As one of the most useful and easy-to-use wood-cutting tools the compound mitre saw is a must-have for anyone who enjoys or wants to start any number of DIY projects.
This beginner’s guide will give you a great overview of electric mitres saws and how to use them.
What is a Compound Mitre Saw?
A compound mitre saw is a power saw that enables you to accurately and quickly cut wood either straight or at angles.
The difference between a compound mitre saw and a mitre saw is that a compound mitre saw doesn’t only cut at angles (front edge to back edge) but can cut bevelled angles as well (top to bottom). This makes it a much more versatile tool.
Mitre Saw Features / Parts
- Blade – usually around 7’’ to 14’’.
- Blade guard – this will move out of the way as you pull the blade down in preparation to cut.
- Fence – you push your wood up against this for a safe, accurate cut.
- Mitre gauge – this sets the angle of the blade for cuts across the timber (front edge to back edge).
- Handle – you pull this down to make the cut.
- Trigger – hold down the trigger to activate the blade.
- Bevel – you can have either a single or a double bevel mitre saw and this is when the blade can tilt to make the angled cut through the wood from top to bottom.
- Sliding Blade – on a sliding compound mitre saw this is when the blade can slide forward to cut wider pieces of wood.
How to Make Accurate Cuts
Whether or not you have a laser focus compound mitre saw there is still a key point to remember to ensure you make accurate cuts with your mitre saw. This is to make sure you are aware of and allow for the kerf of your particular saw.
The kerf is the amount that is removed by the blade itself and turned into sawdust.
It is related to the size of your blade, and the width of your blade will be on the packaging.
To work out the exact kerf size of your mitre saw you can take a piece of timber, say 10’’, and cut it with your mitre saw. By measuring the size of the two pieces you are left with and adding them you will have your exact kerf. You will then need to allow for the kerf every time you use your mitre saw.
Compound Mitre Saw Safety
The final and most important thing to consider when using your compound mitre is safety.
Compound mitre saws are potentially dangerous. You should always follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations to keep yourself and others safe.
As a rule, the following are a good standard of safety rules when working with a mitre saw.
- Wear safety glasses.
- Wear ear defenders.
- Wear a mask.
- Ensure your hands are always at least 6 inches away from the blade.
- Keep long hair tied back, and ensure you have no loose jewellery or clothing.
- Do not alter your compound mitre saw in any way.
- Turn your mitre saw off when it is not in use.
- Keep children and pets away from your mitre saw.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Keep your mitre saw well-maintained, do not use it if it is broken or faulty.
Ready to Buy?
If you would like more information on which mitre saw is best for your needs, get in touch with our friendly team. Alternatively, you can browse our selection of mitres saws by checking out our online showroom.