Comparison Review: Circular Saw vs Table Saw vs Miter Saw

Introduction

Woodworking power tools are a staple in most woodworking stations. If you are just starting out as a woodworker or hobbyist then you must invest in good power tools to be able to make great projects. Three of the most basic tools in a woodworker’s working area are a circular saw, table saw and miter saw.

A circular saw is a kind of saw with a rotating circular disc. This is used to cut a variety of materials including wood, metal, acrylic and even masonry.

Circular saws can be portable meaning it can be held by the hand and taken anywhere. Special blades and attachments may be attached to a circular saw to be able to work on different materials and projects. 

Table saws are also circular saws but are basically attached to a working table. The saw has a circular blade and varies in size depending on the preference of the user. Table saws are stable and non-movable while the blades may be removed to be replaced or sharpened.

A miter saw is also called chop saw since this is used to make a quick and accurate crosscut on a workpiece given a selected angle. Miter saws are great for cutting perfect wooden molding and trims.  

Circular Saw vs Table Saw vs Miter Saw

Product Details

Circular Saw

Table Saw

Miter Saw

Weight

7 or more pounds

10 or more pounds

7 or more pounds

Motor Power

Depending on the model

Depending on the model

Depending on the model

Accessories

Wrenches, blades, and cover

Wrenches, blades, and cover

Wrenches, blades, and covers

Price

Buyer's Guide

How to pick the right product

Purchasing a power saw is always an investment. A power saw will help you make different projects in a more efficient manner plus you won’t have to manually cut materials using basic tools. Keep in mind the following key features when buying a power saw.

  • Your tool’s no load speed

This is the amount of time the blade travels up then down or the number of complete revolutions as with a circular saw, miter saw or table saw each minute. No load refers to the speed of the blades when the saw is not cutting anything. This value determines the capacity of the saw to cut varying materials.

  • Power input

This is the amount of watts the motor draws or needs to run. Most of the time, the greater the watts the more powerful the motor is. And the more powerful a motor is, the more it is able to cut different materials with varying thicknesses.

  • Maximum cutting capabilities

This is the thickest material that the saw can cut. This is a recommended value by the manufacturer. This value will gauge if the saw can take the type of material that you wish to cut.

  • Keyless blade changes

This is a special feature found in updated models. A keyless blade change means you don’t need a tool or a special wrench to change the blade. This feature lets you safely and efficiently change blades without much disruption in your workflow.

  • Blade bore diameter

This is a value found in circular saws and it is the diameter of the hole in the middle of the blade. The hole is called the blade bore and it varies from one type of saw to another. This is why you must use complementing blades for your type of saw.

  • Variable speed motor

A power saw with a variable speed motor lets you modulate the speed of the blade according to the material you wish to cut. This makes the tool more versatile and can work with a variety of materials as well.

  • Dust extraction

Another updated feature which may either connect to a vacuum port or to a small bag where the dust is collected. This feature makes your workspace cleaner and safer to work in.

  • Bevelling shoe

If you want to cut in angles then your tool should have a beveling shoe. You can find this in miter saws, plunge saws, and track saws.

Product Comparison Parameters

How do we compare the 3 tools?

  • Quality

Quality depends on the model of circular saw, table saw or miter saw. Quality is measured depending on the make of the tool, the material it is made from, available accessories, updated features and ergonomic designs.

Comparing the quality of a circular saw, table saw and miter saw may be difficult considering that these are three totally different power cutting tools.

Quality can also be synonymous with durability which means the cutting tool should work for many years and for many projects to come.

  • Price

The prices of circular saws range from as affordable as $40 to as expensive as $200 or even more. Same goes for the price of miter saws and table saws. Take note too that updated and upgraded circular, table or miter saws cost more, even a small fortune.

  • Weight

Table saws are heavier than other saws and power saws because this needs to be stable and precise. Mitre saws are as heavy as table saws because these need to be stable as well. The lightest, but still heavy nonetheless, is a circular saw which can weigh from 10 pounds to as heavy 15 pounds.

  • Motor Power

The motor power of a circular, table or miter saw depends on the model of the power tool, the capacity, and features. Motor power gives you a sign as to how powerful the tool is so the most powerful the better when it comes to cutting tools.

1) Circular Saw

Why Use the Circular Saw and Who’s it For

A circular saw is used for cutting a variety of materials like wood, metal, aluminum, acrylic and masonry materials. Circular saws may be manually held or may be mounted on a table or working surface. However, most users prefer to take circular saws to the job site and not as a stationary tool in a workshop.

Review

A circular saw refers to any kind of power saw that has a fixed circular rotating blade. A circular saw may be handheld or could be fixed on a workstation. It can cut through different materials as the blade rotates around an arbor.

You don’t need to use a handsaw anymore when you have a circular saw because it can cut through almost any kind of material without any pain or strain on your arms or elbow. There are a number of circular saws to choose from each with different features and benefits.

One of the most popular is the DeWalt circular saw at a hefty 10.4 pounds. 

This is a professional-grade circular saw that is powered by a heavy-duty motor with a strong rubber cord to prevent snags and loose connections. This has an ergonomic handle so you can grip it tightly and a stable, strong body so it can eat away through any kind of material.

Main Features

  • Handheld or stationary
  • Can cut wood, metal, acrylic and more
  • Comes in a variety of blades
  • Can be used on the right or left hand depending on where the motor is located
  • Comes in a variety of motor power
  • Electric powered
  • With ergonomic handles and designs

Q&As

Can a circular saw cut any kind of material?

A circular saw is one of the most versatile saws and will be able to work with a variety of materials like wood, tile, masonry, metal, aluminum, and acrylic. There are special blades to work with each type of material.

How do you care for a circular saw?

After every use, you must remove dust, dirt, and grime that accumulate on the saw blades. Use a clean, dry and soft cloth to do this or a soft brush. Make sure that your saw is clean and well-maintained. Some circular saw models need to be oiled while some need their belts changed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure your saw’s good shape the time you need to use it.

Where can you purchase accessories for a circular saw?

You can buy accessories for a circular saw online or from local hardware stores and shops. Make sure you are buying only genuine accessories and parts for your circular saw because generic parts can only affect the way your saw works.

Pros

  • Are more stable compared to power cutting tools
  • Are electric powered so there are limitations to your use
  • Can cut through almost all kinds of materials
  • Blades may be changed anytime

Cons

  • Are very heavy and could be hard to use for novice users.
  • Are more expensive than handheld power saws.

2) Table Saw

Why Use a Table Saw and Who Is It For?

A table saw is for people who want to cut different materials quickly and effectively. It is for woodworkers who want a sharp, easy and stable power saw.

Review

A table saw is a power saw that is mounted on a working table. The saw is circular and rotates using a motor and these cuts through a variety of materials. A table saw can be used to cut through different thicknesses of material as well. You hold the material and push it through the table saw to cut it or shape it. Modern table saws come with safety switches, safety covers, and adjustable speeds so you can use this safely and effectively.

Main Features

  • Available in a variety of blade sizes
  • Powerful motor
  • Fast and easy cuts
  • Blades may be changed or replaced once these are worn out
  • Can be placed on any kind of working table
  • Can cut through a variety of materials like wood, metal, acrylic, tile and more
  • Updated models have safety switches and ergonomic designs
  • Some models circular blades that need to be sharpened

Q&As

Where do you purchase a table saw?

You can purchase a good model table saw from local retailers or online shops. You must weigh down your options and shop smart for the best table saw model.

Can you convert an old table into a table saw?

You can most certainly use an old working table as the platform for a table saw. A carpenter or an expert to help you with this project.

How do you care for a table saw?

Make sure that the blades are sharp and clean every time you a table saw. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to maintain or clean your table saw.

Pros

  • Are very heavy but stable.
  • Have easy controls.

Cons

  • Are heavy and cannot be transported.
  • Needs a table or stable surface to mount on.

3) Miter Saw

Why Use a Miter Saw and Who Is It For?

A miter saw or a chop saw is for people who want to use a stable and reliable cutting power tool to cut molds and trims. This is a very important cutting tool for intricate wooden projects, therefore, it’s for people who want perfection and precision with every cut.

Review

A miter saw is a special kind of power saw that cuts in a chopping motion. It is usually mounted on a stable surface like a working table and then operated by lowering the moving blade to the workpiece. The cut is fast, precise and perfect. A miter saw comes with a variety of blades and accessories as well as safety and ergonomic features. You can take a miter saw anymore and place it on any stable surface so you can cut materials even in the field.

Main Features

  • Powerful motor
  • Removable, replaceable blades and attachments
  • Newer models have ergonomic designs and safety features
  • Can be mounted on a working table
  • May be taken anywhere especially with lightweight models
  • Usually corded

Q&As

Where can you purchase accessories for a miter saw?

You can purchase accessories and blades for your miter saw in a local hardware store or from an online shopping site. Make sure you purchase only genuine parts and accessories.

Can you cut any other type of material other than wood?

A miter saw can cut through metal, acrylic, tile, and aluminum but make sure that you are using the right type of blade for the job.

How do you take care of a miter saw?

Aside from keeping the blades sharp, there are more instructions on how to maintain a miter saw from the manufacturer.

Pros

  • Can make excellent and precise cuts to make molds and trims.
  • Has replaceable blade and parts.
  • Can be mounted or taken to the worksite.

Cons

  • Are heavier than other power saws
  • Only updated miter saws have safety and ergonomic features.

The Final Cut

If you need a stable cutting power tool then a table saw is the best type of saw for your needs. If you need to cut through the wood to make trims and molds, a miter saw is best. If you want a handy saw with the power and features of a table saw but the versatility of a portable saw then a circular saw is your power cutting tool.

Get your money’s worth when buying power cutting tools and shop smart. Remember that these tools are an investment and you must practice smart shopping tips to find the best type of power saw for your needs.

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