Newbie Needs Help - Miter Saw

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by DiceyBill posted 08-10-2016 12:10 PM 943 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DiceyBill's profile


5 posts in 1709 days

08-10-2016 12:10 PM

Hi everyone, I’m new to Lumber Jocks… and really I’m new to wood working as well. Just bought my first house and my parents got me a few power tools and such because I am looking to learn how to do a lot of my own home improvements. I’m not a skilled tradesman by any means but I’m fairly handy depending on the project. However I’m very inexperienced in setting up power tools and dialing them in.

I’m trying to get to know my Miter Saw (just a generic Ryobi, nothing special) so I have been practicing cuts on scrap wood… no project at the moment. I’m use to doing small projects with a miter box, so a miter saw is pretty new to me. After watching videos on how to aligned the fence and square things up.. I am still running into a problem that I can’t find being addressed.

As I pull down the saw the blade seems to sweep over to the side about a 1/4 inch. So the top of my cut is a 1/4 inch off from the bottom of my cut. I checked the alignment on it several times with the saw all the way down in the locked position and all seems fine. Infact when I put the laser on, you can SEE the laser sweep in as I bring the blade down. Here are some pictures with the blade up and down and you can see the laser has moved to the left 1/4 inch. Is there an adjustment I’m missing? Am I aligning it wrong? Or is Ryobi just garbage?

Any help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

- Bill

12 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4630 days

#1 posted 08-10-2016 01:02 PM

It shouldn’t move if you have locked the handle by twisting the front knob.


View DiceyBill's profile


5 posts in 1709 days

#2 posted 08-10-2016 01:11 PM

Well it’s not the “table” that’s moving. As I bring the arm down, the arm appears to sort of sweep in towards to left side about a 1/4 inch.

Unless I’m confused what knob yer taking about.

View weathersfuori's profile


96 posts in 2183 days

#3 posted 08-10-2016 01:19 PM

Are your actual cuts off by 1/4” or is just the laser off? I have a Ryobi as well but the power cord for the laser got pinched from normal use and the laser no longer works, but I remember the laser doing more harm than good for me, and I vaguely remember the laser getting bent a little by an obstruction.

I’ve also noticed with mine that the blade doesn’t sit at 90 degrees to the fence when the front knob is locked at zero… I actually have to lock it at about 0.5 degrees to get the blade square to the fence. Learned this the hard way trying to make frames! I don’t ever do miters with it because I don’t want to have to calibrate it again and again every time I change the angle. It’s really hard to tighten that knob a little off of zero because it wants to lock into zero.

All this to say that unfortunately there might be some issues with your Ryobi that you’ll just have to play with to figure out and work around them. If I find myself needing a miter saw more, I’m just going to buy a Dewalt or something better.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas,

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3350 days

#4 posted 08-10-2016 01:24 PM

When you set the blade at the zero degree mark does it click into position or do you need to lock it manually by turning the handle in like a big screw? If you have it locked into position then the arm that the saw motor itself is attached to must be twisted or the casting where the saw swivels is not truly flat. Is it a new or used saw – if new I would take it back IF you are certain you have the saw angle locked in.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8337 posts in 1766 days

#5 posted 08-10-2016 03:01 PM

As I pull down the saw the blade seems to sweep over to the side about a 1/4 inch.

that sounds to me like there is a problem with the saw itself
personally I love my dewalt

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5271 days

#6 posted 08-10-2016 03:18 PM

With the arm pulled down, is the blade perfectly perpendicular to the table?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DiceyBill's profile


5 posts in 1709 days

#7 posted 08-10-2016 03:44 PM

Thanks for all the input.

@weathersfuori – Yes the cuts are actually off. I turned my laser off seeing I wasn’t sure if it in fact was the laser or not. I figured I’d tune it in then adjust the laser accordingly once I knew the cut was right. But… still trying to figure it out. I’ll play with locking it off just off of 0 degrees and see how it works.

@dhazelton – Yes it does click in at 0 degrees, but you also have a big screw/knob to tighten it up. I think it locks at 0, 15, 30 ect. (the common cuts). It’s “new”, but I got it for Christmas. So Not sure if I can return it. My wife and I had our second baby last fall and I’m finally getting some time to play with the saw seeing it seemed like the baby was ALWAYS sleeping when I had a spare second to use it haha.

@CharlieM1958 – I’m pretty sure it was but I’ll check all the measurements again.

Thanks again for your input everyone. I’ll trying squaring everything up again and maybe playing with the table as weathersfuori & a1Jim suggested. I didn’t think it was a table issue, but it’s the only thin I haven’t played with so logically there is a good chance it IS the problem seeing it’s not getting better with any other adjustments.

Unless it’s just crap… I probably won’t get to look at it until the weekend. I’ll report back. Thanks again for your advice everyone.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3350 days

#8 posted 08-10-2016 11:15 PM

Gotta have a year warranty at least. Report back.

View DiceyBill's profile


5 posts in 1709 days

#9 posted 08-15-2016 01:35 PM

So I played with the fence and table setting and it’s much closer to a straight cut. Not quiet perfect.
I used a technique i found online where you make a cut, then flip the piece over to the other side of the cut to get a visual margin of error. It helped a lot but I’m pretty much the adjusting it by trial and error. Anyone have any better way to adjust.

What I hate about my saw is it’s a single fence, so any time you try to move one side the other side wants to move just a little bit too.

- DB

View Robert's profile


4521 posts in 2534 days

#10 posted 08-15-2016 05:21 PM

Unless it s just crap…
You’re getting warm…...

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View RogerM's profile


807 posts in 3452 days

#11 posted 08-15-2016 05:49 PM

I think it may be Ryobi. Sorry!

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View DiceyBill's profile


5 posts in 1709 days

#12 posted 08-15-2016 06:18 PM

Well not saying Ryobi is high quality by any means, but seeing I couldn’t make straight cuts at all, then after taking people’s advice and adjusting it I could at least make very close straight cuts… I just proved that a huge part of this problem is ME never having to adjust a miter saw before… as opposed to the saw being the problem in a nut shell. Though I’m sure more expensive saw are easier to adjust.

Which I figured my experience was the main problem to begin with, which is why I came to you guys who know what you’re doing.

If anyone has any good tips to for me, it would be greatly appreciated.

- DB

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics