How to Make Bevel Cuts on a Table Saw


Have you ever wished that you could make crosscuts, miter cuts, and bevel cuts on a table saw? Maybe you’ve longingly checked out miter saws thinking you have to add another piece of equipment to your shop in order to make those cuts.

Guess what? Your table saw is perfectly capable of making these types of cuts. While it might not have been designed just for this purpose, it can come in handy when you need to make such a cut.

Most table saws allow you to bevel (or angle) the blade. This adjustment allows you to make bevel cuts on a table saw, with a little bit of effort.

In this guide, we will walk you through how to make bevel cuts on a table saw and share all of the details that you need to do.

Can a Table Saw Really Make a Bevel Cut?

The Table saw is much more capable than we know when we give it a chance. It can do a lot of things that people rely on specialty saws to do and making a bevel cut is just one of those things.

Now, to be fair, the table saw wasn’t actually designed to make a bevel cut. It is quite capable but since that wasn’t the design behind this type of saw, you will need to do a little bit of rigging and preparation in order to make it happen.

a man measures a plank of wood to make a bevel cut
Image by azboomer on Pixabay

Most table saws will easily cut at 90 degrees. The thing is, bevel cuts are often more like 45 degrees and sometimes they are even odder angles than this. So what do you do? You should plan on creating a jig in order to help accommodate this task.

With a jig, you will find that it’s pretty easy to make any bevel cut.

You should also know that the process you use will vary depending on the angle that you need to cut. Your defining factor is whether the angle is higher or lower than 45 degrees in order to determine just what you need to do.

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Cutting Bevels Higher than 45 Degrees

plank of woods that can be used to cut a 45-degree bevel cut
Image by freestocks-photos on Pixabay

Most table saws allow you to bevel to 45 degrees. When you bevel, the blade tilts. However, 45 degrees is the limitation so what do you do when you need a larger angle than that? That’s where our tips come in!

To start with, you need to figure out the difference between a 45-degree angle and the degree that you need. So if you want to cut a 55-degree angle, this difference is 35 degrees. This is going to seem odd but bear with us.

You will set the saw’s miter gauge or bevel angle to 35 degrees. Of course, you can’t just make the cut here. You’ve got to make some adjustments. To do this, you a piece of scrap wood. The scrap wood will butt up against the wood you are cutting.

Here’s the real challenge. You are going to cut the wood vertically instead of horizontally.

  1. Determine the angle that you need to cut.
  2. Subtract this angle from 90 degrees (see example above).
  3. Set the bevel angle on the saw to the bevel of the number you acquired in step 2.
  4. Verify the angles for accuracy if needed.
  5. Find a piece of scrap wood to butt up against the wood you are cutting and the fence.
  6. The wood you are cutting and the scrap wood should both be vertical in your hands.
  7. You can attach the wood to be beveled to the scrap wood using a nail or a screw. This just holds them solidly together.
  8. Set the rip fence so that it is away from the blade the exact distance of the thickness of the scrap piece of wood.
  9. Power up the saw and proceed to make the cut. As you move the wood to the blade, hold the scrap wood side flush against the fence and hold it firmly in this position.
  10. When you finish the cut, you can remove the scrap wood. Your beveled wood will be cut at a solid 50-degree angle!

We do want to point out that some professionals will tell you to create a jig for this process. There is nothing wrong with creating a jig and it can be quite helpful. However, it takes a bit more effort and work to create the jig.

You should create a jig if the wood you need to bevel is perhaps too long or too bulky to be able to handle it vertically as these instructions suggest.

Remember that this process is if you need a bevel that is higher than 45 degrees.

Cutting Bevels Less than 45 Degrees

table saw cutting wood at an angle
Image by by BarelyFitz via wikimedia

Cutting a bevel less than 45 degrees is really pretty simple. If the saw you are using has the ability to tilt the blade, you simply need to set the angle on the miter gauge and then make your cut.

We do want to mention that sometimes these gauges are inaccurate or they may become so over time. It’s always a good idea to double-check the angle accuracy before just making your cut.

You can follow these steps to cut a bevel less than 45 degrees.

  1. Set the bevel to the necessary angle, which should be 45 degrees or less. Be sure to set your miter gauge at 90 degrees and use this against the wood.
  2. Mark and prepare your wood to indicate where the cut needs to be made for the bevel.
  3. You will most likely tilt the blade away from the fence and then also hold the wood on the side opposite the fence as well. This depends on how the cut is made in the wood.
  4. Power up the saw and begin pushing the wood to make a cut at the specified angle.
  5. Finish the cut and inspect it for accuracy.

And there you have it. This is a simple way to make a bevel cut that is 45 degrees or less. Your saw is already equipped to handle this as long as you know the proper techniques to get the task done!

Final Thoughts

We hope that you find this guide to making bevel cuts on a table saw to be helpful. This type of cut is not extremely challenging to make but you do need to know how to set the angles and hold the boards for the best results.

If you follow these steps and tips, you should have no problem cutting accurate bevel angles using your table saw.

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