Mitre boxes are a useful affordable tool primarily designed to allow you to make basic mitre joints. This type of joint is good for creating a neat joint when working on skirting boards, coving or framing. Trying to work these angles out by measuring and using a hand saw is a difficult thing to get right. The easiest and most accurate method is to use a mitre saw as that comes with various pre-set angles, and makes you life a whole lot easier.

The down side of the mitre saw, is that these are an expensive buy which can be hard to justify. For trades and professionals it is a no brainer. If you are just someone who needs to make a few mitre cuts now and then, a mitre box with a saw is a really good solution.

You can just buy a standard mitre box, and use a hand saw. The ideal saw to use is a tenon saw though, as these have finer teeth and are so much easier to use. They are smaller and the blades have finer teeth and that makes much neater cuts.

I am going to show you what mitre box and saw combinations are available on Amazon UK. You might also be able to pick these up at Retail stores like B&Q or Screwfix. There are a few of these available from the Stanley, Rolson, Tolson and other well known brands.

Top 5 Best Selections

1. Stanley 1-20-800 Adjustable Mechanical Mitre Box

Stanley 1-20-800 Adjustable Mechanical Mitre Box

Click the image to see a larger view

This option from the Stanley brand is the one that I would recommend. The reason for my recommendation is that it can do a huge variety of cuts, including wood, metal and plastic. This covers jobs like cutting architrave, skirting board, picture frames, pipes, etc

It has angled cuts including 30°, 45°, adjustable 60° to 90° cuts for accurate perfect mitred joints.

The saw is really good with an extra fine 14 TPI universal teeth great for finer finish cutting.

You can also quickly clamp any workpiece using the moveable cam locks and adjustable length gauge allows you to conveniently complete repeat cuts.

Check Amazon UK for Availability. Average Price: £60. 86% buyer satisfaction based on around 1,700+ online buyer reviews

Pros:

  • It is accurate which is the most important thing
  • It is well made and won't break easily
  • It is a whole lot safer than using a powered mitre saw 
  • I have used this a lot and it is pretty easy to setup and use

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive options compared to other similar products
  • You need to screw it down as it is light and will move around if not screwed to a bench or clamped
  • Like many tools, the instructions could be easier to understand
  • Can be hard to cut smaller pieces

2. Stanley STA120600 Clamping Mitre Box and Saw

Stanley STA120600 Clamping Mitre Box and Saw 1 20 600

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This option from the Stanley brand is a cheaper option and also does a good job. It is worth saying though that it can be slightly more fiddly to work with. It can cut wood, metal and plastic materials with the following angle options of 90°, 45° and 22½°, and can also do 45° bevel cuts accurately for perfect joints.

It uses a couple of cams to hold the material in place, which work really well for holding the material.(those small black things in the image above)

Check Amazon UK for Availability. Average Price: £22 84% buyer satisfaction based on around 2,000+ online buyer reviews

Pros:

  • It has a good selection of angles and they are accurate enough without being perfect
  • It is well enough made and suitable for doing small projects.
  • It is a whole lot safer than using a powered mitre saw 
  • I have used this one a lot as well and it is very easy to setup and use

Cons:

  • There is a little play between the saw blade and block guides
  • You need to screw it down as it is light and will move around if not screwed to a bench or clamped.
  • I am not a huge fan of the saw which I think could be better quality
  • The plastic box can bend slightly as the plastic isn't hard enough

3. Tolsen Mitre Box & Fine Tenon Saw

Tolsen Mitre Box & Fine Tenon Saw 300mm

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This option from the Tolsen brand is an even cheaper option and is a 300mm (12"0 option. It has the following angle options of 90°, and 45° left or right, which is a limited option compared to the previous two options. The saw is slightly better with 14TPI which does deliver fine neat cuts.

It is really basic though with no clamps to hold the material being cut.

Check Amazon UK for Availability. Average Price: £17 80% buyer satisfaction based on around 1,000+ online buyer reviews

Pros:

  • It has the basic two angles of straight or 45 degrees
  • It is good enough for making basic joints
  • It is one of the cheapest box and saw options on the UK market
  • I have used this one and for simple cuts it works well enough

Cons:

  • The box is a little flimsy even when screwed down 
  • You will need patience when using this one as getting the saw into the cuts can be fiddly
  • I like the saw, but I did find the teeth were coarser that I had expected
  • Only suitable for basic cuts.

4. Stanley Saw Storage Mitre Box With Saw 1 19 800

Stanley Saw Storage Mitre Box With Saw 1 19 800

Click the image to see a larger view

This is the basic option from the Stanley brand. It can cut wood, metal and plastic materials with the following angle options of 90°, 45° and 22½° angles. It is really basic though with no clamps to hold the material being cut.

Check Amazon UK for Availability. Average Price: £15 84% buyer satisfaction based on around 1,200+ online buyer reviews

Pros:

  • It is affordable and one of the cheapest on the UK market.
  • The saw also sits inside the box, handy for storage
  • It is good enough for making basic joints with a choice of three angles
  • The saw works well and the angles on the box are accurate
  • I have used this one many times in the past, and although basic, it is effective.

Cons:

  • It doesn't clamp the material down 
  • It's not high quality, but good enough for smaller jobs
  • I like the saw, just know that it's a basic one
  • You need to screw it down

5. Silverline Expert Mitre Box & Saw

Silverline Expert Mitre Box & Saw

Click the image to see a larger view

This option is from the Silverline brand. It can cut wood, metal and plastic materials with the following angle options of 90°, 45° and 22½° angles. It is basic though with no clamps to hold the material being cut.

Check Amazon UK for Availability. Average Price: £13 82% buyer satisfaction based on around 500+ online buyer reviews

Pros:

  • It is the cheapest on the UK market that I could find.
  • It's made from ABS plastic so longer lasting than some
  • It is useful for making basic joints with a choice of three angles
  • The saw works OK and the angles on the box are accurate
  • I have used this a few times in the past, and although basic, it is effective.

Cons:

  • It doesn't clamp the material down 
  • It's not high quality, but good enough for smaller jobs
  • The saw feels light
  • You need to screw it down

How to use a mitre box and saw

  • Secure the Mitre Box - Set the mitre box on a stable and flat surface, such as a bench or table. You can clamp it to the work surface to prevent movement during cutting, especially for longer pieces. Ideally you should screw it down to a work bench and this will make your entire experience much better. If you don't it will just move around and drive you nuts.
  • Mark the Cut - Measure and mark the material you want to cut. Use a pencil to draw a line precisely where you want the cut to be. The golden rule applies, "measure twice, cut once."
  • Select the Angle - Identify the angle on the mitre box that you need for your cut. Most mitre boxes have slots for common angles like 45 degrees, 90 degrees, etc. Choose the appropriate slot that matches the angle you want to cut.
  • Put the Material in the Mitre Box - Position the material to be cut into the appropriate slot in the mitre box, and make sure that the material is snugly fitted against the side of the box as that helps maintain accuracy.
  • Hold the Material Securely - Use clamps to hold the material firmly in place within the mitre box. Some mitre boxes have built in clamps. Many don't so use some form of clamp if you own them. This will prevent any movement while you're cutting.
  • Making the cut - Use the back saw and place it into the slot corresponding to the desired angle. Hold the saw firmly and start cutting along the marked line. Use a smooth, steady motion to guide the saw through the material. Be patient and avoid forcing the saw, letting its teeth do the cutting.
  • Check the Cut - Once you have finished, remove the material from the mitre box and inspect the edge. Sand or file the cut edge if needed for a smoother finish.

My Final Thoughts

Ideally we would all own a mitre saw and make these types of cuts easily and quickly. The big problem is the cost of buying one and trying to justify that cost. Most DIYers and homeowners just won't use one of these that much. Most people only ever need to make a few mitre cuts, when working on smaller projects.

The mitre box and saw is a more affordable option. Personally I would recommend buying one that has clamps as it makes your life easier and the cuts more accurate. If you can take your time and be patient, then these will get the job done.

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