How to Keep Your Miter Saw in Tiptop Shape
A miter saw is really a handy power tool to have in your workshop. Just like any power tool, the miter saw is designed to cut back on the time and effort it takes for you to cut wood stock so you can finish your projects more quickly and devote the time you saved to other important tasks.
However, your miter saw will only work as well as you maintain it. In other words, you have to keep your miter saw in tiptop shape all the time. Power tools such as the miter saw aren’t exactly cheap, and you’re only going to end up wasting your money if you don’t take good care of yours. Also, your miter saw won’t function as it should in the long run if you don’t care for it properly.
How do you keep your miter saw in good shape? Here are three basic tips that will help you out.
Tip #1: Keep Your Miter Saw Clean and Free from Debris
The first step to proper ownership of a miter saw is to keep yours free from debris as soon as you’re done using it. The sawdust and little bits of wood left behind by the wood stock you worked on can contribute to the rusting of the blade and other metal parts of the saw. They can also get caught in the small crevices in between the saw’s components and prevent the saw from functioning smoothly next time you use it. To get rid of the sawdust and other debris stuck in your miter saw, blow them off using compressed air or a blower. You can also suck the dust and debris out with a vacuum cleaner.
You would also want to give your miter saw a more thorough cleaning on a regular basis, like once a week. Wipe the dust off your miter saw with a clean and dry dust rag. Clean the blade with a specialty blade brush, paying close attention to the teeth. If you don’t have a specialized blade brush, you can use an ordinary wire brush with soft bristles and some bathroom detergent. Make sure you wipe the blade dry after you’ve cleaned it to prevent it from rusting.
Remember to pay attention to the fences and table of your miter saw as well. They need some TLC too. The best way to clean these parts of your miter saw is by buffing them with a clean scrubbing pad. If you really want them to gleam, you can be more aggressive in your buffing by using cleaning oil and maybe an electric polisher. Your miter saw will look shiny and new after you’re done.
Tip #2: Keep Your Miter Saw Lubricated
Aside from keeping your miter saw clean, you should also keep the gears that make it work well lubricated. If you keep your miter saw oiled, it will run smoothly and you will get to work on your woodworking projects more quickly and efficiently. The oil will also get rid of whatever dust and debris that you overlooked and got stuck in those gears. The best kind of lubricating oil to use on your miter saw is turbine oil.
The most important parts of the miter saw that require regular oiling are, namely: the hinge that holds the back of the saw, the miter and bevel, and the safety guard. Better yet, apply oil to all the moving parts of the saw that you can reach. Try not to be overzealous with oiling your saw, however. Only a few drops are necessary to get it done, and you really don’t want to work with an overly greasy machine.
Tip #3: Always Check Your Miter Saw’s Components for Damage
All miter saws are vulnerable to wearing and tearing. It doesn’t matter whether they’re cheap or expensive, rarely used or seeing a lot of action, or even when they’re properly cared for. You’re using the tool and it still gets exposed to air and dust, so the usage and exposure are bound take their toll on the machine.
This makes it very important for you to check your miter saw regularly for damage. Every few weeks or so, make it a point to look over your miter saw and inspect it for chipping, cracks and other forms of breakage. Don’t forget to have a look-see at your miter saw’s kerf board, power cord and brushes. If you see any part with some chipping, cracking or any sort of damage, repair them if they’re still small. Don’t hesitate to replace these parts if they’ve incurred any serious damage.
It’s essential that you pay attention to the wearing and tearing of your miter saw. As mentioned earlier, the miter saw isn’t exactly a cheap tool. By checking your miter saw regularly, you’re simply protecting your investment.
Another huge reason why you should pay attention to the condition of your miter saw is to prevent accidents and injuries from happening in your workshop. If your miter saw isn’t in tiptop shape and you ignore it, you’re increasing the likelihood of mishaps occurring in your workshop. The miter saw could malfunction and you could seriously hurt yourself.
Other Tips for Maintaining Your Miter Saw
Aside from the three tips mentioned above, you should try getting your miter saw tuned up every once in a while. This ensures that the miter and bevel scales are properly calibrated and all the other parts working properly.
Lastly, always keep the owner’s manual that came with your miter saw handy. Stick to the uses your miter saw is designed for. When in doubt, consult your owner’s manual.
Your miter saw is a handy and valuable tool to have in your workshop. It certainly makes your woodworking projects a lot easier to work on and a lot quicker to complete. To get the most out of your investment and to enjoy your miter saw for years and years to come, you really have to make the effort to keep it in tiptop shape.
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