How to Use a Compound Miter Saw Efficiently |Step By Step

From the title alone, we can tell that there are two types of miter saws; the compound miter saw and the miter saw. In this article, we will learn how to use a compound miter saw.

The compound miter saw just so happens to be one of the most common tools a carpenter can have. Let’s have a look at what you should have in mind.

Here Are Some Of The Things You Should Consider Before Using Your Saw

  • It would be best if you avoid any jewelry while operating the machine. you should also avoid loose clothes while working the machine for perfect operation.
  • As for the guards, it is best that you have all of them with you. Also, ensure that you repair or adjust the guards for better accuracy
  • Check if the blades are okay. If not, disconnect the saw from the power and repair them
  • Considering the miter saw has different blades for different cutting purposes, use the blade for recommended items cutting purpose, otherwise, you won’t have the expected results.
  • Above all else, keep your fingers a good distance from the blade.
  • Check the blades arrangement after finishing one cut as well as the results you’ll get so as to see whether they need sharpening.
  • Wait for the blade to stop moving fully after you release the trigger.

How to Use a Compound Miter Saw – Things to Consider

Having the machine alone is not enough, you need to know everything there is to know so as to use it properly. Truth be told, most carpenters have the compound miter saw but can’t handle it properly. From a professional’s point of view, here is a step-by-step procedure for using the miter saw correctly.

Step 1: Utmost Preparation is Mandatory

Similar to the other advanced carpentry machines, you need to prepare this one too for cutting in which case the type and design of your compound miter saw should be considered.

The upper miter box, if any, needs to be mounted. If it is a sliding miter saw, well, you need to move it back and forth a few times. Normally, the compound miter saws with the sliding feature are smaller and lighter hence they are preferred by most

All this should be done while you pay heed to the precautionary measures at the same time.

Step 2: Ensure That The Blade Arrangement is Okay

This can easily be done by testing the cutting capability of the saw. You can just take a small but cut-able piece of wood and see how it goes. If the cut is smooth, you’re good to go, if otherwise, have a look at your blade arrangement.

Step 3: Move onto The Main Board if The Blade Arrangement is Okay

With everything set as it should be, you can move on to the next step. taking the correct measurements.

Estimating the measurements is not enough. You’ll need to use a pencil and a tape measure to do this correctly. Not doing so will result in incorrect readings and therefore your work will be flawed.

Step 4: Have The Board Placed on The Cutting Area

Having done all your markings correctly, you can take the board to the cutting area. Even though most prefer to cut horizontally, using the vertical position is the best way to go. This way, you will have the advantage of tilting the blade which allows you to do so much more as compared to the horizontal position.

Step 5: Accurate Board Placement

Ensure that the lines are matched with the miter saw blade. Keeping the box steady with your hands with the board perfectly placed in the miter box is recommended if you want the perfect cut.

Step 6: Start The Cutting

With everything set, you can now power up the compound miter saw.

Don’t be in a hurry whatsoever, instead, lower the blade at a slow pace. Do not force the blade down hard on hard surfaces; just move it slowly and give it time since forcing it could damage it.

Step 7: Final Touches

Finally, you can sand the pieces you’ve cut if you get any rough points than you desire or have any useless areas. You can just use a sandpaper to smoothen out the wood

Getting The Best Straight Cut, Miter Cut, Bevel Cut And Angle Cut From Your Compound Miter Saw

The best thing about the compound miter saw is that it comes in different blade types each of which has its specific cutting technique and cutting angle. Here’s how to use the different blades with their recommended surface types.

The Straight Cut

Getting a straight cut is quite simple provided you do it correctly. Check if the wood is properly placed on the tray, start the compound miter saw then slowly just lower it downwards.

Getting The Most Accurate Miter Cuts

Simply have the wood on the tray in your desired right-angled position then just like in the straight cut, allow the blade to slowly cut clean through it.

Bevel Cuts

For any person that can handle the compound miter saw, this is the easiest cut you can possibly make. Check on the depth of the base plate as well as the cut.

Hold the speed-square tight after having lined up the markings on your board. Having done so, you need to get smooth pieces and this is only possible if you make the cuts against the base plate.

Angle Cuts

So as to get the angle cut, you’ll need to slide the base of the saw square up. Ensure that you move forward on the blade at a slow place and at the same time maintain utmost concentration while cutting on a particular angle.

The guide and the base-plate should be against each other for the expected results


By now we all know How to Use a Compound Miter Saw. Wrapping things up, all that can be said is that there’s quite a lot to consider if you want to end up with a professional cut. It’s not always ending up with the pieces of wood you desire but rather getting the perfectly cut pieces.


Above all else, you should always pay heed to the precautionary measures and the complementary equipment you should have.  Some of these include a protective glass to prevent wood splinters from getting into your eyes, working uniform, protective shoes that have a well-grip sole as well as a pair of earphones to cover your ears.

Alvin V.Stone

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