You can guarantee that there are plenty of tools on the market that would be the perfect addition to your workshop, but there are also many tools that might give you too much power for the projects you’re typically responsible for.
Since people always wonder what the differences are between a table saw vs miter saw, in this guide, we will explore the features that both tools offer and whether they would be the right fit for your personal toolkit or not.
Power: Around 15 amps, 20 to 35+ rip capacity
Size: Medium to large
Blade types: FTG (flat top grind), ATB (alternate top bevel), ATBR (combination), TCG (triple-chip grind)
Accessories: Push stick, rip fence, extension tables, stand
Power: Around 15 amps, 7”to 12” bevel
Size: Small to medium
Blade types: Steel, high-speed, and carbide-tipped
Accessories: Dust collector, safety shield, laser marker
Breaking It Down
In order to get a better understanding of the differences between a table saw vs miter saw, you need to focus on a few key details. Versatility, ease of use, portability, and power are the most important features to pay the most attention to when it comes to choosing the right cutting tool for your workshop.
When you’re going to invest a substantial sum of money into a piece of equipment for your shop, you’re going to want to make sure that everything can be used for an array of projects. The last thing you’d want is to invest in a tool only to find that it doesn’t do everything that you might need it to do now and in the future.
The most popular feature of a table saw is the fact that it’s incredibly versatile, helping you achieve a wide variety of cuts. Table saws essentially do everything that miter saws do, ranging from ripping boards to crosscuts.
The only downfall to a table saw is that they are typically designed for straight up and down and beveled cuts, rather than compound angled cuts, which are easily achievable with a miter saw.
Table saws are also far more powerful than miter saws, which is ideal for someone who works with a wide variety of different materials on a daily basis. Not only can it make most of the same cuts as a miter saw, but it can rip through some of the thickest and longest materials with ease.
Miter saws give you the ability to adjust the arm so that you can bevel to the left or the right of the material you’re working on, whereas a table saw blade can only be used straight up and down. If you know you’re going to be making a lot of compound cuts, miter cuts, and bevel cuts, it’s time to invest in a miter saw.
Winner: Table Saw
Versatility is in the eyes of the beholder and depending on the task you’re trying to accomplish, you might find a table saw preferable like if you’re working on straight rips while you may find a miter saw far more versatile if you focus on angled cuts.
With that being said, the power behind a table saw is what makes it a winner in terms of versatility, as you’re able to work with far more materials than with a miter saw.
2. Ease of Use
No matter if you’re an experienced woodworker or if you intend on using a table or miter saw for the first time, you’re going to want to choose the tool that is the most user-friendly to avoid frequent errors and misjudgments in your cuts.
Another huge difference between a table saw and a miter saw is the fact that you bring the material to the table saw, rather than bringing the saw to the material. This gives you far more control over the cuts that you’re trying to achieve, which undoubtedly makes the machine easier to use.
However, table saws typically have far more power under the hood, which can be difficult to use to your advantage if you’re a beginner at woodworking.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, in most cases, you will have to bring your miter saw to your material, which can lead to a lot of bending and carrying. You also will find that it’s far more difficult to work with heavy and large materials with a miter saw because they are characteristically smaller.
With that being said, miter saws are designed for everyday around-the-house projects, and as such, they are far simpler to use, and you’ll easily be able to harness their power.
Winner: Miter Saw
Especially for beginners, miter saws are far simpler to use on an everyday basis, particularly if you’re working with moderately sized materials. Also, due to the fact that it has less ripping power than a table saw, you’ll be able to make precise cuts easily and efficiently.
3. Size and Portability
If you’re the type of person who likes to lend their tools out to friends and family members or if you have to go from one job site to another on a daily basis, size and portability are two very important features to take note of when it comes to choosing between a table saw and a miter saw.
Table saws can be equivalent to 10 miter saws, which makes them incredibly difficult to bring from one place to another without the help of a large truck.
This can also make them tough to secure in the event you leave one outdoors at a job site.
Nonetheless, there are special locking mechanisms that you can use to prevent people from stealing and/or being able to use the table saw improperly.
As another difference between a table saw vs miter saw, a miter saw is 100 times more portable than a table saw due to its sheer size and with a miter saw, you can easily keep it in the back of your truck, your garage, or anywhere else you desire.
It opens plenty of doors in terms of bringing it to someone’s house if you’re helping them with a project or lending them the tool.
Winner: Miter Saw
No matter how you look at it, a miter saw is the clear winner when it comes to portability and size.
Miter saws are specifically designed to be easy to store in your workshop or garage without having to allocate a substantial amount of space for storage.
Table Saw: 1/3
Miter Saw: 2/3
Pros and Cons
- Very powerful
- Plenty of cutting and ripping options
- Versatile with materials
- Large in size
- Less safe for beginners
- Cannot master angled cuts
- Ideal for angled cuts
- Easily portable
- Safer for beginners to use
- Power restrictions
- Material restrictions
- Unlikely to perform the best straight cuts
Choosing the final winner between a
table saw and a mitre saw is all dependent on the type of work you want to be able to accomplish as both of these cutting mechanisms are substantially different from one another.
If you’re in the market for something that has the highest level of versatility and a substantial amount of power, you’re surely going to want to invest in a table saw, even though they are far more expensive than a miter saw.
You’ll be able to achieve a wide variety of cuts through plenty of different materials with ease, and the more you use the saw, the better your cuts become.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for an everyday cutting tool that gives you the ability to make easy angled and beveled cuts, a miter saw is the ideal choice.
It’s easy for beginners to use, far less hefty than a table saw, and far more affordable, which makes it the perfect partner for DIY and professional jobs alike.