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:
For detailed instructions see the manual or the saw Rage 3DB Manual
- Firstly, measure the angle of the cut that needs to be made for the job you are undertaking. Make sure it is completely accurate, as angles can be difficult to get perfect, and mistakes will be noticeable.
- 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.
- It is best to practise on a piece of scrap wood before you attempt the proper cut, to check the angles are correct and also to get used to using a mitre saw. Start by rotating the saw table to the position that you think is correct for the cut. There is a measuring function on the saw so you can select an angle.
- Mark the same angle on a piece of scrap wood. Position the wood onto the cutting table up against the guide and without turning the machine on, lower the blade onto the wood.
- If the blade is perfectly in line with the mark on the timber, then you are able to cut, however, you may need to make adjustments to the saw table in order to correct the alignment.
- There is an attachment for a vacuum cleaner. It is worth using.
- When ready to cut, ensure the safety guards are in place and that the saw table is locked in position. Turn the saw on and allow it to reach full speed before carefully bringing the saw down on the practice timber. Once this has worked, you can attempt to cut the good piece.
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”)|
Tips & Tricks
- Always test run the cut without power to ensure there are no problems and your hands are clear of the blade.
- Be aware of the location of any power cords when operating the saw, keeping them out of the path of the cut at all times.
- Be aware of where cut off pieces of lumber will fall, to avoid injuries; if possible clamp or support the offcuts.
- Be especially careful of the placement of your hands when cutting at an angle. if possible clamp the workpiece so you hands are well clear of the machine when cutting.
- 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.
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