How to Properly Use a Miter Hand Saw

What You'll Need
Miter saw
Miter box

A miter hand saw with a box is one of the ways that you can obtain an accurate cut to your miter projects. You don't generally use a miter hand saw for large pieces of wood. It is designed for more precise cuts on small wood, such as molding, baseboards and other trim. The miter hand saw consists of a thin saw with sharp teeth and a reinforced top edge. The following steps will detail how to properly use a hand miter saw and box.

Step 1 - Take Your Measurement

Measure where you need to have your wood start and end. You will need to make cuts for all 45-degree and 90-degree angles, even if you are placing two 90-degree angles next to each other to continue a run. Measuring allows you to ensure that the cuts are even. When you are making an angled cut other than 90 degrees, you will want to measure to the inside corner of the cut.

Step 2 - Place Your Board

Place the end of the board that you are cutting into the miter box. The box is more of a flat "U." It has two sides and is attached to a bottom stabilizing piece. Place the board between the two side pieces. The side pieces contain notches for the different standard angles you can make. Align your piece of wood with the correct angle.

Step 3 - Clamp Into Place

The type of miter box you have purchased will decide the clamping system you should use. Many boxes come with pegs or clamps to hold your wood in place. If the version you own does not have either, you will want to use clamps to secure the wood to the side wall of the box.

Step 4 - Saw

Once you have taken the initial steps to carefully measure, mark and secure the piece of wood, you will cut it. The saw has a handle on one end like many other wood saws, and you should operate it the same way.

Place the top of the saw into the groove of the correct angle and lightly let it glide over the surface. The secret to a good, even cut is to keep moving the saw with the same amount of pressure. Digging into the wood or trying to rush your way through a cut can create rough edges, and in many cases, it will chip and splinter the wood you are working with.

Using a miter hand saw is not difficult once you understand how to use the different angles. Miter boxes tend to wear down fast with regular use, so do not be surprised if you end up with more saws then boxes after a few projects.