You might agree that power saws like miter and table saws have brought a revolution in the woodworking industry. The tools are a must in a craftsman’s kit. But on comparing table saw vs miter saw, which one is the best?
The power tools have proved to be an advantage for homeowners, DIYers, and hobbyists to let them create large projects in a short period. Each one works on different principles of cutting wood, but their uses overlap.
If you want to take your carpentry skills to the next level, you will own table and miter saws. But examine the two in detail to know which tool is the best for which type of work.
The present article is a guide that includes each aspect of table saw vs. miter saw. It consists of the basis on which you can differentiate both tool types and their uses. It contains a comparison of the table and miter saw.
What is a Table saw?
A table saw is a flat table having a saw blade that allows the carpenters to make various cuts. It has a circular blade that protrudes out from the table’s surface through a slit. The blade is fixed on a motor lying below the table.
You can raise or lower the blade while making cuts. The blade provides support to the material, mostly wood that is being cut. A higher blade protrusion above the table makes a deeper cut into the workpiece.
Table saws for woodworking are a common tool in woodworking workshops for professionals or home DIYers. A table saw is highly useful for woodworkers and is suitable for building cabinets or furniture and ripping plywood.
It is versatile as helpful in making almost all cut types. The main table saws used for woodworking projects include benchtop and job site table saw. Other types are compact, hybrid, contractor, cabinet, sliding, and mini table saw. Table saw is specifically helpful for making angular cuts, rip, and crosscuts.
What is a Miter Saw?
A miter saw is a tool having a circular blade that is fixed on a swing arm. You can bring the blade down to the material for cutting a short, controlled motion. You can set the swing-mounted blade to different angles.
You can hold the workpiece against a fence that provides a precise cutting angle between the blade’s plane and the workpiece’s edge’s plane. The blade allows the miter saw to make precise cuts.
Miter saw is specifically used for making crosscuts, miter, compound, and beveled cuts. It is a precision tool for carpenters helpful in framing, base or crown molding, and trim work. The three main miter saw types are sliding miter saw, compound miter saw, and sliding compound miter saws.
Comparison of Table Saw vs Miter Saw
A table saw is mainly used for cutting large boards into smaller pieces that are easier to work with. It cuts or rips the wood to width without jamming the saw. A table saw makes crosscuts by carving wood to length.
You will need a table saw’s adjustable miter gauge for making angles cutting. Table saws can change the blade angle for making bevel cuts. The tool is suitable for creating a tight bend for removing portions of a board.
It can give a curve to thick hardwoods. The process is known as kerfing. A table saw is mainly helpful in building cabinets and making furniture. It is a versatile tool used in multiple woodworking projects.
A miter saw is easier to use due to the high-quality blades. It lets you make different angle cuts, bevels, and combinations cuts on workpieces precisely. It can make accurate crosscuts. An average miter saw can make up to 6-8 inches of crosscuts.
A miter saw is a primary tool for woodworkers and builders. It is an essential tool for daily work. They use the power tool to make picture frames, boxes, gates, and ledges.
How it works?
The rotating blade in a table saw is in a fixed position. You will have to move the wood material against the blade for cutting, adjusting the height and blade angle—the blade projects through the table’s top, which provides support to the wood.
You can raise or lower the blade based on the wood’s thickness, but the fixed blade will not move while cutting. Table saw cut larger pieces of wood.
A miter saw has a blade mounted on a swing arm that spindles left or right to make angled cuts. You will have to fix the wooden stock on the table and bring the blade on the wood to cut. The blade slices the wooden block’s width at a 90-degree angle. A sliding compound miter saw allows moving the saw blade across the wood piece.
The table saw is suitable for crosscuts and rip cuts. It easily cuts wood due to the powerful motor and sharp blade. A table saw is convenient to change the blade setting and make bevel cuts. Mostly, you can make 0–50-degree bevel adjustments in a table saw.
You can make rabbets, and groves cuts with a table saw. It is also helpful in making dado cuts and kerf cutting. However, a table saw will take a longer time to make a precise compound cut.
It requires additional accessories like a miter and sled gauge to make exact cuts. A miter saw makes more accurate cuts than a table saw. A miter saw is an ideal tool to make precise miter cuts and dual bevel cuts of wood and other materials like plastic. It also makes crosscut and compound cuts.
The table and miter saw are portable. Portable table saw are benchtop, Jobsite, and compact table saws. These are handy devices suitable for professional craftsmen and DIYers.
Miter saw is also easier to move from one job location to another. You can use a miter saw on a table or any other flat surface. A miter having a rolling saw stand is portable and is handy for professionals.
Generally, a table saw, and miter saw will cost almost the same, assuming both are from a reputed brand. So, the cost is not a significant difference between the two. However, prices may vary from retailer to retailer.
So, specific online retailers or hardware stores might have slightly different prices for miter and table saws. Prices may also vary based on the different table and miter saw types. A sliding compound miter will be a little costly than a basic miter or table saw.
A benchtop table saw is least expensive than other table saw types. The cost will increase for table and miter saws if you buy additional accessories with them.
Pros and cons
Pros and cons of Table Saws
- Speed – The electric motor attached to the table saw’s blade allows cutting wood quickly and safely.
- Accurate cuts – A table saw is a smart option for cutting wood. You can check the workpiece measurements on a ruler in a table saw between the blade and fence. It ensures accurate and exact cuts.
- Easy cuts – Table saws are popular among DIYers and contractors as the blade’s power and speed allow cutting all wood types with little resistance.
- Versatile – Table saws are versatile as they perform a variety of jobs efficiently by making all types of cuts. They are suitable for professional furniture and cabinet makers.
- Big size- Except for the portable table saws, these are bigger. So, they are difficult to carry from one job location to another.
- Limited use- A table saw cuts only wood you can lift and place on the saw’s work surface. If you cannot move the wood, a table saw is useless.
- Accident-prone- It is sometimes not completely safe to use a table saw. The teeth on the blade can cut the fingers.
Pros and Cons of Miter Saws
- Precise cuts- A miter is specifically designed for making accurate and angled cuts.
- Portable – Most of the miter saws are portable.
- Safe – Miter saws are safer to use as they have no kickback.
- Lacks versatility – Miter saw is helpful to cut a miter and making only angled and beveled cuts that make its use limited.
- Expensive – Most of the types like compound miter saw are costly.
When to Choose Table saw?
A table saw is a good option if you perform a general woodcutting job as a hobby or DIY work at home, like cutting larger pieces of wood. It can quickly cut through large amounts of wood quickly and make long rip cuts accurately.
You can choose a table saw to make crosscuts on shorter wooden pieces or cut up smaller wooden sheets. Any remodeling or carpentry work that you can do by yourself will require a table saw.
When to Choose a Miter saw?
It is an excellent choice to invest in a miter saw if you need to make precise miter and bevel cuts. It will help you make accurate miter cuts in lesser time and effortlessly. If you are a professional and have expertise in using tools, you can choose a compound miter saw type to cut larger pieces quickly.
You will require a miter saw for doing big projects like making angled cuts on door trims, picture frames, building a deck, and crown molding. You can use a miter saw for cutting other materials like plastic apart from wood. If you are a DIYer, you can use a miter saw to trim down railings and roofing materials.
Which Kind of Saw to Buy?
You can start by owning a table saw if you are a beginner or a DIYer. It is versatile and valuable for those who are learning to do smaller projects at home. A table saw is helpful if you are interested in doing woodworking like building cabinets and ripping plywood.
Woodworkers require a table saw to build furniture like cutting large wooden boards and building decks. If you have experience in using power tools, you can use a miter saw. A professional who wants to make accurate cuts quickly and easily for bigger projects will require a miter saw.
You require a miter saw for carpentry works like trim work, moldings, building doors and window frames, and picture frames.
Many beginners wonder how to choose between a table and a miter saw. The answer is the type of works they want to perform with the tools. A table saw will help you do versatile jobs by making a wide variety of cuts.
If you are a DIYer or hobbyist who can do small carpentry works, then a table saw is a good choice. But if you want precise cuts for larger woodworking projects in less time, then you can go for a miter saw. Both the saws are unique in their way. So, choose a tool that fulfills your purpose. I hope this table saw vs miter saw guide helped you to chose the best suitable power tool for you.
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