Miter Saw vs Radial Arm Saw: What’s The Main Difference?

Since the advent of specialized saws, making or cutting wood has become much more straightforward. Prominent among the types of saws that make users wonder is the miter saw and radial arm saw.

So, what’s the difference between a miter saw vs radial arm saw? Which chainsaw is more convenient for you? Follow our sharing below to see the answer!

What Is A Miter Saw?

A miter saw is an electrostatic tool famous for the precision in its cuts. Each saw uses a circular saw blade to cut the material.

The design of the miter saw is more special than other saws. It has an attached workpiece with a slot and fence. Plus, it has hinged arms.

All help miter saw to achieve very high accuracy in cuts. Controlling the miter saw is also much more accessible than other saws.

Miter Saw vs Radial Arm Saw

The blades of this type of saw are usually 8 to 12 inches in diameter, which is very handy.

The miter saw has 3 main variations, each with a different fantastic ability:

  • Compound Miter: You can relate the saw blade left or right, creating miter cuts.
  • Dual Compound Miter: the saw blade can be tilted left or right. It helps users to create bevel cuts and cuts at any angle.
  • Sliding Compound Miter: This type of saw allows the saw blade to move in a compound motion. It can move forward or backward.


  • A miter saw creates 4 variations of cuts. It performs cuts like crosscuts, miters cut, bevels cut, compound cut.
  • It can create exact cuts.
  • The rotation feature makes it possible to create various suitable cuts on the material.
  • It has high flexibility in each type of variation.
  • The integrated guard with a dust filter ensures the safety of the user and the material.


  • Miter saws are not strong enough to cut thick pieces of wood.
  • It has fewer cuts than the radial arm saw, and each variant has a cut line limit.

What Is A Radial Arm Saw?

A more powerful and more cutting-edge saw is the radial arm saw.

This type of saw seems to be less popular now. But the amount of work it can complete is not small.

It is also one of the most versatile saws available today. It can take the place of many other chainsaws.

The blades of the radial arm saw range from 12 to 22 inches in diameter. With such a wide blade diameter, the radial arm saw can cut through very thick pieces of wood.

A more powerful and more cutting-edge saw is the radial arm saw

The saw blade can also make multiple cuts at different angles. Although this depends on the purpose of the user, most radial arm saws can be used.

However, a radial arm saw is not safe for all your activities. It would be best if you were more careful in any case. This saw can cut off your fingers.


  • The Radial arm saw can make 7 different cuts. All of which include: crosscuts, miters cut, bevels cut, compound cut, dadoes cut, rabbets cut, ripping cut.
  • It can make powerful deep cuts. You can use it to cut through thick pieces of wood.
  • The Radial arm saw is flexible, creating maneuverability for the user.
  • It does not take up the space and space of the user.


  • Radial arm saw cannot make precise cuts.
  • It’s not perfect in terms of stability and safety.

The Main Difference Between Miter Saw and Radial Arm Saw

Both the miter saw and the radial arm saw can help you handle wood chips. However, there are many differences between them:

  • Flexibility
  • Depth of cut line
  • Cutting ability
  • Accuracy
  • Safety

To see those differences clearly, follow what we analyze right below:


Anyone who has used a miter saw you should know that you can move it anywhere you want. You don’t need to go through the difficult process when you want to take a miter saw out on the patio or even work in the yard.

But that is not true for radial arm saws. It needs a station to fix it when working, and you can’t take it everywhere. You will have to move the tasks to the radial arm saw when you want to complete them.

You can move miter saw anywhere you want

Depth of cut line

The depth of the cut is an issue that many people care about when buying a saw. In this case, the depth of cut that the radial arm saw makes will be greater than the miter saw.

It is not difficult to explain this problem. The saw blade of the radial arm saw has a larger diameter than that of the miter saw. From there, the cut that the saw blade creates will certainly be deeper.

This means you can use a radial arm saw to cut thick pieces of wood with ease. A miter saw is suitable for thin and medium-low thickness woods.

Cutting ability

As we said above, the radial arm saw makes more cuts with different angles than the miter saw.

Radial arm saw makes up to 7 different cuts with multiple angles. At the same time, the miter saw can only make 4 other cuts.

Radial arm saw makes up to 7 different cuts with multiple angles

You can completely use a radial arm saw instead of the miter saw. Since most of the cuts that a miter saw can do, a radial arm saw can also do well.


Miter saws make more precise cuts than radial arm saws. The miter saw ruler system and tip stability help it to make more accurate cuts.

However, the radial arm saw’s measuring system is still quite sketchy, so the cuts might not be accurate.


A miter saw has much better security than a radial arm saw.

The miter saw has a handwheel design and a protective ring for the user. But radial arm saw is almost nonexistent.

A miter saw has much better security than a radial arm saw

Users can easily cut into fingers while using the radial arm saw if not careful. Therefore, you need to have extra protective gear when using this saw.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to buy a miter saw when I already have a radial arm saw?

Rub! If you want to have safer and more accurate cuts, you should buy an additional miter saw. But sometimes this is quite expensive.

A radial arm saw can make every cut that a miter saw makes. However, if you need precise cuts, you can rent or buy a miter saw.

2. How to make precise cuts from radial arm saw?

As noted above, radial arm saws cannot make precise cuts easily. However, you can fix it by measuring exactly where to cut. Careful cutting also helps the radial arm saw to produce a more precise cut.

3. What can I do to ensure the quality of the cuts?

To get quality cuts, you need to have your saw and blade serviced more often. Any machine works efficiently when it’s at its best!


Both miter saw and radial arm saws are handy saws. It can make cuts easily. There are many differences between them. But each type of saw will have its strong points. But if you know how to use them properly, you can completely get the job done.

Hopefully with our sharing, you can see the difference between a miter saw vs radial arm saw.

Thank you for reading!

Reference Source:  Use A Miter Saw As A Radial Arm Saw?!



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