Updated at: 29-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Describe the chop saw. The blade is long and turns rapidly, and it is a power tool of this type. Workers in woodworking and carpentry usually use them. Is there a better way to do this?

How to Use a Miter Saw

Angled cuts can be made with power miter saws for a variety of typical carpentry tasks, such as molding, trim, and rafters. Professional carpenters and do-it-yourselfers both use miter saws for their versatility and the ability to perform straight crosscuts with the correct blade.

Using a miter saw might be dangerous, but this instruction will show you how to operate it safely.

Types of Miter Saws and Cuts They Make

In order to use a miter saw properly, you must be able to tell a miter cut from a bevel cut, and vice versa.

  • A board’s face or width is cut at an angle using a miter saw.
  • A board’s thickness is sliced at an angle to create a bevel.
  • Depending on how the board is positioned on the saw, each miter saw can cut a miter or a bevel.

When using a compound miter saw, you can cut both kinds of angles in one pass. The blade can be swung from left to right using an adjustment mechanism on this sort of miter saw. You can also tilt the blade to cut at an angle rather than straight down.

In some miter saws, the blade may be extended, allowing you to cut wider boards than the miter saw blade can handle. The blade’s diameter is the only limit on a cut made with a stationary arm.

How to Make a Miter Cut

When learning how to use a miter saw, remember to always keep your safety first. In Step 4, we’ll talk about how to use this tool safely.

For a mitered cut:

  • Turn on the saw’s power switch after connecting it to a power source.
  • To begin the cutting process, measure and mark a straight line across the stock.
  • Put the board on the saw and align it with the fence at the back of the base. Cut the board to length.
  • Depress the lock handle and pivot the blade to the correct angle by loosening the miter gauge handle at the front of the saw.
  • Tighten the miter gauge handle.
  • Take a closer look at where your blade meets wood by lowering the handle.
  • Clamp the board or brace firmly in place with your hands at least six inches away from the blade and adjust the wood placement as required.

The board that goes beyond the miter saw’s base must be held in place. If you’re using a miter saw stand, you can level the stock by stacking scraps of wood on the work area or adjusting the extension supports.

  • Lift the handle with your second hand while keeping your other hand on the board.
  • Once the motor has reached its maximum speed, release the trigger.
  • Bring the blade close to the wood by lowering the handle slowly and steadily.
  • Avoid putting too much pressure on the blade or squeezing it too hard. Let the saw do its job.
  • If you’re done with the cut and the blade is down, release the trigger.
  • Raise the handle only once the blade has come to a complete stop whirling.

Using a stop block temporarily taped to the saw fence will save time when you need to make numerous cuts of the same length. To ensure that each subsequent piece is the same length, gently press the end of the board to be cut against the block.

How to Make a Bevel Cut

A conventional miter saw can be used to make a bevel cut:

  • Place the designated board against the saw fence on its edge, not flat.
  • Before you begin cutting, make sure the saw’s angle gauge is positioned correctly.
  • When cutting a board, make sure that the blade contacts the surface at the precise angle.
  • The board should be clamped or braced.
  • To complete the cut, pull the trigger all the way up and then drop the handle.

Using a compound miter saw to make a bevel cut:

  • With one side of the indicated board pressed against fence, set saw base face-up or flat.
  • Using the bevel gauge on the back of the saw, adjust its angle and tilt the blade.
  • If you need to establish the miter angle for the cut, use the gauge on the front of the saw.
  • Complete the cut by making the necessary modifications and then following the steps outlined above.

Tip: Charts with common miter-bevel combination cut settings are available with many compound miter saw operation guides.

Proper Setup and Miter Saw Safety

Safe operation is the most critical component of miter saw training.

  • When not in use, make sure the saw is disconnected.
  • A miter saw stand or a bolt should be used to secure the miter saw to a firm work area.
  • In-factory adjustments on new miter saws might be thrown off by vibration during shipping. Using a 90-degree gauge, check to see if your cuts are square before commencing your project. Detailed instructions for adjusting blade alignment may be found in the instruction manual.
  • Never cut a board with clamps on both sides.

Avert potentially lethal kickback. Use only blades made specifically for the material you wish to cut, and make sure they are always sharp. In general, miter saws are used to cut wood, but with the right blade, they may also be used to cut other materials. Obey the instructions provided by the product’s maker.

When using a miter saw, extreme caution is advised to avoid major harm.

  • Keep your hands out of the way of the blades.
  • When using the saw, avoid wearing anything that could get caught in the blade.
  • Protect your eyes and ears from flying debris and sawdust by wearing safety glasses, ear protection, and a dust mask while working.
  • These safety precautions apply to bystanders as well.

Locking and Unlocking Miter Saw Features

Several safety locks are commonly found on power miter saws. For detailed instructions on unlocking a miter saw, consult the manufacturer’s operating guide. Generally speaking:

  • A pin can be inserted into a hole in the trigger to keep it from firing.
  • A pin at the tool’s upper arm secures the handle’s up and down action by slipping into a groove near the motor when it is in the down position.
  • Tightening a wingnut on models with a sliding arm can limit movement forward and backward.
  • Adjusting the angle of the miter gauge is done by loosening the knob and depressing the level of locking. Release the lever and tighten the knob to secure it in place.

A new project is in order now that you’ve learned how to use a miter saw. The Home Depot’s mobile app can help you find products and check inventory. This aisle and bay will be ours.

Steps on Swivelling a Chop Saw

In the first place, be certain that the blade is turned off and not in motion. Bring the saw up to your face, keeping one arm parallel to the tabletop as you do so. In order to prevent any kickback or injury, both arms must be on the ground at the same time.

Swivel the handle toward you after letting go of the grip. To maintain your balance, rest both arms firmly on an item. If this is not the case, any kickback could be harmful.

Step 3: Keep going until you’ve achieved the required degree of inclination. It’s time to turn the motor off.

You should keep your arm straight, grip the saw handle, and then turn the blade 90 degrees.

Turn the handle until it is at a 180-degree angle, or the desired angle, in Step 4. Changing angles requires less effort when using a swivel chair, thus it’s critical.

After the motor is in position, turn it off. Take the same actions as previously to return to the starting position.

Turn the saw off, then back on, to begin cutting a new line in the wood. This tool can then be turned to cut another line.

Other power tools, like as drills or sanders, can also be used for this purpose. Before turning them on, make sure they’re off.

What is Chop Saw?

Power tools such as chop saws may cut through a variety of metals and woods. Precision cutting is needed to guarantee that the pieces fit together in home construction and other industries where exact cutting is required.

Originally made with an ax-like handle and the saw’s head, the item became known as a “chop.” For cutting metal or wood for building purposes, Jerry Finch created the first chop saw in 1874, and it quickly became noted for its ease of use.

It’s still in use today, but newer models have been produced that are easier to operate and more ergonomic.

Features of Chop Saw

When using a circular saw, the blade is usually inserted between two teeth on the saw’s teethes. Depending on how it was built, the saw’s head can be positioned in a way that maximizes its efficiency. Tenon-style blades are the most often utilized, as they allow blades to be easily replaced. The tenon-less is an alternative. It has a more substantial appearance.

Depending on how the user intends to use the blade, it could have any number of different dimensions and shapes. Metal is the most common material for blades, however diamond or carbide-tipped blades are available.

Miter-cut blades are popular among carpenters because of their round teeth that cut nicely without splintering or chipping materials. The chop saw can use a variety of different blades. The reduced vibrations from cutting with a miter-cut blade are another benefit.

On the internet or in any hardware store, you may buy a miter-cutting blade with a specific number of teeth. The 12-inch blades with 24 teeth are the best option because they can be used in a variety of situations.

How to Care for Chop Saw Blades

Step 1: Maintain your chop saw blades to keep them sharp and prevent them from pulling or becoming trapped on the material you’re cutting.

Blade coolant is a form of fluid that aids in lubricating the metal’s movement across one another during cutting. There are a variety of alternative oils that can be used to clean the blade, but they aren’t acceptable if the tooth is a carbide tooth, as this form of material does not require further protection.

Step 2: Clean the blades with an oiled towel or soak them overnight in running water while wrapped in cling film. The amount of filth and oil you’re trying to remove will determine how long you let the blade soak in the water.

It is possible to use an abrasive cleanser after the blade has been well cleaned with soap, but this is only suggested after the blade has been thoroughly cleaned with soap before to use.

Step 4: To avoid rust, keep the blades in a dry, shady location.

Cutting saw blades are often placed on the top or side, but you can instead place them beneath the saw in order to provide for more cutting space and avoid the need to tilt the saw upwards. This isn’t recommended for everyday use, however.

Best Chop Saws Buying Guide

A chop saw is a must-have for anyone cutting anything, be it wood, metal, PVC, or another material. While a miter saw is capable of cutting at an angle, a chop saw is a more efficient tool for making straight cuts in a wide variety of raw materials.

Are chop saw and miter saw the same?

Both of these saws are frequently mistaken for one another, and while they certainly share many characteristics, they also differ significantly. I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.


Chop saws are typically larger in size than miter saws. Standard chop saws typically employ blades no shorter than fourteen inches, but miter saw blades typically range from eight to twelve inches in length. As a result, chop saws generally outperform miter saws in terms of power.


Using chop saws and miter saws to cut raw materials like glass, tile and PVC is common. In contrast to miter saws, chop saws are typically used to cut straight lines. In contrast to the miter saw, which is more commonly used as a finishing tool, a chop saw is more of a power instrument.


Builders, whether professional or not, may employ a variety of tools and equipment depending on the materials they’re working with. As an example, chop saws are commonly employed in the construction industry to cut heavier materials like metal sheets, PVC pipes, concrete slabs, and wood slabs. Miter saws, on the other hand, are typically used to make precise cuts in tiny areas, such as trim and molding.

What should you look for when choosing the best chop saw?

Choosing the right chop saw can be a difficult task. You’ll want to pick something you won’t regret spending your money on because they’re not exactly inexpensive. The following are items to keep in mind when shopping for a chop saw:

Blade Type

Blades should be selected based on the material to be cut. Almost all chop saws have a diamond or carbide abrasive blade. It is recommended to use carbide-tipped knives for cutting stainless steel and other hard metals. When working with softer materials, such as soft alloy metal, diamond abrasive blades are a better choice.

Cutting Parameters

A lightweight chop saw with a cutting parameter of at least 40mm would be suitable for simple DIY chores around the house. It is possible to purchase a machine with a cutting parameter of between 50 and 65 millimeters for bigger jobs.

Base Elevation

There are many factors that can affect the ease of use of a chop saw, including the height of its base. When the blade is pressed down to cut materials, a decent chop saw should have a base that is high enough to prevent the blade from touching the ground.

Motor Strength

If your chop saw’s engine is poor, even the sharpest blade is of no use. The power of your chop saw is heavily reliant on the quality of its motor, so bear this in mind when making your purchase.


It is common for branded products to be more expensive than their generic versions. Purchasing from a well-known brand, on the other hand, ensures that you’ll receive the best value in terms of quality, longevity, and customer service after the sale. You don’t have to worry about your money being wasted if a branded product fails to live up to its claims or malfunctions as a result of a manufacturing error when you buy one with a warranty.

Chop Saw Safety Guide

When utilizing power tools like the chop saw, it’s critical that you take precautions to avoid getting hurt.

  • A face shield and/or safety goggles should be worn when using a chop saw, as well as gloves.
  • Avoid wearing clothing and accessories that could get caught in the chop saw to avoid mishaps. After using the chop saw, make sure to switch it off and disconnect it.
  • Before using the chop saw, make sure that all of its components are in good operating order. Keep the chop saw away from anything that needs repair or replacement if you notice it.
  • Before beginning your chop saw, make sure all of the guards are in the correct place. When using your chop saw to cut materials, make sure everything is snug and secure.
  • You should never use a chop saw on your own. To avoid losing control of your chop saw or having your hands dangerously close to the blade, make sure all materials to be cut are fastened to the fence.
  • The blade must be completely stopped before it can be raised or the material may be removed.

Best Chop Saw


See if Amazon Has It

A strong stainless steel design makes this Dewalt chop saw ideal for handling heavy workloads, but it’s also lightweight enough to be easily transported to and from the jobsite. The motor’s 15 amps of power and longevity are unparalleled. The stainless steel miter detent plate has 11 positive stops for accuracy and precision, and it is simply adjusted.

The 12-inch Dewalt compound miter saw is well-known for its lightweight design, which makes it simple to transport. What’s more, the DWS715 is built to last thanks to sturdy sliding barriers that reach astonishing heights. Even when switching angles, the cuts are always perfectly aligned. It seemed like the perfect tool, but there was one thing that disturbed us. To replace the blade, you must first remove the entire guard assembly, which suggests that the instructions for doing so are incorrect.


  • Easily transportable due to its light weight.
  • A dust bag and a carbide blade are included.
  • a miter with an adjustable cam-lock for greater precision


  • Replacing the blade can be a little tricky.

Hitachi Chop Saw

The compound miter saw from Hitachi features a laser marker system that ensures a precise cut every time it’s run. It has a 15 Amp motor that is powerful enough to cut through even the hardest wood. It has a larger range of miter and bevel angles, allowing for greater precision. To prevent vibration, the chop saw features an elastomer grip handle.

The quality and design of this Hitachi more than make up for its lack of frills. When it comes to making precise cuts, a laser marker can be a lifesaver. The compactness of the Hitachi chop saw was also a selling point for potential buyers. You can move it about the workshop because it is small and light. You may also use it with a vacuum attachment to keep everything neat and orderly. The instruction booklet was a bit of a letdown because it wasn’t very clear on how to assemble everything. However, this is simply a little inconvenience and does not affect the operation of the machine.


  • Precision cutting with a laser marker.
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Handle made of elastomer for a better grip and control


  • Unfortunately, the manual’s text is difficult to decipher.


See if Amazon Has It

Although it has a sturdy steel base, this heavy-duty chop saw is surprisingly light and small, making it ideal for transport and storage. It has a spindle lock for faster blade changes, as well as a quick-release material clamp for holding the workpiece in place while you slice through it.

With this blade’s built-in safety measures and robust materials, cutting and removing objects has never been safer. The simplicity of the Porter-setup Cable’s was what we found most appealing. If you’re searching for a low-cost chop saw that can yet handle a heavy workload, this is it. There is no doubt that it has some heft to it, as it cut through iron, steel, and other metals with ease. We observed that the spark deflector may have performed better and that the blade shield can get loose, but that they can be quickly adjusted were some of the minor concerns we discovered.


  • Workpieces are securely clamped in position using a quick-release material clamp.
  • Locking the spindle allows for more efficient blade changes.
  • Compact and lightweight


  • A few times a year, the blade shield may need to be tightened.


Q: What can I cut with a chop saw?

To cut through non-ferrous metals like wood, moulding, and aluminum, a chop saw is a useful tool. Consider a circular saw instead of a chop saw if you’re working with materials that are too wide for your chop saw.

Q: What is the difference between a chop saw and a miter saw?

A: There are many similarities between chop saws and miter saws. Both of these saws have a pivoting arm and a spinning blade on top of them. However, the flexibility to spin and pivot in both directions of a miter saw makes it more useful for making a variety of different cuts. Cutting at an angle of 90 degrees is all a chop saw can do.

Q: Can a chop saw cut metal?

Cutting metal with incredible precision and ease is made simple using chop saws, which are large, powerful equipment designed for the job. However, this feature adds to the price of the tool.