All you need to know about how to set up the radial miter saw to operate flawlessly on wood, plastic, and metal.
The miter saws are bench power tools that are widely used primarily in the craft sector; thanks to these machines, it is possible to make precise cuts on different types of materials, from wood to metal. Consequently, it is mainly used by carpenters, carpenters, and professional blacksmiths.
Even many DIY and DIY enthusiasts, however, exceptionally the more experienced and those who have the possibility of having an adequate workspace, such as a garage or a garage, are used to equip themselves by purchasing one of these machines; if you try to do a market research aimed at identifying which is the most requested type it turns out that the best-selling wood miter saw is precisely the one intended for the hobby and amateur users.
In the DIY field, the miter saw is mainly used for cutting wood and metal, especially aluminum and iron; its primary feature, as mentioned above, is that of making precise cuts, regardless of their inclination and angle.
The average hobbyist, however, especially those who still have little experience in the use of bench power tools, often collide with a rather unpleasant reality when, after purchasing their first miter saw, after having put it to work the first times they discover that the machine does not reach the desired level of precision; let’s find out what are the problems related to this aspect and how to solve them.
The assembly of the machine
The problem of poor performance in precision is endemic to hobby-type power tools and is usually directly proportional to the price of the device. The miter saw is no exception to this rule, and the cheaper the model you have purchased, the lower the degree of precision offered.
This limitation is mainly due to the factory assembly, which in the models sold at low cost is less precise and subjected to less rigorous controls than the high-end ones, which are characterized by a construction and a better yield, but also by a much higher price.
In this case, the problem is quite simple to solve, even if it requires a certain amount of patience and commitment. It is necessary to subject the machine to a careful check of its components and to check which parts are involved so that they can be dismantled and reassembled to make the necessary adjustments.
Regarding specifically the radial miter saws, the parts to be checked are the laser guide system of the cut, if present, the arm that holds the head with the blade-motor unit, the blade engagement, the lateral guides, the worktop, and machine supports.
Once the verification has been carried out and the necessary adjustments have been made, you have already made a big step forward in making the power tool more reliable and performing in terms of precision; some of the components mentioned, however, such as the work surface and the laser guide system, for example, must undergo further adjustment.
The adjustments of the blade and arm
The first thing to check, and adjust if necessary, is the correct inclination of the circular module; in most cases, this factory is assembled straight with a perfect angle of 90 ° concerning the work surface.
However, this might be poorly fixed, and that consequently, it is not perfectly perpendicular to carry out the verification, it is sufficient to have a small magnetic digital protractor to be calibrated on the surface and then applied to the blade; if the reading shows a value other than 90 °, then it is better to disassemble and reassemble the sword and carry out a further measurement to check if the problem has been solved or further rectification is necessary.
Furthermore, the incorrect inclination of the blade may not be due to a gross assembly on the clutch, but to a play in the inclination mechanism of the arm that supports the blade-motor unit. In this case, it is necessary to adjust the screws located at the base of the gun, in correspondence with the joint which allows it to lower itself up to an angle of 45 ° to perform the inclined cuts.
One of the two screws is usually fixed and represents the “end of stroke” of the inclination movement, while the other can be unscrewed and moved, to be placed in the point that allows precise inclination at 45 °; also, in this case, the digital angle protractor will help you to adjust the machine in the best way, to guarantee maximum precision during subsequent cuts, regardless of the degree of inclination with which you set the arm.
The laser guide and the joke
The adjustment of the laser guide is straightforward to perform since it has two small screws on opposite sides, which must be adjusted until the light beam is perfectly aligned with the cutting line of the blade.
The stop instead, that is, the raised edge where the piece to be cut is placed, when the blade is oriented in position 0 on the horizontal adjustment scale, must create a perfect 90 ° angle with the cutting line.
To check if the angle is correct, you must rest the digital protractor on the stop and then open it at an angle slightly higher than 90 °, once done, push the protractor slowly towards the blade, which must be lowered; therefore, the operation must be carried out with the machine strictly off, to avoid the risk of accidental start.
If the reading of the protractor does not correspond to the exact 90 °, then the position of the stop must be adjusted by acting on the four screws that lock it firmly to the work surface. To do this, slightly loosen one of the external screws, to the right or left as appropriate, and thoroughly relax the other three; once this is done, the stop can be moved slightly until the position is corrected.
Once done, tighten the screws at the ends and repeat the measurement with the protractor; if the resulting angle is 90 °, then the other screws can also be tightened. Otherwise, one of the ends will have to be loosened again, and the operation repeated.