How to Cut a 45 Degree Angle with a Circular Saw

If you are looking for a way to make precise and accurate cuts on wood or other materials, you might want to learn how to cut a 45 degree angle with a circular saw. A 45 degree angle cut is also known as a diagonal cut, and it can be used for various purposes, such as creating corners, frames, or joints.

Cutting a 45 degree angle with a circular saw is not as simple as it sounds. You need to adjust the blade angle, measure the cut line, and secure the material properly. You also need to be careful and follow the safety precautions when using a circular saw.

In this blog post, I will show you how to cut a 45 degree angle with a circular saw in two different ways: a bevel cut and a miter cut. I will also explain the difference between them and when to use each one.

How to Cut a 45 Degree Angle with a Circular Saw

How to Cut a 45 Degree Angle with a Circular Saw

When it comes to utilizing a circular saw for 45-degree angle cuts, you have three distinct techniques at your disposal. In the following sections, I’ll walk you through each of these methods, ensuring you’re well-equipped to achieve accurate and clean cuts.

One of the most common and useful cuts that you can make with a circular saw is a 45-degree angle cut, also known as a miter cut or a bevel cut.

  • Bevel Cut: A bevel cut involves tilting the circular saw’s blade at an angle to the workpiece’s edge. This creates an inclined edge along the thickness of the material.
  • Miter Cut: A miter cut is made by angling the circular saw’s blade across the face of the workpiece. This results in a diagonal cut that meets another piece at a specific angle, often forming joints like corners or frames.

What You Will Need

To cut a 45 degree angle with a circular saw both for bevel cut or miter cut, you will need the following items:

  1. Circular saw with sharp blade
  2. Speed square or protractor
  3. Pencil and tape measure
  4. Clamp and straight edge
  5. Sacrificial plywood or MDF
  6. Safety glasses and gloves

How to Cut a 45 Degree Bevel Cut with a Circular Saw

How to Cut a 45 Degree Bevel Cut with a Circular Saw

A bevel cut is a cut that is made at an angle other than 90 degrees along the thickness of the wood. A 45 degree bevel cut is one of the most common bevel cuts that you may need for your woodworking projects, such as making picture frames, boxes, or furniture.

How to cut a 45 degree bevel cut with a circular saw in a few easy steps. You will need the following tools and materials:

Step 1: Adjust the Blade Angle

The first step is to adjust the blade angle of your circular saw to 45 degrees. To do this, you need to loosen the bevel adjustment knob or lever on your saw and tilt the base of the saw until the blade reaches 45 degrees. You can use a speed square to check the angle and make sure it is accurate. Then, tighten the knob or lever to lock the angle.

Step 2: Mark the Cut Line

The next step is to mark the cut line on your piece of wood. You can use a tape measure and a pencil to measure and mark the length and width of the piece that you want to cut. Then, use a speed square to draw a straight line across the width of the wood at the desired length. This will be your cut line.

Step 3: Set Up the Guide

The third step is to set up a guide for your circular saw to follow along the cut line. You can use a straight edge, such as a level or another piece of wood, as your guide. Place the guide on the sacrificial sheet of plywood or MDF and align it with the cut line on your piece of wood.

Make sure there is enough space between the guide and the edge of the sacrificial sheet for your saw base to fit. Then, clamp the guide and the sacrificial sheet securely to your work surface.

Step 4: Make the Cut

The final step is to make the cut with your circular saw. Put on your safety glasses and gloves and plug in your saw. Align the blade with the cut line and make sure the base of the saw is flat against the guide.

Start the saw and slowly push it forward along the guide until you complete the cut. Be careful not to twist or tilt the saw as you cut. Turn off the saw and unplug it.

You have now made a 45 degree bevel cut with your circular saw. You can use a sandpaper or a file to smooth out any rough edges or splinters on your piece of wood.

How to Cut a 45 Degree Miter Cut with a Circular Saw

How to Cut a 45 Degree Miter Cut with a Circular Saw

A 45 degree miter cut is one of the most popular and useful miter cuts, as it allows you to join two pieces of wood at a right angle. However, not everyone has access to a miter saw, which is a specialized tool that can make precise and accurate miter cuts.

Here, I will show you how to cut a 45 degree miter cut with a circular saw in six easy steps.

Step 1: Safety First

Woodworking, though rewarding, involves sharp tools and potential hazards. Prioritize safety by wearing protective gear such as safety goggles, hearing protection, and a dust mask. Avoid loose clothing and secure long hair. Furthermore, ensure your workspace is well-lit and well-ventilated.

Step 2: Measure and Mark

Start by measuring the length of the wood pieces you intend to join at a 45-degree angle. Use a measuring tape and a pencil to make a clear and precise mark on both pieces. Remember that accuracy is key to achieving a seamless joint.

Step 3: Set the Circular Saw

Most circular saws come equipped with an adjustable base plate that allows you to set the cutting angle. Locate the angle adjustment lever and set it to 45 degrees. Some saws also have markings for common angles, making this step even easier.

If precision is your priority, consider using a digital angle gauge to ensure the accuracy of the angle setting.

Step 4: Secure the Wood

Place the wood pieces to be cut on a stable workbench or sawhorses. Make sure they are properly aligned and clamped securely to prevent any movement during the cutting process. Movement can lead to inaccurate cuts and compromise the joint.

Step 5: Position the Saw

With the circular saw set to a 45-degree angle, align the blade with the pencil mark on the wood. Ensure that the blade is positioned on the waste side of the cut line to account for the saw’s kerf (the width of the blade).

Step 6: Cutting Technique

Hold the circular saw firmly with both hands, ensuring a comfortable and balanced grip. Begin the cut by gently squeezing the trigger and allowing the blade to reach full speed before proceeding.

Maintain a steady and controlled motion as you guide the saw along the marked line. Keep your focus on the cut line and follow it closely to ensure a straight and accurate cut.

Step 7: Complete the Cut

As you approach the end of the cut, be cautious not to force the saw through the wood. Allow the saw’s blade to do the work and guide it smoothly until the cut is complete. Once the cut is finished, release the trigger and let the blade come to a complete stop before lifting the saw from the wood.

After making the miter cuts on both wood pieces, carefully fit them together to assess the quality of the joint. A well-executed 45-degree miter cut should result in a tight and seamless joint without any gaps.

Tips for Safety and Accuracy

Some tips for safety and accuracy when cutting 45 degree miter cuts with a circular saw are:

  • Wear proper safety gear, such as goggles, gloves, ear protection, and a dust mask. Circular saws can produce a lot of dust, noise, and flying debris that can harm your eyes, ears, skin, and lungs.
  • Check the condition of your circular saw and blade before using it. Make sure the saw is clean, sharp, and well-oiled. A dull or damaged blade can cause kickback, binding, or splintering, which can result in injury or poor cuts.
  • Adjust the blade angle and depth according to the type and thickness of the material you are cutting. Most circular saws have a bevel adjustment knob or lever that allows you to tilt the blade to the desired angle. You can use a protractor or an angle finder to check the accuracy of the blade angle. You should also set the blade depth to about 1/4 inch more than the thickness of the material, so that the blade does not cut too deep or too shallow.
  • Mark the cut line and the offset distance on the material you are cutting. You can use a pencil and a ruler or a tape measure to draw the line along the edge of the material. Alternatively, you can use a speed square or a combination square to mark the 45 degree angle directly on the material. The offset distance is the distance between the edge of the circular saw base and the blade.
  • Clamp the material and a straight edge or guide to your work surface. The straight edge or guide can be another piece of wood, a metal ruler, or any other flat and rigid material that is longer than the width of your circular saw base. The purpose of the guide is to help you keep the circular saw aligned with the cut line and prevent it from wandering off course.
  • Align the blade with the cut line and make sure there is enough clearance for it to go through the material without hitting any obstacles. You should place the circular saw on top of the material and slide it along the guide until the blade meets the cut line at both ends. You can use a flashlight or a laser guide to check if the blade is aligned correctly.

What saw is best for cutting 45 degree angles?

The best saw for cutting 45 degree angles depends on the size of the workpiece and the accuracy required. For small workpieces, a miter saw or a circular saw with a guide can be used to make accurate 45 degree cuts. For larger workpieces, a table saw is the best option for making accurate 45 degree cuts.

What does 45 degrees look like?

A 45 degree angle looks like two lines that are joined at a point and form an angle of 45 degrees. It is half of a right angle, which is an angle of 90 degrees. A 45 degree angle can also be created by drawing a line that is perpendicular to another line and then bisecting that line with a third line.


Cutting a 45 degree angle with a circular saw is not difficult if you follow the right steps and use the right tools. You can make either a bevel cut or a miter cut depending on how you position the blade and the workpiece. Remember to always wear safety glasses and gloves when using a circular saw and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I hope this blog post (how to cut a 45 degree angle with a circular saw) was helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading!

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