Which Tool Should You Buy? – Pros and Cons of a Miter Saw vs Table Saw

Miter Saw vs Table Saw

Which is better for my task, a table saw or a miter saw? Which saw should I buy first: a table saw or a miter saw? Which is better for a beginner? Is a miter saw necessary if I already have a table saw?

Allow us to respond to all of these concerns, as well as others.

It’s tempting to buy one tool and use it for all jobs, especially with pricey power equipment like power saws or other types of tools that can cost hundreds of dollars. This is the incorrect technique, and it can result in mediocre work. It’s critical to have the correct instrument for the job if you want to produce high-quality work. As a result, it’s critical for both amateurs and professionals to understand what each speciality power tool is good for and why they need it.

The distinction between a table saw and a miter saw will be discussed in this post. When should one be used and when should the other be used? Who should invest in a table saw and who in a miter saw? All of these questions, and more, will be answered by us.

Miter Saw vs Table Saw – Pros and Cons

Before I discuss the difference between a table saw and a miter saw, let’s look at a short comparison.

FeatureTable SawMiter Saw
VersatilityMulti-purpose saw for all types of cutsSpecialty tool for trimming and angular cuts
Types of cutsRipping, crosscuts, angular cutsCrosscuts, miter, bevel and compound cuts
Working PrincipleFixed blade position- Moving StockMoving blade – Fixed stock
AccuracyGood.Very Precise.
Suitable forRip plywood, build cabinets and furnitureFraming, trim work, base or crown molding
WhoHighly useful for woodworkersPrecision tool for carpenters
SafetyAccident-proneRelatively safe
RecommendationJobsite Table Saw12-inch Miter Saw

What is a table saw?

The majority of you who are experienced with woodworking have seen a table saw up close. So, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the concept of a table saw. A table saw, for those who are unfamiliar, is a flat table with a saw blade built into it that can be used to produce a variety of cuts. It’s vital not to get mixed up here; it’s tempting to refer to anything as a “table saw,” but that’s not the case. A circular saw blade protrudes from the table’s surface through a slit on a table saw. The blade can be raised and lowered thanks to a motor beneath the table.

Table saws are found in almost every woodworking shop, whether they belong to experts or hobbyists. You’ll be hard pushed to find a woodworker who doesn’t have one due to its versatility and ability to perform a wide range of tasks.

They are also available in a number of models, and both fixed and mobile table saws may be found at any hardware shop.

What is a miter saw?

A miter saw is a machine tool that has a circular blade attached to a swing arm that may be lowered onto the workpiece to cut it. A miter saw works similarly to a table saw in that it cuts wood with a rotating circular saw blade. A miter saw, on the other hand, is designed for a specialized task, whereas a table saw is a general-purpose wood-cutting equipment.

Miter saws are made primarily for making precise crosscuts and angular cuts. They have a blade positioned on a swing that can be adjusted to various angles. The miter saw can now make far more precise miter cuts. It also gives the user more choice over where they make their cuts in general. Miter saws are less frequent than traditional table saws. However, any workshop worth its salt will have one.

Miter saw vs table saw - Differences

Differences: Table Saw and Miter Saw vs Table Saw

The main distinction between the two is in terms of function, precision, and portability.


Table saws, as previously stated, are general-purpose cutting tools. This means they perform a wide range of cuts, but they aren’t always precise. The ability to make long rip-cuts and crosscuts is where a table saw really shines.

A miter saw is a type of power saw that is used to make precise crosscuts. For example, a typical miter saw can only make cross cuts of 6 to 8 inches (this can vary quite a bit though depending on model). This is obviously a much smaller range of cuts than a table saw can make. The miter saw, on the other hand, makes up for its lack of variety in pure execution.

How it works

The rotating blade on a table saw is in a fixed position. To make the cut, you’ll move the wood stock against the rotating blade.
On the other hand, with a miter saw, you’ll place the stock on the table and cut the wood with the blade. You’ll also move the miter saw blade across the workpiece with a sliding compound miter saw.


For those who need precise miter and bevel cuts of wood or other softer materials like plastic, a miter saw is the best option. Yes, table saws can perform the same functions as miter saws. However, if you try to make precision cuts with a table saw, your chances of making a mistake increase dramatically. Similarly, making a precise compound cut with a table saw will take much longer.
To make precise crosscuts and miter cuts, a table saw requires additional accessories such as a sled and a miter gauge with extensions.


It’s also worth noting that miter saws are generally easier to transport from one location to another. So, if you want to move the saw around from job to job, a mobile table saw (which is still fairly heavy and cumbersome) or a miter saw are the best options.

Professionals will appreciate the portability of a miter saw with a rolling miter saw stand.


In general, a table saw and a miter saw will cost about the same (assuming they’re both from a reputable brand), so price isn’t a significant factor. Please keep in mind that prices for miter saws and table saws can vary from store to store, so your local hardware store or online retailer may have different prices.

When to go for a table saw

A table saw is the best option if you’re just doing some general-purpose cutting, such as cutting large boards of wood. For precise long rip-cuts, a table saw is the best option. It will be able to cut through large amounts of wood quickly, saving you a lot of time in the long run. A table saw is also your best bet if you need to make crosscuts on short pieces of wood or cut up smaller wooden sheets. Finally, any remodeling or carpentry project will necessitate the use of a table saw.

With the use of sleds and a miter gauge, a table saw can perform the majority of the cuts that a miter saw can. When using a table saw for miter cuts, however, it will take a long time and it is very easy to make mistakes. You should definitely do so if you are confident in your ability to make precise cuts with a table saw (or if you have a good guide available to follow).

When to go for a miter saw

If you need to make extremely precise miter and bevel cuts, now is the time to buy a miter saw. Furniture rails, frames, and edging, for example, are all precise jobs that benefit from the miter saw’s precision and speed. Similarly, if you’re working on a particularly difficult project, you’re likely to need a miter saw, so if you’re planning any large projects in the future (such as building a deck), you should invest in a good miter saw.

Who should buy what?

Do you intend to purchase your first power saw as a beginner? If you don’t already have a saw of any kind, you should start with a table saw. They are far more adaptable and useful for people who are just learning how to do carpentry or woodworking properly.

If you already own and know how to use a table saw, you should consider investing in a miter saw. Don’t get me wrong: miter saws have their place. However, unless you have a lot of experience, you should start with a table saw and work your way up to a miter saw. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you should always think about the project you’re working on before making a purchase.

Carpentery vs Woodworking

Beginners frequently use these two terms interchangeably. There is, however, a distinction.
The house is constructed by a carpenter. Building window and door frames, trimming moldings, and other carpentry tasks are all part of the job. As a result, a carpenter’s miter saw is a precision power tool.
Woodworkers, on the other hand, create furniture. To build cabinets, decks, and other structures, woodworkers must cut large boards to size and rip plywoods. As a result, a table saw is the most useful cutting tool for a woodworker.

Differences: Table Saw and Miter Saw vs Table Saw

Miter Saw vs Table Saw

Table Saw

  • Best for rip-cut and crosscut
  • Versatile saw for variety of cuts


  • For woodworkers, a table saw is a useful tool for ripping plywood sheets. To make furniture cabinets and decks, cut wide boards.

Working Principle

  • Stock moved against rotating blade
  • Fixed Blade position – Moving Stock


  • One of the dangerous machines
  • Keep blade guard and splitter
  • Always use push sticks

Miter Saw

  • Best for Miter and Bevel cuts
  • Specialty saw for trimming

Carpentry Work

  • Precision tool for carpenters to trim crown modlingm base & cap molding. Door frames, window trim and more. Also to make mirror and photo frames.

Working Principle

  • Blade head moved towards workpiece
  • Fixed workpiece – Moving Blade


  • Always use blade guard
  • Wait the blade to stop before lifting the blade head up.

Final Verdict

In comparison to the miter saw, the table saw is more versatile. A good table saw should be the first power saw you purchase for most people. If you only need to cut wide boards on a regular basis, however, invest in a good circular saw and an edge guide to trim the stock down.

If your job entails a lot of precision miter and bevel cuts, a miter saw is the way to go.

The list of common projects below should help you decide whether to use a best table saw or a miter saw.

Table Saw

DeWalt Table Saw - Jobsite

To rip pieces of plywood
Cut a wide board to make window, wainscoting etc.
To build furniture, cabinets and deck.

Miter Saw

DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS780)

To make picture frames, door frames, window casing
For Cap molding, window trim
Cut crown molding, base molding
To build a bird feeder, small knick-knack shelf etc.

You should get both a table saw and a miter saw if possible. If you must choose, invest in a high-quality table saw.