How to Work Safely with a Miter Saw

A miter saw is, indisputably, the best tool to use for precisely angled cuts. The power tool’s blade easily cuts through 4×4’s and some models can even handle aluminum netting. Therefore, miter saws are extremely dangerous when used improperly. Before plugging your saw in, make sure you know all the safety rules of operating it.

Gear Up
It is absolutely vital to be wearing the appropriate safety gear when working with any type of power saw. Thick gloves, loose shirts/jackets and jewelry are all emergencies waiting to happen. Don’t forget to put on safety goggles. No matter how great your dust collection system is (and it’s usually not), tiny dust particles are propelled in all directions when you perform a cut. You’re bound to get some in your eyes if you don’t wear goggles. If you have a heavy-duty saw and are working with it for extended periods of time, ear protection is also highly recommended.

Know the Basics
There are a few very important basic rules to using a miter saw. Make sure you follow all of them – neglecting to do so can cost you an arm and a leg, literally!

  • Keep your hands at least 6 inches away from the blade while it spins.
  • Never leave any loose material on your work space. Clamp any needed tools in place.
  • Don’t reach to remove materials with your bare hands.
  • After completing a cut, allow the blade to come to a complete stop before raising it.
  • Long-sized cutting materials should have adequate support at the same height as the miter saw table.

Know Your Limits

Firstly, never use a meter saw to cut small pieces of wood. If using a sliding saw model, always cut outward – starting from the position closest to you. Also, never place the material you need to cut using your hands, unless your miter saw doesn’t have a fence. Most importantly, never work in a hurry. Most serious injuries that involve a power saw happen to professionals with years of construction experience

Know Your Saw
You should thoroughly check your saw if you feel that it is operating differently, in any way. However, never try to clean or repair any power tool while it is still plugged in. When checking your saw, start with the blade. Only use blades of appropriate size and check that it doesn’t need to be tightened. The blade’s fastener and washer should be checked regularly as well. Finally, keep your saw clean. Dirt, dust and small splinters can disable the blade guard and change the cutting operation. There is no greater safety hazard then operating a miter saw with a non-functional blade guard.

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