Miter saws and chop saws are two tools that do similar functions. If you don’t know the difference between them, and you’re thinking of buying a saw, then worry no more.
In this article, we will discuss both of these tools – what they do, what their similarities and differences are to help you make an informed decision.
Chop Saw vs Miter Saw Comparison Table
|DEWALT D28715 14-Inch Chop Saw
|DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
|24 x 15 x 16.5 inches
|9.45 x 3.54 x 18.9 inches
Chop Saw Overview
For anyone who has been involved in a woodworking project, they must have come across a situation that required them to use a chop saw.
A chop saw is used to make quick and accurate cuts in the materials you are dealing with. They are fitted with fast-rotating, reliable blades that effectively slice through tough surfaces.
This is a saw that can be used on all types of boards whether they are made of wood, metal, or plastic.
A chop saw gives you those even and smooth lines on your cuts.
Benefits of Using Chop Saw
- A chop saw allows you to work on different surfaces. You can use chop saws on a variety of surfaces ranging from metal sheets to plastic piping. Rather than going for multiple tools, you can handle several projects with just a quality chop saw.
- A chop saw is a versatile tool. Depending on the range and size of the saw, you can tackle projects of different sizes. There are chop saws that are capable of working on extremely thick materials and there are those designed to handle smaller tasks. You need to go for the saw that will handle your needs.
- Chop saws have powerful blades. These saws come with durable blades with unique and distinct teeth. Although all tools wear down, the chop blades last for a long time. Another good thing is that you can easily find replacements when you prepare for upcoming work.
- Chop saws will help you work quickly. In contrast to manual saws, chop saws get through thick surfaces with a lot of ease. It allows you to work on your flooring and fencing projects quite efficiently.
- Chop saws help with the dust generated by the cutting. Workstations get messed up with dirt especially dust that can pose a risk to people. Chop saws come with a dust-catching feature that helps ensure the workstation is clean all the time.
- Chop saws help with accuracy. For projects that require accurate cuts like woodworking or plumbing, a chop saw will help make an accurate cut. The saws come with a laser that allows you to make an accurate cut every time.
Best Chop Saw Review
The DEWALT D28715 Chop Saw features a powerful motor that generates about 15 amp, enhancing its durability and performance in a great way.
It features a keyless blade change system of the metal chop saw that increases productivity by giving the user the ability to change wheels without necessarily using a wrench.
The cutting saw can be adjusted at different angles while cutting to fulfill the user’s requirements. It has an ergonomically designed InchD-inch handle that ensures your hand is in a comfortable position and, you will not feel any kind of fatigue thus enhancing your productivity.
It comes with an extra-wide solid steel base that enhances the stability of the equipment, especially when cutting longer materials.
It has four pre-drilled holes in its base that allow you to bolt it down firmly on any kind of workbench. Its strong solid steel base allows the user to stop directly to the base or weld jigs with perfection.
It features a heavy-duty lockdown pin that makes sure the head of the saw is locked perfectly in a carrying position without the use of a chain. The blade of this chop saw helps you make straight cuts on thick surfaces.
Miter Saw Overview
A miter saw is a tool with vertical, circular spinning blades mounted on a swing. The blades of a miter saw cut to the right or left to make bevels, miters, and compound cuts.
You can make cuts at different angles, making a miter saw one of the special tools to work with. Since it can move on either side, it is easy to make picture frames, door and window frames, and crown molding.
The distinct feature of a miter saw is making the precise cut.
Many carpenters, contractors, and remodelers use the tool to mainly cut miters and others and get a professional fine finish on the end product.
A miter saw can also cut plastics, aluminum, or concrete. There are different types of miter saw like the dual bevel, which makes your work easy since there is no turning your workpiece to make cuts on both sides.
Advantages of a Miter Saw
- Used for finer details and precise cuts
- Makes bevel, compound, and miter cuts
Disadvantages of a Miter Saw
- Limited workpiece size
- Their blades range from eight to twelve inches
Best Miter Saw
The DEWALT DWS780 Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is one of the best tools to own as a woodworker. It has a coherent cutline blade positioning system to help you adjust free cut line guides for visibility and accuracy.
Users follow the guide on where to cut without missing the line of cut. The miter saw has a powerful motor of 15 Amp, 3800 RPM to deliver to offer extra power and durability for the machine.
It is designed to make accurate and precise cuts, especially for framing and deck building.
The tool has a tall sliding fence support crown molding a maximum of 7 1/2 inch nested and base molding up to 6-3/4- inch vertically capacity. Carpenters and contractors have increased capacity to work on as the miter saw miters 60 degrees to the right and 50 degrees to the left.
It comes with a back fence design that cuts up to 2 x 10 at 45 degrees and 2 x 14 at 90 degrees.
You can use the adjustable stainless-steel miter plates to improve cutting accuracy and productivity with the ten positive stops.
Cam lock miter handle with detent override helps to get accurate angles.
Whether you are working at home or in other places, you should not worry about carrying your tool, the miter is lightweight for easy storage and transportation.
Differences Between a Chop Saw And a Miter Saw
Miter saws and chop saws share the same function basis. Many people may not tell the difference between them and get confused when purchasing either of the tools.
Here are some differences to distinguish a miter from a chop saw.
The primary difference between a miter saw and a chop saw is that a chop saw makes straight cuts at 90 degrees only while the miter saw can rotate, allowing you to make angled cuts. Miter saw is versatile as it can move left and right.
A chop saw is a hands-on saw that gives you the maximum control over the cutting process. It can cut any types of materials such as wood, metal, and fiber cement siding.
Chop saws are larger with a minimum blade of 14 inches and are powerful. These characteristics make it a hardy machine that can cut anything.
On the other hand, miter saws are precise and fine. They are preferred to be used on lumber and dimensional materials like plywood and hardwood.
They produce a perfect and neat cut on the wood. These machines are best for framing, small piping, or molding. Most of Its blades are available in 10 inches and 12 inches.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use a Miter Saw as a Chop Saw?
If you’ve ever wondered if a miter saw can work as a chop saw, you should know the answer is yes.
It may cost you a little more to buy the miter saw than to go for an ordinary chop saw, but it could make your projects easier – especially if you don’t have space for two tools.
You can make cuts at an angle of 90 degrees with a miter saw just as a chop saw will do. The only limit will be the type of material it will cut.
What is a Chop Saw Good For?
Chop saws are powerful machines that are used in different ways. When building and you need to cut trusses, studs rafters, and joists, a chop saw will do a great job.
Chop saw is also good in slicing through metal, cutting through masonry and concrete. If you are a construction worker or welder, you will do well with a chop saw especially when dealing with steel.
The chop saw makes straight cuts with blades that do not miter or bevel.
Should I Get a Table Saw or a Miter Saw?
Table saw, and miter saw is popular tools in most homes today. To determine which is the best to buy, will depend on the type of work you want to complete.
A table saw is a versatile tool than a miter saw, you can miter-cut, cross-cut, rabbet, rips, square, dado, and make shapes at the edges of the wood stock. A miter saw allows the user to make cuts to the right or left side and at different angles.
You can easily make picture frames, crown molding door frames. When you need extremely accurate cuts, the miter saw is the best choice. Weigh your options and decide which will work best for you.
What Are The Three Basic Types of Miter Saws?
- Standard miter saws – They rotate to the side hence allowing you to make cuts from the top of the board at an angle. You can easily make corner pieces for different projects.
- Compound miter saws – They bevel and tilt tenable you cut your wood at various angles, both vertically and horizontally. Single action compound miter saws cut to one side while double-action saws cut on both sides.
- Sliding miter saws – They bring additional functions as they slide forward to give you room to cut larger pieces than the blade normally allows. This is convenient if you have a small workshop space. Though you can make wide cuts with a sliding miter saw, the cutting depth is not increased.
Will a 10-inch Miter Saw Cut 4×4?
A ten-inch miter saw will comfortably cut a 4×4 wood but not at once. You have to flip over the piece and cut it from the other side if you have a stationary miter saw.
If you prefer cutting through a 4×4 wood at once, the 10-inch miter saw is not the right size for the job. Do not worry if you can only afford a 10-inch miter saw; you can consider a sliding type.
The sliding miter saw will allow you to make more cuts than the fixed ten-inch miter saw.
What is The Proper Attire When Using The Miter Saw?
Operating a miter saw poses risks to a person. Wearing appropriate attire can protect one from having injuries or accidents. Ensure you:
- Wear a protective face shield, glasses, or goggles
- Wear proper hearing protection
- Have the protective footwear on you
- If dusty, use a dust mask or use a dust extraction system
- Don’t wear loose clothing or jewelry
Can a Miter Saw Cut Aluminum?
Most woodworking shop does not have aluminum cutting tools to cut the material. Aluminum is among the most commonly used materials in many industries like aerospace and building construction.
Aluminum has a high resistance to corrosion, which makes it more durable and resilient compared to other metal types such as steel.
It is possible to cut aluminum with a miter saw with the correct blades. It is made possible due to the design of the miter saw where it clamp the aluminum and make specific cuts accurately and safely.
Though there other tools to cut aluminum, a miter saw is one of the best tools to use.
Should I Wear Gloves When Using a Miter Saw?
There are those who believe that wearing gloves prevents cuts by giving the saw operator a sort of safety cushion. However, this is not true.
When you wear gloves, you cut yourself because you lose sensitivity in your fingertips and can wind up with a finger right next to the spinning blade. This is particularly common when cutting wood joints on miter saws.
If you don’t wear gloves, you’re less likely to leave your fingers close to the blades while making adjustments or getting down near the wood.
From the above discussion, the distinction between a chop saw and a miter saw has been spelled out. However, we can agree that to be able to carry out a perfect woodworking project, one may need to use both the miter and chop saw.
You will cut through different materials accurately and complete your project perfectly. If you are looking for the best miter and chop saws in the market, consider the ones we have just reviewed.
They are worth every penny and will help you carry your projects like a pro.