What Size Miter Saw to Cut 4×4 and How to Do It

A miter saw is an irreplaceable tool for processing a wide variety of materials, primarily wood. Thanks to its design, you get perfectly even and clean cuts across fibers at the angle you need. With its help, window and door frames, decor elements, furniture, and much more are made.

If you are a novice woodworker, you probably have many questions about choosing tools. Beginners are often interested in what size miter saw to cut 4×4 they should pick. I’ll try to give the most understandable answer, as well as tell you exactly how to do it.

Cutting 4×4 With Miter Saw Guide

Various instruments can be used to cut thick bars, even circular saws, but only miter ones give the best results. In this block, I will talk about the best miter saw to cut 4×4 and explain how to utilize it as efficiently and safely as possible.

dual compound sliding miter saws

What size miter saw to cut 4×4

When woodworkers talk about a 4×4, they usually mean a 3.5×3.5-inch piece of wood. For it, saws with blades of 10 and 12 inches are generally used. These are the most common sizes utilized by DIYers and professionals alike. Most likely, you already have some kind of tool in your hands and simply want to understand all its capabilities.

 

So, my definitive answer to what size miter saw for 4×4 cutting is devices with disks with a diameter of 10 or 12 inches. However, the depth to which a disk can immerse determines the number of passes in which you can chop one piece.

The easiest option is to do it in one pass. Then you should take a 12-inch tool. If you don’t mind a little hassle, opt for a 10-inch instrument and cut the material in two passes.

Of course, there are also 14-inch devices that can easily handle bigger objects. However, they have a high price, large weight and dimensions, and are not universal. Also, smaller diameter tools, like 8.5-inch ones, are not suitable for this type of work. Their cutting depth and power will simply not be enough.

Being quite experienced in woodworking, I would also like to point out that choosing the correct disc size is not enough to get a perfectly even cut on a 4×4 post. It is also worth considering the engine power, device design, TPI, and blade kerf. With the wrong instrument, tasks will take too much time, and the result will be unsatisfactory.

miter saw black background

Can a 10-inch miter saw cut a 4×4

In short, yes, a 10-inch tool will handle chopping 4×4 blocks. However, I need to make an important remark here. Using a device of this size, you can split the wood in two passes, turning the workpiece on the other side.

If you do not have a lot of experience, there is a chance that you won’t make a perfectly even cut. Moreover, if you have a large amount of work, constantly turning blocks will take extra time.

Can you cut a 4×4 with a 10 inch miter saw in one pass? Experienced professionals definitely can do it. Blades with a diameter of 10 inches have a cutting depth of around 5.5 inches, making them suitable for dealing with such thick bars.

But the effectiveness of such work largely depends on the design of a device. It’s good if your instrument is stationary, not free-standing. A blade guard should be moved as far back as possible or completely removed to increase the cutting depth. As you understand, this method has certain security problems, so I cannot recommend it.

This is why, although the 10 inch miter saw cut capacity allows it to be used in some cases for handling thicker pieces, I still recommend using 12-inch tools, especially if you are new to woodworking.

How to cut 4×4 with a miter saw

The process of chopping bars with saws with 10- and 12-inch disks is generally similar. The basic steps you need to take are the same, except that you need to turn your workpiece and repeat some steps when using a smaller instrument.

Be sure to wear PPE to protect yourself from the harmful effects of wood dust exposure on your body. After you put on protection, get to cutting a 4×4 post.

Step 1: Marking

For your cut to be perfectly even and clean, you should correctly mark the place where a blade will be immersed. If you have a 12-inch device, it should only be done on one side.

If you use a 10-inch tool, make marks on both sides. Be careful and precise so that your cuts on both sides converge at one point.

miter saw with markings

Step 2: Preparing your tool

Set up and adjust the instrument for the job. Make sure it is stable on a surface and set the blade angle to 90 degrees. I recommend double-checking the accuracy of this indicator using a usual square.

Step 3: Fixing a workpiece

Now you need to set the block so that your marks are clearly under the disk. Be sure to mount it securely on a workbench; it will protect you from kickbacks and other possible technical troubles.

Step 4: Cutting

When you’re done with preparations, make sure the blade head is up and start the tool. Slowly lower the disc towards the workpiece and apply light pressure with your hand to help it dive into the material.

A 12-inch saw will cut through a 4×4 block completely, so you just need to bring the blade all the way through. If you use a 10-inch device, turn the piece over, reattach it to the workbench, and repeat the process.

Any task requires some practice so that you get the perfect result. It is especially true for cuts in several passes. Be sure to practice on unnecessary pieces of wood before starting to process the main material.

Also, it never hurts to remind you of the need to follow standard safety precautions when working with power tools in general and miter saws in particular. Even if you have enough experience, always be careful and attentive.

miter saw with workpiece

Cutting 4×4 With Miter Saw FAQ

I’ll briefly answer the most common questions from my readers and novice woodworkers in this part.

How far will a 10 inch miter saw cut through 4×4?

The depth depends mainly on the design of a particular model, as well as whether you are ready to remove a blade guard to increase the tool capabilities. The average indicator for most devices is about 5.5 inches.

Can you use a 12-inch blade on a 10 inch miter saw?

Of course, not. It is recommended to install on any tools only those accessories prescribed by a manufacturer. In some cases, smaller discs may be used. However, putting a 12-inch blade on a 10-inch saw is impossible because of a smaller casing.

How to cut an angle on a 4×4 with a miter saw?

Angle cuts can only be done with 12-inch instruments, as tilting the blade reduces the cutting depth. You should follow all the same steps as with a straight cut, but set the head tilt to the angle you need. Depending on the instrument model, you can set any angle from 45 to 90 degrees or choose only preset options.

Also read:

Handle 4×4 Blocks With Ease

For cutting 4×4 blocks, you can use either 10-inch tools or 12-inch ones at your discretion. Instruments of other sizes will not work for this task. The exact choice of device largely depends on your skills.

I recommend that beginners opt for saws with 12-inch blades as they are easier to handle. If you have some woodworking experience, you’ll be fine with 10-inch tools.

Do you have any questions? Please ask me in the comments. Also, feel free to share your experience with miter saws. What blade diameter do you use for 4×4 chopping?

My ultimate goal is to provide insights that will help you effectively determine whether this or that tool or product suits your needs/budget or not. I test out home improvement tools at work on a daily basis and enjoy sharing my knowledge with D.I.Y-ers who have similar questions to the ones I used to have. I realize how important choosing the right tools is, that’s why my approach to every review I publish is very responsible.

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