How to Cut Angles in Wood

A man using a saw to cut through a wooden plank.
A miter saw is used in cutting angles in wood. Compassionate Eye Foundation/Sir / Getty Images

Cutting an angle on wood is commonly referred to as making a miter cut, because a miter saw is the type of saw that cuts wood at an angle. A miter saw, also known as a chop saw, is basically a circular saw that's mounted on a frame and that can make very accurate angle cuts between 45 and 90 degrees. More sophisticated compound-miter saws can cut more angles and are mainly used when cutting bevels. Miter saws are mainly used for cutting wood, but can also be used for cutting plastic. They're portable, so you can take yours with you to any workplace. Miter saws must be handled with care as their blades are very sharp and can swivel around [source: Kelleher].

Here's how to cut angles on wood for molding using a miter box:


  1. Set the first piece of molding in the miter box and hold it in place.
  2. Put the saw in the appropriate slots, setting the angle.
  3. Cut the wood carefully, without rushing.
  4. Place the second piece of wood in the miter box and hold it in place.
  5. Insert the saw in the slots, so that the second cut you make will complement the first.
  6. Cut the second piece of wood.
  7. The two moldings should now fit neatly together [source: Silva].

Remember, measure twice but cut once. Work slowly and be meticulous, otherwise your cuts will not be precise and the mitered corners won't fit together.