When your miter saw is not cutting straight and square cuts you are longing for when working on a trim piece, you will surely get frustrated. In such a case, you need to step back a bit and figure out the reasons behind your miter saw’s inability to cut straight.
Miter saw is the most stable and powerful tool that can quickly slice through boards for cross-cutting. It can make straight and square cuts with remarkable precision. Thus, it is a must-have tool for every woodworker.
If ever you experience inaccurate and non-straight cuts using the miter saw, you might as well check your miter saw’s components for any misalignment. It will be best likewise to be cognizant of the following significant causes and fixes for a miter saw that is not cutting straight:
Table of Contents
Warped or Damaged Saw Blade
One primary cause of the inability of the miter saw to cut straight is a warped or damaged saw blade. If you have been using the same saw blade, mounted for an extended period on your miter saw, it might get warped and damaged. Of course, many saw blades are designed to handle excessive stress. But over time, they could become warped and damaged.
Once damaged, the saw blade will start to wobble. If the wobbling becomes intense, it can cause uneven cuts, deviating from the cut line by several degrees. If such is the case with your miter saw blade, it will be best to replace your saw blade. You can test the saw blade if it gets warped by spinning it on your fingers. If it wobbles, it means that it is warped.
Another cause of wobbling is due to incorrect installation of the saw blade. If you did not tighten enough the saw blade, it might wobble while spinning. This wobbling will eventually cause inaccurate cuts. So, it will be best to reinstall the saw blade in a correct manner.
Another cause of this issue is the unstable fence. You might overlook this issue when you make your regular maintenance. Yet, the fence is crucial to getting straight and perfect cuts, for it holds the material tightly while you cut.
Nevertheless, it isn’t easy to tell if the fence is out of alignment. Yet, you must know how to recognize if the fence is misaligned. Inability to figure out its misalignment might lead to the inability to make straight cuts.
Misaligned Bevel Gauge
The misaligned bevel gauge is another cause of inaccurate cuts using the miter saw. Maybe you rely too much on the bevel gauge’s accuracy when making angled cuts. Yet, it can also get misaligned because of the vibration of the miter saw. It can also be due to damage to the miter saw. You might encounter this issue not only in old and well-used miter saw, for even if your miter saw is new, you might also encounter this issue.
For example, if the delivery of your miter saw experienced rough sailing along the way or if the delivery guys rough-handled the package, the bevel gauge might get misaligned. You can realign the bevel gauge by following the manual instructions on how to realign the bevel gauge.
Misaligned Miter Gauge
The miter gauge can also get misaligned like the bevel gauge. This misalignment of the miter gauge can cause inaccurate cuts. This issue is more pronounced when you make miter cuts for your frames like window frames, picture frames, and other frames. If your miter gauge isn’t aligned, you’ll get off-angled cuts.
So, when you put the pieces together, you will see the problem, producing a frame that is not square. The best way to solve such an issue is to align your miter gauge. Once again, you can consult the manual on realigning the miter gauge.
Not Properly Clamped Workpieces
Another factor that could cause crooked cuts using the miter saw is workpieces that are not clamped well. When making bevel cuts using the miter saw, you need to set up the miter saw for bevel cuts. It will be best to angle the saw blade to achieve the desired bevel cuts.
However, several forces come into play once you lower the saw blade. First, the spinning angled saw blade tends to draw the wood towards the saw blade. Such tremendous force can make the workpiece alter its position during the cutting process. A minor movement can result in not accurate cuts.
So, you need to ensure that the workpieces get clamped securely. You can use several clamps, such as the C clamps. You can also use the clamps that come with the saw.
Of course, with an ordinary crosscut, you can hold the workpiece with your free hand. But with bevel cuts, you need to clamp well the workpiece to avoid movement that could also lead to injury.
Several reasons can cause inaccurate cuts using the miter saw, and if you want to remedy such an issue about imprecise cuts, it will be best to know the different causes of these inaccurate cuts. Remember that some of the problems about the inaccuracy of cuts can be easily remedied by simply realigning some components of your miter saw.
In fact, a simple clamping of the workpiece can solve a lingering inaccuracy problem when cutting workpieces. Nevertheless, some of these inaccuracy issues necessitate more elaborate tinkering with your miter saw, requiring you to engage in investigative tinkering to figure out the reason behind the inaccurate cuts.
Liam is a 37-year-old woodworker and interior designer who loves to make every furniture project an art piece. He is very experienced in furniture design and woodworking project planning.