Chop Saw Vs Miter Saw – Think First Before Taking The Decision

Which tool is right for your workshop, a chop saw or a miter saw? Well, many people mistake these tools when it comes to their appearance, application and the features among others. These two tools are almost the same. However, the difference comes in their functions.

So, which one should a woodworker go for? To help you make the right decision, we have provided you with detailed guide so you can examine the features of each to differentiate between a chop saw and a miter saw. In that case, you will know the functions of each, therefore choose the one that suits you depending on the nature of your jobs.

Chop Saw

A chop saw is a tool that is mainly used for precise straight cuts. It is a great option if you need an aggressive saw with more power, go for chop saw. The tool incorporates features that make it deal with the hardest materials you can think of.

Features of a Chop Saw

Power

As we have said, chop saws are powerful machines. A chop saw features a large motor that offers enough power for the saw to cut through hard metal and also wood. As if that is not enough it utilizes a large blade. Therefore, when the powerful motor incorporates the large blade, a chop saw can handle any material type.

Thick Materials

Get a chop saw if you intend to have powerful cuts on metal and thick wood materials. A chop saw can only cut at an angle of 90 degrees. This implies that the tool will always give your material a straight cut. It involves no other angles.

Working with Chop Saw

Working with Chop Saw, Credit - Dewalt

Blade

The chop saw’s blade is incredible. Besides being big, the blade also has other features that make it outstanding. The chop saw has a circular blade as we said in the beginning. This has no difference with that of a miter saw. Are you wondering what difference a chop saw's blade has? Well, read on to know more. There are no sharp edges nor teeth involved in a chop saw's blade. It features an abrasive disc that acts as a blade.

Motor

The chop saw’s motor provides power for the disc to spin and in return cutting off the material. A combination of the abrasive disc spinning at a higher speed and its large size enables a chop saw to cut through the hardest materials. In this case, you can cut even the toughest material effortlessly.

Disc Size

The average disc size of most chop saws is 14 inches. In that way, you can cut large sheets of metal and pieces of wood. When it comes to the type of users you can almost guess who can use a chop saw comfortably. Due to its power and aggressiveness when cutting, experts and professionals are well known to handle chop saws.

Chop saws come with footswitch and other models knee switches. This will help the user to control the saw for easy operation. You can access corded chop saws in case you need a lot of power for your projects. In case you don’t need to much power, getting a corded chop saw is not necessary. Besides, it may cost more. It’s better if you go for the one that supplies the perfect power for you.

Ease of Use

Operating a chop saw is straightforward. All you need to do is clamp the material you need to cut in the correct way and length. From there you can start the machine and you are set to start cutting. Chop saws are mainly perfect for industrial based purposes. However, you can still use them at home. In that case, you must be an expert and serious DIYer.

I mean, the only thing that might compel you to use a chop saw is when you want to cut through very hard materials. It’s best for home purposes only if you are a frequent home renovator. For thick wood and metal sheets cutting, a chop saw is quite a catch. Besides, it will also help you cut through materials in the shortest time possible.

Pros

  • A chop saw is ideal for cutting both metal and wood material.
  • It is very powerful due to its large motor.
  • This machine will help you cut the toughest material in a short time.
  • Using a chop saw is a straightforward task.
  • It is suitable for professional users.

Cons

  • It is less versatile; only provides straight cuts on materials.
  • The motor makes the chop saw’s overall size quite large.
  • It is less ideal for beginners and home users.

YouTube Video Credit Dan Rogers

Miter Saw

A miter saw is used to make miters and crosscuts and it is much smaller saw than the chop saw. In case you need a versatile saw, miter saw is quite a catch. Do you want to know what makes a miter saw versatile? Well, you are in the right place because we will explain all that to you in detail.

Features of a Miter Saw

Versatile 

The versatility of a miter saw is what makes it unique. Unlike in the chop saw, in a miter saw, you can regulate the cutting angles. Different miter saw models have different cutting angles. Some features adjustable cutting angles to ensure versatility. The default cutting angle of most miter saws is 90 degrees.

However, you can change the angles for most of them. This implies that a miter saw can make a straight cut and odd angle cuts on materials. Most miter saws offer angle adjustments from 15 degrees, 22.5 degrees, 30 degrees, 45 degrees, all the way to the default angle, 90 degrees. Now with a miter saw, you don’t have to worry if you have to cut through odd angles. A miter saw can achieve that easily.

Power

Although miter saws can cut through a different angle, they don't have too much power. Now, this is where the problem comes in. For corded miter saws, we can say they are a little powerful than the cordless models. However, no miter saw model will ever surpass the power of a chop saw. In case you are a professional user, it’s better if you don’t get a miter saw.

Working with Miter Saw

Working with Miter Saw, Credit - Delta Power 

This is because it will not provide you with the power you need to cut through powerful materials. For small workshop users like carpenters and home DIYer, getting a miter saw can be a great choice. The miter saw is ideal for cutting through wood. Its power is not enough to make the blade cut through tough metal sheets. For smooth operations, you can always choose a miter saw.

Blade

Miter saws utilize a blade with teeth to do the cutting operation. Different from how a chop saw uses abrasive discs. The blades used in miter saws are smaller. They are circular made from steel material. If you get a mite saw's blade made of high-quality steel, it is likely to last for a longer time. A miter saw utilizes a laser guide to show cutting angle.

The laser guide which can be a red line, allows the user to make more accurate and precise cuts. It doesn't matter which angle you are utilizing unless the worktable moves, your operation will always be accurate. Most mite saws come with a blade guard. Its main use is to cover the teeth for safety purposes and also to safeguard the blade's teeth themselves.

Dust Bags

Cutting wood leads to the production of a lot of dust and wood wastes. To ensure that your material is clean, most miter saws come with dust bags. They also include clamps that hold your workpiece during the cutting operation. Just as its name indicates, a miter saw features a miter index. At the miter index, this is where the adjustment of the cutting angles happens. The diameter size of the miter index is 24 inches. Now you know why this saw is known as the miter saw. Most miter saw sizes accessible in the market are 10 inches and 12 inches.

In the case of removing the blades, some miter saws offer sliding blade removal technique while others are non-sliding. Due to the odd angle cutting characteristic, using a miter saw can be a bit complex. However, after mastering the technique, you will get used to it. Having a versatile saw is worthwhile even if it will take you some time for you to learn how to use it. Home users and small workshop owners, a miter saw is your best choice.

Pros

  • You can make straight and odd angle cuts with a miter saw.
  • It allows accurateness and preciseness during the cutting operation.
  • They have dust bags to make sure the workpiece is always clear.
  • A miter saw is a great choice for home DIY users.

Cons

  • A miter saw is not powerful enough.
  • Using a miter saw is complex.

Which one is better?

The main differences between a chop saw and a miter saw comes through the power, cutting angle, and blade features. Each saw is a great choice depending on the purpose. In case you want to cut through hard materials like metal sheets, a chop saw is a great deal. It has enough power to handle the toughest materials.

For smooth cutting like wood, you can choose a miter saw. After all, you don't need too much power to cut through wood. Whatever you choose, believe that it is the best for the task. Now you will never confuse between a miter saw and a chop saw. We hope the information was helpful.

Relevant Resources

Last update on 2020-06-05 at 09:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alvin V.Stone
 

I’m a DIY enthusiast and run a woodshop. I created this blog to provide you with reliable information concerning power saws so that you can do your work best. Not only do I provide power saw guide and reviews but also other resources that help you take your projects to a higher level.

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