Table Saw vs Miter Saw: Comparison

Are you stuck in a place where you can’t seem to make the right choice between a table saw and a miter saw? Well, that’s exactly what this table saw vs miter saw guide is about. Table saws and miter saws are both designed for people who know their way around a workshop. Safe to say, they’re not something for amateurs to play around with.

Firstly, when it comes to picking between the two, you should know that what works for a homeowner might not essentially work for a contractor. Some people prefer versatility with their work while some need them for a specific task. So let’s get down to business and help you figure out what you need.

Why You Need a Table Saw

Table saw vs miter saw is a longstanding debate, mainly because their functions resemble each other but their uses vary greatly. However, if you happen to step into a workshop or you own one, you’re bound to find a table saw. Generally, they require an industrial atmosphere to operate properly.

Material

Table saws are more versatile compared to miter saws. You can use a table saw to cut a variety of material and manage precise woodworking tasks. Whether you want to cut plywood sheets or lumber, it is capable of cutting through smaller wood pieces to thicker pieces.

However, it can be a tricky task to adjust the blade height on a table saw to make a precise cut. On the other hand, you won’t have to deal with depth limitation. This allows you to go further with your woodworking process.

Variation of Cuts

With a table saw, you can manage to make a wide range of cuts. That’s one versatile function to take the lead on a miter saw. Here are the variety of cuts a table saw will help you perform.

  • Rip Cut: A rip cut primarily helps with ripping a material in the order of length; this is the most common cut table saws are known to make.
  • Cross Cut:  With considerable caution, you can use a table saw to make a cross-cut as well.
  • Miter Cut: They are comparatively difficult for table saws but manageable with a conjunction in the miter gauge.
  • Beveled Cut: A table saw can help you with a bevel cut by beveling the blade.
  • Dado Cut: A table saw can make dado cuts to fit two or more pieces together. This cut works best for a furniture making department. All you need to make these cuts are some dado blades, which are easily available to purchase.
  • Rabbet Cut: You can achieve a rabbet cut with your table saw by using the same dado blade. All you have to do is take off the material around the edges of the board.

Angles

Table saws are basically designed with a stationary blade. However, they tend to tilt the table around the blade in alternating angles, which helps you with cuts. Commonly these blades are made of carbide, diamond-tipped teeth or even carbon. The average diameter of these blades is 10 inches, allowing you to cut around a capacity of 3-½ inches at 90 degrees.

Pros

  • Works better for cutting larger pieces
  • Capable of working with more advanced angles
  • Versatility with cuts
  • Appropriate for furniture making
  • No limit to the length of cut
  • Works with hard materials such as lumber, plywood, and timber

Cons

    • Unfavorable for average users
    • Requires a heavier industrial atmosphere or a workshop
    • Prone to causing injuries if not used properly
    • Unable to make sharper cuts

Why You Need A Miter Saw

Miter saws are comparatively more popular in the market when it comes to the whole table saw vs miter saw scenario. They offer a wider style of cuts that could be as basic as a straight cut to more complex cuts like angled, bevel and combination. They also serve as the more favored choice for fine craftsman, given that hidden seams and crown molding are easier with a miter saw.

Precision

Miter saws are pretty handy when the question is about precise angle cuts. They are mainly designed to carve out materials with sharp precision. Unlike table saws, the blade of a miter saw functions with the help of an adjustable arm.

Hence, the blade moves along to change the angle at which you are making a cut. The tilting action allows the saw to carve deeper and make angled cuts with ease.

Size

The width and height of the wood you want to cut through depends on the miter saw’s own width and height. For example, a 10-inch miter saw blade would be able to cut wood up to 8 inches thick. Likewise, a 12-inch blade can cut up to 10 inches. On the plus side, it performs these tasks accurately, so the chances of going wrong are next to none.

Specific Length and Angles

Carpenters prefer miter saws when they need to cut the wood into a specific length or at a specific angle. Even more, miter stands work best for making specific cuts that involve trim and molding.

Pros

  • Precise cuts
  • Can be easily carried to a job site
  • Safer to use
  • Able to cut on stationary work
  • Flexible angles

Cons

    • Unsuitable for larger woodworking projects
    • Unable to do rip cuts
    • Limited length cut

Final Verdict

Although the primary functions of both table saws and miter saws heavily resemble each other, they are designed for different tasks. If you own a workshop and need top-notch woodworking results, go for the table saw. It ranks higher in the versatility department. With a table saw, you can deal with a large pile of stock and function on a large scale.

However,  if you happen to be a craftsman, carpenter or simply a homeowner, then you’d rather opt for a miter saw. Miter saws tend to perform specific tasks with a certain precision that you can’t manage with a table saw. Therefore, they will deliver you fine work and excellence. Most importantly, it all comes down to the project you are looking at and which tool will help you achieve your desired results.

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