6 Safety Tips for Using a Miter Saw

The miter saw is an extremely useful tool in various woodworking jobs. Also called a chop saw or drop saw, this vital tool enables you to achieve precise crosscuts while giving you much versatility as you work. Although extremely useful, if not well-managed, the saw can easily cause grave injuries to the body. It is important that you practice safety measures if you’re to get the most out of your saw. Below are 6 safety tips while using your miter saw.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Safe clothing is an important practice during woodworking operations. It is best to wear clothing that is comfortable as well as protective. Be sure your skin is well covered to protect the body from flying splinters of wood, dust and other debris. Always wear a pair of safety glasses to give maximum protection to your eyes. If it appears that much dust will be produced, it is best to wear a dust mask. Avoid loose or hanging cloth parts such as sleeves or belts. These can easily get caught in the saw and cause a machine jam. It may also result in serious personal injuries. Avoid wearing loose jewelry when woodworking as it could also get caught in the drop saw. If your miter saw is very loud, it is best to get some hearing protection to prevent your ears from being aggravated.

Adjust the Fence

A well-adjusted fence allows you to work with confidence. It assures pleasing results. Be sure you adjust the fence for whatever cut desired rather than use a freehand approach. Always fit the work-piece securely against the tray and fence when you have to cut. This will minimize the risk of accidental cuts to the hands.

Clean the Chop Saw as You Work

When cutoffs and sawdust accumulate on the saw, it interferes with accurate cutting. Clear debris from the saw as you work to allow you to work more comfortably. However, turn off the power and be sure the blade has stopped before you clear the debris. It is a good idea to keep a small bucket nearby into which you can deposit cleared debris.

Keep Work Area Well Lit

Adequate light will help ensure that you achieve accurate cross cuts. When the work area is well lit, you needn’t strain as you set your angles. This makes for a more comfortable work environment. Adequate lighting also improves visibility which reduces the risk of getting your hands too close to the saw blades.

Mind Your Fingers and Hands

Be sure your fingers are a safe distance from the cutting blade. Also avoid placing your free hand on the cutting table. This will help protect your hands from accidental injuries. It is best to keep your hands at least 6 inches away from the blades.

Use Guards

Guards are an important safety device of the drop saw. They greatly reduce the risk of accidental cuts during operations. Be sure that all guards are in working order and are in place during cutting.