How to Cut Molding

Tools Needed to Cut Molding

Following is a list of some of the tools you will need when cutting molding. Each particular project and the depth of the molding will determine the particular tools required, so you may need additional tools depending on your project:

  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Drop cloth
  • Ladder
  • Caulk and or wood putty -- these work best to fill gaps and nail holes.
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails
  • Power drill, bits
  • Pneumatic nailer
  • Nail set
  • C-clamp
  • Sandpaper
  • Circular saw

You'll also need a few more items, including glue; some experts recommend gluing together molding joints before installation. If you will be employing the coping technique to join molding, you'll need a coping saw. For 45- or 90-degree angles, you might want a miter box and handsaw.


To determine the angle created by the walls, you'll want an angle gage or 360-degree adjustable protractor. A power miter or compound miter saw will allow for more angle adjustments, some for both the miter and the bevel. Use one that's equipped with a carbide saw blade that has 80 teeth or more. Make sure the saw is square and the table angle gage is accurate. If the gage is off by as little as 3 degrees, you can end up with a big gap in the miter joint. An angled filler strip is designed to fill the space behind crown molding. The filler strip is nailed to the top wall plate that runs horizontally behind the drywall, just below the ceiling. Use the strip to nail the crown molding in place. And finally, you can use some spray furniture polish to lubricate the saw blade and make cutting easier [source: Royal Mouldings, Carter, Anderson, Louisiana Pacific].

Now, you're ready to take on your molding project and even know how to cut it properly. But if you still have questions, visit some of the links on the following page.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles
  • Anderson, Murray. "Installing Molding Using Mitered and Coped Joints." (Accessed 02/23/2009)
  • Carter, Tim. "Cutting Crown Molding Without Losing Your Mind." Ask the (Accessed 02/23/2009)
  • Charles and Hudson. "How to Cut and Install Molding for an interior Corner." Charles and April 2008. (Accessed 2/23/2009)
  • DEWALT. "Pro's Column: Cutting Crown Molding With DEWALT Miter Saws." (Accessed 2/23/2009)
  • Louisiana Pacific. "How to Cut LP Moulding." Louisiana Pacific Corporation. (Accessed 2/23/2009)
  • Royal Mouldings. "How to Cut and Install Moulding." Royal (Accessed 2/23/2009)
  • Stimpson, Jennifer. "Install Easy Crown Molding." This Old House Magazine. March 2009 issue.