Table Saw VS Miter Saw: What’s the Major Difference?

Gone are the days when you had to spend hours cutting blocks of wood into smaller parts, now you be done in minutes from a task that easily took such a long time. Table saws and Miter saws are both heavy-duty power tools that have been specifically designed to bring significant ease to your wood cutting work.

But, there is a reason for engineers to design so many different types of saws. The main reason is that there are so many different types of cutting requirements that a single tool cannot provide. For each type of woodwork, there is a different type of saw.

For cutting trees or branches, we have powerful chainsaws and pole saws, whereas turning those trees into the required sizes, we use miter saws and table saws.

Today we’ve got an interesting comparison to share with our readers, i.e. what differentiates a table saw from a miter saw. More specifically we’d be doing a table saw VS miter saw comparison and see what these tools offer the best features that will fulfill your requirements; so, let’s get started.

First of all, for those of you who aren’t familiar with what a table saw and a miter saw look like?

Table saws are very common in woodworking shops and are used for getting a variety of cuts, such as crosscuts, rip cuts, and angular cuts. A table saw is a table with a flat surface in the middle of which we have a circular blade protruding outside driven by a motor from under the surface.

On the other hand, a miter saw a special tool that is designed for giving trimming and angular cuts such as crosscuts, miter cuts, bevel, and compound cuts. A miter saw consists of a circular blade fixed on the top of a swing arm which can be lowered to the workpiece on a flat-surfaced table to give it the required cut.

Let me tell you the difference between a carpenter and a woodworker because both of these terms will be used extensively in this article. A carpenter is a person who makes a house, he designs, cuts, and installs doors and windows which require a precision instrument.

On the other hand, a woodworker makes furniture which requires cutting large boards to size and ripping plywood’s to make cabinets; this requires a table saw and you will find out why in this article.

Now, let’s discuss what features these two saws have to offer and decide which one will be better suited to your needs.

Portability:

Miter saws are more portable as compared to table saws. Even though both of them can weigh a lot, but since the miter saw is independent of any table and is smaller in size, it can be picked up and taken wherever you want. Moreover, it can be carried in a small vehicle such as on the back of a motorcycle or a car.

On the contrary, the table saw is an entire table; it would be quite heavy and you would need more than one person to move it. Furthermore, its wide size ensures that you would need a bigger vehicle or a carrier to move it for longer distances.

Precision:

Table saws are less precise as compared to miter saws. The saw on a table saw is fixed at a single place which would limit your variations in cuts. Moreover, the wood is constantly in motion and the only thing preventing it from wobbling here and there would be your hands.

On the contrary, a miter saw is way more precise than a table saw. You can move the saw wherever, whenever, and however, you like. Moreover, the wood that you are trying to cut would be held in place against the back of the saw which is called the fence, throughout the cutting process. 

Safety:

A miter saw is a lot safer than a table saw, this is because of the lower chances of receiving kickbacks. On a table saw, the only thing pushing forward and holding down the wood are your hands and in case the blades of the saw get tangled up in the fibers of the wood, and either pull your hands into the blade or pushes the wood outwards, which can get very dangerous.

Now, this is not the case with miter saws. The wood is firmly held between the fence and your hands. In miter saws, most of the injuries occur when the user tries to switch the hand that is holding the wood with the hand that is holding the saw arm during which one of them can come in contact with the blade.

Versatility:

A table saw can cut larger pieces of wood as compared to a miter saw. Moreover, a table saw can make all the cuts that a miter saw can make, but with lesser precision. Furthermore, you can purchase a variety of accessories that you can attach with a table saw to simplify making cuts, but you need to have a knowledgeable and skillful experience of carpeting if you want to make complex cuts with a table saw.

Comparatively, a miter saw gives you complex cuts with quiet ease and is easier to control.

Price Tag:

A table saw is comparatively more expensive than a miter saw. A low-end table saw starts from $200 and goes up from there. A high-end table saw can cost up to as much as $2,800.

In comparison, a low-end miter saw starts from just $100 and goes only as up to $1900, which is way less than a table saw.

Wood Cutting Capacity:

The wood cutting capacity depends on the make and model of the table saw or the miter saw that you are using. However, a table saw can cut longer pieces of wood as compared to a miter saw due to its large table surface.

Now, we will discuss what type of saw will go best with your need. If you are a beginner looking for getting your first power saw, you should go for a table saw. This is because it is easier to use and more useful comparatively for people who are just starting to learn carpentry and woodwork.

You should go for a miter saw if you have experience using a table saw and are comfortable with it. As discussed earlier, a miter saw is better at giving you more complex cuts which can and should only be made by experienced carpenters and woodworkers.

Conclusion:

In essence, both these power tools have their specific purposes. A table saw is better for cutting longer wood whereas a miter saw is better for angle cutting. Both differ in price tags and if you have enough resources, my suggestion is that you get both of these for your workshop. If not, then you can get the one which better suits your needs; i.e., a table saw if you have more carpeting work and a miter saw if your works require precision and complex cutting.

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