Miter Saw vs. Table Saw: Which Tool Do You Need?

Miter saw, and table saw are important tools for any carpenter or woodworker. Besides, you need to know the difference between the miter saw vs. table saw to choose which is more appropriate for your project.

Both of these tools can cut various materials, including wood, plastic, metal, masonry, and drywall. But they have different configurations that make them better suited for certain tasks.

In the industry of carpentry, miter saws and table saws produce accurate and precise cuts. These tools would be the best to supplement the lack of experience of beginner carpenters.

So, be ready to step up your work with the right tool. Read on to find out the miter saw vs. table saw, and then determine which is best for you!

Defining a Miter Saw

DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, 15-Amp, Single Bevel, Compound (DWS715)

A miter saw, also called a miter box or chop saw. Mitered cuts are usually made with the miter table and miter gauge on the saw blade to make precise angles of 45°, 90°, 135°, 180′, or 225′.

This automatic tool has a circular blade that rotates and is fixed on an arm. It cuts miter joints at a set angle, so the mitered joint can have different angles depending on what side of the blade it hits when cutting.

What’s more, it allows users to make angled mitered joints in woodworking projects by sliding them against this table for accurate measurements. Remember, you have to adjust the turntable until you get the desired angle.

In addition, this tool comes in various sizes, depending on the model or brand. For example, miter saws can have a 12″ blade or even 16″.

According to Kyle Schurman from Business Insider, “it requires a lot of storage and working space, but its feature set and power easily overcome any hassles.”

At first, you will feel intimidated in using it because of the miter gauge. Hence, make sure to protect yourself from its blade by using a clamp.

Typical Usage

A miter saw is a cutting tool that you can use for various purposes. These include but are not limited to milling, framing, carpentry, and even more advanced projects like furniture building.

However, this saw is specifically intended for you to make cuts with a variety of angles. For this reason, this tool is perfect if you need to cut a lot of pitches with precision.

A miter saw is often used in carpentry, but it can also be utilized for other purposes. For instance, this tool can help you make many cuts at different angles and lengths to frame a house.

Furthermore, this saw can produce the following cuts:

  • Crosscuts
  • Angled Cuts
  • Compound Angle Cuts

Pros

The miter saw has many advantages that make it a top choice among carpentry workers. Some of its benefits are:

  • Designed to be easy to use
  • Allow you to adjust the settings for cuts quickly.
  • Can do many different types of miter cuts
  • High accuracy of cuts
  • Possible to use for other purposes
  • Gives precise cuts
  • Good for smaller projects

Cons

A miter saw is great for many different purposes, but it does have its flaws. Some of its drawbacks are as follows:

  • Requires a steady hand to make accurate cuts
  • Can only do one type of miter cut at a time

Defining a Table Saw

DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity (DWE7491RS)

The table saw is a large machine that uses electricity or gas to cut large woods. It is a table with a built-in blade that is raised and lowered by a hand crank.

It consists of a circular blade, gauge, and a rip fence. The table is the surface where you place your wood before cutting it into smaller pieces.

The gauge helps to make accurate cuts while avoiding any snags or saw marks at the end of your project. Finally, the rip fence can help cut longboards in uniform sizes so that you can get a uniform finish.

What’s more, it has miter slots for miter cuts in one corner of the blade, making curved miter arrangements. It makes it easier to cut and produces more accurate angles.

Remember, you have to take extra care when using a table saw. It is recorded that almost 67 000 accidents happen every year because of this tool.

Typical Usage

A table saw works best in situations where you need to make long-length cuts. It means that this saw can produce a wide variety of cuts, but it can’t assure a precise size.

Because of its wide depth limitations, you may use this saw to cut plywood sheets. Additionally, you can cut other thick materials through it by adjusting its blade height.

More so, the table saw is a perfect power tool to have rip cuts and crosscuts. Also, it can be used to cut angles because of the miter gauge in the table.

If you have numerous woods to cut, you may quickly use the table saw to finish your job. It would help you to have free time and do more cuttings to other materials.

Pros

The table saw can greatly help you with your carpentry works and other cutting tasks. Some of its other advantages are:

  • Its miter gauge makes it possible for you to adjust the angles of your cuts.
  • You can have a better grip when using this saw because of its handle and side rails.
  • Great for cutting for both straight and curved cuts
  • Can keep your working space clean
  • Works well with bigger and larger materials
  • Best for rips and crosscuts
  • Can give you the same size of cuts every time

Cons

Like the other tools, the table saw also has drawbacks. Here are some of its disadvantages:

  • Difficult to control the miter gauge because of its size and weight
  • Blade guard may pose problems when cutting small pieces which require precision work.

Miter Saw vs. Table Saw: Which Do You Need?

The miter saw and table may look the same, but they are not. In line with it, the differences lie in their functions, features, and accuracy.

Even though the two became the leading tools in the carpentry industry, it is still important to differentiate them. So, here is the table to compare the features of the two:

FeaturesMiter SawTable Saw
Cutting AccuracyPrecise miter and bevel cutsAccurate
SizeNeeds small spaceRequires a wide working area
PortabilityCan transfer easilyDifficult to transfer
Skills RequirementNoviceExpert or Experienced
FunctionalitySpecified for bevels and mitersApplicable for various cutting purposes
SafetySafeAccidents may be possible if not careful
UsageFraming, molding, precise worksFurniture, rip-cuts, bigger woods or lumbers
Working PrincipleThe blade is in a fixed positionMoving motion
Miter saws can be carried around the job site due to their size, while a table saw is difficult to transport because of its heavyweight and large surface area.

Furthermore, miter saws provide straight outcomes with precise miter and bevel cuts. On the other hand, the table saw can produce curve cuts with good accuracy.

These differences are essential to help you decide on your next project.

Tips in Maintaining Your Saw

Good maintenance will supplement your good decision on choosing between miter and table saw. If you do not take good care of these saws, you will end up spending more money.

Remember, neglecting your tools can affect the outcomes of your projects. What’s more, it can also put your safety in danger.

Hence, you need to know the proper ways on how to maintain miter and table saws.

How to Maintain Your Miter Saw?

Maintaining your miter saw is not a tough task. It is essential to clean your miter saw after each use for your safety and extend your saw blades’ life.

Here are some of the tips to maintain your miter saw properly:

  • Remove the dust from the blade. Eliminating the dust particles in your saw is always the first step of maintenance. The dust particles may cause the miter saw to overheat, damaging its motor or other moving parts.
  • Sharpen your mite blade. Remember that it becomes shorter and duller every time you cut an item with your saw. Also, use proper sharpening tools and follow the process thoroughly.
  • Lubricate miter saw. It is essential to oil or grease the saw regularly. Do this step, especially to the parts that are vulnerable to rusting.
  • Adjust the miter saw’s blade. You can adjust the mite degree of your miter saw’s blade by rotating it to different angles. This adjustment is necessary for cutting various materials, especially those that are hard in texture.”
  • Check the saw components’ damages. Look for any damages to the miter saw’s blade and replace it if necessary. Check for any cuts, crumbling, or rust on the miter saw’s blade, armature, and tension springs.

Check this video to know more about maintaining your saw:

How to Maintain Your Table Saw?

Cleaning your table saw regularly will ensure efficient performance and reduce the chances of accidents. Any dirt or debris in your tool can affect its performance and accuracy.

Remember these tips to ensure the safety of your table saw:

  • Check the alignment. You have to ensure that every component of your table is working properly. Look for any alignment or damage and replace if necessary.
  • Check the miter gauge. It is important to keep the indicator in perfect condition to help you achieve accurate cuts on woods. Remember, your meter is responsible for the precise amounts of your saw.
  • Sharpen your blade regularly. Most table saws have a built-in sharpener, so use it regularly to keep your edge fudge free of any damage.
  • Clean your table saw. Keep the saw clean by wiping it off regularly with a damp cloth. If you have to cut through metal, use an appropriate blade and wear safety gear when working on this material.
  • Polish the tabletop. To ensure a smooth surface, use a polishing paste to remove any scratches. Remember, do not take this for granted as it can affect the work of your saw.

Frequently Asked Question:

Can a table saw cut angles?

The table saw is capable of cutting angles. It is possible because of the miter gauge of the table saw, which can cut curves.

You may use different methods to cut angles using a table saw. For instance, you can use a miter gauge for cutting tips in the style of a miter saw or use a meter with a beveled angle.

More so, the other methods are using fences for tapered cuts or adjusting bevels.

Do I need a table saw sled if I have a miter saw?

Yes, it would help if you had a sled for practical reasons. It is necessary to fulfill the limitations of the miter gauges.

The table saw sled, on the other hand, can be used for crosscutting and ripping lumber. It has an adjustable fence that supports any cutting angle or widths you need to cut on your workpiece.

In addition, this sled allows you to perform more tasks more efficiently.

What is the advantage of using a compound miter saw instead of a table saw?

By using a compound miter saw, you can have miter angles of up to 50 degrees. It can help you to have precise tips for measured cuts.

This miter saw will allow you to make angled crosscuts and bevels for crown molding. You can also use the mitered fence on your miter saw as a template guide, which is adjustable in width from zero degrees up to 45 degrees.

A miter saw is useful for framing, molding, and other projects that have angled cuts.

Can I use a miter saw as a table saw?

You cannot use a miter saw as a table saw because it does not have the appropriate blade. It is important to use a miter saw for what it is intended for, and you shouldn’t try using one as the other type of tool.

In addition, a miter saw is different from a table saw. A miter saw has a mitered fence and beveled blade, making angled cuts – often for trim work. It cannot do rip cuts that the table saw edge can do because it does not have the appropriate blade.

Final Thoughts

The debate between the miter saw vs. table saw ceases to end. Remember, the best tool is that it supplements your needs.

A miter saw makes miter cuts precisely. Meanwhile, the rip blade on a table saw makes ripping or cutting long boards into narrower pieces.

Let this article serve as your guide in finding the appropriate tool for your next project.