How to make a 45-degree angle cut with a circular saw?

45-degree angle cuts are commonly used in a variety of woodworking projects, including shelving and picture frames. If you’re inexperienced with using a circular saw to make these cuts, getting the cuts right on the first try can be difficult, which is frustrating for beginners and more experienced carpenters alike. In this article, you will get to learn the art of cutting at 45 degrees angle cut with a circular saw with ease.

Additional Tools Requirements

For cutting a 45-degree angle with a circular saw, you might require the following tools for making the work easier for you and have a precise cut.

  • Sacrificial sheet: An extra piece of board is required for having a good cut while ensuring you are not damaging your table. And a sacrificial board/ sheet will do the job.
  • Speed square: A speed square will help you make outlines with proper measurement and a precise cut.
  • Tape: The tape will be needed for making the cut area smooth and precision cut.
  • Two clamps: Two clamps are also required for attaching the board with the table to make sure the board is not moving during a cut.
  • Sandpaper: Sandpaper is also a must for smoothing the wood after cutting at 45 degree

How to make a 45-degree angle cut?

There are two types of 45-degree angle cut, and these are

  • 45-degree bevel cut

(45-degree bevel cut represents 45 degrees cut along the length or width of the wood, and the degree is measured vertically on top of the flat wood surface. In bevel cut circular saw is placed at a 45-degree angle on top of the wood)

  • 45-degree miter cut

(45-degree miter cut represents 45 degrees cut on the width of the board, and the angle is measured horizontally on the flat surface of the wood. In miter cut, a 45-degree outline is drawn on top of the wood)

Following are the steps for making both 45-degree bevel and 45-degree miter cut.

How to make a 45-degree bevel cut?

Preparation for cutting the wood at 45-degree bevel cut

Firstly you need to put the sacrificial sheet on top of the worktable so that the table gets protection from getting cut by saw blade and then place the wood on top of the sacrificial sheet. Then attach the masking tape over the areas where you want a cut over the wood. It eliminates splinter generation from the cutting outline. 

Steps for making a 45-degree bevel cut: There are five steps to follow

Step 1:  Measure and mark cut outline:

For having a precise cut, your first task is to have the cut outline using a speed square and pen. Firstly place the sacrificial board on top of the table and then place your wood sheet on top of the sacrificial sheet, now use a pen and speed square to make a cut outline on the wood. 

Step 2: Aligning saw kerf line with wood outline

In this step, you have to place the saw on top of the wood surface and line up the kerf line drawn on the shoe; there are two different lines on the shoe of the saw blade. These are 0 and 45 degrees, and forgetting the 45-degree bevel cut, you will have to use the 45-degree line.   

Step 3: Adjusting saw bevel and depth

In your bevel angle adjustment mechanism, there is a bevel angle, and use it to adjust the bevel angle; usually, there are 22.5 to 45-degree indicators. Pull the angel to 45 degrees and tighten it. Now for making depth adjustments, you have to look for the depth adjustment knob at the backside of the cord. You can adjust the blade depth after locating the knob, loosening it, and sliding the blade guard.

Step 4: Making the cut

Now line up the blade with the outline drawn on the wood surface for cutting the wood, and if you face resistance from the blade lower guard, try to press the blade firmly so that the guard can retract.

Step 5: Sand & File

After making the cut make sure the cut is accurate, and you can do it with a speed square. Now you have to clean the rough surface of the cut area with sandpaper; it will reduce the grainy surface area. 

How to Make a 45-Degree Miter Cut?

Preparation for cutting 45-degree miter cut

The preparation for cutting 45 degree miter cut is same as cutting 45 degree bevel cut with a circular saw, which includes ensuring the safety of the work table, safety of yours by wearing gloves, goggles, mask and hearing protection and using a tape over cutting area for getting a smooth cut.

Steps for cutting a 45-degree miter cut: There are five steps to follow.

Step 1: Measure and mark cutting outlines

As usual, before cutting a 45-degree angle cut, you have to make a precise outline through measurement tools such as a speed square and a pen.

Step 2:  Clamping and adjusting speed square

In these steps, you have to clamp the speed square with the wood to not move while working as a 45-degree angle guide to the saw blade. The saw will move along the speed square to make a 45-degree cut.

Step 3: Adjustment of bevel angle and depth

You have to set the blade depth through the blade adjustment knob to make a good and straight cut with a proper depth.

Step 4: make the cut

Now you have your blade adjusted, and the speed square clamped so you can cut the wood at a 45-degree miter cut. And for that, start the saw blade slowly and cut the wood on the outline marks.

Step 5: Finalizing

After having a 45-degree miter cut in this step, you will find a rough cut area which will require clearing it with the sandpaper. If you use tape on the surface of the wood and make an outline on the tape and also cut on it, then the dust and splinters generation will drop, making the edges of the cut clean.

Cautions: Safety tools to Use

The 45-degree angle cut with a circular saw can be done in two ways. However, before cutting with a circular saw, make sure to equip yourself with safety equipment to avoid injuries and threats. The required safety tools that one must use include

  • Eye goggle
  • Hearing protection
  • Respiratory mask
  • Hand gloves.


  • Using blades with thin kerf and more teeth will ensure that the cut is smooth and also try to cut the wood at greater RPM, thin-kerf blades mean the wood waste as dust will be less.
  • Keep your both hand on the saw handles for getting a smooth cut and better control over the circular saw.
  • Place the speed square at a 1/2 mm distance to cut along the outline later sand the extra portion.

Bottom Line

Cutting with a circular saw might sound easy and time-saving, but for a noob with no previous experience, it can be a difficult job to do by self-try, and with these step-by-step guides for making a 45-degree bevel and angle cut, you can try these cut by yourself.