Miter Saw vs Table Saw

miter saw vs table saw

Miter Saw Vs. Table Saw

Power saws are incredibly handy in the workshop as they offer woodworkers the necessary muscle to finish a large project within a short while. Miter saws and table saws are among the most common power saws in homes and workshops. Even though they are both different in terms of purpose, their uses intersect in several areas. 

Therefore, if you feel it's time to upgrade your carpentry skills, you will undoubtedly want to have either of these two saws. Here, we review the miter saw and table saw, from what they are and their differences, to what they are used for. Read on to find out more;

Table saw overview 

If you've ever done a bit of handiwork, you have definitely seen or even used a table saw. This is a table equipped with an in-built saw blade that facilitates making a wide range of cuts. 

Unlike a miter saw, a table saw has a table, and its spherical blade projects from the center of the table via a slit. This blade is attached to a motor beneath the table and is flexible enough to be lowered or raised accordingly. 

There are very high chances of finding a table saw in most woodwork shops, whether a DIYer's or professional's. This is due to their capacity to make numerous cuts. Besides, they come in different versions, and thanks to the advancements in the power tools industry, it's now possible to find mobile and stationary table saws. 

Uses of a table saw 

This is the ideal all-around saw. Typically, it is seen as a workhorse in the woodwork shop because of its precision and versatility. A table saw is extremely fast and is most suitable for making cross-cuts, rips, and 450 cuts. 

What's more, if you have plenty of lumber or bigger wood to cut, this handy power saw will effortlessly reduce your pile within a short time, giving you time to continue with other responsibilities. 

Miter saw overview 

Miter saws, unlike table saws, don't feature stands. They're placed on an even surface, and some even have extension arms for convenience. Here are two main kinds of miter saws;

Standard miter saw 

Generally, miters saws have to be capable of making angled and straight cuts. You simply feed the timber to the saw for straight cuts, with the lumber's width placed at a 90-degree angle against the miter saw. 

On the other hand, for angled cuts, you have to adjust the blade's angle over the wood and pull down the blade as you would when making a straight cut. But, for more complex cuts, a compound miter saw is the way to go. 

Compound miter saw 

While compound miter saws look a lot like standard miter saws, they can make bevel cuts, which standard miter saws cannot. Once you adjust the blade into a specific position and lock it at a given angle, it's time to cut. 

Plus, cutting-edge compound miter saws` blades are adjustable in two directions, with 90-degree as the initial placement. 

Uses of a miter saw 

Usually, a miter saw is excellent in making bevel and miter cuts. Plus, it makes these cuts with impressive precision. What's more, it's utilized to cut crown or baseboard molding since it does it fast and accurately. 

Furthermore, a miter saw is ideal for making miter cuts. This can be attained by modifying the miter adjustment to turn the saw head to generate angled cuts of up to 45-degrees. 

Besides, if you own a dual miter saw, you can turn the saw head to create bevel cuts in both directions. Again, most contemporary miter saws are compound miter saws, and they allow you to blend both bevel and miter-cutting functions.

Prevalently, miter saws are rather versatile, as you can also use them to cut small planks into equal pieces. Plus, due to its capacity to make bevels and miters, it is also perfect for crown molding, making photo frames, molding, and fitting trim work. 

Difference between a miter saw, and a table saw. 

Now that we know what a table saw and miter saw is and what they're used for, its times we delve into the difference between them;

Size 

While these two power saws have different builds and sizes, we're taking a closer look at the size and shape of the timber you're looking to cut. For instance, when it comes to a miter saw, the width of the wood you intend to cut is dependent on the blade. That said, 10-inch blades can cut lumber of not more than 8-inch thickness, whereas 12-inch blades can't cut more than 10-inch-thick wood. 

Similarly, the wood's height is restricted by the miter saw's height. But even though a miter saw doesn't cut plywood sheets, it works excellently with various miter gauge and timber posts. 

On the other hand, a table saw incredibly cuts plywood sheets as it doesn't come with similar depth restrictions. Also, it comes in handy is cutting lumber, but if it's too thick, it may be challenging since you'll require adjusting the height of the blade to ensure it cuts correctly. All the same, this is not an issue you'll have with a miter saw. 

Accuracy 

Both table and miter saws can be utilized to make bevel cuts. As for miter saws, they utilize a mounted blade on a modifiable arm that turns to shift the cutting angle. However, table saws usually have a stationary blade, but you'll have to turn the table to change the cutting angle. Again, the size limitations still apply. 

This simply means that a table saw cannot make more accurate cuts as they won't be as deep as those from a miter saw. However, a table saw can make bevels on thick plywood, though this is not common in woodworking. 

Which one should I go for?

Honestly, there is no winner in the battle between a table saw, and a miter saw. This is because they serve different purposes. Therefore, the choice you make will depend on your project. 

If you're using materials with small widths and depths and require making accurate angled cuts on them, you should go for a miter saw. 

All the same, if you're making plenty of straight cuts on thick materials, a table saw would be a more suitable choice. 

So, find out the type of cuts you'll be making and the angles you'll create beforehand. Though in most cases, a table saw is capable of doing what a miter saw does as it is an all-around power saw. Still, the miter saw is better in the sense that it is much faster than the table saw. 

Hopefully, this comparison has helped you choose between a miter saw and a table saw, though if you can afford it, it would help if you had both. 

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