Table saw or Miter saw?

Old 01-23-06, 01:27 PM
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Table saw or Miter saw?

I'm trying to decide between getting a table saw vs a "normal" miter saw.

The table saw I have my eye on seems to do the job of a miter saw as well as being able to cut larger pieces of wood (for future projects). Am I better off getting a larger table saw for my miter needs (simple baseboards and frames) or should I pick up a miter-only saw?

Am I missing something here? Some of the higher end miter saws are more expensive than the 10" table saw I want but I don't see why. Is it simply because miter saws are more compact?
Old 01-23-06, 02:10 PM
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Miter saws are made to be precise when cutting angled cuts. A tablesaw will also do angles but not as accurately. You can also swing a miter saw blade both ways for angles where with a table saw, the blade only tilts one way so you do a lot more "handling" of the materials you are working with. Both saws have their place. If I was going to buy one or the other, I would opt for the table saw. Matter of opinion and I am sure you will get more of those in this thread. Tools come in all price ranges depending on what you want/need. Good luck and watch this post.
Old 01-23-06, 02:20 PM
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I would also go with the table saw , if you only need to do some occasinal DIY type mitering then pick (up or make) a miter box and use a handsaw .
Old 01-23-06, 03:33 PM
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Eventually, you're probably going to own both. I'd get the table saw first.
Old 01-23-06, 05:09 PM
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Thanks folks!

Yeah, it's not so much a pricing issue rather a space one. I'd rather have one tool to do the mitering because after the baseboards are done I just don't see me using a miter that often. A table saw on the other hand will help with all sorts of other projects.

Thanks again.
Old 01-23-06, 06:23 PM
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Another vote for table saw
It is a more versatile tool
Old 01-25-06, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by slickshift
Another vote for table saw
It is a more versatile tool
Well when this question comes up my answer is always the same: You can both crosscut and rip on a tablesaw but you can't rip at all on a miter saw. It does take more setup time to get good angle cuts on a table saw, but it can be done. The problem is really how much saw to buy and how much room do you have. Having owned a low/mid end table saw for a long time I could kick myself for not having bought a better one in the first place. If I had to do it all over again I would spend at least $1500 on the table saw. The difference is all in convenience and the time saved by being confident that the saw will be accurate and consistent. The cheaper saws seem to require more "tuning" to keep them accurate. This usually means making many test cuts before the final cut, and this gets old fast.

If youve got the room, get the Delta or the Jet 10" 3 or 5 HP models with side and rear extension tables. If you end up doing real woodworking youl'll never be sorry...

Old 01-26-06, 07:23 PM
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Though I agree that the table saw is more versatile, I'd get the miter saw first, then a circular saw, if you're not going to get into much wood working. If you're hooked into woodworking I am, save up for a Contractor Table Saw.

My power tool saga started with buying the $60 Ryobi special over the holidays, and since I didn't spend alot of money, I decided to get a table saw also since it was so highly recommended. What I got was a bench saw for under $200. I'm actually disappointed because the capability is limited compared to a heavier contractor saw. My biggest gripe is the bench saw will tip over if I cut any large panels. Very dangerous to use. OTOH, if all you're thinking of doing is small projects, then the bench saw is appropriate.
Old 01-27-06, 05:00 AM
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Depending on what you want as a final product, ie. portability, stability, large base, etc., put your hands on the saws before you buy them, and do it at several sellers, big boxes, sears, etc.
Since I do it professionally, I opt for the large milled table saw in my shop, but still have to do work on jobsites. I looked at the Ryobi, Ridgid, and others, and for the cost (as well as amorization) I chose to pay the $200 (on sale last Christmas for $189) for the Ryobi BTS20R which gives me great portability. It has tubular legs and wheels that collapse like a gurney, but when set up, give me an adjustable solid jobsite saw. No, you can't cut 4x8 sheets on it, but I can make virtually anything I need onsite safely. If your mitering needs are short term or only occasionally, I noticed yesterday the orange big box has an off brand 8 1/4" miter saw for sale at $39. My 12" blades cost 3 times that, so it could be a bargain for light work.
Old 01-27-06, 06:05 AM
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i have to vote for the table saw first. dado cuts, full length bevels, etc. i put and emphasis on the fit of the accesories. a sloppy cross cut guide will ruin your day. table extensions are nice. look for a solid feeling smooth table with a reasonably easy method for blade changes. are you goning to keep it in a shop or garage ? never needing to move it will influence your decision. when you do decide it's time for a mitre saw do yourself a favor and buy a sliding compound and never - never - never loan it out.
Old 06-24-06, 08:35 AM
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Mitre... table...

I realize this thread is a little old but thanks for the info; it really helped me. I'm thinking of buying one or the other and GOOGLED mitre saw vs table saw and found this site... Great
Old 06-24-06, 08:43 AM
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Ideally you would eventually have both. The table saw is king of woodworking, but it's AWFUL handy having the miter saw for a quick cut-to-length or miter while you have the table saw set up for something else.
Old 06-25-06, 09:50 PM
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I'd have to vote for the mitre saw first.
I bought a table saw several years before I bought a mitre saw...and I always ended up having to cut my mitre joints by hand.
It is possible to make mitre cuts on my table saw...but it's a pain in the butt.
I got my mitre saw used for $60 (Porter*Cable...the first laser model (The one Norm has in his shop))
I have seen the ones at the big box stores pretty cheap...$39 for a regular one and sliders for as little as $99.
I'd probably go for a cheap one if I only had a few jobs to do.

And as for space...My tablesaw makes a great stand to sit my mitre saw on top of
Old 06-26-06, 06:33 AM
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Smile Which saw to buy?

You should also consider a radial arm saw. With the proper fence alignment, they are very accurate for miter cuts and will do all functions of a table saw.

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