If you are building a new home or renovating your existing home, then something that you might need to do at some point is to cut baseboard corners. Of course, most, if not all houses have baseboards, and when walls meet, they need to be cut at 45-degree angles in order to join together.
Now, the tool of choice to use for this task is of course the miter saw as it takes care of both the measuring and that cutting for you. However, you might not have one on hand, in which case you will need to find a different method to accomplish this task. Today we’re here to figure out exactly how to cut baseboard corners without a miter saw.
Can You Cut Baseboard Without a Miter Saw?
What you need to keep in mind here is that a miter saw is of course the tool of choice to use for this task, mainly because you can set the angle of the blade very specifically. In other words, the miter saw takes care of both the measuring and the cutting for you, thus making life quite easy.
However, if you don’t have a miter saw, there are various ways to cut baseboard corners. Just keep in mind that you will have to do both the measuring and the cutting separately, at least if you don’t have another type of saw where the blade angle can be adjusted. We will cover all of this below, so let’s get to it.
How to Cut Baseboard Corners Without a Miter Saw
OK, so what you need to be aware of here is that if you are cutting baseboard corners without a miter saw, then there are actually two issues that you need to tackle.
The reason for this is because a miter saw does the measuring for you, or in other words, you can set precise angles with the saw, thus eliminating the need for manual measurement. The miter saw does of course also do the sawing as well.
Therefore, if you need to cut baseboard corners without a miter saw, you first need to figure out how to make the proper measurement, and then how to cut it. So, first we are going to figure out how you can measure those angles by yourself, and then how to cut the baseboard.
4 Ways to Measure the Angle
OK, so if you were making a straight crosscut then this would not be a problem, but the fact of the matter is that for baseboard corners you need to cut those boards at 45-degree angles, which means that you first need to be able to measure that 45-degree angle.
Right now, we are going to figure out exactly how to measure that angle, so you can make a precise cut. Remember, the miter saw does the measuring for you, so depending on the tool you use, you will need to do this first. Some other saws can also do the measuring for you, but it really depends on the exact saw type and model in question.
1. Using a Protractor
The first and easiest way to measure that 45-degree angle is to use a protractor. Yes, this is that same half-moon-shaped piece of plastic that you used back in grade school math class. All you have to do is to place the protractor on the piece of wood that you wish to cut, and then measure the angle according to the measurements on the protractor.
When it comes to making manual measurements, it really doesn’t get any easier than that. This is exactly what a protractor is designed for, to measure angles.
2. Using a Piece of Paper
If you need to measure a 45-degree angle, something that you can actually do is to fold up a piece of printer paper into a triangle and then use that to make your markings on the wood. All you want to do is to take the top right corner of the piece of paper and then fold it down to the left and till you make a straight edge on the left-hand side.
You will be left with a small rectangle at the bottom of the triangle which you can cut off or simply ignore. Going from the top left-hand side down to the right, you now have a 45-degree angle, or in other words, the longest side of the triangle. You can place this on the piece of baseboard and then simply trace the piece of paper.
3. Using a Miter Box
Now, if you need to make miter cuts but you do not have a miter saw, something that you can use is a miter box. A miter box is a special little plastic measuring utensil that you place a piece of wood inside of. The miter box has many very different slits in it, according to a variety of different angles.
All you have to do is to place a manual saw or a circular saw inside of the specific slits according to the angle that you wish to cut. It all sounds a little complicated and it is a little hard to explain in words, but if you look up a miter box, you will quickly see how it functions. It’s one of the easiest measuring tools to use for this purpose.
4. Using Existing Baseboards
Of course, if you already have baseboard corners cut, then what you can always do is simply trace that onto a board that is to be cut. Tracing a premade cut is always a great way to ensure precision.
5 Ways to Cut the Angle
Now that you know how to measure the angle for the baseboard corner, let’s figure out how to make the cut.
1. Using a Hand Saw
If you don’t have any power tools at all, once you have made the appropriate measurements as talked about above, all you then have to do is to use any kind of handsaw to make the cut. This could be something like a foxtail saw or a hacksaw. Just make sure that you know how to use a manual saw before using this method.
2. Using a Table Saw
Another option that you have at your disposal here is to use a table saw. Now, if the fence of the table saw cannot be adjusted far enough to measure the angle by itself, you do have to use one of the above measuring methods that we discussed. With that being said, all you have to do is lay the board down on the table, turn the saw on, and then feed the board through the blade.
3. Using a Circular Saw
If you don’t have a table saw, something else that you can use as a circular saw. Now some circular saws have adjustable bases, so you can actually adjust the blade to a 45-degree angle. If you have one of these circular saws, then you can skip the measurement steps that we discussed above. If your saw does have this feature, simply adjust the base so that the blade is at a 45-degree angle and then make the cut as you normally would.
4. Using a Jigsaw
Although the Jigsaw is not the first saw of choice to use for this task, it will work. Just like with a circular saw, some jigsaws come with bases that can be adjusted so that the blade can be adjusted to a 45-degree angle. Whether you can adjust the base or not, all you have to do is to pass the jigsaw blade through the wood as you normally would.
5. Using a Reciprocating Saw
A reciprocating saw is going to make fairly rough cuts, so it’s definitely not the first tool of choice for this task. But with that being said, it will still technically work. Just keep in mind that you will definitely have to do some sanding if you use a reciprocating saw.
Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks
Lastly, here are some additional things to keep in mind:
- If you are measuring manually, make sure to always measure twice and cut once. If you cut something incorrectly, there is no going back.
- When working with any sort of power tool, always make sure to wear the proper eye protection because you don’t want any splinters or sawdust shooting up into your eyes.
- If you don’t have a miter saw, we recommend using either a circular saw or a jigsaw where the base can be adjusted so you can automatically adjust the angle without having to do any of the measuring first.
The bottom line here is that even if you don’t have a miter saw, it is more than possible to cut baseboard corners. All you need is a little bit of patience and ingenuity.