By Rob Brown
Mitre saws are great for cutting dimensional lumber and many other workpieces, but they can be heavy and expensive. They often need to be set up carefully on a worksurface to work properly. The Kreg Portable Crosscut Guide is a great solution to all of these challenges, as well as a few others. While it won’t make your mitre saw obsolete, it will go a long way to simplifying cutting all sorts of lumber with a circular saw, while maintaining more than enough accuracy and quality to keep you smiling until the project is complete.
Using this guide is simple. Mark the location of the cut on the lumber, extend the retractable cutline indicator with a thumb (more on this cool feature later), position the guide so it’s in line with the pencil line, apply light pressure to the guide with one hand and make the cut with your other hand. It’s simple, quick and works well. Now that you know how it’s used, let’s go over some of the many checkmarks in the “pro” column.
One of the best things about this guide is that it’s lightweight and easy to move around a yard, shop, house or wherever you need it next. It weighs next to nothing, and is made of a strong and durable ABS plastic, so it will last a long time. It also takes up little space when not in use.
As I mentioned, there are two retractable cutline indicators: one for 90° cuts and another for 45° cuts. These indicators allow you to position the guide exactly where it’s needed so you can cut precisely to your line every time. You can adjust these indicators depending on the size of your saw. Once they’re both tightened, you just extend the indicators using a single thumb, align the indicator with the pencil line, then allow the spring-loaded indicator to retract before holding the guide in place and making the cut. It might sound like a lot on paper, but in practice it’s simple and easy.
Once you have the guide positioned, apply a bit of hand pressure to keep it in place. “GripMaxx” is Kreg’s name for the grippy gasket-like material on both faces of this guide. It keeps the guide stationary during cuts, so no clamps are needed.
Another nice feature, especially when cutting 45° angles, is the saw support ledge. This added material supports the saw base while starting each cut.
Considering how easy this guide is to use and how well it works, it’s very reasonably priced. It can be used by both pro contractors and homeowners to simplify crosscutting tasks. If you crosscut dimensional lumber on even a vaguely regular basis, I would recommend this guide. Kreg has a long line of quality joinery and cutting tools, and this adds to their strong arsenal.
Adjust for Your Saw – Both of the cutline indicators need to be adjusted for your saw’s base. By adjusting the indicators, then tightening the elliptical nut, you will be able to make accurate cuts each time.
Press of a Thumb – One thumb presses the cutline indicator outwards, then the guide is aligned with the pencil line (left). Once the cutline indicator is released it automatically retracts, allowing the cut to be made (right). (Photos by Rob Brown)
Tester: Rob Brown