How to: 45-Degree Cuts Using a Miter Saw

Miter saws make angled cuts. A common home improvement project using a miter saw is putting up crown molding that requires alternating 45-degree angles, which interlock to form a 90-degree angle. A standard miter saw pivots from a single point and cuts square to the table. This saw works well for projects like molding. For more complicated projects, there are more complex miter saws. For example, a compound miter saw allows for beveling.

Miter saws allow you to make angled cuts with ease.

Choose the correct blade for the material to be cut.

Disengage the miter's lock handle.

Adjust the miter latch to a 45-degree setting on the miter scale. The latch is located on the bottom of your miter saw. The scale is a circular ruler style mechanism with radial settings from zero to 90 degrees.

Cut a scrap piece of wood to check the accuracy of your angle before beginning your project.

Things You Will Need

  • Cutting table
  • Scrap wood


  • Cut the miter before you make any other cuts to your wood.


  • Let the saw come up to full speed before making cuts.

About the Author

Tracie Harris lives in Atlanta and has been writing lifestyle articles since 2008. W.W. Norton is publishing her work in "The Seagull Guide" due out in 2011. Her writing has also appeared in "The Historian" and The Good Cook. Harris is a former social studies teacher. She holds a B.A. in history and secondary education from Agnes Scott College.

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