How to Cut Trim at a 45 Degree Angle Without a Miter Saw

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Whether you are a professional wood dealer or a hobbyist, you are confronted with the need to make angled trims. The creative project designs require heightened creativity to arrive at the expected outcomes. In most cases, the most available trimming technique is by use of a compound sliding miter saw. Based on its markings, you can quickly get your desired angle for your specified task.

Some other creative techniques can be applied to arrive at your specified angle effortlessly. For instance, with a mere piece of paper, you can arrive at a 45 degrees trim. We are going to provide a step by step procedure on how to cut a 450 without a cordless miter saw.  Before that, you need to be careful when handling any saw. Let’s check out some quick safety tips for the saws.

Quick safety tips

  • Avoid using unreliable blades and  ensure that you Instantly replace damaged blade and malfunctioned ones
  • Put on protective clothes and masks when using the saws in your woodwork projects to reduce the chances of inhaling the dust from your woodwork
  • Do not work with your saws when tired as you may end up being distracted from your task, and this may cost your fingers.
  • Embrace the use of a sub fence
  • Do not overpressure the saw handle but rather expose it to the moderate amount of pressure to enhance longevity
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and embrace authorized saw dealers when faced with the need to maintain your saw
  • Make it a routine to keep your work surfaces neat and regularly get rid of dust in the internal and external parts of the saw to reduce the chances of malfunctioning

Step by Step Process of How to Cut Trim at a 45 Degree Angle Without a Miter Saw; Using a Piece of Paper

Things you will require

  1. A piece of rectangular paper
  2. A sharp pencil
  3. A hand saw
  4. A piece of wood to be trimmed

Procedure & Directions

Step 1: Lay the piece of paper on the work surface

Place your piece of paper on a flat surface. The length should lie along the surface while the width should lie across the surface in question.

Step 2: Fold the paper

Using your right hand, gently and neatly fold the right-hand side in a manner that the upper right-hand side tip lays on the opposite edge. This should form a sharp triangular edge on the top left side. Ensure that the width (shorter edge) lies on the right-hand side length (longer edge). This fold should result in a triangular-shaped paper on the upper side and a rectangular-shaped paper on the bottom.

Step 3: Turn the folded paper upside down

Flip over the folded piece of paper so that the untouched left side becomes the right side.

Step 4: Fold the paper again

Using the newly formed corner, fold the piece of paper from the left to the right side. You should do this in a manner that the new corner lies on the right side edge. At this point, you arrive at a new quadrant shaped paper. The unfolded length and the folded one should lie in the same position. This means that the new corner should rest on top of the untouched one to arrive at a parallel line that divides the paper into two.

Step 5: Open up the folded paper and lay the wood on it

Open up the last folded part and place the piece of wood that you want to cut at 450. Place the piece in a manner that it lies on the side that was folded last. This divides the piece of paper into two quadrants. The piece of wood should lie on the left side. Ensure that it is in line with the third parallel line to avoid inaccuracy. Try to adjust the wood until it perfectly fits on this middle straight edge.

Step 6: Lay the free side of the folded paper on the wood

Gently hold the free right-hand side of the paper and rest it on the piece of wood. Make sure that it is tightly held to ensure that it does not move. The edge of this side of the paper forms a straight inclined line on the piece of wood.

Step 7: Using the pencil draw a line on the piece of wood 

Draw a straight line on the piece of wood using the sharp pencil and the edge of the folded piece of paper as a ruler. The edge of the paper lies at 450.

Step 8: Remove the piece of paper

Once you obtain a clear line, you can remove the piece of paper.  The resulting line is at 450.

Step 9: Cut along the line

Using a hand saw carefully cut the piece of wood along the resulting line. Ensure that you tightly hold the piece of wood you are cutting to ensure that it does not shake. Keep your fingers at a safe distance to reduce the chances of getting hurt. The resulting angle is 45 degrees.

Note: This technique is more accurate with thin pieces of wood.

Final verdict

Based on the above information, it is possible to make an angular trim without necessarily having a miter saw. DIY tricks like this one are great as they are not only time-saving but also budget-friendly. Such techniques are crucial when you have no alternative, but then they may not be as accurate as those arrived at by the miter saw or miter box.

This technique does not discourage the use of a miter saw but only comes in handy when the need arises. Therefore, if your cordless miter saw has malfunctioned, or if you do not have one, then you may consider this economical method. As long as you stick to the steps provided, you are bound to arrive at the 45 degrees angle. Clearly, you do not have to go through the hassle of obtaining a brand new miter saw to arrive at 45 degrees trim.

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5 thoughts on “How to Cut Trim at a 45 Degree Angle Without a Miter Saw”

  1. Awesome tutorial there. However, I have added a few other methods such as using a circular saw. If you don’t have any other power tools the paper method is quite easy. However, miter box can also be quite useful but it is limited to small subjects such as trim, etc. Under such conditions a hand saw with a power square or a compass can be helpful.

    Have a great day.

    • Hello Jack Logan!
      Well said, Thanks for your valuable info btw. Keep helping people by sharing your experiences.


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