In this article I will describe to you how to accurately set up and safely use your chop saw.


To start with, you’ll want to check the accuracy of the cut angles at the factory set 45 and 90 degree settings.

To do this, take two scrap pieces of 3/4″x2″ material and place them one at a time on the table to the left of the blade. Cut the ends at the 90 degree setting. Now take the two pieces and place them on you bench with the cut ends facing each other and the fence edge against a straight edge.

If you have a gap at either side of the cut, your saw is out of square. The angle created by the two cuts is twice the discrepency of the saw.

If the gap is at the back of the cut, then the saw needs to be adjusted to the left(Clock-wise)


If the gap is at the front, as above, then the saw needs to be adfusted to the right(counter clock-wise).

Keep testing the adjustment until the gap disappears.Hint: the wider your scrap, the more accurate your setup will be.


All saw have an adjustment on the 90 and 45 degree settings.


To ckeck the setting for the 45 degree cut, set the saw at the 45 degree setting and repeat the above process. This time set the scraps in the corner of a rafters square.


If the gap is on the inside corner, the saw has to go right (CCW). If it’s on the outside corner, as above, the saw has to go left(CW).

Once you adjust the saw for one setting, theoretically it should be set for all the others.

If you have a compound saw, use the same technique for adjusting the vertical cut also.


When cutting long stock, be sure to support the outboard end.


The stock fence works just fine when cuuting large chuncks off a board, but the large gap in the fence won’t work for cutting smaller parts.The small parts will almost always get caught in the blade and get flying lessons.

To remedy this problem, mount an auxiliary fence in front of the stock fence. Upon the first cut, a kerf will be created in the fence.

Now when you cut small parts, make the cut and do not let the blade return to the park position. Instead, make the cut and hold the blade down until it stops.

Now lift the blade and retrieve the part.

If your saw is not equipped with a laser guide to mark the cut line, an easy way to accurately cut a piece is to start the saw and slowly lower

it until it just starts to cut. At this point you can slide the stock up to the cutline.

If you need multiple pieces of the same size, set a stop block on the fence at the desired length.


If you need to cut something that’s wider than the saws cutting capacity, start the cut from one side then flip the stock and cut from the other side.


If you’re right handed, it’s safest to work to the left of the blade and left handed to the right.

Never start the blade in the down position. It coild jump ruin your piece or worse your fingers.

Always let the blade come to a stop before reaching for the cut pieces