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How To Use a Miter Saw Safely

​A miter saw is a useful tool when you need to make cross cuts or miters. Compared to a standard table saw, you can make quicker, more accurate cuts.

While the miter saw is a handy power tool, it is also dangerous to operate without knowing what you’re doing. To protect your fingers, you should explore the most common safety recommendations for using a miter saw.

​The top of the range miter saw brands will usually come with a number of important safety features however, there is no substitute for careful and responsible usage.

How to Use a Miter Saw Safely

The following list of safety tips can help you to reduce the chances of injury when using a miter saw. Always make sure that you are free from distractions and are concentrating 100% on what you are doing.

Wear Protective Gear for Every Cut

Whenever you use a miter saw, you should first put on the necessary protective gear. Do not make a single cut without putting on goggles and ear protection.

Standard eyeglasses do not count as protective eye-wear. You can find safety goggles that are large enough to fit over your glasses. These goggles are often made from a flexible plastic to prevent shattering when struck by a projectile, while standard glasses can crack and leave pieces of glass in your eye.

Ear protection is needed to protect against prolonged exposure to loud sounds. You can wear either ear muffs or ear plugs, depending on whichever option is most comfortable for you.

Some experts also recommend that you wear gloves, while others advise against it. Wearing gloves may limit your tactile response and ability to maintain a firm grip. If your fingers get too close to the blade, the thickest gloves may not protect against injury.

Along with the protective gear, you should avoid wearing any loose-fitting clothing, jewelry, and other items that may dangle over the blade.

Inspect the Blade and Guards

Before you turn the miter saw on, you should inspect the machine. Double check to ensure that the guards are clean and in place. You should also check the blade fasteners.

While inspecting the saw, you should inspect your work area. Clean away any sawdust, debris, and pieces of wood that may be lying around. These objects can create hazards while you’re cutting.

Tips for Safe Operation of the Miter Saw

If you’re wearing the right gear and have finished inspecting the miter saw, you can start cutting. When you make your cuts, use the following safety tips to reduce the risk of injury.

If possible, use clamps to keep your material secured to the table. If you cannot use clamps, you need to maintain a firm grip on the material throughout the entire cutting process.

You also need to keep fingers six inches away from the blade. Getting your fingers too close increases the chances of cutting one of them off. Following this safety tip also means that you should avoid cutting small pieces, as you need to get your fingers closer to the blade.

After every cut, wait for the blade to completely stop spinning before you raise it. Besides helping to prevent injuries, this step can help make smoother cuts.

As a final safety tip for using a miter saw, make sure that you read the instructions that came with the power tool.

Miter saws from different manufacturers are not identical. They may have features that require additional safety measures.

Read through the instruction manual before you make your first cut, and remember the safety tips discussed.