If you are going to be using a mitre saw for cutting then you would be well advised to clamp the wood down. The reasons for doing this are really twofold:

  1. Ensures that you can make accurate cuts each and every time
  2. Keeps you safe as clamps will stop the material being cut from moving or flying off.

There are plenty of accessories available for a mitre saw. Many of those are designed to either clamp or support wood of different sizes. These range from accessory packs, universal clamps and clamping mitre boxes.

Many mitre saws sold in the UK, come with a clamp built into them. If it does, then please make sure that you use it. This stops any wood from moving around and also helps to prevent the blade on your saw from sticking or jarring.

I will explain what types of clamp are available on the UK market, such as Quick-release clamps, bar clamps and hold down clamps. First let's take a closer look at the key features to look for, when buying these.

Mitre Saws and Stands Clamps

It is worth pointing out again that most mitre saws come with one or more clamps. The problem for many users is that typically they are not that strong or useful. Have a look at my diagram below to see what I mean.

einhell mitre saw showing clamp poistion

This is an Einhell mitre saw, which is very good, but the clamping mechanism is basic. It is still worth using, but has limited clamping capacity. I have always found that I need to add clamps to make the workpiece really secure, especially longer pieces.

Mitre Saw stand Clamps

Many mitre saw users will end up buying a mitre saw stand. The main reason for that is that it allows them to cut long pieces of wood, and also allows them to mount the mitre saw. The stand comes with universal mounts for holding the actual saw and two end points that can be adjusted to hold the longer piece of wood. Those end points do offer good support and act as a spare set of hands. Most of those don't have actual clamps for holding the material in place.

Bosch Professional GTA 3800 saw stand for mitre saws

If you look at the image above, this shows a man using the Bosch professional stand. The overall support is excellent, but there is no actual clamping other than what is on your mitre saw. That's where having a selection of clamps becomes important.

What to look for when buying clamps for your mitre saw?

There are 3 main types of these;

  1. Quick release
  2. Bar
  3. Hold down

I will explain just below what each type is and also show you the pros and considerations of each type.

1. Quick Release Clamps

Irwin quick release clamps

These are really popular as they have rapid adjustment and release mechanisms. That means you can quickly get fast and easy positioning and securing of any workpieces. You simply squeeze the trigger to attach and release the clamps. Check availability at Amazon UK. Average Price:£13 for 2 clamps. These have up to to 63kg (140 lbs) of sustained clamping pressure for light duty applications, non-marring pads, quick release trigger for one-handed operation. They are also heat treated, with black oxide carbon steel i-beam barand a throat depth: 2-7/16” / 62mm

Pros:

  • Saves you a lot of time and offers quick setups and adjustments
  • Perfect for projects that require the frequent repositioning of materials.

Considerations:

  • You need to be sure of the quality of the release mechanism to make sure they are reliable and built to last.
  • You also need to think about the clamping force and overall sturdiness, especially for any heavy duty use.

2. Bar Clamps

Bar clamps for mitre saw

These uses a sliding bar mechanism, that provide strong and even pressure along the workpiece's length.

Check Amazon UK for Availability. Average Price: £16 for 2 clamps. They are made from high quality carbon steel and suitable for heavy-duty clamping projects.. They have a quick-release grip ,large jaw non marring pads. Maximum jaw capacity: 6" for clamps/11" for spread. Throat Depth: 2-3/8"(60mm) from bar top of the pad. Clamping 150lbs (68.1Kg) of force.

Pros:

  • These have a bigger reach and clamping capacity
  • They are better suited for larger or wider materials due to their extended reach.

Considerations:

  • You need to check the bar's material and construction build for stability and resistance to bending
  • Assess the clamping pads for non-marring and a secure grip.

3. Hold Down Clamps

Powertec hold down clamps

These are designed to secure workpieces firmly to the mitre saw's surface, preventing movement or lifting during cutting. These are mainly used when you are using a T-track or T-slots to keep them in place.

Check Availability at Amazon UK. Average Price:£23 for a pack of 2. These use comfortable knobs, have non-marring clamping pads, and a high tension clamping capacity.

Pros:

  • Enhanced safety by securing materials in place.
  • These are perfect for smaller workpieces to prevent slippage.

Considerations:

  • You need to ensure they are compatible with the specific mitre saw model being used.
  • Check the clamp's mechanism for easy adjustment and locking

General Purpose Clamp Consideration & Advice

Now that you are aware of what types of clamps are available, you also have a few other things to consider. I have listed those just below:

  • You should consider the specifications and design of the mitre saw you own to ensure the clamp's compatibility. Use the manual that came with your saw to check this. If you don't have that, you should be able to download a copy from the manufacturer's website
  • You can then check if the clamp's mounting system aligns with the saw's T-slots or mounting points.
  • In terms of the actual clamp, check the maximum clamping capacity and throat depth suitable for the intended projects you may want to do against the saw's dimensions.
  • Think about the range of materials and sizes you typically work with to ensure the clamp can accommodate them effectively.
  • I would recommend buying adjustable clamps to cater to various workpiece sizes.

Buying Tips

  1. Look for clamps that are made from long lasting strong materials such as hardened steel, aluminum, or high-quality plastics.
  2. Look at the overall quality of the construction to make sure they will be able to withstand repeated use and potential wear.
  3. Consider corrosion-resistant coatings for longevity, especially in sheds, garages or workshops prone to moisture.
  4. Take a little time to assess the ease of clamping and unclamping mechanisms.
  5. Clamps with ergonomic handles or knobs are a lot more comfortable to use.
  6. It's always a good idea to check that you can easily make smooth and precise adjustments to achieve the desired clamping pressure.

Evolution Mitre Saw Accessory Pack

evolution tools mitre saw accessory pack with clamps

If you own a mitre saw, then you can buy accessory packs

This one includes:

  • A front clamp for additional accuracy and securing the piece
  • A quick release top clamp for faster adjustments
  • A dust bag for a cleaner working environment
  • A dust port adapter for attaching a vacuum hose

Check Availability at Amazon UK. Average Price: £30

How To Use Mitre Saw Clamps?

Clamps are also really useful if you want to hold a number of pieces of wood or timber together so as you can cut them all at once. We have done that many times as it makes sure they are all exactly the same length. It also saves you a great deal of time. We would use this when cutting wood for fences and even for floors.

This would be one of the main uses for woodworking. Often when joints are made, the glue needs time to dry. Clamping the pieces together leave you free to get on with other work. It also makes sure that the wood is held very firmly together and this just makes a much tighter and better joint.

  1. Pick the right clamp type based on the material, size, and shape of the workpiece.
  2. Always clear the workspace and ensure the mitre saw's surface is clean and free of any dust or debris.
  3. Place the material being cut securely on the mitre saw's surface and adjust it to the desired cutting angle.
  4. Set up the clamps with the workpiece and the saw's surface, ensuring a firm grip without obstructing the cutting path.
  5. Apply even pressure on the workpiece by tightening the clamps sufficiently to prevent movement during cutting.

In the ideal world, buy a good quality mitre saw as that will have at least one clamp included and in the right place. All you have to do then is place it on the wood, and simply tighten it up. Even when you have that, it is always a good idea to have some additional wood clamps in your tool kit.

They do not cost a fortune and they really do free up your hands to concentrate on what you are doing.

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