How to Open a Miter Saw (and Safely Close it)

how to open a miter saw

The miter saw is a powerful cutting tool that you can use for your projects. They give a professional feel to your work.

To prevent damage, most miter saws come with locks. You have to open them before you use the miter saw. 

To help you easily unlock a miter saw and close it, we have prepared this guide.

Quick Summary

By the end of this article, we will go through: 

  • How you can unlock your miter saw
  • How you can adjust your Miter Saw 

Let’s take a look at it.

How Can I Open a Miter Saw?

As we talked about earlier, miter saws are a power tool with good utility. You can make different types of cuts at various angles with a miter saw. You can bevel the blade or fix it at 90 degrees for desired cuts with a compound miter saw. 

To protect your saw from damage, manufacturers such as Dewalt include locks in their saws. The position of these depends on the model of the saw, however, the process is generally the same. 

To unlock the saw, you have to follow these steps:

Step # 1 – Unlocking the head   

To unlock the head of your miter saw, you first have to unplug your saw. Then, you need to put some pressure on the saw and look for a part that holds the pieces together. In most miter saws, it is usually a knob or pin that keeps the mechanical ankle locked. 

It is usually positioned behind the blade near the center point of the base. To unlock it, but some pressure on the knob and move it. The head will automatically unlock. If there is a pin, you have to pull it. 

Your saw will be ready for woodworking.

Step # 2 – Unlocking the Base   

The base of the miter saw can be easily unlocked. Miter saws have a visible knob that is used to keep the table of the saw in a fixed position. You can move the table around to perform angled cuts.

To set the angles of the miter saw, press the knob or button gently with your finger. Then, you can set the saw arm to the desired angle. The base of most models come marked with the most commonly used angles. These are between the angle of 90 and 45 degrees

Step # 3 – Unlocking the bevel  

Many miter saws don’t have bevel adjustment capability. However, if your miter saw has a bevelling function, it will generally have a spring-loaded lever or a pin to keep the bevel locked. To unlock the bevel:

  • You can press the lever and hold it down to adjust the bevel angle. 
  • You can operate the locking pin to calibrate your angle.

Step # 4 – Unlock the angle locks

Your miter saw should have two-angle locks located on the front of the saw. The blade’s swivel function is fixed in place by a horizontal knurled lock, while other settings are in place by a lever. 

This lever is generally located below or near the knurled lock, depending on the model. You have to twist the knob anticlockwise for unlocking it. Then, press the spring-loaded lever to release the present angle. 

Both the knob and lever are used simultaneously. Sliding them with the table will allow you to set the angle. 

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How to Adjust a Miter Saw?

adjust miter saw

Miter saws are power tools that require regular maintenance. This includes adjustment of loose parts and lubrication by the user. The blades can also come out of adjustment due to regular use. 

The quality of the blade is related to the cuts you make. An unadjusted blade heavily affects the accuracy and finish of your cut. 

Maintenance of a miter saw is a delicate task that needs careful consideration of many factors. To help you, we recommend the following method. We have also included some helpful tips that will be beneficial for you:

#1 – Check the blade

The first thing you need to do is to check your blade. It is the most used part of the saw. We recommend that you first clean it. You can use a cloth for this. You can also remove debris from the teeth with a brush. 

Then, you have to check if there is any looseness in the blade assembly. You can tighten it using a wrench. First, you must remove the blade guard and then make adjustments. 

There may also be irregularities with your blade. These can exist in the form of a broken tooth or a bent blade. We recommend that you immediately change the blade in case of any defects. 

#2 – Adjustment of fence and table

You may notice that sometimes your miter saw can come with an uneven table. The balance of the table can be checked with a bubble level. Then, check the table for any gaps that may exist. 

If your miter table is uneven, you would have to purchase a new one. After this, you must square the fence of your saw. The fence is located towards the back of the saw. You can have a good quality cut with this setting of the saw.

We recommend that you use a straight edge to check for any signs of alignment issues here. Also, check for any gaps along the fence at different points. If the blade is out of adjustment, you simply need to tighten the bolts which hold your fence

You can also loosen and then twist the bolts to adjust the saw fence according to your needs.

#3 – Alignment of angles 

Adjustment of angles of a miter saw is similar to the different models available in the market. There are two different types of angles in a miter saw. Let’s take a look at them:

Miter angle

We recommend that you use a combination square for this step:

  • Adjust the bevel angle to 0 degrees
  • Set the mitering angle to 90 degrees 
  • Lower the blade until the edge of the blade touches the square
  • Check for gaps. In case of gaps, you must tighten the knob.
  • Also, loosen the bolts on the detent plate for accuracy.

Continue to make adjustments until the blade is square to the fence.

Bevel adjustments

The blade of the miter saw is 45 degrees on either side if you have a beveling miter saw. To make adjustments, you have to:

  • Out the square on the miter table 
  • Bring the saw blade down, and make sure that the safety guard is raised
  • Check for any gaps and then move the square until the blade is aligned.
  • Loosen the bevel knob and then twist it to make adjustments to your tool. 

When you make adjustments, make sure that both the blade and square are aligned with each other.

#4 – Test the saw 

The last thing to do is to test your saw. We recommend that you use softer wood for this purpose and then move to other types of lumber. 

First, set your miter saw to a 90-degree angle. You can use the locking mechanism for this. Then, set your wood on the table of the saw. Also, make sure that the miter angle is at 0 degrees. Power up your saw and push the handle downwards to make the cut. 

Wrapping Things Up…

Miter saws are a highly versatile tool. You can use them for a variety of custom DIY projects. However, you must have technical knowledge before you operate them.

Unlocking and locking a miter saw can be a tricky task due to the many locks and knobs in it. You have to locate the many locks and pins on your tools.

However, you can easily perform the task if you follow this guide step by step. 

With this, we reach the end of our article on “How to open your miter saw?”. 

Do comment below and tell us about your experience.

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