Miter Saw Vs Circular Saw: Which One Is Better For Woodwork Beginners?

Garage and well-equipped toolkits are something that each and every carpentry lover takes as his fundamental need. Today we are going to discuss on one of the most important tools in our toolkit that is SAW.

There are many different types of Saws available in the market for various different purposes, such as Table Saw, Oscillating Saw, Circular Saw, Coping Saw, Miter Saw and much more. As each and every different type saw has its own importance and use, we are going to deeply study today Circular and Miter Saws.

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Many of you guys may not be familiar with these, for the ease let me line wise introduce you both the tools. First one is Circular Saw, this is a handheld tool, with a circular blade diameter near to 7''-7.5''. It uses toothed blade moving in rotary motion around the arbor.

On the other hand, Miter Saws are powerful tools, also known drop saw with a circular blade diameter nearly 10'' -12'', used to make a quick and accurate crosscut in the workpiece at a specific angle.

Types of Saw

Miter Saw

Miter Saw via Homedepot

Circular Saws

  • Sawmill Blades
  • Cordwood saws
  • Handheld circular saws for wood
  • Cold saw
  • Abrasive Saw

Miter Saws

  • Standard miter saws
  • Compound miter saw
  • Sliding compound miter saw
  • Dual compound miter saw

Things to Know to Get a Perfect Cut From a Circular Saw?

Before starting work with your circular saw, some point to keep in mind is as follows, to make your work smooth and safe.

Circular saw

  • Inspect the Saw: One should carefully check the saw for any broken or chipped teeth, and if found should immediately replace it. If you have a wired saw, check cords for cracks and if you have a cordless one, make sure the battery is fully charged.
  • Check blades lineaments: One should never use dropped, rusted or damaged blade for cutting as the quality of cut depends on the condition of saw blade he is using.
  • Adjust Saw to Suitable position: One should try to adjust the blade of the saw with its motor facing towards the larger section of the workpiece that is not falling away when it's cut. This leads the workpiece with full support throughout the operation.
  • Avoid Binding: It is important to provide proper support to the workpiece while cutting so as to eliminate dangerous kickbacks, which can occur if the blade gets pinched.
  • Make Accurate Crosscuts: For making accurate cuts hold the saw in such a way that its blade is lying on the cut line. Now slide the framing square against the saw's base plate then press it tightly on the edge of the workpiece.
  • Make Precise Rips: A rip cut runs parallel to the texture of the wood. One should pay high attention to make exact cuts in the workpiece.
  • Avoid Wood Shattering: When a cut is made starting from bottom to top, it splinters the surface where it ends, making the finishing poor. Though it doesn’t affect much when the work is on wall framings or floor joists but can cause much damage when it comes on expensive hardwood-veneer plywoods. It is recommended to put the top surface facing downwards when working on such expensive workpieces.
  • Gang Cutting: If you are willing to cut more than one workplace of same dimensions at the same time, you can try this method by clamping all the workpieces together by their edges perfectly aligned and adjusting the saw depth according to theirs.
  • Work along Gravity: While cutting straight vertically on a wall, one can use saw along to with gravity, that is from top to bottom, by simply allowing the weight of the saw advance the blades.

Things to Know to Get a Perfect Cut From a Miter Saw?

  • Upgrade your blade: To get high-quality cuts, upgrade your miter saw blade to 80 tooth blade, which initially comes with 24 to 40 tooth blade.
  • Allow you blade to stop at the end: Let your blade finish rotation before you lift it up from your workpiece, lifting it up prematurely can affect your workpiece’s finishing.
  • Make stiff cuts: Miter blades can tilt when working on hard, tough workpieces. To avoid such flex, one should divide the cut into two halves, to have a precise product.
  • Throat Plate: Some throat plate is set slightly below the table, whereas they should be on the same level as that of the table to minimize the tear-out and prevent a thin piece of the workpiece from bending as it cuts.
  • Be patient: Beginners with a miter saw often experiences jerks with the blade while reaching to its desired speed, in such cases, one should wait and listen to the blade as it reaches to its desired speed before lowering it down to the workpiece. Use slow and steady motion.
Miter saw : Cutting disk on black background.

Miter saw : Cutting disk on black background.

Above prescriptions are the one who needs precise cuts with circular and miter saw, a beginner can use these tools effectively to accomplish any of his projects, such as making polymeric boxes, fireplace inserts, wooden spoon, storage boxes and much more.

The question that would now be arising for beginners woodwork project is which saw would be helpful.

For this, I have put forth some of the features of both the saws for the comparison and help you with this question, as by comparing their features and your needs, you can easily determine the best one for your project.

Differences Between Circular Saw and Miter Saw?

Precise And Accuracy

The circular saw can be used to cut any material in any shape, but when it come to accuracy, a miter saw is far better, as it allows you to cut the workpiece at various different angles and it can also be used for crosscuts which are not possible with a circular Saw.

Skills

One would not need any particular skill to operate a circular saw, but to work with Miter saw you need to be experienced and your measurements should be accurate. That’s why people often tend to buy a circular saw, with one other reason being its cheaper price, as a circular saw is much cheaper than Miter one.

DeWalt miter saw

Versatile

The circular saw is far more versatile than a miter saw, as it can be used over any material and can do many things that one can’t do with a miter saw. The only thing that they are not made for are accurate and cross cuts.

Popularity

Being easy to operate and cheaper in rates, the circular saw is more popular than a miter saw, as an even nonskilled person can use it, and it can be used for any material for any cut.

Woodwork Beginners with a Circular Saw

Here is an overview and rough description on how to use a circular saw:

Circular saw

Circular saw

  • Measure and mark your workpiece to have precise cuts.
  • Keep the workpiece on the saw table and check for any obstacle in its path, that the saw can encounter with while cutting.
  • Adjust the depth of the saw in accordance with the depth of the workpiece.
  • Line up the blade with the measured marks on the cut line.
  • Line up the suitable guide notch to the pencil mark also. Right-hand notch is used when the blade is set to normal position while the left one is for 45-degree cuttings.
  • Watch out the whole process attentively for any mistakes, slowly push the saw into the workplace as putting it hard and fast can decrease the speed of the blade and deteriorate the workpiece.

Woodwork Beginners with a Miter Saw

Makita LS1040 10-Inch Compound Miter saw via Amazon

Now an overview and rough description on how to use a Miter saw:

  • Align the blade with the cutting marks and be sure to cut a little more than the actual mark for later adjustments whenever necessary.
  • Take necessary safety measures such as safety glasses, gloves, ear buds etc.
  • Never come in contact with the blade while it is spinning, as it can harm you drastically.
  • Work slowly and with ease, hold the saw in the carriage downwards while cutting and after releasing the trigger, allow the blade to completely get stopped before raising it up from the piece.
  • Special techniques and skills are required while working with a miter saw, one should get the full experience before working for accurately measured workpieces.
  • Always maintain a firm grip and good distance of approx 6-inches from the blade until it stops spinning completely.

Bottom Line

Circular saws are best for you if you just have started woodworks, as it can be used for cutting all materials and in any shape. It is cheaper and more popular.

But if you are an experienced person in this field, for accurate and precise cuts in workplaces and their smooth finishing, you should definitely go with Miter saw.

Closeup side view of a mid 30's man doing some carpentry work at a workshop.

Though Miter saws cannot do everything a Circular saw chain if you want to master techniques and accuracy with the workpieces, go with a Miter Saw.

Kevin Smith
 

Hi, i'm a coffee addicted guy and i love my home so that i create this website to discuss about luxury home stuff and how to improve our lifestyle with stuffs.

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