Mitre Saw or Table Saw

Old 02-07-07, 04:44 PM
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Mitre Saw or Table Saw

I just bought my first house and will be starting some general housing projects such as finishing the basement and perhaps some decking. I am wondering if I should start with a Mitre Saw or a table Saw?
Old 02-07-07, 04:47 PM
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Just an idea but have you given any thought of getting a radial arm saw. I find it covers a lot of uses.
Old 02-07-07, 05:08 PM
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wouldn't a mitre saw be just as good? Or would you just start with the radial?
Old 02-07-07, 05:21 PM
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IMO you should first figure which saw you would have the most use for. Mitre cuts on a table saw aren't always accurate, hard to rip a board on a mitre saw.
Old 02-07-07, 09:23 PM
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This is often debated, and if you look back through past questions in this forum I am sure you will find an abundance of answers and opinions.

As you do, keep in mind that a good Skilsaw is also a good option to consider. The benefit of a miter saw (depending on the quality of the saw and blade) is that it will make "finish quality" cuts, such as for decks, or casing miters. Cut-off blades can be used for framing. Miter saws take much of the error out of the cuts. You might not be good with a Skilsaw, but it doesn't take much brains to make a nice cut with a miter saw. With practice, using a skilsaw can be just as good.

The same could be said for ripping. Unless you are making dados or rabbets, or cutting mortises, or ripping thin dimensions, there isn't practically anything a table saw can do that a Skilsaw can't. It's just that instead of running the workpiece over the saw, you run the saw over the workpiece. Again, the benefit of the table saw is the accuracy, thanks to the fence. The same thing can be accomplished with a Skilsaw and straightedges- or a chalkline and a trained eye and steady hand.

If you are finishing a basement, you'll be making lots of cuts, cutting studs to length. A miter saw would speed that up a lot. Decks need a lot of things cut to length too... again a miter saw would be valuable. There are a few things you might want a table saw for, if you plan on ripping lots of stock, but as marksr said, it all depends on what you have the most use for.
Old 02-08-07, 05:19 AM
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Technically, the best all-around choice for a first saw would be the table saw
But as mentioned, that's an arguable "best" choice
Technically, you can rip, miter, dado, etc....
But mitering takes a little more skill, and the proper attachments, on a table saw

If you were doing mostly trim for the basement, I'd say the miter is best
For the decking however, mostly you trim those deck boards after installing them
For that a circular saw (skilsaw) is best
However, if you are cutting balusters, you'll want a miter (and a jig) for those (many, many) cuts

For an interior trim job, I might only break out the miter...hey, I might only bring the miter
For a deck job, I wouldn't even go there w/o the miter, table (for rips), and circ saw
If I had to choose just one for decks, it'd be the circ saw
Old 02-08-07, 06:09 AM
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I have both, but if I could only have one it would definately be the chop saw. Most of the stuff you can do on the table saw you can do with a skill saw.
Old 02-08-07, 06:54 AM
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As others posted, a lot depends on what you will be using the saw for. If you have a good circular saw and only intend to do typical homeowner stuff than a good miter saw is probably the way to go. If your future plans include woodworking, then a good table saw is a must.
Old 02-09-07, 02:46 AM
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If I only had money or room for one, I'd go with a sliding miter saw.

Table saw is nice, but I use it about 20% as much as the miter saw, and, as stated above, you can do most of the table saw stuff with a circular saw if need be. The only thing that is impossible to do without a table saw is to rip a long, skinny board.
Old 02-10-07, 07:15 AM
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I use my bandsaw for most things, even ripping boards.. My table saw sits in the corner.. If I need to cut a piece of plywood I use my jigsaw with a straightedge clamped to it, or the circular saw with the straightedge..

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