Miter Saw Vs. Table Saw Comparison

If you consider yourself a handyman, there’s a good chance that you’ll have both a table saw, and a miter saw in your possession.

As two of the most common power tools around, and two of the most popular types of saws it’s no wonder that these two are always found in the average person’s garage.

The table saw, or miter saw debate is a detailed one, with people often arguing that they have overlapping capabilities. Whether or not you need to invest in both is a decision that depends on the work you do, what you want to achieve and your upcoming projects.

For this reason, we’re going to uncover the difference between the table saw, and miter saw so you can decide which one is best.

The Miter Saw Explained

A miter saws are specifically designed to make cuts at various angles, and it prides itself on being accurate and powerful at doing so. With a blade that’s mounted on a swing arm, you’re able to maneuver it left or right to cut at different angles with ease.

using miter saw

These saws are common in the average workshop thanks to their ability to quickly cut through wood, and make a worthwhile investment.

Their blade is usually quite flexible which means they can go both ways with ease, compared to a table saw that is quite rigid. These saws are great for baseboards and frames, and they are usually more expensive to purchase.

Pros

  • Miter saws are easily transported and can be carried around to various worksites.
  • They perform the most accurate and precise cut, making them suitable for anything that requires straight lines and angles.
  • They come in a few different styles including compound and sliding, each with additional benefits to the user.
  • plus
    Miter saws can cut on stationary work which is ideal for material that is too heavy or long to carry to the table.

Cons

  • They’re limited in what they can achieve as their main job is to cut angles.
  • There are limits to how much wood they can work with.
  • They’re no good at creating rip cuts or cutting through larger sheets like plywood.

Best Projects For A Miter Saw

The best thing that miter saws can be used for is to cut angles, so anything that requires precision in this area requires this specific type of power saw.

best projects for miter saw

Although people claim you can use a table saw, you just won’t get the accuracy that the miter can achieve.

  • Picture frames;
  • Door frames;
  • Crown molding;
  • play-circle-o
    Window casings;

The Table Saw Explained

This is a popular power saw for many Americans, and can usually be found in the average home. Many people claim that a table saw can do everything a miter saw can, but usually not to such a high standard.

table saw explained

These saws feature a circular blade that is driven by an electric motor. The blade comes through the table and depth of the cut can be determined by pulling the blade up and down.

Table saws are relatively cheap to invest in which is another reason for their popularity. The sheer scope of jobs that they can achieve makes them a popular choice for those who can only afford just one power saw, and people find that they’re usually capable of doing quite a lot.

Pros

  • There’s no limit to how much wood or material a table saw can cut through unlike the miter saw.
  • More affordable than miter saws and more durable.
  • Able to make rip cuts and cross cuts through wood, making it a popular choice for furniture makers and home renovators.
  • plus
    Has the ability to quickly and easily perform repetitive tasks which can be common in woodworking, and help to do so without a hassle.

Cons

  • As one of the most dangerous power saws available, these have a high risk of injury if used incorrectly or without the right safety gear.
  • Works only with wood usually so if you’re looking for something more versatile you might want to reconsider.
  • Not ideal for anything that needs finer details and is best left to larger jobs where it can do its best work.

Best Projects For A Table Saw

There are plenty of times when a table saw will be your tool of choice, and this is evident by the popularity of this device.

best projects for table saw

Here are a few things you can make with your table saw and little else.

  • Bread trays, shelves, and other kitchen items;
  • Cabinet doors;
  • Storage shelves and doors;
  • play-circle-o
    Bookcases.

The Verdict

Although these power saws can do some of the jobs that the other can do as well, it seems clear that they have their strengths and weaknesses.

Depending on the materials you work with and the projects you do, it’s tough to declare just one a winner.​​​​

For larger items and building things around the house like window frames and doors, the miter saw is a clear choice. However, if you want something smaller that can be cut with ease, like a bookcase, you’ll want to go to the table saw.

The capabilities of both of these saws seem to overlap, making it even harder to declare just one a winner. Depending on the projects you have upcoming, and how much money you’re able to spend, you might find one better than the other.

If you’re lucky enough to afford both, it makes a worthwhile investment to have them both in your workshop.

You’ll find countless projects that you can do with them in your arsenal and will eventually find projects that just work better with one over the other.

There’s no surprise why these are two of the most popular saws in woodworking, and any workshop owner would be lucky to have them.

About the Author Chris Miller

As a seasoned DIY woodworking enthusiast, I have over two decades of experience working with a variety of materials and projects. What was once only a hobby has slowly turned into a second career, as I’m now a contractor in my spare time. Frustrated over the lack of objective online resources for those looking for new saws, I started this site as a way to provide fellow woodworkers young and old with informed, detailed reviews that can lead them to a better buying decision. I’m always testing out popular saw products so I can pass along the information to my readers, saving them time and money. If you’re in search of the best saw reviews on the internet, you’re in the right place.

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