How to Cut a 45 Degree Angle with a Hand Saw

How to Cut a 45 Degree Angle with a Hand Saw

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to cut a 45 degree angle with a hand saw. This technique is perfect for making frames and other home-improvement projects that require a right angle. It’s also an essential skill if you’re using a hand saw in the field or outdoors where there are no power tools available.

How To Use A Hand Saw To Cut The Perfect 45 Degree Angle:

1. Choose The Right Saw:

A hand saw is more accurate compared to a power tool because it makes less of a kerf (the width of the cut). The kerf on most power saws is about .078″ or 2mm, while that on a hand saw is about .025″ or 1 mm. A smaller kerf makes it easier to cut a precise 45-degree angle.

There are many different types of hand saws on the market, but for this tutorial, we’ll be using a standard crosscut saw. This type of saw has a blade that is aligned with the handle, which makes it perfect for cutting perpendicular lines.

2. Set Up Your Workstation:

Setting up your workstation is extremely important. You’ll need to make sure that everything is stable and secure, or you run the risk of your saw slipping out of position while you’re making the cut. An uneven surface will cause the blade to wander, which can create an inaccurate cut. As a result, it’s best to use sawhorses or a workbench when cutting with a hand saw.

3. Mark The Line You Want To Cut:

Before you start cutting, it’s important to mark the line you want to cut. This will ensure that your cuts are precise and accurate. You can use a pencil or a marker to make the mark.

4. Position The Saw:

Now it’s time to position the saw. You can hold the handle in one hand and place your other hand on top of the saw. Make sure that you’re comfortable with this grip because you’ll need to maintain it throughout the cut. The blade should be facing up, towards your body.

5. Cut Along Your Line:

Now that you have the right grip and blade position, all that’s left is to cut along your line. Make slow, steady cuts until you reach the end of the line. Remember: a straight, clean cut will make a world of difference for your project!

6. Optional: Saw From Both Sides

You don’t have to stop after one cut. You can saw from both sides to ensure that the cut is accurate and straight.

Steps Or Cutting A 45 Degree Angle With A Hand Saw:

The technique we’ll discuss is often called “plumb cutting” or “plumbing.” We’ll demonstrate the process with a miter saw, but it’s nearly identical to how you would do it with a hand saw.

Step 1: Mark Angle On Wood And Begin Cut

Start by marking your cut line on the wood. For this example, we’ll be cutting a 45 degree angle. Place the wood in a vise and use a pencil to mark your line across the end of the board (see photo at right).

 Step 2: Make Two Crosscuts Along Both Lines

 Next, make an initial cut by holding onto the end of the board and cutting crosswise, perpendicular to the line you just drew (see photo at right). Stop when you get to an imaginary vertical line that runs down the center of your board.

Step 3: Draw A Diagonal Line Through The Cut

Now that we have our initial cut made across one end, we can set it into a miter saw and make the final cut. But before we do that, let’s take a look at what our board looks like now that we’ve made our first cut.

If you look closely you’ll see that there’s a small triangle-shaped piece of wood remaining in the corner of our board. We need to remove this piece in order to get a clean 45 degree cut.

Draw a diagonal line from the corner of your initial crosscut straight down through this small triangle piece . You want to make sure that when you cut it away, there’s nothing left over from the original board because otherwise, that leftover piece will cause your cut to not be 45 degrees.

Step 4: Cut Remaining Piece Away With Saw

OK, now that we’ve drawn our diagonal line through the small triangle, let’s remove it by cutting it away. To do this, place the end of your board into a miter saw and make sure your blade is set at exactly 45 degree angle.

Now, cut along the diagonal line you just drew, and make sure to hold the saw firmly against the wood . Keep in mind that it’s very important to keep that blade at a 45 degree angle, or your final cut won’t be accurate.

Step 5: Remove Excess Material

If you look closely at your final cut, you’ll see that there’s a very small piece of wood still remaining in the corner. If you don’t remove this tiny sliver of wood, it will cause your 45 degree angles to have gaps in the corners when you put them together.

The best way to get rid of this little piece is with a sharp chisel (see photo at right). Just set your chisel on end, hold it firmly into the corner, and tap it with a mallet . It should pop that piece right out.

Step 6: Clean Up Cut With Sandpaper

Finally, you can clean up your 45 degree cut by using fine-grit sandpaper. Just press the paper up against the cut and rub it in a circular motion . This will clean up your 45 degree cut so that when you put two of these cuts together, they’ll fit perfectly in place.

 Once you’ve finished sanding, use a speed square to double-check that your cut is truly 90 degrees . If it’s not, you can make another pass with the sandpaper to clean up any irregularities.

Precautionary Measures:

 When using a hand saw to make a 45 degree angle cut, always take the necessary precautions to avoid injury. Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your hands are well away from the blade when cutting.
  • Use a vise or clamp to secure your wood in place while you’re cutting.
  • Keep your fingers out of the way of the blade, and never try to catch a falling piece of wood.
  • Always wear safety goggles when using any type of saw.

With these tips in mind, you can safely make accurate 45 degree angle cuts with a hand saw.

I hope this guide was helpful in teaching you how to cut a 45 degree angle with a hand saw. With a little practice, you’ll be able to make perfect right angles every time. Thanks for reading!

Happy Sawing!


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Emma Avery
By Emma Avery

I'm Emma Avery, founder of Tttools.uk. I founded this site with the goal in mind to provide a place where beginners could learn about saw tools, and have access to resources that would be useful for them (and me!) as they develop their skills. Funnily enough, my favorite thing about running the site is getting feedback from you guys! I love hearing how it's helped you get more confident or achieve your goals; it really means a lot that you're taking the time to send me an email or leave a comment on one of our articles. It's been so educational already learning all about saws and timber framing. Thanks for following along with us!



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