Search The Tool Guru

Proper use of Miter Saws

Download Print
Proper use of Miter Saws

 

These tools are used for crosscutting, mitering and beveling wood, non-ferrous metals, and plastics. They cut through the work piece at a predetermined angle or miter. Some also can cut at a beveled angle.

Always wear safety goggles or safety glasses with side shields complying with current national standard, and a full face shield when needed. Use a dust mask in dusty work conditions. Wear hearing protection during extended periods of operation.

Do not wear gloves, loose clothing, jewelry or any dangling objects that may catch in rotating parts or accessories. Tie back long hair.

Because of the downward cutting motion, your safety requires that you stay very alert to keeping hands and fingers away from the path that the
blade travels.

Be sure all guards are in place and working. If a guard seems slow to return to its normal position or "hangs up," adjust or repair it immediately.


Be alert at all times-especially during repetitive, monotonous operations.


Don't be lulled into carelessness due to a false sense of security

.
Blades are extremely unforgiving. Clean the lower guard frequently to help visibility and movement. Unplug before adjustment or cleaning.

Use only recommended size and RPM rated blades.

Abrasive cut-off wheels should not be used on miter saws. Miter saw guards are not appropriate for abrasive cut-off wheels.

Remember that loose blades can fly off. Regularly check and tighten the blade and blade attachment mechanism.

When installing or changing a blade be sure the blade and related washers and fasteners are correctly positioned and secured on the saw arbor.

To avoid loss of control or placing hands in the path of the blade, hold or clamp all material securely against the fence when cutting. Do not perform operations freehand.

Never cut small pieces. Support long material at the same height as the saw table.

Never place your hands or fingers in the path of the blade, or reach in back of the fence. It's hazardous to do so. Do not cross arms or hands in front of blade to secure work piece. Use clamps, if necessary. Saw blades coast after being turned off-use the brake if one is provided. To avoid contact with a costing blade do not reach into cutting areas until the blade comes to a full stop.

After completing a cut, release the trigger switch and allow the blade to come to a complete stop as mentioned, and then raise the saw blade from the work piece.

Miter saws have spring loaded saw heads to return the saw head to its up position. Adjust, repair, or replace the spring mechanism if the saw head does not automatically return to its up position when released. Hold or clamp the work firmly against the fence on the sawed end. Lock the miter saw and blades in the down position during transport or when not in use.

ABRASIVE CUT-OFF MACHINES

 
Although similar to miter saws in operation abrasive cut-off machines are designed to crosscut ferrous metal. The
wheel is made of abrasive materials held together with special resins.


The wheel grinds through the metal rather than cutting with teeth.


Accordingly, some special safety considerations come into play when suing abrasive cut-off machines.

It is important to choose the proper cut-off wheel for the material and type of cutting you plan to do. All cut-off wheels have a maximum safe speed rating. Only use wheels whose rating exceeds the operating speed of your machine. Make sure the wheel is undamaged and properly aligned.
With the power head all the way down, hand spin the wheel and check for clearance.

Make sure the wheel and arbor collars are clean, and the collars' recessed slides are facing the wheel.

When cutting any metals sparks or hot fragments could cause a fire.


Do not cut near flammable materials.

Always use the vise provided with abrasive cut-off machine. Any movement of your work piece can cause the wheel to break and throw portions of the wheel.

When beginning a cut with the saw, care should be exercised not to bump or slam the wheel into the work. Once the cut is started, continue the cut with a smooth, even stroke. The faster a cut is made, the less heat is created in the work piece. This helps prevent discoloring and prolongs wheel life. Cut with the maximum force that doesn't overload
the motor.

NOTE: Never replace the abrasive wheel with a toothed blade. There will be no excuse for a claim that the instructions invite this king of misinterpretation as to the purpose of the tool.