Miter Saw vs. Circular Saw – Which One to Choose?

Last modified on May 18, 2022
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Mitersaws are easier to handle, while circular saws are more complicated and hazardous. They can cut boards up to 12″ wide, but are usually not sufficient for projects where you need to make cuts larger than this. However, if you need to cut large pieces, most home improvement stores will be able to do this for you, negating the need for a circular saw until you tackle your next big project. There are some situations where you’ll want to have a circular saw, so let’s take a closer look!

Circular Saw

A circular saw can be used in a lot of different ways. It’s useful for all types of cutting, and especially for cutting soft woods and other materials that are hard to cut with other tools. A circular saw can be used to replace other tools, like a handsaw.

These saws can cut wide boards and make dados, which are cuts that don’t go all the way through the board, but are difficult to use. Circular saws, as opposed to miter saws, are more suitable for novices because they can cut through larger amounts of plywood.

Circular saws are more complicated to operate than miter saws. It’s easy to get into an unsafe situation because it takes practice to cut straight. When the saw jumps back towards the operator, cutting on saw horses can pinch the blade and cause kickback. If you’re a little nervous about using power tools, they are more intimidating than a miter saw.

Miter Saw

Miter saws are also known as “chop saws,” which is an accurate description of how they operate. The blade rests on top of the piece, and you slide it down to cut through it.

Miter saws come in different sizes to fit any project. Choose the right size for the job. We suggest that you buy a sliding miter saw. This will allow you to cut a wider board and make the saw more versatile.

The cut depth on most miter saws is typically 12′′ to 14′′. This is typically good enough for most beginner woodworking projects.

Get a Miter Saw First!!

Compared to miter saws, circular saws are more versatile. A circular saw can make all of the cuts you can make with a miter saw, plus a few more.  This is the reason why some people start with a circular saw

Circular saws, on the other hand, are a pain to operate. To begin, cutting straight without a guide is difficult.

As a second point, your boards must be clamped and fastened, which adds to the setup time, while with a miter saw, you can simply hold the board to the fence while cutting.

We can make a miter saw cut in less than 30 seconds, but it takes us at least 10 minutes to set up and perform a circular saw cut.

Additionally, circular saws provide a greater risk of injury. As long as you don’t put your hand in the path of the blade, miter saws are a relatively safe tool.

Circular saw backlash can be hazardous if the wood is not clamped and arranged properly. Additionally, a blade is moving beneath the wood while you cut, and because you cannot see it, it is simple to put your hand, leg, or other body part in its path.

If you’re still concerned about the lack of adaptability, let us delve a little deeper.

When Should You Use the Circular Saw?

A circular saw can be a better choice in some situations. To begin, a circular saw would be a better choice if you’re looking to buy a saw for basic home repair jobs rather than minor wood projects.

Using a circular saw, for example, you can reduce the size of an overly large doors. It’s capable of removing butcherblock countertops for use in a kitchen. A miter saw can’t handle either of these items.

Or perhaps you simply lack the necessary storage space to house a miter saw. In terms of size, miter saws are very hefty and require a lot of space to be used. Having a large miter saw in a small apartment may not be practical. Using a circular saw in this situation is the best option.

Circular saws, on the other hand, are substantially less expensive than a miter saw. With circular saws, prices start around $50, miter saws at $100, and sliding saws, which are more versatile and large, at $150-200. If money is a concern, a circular saw is preferable than no saw.

Lastly, circular saws are ideal for slicing through thick plywood sheets. Circular saws are better suited for plywood-based constructions than hand saws.

As a caveat, if this is your first saw, expect a steeper learning curve.