So for the last year, my miter saw has sat on this way-too-rickety table, waiting for me to build it a permanent home.
That day has finally come! Luckily, mounting it is a really easy process!
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Why You Should Secure Your Miter Saw
Just a quick FYI if you’re on the fence about taking the time to mount your saw: you should do it. It’s easy, and using an unsecured miter saw is a giant pain.
First off, as mentioned, my table was super shakey. Every time I cut a piece, the table moved with the slider, which was kind of terrifying. Especially after I cut off my thumb.
(I wish I was joking. I’m not. It was the table saw, though.)
(These links lead to a Youtube video, not a graphic picture. You can safely click.)
Secondly, it’s really difficult to change the miter angle on the saw when the saw isn’t bolted down to anything. You’ve got to hold the saw down with one hand, and try to operate the miter lever with the other.
It’s do-able, but fairly cumbersome and annoying.
Finally, if you’re cutting a hard piece of wood and your blade is at all dull, the saw has a tendency to slide around rather than go through the wood. This is dangerous, scary, and generally asking for trouble.
All this to say – mount your miter saw. It will make your miter saw life 100% safer.
Ways to Mount a Miter Saw
How you mount your miter saw depends on what you’re mounting the saw to. For the easiest mounting process, I recommend securing the saw to a wooden workbench or countertop.
However, there are metal stands available as well. They’re fancy, and tend to cost a few hundred bucks.
I actually don’t recommend the stands for most home DIY-ers. They’re useful if you’re moving your miter stand around a lot, but if you’re working with a saw in your garage or basement, I think a stationary setup is generally a better one.
Plus it’s prettier. Obviously the most important factor.
The Easy Way to Secure a Miter Saw
The easiest way to mount a miter saw is secure it to a wooden surface. In that case, you’ll only need four screws and four washers.
Step 1: Put the Saw in Place
Set the saw where you’d like it to go, making sure you have enough clearance in the back of the saw to operate the any sliding system the saw has.
Note that for many miter saws, this means that the saw can’t go up against a wall. I pulled it off, but only because my basement wall has this weird ledge thing on it that allows for enough clearance.
If you’re really determined to put your miter saw up against a wall, you’ve got a couple options in terms of saw choice. You can purchase a non-sliding miter saw, which often doesn’t need as much clearance in the back.
This is a great option if you own a table saw, which can do wider cuts for you with no issue. As someone who spent years without a table saw, there is a ton of value of having a sliding miter saw with more cross-cut ability before I have to break out the circular saw.
There are also special sliding systems out there designed to take up less space. They’re usually pretty pricy though. At posting, this Bosch teloscoping saw, and this Makita saw were both over $600.
Step 2: Drill Pilot Holes
Most miter saws have these convenient holes pre-drilled in the front and back of the saw. These are for mounting!
Grab your drill/driver, place the drill bit through the hole, and drill a pilot hole into the wood. Do your best to keep the drill at a 90 degree angle to the saw.
You don’t need to drill too deep, just enough to make starting a screw easy, and make splitting the wood underneath less likely.
Do this for each of the four holes in the miter saw.
Step 3: Secure with Screws
Grab a washer that’s bigger than the hole in the miter saw, and slip it through your screw*. Then drive the screw into the pilot hole you made.
This should look something like this:
Repeat this for each hole in the miter saw. Then you’ve mounted your saw!
*Note: If you’re wondering what screws to buy, wood screws or general construction screws both work well, and they should be long enough to get at least a 1/2″ into the wood. For most miter saws, 1 1/4″ screws are probably best.
The Fast Way to Secure a Miter Saw
If you’re in a hurry, but want to make a safe cut, you can get away with just clamping your miter saw to the surface underneath it.
This isn’t ideal, and probably shouldn’t be a long term solution, but it is fast and easy!
(Also worth noting – the main method above is also pretty fast. I think it took me five minutes, which sometimes it takes me five minutes just to find the right sized clamps.)