Why is Miter Saw Chipping Wood? – 06 Reasons and Solutions

Miter saw is mostly used for quick crosscuts, miter cuts, and bevel cuts of 2×4 wood pieces. More than that, you can use 4×4, 1×12, or 2×12. When a miter saw is using so many problems can observe. Among them miter saw chipping the wood is one of them. There are so many reasons for the miter saw chipping the wood. So let’s see, what are the reason for the miter saw chipping the wood and how to prevent it successfully.

Generally, the miter saw is chipping the wood due to a dirty blade, dull blade, wider kerf, lower number of teeth of the saw blade, and losing touch with the fence wall. You can avoid miter saw chipping wood by using a proper quality saw blade with zero clearance fence and using a narrow kerf.

If the workpiece is chipping, you will have to clear it using another tool. So that is another time spending work. It is better to have the perfect cut the first time. So let’s see how to do this from scratch! Keep reading on!

What is Miter Saw Chipping Wood?

Miter Saw Chipping Wood
Chipping cut and perfect cutting

When a miter saw blade is used to cut the workpiece along the cutting path can visible splinterings in the bottom of the workpiece and side of the workpiece where it was in the fence side.

When a workpiece is cut using the miter saw, you can observe splinterings at the bottom of the workpiece and a fence touching the side of the workpiece. Splinterings occur due to the broken fibers of each surface than cutting it. There are reasons for the miter saw chippings.

Reasons For Miter Saw Chipping Wood

A miter saw can be chipping the wood due to the below reasons. These kinds of problems can arise any kinds of miter saw types

Use a Dull Blade

When a miter saw is used a dull blade, it will be a huge problem. Due to the dull blade, you can observe wood burnings and smoke rising on the workpiece. More than that, you can see chipping the wood. Normally, the saw blade is sharp, and it can cut the workpiece aggressively.

When the saw blade is dull, it will not cut sharp. It will try to tear the fibers on the surface instead of the sharp cutting process. Hence it is better to use a sharp saw blade every time.

Using a Dirty Saw Blade

Using a Dirty Saw Blade

The dirty saw blade is another reason for the miter saw chipping the wood. As you are well aware, dirt saw blades generate more friction and heating. It will not tend to cut smooth surfaces. Due to its bad teeth surface will tear out instead of sharp cutting.

When a saw blade is used a long time, some contaminants can build up on the saw blade. If that is not cleaned regularly, it will grow more and more.

Sometimes if you use any rusted saw blade, you can observe this heavily. So use a clean saw blade as much as possible.

Use Saw Blade With Proper Number of Teeth

This is a very important thing. Normally we have to cut crosscut using a miter saw. Sometimes we have to cut rip cut of small workpieces. Crosscuts and rip cuts are the main two types of cuts we do in woodworking. Hence we must use a suitable number of teeth for every cut.

Normally crosscut does through the grins and rip cut does along the grains. When the rip cut is done, it needs a lower number of teeth for the miter saw blade. Because rip cut can remove chips in high rate than crosscut, hence using a higher number of teeth can carry and remove a high amount of chips in rip cut.

But crosscut is more strength than rip cut. It needs higher strength. So it needs a higher number of teeth. It will remove a lower number of chips rather than rip cut. Hence use a higher number of teeth for the crosscut and a lower number of teeth for the rip cut.

If you use it wrongly, chips can clog inside the cutting path.

Use Wider Kerf

Kerf space helps to completely cut the workpiece. When the kerf space is high, it will not tighten the workpiece surface when it is cut. As a result of this, we can see some chippings on the surface. If you can adjust the kerf space, you can narrow it for the best smooth cutting result.

Bumpy Workpiece Surface

When a workpiece is cut using a miter saw, we have to keep it on the plate and tight with the fence. Every time workpiece surface is not completely flat. It will not touch and tight with the fence and plate. As a result of this, we can see some chipping on the surface.

Solutions for Miter Saw Chipping

If your miter saw is chipping wood, you must follow the below solution to prevent it successfully.

01 – Use a Sharp Saw Blade

Do not use a dull saw blade. If the saw blade is dull, you must sharpen it using proper techniques. If you are unable to shape it replace it with a new one.

How to identify the dull blade?

You can observe dull blades using these tips.

  • Wear radius visible at the top corner of the saw teeth and extending down along the edge of the surface
  • Top cutting surface will not flat. It will scratch badly.
Sharp and clean saw blade

02 – Use Clean Saw Blade

If the saw blade is rusting and hardly tighten the wood contaminants, use a suitable saw blade cleaner to clean the saw blade. It will take about 20-30 mins. You can use Rockler Saw Blade Cleaner

How to clean the saw blade quickly?

Step 01 – Fill the blade bath with Rockeler saw blade cleaner.

Step 02 – Immerse the saw blade in the cleaner liquid.

Step 03 – Keep it about 15-20 mins

Step 04 – Brush the saw blade using the brush.

Step 05 – Wipe the liquids on the saw blade

03 – Use a Proper Number of Teeth for Cuts.

Use 60-100 teeth for the cross cuts and use less than 60 teeth saw blade for rip cuts.

04 – Cover the Kerf Gap With Tape

Cover the Kerf Gap With Tape
Cover the Kerf Gap With Tape

If you are unable to narrow the kerf space, you can cover it using tape. When the tape is used it can weakly support the bottom surface. This can minimize the splinterings.

05 – Use a Support for the Bottom and Fence Wall

If you can use a support wood piece from the bottom of the workpiece and fence side, you can minimize the chipping of the workpiece.

06 – Use Tape on the Workpiece Cutting Path

If you can wrap the cutting path using tape, you can minimize the splinterings. When the tape is pasted on the surface, it will have tightly adhered to the surface, and fabrics will not tear due to the tape.

07 – Scoring the Cutting Path

Scoring the Cutting Path

The Splinterings occur due to tearing the surface fibers. If you pre-cut the cutting path using a paper cutter and then saw along that path will give a better solution. When the surface fibers are precut, it will not tear or splinter. So that is a wise solution for chipping the workpiece.

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Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.