how to crosscut on a table saw

If you’re looking to make precision cuts on a table saw, then crosscutting is the way to go. With the right technique, you can get precise and accurate results every time. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps for how to crosscut a table saw. Read on to learn more!

Materials List 

  1. Table Saw 
  2. Miter Gauge (To get more accurate cuts, you should invest in a good miter gauge like this one.) 
  3. Push stick (This is essential for table saw safety. You’ll need it to push the stock into the blade while cutting) 
  4. A pair of safety glasses


1. First, make a mark with a pencil or a piece of tape on the miter gauge to indicate the 0° setting. 

2. Set the miter gauge at 90°. 

3. Square up your board. 

4. Align the blade directly with your marks and clamp the board to the table saw fence

5. Make sure you have a firm grip on your push stick, position it directly behind your hands, and use both hands to push the stock into the blade at a steady pace until you get through all of it. 

6. Carefully remove all pieces from your table saw.  

7. Now, flip your board around so that you can line up the blade with the 0° mark on your miter gauge. 

8. Make sure you have a firm grip on your push stick and position it directly behind your hands. Use both hands to push the stock into the blade at a steady pace until you get through all of it. 

9. Once all pieces are off of your table saw, make sure they’re flat and free of any dust particles. 

10. Finally, run the pieces across a jointer to clean them up even further before doing any final cuts or moving onto the assembly.

11. And there you have it! A quick guide for how to crosscut on a table saw! Safety is always key when working with a table saw, so be sure to wear your safety glasses and adhere to all the necessary precautions.

How to position the wood on the saw? 

1. The wood should be positioned vertically against the fence, with the 0° mark on your miter gauge directly under the blade. 

2. When you push your board into the saw, make sure it’s lined up with your pencil or piece of tape on your miter gauge so that it is 90° from where it was. 

Important notes: 

When crosscutting on a table saw, you always want to be sure that the blade is angled away from your body. Never push yourself into the path of the blade while it’s spinning. Always keep your hands away from both sides of the blade while it is in motion or while it has pieces against it. It’s also important for your fingers and palms to be positioned tightly on top of your push stick so that you get the most control possible. 

Keep your eyes peeled for any toothpicks or scraps coming out of the cut piece because they can easily fly back towards you (the same goes for any splinters off of the side). Our last note is that although cutting through hardwood like walnut and cherry is commonplace on a table saw, there’s nothing wrong with cutting through softer materials like pine and poplar as long as your blade is sharp. 

How to adjust the blade height?

1. Unplug the table saw and put on your safety glasses before starting anything. 

2. Next, pull out the blade guard lock in order to unlock it.  

3. Now you can turn the tension knob to lower or raise your blade (shown here). Keep in mind that when lowering it down, there’s a metal stopper that will stop at two different depths depending on whether you’re cutting through hardwood or softwood. 

Lastly, make sure you lock your blade back up after making any adjustments! 

How to make your first cut?

When you go to make your first cut, it’s important to always remember what was said before: this is a tool that can cause severe injury if used incorrectly. Keep your hands away from the blade at all times and wear safety glasses because there’s no way you’ll be able to focus on both the task at hand and staying safe without them. 

1. Lock your miter gauge into place with a firm grip on your push stick and position it behind your hands for maximum control. When cutting boards down to size it’s best to only do so 1/8″ at a time, as opposed to trying to take off too much all at once which could send boards flying everywhere. 

2. Position the board vertically against the saw fence with your 0° mark on your miter gauge directly under the blade. 

3. Next, push the board tightly into the saw with both hands until it makes clean contact with the blade. Push firmly enough that it doesn’t move too much but not so hard that you’re putting serious pressure onto the push stick. 

4. Finally, use your hand to hold down the board against your fence as you slowly slide it forward and then pull it back again before releasing it from the saw completely.

How to hold the wood while you’re cutting it?

1. Figure out which side of the board you want to be on top and position it vertically with its end against your fence and your 0° miter gauge mark directly under the blade. 

2. Push forward on your push stick, keeping a firm grip on the wood as you slide it all the way up to meet with the blade. 

3. Then slowly pull back toward you, keeping pressure downward on your push stick so that the wood doesn’t move too much, and then release from the saw before moving onto the next cut (don’t just let go of wood, this is dangerous).

4. Finally, reposition the board to be perpendicular with your fence and line up your 0° mark on the miter gauge again directly under the blade. 

5. Push forward on push stick and repeat the exact process above (if you didn’t make any adjustments). Repeat steps 3-5 until you’ve cut through all of the pieces in your stack of boards.


Crosscutting on a table saw can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Make sure to read and follow all the safety instructions before attempting to crosscut your table saw. Always use a push stick when crosscutting, and never reach over the blade. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to confidently crosscut on your table saw in no time!