Table Saw vs. Miter Saw: Which Do You Use for Which Task?

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

Last year I bought myself a heavy-duty cabinet table saw. It served me well, up until the point when it stopped working after one year. I thought, “aren’t table saws supposed to last longer”?

They should, but apparently, I purchased the wrong product because I didn’t do my homework. Maybe I should have bought a miter saw instead.

The problem was that I didn’t know the difference between a table saw vs. a miter saw and thus couldn’t pick the right product.

Long story short, I did the research and compared the products. In this article, I will explain everything you need to know regarding miter saws vs. table saws.

To help all those looking for the perfect table or miter saw, I’ve compared and found the best products that hopefully will meet your needs and ensure you do your best work.

I prefer the Bosch 4100-09 best among the table saws I’ve reviewed, because I find its features to be more advanced than the others.

Our Top Table Saw Picks Are:

ProductDetails
1. Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Portable Table Saw

  • Provides superior control over the material
  • Designed for maximum trueness and consistent cutting performance
  • On-tool storage for all tools and attachments
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2. SawStop 3HP Professional Cabinet Saw

  • Unmatched design with keen attention to detail
  • Implemented SawStop Safety System
  • 52” T-Glide Fence System for smooth operation
  • Magnetic contactor motor control
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3. SKIL 3410-02 Table Saw with Folding Stand

  • Heavy-duty steel stand for quick set-up
  • Self-aligning rip fence for accurate measurements and cuts
  • EZ view measurement system for accurate settings
  • Bevel angle range 0° to 47°
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1. Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Portable Table Saw

This award-winning table saw model was designed with high cutting precision in mind. It comes with advanced features that differentiate it from the rest. Bosch 4100-09 allows you to adjust the height to meet your specific needs while the pneumatic wheels provide mobility between workspaces.

Specs

  • Provides superior control over the material
  • Designed for maximum trueness and consistent cutting performance
  • On-tool storage for all tools and attachments

What I like about this product

This heavy-duty construction can handle the toughest tasks. It has a built-in sub-base that maximizes tool life while protecting the table’s base.

What I don’t like about this product

There is no filter covering the cooling fan that goes to the motor. If not cleaned properly, it can easily get clogged.

Pros

  • Portable, innovative, and collapsible
  • Highly efficient (features SquareLock Rip Fence to increase cutting trueness)
  • Provides high precision cutting
  • Features larger cutting table surface area
  • Designed for longevity and durability

Cons

  • Too rough for fine work

Conclusion

If you are looking for a powerful table saw for outstanding productivity, this 15 amp saw is a great option for you.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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2. SawStop 3HP Professional Cabinet Saw

SawStop is a great tool, suitable for professionals and amateurs alike. Its performance and competitive price make it my top cabinet saw choice. The impressive 3HP tool delivers plenty of power, allowing for precise and smooth cutting.

Specs

  • Unmatched design with keen attention to detail
  • Implemented SawStop Safety System
  • 52” T-Glide Fence System for smooth operation
  • Magnetic contactor motor control

What I like about this product

What amazes about this tool is its 52-inch T-Glide Fence System and other features that provide vertical elevation.

What I don’t like about this product

The motor cover is made out of cheap plastic. The saw works perfectly. However, it lacks the feeling of solid stability.

Pros

  • Provides smooth operation
  • Provides expansive work surface and precision measurement
  • Durable and open-gearing for minimal dust compaction
  • True vertical trunnion travel
  • Quiet, with minimal vibration

Cons

  • The motor housing door is made out of plastic

Conclusion

With an impressive 3HP, 10-inch blade, and effective dust management, this well-designed tool brings real value for the money.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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3. SKIL 3410-02 Table Saw with Folding Stand

This table saw with a folding stand by SKIL has proven its use for all kinds of tasks. It is designed for DIY hobbyists looking to work on bigger projects around the house.

Specs

  • Heavy-duty steel stand for quick set-up
  • Self-aligning rip fence for accurate measurements and cuts
  • EZ view measurement system for accurate settings
  • Bevel angle range 0° to 47°

What I like about this product

This powerful table saw features a 3 ½ inch cut height capacity that can slice through 4 times the material of other saws. It also includes a durable steel folding stand that makes set-up quick and easy.

What I don’t like about this product

When turning the saw, it makes a loud noise. Also, you have to alter the blade height from time to time. Therefore, it’s not great for repetitive cuts.

Pros

  • 15 amp motor, perfect for ripping through all wood varieties
  • Durable steel folding stand
  • Suitable for carpentry and woodworking projects
  • Accurate settings and measurements

Cons

  • Loud noise
  • Miter slots are too small to fit a standard miter gauge
  • The gauge is lightweight and a bit flimsy

Conclusion

While it is not built for utmost performance, the SKIL can cut all varieties of wood. Overall, this tool is a solid choice if you are looking to get all the basic features of a table saw at an affordable price.

Overall Rating: 4.0 out of 5

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Among the miter saws, I found the DEWALT DWS780 to be the most durable and most powerful of the lot, and that’s why it’s my top pick.

Our Top Miter Saw Picks Are:

ProductDetails
1. DEWALT DWS780 Sliding Compound Miter Saw

  • Built-in XPS cross-cut positioning system
  • Powerful 15 amp motor
  • Exclusive Back Fence design
  • A super-efficient dust collection system
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2. Makita LS1018 Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw

  • Powerful 13 amp motor
  • Linear ball bearing system for precise cuts
  • Includes blade, vise, triangular rule
  • Comes with a dust bag
  • Comes with extension wings
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1. DEWALT DWS780 Sliding Compound Miter Saw

DEWALT is a well-known brand that both hobbyists and professional contractors trust. This sliding compound miter saw allows you to make precise cuts for any project you tackle, from simple to complex.

Specs

  • Built-in XPS cross-cut positioning system
  • Powerful 15 amp motor
  • Exclusive Back Fence design
  • A super-efficient dust collection system

What I like about this product

As someone with a lot of experience with miter saws, I know that durability and power are some of their most important features. This tool is exactly that — a powerful and durable tool that can withstand any rigors that come with woodworking.

What I don’t like about this product

The auxiliary fences are out of square, and it is a bit difficult to adjust them. Everything else is adjusted perfectly.

Pros

  • Innovative design that increases vertical cutting capacity
  • Extended power and durability
  • Ensures accuracy
  • Improves productivity
  • Captures over 75% of the dust generated

Cons

  • It doesn’t feature adjustable bearings

Conclusion

The DEWALT DW780 provides one of the highest capacities for material cutting. This saw is hands-down, one of the best sliding compound miter saws on the market.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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2. Makita LS1018 Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw

While the Makita has a smaller blade (compared to the DEWALT), it has a lot of great features that make it an excellent miter saw. Thanks to its compact design, it’s the lightest saw on the market.

Specs

  • Powerful 13 amp motor
  • Linear ball bearing system for precise cuts
  • Includes blade, vise, triangular rule
  • Comes with a dust bag
  • Comes with extension wings

What I like about this product

One of my favorite features on this miter saw is the ball bearing system that allows you to make accurate cuts every time.

What I don’t like about this product

Sometimes, the angle maker is not exact and can break easily.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Requires less maintenance
  • Rear handle bevel lock is easily accessible

Cons

  • Complicated to use
  • Fences often bend

Conclusion

Overall, this is a great saw, but it can’t match the power of the DEWALT. It is more suitable for occasional workers and hobbyists.

Overall Rating: 4.0 out of 5

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A Brief Description of The Best Miter vs Table Saw Models

Every contractor or woodworker would agree that a table or miter saw is an essential tool in a workshop. For me, finding the best tool to match the tasks and budget was a bit of a problem, so I decided to make things easier for you.

I’ve researched and found these five great table and miter saws for high-performance cutting.

Bosch 4100-09 is built for the utmost performance. If you’re looking for a tool that incorporates advanced technologies, powered by a forceful motor, this is it. Equipped with a Smart Guard System, the machine allows quick cuts and superior control.

Another great product is the SawStop 3-HP cabinet table saw. Suitable for both professionals and hobbyists, this tool is also perfect for any industrial use. I was pretty impressed by its performance and versatile features.

Next is SKIL 3410-02. It’s a super powerful tool, designed to withstand even the most demanding tasks. Thanks to its 15 amp motor, SKIL is perfect for cutting through all varieties of wood.

For those who are more into miter saws, I highly recommend DEWALT DWS70 and Makita LS1016. The DEWALT is the best sliding saw on the market and allows you to make precision cuts. It comes with a precise miter system and a handle for easy portability.

Similar to the DEWALT, the Makita has a compact design, is lightweight, and comes with a direct drive motor, capable of pushing over 3200 rpm.

Table Saw vs. Miter Saw: The Differences Explained

Knowing more about table saws vs. miter saws will help you decide which tool is best for you and your projects. People who plan on performing casual tasks at home may not want to buy every type of saw. However, we all want to know which one will give us the most bang for our buck.

Also, different projects may require either a table saw or a miter saw, and the one you choose can make a difference in how detailed and professional your project turns out.

What is a Table Saw?

Many casual DIYers and professional contractors own a table saw. This extremely versatile tool comes in different designs. It is an essential part of every woodworking shop, and you can use it for an unlimited number of tasks.

For those who are not familiar with a table saw, it’s a flat table with an in-built blade, which allows you to make precise cuts. The table lends support to large pieces and stabilizes your cuts.

What is a Miter Saw?

A miter saw is a machine with a circular, transportable blade that can be brought down on the wood piece to make precise cuts. The difference between a miter vs. a table saw is that a miter is designed for a specific purpose, whereas a table saw’s purpose is to cut wood.

All miter saws (at least the ones I reviewed) are designed to make angular cuts and precise cross-cuts. These tools have a swing blade that can be set to various angles. The swing blade helps the miter saw make far more accurate cuts. It also gives you more control over the object you cut.

When it comes to a miter saw vs. a table saw, the main differences lie in accuracy, function, and portability.

Table saws are general cutting tools. Although they do a variety of cuts, they aren’t 100% precise. Where table saws truly dominate is in their ability to make cross-cuts and long rip-cuts.

A miter saw, on the other hand, is suitable for smaller cuts (smaller than a table saw). But, what the miter saw lacks in variety, it certainly makes up for in excellent execution.

DEWALT, BOSCH or SAWSTOP – Detailed Brand Comparison

Whether you are a DIYer or an enthusiastic rookie like me who wants to improve their workshop, both a table and miter saw will make fast work of any task. Although primarily used in industrial settings, both of these tools afford many benefits to hobbyists and passionate users.

Now that you know the salient differences between a miter saw and a table saw, it’s time to talk about brands. Which brands offer the most quality products? Which brands sell the best table/miter saws for the money? Let me share some information with you that will help answer those questions.

Some of my favorite brands for table saws are Bosh and SawStop. I mentioned some of these two brands in my summary, and I’ll mention them again when describing the products.

Bosh and SawStop are undoubtedly the best brands for high-performance tools. Almost all of their products are suitable for professionals and amateurs alike. Whether you need a table saw for DIY projects or serious tasks, you can’t go wrong with choosing either of these two brands.

Personally, what I like about the SawStop brand is how much they care for the safety of their users. Their latest products come with an innovative blade that automatically detects skin contact and activates the specially designed safety system to avoid any injuries.

Bosh, on the other hand, is a reputable brand that has “Square Lock” Rip Fence glides that can handle the toughest materials. If you are a professional worker, you certainly are going to appreciate this feature.

For miter saws, I recommend DEWALT and Makita. Hitachi is also a great option. DEWALT is one of those reputed brands that both handymen and contractors trust. I must say, I trust this brand as well, and for a good reason. DEWALT designs miter saws that not only allow you to make precision cuts but also come equipped with features that speed up the cutting process.

I like Makita because they always produce the most lightweight and easy-to-use miter saws. Their products are smaller than DEWALT and Hitachi, but that doesn’t mean they are less powerful. Almost all of their latest offerings come with 15 amp direct-drive motors, rail sliding systems, and linear ball bearings.

When combined, these features create a small but powerful machine, suitable for different tasks and cuts.

The Types of Table Saws

Not everyone needs to have the highest quality tools. For some people, it’s best to be powerful and economical. I try to pick my models based on my needs. I need a tool that can make precision cuts, and I can transport easily from one workplace to another.

When it comes to table saw variants, there are two general types you might consider buying: portable and stationary table saws.

Portable Table Saws

  • The benchtop table saw is small and light enough to carry everywhere. The one downside is that benchtop table saws don’t have the ripping capacity. If you are working with smaller pieces, this won’t be a problem. However, if you are looking for a tool to cut large pieces of wood, you are going to need to look for something else.
  • The jobsite model comes with a table saw mounted on a metal stand and is much heavier than the rest. As the name suggests, they are more suitable for professionals or contractors. They have larger rip capacities, and the machine tends to be more stable and durable.
  • The compact table saw generally falls somewhere in between the first two. It’s at a higher level than a benchtop but has less power than a jobsite type.

Stationary Table Saws

As the name suggests, these types of table saws don’t really get moved around, because they’re really bulky and very heavy due to the size of their work surfaces and the sheer power and capacity of their motors. They can be further classified as contractor, hybrid, and cabinet types.

But those who do get stationary table saws generally just go for the cabinet type, as they have the most power and built to last for ages. All cabinet table saw models have more steel and iron components to increase durability and stability.

Types of Miter Saws

Like table saws, miter saws come in different variants. There are sliding miter saws, compound miter saws, and dual-compound sliding miter saws.

  • Sliding miter saws are the most basic ones. Equipped with rails, these models give a greater depth of cut.
  • Compound miter saws consist of two parts, a miter and a bevel. These models can make precise bevel cuts. If you work with crown molding, you’ll want to have this tool in your workshop.
    And last but not least…
  • Dual-compound sliding miter saws come with a table, sliding rails, and beveling that moves right and left. The bevel makes things simpler. You won’t have to flip the object to make the opposite cut.

Final Thoughts

From my experience, when deciding between a table vs. a miter saw, ideal features should be taken into consideration.

To recap the saws, the Bosch 4100-09 is our top table saw tool, bringing together safety and power in one high-quality package. SawStop is the best table saw for the money, and SKIL, although running loudly, has the excellent precision you need in a saw.

As our first best pick for miter saws, the DEWALT DWS780 has excellent power and portability.

I like the quality of my work to meet the highest standards, so I look to get the top of the line tools. But, this isn’t, and doesn’t have to be, the case with everyone.

The most important thing when shopping for tools is what kinds of projects you plan to do. Use that — and the information here — to help guide your choice.

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