Woodworking Machines - Mitre Saws

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What should you do before using a mitre saw?

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Mitre saws can be dangerous if not used properly.

  • Read the owner's manual carefully.
  • Make sure you know and understand the instructions before attempting to use any tool or machine.
  • Learn the applications and limitations before use.
  • Refer to Woodworking Machines - General Safety Tips for more information.

What safety precautions should you follow when using a mitre saw?

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  • Wear safety glasses or goggles, or a face shield (with safety glasses or goggles).
  • If work is dusty, use a dust extraction system, and/or respirator or dust mask.
  • Wear appropriate hearing protection.
  • Wear protective footwear when required.
  • Attach the saw firmly on a workbench or other rigid frame and operate saw at waist height. The saw can also be taken to remote locations by mounting it on a piece of plywood 13 mm (1/2 in.) or thicker. This plywood (and saw) must be clamped to a waist high work surface on the job site with large "C" clamps.
  • Make sure any adjustments are secure before making a cut. Only make adjustments when the power is off and the machine is not moving.
  • Keep one hand on the trigger switch and handle and use the other hand to hold the stock against the fence.
  • Keep hands out of the path of the blade.
  • Keep guards in place and in working order.
  • Remove adjusting keys and wrenches.
  • Use a crosscut or combination blade.
  • Ensure that the blade rotates in the correct direction.
  • Ensure that the blade and arbor collars are secure and clean. Recessed sides of collars should be against blade.
  • Keep blade tight, clean, sharp and properly set so that it cuts freely and easily.
  • Only cut one work piece at a time
  • Allow motor to reach full speed before cutting
  • Wait for the saw to stop moving before removing the work.
  • Follow instructions for lubricating and changing accessories.
  • Keep the work area clean. Cluttered areas and benches invite incidents.
  • Keep the work area well lit.
  • Reduce the risk of unintentional startup. Make sure saw switch is in OFF position before plugging in.
  • Unplug tools before servicing and when not in use.
  • Check for damage. Repair or replace damaged parts.
  • Keep motor air slots clean and free of dust and chips.
  • Use only the accessories designed for the specific saw and job.
Mitre saw

What should you avoid when using a mitre saw?

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  • Do not operate the saw when placed on the ground.
  • Do not cut pieces smaller than 20 cm (8 in.) in length.
  • Do not cut stock that has loose knots, splits, defects or foreign objects (e.g., metal stone) in it. Do not cut solid timber along the grain.
  • Do not cut "free hand." The stock should lie solidly on the table against the fence.
  • Do not reach around or behind the saw blade.
  • Do not take your hand away from the trigger switch and handle until the blade is fully covered by the lower blade guard.
  • Do not overreach. Keep proper footing and balance at all times.
  • Do not force the saw. The saw cuts better and more safely at the rate for which it was designed.
  • Do not leave the saw until it has stopped completely. Turn the power off and unplug the saw.
  • Do not use electric tools in damp or wet locations.
  • Do not operate electric tools near flammable liquids or in gaseous or explosive atmospheres. Sparks may ignite fumes.

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2019-07-02