How to Square A Miter Saw? (Explained for Beginners)

hand holding a sliding compound miter saw

Are you here because you are searching for answers for how to square a miter saw? Do you want to learn to square a miter saw accurately?

Your miter can make precise cuts, but your miter saw can go off alignment over time with continuous usage. No matter if you are a do-it-yourself miter saw a user or a professional one. If you have a miter saw, you will face the issue of misalignment at some point.

If your saw has alignment issues, you can always fix it yourself. All you have to do is read ahead carefully. With the methods mentioned below, you do not need professional help.

A step-by-step guide on how to square a miter saw

Step 1: Clean the Saw

The first step of squaring the miter jaw is to clean it. Sawdust, debris, and other dirt can embed in the saw, which will lead to the saw clogging. If you do not clean your saw regularly, you will increase your saw getting misaligned. 

You can clean a miter saw using an air compressor with an air nozzle at the hose end. It is to blow away all the sawdust from the service of the saw. 

If the blade is clogged, it can misadjust and, in turn, contribute to the misalignment of the claw. It is also essential for you to pick up the habit of cleaning the saw regularly to prevent alignment issues. 

Also, you can a shop vac to clean a saw. It will blow the dust away upon usage, and you can wipe the saw off any residue. Always ensure to use a clean and dry cloth for this purpose. Also, ensure to remove any pitch buildup you find.

Step 2: Check the blade and saw

Take a look at the saw and check for stains or any other problem with the saw. Once you know it is clean, you will have to sharpen it. Also, you can use a stain remover to wipe off any pitch buildup. 

If the blade is worn out and can not perform efficiently, you should replace it. Also, ensure to fix the blade before squaring the miter saw adequately. It is crucial to improve the edgecrucial before the next step since a faulty blade in a miter saw can disturb the alignment process. 

Moreover, you can get the desired results only if the blade is fixed correctly in the saw.

Step 3: Align the Table

Most people set their miter saws on a saw table or a working table. The table does not fall out of alignment. However, continuous usage can lead to a gradual misalignment in the table as well.

You need to ensure it is flat by adjusting it accordingly. You can do it by placing a straight edge over the table and check if it measures up to the standards. If it is not correctly aligned, you can add a small wedge or replace the section of the wood to provide a leveled surface.

Step 4: Align the Fence

You will have to align your fence after adjusting your saw table. A fence is a form of support placed at the back end of the table. It provides support for materials that are longer while cutting operations.

You can align your fence easily by placing a straight edge beside the fence. Once you set it along the length of the fence, you will have to find gaps and spots. 

If there are gaps or spots, it means the fence is not squared correctly. You can loosen the screws and hold them in place as you adjust them to make them square.

Tighten the screws after you fix the position. You will have to square both sides separately to align them properly. 

Step 5: Adjust the Miter Angles

After adjusting the table and the fence, you will have to change the miter angles. You can do it by setting the blade’s bevel angle to zero degrees. You can follow it by adjusting the miter angle to zero degrees as well.

Make sure the miter angel squares with the fence. To ensure this, you can use a rafter layout square or a combination square. Place it against the front edge of the fence and lower the saw as low as possible.

After this, position the blade as necessary and slide the square to the side edge of the blade. Now, you may have to raise the blade guard to access the blade side.

You will have to place one edge of the square against the blade side. Also, fix the other edge securely set against the fence. 

You will have to check for spaces and gaps between the fence and blade. If you find any uneven space, you will have to loosen, tighten the knob and loosen the matter. 

You should adjust the miter angle to where the fence and blade are square with each other. You can change it easily by loosening the detent plate’s screws to make the zero-angle position perfect.

Step 6: Bevel Angle Adjustments

Bevel angle adjustments are a crucial part of squaring a miter saw. If the angles are 45 degrees to both left and right, or only to the left, you will have to square it with the table. You will only need to place the table and the zero-degree angle.

One of the edges should face upward as you place the square, and the other should be lying flat on the table. Also, ensure to raise the blade guard by bringing down the saw blade.

Align the vertical edge and the blade accurately by moving the square towards the blade. You may have o tighten the knob to keep the angle firm. You can also shift the bevel dents according to the specific saw model.

The methods are very similar to both basic miter saw as well as compound miter saw.

Step 7: Testing for accuracy

Testing for accuracy is very crucial since it makes sure all the adjustments that you made are effective. It is the final test to ensure all the tests mentioned above are correctly performing.

You can check the accuracy of the miter saw by simply turning it on and making a crosscut at zero degrees. A wide junk board is enough for this testing. You can always use a level or a square to check the accuracy of the squared miter saw. 

If you find that the cut is not squared, you will have to figure out which step went wrong. Also, if you can not find where you made a mistake, you will have to start from step one again.

What causes misalignment in miter saw?

You want to know how to square a miter saw. Hence, more chances are that you also want answers to the causes of misalignment. Here are some of the most common reasons for misalignments in a miter saw.

Unkempt usage of the saw

If you use your miter saw without giving it enough care, it will increase the chances of misalignment. Hence, you will have to check for any bugs or other troubles regularly. 

Prolonged continuous usage

It is one of the most common reasons for misalignment. If your miter saw is ancient and you’re using it regularly, there are chances of misalignments.

However, regular checking and service can quickly solve the issues arising due to prolonged continuous usage.

Not cleaning and letting the debris clog

If you do not clean your miter saw adequately regularly, it will accumulate a lot of dust. These dust and debris collect and clog the mechanical device.

Constant transportation

Moving around your miter saw continuously can also be one of the reasons for misalignment. You need to ensure it is appropriately in place on a suitable table. Also, transport it only if it is necessary.

Cutting materials that are unsuitable for the blade

Different miter saws are just for cutting various materials. Some are specially designed for a particular material, while some are multipurpose saws. 

It is crucial to use the saw according to its purpose. If you use it for different purposes, it can cause misalignment and other damages to the blade and the saw. 

Manufacturing defect

Some saws you purchase in the market can come with a manufacturing defect. You can not help once you are buyingessential unless there is a return policy or a warranty. 

Hence, you should be careful while buying a miter saw and avoid picking the ones with any defects.

Let Us Wrap It All Up

The most important thing while squaring a miter saw is safety. Always make sure to unplug the saw and not just switch it off.

Also, ensure that the environment you are working in is free from any disturbances or obstructions. It help increaseessential efficiency, but it will also help in your safety by avoiding undesired collisions.

Hopefully, this article on how to square a miter saw found you at the right time. Also, you are already on your way to square it just right.

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