Table Saw vs Miter Saw – Know Their Differences

Having the right tool makes woodworking and DIY tasks easier and productive. Luckily, there are plenty of power tools that changed the carpentry industry. Table saws and miter saws are such handy power-driven tools for workshops. They allow a variety of cuttings for different stuff. So, these tools are helpful to enhance your carpentry skills. But which of them is better for you?

Both DIYers and experts should have the right knowledge about these saws so that they can choose the perfect tool for the right situation. That’s why we’ve planned to discuss the table saw vs miter saw with their usefulness and limitations. So, read the following section and clarify your confusion.

What is the table saw?

By name, you may understand that table saw is placed on a table. It’s a versatile tool for most of the workshops. The table saw has a circular blade that is built into the top of a table surface. The motor is placed underneath the table and attached with the blade in the side. Typically, table saw blades come with 8, 10, and 12 inches. But larger blades are also available.

Table saws come with varieties of types such as benchtop, jobsite, compact, hybrid, mini, cabinet, contractor, etc. Though their basic function is almost the same for all categories, still, the jobsite or portable table saw is the most popular one.

To cut lumber into pieces, you have to push the material across the table and feed the lumber into the blade.

Uses of table saws

A table saw can handle larger and usually thicker pieces of boards. This saw can be used for home improvement, DIY projects, and professional woodworking tasks. Several common uses of this tool are listed below.

  • Ripping lumber
  • Doing miter cuts
  • Making rabbet joints
  • Performing cross cuts
  • Furniture and cabinet build
  • Doing grooves and dado cuts
  • Creating custom edges to the wood

What is a miter saw?

A miter saw is a trusted tool for bevel cuts and miter cuts of the workpiece. It is sometimes called drop saw or chop saw. It consists of a powered circular saw that can be angled at various positions. Usually, the blade of the miter saws is found between 8 to 12 inches.

There are multiple types of miter saws available. Few of them are original miter box, standard, compound, dual compound, sliding, laser miter saws.  The sliding compound miter saw is easy to set up and relatively portable.

Miter saw’s cutting style is different from the table saw. This saw cuts the materials by moving its blade and keeping the workpiece stationary. That’s why this cutting is limited to the blade’s diameter. But it works well for repeated cutting actions for the same length and angle of the same wood. By doing this, you can save your valuable time and energy.

See more: List of the best miter saw stands

Uses of miter saws

Miter saw is a handy cutting tool but not much versatile as like table saw. This saw is used for specific cuts only. For repeatable cuts to the same workpiece at the same length, the table saw provides satisfactory results. The most common uses of miter saw are:

  • Regular crosscuts
  • Doing miter (angle) cuts
  • Bevels cuts
  • Compound cuts (miter & bevel)

Difference between the table saw and miter saw

After learning about the basics of the table saw vs miter saw with their best uses. Now we’ll focus on their key differences.

Cross-cutting

Table saw comes with a flat table that supports you to cut the large wooden boards. By feeding the wood into the rotating blade on the center of the table, you can make a precise cut for larger wood. Likewise, the table saw is the best bet for cutting short pieces of sheet.

On the other hand, a miter saw can’t handle larger pieces. But it can cut thin materials precisely. Moreover, miter saws provide quick cuts to the same boards at the same length when repeated cuts are necessary.

Bevel and angle cutting

Miter saw is designed in such a way that the head of the blade can swivel or tilt hence allows the desired cutting. So, this saw is widely used for any type of angle or bevel cut. But this same task is difficult to do using a table saw. As it needs to position the wood steadily at the correct angle which is a tough job without any hesitation.

Dealing with bevel cutting with a table saw is also challenging. You can adjust the saw beneath the table but it’s risky especially for beginners.

Versatility

We already said before that, a table saw can handle large wood pieces but a miter saw can’t do that so. Truly speaking, you can perform any type of cuts that a miter saw can. By adding a miter gauge or sled, you can use the table saw for angle and bevel cutting.

Although the table saw is more versatile and can handle complex cuts, still, newbie carpenters shouldn’t practice this for beveling or angle cuts using this saw. It is risky and may cause serious injuries.

Precision

Miter saws provide more precise cuts than table saws. In a miter saw, wood is snugly held against the back of the saw, so you’ll get precise cutting. But table saw may create slightly jagged areas on the cutting edge. It’s not very significant for large projects but maybe a big deal when you are too much concerned about precision.

Portability

Several types of table saws come with wheeled facilities that make them easy to move from one place to another. But most of the other types are stationary and bolted with solid steel. Moreover, table saws are heavy that make them difficult to move.

Miter saws are compact and lighter than table saws. So, you can easily transport them using a pickup or trunk of a car. If you intend to create all projects in a workshop, then you can also make it stationary bolting with the countertop.

Cost

Typically, miter saws are affordable than table saws. You will find the miter saws between $100 to $2000. But most table saws price starts at $200 and ends up $3000 approximately. However, the versatility of table saws worth the money. You can check out the list of table saws under $1000 and under $500.

Final thought

After reading the table saw vs miter saw comparison, you might understand both saws have great features for woodworking projects. We are recapping the key points for your easy consideration.

Table saw is versatile, and it’s the right circular saw for apprentice even pro carpenters. There is hardly any cutting that it can’t do. Alternately, a miter saw gives precise cuts and makes angle cuts and bevel cuts hassle-free. It’s affordable and offers almost risk-free operation. Miter saw is compact, lightweight, and perfect for tight spaces.

We’ve covered most of the important things here. So, it’s up to you which saws you are going to buy and use for the next carpentry project. Good luck and have good woodworking!

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