A power mitre saw, also known as a chop saw or drop saw, is a power tool used to make a quick, accurate crosscut in a workpiece at a variety of angles. Common uses include framing operations and the cutting of molding.
The mitre saw makes cuts by pulling a spinning circular saw blade down onto a workpiece in a short, controlled motion. The workpiece is held against a fence, which provides a precise cutting angle between the blade and the longest workpiece edge. In standard position, this angle is fixed at 90°.
A primary distinguishing feature of the mitre saw is the mitre index that allows the angle of the blade to be changed relative to the fence. Precise one-degree incremental changes to the mitre index can be made, and "stops" allow the mitre index to be quickly set to common angles (such as 15°, 22.5°, 30°, and 45°).
Our saw is a sliding compound mitre, which as well as having a rotating vertical pivot allowing the cutter head & blade to be tilted (or bevelled) sideways in addition to the horizontally rotating table (which allows vertical & horizontal angled cuts as well as cuts angled in both planes) it also has a horizontal sliding arms for the cutter head allowing cuts on much wider boards.
The saw has a RAGE3 255mm Multipurpose Sliding Mitre Saw blade. This blade enables Steel, Aluminium and Wood (even wood with nails, though try to avoid this) to be cut with this single blade.
- Robert Copcutt
- Mat Greenwood
- Hidde-Jan Lemstra
The Health and Safety Executive has a risk assessment for mitre saws here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/wis36.pdf
Makespace-specific Health and Safety
- Power supply to be disconnected when changing Blades.
- Wait for the blade to stop moving before removing the material or attempting any adjustments.
Slips, Trips and Falls
- Waste material/offcuts to be kept clear of work area.
- Equipment will be checked for defects before each use to minimise the risk of possible electrical faults or fire.
- If cutting steel the chips come off red hot. Make sure they cannot contact wood dust.
- Carbon Dioxide extinguisher to be available for any fires.
- The equipment will be checked before each use to ensure that there are no defects in the casing or cutting head.
- Goggles are essential because the blade throws chips in all directions. The operator must also make sure other people nearby are wearing eye protection, or stay well clear. Ear protection and a mask are recommended. Do not wear gloves because there is a risk of loose threads pulling your hand into the blade.
Repetitive Action/Physical Fatigue
- Fatigue contributes to most accidents so be sure to rest before it becomes a problem.
To get trained on the mitre saw and be added to the qualified user list, you will need to arrange for a training session with one of the mitre saw owners.
If you would like to arrange training, please see:
Please also read the manual; Rage 3DB Manual
- Safety is important as the saw is a dangerous piece of machinery if not used correctly. Safety goggles are a minimum. It is also recommended that you wear ear defenders.
- Check that the power cord is in a safe condition, and that there are no obvious mechanical faults with the tool. Report any problems to the owners.
- Always keep your hands clear of the blade. Small items can get dragged through the fence, so do not use the mitre saw to cut small things. Use a hand saw.
- The fence is adjustable. Be particularly careful that the blade does not damage the fence when doing a bevel cut.
- Be aware of where off-cuts will fall, and use appropriate supports.
- When possible use the built-in clamps to hold the work-piece firmly against the fence. Only clamp on one side so that the other side is free to move away.
- Mark your work where it needs to be cut and adjust the mitre and bevel angles as needed.
- By lowering the blade onto the work while the motor is off it is possible to accurately position work for a good cut. A test cut is recommended before doing a critical cut.
- There is an attachment for a vacuum cleaner. It is worth using.
- A circular saw blade will almost always kick straight back. Watch your body position. Keep slightly to the side, and never keep a hand behind the blade.
- When ready to cut, pull the saw all the way back, turn it on and allow it to reach full speed before pushing it all the way down, and then pushing it all the way back through the work-piece.
- There is an adjustable stop that can be used if you only want to cut to a specific depth.
- If cutting steel the chips come off red hot. To prevent fires make sure all wood dust is cleared away before doing this.
- We have experienced problems with broken teeth on the blades. We believe this is caused by users cutting thin steel sheet or thin steel rods. If the item being cut is floppy enough to move while being cut it can jump into the gaps behind the teeth and a tooth could be presented with too much metal to cut in one go. Blades cost over £40 each so please only cut metal thick enough to never vibrate under the blade.
- To avoid making enemies in the space clean up all the dust when you have finished.
Maximum Cutting Capacity
|Mitre(Degrees)||Bevel (Degrees)||Max Width Of Cut||Max Depth Of Cut|
|0||0||320mm (12-1/2”)||80mm (3-1/6”)|
|45L / 45R||45||225mm (7-4/5”)||40mm (1-7/12”)|
|45L / 45R||0||225mm (7-4/5”)||80mm (3-1/6”)|
|0||45||320mm (12-1/2”)||40mm (1-7/12”)|
Designed to cut
|Mild Steel Plate||Max Thickness 6mm (1/4”)|
|Mild Steel Box Section||Max Wall Thickness 3mm (1/8”)|
|Wood||Max Section 80mm x 320mm (3-1/6” x 12-1/2”)|
Every month inspect for damage and general wear and tear and asses state of stock blades and replace as needed.
Every six months the carbon motor brushes should be inspected for wear, and replaced as necessary.
Replacement blades Rage 255mm TCT Blade £30