Laser-Like Accuracy from a Mitre Saw

When setting your mitre saw to match the line you’ve drawn on your workpiece, a laser can be helpful. However, my mitre saw doesn’t have a laser so my usual method is to simply take a test cut, then adjust, take another test cut and repeat until I get it set correctly. Serge describes a better way in this post from his blog, Woodworking Hobbyist’s Workshop.


You don’t have a mitre saw featuring a laser beam? No problem, me neither. However with this tip you will achieve results with the same accuracy. It only takes few seconds more. Layout your workpiece with an unknown angle and drop it on the miter saw bed.

First, lift the saw guard and insert a small scrap about 2″ long in the sliding slot between the front end and the stop (you may need to adjust its length according to your miter saw). This will keep the guard up for the setup.

Second, secure a 3″ X 6″ temporary guide, made out of a thin scrap, to the saw blade with a spring clamp.

Third, remove the small 2″ scrap to free the blade guard (if not the saw will freeze) and let it sit gently on the workpiece, as shown.

Finally, keep the saw down with your right hand so the temporary guide will meet your workpiece while your left hand will align the guide (and the saw blade) with your layout line.

This is laser accurary without the laser itself. Just a little left- and right- hand coordination.

4 thoughts on “Laser-Like Accuracy from a Mitre Saw

  1. My saw does have a laser, but it is a pain and does not remain set even when I do calibrate it. I mostly use it to ensure I am cutting a mitre in the right direction. This is a nice and simple solution!

  2. Interesting, seems a lot of work?
    I lift gaurd place finger clamp on blade keeps it up. Keep saw in locked postion ,use steel protractor to find angle. Set protractor on saw table slowly move saw unti’ it is set to angle of protractor.
    Remove spring clamp, mark work piece with protactor and pencil 7ml for me :) un-lock saw and cut.

  3. Just make light pointing device like the one of the Dewalt Miter Saw XPS Work Light. It’s way better than laser like they say. Just put 2 LEDs beside the saw blade and you are ready to cut the sh.. of your timber. ;-)

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