Today, DIY projects are being embraced as the go-to solution for small in home interior décor needs. Many people are preferring to fix their picture frames, for example, as opposed to going out to buy one.
What is a Mitre Saw?
A mitre saw (HandyToolsHome guide here) is one of the staple woodworking power tools that any DIYer or fully functional workshop should have.
It is used for making precise and accurate cuts across wood at selected angles, and handy for cutting down wood for baseboards, art projects, shelves, doors to name a few.
How to use a Mitre Saw?
The mitre saw is not a particularly hard tool to use. However, before we get into the basics of using one, it is important to know the main parts of this stationary bench-mounted woodworking equipment.
- Handle/ Power Switch
The power switch is part of the handle assembly. Most saws have a trigger-like power switch that is mounted on to the handle, for ease of use while you lower the handle down. It is worth mentioning that the power switch and the main power switch are two different components.
- Blade and Guard
The mitre saw is fitted with a circular blade that essentially rotates when you power the machine. Around the blade is the blade guard that covers the entire to half of the blade. The guard protects the blade when the machine is in use.
- Mitre Scale
The mitre saw’s scale is used to determine the angle you are cutting at when making any degree cuts.
The table of a mitre saw serves as a base for the saw and the actual work area. It is the large flat portion on which the saw is connected.
A mitre saw is mounted with a flat, sturdy surface that you can place your workpiece up against to keep it stable while working.
Now that you are familiar with the parts of the mitre saw, using it is as easy as powering the machine, lowering the blade by pulling down the handle on to the piece of wood you are working on and pressing on the power trigger to rotate the blade to cut the wood piece.
What Is A Mitre Saw Used For?
The mitre saw is a very diverse power tool that can complete an array of tasks with ease. When looking to make regular crosscuts, like cutting a board in half, the mitre saw will always be the best choice for the job.
It is easy to line up the cut line by setting your board against the fence and moving the handle down to see where the blade will cut the board.
Top of the range mitre saws come equipped with laser guides that will show you clearly where the cut is going to be.
The machine is extremely stable, powerful. Therefore, it is very unlikely that you will come across a board up to 12” wide that it could not cut through.
Not to mention it is stationary and relatively heavy, so once it’s set on a workbench you don’t have to worry about it moving around as you cut.
The mitre saw is also very ideal for making angled cuts, which would typically be called mitre cuts. The angle is made by turning the saw from side to side, as illustrated below:
Most mitre saws can cut around 50° on either side, but depending on the specification level of your power tool, you may have a wider range. The limiting factor is usually the blade size and length of the cut.
When working on a wood project with angles, for example working with floorboards, you are likely to come across a situation that requires you to mitre some corner boards together or trim angles into the board. In such an event, a mitre saw is the most logical equipment for the job.
Finally, when making more complex and complicated bevel and compound angle cuts, it pays to have a mitre saw. With the bevel, you can change the angle of the blade cutting into the board. No other woodworking machine can achieve this with the ease of a mitre saw.
That said, mitre saw is not without its limitations. The machine is bulky and cannot be easily moved from station to station, limiting its flexibility of use as compared to say a circular saw.
Another major limitation of the mitre saw is its inability to cut along a piece of board.
Nonetheless, if you are planning on doing works on wood that involves making regular, angled or compound cuts, the mitre saw multiple functionalities makes it the ideal tool for the job.