare to find in the local workshop, as they offer too little field of application despite their stationary design.

With an additional angle adjustment (usually in two axes) is a Crosscut and miter saw or miter saw more versatile. In almost all models, the cutting angle can be varied by turning the table as well as by tilting the saw blade. Thus, miter cuts are at different angles and manufacturing different angle connections for the construction of picture frames and other applications possible.

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: angle

Crosscut and miter saw with pull function

Every chop saw, no matter how versatile and useful, has one drawback - the cutting length is limited by the size of the saw blade. Something remedy Pull-miter and miter saws (Chop saw with pull function). They are similar to a simple miter saw, but their cutting unit is mounted on guides that allow it to be pulled and cover a larger work area. Although the traction function does not allow deeper, but longer cuts, so instead of only strips and miter boards can be cut.

To suggest something utopian are so-calledCombination saws, There will hardly be a special name for this, as they would have to call themselves a table-top miter saw (with a pull function), which makes little sense.

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: cuts

Combined Saw (Table Circle and Miter Saw)

Its basic structure corresponds to a miter saw and it allows the same functions. In addition, however, the saw blade above is used by there is a saw table attached. This can be sawed on a table saw. The combined structure of the cutting depths are of course limited and everyone has to decide for themselves whether such a combi unit covers the need and makes sense. A "real" table saw with a large table is difficult to replace. In mobile use, however, a combination saw certainly has its advantages.

Cutting depth (cutting performance) of crosscut and miter saws

As described above, is the Cutting depth of each circular saw limited by the size of the saw bladet. No matter how you turn it or position the workpiece, there is nothing to change at this depth of cut, as the trim parts or the motor prevent deeper saw blade penetration.

When buying a miter saw, always pay attention to the information on the depth of cut. A bit confusing, however, can be the many different details that relate to the normal depth of cut and the cutting performance at an angle adjustment. Differences are:

  • Cutting power at 0° - If the chop saw is used without angle adjustment, the maximum cutting depth and the maximum cutting length result.
  • Cutting performance with miter 45° - With the inclined position of the saw unit, the saw blade dips into the material at a maximum of 45° (sometimes even more). The cutting depth as such does not change in principle, but because the cut is made obliquely, the maximum material height to be machined is minimized. The cutting length forward remains unaffected.
  • Cutting performance at inclination 45° - If the angle table is twisted, the saw blade continues to dip straight into the material from top to bottom. The cutting depth (maximum material height) does not change as a result. The angle cut, however, shortens the maximum width of the workpiece to be machined.
  • Cutting performance with miter and inclination 45° - Here both forms of skewing meet, reducing the maximum material height and material width.

First and foremost, of course, attention should be paid to the maximum depth of cut for a straight cut, since the cutting performance changes proportionally in inclinations. In most cases, thick timbers are often cut as narrow strips on a miter.

Set up and adjust the miter saw

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: fast

If necessary, adjust the scale display

Like all tools, miter and miter saws are subject to quality control, which should also include an adjustment of the angular positions. However, it can happen naturally by the transport, temperature fluctuations and the fixed construction on a saw table that the setting of 90° does not correspond to a section at right angles.

Setting the miter cut on the miter saw

Setting the miter cut on the miter saw

The zeroing - or 90° to the saw table - By means of a stop on which usually a screw is attached. Depending on the equipment, a second screw for the 45° position to be available.

  1. To the Adjusting the miter cut release the clamp, place the saw in a vertical position until it stops and tighten the clamp again.
  2. By means of an angle can already check the vertical position.
  3. Lead one test cut on a thick (high) piece of wood. Pay attention to a flat support and exact clamping. The trial cut should be made at least 5mm from the edge of the piece of wood to avoid bleeding.
  4. Remove the sawed off piece and Check the cut surface with an angle, If it is an unprocessed piece of wood, check the angle of the cut surface

    The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: accurate

    Check 45° position

    To table. If the specimen is straight and evenly strong, it can be stretched and tested for envelope with the angle. However, remember the top and bottom or even better mark.

  5. Is the cutting angle not exactly, the stop screw must be readjusted become. Loosen the counter nut and turn the screw in or out half a turn. It is helpful if you lay the piece of wood on the saw and mark the cutting process with a reinforced bevel on it. So it is easier to adjust the stop in the right direction.
  6. Lead again a sample cut outTo check the new setting, correct as often as necessary until the cutting angle is exactly right-angled. For every adjustment, do not forget to release the clamp and reposition the saw head on the stop screw.

After successful adjustment, the saw always delivers an exact 90° cut. Whether a scale-adjusted bevel cut of 45° is also correct, but this is not guaranteed, since there may also be a manufacturer error. Is the scale and the marking to the angular position firmly connected to the machine or even embossed. Can not change this error. If the miter gauge has a metal strip or similar as a pointer, it can be adjusted or even bent. To do this, maintain the vertical position of the saw and set the scale to 0° or 90°, depending on the display.

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: angle

1. Lock into zero position

Correctly adjust the angle of the miter saw

Although the angle adjustment of a chop saw has lateral limits, but no stop for a zero position, which can be adjusted. For positioning serve latching points, which are available depending on the design at several angular positions and engage more or less exactly.

  1. The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: cuts

    2. Carry out test cut on laminate

    To check the Angular position snap the turntable of the saw at 0° on. Take your time and check the game several times during the spanning. Slightly tense, slightly wiggle to center the table in the rest position, tighten further, center again... If the table can no longer be moved, it can be finally and safely fixed in its position. Until the calibration is completed, the angle adjustment remains in this position!

  2. Now make a cut on a sample cut. Laminate is very suitable for this because the panels are very straight and exactly angled. So they are perfect for the lead.
  3. The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: fast

    3. Check angle cut

    After a first cut lets you Check the cut with an angle, To do this, stretch the specimen and check the cut surface from both sides to exclude an angle error (check for an envelope). Remember or mark in which position the specimen was clamped.

  4. The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: fast

    4. Loosen and correct the stop

    Loosen stop and correct Corresponds to the cut not at an angle of 90° to the side surface, the must Saw readjusted become. In many cases, the rear piece stop can be loosened and adjusted. To do this loosen the screws of one side only minimally and the others so that the material guide does not rattle, but is difficult to turn. This facilitates minimal corrections. Depending on the error of the sawed angle, the stop must now be corrected. Mostly this is only the game of screw holes available. If this is not enough on one side, tighten the screws again and loosen the other side. Here, the stop must be adjusted accordingly opposite. If that is not enough, the purchased saw should be exchanged.

Quality is important and the right equipment is practical

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: accurate

Ungenuity saw table

As described above, working with a circular saw is subject to a special security risk, so always with extreme care should be worked. At the same time, however, attention should be paid to the quality of the chosen model.

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: fast

Inaccurate cutting result

The miter saw still has the lowest safety risk among the circular saws, as it gives the Workpiece two contact surfaces offers. The cutting force acts in two directions - vertically downwards into which the saw blade is moved and horizontally to the rear, the direction of rotation of the saw blade. The workpiece is secured in both directions by the table and the material stop. If the workpiece is large enough and straight, can theoretically even be dispensed with a fixed clamping. However, many chop and miter saws offer a quick release device, which is immediately ready for use without any major adjustments and should therefore be used.

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: angle


To ensure that workpieces are held securely, it is important that the quality of the saw is correct. For this purpose, in addition to a stable design, required safety devices, such as a Saw blade cover and Senksperre, also a straight saw table important. Leaning, uneven or spherical tables do not only lead to one bad cutting resultThey also drastically increase the risk of accidents.

In the example shown, an angle makes it clear how spherical the saw table is. Left and right, the pads are about 2 mm deeper than the center of the turntable. If material is now stretched on the saw table with the tensioning device, it presses down on one side and lifts up on the other side. At the intersection, the workpiece does not rest on the table. Under the cutting action, it can give way, tilt and lead to accidents. This example shows how important it is to rely on quality products when buying saws.

The miter saw for fast and accurate cuts: angle

Chop saw with laser technology

Not always dependent on the price are features. However, the possibilities for this are limited in a miter saw and differ mainly in their execution. Laser technology is already very cheap today and therefore also available on inexpensive machines. The Quality difference shows however in one Adjustability and visibility of the laser line, Good laser cut displays provide a very narrow, even and clearly visible line on the material. Cheaper devices, on the other hand, are characterized by thick and fuzzy lines, which quickly become wider and weaker with the distance to the laser.

Important in the quality and equipment control is the Detent function of the turntable, How many rest points does the table have and how well do they center themselves? Good chop saws have tapered centering into which a counterpart engages and centers itself during clamping. A cheaper option would be simple holes in which a pin engage. So that this pin also lands in the hole, this has a game, which leads to an inaccurate setting.

Saws usually have a powerful engine, which requires a tremendous power during startup to get going. Therefore, as a buyer of a larger model, you should definitely refer to the award Smooth start respect, think highly of. This starts the Motor sensitive and accelerates slower, which reduces the starting current, For such a function, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket.

Author: Riccardo Düring

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Video Board: Adjusting A Miter Saw For Accurate Cuts