What Is A Miter Gauge And How to Use It

A chop saw is the best option for making various types of miter cuts. Actually, they are made for doing those specific tasks. But a miter saw is not the only saw which can be used for making the miter cuts. And if you want to, you can use a simple table saw to make that.


To make miter cuts on the table saw you need to use a miter gauge. Sometimes you can find one with the table saw, but most of the time you need to pick up an aftermarket table saw miter gauge. Most of the table saw comes with the ability to rotate its blade up to 45-degree and with the help of a miter gauge extension you will be able to make some of the tough, exotic miter cuts even without using a miter saw.             

And in this conversation, I will tell you what is a miter gauge and how to use it.


Without further ado let’s start.

What is Miter Gauge (Working Principle)

Table saw miter gauge is a simple extension though it is more complex than an aftermarket table saw fence. 

(If you missed our table saw fence reviews, go and check out that on reviewinfinite web site.)    

However, compared to other woodworking tools it is far more simple as it is an extension only. Since a table saw miter gauge is a simple looking extension, the working principle of it is simple also. 

If you look closely at a miter gauge, you will find that it is made from mainly 3 or 4 parts. A long thin metal is one of them. It slides down to the table saw table and helps it to sit on the table tightly. A half-moon shaped head that is connected to the guide. In general, it carries the angle reading. A table saw miter gauge also has a locking system to lock down the desired angle. When all the things are set perfectly, all you have to put a workpiece against the saw fence. Then slide it towards the table saw blade and it is done. 

Some miter gauges come with positive stops (these are the most commonly used angles such as 15-degree, 22.5-degree, 30-degree, 45-degree, 60-degree, and 90-degree ).

Types of Cuts You Can Make Using a Miter Gauge

ITable saw is the master of making rip cuts. But using a miter gauge on top of the table saw table you can manage a number of exotic cuts. And they are

  1. Square cuts and

  2. Crosscut. 

  3. Angled crosscut.


Square Cuts

Square cuts are the most simple type you can get from the miter gauge. You need to set the miter gauge at 90-degree. Then just start the saw and make the cut. 

Wallah! You have successfully made the square cut.


Angled Crosscut

To make an angled crosscut you need to set the miter gauge at 45-degree angle. Then drive the workpiece towards the table saw blade and the cut is done.

 (Picture Need)

Though it seems pretty much easy to make the cut using table saw miter gauge, it is tricky. And if you don’t do this in the right way, you can ruin the cuts. As a result, you will end up with the wrong measurement.

How to Use a Miter Gauge for Making Cuts Perfectly

Let’s take a look at the process of making square cuts and crosscut using miter gauge on the table saw. But before starting the process, you need some tools and additional things to do the job safely and perfectly.


Things you need before start cutting on the table saw:

  1. A table saw

  2. A miter gauge.

  3. A good quality table saw blade.

  4. Professional working gloves.

  5. Aprons for the workshop.

  6. Googles for eyes.

  7. Ear protection (earbuds)

  8. Pencil for marking.  


After collecting the things mentioned you need to follow the different steps for making those two different cuts.

Steps to Follow: For Making Square Cuts

Follow the steps given below to achieve perfect square cuts using a table saw miter gauge.

Step 1: At first, unplug the table saw from the electrical cord and raise the saw blade as high as possible. 

Step 2: According to your miter gauge reading place it at 90-degree or 0-degree. It is perfect for making square cuts.

Step 3: To match the gauge to the front exposed front edge of the blade, slide the miter gauge.


Step 4: Now it is time to check the alignment of the gauge. Put the saw blade against the one edge of the square, to check it. And place another edge against the flat. Now find out whether the gauge perfectly matches their ground or not. If they match them perfectly, it is the right alignment you were looking for. 

Step 6: Start the saw by putting its plug into the electrical outlet again, then push the start button. 

Step 5: At last, just drive the workpiece towards the saw blade and you will be finished with a perfect square cut.

Steps to Follow: For Making Crosscut

Usually, I do the following to make perfect crosscuts using a table saw and a miter gauge.


Step 1: Just like the square cut process, start the cross-cut process by unplugging the saw from the electric outlet at first. 


Step 2: Now, pull the miter gauge towards you and place a wood piece against the flat surface of the miter gauge.


Step 3: Now mark on the wood pice where you want to make the cut. And then align the marking with the saw blade.     


Step 4: Complete your preparation by plugging the saw into the electric outlet.

Step 5: Move the workpiece towards the saw blade to make the cut at last.

How To Make An Angled Crosscut Using a Miter Gauge

You won’t find so many differences between a square cut and an angled crosscut. The only difference you will find that the miter angle. Before sliding the miter gauge onto the table saw table you need to set the miter gauge at an angle between 0-degree to 45-degree.

Note: You have to make sure that you are moving the workpiece slowly during making the cross cut.

Tips For Using The Table Taw Miter Gauge

  1. Don’t attempt to make cuts on a table saw without wearing safety equipment.
  2. Don’t use a workpiece which is more than 4-feet. Because a large wooden piece is difficult to handle on a table saw.
  3. Before you drive the workpiece under the saw blade double-check the alignment of the miter gauge.
  4. Always use a new and sharp blade to get a smooth cut. If your saw is not carrying the sharp blade, change it immediately, before you go for cutting the workpiece.

Sometimes your table saw’s internal issues may cause the abnormal cutting result. So, make sure that your saw is working well. To know how to fix a table saw, check out the table saw repair article of us.  

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