If you own a miter saw, then you know miter saws for purchase generally do not come with a stand. While technically you do not need a miter saw specific stand to operate your saw, you will need a strong, level work surface that your saw can be secured to for optimal operation and safety reasons.

Any workbench or table that can support your saw’s weight and the weight or the lumber or material that you are cutting, will suffice.

However, the great thing about a miter saw stand is that if you need to move your saw, or even transport it to a worksite, miter saw stands are designed for portability. This can be an asset if you need to work at different venues. It will save you the time of inventing a makeshift stand and permit you to get to work on your project immediately.

using cutting hard material

Can You Use a Miter Saw on the Ground?

Due to safety concerns, using a miter saw on the ground is not recommended. It can cause you to trip and depending on the weight of your saw, which often exceeds fifty pounds or more, moving it onto or up from the ground can lead to a back injury.

Another reason not to use a miter saw on the ground is the manufacturers’ recommendation to secure the saw to the work surface, table, or workbench. This can be realized by bolting the saw to the surface. It would be challenging to bolt a miter saw to the floor.

Miter saws also require a great deal of space, not for the saw itself, but they need space on either side when cutting long pieces of materials.

If your workspace is limited, you may feel that using a miter saw on the ground is a good alternative. But most, if not all, manufacturers highly recommend bolting the miter saw to the work surface. Theoretically, you can use a miter saw on the ground, it’s just not a good idea. A workbench or a miter saw stand is more appropriate and safer when operating a miter saw.

the saw blade is very sharp

Principal Reasons for Not Using a Miter Saw on the Ground

Trip Hazards

If you position your miter saw on the ground along with its power cord, you’ll need to be constantly looking out for where you place your feet. And if you’ve cut lumber, you’ll need to be sure you don’t trip over that as well. There will be any number of things near the saw that can cause you to stumble and trip. You may also damage both your saw and the material you are cutting by kicking it accidentally.

Back Injuries

You’ll have to bend over to position your miter saw on the ground. You’ll also have to bend over to lift it when you are finished. Miter saws weigh well over fifty pounds, so you are at risk for a back injury, especially if you are moving the saw alone.

Electrical Hazards

If you happen to work on the ground and it is wet, you are at risk for electrical shock and even electrocution. While a ground fault circuit interrupter can protect you should electrical current come into direct contact with water, it’s better to avoid this altogether. 

the blade is very long

Lack of Stability when Cutting

Because it is highly recommended that miter saws are bolted or at least clamped to the cutting surface like a workbench or table for stability, when working on the ground this is impossible. When a miter saw is not securely fixed to the surface, the saw can experience kickback meaning that the saw’s spinning blade can shift dangerously and suddenly. This happens when the blade runs up against a particularly hard knot or a hidden nail.  The saw should not move at all when in operation.

Less Precision when Cutting

When cutting, most people will place a cutting mark on the material they are cutting for precise measurement. If your saw is placed on the ground, it may be more difficult to accurately judge if your saw blade is lined up with the cutting mark. This is easier when you can view this at eye level and not at ground level. Practically every major manufacturer of a miter saw states that they must be mounted on a level, stable surface.


In Conclusion

Whether you use a stand specifically created for miter saws or a level work surface, you do need an appropriate surface that your miter saw can be secured on. Miter saws are potentially dangerous power tools and should be treated as such. 

Follow manufacturer recommendations, use PPE, and above all, secure your miter saw to a flat stable surface for exceptional cutting performance and your safety. 

Do you need a miter saw stand? Maybe not, but it will most certainly make using your miter saw a bit easier.

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