There is no doubt that the introduction of power saws has ultimately changed the viewpoint of the woodworking industry. These tools offer DIY-loving individuals the capacity to finish huge projects in a shorter period. Among the most common types of power saws that we see today are miter saws and table saws.
Even though each type of power saw depends on various principles in cutting wood, their uses often overlap in certain areas. If you are interested in moving up in terms of your carpentry skills, you surely would like to know the similarities and differences between a miter saw vs a table saw. Let us take a closer look at some factors that make each of these saw types unique.
Cutting Large Wood Pieces
For this first round, table saws have an edge over miter saws. Table saws feature a flat table that provides support to the wood that is being cut. All you need to do is to push and control the wood, feeding the wood to the spinning saw blade at the table center. This design makes table saws ideal for cutting larger wood pieces.
A miter saw, on the other hand, requires placing a strip of wood, such as a siding plank or a trim board, on a narrow base that is located in front of the saw, manually lowering the spinning blade using a handle that is enclosed in a moving head for cutting the edge of the strip off.
“Miter”, as a verb, means joining two pieces of wood at an angle of 90-degrees. This is similar to the way the corner edges of a picture frame look like. Miter saws make the task of cutting angles very easy. A miter saw’s head can easily be swiveled from one side to another, cutting any angle needed for a task.
Because of this reason, a miter saw is a popular tool in the industry of trim carpentry. They are very effective in cutting complex angles needed for the installation of trim and crown molds. A table saw, on the other hand, is not designed for this task since the user needs to position the wood at the right angle, holding it steady as it is fed into the spinning blade.
Aside from cutting the board edge on a specific angle, the miter saw head can be laterally tilted for cutting bevels. This will create a sloped edge rather than a flat one. Beveled cuts are mainly used in trim work, allowing for flawless transitions when creating corner trims.
The blade on table saws may be adjusted easily from under the table for bevel cutting. However, just with cutting angles, the task of cutting bevels is also difficult to perform using a table saw. Using a table saw to cut bevels is an advanced technique in carpentry. Newbies, on the other hand, can become more successful with the help of a miter saw.
Some models of table saws feature wheeled stands which enable users to roll them easily from one place to another. Most table saws are stationary, as they are either built into a cabinet or attached to solid steel legs, further adding to their weight. This could mean that they tend to be challenging to move.
On the other hand, most models of miter saws range within the 50-to-60-pound range, and may easily be loaded in the trunk of a car, or at the back of a pickup. This gives them portability at their best. If you plan on creating all of your woodwork projects inside a workshop, a miter saw may easily be bolted into a countertop, turning it into a stationary model.
Even though a miter saw is not capable of cutting huge wood pieces, a table saw can make any type of cut that a miter saw makes. The only difference has something to do with the level of precision. A wide range of accessories may be bought along with a table saw. This includes a miter gauge which is designed to make angle cuts simpler.
A table saw is generally more versatile, creating complex cuts using one requires advanced skill and knowledge in advanced carpentry. Newbies in woodworking should not even try to create beveled and angled cuts using a table saw since these further increases risk of injury.
So, miter saw vs table saw, which is which? Well, table saws offer more versatility than miter saws. For most woodworkers, a quality table saw should be the first tool that they need to invest in. However, if you need to work with bevel cuts and precision miter cuts, then a miter saw may just be the best option for you. Why not share your experiences in the comments section below?