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All You Need to Know About Miter Saw Angle Cuts

All You Need to Know About Miter Saw Angle Cuts

Are you thinking of buying a miter saw or are trying to improve your workmanship skills? If yes, this article is for you.

A miter saw is one of the most valuable items that you can have in your workshop. But, if you don’t know how to handle and work with it, it’s useless.

Go through the whole article to find out more about miter saws and angle cuts.

What Angles Can a Miter Saw Cut?

These types of saws can perform different angles with great precision. Most miter saws usually cut from 90° and can also take it to 30°. The first thing you need to understand is the angle meter on the saw.

In the center of the meter, the angle will be 0°, and it will start increasing as you move it to the sides. It will stop at the 50° angle on the left and 60° angle on the right side because that is the extent of it on most miter saws. However, some saws offer a wider range as well. These can prove tricky and lead to mistakes.

You need to rearrange this: start with the 90° at 0°, and then start demounting as you go high on the scale. As you go to 10°, turn it into 80°, 20° into 70° and so on. In the end, 60° will turn into 30°.

To make an angle of 22.5° or lesser manually, add a jig or another thing that can be used as a digital protractor. Mark a line on that, and simply cut it with the saw.

How to Figure Out Angles for Cutting Wood?

Miter saws are usually used in carpentry or crown molding (both miter and bevel). They’re ideal for –

  • Furniture work
  • Framework
  • Trim molding
  • Projects where you need more detailed corners

There are different shapes of the corner, and these differences make an angle. Some of the shapes make an acute angle, some obtuse angle, and some are at a perfect 90° angle.

Making two accurate cuts on the workpiece and combining them to get a required angle corner might look easy. Keep in mind that it’s not; therefore, you should always work carefully.

For a 90° angle, you need to miter cut two pieces at 45°. When you join these two edges of 45 °, you will get a perfect 90° angle. And if you get 45.2° instead of 45°, then the accumulated angle will differ in almost 1.6°. Therefore, you need to be very careful with every centimeter.

The most amazing part is the built-in “stop” points at different angles, which will take all the responsibility of making accurate angles. These stops are usually at 90°, 45°, and 30°, and sometimes at odd angles.

You have to deal with a variety of angles when you find yourself in a room that doesn’t have perfectly squared walls, i.e., it has inaccurate inside angles of 90°. Hence, you could get very puzzling angles like 84°, 135°.

One tool that you can use for precise measurements is an electronic protractor. Its calculation will give flawless results because even the smallest difference can ruin the symmetry and make your work useless. There won’t be anything you could do to fix that!

Here’s the dividing in half method: now that you have an exact calculation, divide that angle by 2. After this, you will get the size of the miter cut that needs to apply. For instance, 84° requires a 42° angled-cut, or a 135° corner angle needs a 67.5° angled miter cut.

Calculating Miters Using a Digital Protractor?

Digital or electronic protractors are the most convenient tools to calculate angles of the wall corners and give a guide of the required cut. These protractors are economical and a must-have tool.

Leveling the protractor

To check the protractor’s accuracy, you need to overlap both the scales and press it against a 0° angled surface. Now, turn it on, and if you see 0.0° on the screen, the protractor is accurate. Contrarily, if it’s not, keep in mind that even the slightest inaccuracy can ruin the symmetry.

Measuring inside and outside corners

For measuring the inside and outside corners, open up the protractor. Place it against the wall corner with one scale pressing against one side of the wall, and the second pressing against the other side, and with the thumbscrew in the corner. The angle of the inside corner will pop up on the screen.

Repeat the process, but place the protractor outside the corner. Then again, a number will pop up on the screen, providing the outside angle.

Now, to get the miter cut angle, halve the number. For example, if 85° is on the screen, divide it in half, and you will get a 42.5° miter cut angle.

Uneven angles measuring

As you know, every angle follows a 360° pattern in a planter, either it’s a square with four 90° angles or a pentagon with five 72° angles. If something doesn’t follow this 360° pattern, hold the protractor and measure the corner to get an angle to the miter saw. Whenever you get an acute or obtuse angle, just follow the formula of “dividing in half.”

Miter Angle Chart

Finding miter angles for molding and frame working is easy. Just find the angle in the planter; divide that angle by 2, and there you go!

On the other hand, for crown molding, it’s different. This is going to be complicated, so pay attention. You can come forward to different angles that are pretty unusual.

If you require 150° angles for the crown against the wall, you need to miter cut at 15°. In this way, for 149°, you need 15.5° and so on. Decrease the crown angle by 1°, and a 0.5° angle will increase for the miter cut. When you reach a 90° angle on the crown, the miter cut angle will rise up to 45°. In the end, a 114° crown angle against the wall will need a 33° miter cut.

So from this calculation, you can figure out how to achieve that perfect angle.

Conclusion

By reading the article, you will definitely have a better idea about the miter saw angle cuts, and how to calculate them for the best work.

Tell us in the comments below how your experience was with your saw.

FAQs

1. Will a 12-inch miter saw cut a 6×6?

Ans: NO! It seems an impossible job for a miter saw. Even the 12 inches mighty blade for this tool can only cut 2×8 at 90°, and 2×6 at 45°. On the contrary, a circular saw can help you cut 6×6 with multiple cuts.

2. Can you put miter saw on the floor?

Ans: Yes, you can put the saw on the floor. It’s heavy and can hold itself. There is no need to fix it with the bolts. A miter saw, either on the floor or on the table, will give you the same stability, strength, and accuracy.

3. What is the best tool to cut angles on wood molding?

Ans: No doubt, a miter saw can serve you better to cut angles like those in crown molding. This saw can offer you a wide range of angle cuts (22.5° to 90°) with unmatched precision. There are also “stops” available on different angles that make it easier.
4. How to cut a 70 ° angle with a miter saw?

Ans: The locks on different angles will make it effortless. For a 70° angle, use the “dividing in half” method, which will give you 35°. Then, miter the two pieces at 35°, and attach them to make a 70° angle.

5. How to cut a 22.5 ° angle on a miter saw?

Ans: It is a rather difficult angle to cut because a miter saw can cut up to 30°. To make a 22.5° angle, you need to cut a piece at 45° and use it as a jig. Your simple 0° will become 45°, 10° will be 35°, and 20° will be 25° and so on. With this scale, you can make a 22.5° angle and even less than that.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

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