Close this search box.


Miter Saw Vs Circular Saw – Find the Difference?

Deciding between a miter saw and a circular saw depends largely on the specific demands of your projects. A miter saw excels in making precise, angled cuts ideal for detailed work like trim or molding, while a circular saw offers great versatility and portability, perfect for quick, straight cuts through larger materials such as plywood. Understanding whether your tasks require the detailed accuracy of a miter saw or the adaptability and speed of a circular saw will guide you in choosing the right tool for your woodworking or construction needs.

What is a Miter Saw? 

miter saw

Also called a chop saw, a miter saw can be perfect for making cross-grain cuts. This type of saw can be ideal for miter cuts or angled cuts. You can even use a miter saw for making bevel cuts. In a way, we can say that a miter saw is used for chopping wood at different angles.

It features a circular blade that helps to make precise and quick cuts. It is accompanied by a small fence and a workstation. You can find miter blades of different sizes and is mounted on the arm for making angles. Here are the features of a miter saw.

Easy to Use: They are more precise enabling you to have a hassle-free operation. With it, there will be a reduced risk of injury even when you get into precise edges.

Precision Cuts: You can use a miter saw for making miters, crosscuts, bevels, and compound cuts. Miter cuts can range from 0 to 90 degrees to the grain. Crosscuts are perpendicular to the wood grain. Bevel cuts on the other hand are on the angle of the wood height. A compound cut is a combination of a bevel and a miter cut.

Also Check: Best Radial Arm Saw

When Should You Use a Miter Saw? 

You can use a miter saw for different purposes including cutting dowels, trim, or deck planks. It can be perfect for cutting any thin and long wood. It will also work great while making multiple cuts on standard lumber. Utilizing a miter saw lets you cut dozens of identical pieces without needing to measure each one. As stated, a miter saw lets you make four different types of cuts. You can easily use it for miter cuts, cross cuts, bevel cuts, and compound cuts.

What Are The Types of Miter Saws?

  • Single bevel:As the name implies, a single bevel miter saw lets you make my miter cuts or bevel cuts in one direction.
  • Double bevel miter saw:contrary to the single bevel, a double bevel miter saw can make bevel cuts in two different directions. It can be perfect for increasing the speed while making angled cuts.
  • Compound miter saw:If you are looking to make compound cuts, a compound miter saw serves the purpose. It lets you make both bevel and miter cuts simultaneously.
  • Sliding miter saw:A sliding miter saw slides on a bar that makes the blade move forward. You can use this type of saw for cutting wider boards.

Miter Saw Blade Size

While cutting the appropriate size of the board, you will have to look for the right size blade. Do note that a small miter saw lets you have easy portability and storage.

A small miter saw of 7.25-inch can be an ideal choice for a DIYer. The types of blades have limited cutting capacity.

The most common miter saw blade size is 10-inch. It lets you use it for a variety of purposes.

If you are looking to have increased cutting capacity, you can look for a 12-inch blade. However, these types of blades are expensive.

What is a Circular Saw? 

circular saw

A circular saw comes in a handheld design and is usually powered with electricity or batteries. You can use it for making bevel cuts, rip cuts, and crosscuts. Many consider it to be a table saw. In a table saw, you don’t push the saw but the material. However, in a circular saw, the push is on the saw.

A circular saw comes in a versatile design making it ideal for different professionals. There are models that can accommodate other blades. With the motorized blade, it can make long straight cuts. The blade size of a circular saw ranges from 3.025 to 16 inches. These are some of the features of a circular saw.

Versatility: A circular saw can handle different types of cuts. You will be able to make crosscuts, rip cuts, bevel, miter, and compound cuts. These types of saws are also suitable for making plunge cuts and dado & rabbet.

Portability: The lightweight design of a circular saw makes it very portable. You can easily take it to your job site.

Affordability: A circular saw comes at a low price. They are much lower in price than a miter saw.

When Should You Use a Circular Saw? 

The versatile design of a circular saw makes it ideal for professionals and DIYers. It can make a wide range of cuts making it a perfect choice for woodworkers. Another advantage of using a circular saw is that it is very portable. Some even use it for cutting large boards.

What Are The Types of Circular Saws?

  • Miniature circular saws:In a miniature circular saw, you will find a handle that extends behind the motor. The blade size is under 5 inches in diameter which makes them offer limited cutting depth. However, it can be great for occasional DIYers as well as for home improvement.
  • Standard size circular saws:Standard size circular saws feature blades of 7.25 to 10 inches in diameter. You can easily use it for all types of cutting tasks making it a perfect choice for woodworkers.
  • Track saws:A track saw lets you run it on a dedicated track system for making accurate cuts. Even though they are able to deliver fine-quality cuts, they are more expensive.

Circular Saw Blade Size

The most commonly available circular saw blade size is 7.25 inches. However, there are blades of small size so that there will be easy handling. It is important to note that the blades are not interchangeable.

Often the blades feature high or low tooth count. For rough and fast cuts, a lower tooth count serves great. On the contrary, a higher tooth count makes sure there will be fewer splinters while working. The tooth blades can be 24, 60, and 120.

Comparison Table: Circular Saw Vs Miter Saw 

Miter Saw Circular Saw
Ease of Use Easy to Use Can take time to learn
Portability Needs a workbench or table Lightweight for easy storage and carrying
Accuracy Very high Average
Versatility Mostly for crosscuts Allows different types of cutting
Cuts Plywood No Yes
Crosscuts Yes Yes
Rip cuts No Yes
Rabbet & Dado Needs sliding miter saw Yes
Price Expensive Affordable

What Are The Differences Between Miter Saw and Circular Saw?

  • How do they work?

The mode of operation of the miter saw and a circular saw is completely different. A miter saw works by dropping the cutting blade from above the workpiece. A circular saw has a blade set against the work in a straight path. It also features a bed for holding the wood in place.

  • Types of cuts

A miter saw is a specialty tool. You will be able to make angled cuts by using a miter saw. However, a circular saw is a versatile tool and can make different types of cuts. Whether it is bevel or miter cuts, a miter saw serves the right purpose. It can make fast and accurate angled cuts. Without experience, there can be a lot of errors.

  • Storage and Portability

The compact design of a circular saw makes it easy to store. However, a miter saw is with a miter saw stand or table. Circular saws are also very lightweight for easy portability. Even though miter saws are not difficult to move, they are less mobile than circular saws.


From the above, we have known about the features of a miter saw and a circular saw. We can make it out that a miter saw is a specialty tool and a circular saw has increased versatility. It all depends upon the type of project you are handling. You can choose the right one as you know the functionality of both. For now, they both seem to be useful tools for woodworkers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *