Is your miter saw square?
Q. I want to adjust my miter saw so it’s dead-on accurate,
but I don’t have a fancy square. How do I do it?
A. Use an old woodworker’s trick: set up your saw as close
as you can with whatever square you have (see photo below),
saw a board in half (Photo 1) and flip over one side (Photo 2).
When your saw is dead on, the two cut ends will
butt perfectly together. If there’s a gap in the
front of the joint (Photo 3), it means the
saw blade is angled a bit to the left.
If there’s a gap in the back, the
saw blade is angled to the right.
The gap itself is actually
twice the amount that your
saw is off, because you’re
comparing two cut ends to
Most miter saws can be
adjusted by loosening some screws
and pivoting the fence. Refer to your
owner’s manual for details.
Click any image to view a larger version.
1. Cut a trial
board in half.
It must have
Secure it with
2. Flip over the
right half, hold
it tight against
the miter saw’s
fence and butt it
up to the left
3. A gap between
the two cut
the saw isn’t set