Are you thinking of what kind of saw is the best between a circular saw and a miter saw? If that is the case, then you need to know how both of them operate. In this guide, we will explore how each saw functions. This will clear up any confusion in your mind about which saw is the one for your needs.
A circular saw, as its name suggests is a saw that has a circular blade in it. The circular blade is covered in teeth and rotates at very fast speeds. You can use it to wood straight. There is no limitation to how you can cut with a circular saw as long as you cut straight. You can even cut in a curve with the saw if the curve is very gradual. This means no sudden curves, for that you will need to use a jigsaw instead.
As long as you are experienced in using a circular saw, it can do the job of a miter saw and a table saw. You can rip wood, i.e. cut along the grain of the wood and cut across, i.e. cut against the grain of the wood with a circular saw. So your experience and skill with the saw determine what you can do with it.
A miter saw is used to cut across the grain of a piece of wood. Basically, if you have a 2×4 you cut it in half by length. Then you will be left with two 2x2s. Now, this can be done with most saws out there. Even a circular saw can cut across a piece of wood. Both use a rotating circular blade to cut wood. Just a miter saw has a lockable frame which you can use to lock its position and then move the saw down to cut wood.
This frame allows you to create fast and stable cuts. A miter saw is all about accuracy and precision. And you get this accuracy thanks to the frame in which the blade and motor are set. But that is not all, you can cut across in a lot of different ways. One of the most important jobs of a miter saw is to cut at an angle. You achieve this by turning the miter lock handle to either side.
When you turn the miter lock handle, the wood stays in place. It is the handle along with the blade that turns to either side. By using a miter scale you can measure the angle at which you are cutting the piece of wood. But that is not all. You can even tilt the blade and handle to create a bevel cut. And while you are doing all of this, you can lock the blade in that position to accurately cut at that very angle.
Circular Saw vs Miter Saw
1. Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw – Corded
The Makita 5007Mg Magnesium Circular saw is one of the lightest ones in the market. That is because the housing of the saw is made out of magnesium. Magnesium is very light compared to steel or iron. It is more durable than plastic and lighter than metal. These days magnesium is being used in the construction of laptops as well. One famous example is the Alienware series of gaming laptops by Dell.
This just proves how ingenious the Makita brand was when using such a light metal for the job. This circular saw even gives you the ability to make bevel cuts. There are stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees that provide you accurate cuts at those angles.
A Powerful 15.0AMP motor rotates the blade at 5800 RPM that can cut the toughest wood with ease. You can count on the Makita 5007Mg circular saw even for the heaviest workloads at a job site.
2. DEWALT DWS779 Sliding Compound Miter Saw
The DEWALT DWS716 Miter Saw has a sliding action that allows you to cut across wider boards. It also has a double bevel function that can give you the capability to tilt the saw blade on either side. This helps you achieve the best cuts on the miter saw without having to touch the piece of wood. You can also tilt and turn the blade at an angle at the same time, providing you with a compound cut.
Basically, you can do everything on this miter saw. The blade on it 12-inches with a 15AMP motor rotating it at a high speed of 3800 RPM. There is a dust collector that collects most of the sawdust which flies when cutting wood. Not to mention there is even a 3-year warranty provided by the DEWALT brand.
Circular Saw vs Miter Saw – Cordless
1. Makita XSH03Z 18V Brushless Cordless Circular Saw
The Makita XSH03Z 18V Brushless Cordless circular saw is the battery-powered version of the corded saw reviewed earlier. It also has a magnesium body, but due to having a battery, it has slightly more weight. But compared to other saws with metal housings, it is far less heavy. It is slightly expensive due to being battery powered, but it is portable yet powerful, which makes it worth its hefty price.
There are other brands with cordless circular saws that are affordable, like Ryobi. They are great for beginners, but for real construction jobs, you need something heavy-duty like this Makita circular saw. It has a 5000 RPM speed and has a bevel capacity of 50-degrees.
2. DEWALT FLEXVOLT 120V MAX Miter Saw Kit
Talking of expensive, this DEWALT cordless miter saw costs a fortune. It has all the functionalities of the corded miter saw but can work without power. Of course, that does not make it very portable though. It is still a heavy piece of equipment. But the good part is, you can take it to a worksite and not worry about a power outlet to plug it in.
It has a max speed of 3800 RPM when no blade is installed. The blade is 12-inches and it has a sliding function for cutting across wider boards. It also has a double bevel capacity, meaning you can tilt it either way to make complex cuts.
Conclusion – Which One Is Better?
A miter saw provides you with accuracy and precision when cutting across the grain. But you can also do the same with a circular saw if you know your measurements well. Not to mention a circular saw can be moved around with ease due to having less weight. While a miter saw is pretty heavy and mostly placed on the surface of a workbench.
But a miter saw does give you the advantage of having pinpoint precision and speed. You can make cuts across wood with a miter saw fast and easy. While it might take a bit more time and force on your end when doing the same with a circular saw. Not to mention all the math you have to do for getting the measurement right.
Each of these serve a purpose, but if we are talking about the first tool you are about to choose, then a circular saw is where you start.