Should You Chose a Table Saw or Miter Saw for Your Next Project?
We often get asked this question, “should I buy a table saw or miter saw for my next purchase?”
Choosing the ideal power saw will certainly make your woodworking projects easier and better. The selection process can be hard for some, but with these tips, it is as simple as it gets. Below we’ve provided some information about both types so we hope it will help you decide which type of saw is best for you.
What to Consider When Buying a Table Saw
A table saw is a crucial tool for many woodworkers, be it a professional or an amateur. Having the ability to do an array of tasks such as cross cutting, ripping and even sheet material preparation, the ideal table saw becomes an essential part of the workshop. Being the starting point for numerous projects, it’s probably the first item that many would consider buying. Regardless, the most important consideration is to know what the ideal table saw would be for your desired application.
Well, there are various types of table saws, ranging from large contractor saws to portable ones. However, the right type of the saw is just one of the many factors that you must consider. The features of the table saw are equally important as the model type as they determine the saw’s performance. As mentioned above, the right saw mainly depends on how you intend to use it. Once you have decided the model that best suits your requirements, the next step is to determine what features you want.
Here are the most important qualities to look for in a table saw.
Ease of Use
If the saw is not simple to use, you risk the possibility of getting imperfect results, or even worse, a safety hazard. Ascertain that the table saw is easy to adjust, the hand wheels turn easily, the accuracy can be calibrated without too much hassle and that the replacement of the blade is straightforward.
The Motor’s Horsepower
A table saw that doesn’t have sufficient horsepower to cut your desired material isn’t going to be of much use. This makes horsepower undeniably the most important consideration when choosing a table saw. The voltage in your workshop is an important factor to consider when determining the ideal horsepower.
A saw with a 1.5 -2HP will run properly in a conventional household 120-volt circuit. A 2HP table saw motor will draw anywhere between 18 to 24 amperes. However, it should only be used to cut hardwoods of up to 2 inches. Thicker woods will require more power.
With a bigger horsepower, a voltage of 240 is required. Some garages or workshops are usually wired for 240 volts, but ensure you check before you purchase a more powerful table saw. A 3-5HP saw can cut 3 or more inches thick hardwoods. However, these powerful saws tend to have a greater kickback, and so, safety is a primary consideration.
Purchasing a saw equipped with a flesh sensor raises the price significantly, but this increase certainly viable considering the cost of a visit to the emergency room or the possibility of losing a finger. These sensors stop the saw blade instantly, less than a millisecond after contact with the skin. The action is so sudden the jerk causes the blade to go below the table level of the saw as well as shutting down the motor. This is a feature that you should really consider.
Keeping your garage or workshop clean and free of sawdust is always a nice thing. Ideally, keeping your lungs free of sawdust is even more important. So, having a dust collection system on the saw not only eradicates sawdust residue but also helps control the issue enough, to give substantial results in air quality. The sawdust collection bag, must, of course, be emptied regularly to maintain the system’s efficiency. Our top pick for 2017 is the DeWalt DWE7491RS, check out our review.
Things to Look Out For When Buying A Miter Saw
Miter saws are essential for people who need to make accurate cuts from time to time. Miter saws are very handy tools that can be used in a wide variety of applications both at home and at work. The increase in demand for these saws has caused a subsequent increase in the brands of miter saws in the market. With such a surge, it is evident that not all the saws out there are good. In that accord, it is essential to know how to separate the substandard saws from the reliable ones. A good way of doing this is by understanding the key features of the saw and the extras that come with them. Below are some things to look out for when buying a miter saw.
Blades are the core part of any saw. The depth and height of your cut solely rely on the kind of blade embedded on the saw. Usually, miter saws come with blades ranging from eight to twelve inches. Aside from the size, there are different kinds of blades used for various purposes. Some are used for cutting multi-materials while others are specified for wood, steel or aluminum. More teeth on a blade means you get a finer cut for your finishing. Always check the blades when shopping for a miter saw and ensure you get one that is suitable for the job you have in mind.
A miter saw is different from the typical one’s due to its ability to inflict angled cuts on the specimen. The saw is set to change its angles to the most common ones such as 45 degrees and right angles. Some will be seen to miter to one direction only while others miter in both directions making them better. Ensure you check the mitering ability of a miter saw before purchasing it. A good one should be able to move through different angles smoothly.
Sliding action is very vital in miter saws. It allows one to cut the object with greater width. Depending on the size of the blade, the sliding action can allow you to take your cutting experience to a whole new dimension. Ideal saws should have a sliding action. Saws without this function are at times referred to as chop saws. Depending on what you want to work on with your miter saw, always opt for the ones with an enabled sliding action.
A saw that bevels is one that cuts angled levels into wood specimens, something that gives the user the ability to cut two angles in one instance. In simple terms, the head of the saw tilts to the side while rotating on the saw table. Miter saws can either be single or double bevel meaning they can either lean on one side or both. The bevelling action is essential in making compound cuts as seen with the making of some specific pieces of furniture. This action is a very sensitive one, especially when combined with the sliding action. When selecting a miter saw with these two capabilities, ensure you buy from a reputable brand.
Miter saws have been diversified, and there is no make. A good saw should be accompanied with a set of accessories needed to increase the applications of the saw. Examples of these accessories include a set of blades and a stand.
The mentioned features of miter saws are essential when looking for a suitable one to buy. These features are what define the saw you buy and where it will be used. Ensure all the features are in check before settling a miter saw. The saws are a bit costly, and you would not want to see your money going to waste by buying a substandard miter saw. Our best miter saw for 2017 is the Dewalt DWS780, check out our new review here.
So in conclusion we would always say go for a table saw first as it’s extremely versatile piece of equipment. On the other hand, if you will be making lots of small cuts and cuts to wooden frames etc the miter saw maybe your best bet as it’s better suited for working with smaller materials sizes, but all in our recommendation is to go with the table saw. For more information don’t hesitate to contact us today to ask any questions