One of the biggest misconceptions that we see when attempting to distinguish between miter saws and chop saws is that there is a clear difference between these two saws. While both saws can be used to perform crosscutting and cut turns in wood, the way that they do it differs dramatically.
Chop saws are basically just able to move up and down, which means that they can only produce wide, straight cuts into thin material. If all you want to do is make curved cuts, this probably will work well enough for you. However, if you are in need of making angled cuts or creating a certain pattern, you may find that a miter saw is better suited to your needs.
It may seem like a simple enough question to answer, but there are actually quite a few differences between how these two saws operate. When you compare chop saw or miter saw, you will see that there are many subtleties that have to be looked at.
For one thing, while both saws can perform crosscutting cuts, the way they do it differs dramatically. The major difference is that with the miter saw, you simply start the blade and turn it; you do not have to stop the blade until you reach the desired angle.
This means that you can cut any number of squares with your chop saw or miter saw without having to worry about stopping or changing the blade. With the miter saw, you have to stop the blade before you even start cutting.
Chop Saw Vs Miter Saw – What’s the Difference?
Another difference is in the amount of work that is required to complete the task. With chop saws, you generally start with just a flat surface to work against. You chop away at your material from the edges, and the saw cuts the piece of wood at the angle you dictate.
With miter saws, you start with a flat surface to work against, and you need to move the blade along the piece of material.
As you cut, you need to be sure to adjust the angle of the blade so that it is cutting at the proper angle. This difference may not immediately show up in the price, but it does add up over time.
One more difference has to do with how you store these two saws. While both saws can be folded for storage reasons, the table saw is much more durable and can take a beating more easily.
The saw is designed to handle rough uses, and the combination of sharp edges on the blades and all of the nail hole filler that is also incorporated into the saw makes it tough and long lasting.
The table saw is designed to stand up to the wear and tear of regular use. It will not get bent out of shape like the miter saw does, and it can hold up under hundreds of pounds of weight.
The Miter Saw has a few different options when it comes to crosscut styles. There are mainly two types of crosscuts, and they are referred to as long or short crosscuts.
A long crosscut occurs when you cut one piece of material at a time and then cut the opposite piece of material at the same angle. With the miter saw, you can set up long crosscut by slicing a piece of stock in half and then sawing it half way across. You can do this with both long and short crosscuts, and the saw will slice your material as if it was cut diagonally.
The reason why a chop saw is different than a circular saw is because the former cuts with a horizontal crosscutting path and the circular saw uses a vertical crosscutting path.
Circular blades do make for very quick crosscut options, but they are also much more prone to “overcut.” Over cutting is when the blade cuts too much material during a crosscut.
This results in the crosscut not being as straight and cuts the material more than it needs to. This leads to a less accurate cut and the possibility of the piece of wood slipping out of the crosscut.
While both saws make use of a straight blade, the Miter Saw makes use of an extra bevel. The bevel is a series of raised ridges on the blade edge which add depth as it cuts.
These ridges make it possible for the blade to catch more wood, resulting in steeper bevel cuts. These added bevels make the Miter Saw an easier woodworking tool to use than the circular saw. However, both saws can be difficult to sharpen and may take longer to complete a crosscut if the user does not have sharp bevels.
A final major difference between the two power saws comes in the form of their power source.
Electric wood cutting machines run off of batteries while gas powered saws need an external power source for their blades.
Batteries are generally a better option for people who will be cutting wood a lot and want precision with their cuts. However, gas powered saws can be much faster and are more convenient for cutting materials like wood that is not too large or have intricate patterns that need to be precisely cut.