Miter Saw vs Table Saw - Which One is for Me?
Miter Saw vs Table Saw
Getting the right power tool for home use can be a daunting task but to make it easier, you need to know exactly what you want to do with the tool. It does make a difference because not all power saws can do the same tasks and then again, some tools can do almost any task.
Today we are going to compare the Miter Saw to the ever-popular Table Sawto see which one the better buy for the jobs is that you want to do. I personally have both but then I would probably buy anything that plugs into the wall and cuts wood!
Below I have prepared a simple chart to get started with. We will look at what each saw can do and then discuss the features of each saw.
|Feautres||Miter Saw||Table Saw|
|Price of Saw||X|
|Ease of Use||X||X|
|Longevity of Saw||X|
|Versatility of Saw||X||X|
|Mobility of Saw||X|
|Maintaining the Saw||X|
Ease of Use: Both Saws Can Make Precise Cuts
When I talk about ease of use, I mean how easy it is to get the precise cut without making mistakes. If you set up either saw the right way by making it stationary, you stand a better chance of making a precise cut the first time you try.
The variables would be the length and width of the board you are going to cut. The Miter Saw is easy to set up for angle cuts,but it can limit you as to the length of board you are using. The Table Saw is usually setup in an area that can handle longer boards so if you need to rip a board, the Table Saw is the winner.
Dewalt make some of the best Miter Saws on the market, if you are looking for one of the top selling miter saws by Dewalt check out my review on the the Dewalt DWS779.
Price of the Saw: Miter Saw Wins
If you are looking to get by as cheap as possible and still have a saw that is great at angle cuts, the Miter Saw is the cheapest way to goif you get a simple saw. If you add features such as a sliding saw and a double beveled saw, you will be getting up into the cheap Table Saw price range.
Here again, you need to know exactly what you want to do with the saw. If you are planning on just doing at home projects and you will not have a need to keep moving the saw around, the table saw will most likely do everything you want it to do.
If you are leaning towards a miter saw check out my page on best miter saw reviews.
Longevity of the Saw: Table Saw Wins
Just to give you an idea of how long a table saw can last, my first table saw belong to my Grandpa and I used it for another 20+ years after he gave it to me. They were built to last as apposed to resent manufacturing methods used to make the tools of today.
What you do with your tools, how often you use them, and what jobs you use them for all are factors in the longevity of power tools. The Miter Saw is much easier to abuse, and I don’t mean on purpose, it’s just smaller and can get shoved around easier than a Table Saw. I’m calling the Table Saw the winner for longevity.
Versatility of the Saw: This is a Toss-Up
If you want to cut sheets of wood or rip boards, you are going to need a Table Saw, hands down! You can also do this with a circular saw but it’s not always a precise cut. The stability of the Table Saw makes the difference. If you want to cut some boards with angles or cut molding with angles, and do a lot of them, you are better off with a Miter Saw. Set it up for the right angle and cut away.
If woodworking is going to be a side job for you, it would be a good idea to have both a Table Saw and a Miter Saw in your possession along with other tools you will need. I like to take my Miter Saw with me when I do small jobs and my circular saw as well. You will get to the point where you know what works best for you for the job you have lined-up. I really lean toward a Table Saw for versatility, but it can be more dangerous to operate.
Sawdust Collection: Another Toss-Up
There is always going to be sawdust and it’s not healthy to be breathing in an area where saw dust accumulates. Most power tools used for wood cutting do have a system of collecting the sawdust and they all require your attention.
Both the Table Saw and the Miter Saw can be setup for dust collection and they each have an outlet port that can hook up to your established system. Some Miter Saw come with a dust bag and they work well but venting the dust to your collection system is much healthier.
The Table Saw will have a dust bin where the saw dust falls but hooking it up to a dust collection system will certainly clean up the breathable air in the shop.
Mobility of the Saw: Miter Saw Wins
As a rule of thumb, the Miter Saw is easier to move from job site to job sitethan the Table Saw simply because it is smaller in size and weighs less. If you must do a job on your own property and the barn or shed you need to work on is a way from the house, pick up the Miter Saw and take it to location where your work is.
In all fairness, some of the modern table saws weigh only slightly more than the miter saw, but that doesn’t include the weight of the table saw stand. The work you do with a miter saw can be done with the saw sitting on the ground or floor but when using a table saw you really need it to be at a height where big boards and sheets of plywood are easy to hold and cut safely.
Maintaining the Saw: Table Saw Wins
As a rule, the Table Saw parts that need maintenance are easier to access than a Miter Sawwould be. Whether it’s good or bad, the Table Saw doesn’t have a plastic blade guard to work around like the Miter Saw does.
Always insure that there isn’t any rust on your saw blade and that the sawdust collection system is working properly. Check to make sure your blade is properly installed and before using either saw, do this when it isn’t plugged in to the power source. Good maintenance makes for added accuracy as well as safety to your woodworking experience.
Conclusions: Miter Saw vs Table Saw
Different jobs require different tools to get the results you are looking for. If you can only afford one saw to start with, you might want to purchase a table saw first. I can almost guarantee that within weeks, you will purchase a Miter Saw and they can be a time saver for you to own. You will welcome the versatility, mobility and accuracy of a Miter Saw. If you can afford it, purchase both saws and you will have a well-rounded woodworking shop.