Table Saw Vs Miter Saw: What Are The Differences And Which One You Should Choose

Power saws play an important role in the woodworking industry. Table saw vs miter saw are two popular power saws for both home projects or workshops.

However, not many people know the differences between these tools. It’s necessary to know well the advantages and disadvantages of each tool to choose the right one. 

Today, let’s learn more about table saw and miter saw to know which one is better for you. 

Table Saw Vs Miter Saw

What Is A Table Saw?

A table saw is a tool consisting of a spinning saw blade mounted on a table. An electric motor powers the blade to cut the material. There is also a blade guard attached to the table saw to prevent kick-back injuries. 

Besides, the table saw is equipped with an emergency button to immediately turn off the saw. You can use this button in case of a kick-back accident

The table saw is a common tool in every woodwork shop because of its versatility. It makes accurate and clean cuts on almost all materials. 

Table saws will help you save a lot of time and effort in all sorts of projects. They are effective in making long ripping cuts. Table saws are also suitable for cutting heavy and sturdy materials. 

There are many types of table saws. The popular ones including cabinet saws, contractor saws, portable table saw. Besides, there are also stationary table saws and hybrid saws. 

Table saw

What Is A Miter Saw?

A miter saw is a power saw with a built-in blade on a swing arm. This design allows the miter saw to cut at every angle. 

The miter saw is suitable for trimming, crosscutting, or cutting mold. Besides, it is also effective in making bevel cuts or compound cuts. 

Two types of miter saws are basic miter saws and compound miter saws. 

Miter saw

Differences Between A Table Saw And A Miter Saw

 1. Function

Table saws are tools for general cutting purposes. It can make many types of cuts, but the most effective is long rip-cuts and crosscuts. 

The miter saw has a specialized design for producing precise crosscuts. So, the variety of cuts a miter saw can make is smaller than a table saw. 

But when you need to making angle cuts, a miter saw can do better. You can swivel its head to make any degree angle cut. 

Moreover, a miter saw also works well with bevel cuts. The design of the saw permits you to tilt it laterally to make a sloping edge. 

Contrarily, the saw blade of a table saw is under the table, so it’s more difficult to cut a bevel with a table saw.

2. Cutting manner

When working with a table saw, you will push the materials toward the saw to cut. So, table saws are a suitable tool for cutting large stocks. It can make cuts in any length. 

But if you use a miter saw, you will secure the material under the saw. Then, you move the blade on the material to cut. Thus, a miter saw only makes cuts that are shorter than the blade’s width. 

3. Accuracy

Both miter saw and table saw produce accurate and clean cuts. But miter saws provide more accuracy because you control the blade to cut a secured stock.

When working with a table saw, the material will move toward the blade. So, if you change the pressure on the stock, the cut may not be accurate. Therefore, if you need highly precise cuts, use a miter saw.

4. Safety

Every power tool has the potential to cause injuries. Thus, it’s necessary to follow the safety instructions of the manufacturer when using them. But according to the statistics, a table saw provides more risk of injuries than a miter saw. 

The common injury when using a table saw is the kick-back injury. When using a miter saw, you are more active in moving the saw blade. So, the potential of kick-back injury of a miter saw is smaller.

5. Portability

With a large table, the table saw make it difficult to move around. It also requires large space for storage. So, a table saw has low portability. 

On the contrary, miter saws are more compact with a weight of 50- 60-pound. Thus, you can carry them in your car or move them around if necessary. Besides, a miter saw can be stationary if you secured it on an immobile countertop.

6. Price

In terms of price, a miter saw is cheaper than a table saw. The price of a miter saw varies from $100 to $1900. 

Meanwhile, to have a table saw, you will have to pay from $200 to $2800. Normally, a good miter saw will cost you about $250, and a table saw will cost about $450. 

Table Saw Vs Miter Saw: Which One Is More Suitable For You?

If you usually work with large boards of materials, choose a table saw. It can produce precise long rip-cuts. A table saw also saves you a lot of time when cutting plenty of wood pieces. 

Besides, table saws are good for making crosscuts on short pieces if you need them. A table saw is a necessary tool for every woodworker.

You should buy a miter saw if you need high precision for angle and bevel cuts. With a miter saw, you can do woodworking projects with trim and molding more easily. 

However, if you are a beginner at woodworking, you should start with a table saw. Because to use a miter saw properly and effectively, you need to have experience. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a miter saw when I have a table saw?

It depends on your requirement of accuracy and your experience. You can make angle cuts or bevel cuts with a table saw. But the precision level will be lower than using a miter saw. 

Besides, if you are new to woodworking, making these cuts with a table saw is very challenging. You will have a high risk of getting injuries. 

Thus, if you need high precision and want to save time, go for a miter saw. 

2. Can I use a table saw to cut angles?

Yes, a table saw can make angle cuts with a miter gauge. You will need to set the blade of the table saw to a 45-degree angle. And with the support from a miter gauge, you can make crosscuts at any angle. 

3. Are miter saw dangerous?

Yes, all power tools will be dangerous if you use them improperly. The common injuries with a miter saw are eye injuries, ear injuries, and off-hand injuries. 

4. Can I rip with a miter saw?

No, it’s impossible to rip with a miter saw because of its design. When cutting with a miter saw, the wood will lay across the saw blade path. So, the blade can’t move along the wood to rip it.


Choosing the right tool is very important when you do woodworking projects. We hope that you have known well about the differences between table saws and miter saws. 

You can consider your needs and preference to choose a suitable saw. If you have any questions about these saws, please leave a comment. Thank you for reading!

Reference Source: Table Saw vs Miter Saw vs Circular Saw Basics | How to Choose a Type of Saw | This or That DIY

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