Whether you’re remodeling a room in your home or transporting the saw to a job site, a miter saw is integral to making accurate cuts for trim and other wood. One of the most accessible saws for beginners, a miter saw is also one of the safest saws, especially once it’s attached to something.
You should attach a miter saw to a collapsible metal stand, a rolling wood base, or a stationary workbench. This handy saw makes angled cuts that create perfectly joined trim and molding in carpentry. Securing the miter saw to a stable base lets you get the clean, angled cuts you want.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced miter saw owner, anchoring the saw on a base increases the safety of wood cutting. Keep reading to learn the best methods and bases for attaching a miter saw. I’ll also cover the different types of miter saws and the specific cuts each of them makes.
How To Attach a Miter Saw
It’s possible to cut wood trim without attaching a miter saw to a base, yet the process is much easier and safer when the saw has been anchored to a stable surface. Notably, while a miter saw is technically portable, attaching it to a sturdy surface is wise. Depending on your use, multiple surfaces will work to stabilize the miter saw. Here are some options for you to consider.
The Collapsable, Movable Miter Saw Metal Stand
When you need a stand that folds easily and has wheels for moving the miter saw in and out of a work vehicle, a collapsable metal miter saw stand offers many benefits. Keep in mind that you’ll need to know the weight of your saw since a heavier saw will require a more heavy-duty frame.
Here are some features to consider in a metal stand:
- It has wheels and allows for easy movement
- It’s portable
- It’s lightweight and compact when folded down
- It’s durable and long-lasting
- It has wide wheels that navigate the bumpy terrain
- It includes built-in electrical outlets
- It’s compatible with multiple miter saw brands and sizes
Some miter saw metal stands are full-on workstations with spaces for tools, sturdy locking legs, and an easy-grab handle to carry the saw and stand.
Building a Portable Wood Miter Saw Stand
If you are handy (and I assume you are since you have a miter saw), you can build a portable miter saw stand out of wood. Following a simple plan to build a miter saw stand can incorporate collapsible sides for stabilizing the wood as you cut it.
Check out this video showing how to build a DIY wood miter saw stand that you can place on wheels to move where you need it in the garage or storage shed:
Mounting the Miter Saw on a Workbench
Most people who use a miter saw at home choose to mount the saw on a workbench that offers static stability. Chances are you don’t move the miter saw around when making cuts, so anchoring the saw keeps it steady, minimizing the opportunity for wrong cuts or physical accidents.
Here is how to mount your miter saw on the workbench so it’s secure and ready to cut.
- Place the miter saw on the workbench where you want it to sit permanently.
- Doublecheck to ensure clearance at the back of the workbench for sliding wood through the saw.
- Choose four wood screws that measure 1¼ in (3.18 cm) to 1½ in (3.81 cm).
- Use a drill to make pilot holes for the screws.
- Place a washer on the screw.
- Screw into the pilot hole and tighten until the screw doesn’t turn anymore.
Different Types of Miter Saws
All miter saws have a circular blade with a handle that turns the saw base to cut wood trim at measured angles. While the blade stays stationary, the moveable base lets you set the measured angle for a clean, precise woodcut. However, there are several types of miter saws to make the following cuts:
- A miter cuts along the board face or surface
- A bevel cuts through the board thickness
- A compound cut completes both angled cuts without removing the board
Let’s look at each of the different types of miter saws that make these cuts.
The Compound Miter Saw
While a basic miter saw makes cuts on a base that pivots left or right, a compound miter saw makes vertical cuts and bevel cuts (measured in degrees) that characterize fine carpentry. The mitering feature lets you adjust the saw base, and the bevel enables you to adjust the vertical cut.
The Compound Sliding Miter Saw
This miter saw lets you use a sliding base to increase the number of vertical cuts. The bevel still allows horizontal cuts, but the sliding rail makes cutting larger boards possible. Once you turn on the saw, you slide the wood back toward the blade for complicated angle cuts.
The Dual Compound Sliding Miter Saw
The main advantage of this miter saw is that you no longer need to flip the wood to make an opposite cut. The miter, sliding rail, and bevel work together to let you move the wood around for cutting without pulling it out of the saw. The dual-compound sliding miter saw saves significant time when working with trim molding.
When you mount the miter saw onto a base, the saw can be transported from job to job or placed on wheels for maneuvering around the garage. Although, the safest mounting surface is a stationary workbench where the base cannot move.
Most often, cabinet makers, trim carpenters, and other finish woodworkers use miter saws for precise, intricate cuts. This tool allows you to cut at exact angles, so all the trim wood around windows, doors, and along floors fits perfectly together. Learning to use a miter saw isn’t difficult, making it an excellent choice for beginners.