How to Cut Trim a 45 Degree Angle on a Miter Saw – Basic Guide

cut angle on miter saw

A miter saw can cut up to 45-degrees without any extensions such as a jig. The versatile angle cut capacity makes it a compact tool.

You would be glad to know that a miter saw can cut angles from 45-135 degrees and has a wider cut capacity makes it multifaceted and easy to use.

In this article, we will discuss the basic guide on using a miter saw to make a basic 45-degree angle cut. 

How to use Miter Saw at 45-degrees in 8 steps

Step 1: Get the workstation ready

Make sure that it is well lit and is cleaned up so you can work easily. 

Measure your work area so that you have enough workspace to work with large pieces of lumber.

This will ensure the accuracy and precision of your cuts. Collect the materials that you’ll need to start the process.

Step 2: Gather the wood

You will need a good amount of spare wood. Keep a separate stock for practice purposes. 

This wood will give you space for more trials so that you can gradually work up to get an accurate 45-degree angle cut soon. 

Step 3: Prep your saw

This step is specifically if you haven’t cleaned your saw up yet. If it is neat and clean you can skip this step.

  • Clean it

Look at the sawdust that has blocked your miter saw’s vent tube, Make sure you clean it up. A blower can be efficient to clean the sawdust out of your clogged tools. You can also use a cloth in replacement of the blower to clean and wipe off all the additional dirt.

  • Sharpen the blade 

Now that your saw is clean, the second step is to sharpen the blade. Ensure that the blade is unwrapped and sharp enough to make cuts smoothly.

  • Check your workbench or work table

Once the blade is sharpened you have to check your workbench. Ensure that your workbench is even so that your cuts don’t get tilted while cutting. Keep the saw balanced along with your base, if the saw is wobbling while it’s operating it can cause damage.

  • Inspect the Fence

Do inspect the saw fence. The fence comes in handy while working with the saw. It keeps your base’s position secured.

Miter Saw fences come in different shapes, if it’s a square keep the position fixed. If it’s not square you’ll have to unscrew it and adjust its shape and secure it.

  • Fix the angle

Adjust the blade at a 9-degrees angle. Fix up the square at the workbench, making it lean the side on the fence. Keep the saw’s position low then slide the fence by the edge of the blade.

  • Adjust your saw

Now that you have your fence ready. You have to adjust the saw, the size of the fence usually varies from one saw to another. You can unlock and adjust the saw through a lever and a knob. 

This will allow you to move your saw. Now, you can adjust it to make the angle you are looking for. Adjust it by 45 degrees angle for the cut.

Step 4: Adjust the base

Position the base against the fence. Mark the point where you will be cutting. Make sure to check it through that you’ve marked it correctly. 

Moreover, align the saw blade with the marked point you’ve just made, adjust the saw blade if it seems to slip from the side.

Step 5: Take safety gear

Miter saw can be dangerous to use, if not used with caution. 

You should take the following safety measures before operating it:

  • Make sure you have your safety glasses on before starting your work.
  • Make sure that you are standing at a distance from the saw blade. Keep your hands away from the saw.
  • Keep your safety gear on. Wear your hand gloves and safety mask. Do it before operating the saw.
  • Do not cross your arms when you’re near the saw blade.
  • Do ensure that you’re not wearing any scarf or any such clothing that will get stuck within the saw blade. 
  • Avoid wearing loose dangling jewelry that can get stuck in the saw.

Step 6: Operate the saw

Adjust the speed of the saw and keep it to its full speed, for a smooth and easy cut. Remember to be careful whilst you’re handling the saw. 

Step 7: Cut, cut, cut!

Use both hands and align the wood base with your saw. 

Be cautious while cutting. Do not press the saw when done with your cut. Wait for the saw blade to stop gradually.

Once it stops completely only then you can remove the blade away from the base.

Repeat the same process with a scrap piece. If the joint forms and the two edges meet accurately. You have made a 45-degree angle cut. But if the joint doesn’t form repeat until you get your perfect cut.

You can also adjust your saw blade at different angles and try if any of those work for you.

Pro Tips On How to Trim a 45-Degree Angle on a Miter Saw 

If you are operating a miter for the first time these quick go-to tips will help you in building an understanding of how you can get started:

  • If you are a  beginner do seek help through a manual or from an experienced worker.
  • Keep the speed of the saw at full while cutting.
  • Practice until you get to your accurate angle.
  • Keep your workstation well lit.
  • Sharpen up the blade before starting the work.
  • Use a thin layer of glue on the wood and scrap it with 120- grit sandpaper the dust made with sanding would fill out the gaps.
  • Mark your point of cutting. This would make your cut precise and accurate.
  • Do not nail at the edge of the base, this would ruin the molding.
  • Avoid pressing the blade if there is a gap between the wall and molding.  It will unlock the miter joint. Instead, add a thin shim to nail the trim by the edge. Caulk can also be used to seal the remaining gaps

Some Important Things You Should Keep in Mind

These are some cautions that should go through to keep yourself safe from any real damage:

  • Remove your saw plug when not in use. Keep your blade guard down, this will prevent you from getting any scratches or cuts.
  • Keep your safety gear on, before starting the work. Good rubber hand gloves and an anti-dust breathable mask is essential.
  • Keep your hands away when the blade is hot. Make sure to wait and let it cool only then you can pull the blade guard down. This will prevent you from getting any burns.
  • Use a wire extension if needed. Do not stretch the wire cord, if done so it can make the saw collapse. This can damage your tool and your workstation.
how to cut trim at a 45 degree angle on a miter saw

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the common angles that you can cut through a miter saw?

The most common angles on a miter saw are 22.5, 30, and 45 degrees. 

2. What is a miter angle?

The joining that forms when cutting two pieces of wood connected across the main surface. Usually, they form a 90-degree angle when these two pieces are joined by a 45-degree angle.

3. Which is the best miter saw for use at home?

The Hitachi single bevel compound saw and the Dewalt double bevel compound miter saw, are good for DIY home projects. Very handy and heavy-duty miter saws.

4. Why does a miter saw create smoke? 

When you use the saw for repetitive cuts when used without breaking the blade heats up. The heated blade tends to melt the wood sap. The sap gets stuck to the blade which, when used repetitively, creates burns and that burnt wood sap creates smoke.

5. Where can I use a miter saw?

Miter saw is used for cutting wood bases, you can make some really good pieces of furniture in your garage. It is preferred for projects that require a lot of trimming. However, if you are working with plywood a circular saw would be a better option.

6. What angle is 45 degrees?

The 45-degree angle is half of the 90-degree angle. If you check it through a protector you can easily find it if you mark the half of a 90-degree angle. It is referred to as an acute angle if two 45-degrees angles are measured from a right angle/ a 90-degree angle.

 7. What is the 45-degree planning rule?

The 45-degree rule can be used on both elevation and plain. It is a basic guide used by local home planning companies. It assesses the impact of the housing development proposal on the sunlight access on neighboring houses.

8. What is the right way to make a 45-degree angle?

You can easily make a 45-degree angle if you follow these 6 easy steps:

  1. Make a perpendicular line.
  2. Secure a compass at the intersection.
  3. Adjust the angle of the compass aligning it to the width so it can reach the starting point.
  4. Make an arch intersecting the perpendicular line.
  5. Put the ruler scale on the point where it intersects the perpendicular line.
  6. Mark the 45-degree angle and draw it.

9. What tool do you use to cut baseboards?

The most common tool used for baseboards cutting is the power miter saw. It can make clear 90-degree crosscuts with precision, with any dust blowout.

10. What kind of saw do I need to cut the trim?

A miter saw works well with cutting a trim molding. A chop saw can also be used for this purpose. These saws have a sharp, circular, toothed blade that is set up in a vertical position. You can get cuts at different angles ranging from 9-135 degrees angle.

Wrapping it up 

Miter saws are quite efficient tools. The wide-cut capacity makes it a versatile tool this makes it compatible and perfect for your home-based DIY projects.

We hope that after going through this quick step-by-step guide of how to cut a basic 45-degree angle cut it is easier for you to complete your project. 

In case there is anything further you would like to know, do let us know in the comments below.

5/5 - (2 votes)
Spread the love