How to Cut a 45 degree Angle with a Table Saw [Step-by-Step]

How to Cut a 45 degree Angle with a Table Saw [Step-by-Step]

How to Cut a 45 degree Angle with a Table Saw [Step-by-Step]

A table saw can be the perfect tool for making accurate 45-degree cuts.

While there are other tools that can do this, if your workpiece is fairly large, the table saw is your best bet.

There are two kinds of 45 degree cuts possible on a table saw, a 45-degree miter cut and a 45-degree bevel cut.

In this guide, I'll show you how to do both.

Things You'll Need

  • Table Saw
  • Speed Square
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Miter Gauge Fence

Note that both methods need you to have a miter gauge for the table saw.

How to Make a 45 degree Angle Miter Cut with a Table Saw

Begin by placing the wood to be cut on the work table.

wood to be cut
wood to be cut

Insert a miter gauge into the table saw's track.

inserting miter gauge into the table saw track
inserting miter gauge into the table saw track

This miter gauge has angles varying from 90 degrees in the center and 30 degrees to both left and right of the center. (marked as increments of 15 degrees).

angles on the miter gauge
angles on the miter gauge

Using a tape and a pencil, measure and make the distance needed onto the wood.

Marking the point of cut on the wood
Marking the point of cut on the wood

For additional accuracy, you may even use a speed square to draw a 45-degree line onto the face of the wood being cut.

Remember to mark the length on both the face and edge of the wood.

The edge will come in contact with the blade first.

If the length of the wood to be cut is very long, consider removing the rip fence to allow for more room.

In the miter gauge fence, loosen the knob and change the angle to 45 degrees.

You can do this either in the clockwise direction or in the anticlockwise direction, depending on your need.

miter gauge angle set at 45 degrees
miter gauge angle set at 45 degrees

Set the height of the blade ¼" more than the thickness of the wood being cut.

setting the blade height 1/4" above the wood height
setting the blade height 1/4" above the wood height

With the wood still on the miter gauge, slide the gauge forward and align the mark with the saw's blade to check if the cut will be accurate.

aligning the blade with the line of cut
aligning the blade with the line of cut

Once the blade is aligned with the mark, plug in the saw and turn it on.

Let the blade reach full speed before feeding the workpiece to the saw.

Slowly begin feeding the wood to the blade and make sure to support the miter gauge and the wood while cutting.

Remember to set the rip fence far away from the blade to prevent it from acting as a pivot point for the offcut.

That can cause a kickback.

Making the 45 degree miter cut using table saw
Making the 45-degree miter cut using a table saw

Use a speed square on the cut edge to measure and confirm that the angle made is, in fact, 45 degrees.

With this, you have successfully made a 45-degree angle miter cut using a table saw.

45 degree miter cut completed using a table saw
45-degree miter cut completed using a table saw

How to Make a 45 degree Angle Bevel Cut with a Table Saw

Start by placing the wood to be cut onto the work surface.

wood to be cut at 45 degree angle
wood to be cut at a 45-degree angle

To make a bevel cut, the blade angle must be changed, giving it a tilt.

Don't simply trust the bevel indicator on the table joint as they can be inaccurate.

A better alternative to setting up your bevel angle is using a digital angle box or an adjustable bevel gauge and a protractor.

If neither of those is available to you, take a scrap piece of wood.

making a piece for setting the 45-degree bevel angle on the table saw blade

scrap piece of wood for setting the angle
scrap piece of wood for setting the angle

Set the angle on the miter gauge to 45 degrees and lock the angle in place.

miter gauge angle set at 45 degrees
miter gauge angle set at 45 degrees

Cut the scrap wood at a 45-degree miter using the miter gauge.

making a 45 degree miter cut on the scrap wood piece
making a 45-degree miter cut on the scrap wood piece

Now this 45-degree piece can be used to set the bevel angle on the table saw blade.

setting a 45 degree bevel angle using the scrap wood
setting a 45-degree bevel angle using the scrap wood

Once the angle is set, you're ready to make the cut on the actual piece of wood you intend to use.

Set the miter gauge on the saw and make sure the angle is set back to 90 degrees.

miter gauge set at 90 degree
miter gauge set at 90 degree

One the wood piece, mark the point at which you intend to make the bevel cut.

Align the table saw blade with the point which you just marked and do not move it afterward.

Turn on the saw and let it reach full speed, then slowly begin feeding the wood into the table saw.

Make sure to grasp the miter gauge and the wood firmly together.

making a 45 degree bevel cut with table saw
making a 45-degree bevel cut with the table saw

Make sure to keep the rip fence far away to prevent kickback from the offcut.

Once the cut is finished, make sure the edges are clean and free of splinters.

If there are any rough edges, sand them out and make it smooth.

sanding the bevel edge to smooth it
sanding the bevel edge to smooth it
45 degree angle bevel cut made using table saw
45-degree angle bevel cut made using a table saw

With that, your 45-degree angle bevel cut is successfully made using a table saw.

You might be interested in these:

Tips for accuracy while cutting angles on Table Saw

  • Make sure to cut outside of the line, so the wood piece that you intend to use has the correct dimensions.
  • Use a sharp blade with an appropriate number of teeth. More teeth on the saw blade means better cut but takes longer to cut and large teeth means quick but rough cuts.
  • If you are using wet wood or treated lumber, use a blade that's appropriate for that purpose.
  • If the length of the edge that is against the fence is shorter than the distance between the fence and the blade, Then dont cut it using the rip fence.
  • Miter fence of the table saw can help create perfectly square cuts as its parallel to the blade as well as perpendicular. This is a much better alternative than using hands to push the wood.

Tips for safety while cutting angles on Table Saw

  • When running the table saw, use industrial-grade eye and ear protection.
  • When cutting, stand to one side of the saw blade; do not allow anyone to stand directly in front of the saw blade while it is running.
  • When using a table saw, You should not use gloves. In addition, remove any rings, bracelets, or other clothing that might become entangled in the table saw or material.
  • Never lift the saw blade above the material being cut by more than 1/4th inches.
  • Before leaving the saw work area, lower the blade below the tabletop.
  • Never stay right behind or too close to the running blade to avoid injury in case of kickback. Kickback is extremely dangerous and must be prevented at all costs.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

How do you cut a bevel greater than 45 on a table saw?

If the breadth of the wood exceeds the height of the saw blade, its better to cut the wood with a band saw. Make a 45-degree cut in a scrap piece of wood. To make the cut, place the piece of wood on the scrap piece and adjust the band saw table to the angle measurement minus 45.

What is the difference between a chamfer and a bevel?

A chamfer is technically a kind of bevel, but the distinction is that a bevel is a sloping edge, but a chamfer is an edge that joins two surfaces at a 45-degree angle, whereas the slope of a bevel may be any angle except 90 or 45 degrees.

What is the difference between a miter cut and a bevel cut?

A miter is an angled cut made across a board's face, or breadth. A bevel is an angled cut made through a board's thickness. Depending on how the board is positioned on the table saw, it can cut both a miter and a bevel.

What is bevel capacity?

The maximum bevel cut the saw can produce is indicated by its bevel capacity. Bevel stops are settings that enable for fast bevel cut changes. By sending a beam of light onto the work piece, laser guides aid in cutting precision. These features are mostly found on circular saws.

About V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to Mellowpine. We play around with beginner woodworking projects, CNC for hobbyists, and general woodworking tips.

If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com

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V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to Mellowpine. We play around with beginner woodworking projects, CNC for hobbyists, and general woodworking tips.

If you'd like to connect with me or talk about something you like at mellowpine, drop me a mail at susan@mellowpine.com

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