How to Measure and Cut Angles for Trim

Published on: April 9, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

When we use the baseboard trim then it can be more difficult to perfectly measure the corners because the walls are square. The spaces between the pieces of trim are so visible. So, that’s the reason the frequent question comes about “ how to measure and cut angles for trim” to get the joint perfectly.

how to measure and cut angles for trim

If we answer shortly, you can use measuring tools for getting accurate measurements and can cut the different angle shapes by using saws. Nowadays many DIY jobs are available, so if you know the tricks of measure and cut the angles for a trim then you can easily do the most common DIY jobs that generally involve different cutting angles. There are-

  • Putting up to the coving,
  • Cut and fix the skirting,
  • Fitting the dado,
  • Picture rails,
  • Stud walls,
  • Roofing,
  • Plasterboarding,
  • Tiling.

Overall, the construction and DIY jobs will finish perfectly when you can measure and cut angles accurately. So, knowing it please read this below. You will get a clear concept and can take easily accurate measures and cut it.

What Is the Meaning of Angles

In mathematically “ The turning amount of between two lines around their common point is called angles”. On the other hand “ When two rays are combined with a common ending point then the angle is formed”. There are many ways, you can describe the angle but you get the two components of an angle. There are-

  1. Sides,
  • Terminal sides,
  • Initial sides or vertical sides.
  1. Vertex.

What Are the Multiple Types of Angles?

There are multiple forms of different types of angles in mathematics. Let’s begin to know about these different types of angles geometrically. The angle can be classified into two major types-

  1. Based on the Magnitude,
  • An acute angle is an angle that is less than 90 degrees and greater than 0 degrees.
  • Obtuse angles are less than 180 and greater than 90 degrees.
  • The right angle is an angle that is exactly 90 degrees.
  • Straight angles are exactly 180 degrees.
  • Reflex angle is an angle that is greater than 180 and less than 360 degrees.
  • Full Rotation- is exactly 360 degrees.
  1. Based on the Rotation.
  • Positive angles-That is measured by counterclockwise direction from the base point.
  • Negative angles-That is measured by clockwise direction from the base point.

How Can Measure Angles for Trim?

Before cutting anything, the first job is to work out the exact angle that you will need to cut. In almost all situations are not easy to take measures because the area will not be squared all the time.

When the walls are not exactly at the right angles then most of the people get the questions about how they can fill up the big gaps between skirting boards. There are several ways to fill it up. So, to take accurate measure angles you can use different types of angle-finding tools. As like- 

  •  Pivot square– It has an adjustable and locking leg that can firmly hold any angle from 0 to 90 degrees.
  • Three-sided squares– It is used for marking and finding any angles.
  • Square shooter– This is a weapon for wide pieces.
  • T-Bevel– Lock it to copy that angle to set the angle of a saw blade.
  • T-Bevel setter– Only use for matching and transferring the angles.
  • Bevel protractor– Its rotating head locks in 180 degrees to get the exact angle of the bevel.
  • Digital protractor– This is perfect for getting a digital readout a tenth of a degree. 
  • Adjustable T-square– This tool could make 30, 45, and 90-degrees cuts.

What is the Best Way to Cut Angles for Trim

The best way to cut angles for trim depends on the tools and materials you have available. Here are some common methods:

  1. Miter Saw: Use a miter saw to make precise, angled cuts.
  2. Miter Box and Handsaw: Place the trim in a miter box and use a handsaw to make angled cuts.
  3. Table Saw: Set the angle on the table saw and make cuts using the miter gauge.
  4. Compound Miter Saw: Use a compound miter saw to make angled cuts that are beveled as well as mitered.
  5. Jigsaw: For curves, use a jigsaw to make angled cuts.
  6. Coping Saw: For tight angles, use a coping saw to make cuts by hand.

Remember, always wear safety equipment and use the proper technique for the tool you are using.

What You Need Before Cutting Trim Angles

Are you always working with a trim but confused about where to start? Here are some tricks that will make your work easy. By following these tips for installing trim, you’ll be well on your way to a professional finish.

  • Get the right tools for installing your trim.
  • Calculate accurately how much trim you’ll be need
  • Purchase a little bit more than you need.
  • Using a compound miter saw to get accurate cuts.
  • Coped, miter and scarf joints are used in your trim installation.
  • You can save your time and energy by painting your trim before installing it.
  • Used wood filler or sandpaper for hiding nail holes. 

How to Cut Angles for Trim?

Generally, trim cuts are divided into two parts. Inside and outside cut.  If you can measure perfectly then outside or inside cuts do not make a difference as long as the cutting process. Let’s know about how to cut different angles for trim.

At first please don’t forget to wearing all the personal essential protective gear. And now time to use the measuring tool.  Depending on your angle you have to choose the measuring tool

If your angle is less or equal to 90 degrees is an inside angle. And if your angle is more than 90 degrees is an outside angle. You can use a marker or tape measure to mark and measure the length of your baseboard for getting the cut.

For An Inside Angle Cut

Before cutting starts we need to calculate accurately the miter saw setting using the formula: 

  • Divide your angle by 2. For example, your angle of the corner is 90 degrees. Then your angle setting is 90/2= 45 degrees. And set the miter saw to 45 degrees. 
  • Now you can fix your baseboard by using the adjustable jig in the position on the miter saw.
  • Turn on your miter saw and ready for cutting. At the fixed 45 degrees angle cut the baseboard.
  • Now turn off the miter saw to readjust it to 0 degrees.
  • After adjusting and fixing the baseboard now marked the spot. So, using the jig one side of your trim angle would be cut.
  • Turn on your miter saw for cutting the baseboard.
  • One more time you have to repeat the process. 
  • After completing the process you have two baseboard pieces of 45 degrees angles.
  • Again turn off the miter saw for removing the baseboard pieces.
  • If you need a smoothened cut angle then you can use a filer or sander.

For An Output Angle Cut

There are two formulas that you can apply to get an output angle cut. You can use anyone because both give you the same result.

First Formula:

 For 180 degrees corner, the trim angle is = X

  • X is divided by 2 and the angle setting for your miter saw. For example, the trim angle is 120 degrees.
  • Therefore, 180 – 120 = 60.
  • Now 60 is divided by 2 or (60/2) = 30.
  • So the result is 30 degrees. That means the angle setting for 30 degrees to your miter saw.

Second Formula:

Trim Angle is divided by 2 = X

  • (90 – X )= setting for your miter saw to the angle.
  • Therefore, if the trim angle is 120 degrees.
  • Then 120 id divided by 2  or (120/2)= 60.
  • Now 90- 60 = 30 degrees.
  • So, the result is 30 degrees. That means the angle you have to set 30 degrees for the miter saw.
  • Finally, both results are the same.

After completing the calculation process now turn on your miter saw and cut down the baseboard at 30 degrees. As we do inside angle cut the repeat process, here we apply the same things and get the two pieces of baseboard with a 30 degrees miter cut.

Is There a Trick to Cutting Angles for Trim Quickly and Accurately

Yes, here are a few tips for cutting angles for trim accurately:

  1. Use a speed square or protractor to measure the angle accurately.
  2. Use a miter saw or compound miter saw for precise cuts.
  3. Make test cuts on scrap wood before cutting the actual trim.
  4. Keep the saw blade sharp for clean cuts.
  5. Clamp the trim to the saw table for stability during cutting.

Final Thought

Overall, if you get the tricks to measurement and cut procedure then it will be funny to do. That will not be difficult for you. You have to give importance to using the process of a miter saw and calculate the angle setting for trim perfectly. And keep in mind formula is use depends on your angles inside or outside. 

Hope you get a clear concept and also get enough knowledge to overcome all of your hurdles. Thanks for keeping with us. If you benefit from this article then not forget to share it with others.

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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