Chop saw vs miter saw: What the difference between the two

Chop saw vs miter saw: What the difference between the two

Both chop saw and miter saw belong to the same class of circular blade saws. However, there is a big difference between the two.

The one main difference that stands out between chop saw vs miter saw is that chop saw are used to make straight cuts  whereas miter saw are capable of rotating to make angle cuts.

To understand the difference between the two, we need to go into details defining each with it samples.

What is a miter saw

If you are getting into woodwork like making frames, doors trimming and moldings you will probably need a miter saw. Miter saws are also known as mitres and they are useful when making crosscuts on a work piece.

There are different types of miter saws:-They include-

  • Original miter box-These original miter saws comprised of backsaw and three-sided box with 45 and 90 degrees. The box guides the backsaw in order to make miter cuts on a work piece.
  • Power miter saw-They are powered versions of miter saws used in framing to make 45 degrees straight cuts.
  • Compound miter saws-These are types of miter saws that have blade and head capable of rotating at different angles. This saw allows the user to make cuts at angles other than 90 degrees.
  • Dual compound miter saw-Normally useful when making decorative trim work, double or dual compound miter saw allow the head to rotate both on right and left side when angled.
  • Sliding compound miter saw-The head of a sliding miter saw is capable of moving back and forth so that it can increase board size it can cut.
  • LED or Laser miter-saws-To make precise cuts, some miter saws have LED or laser guides, which illuminates a straight line where the blade will make a cut.

To purchase the top rated miter saw, make sure you check comparison of Dewalt dws 779 vs dws 780 that are the best in market.

What is a chop saw

Sometimes it is very confusing differentiating between circular saws and chop saws especially those who are woodwork beginners. The difference between circular saw and chop saw is that chop saws are stationary whereas circular saws are handheld.

Chop saws are used to make straight cuts that are precise. Most contractors use them in making square cuts also.

There are three different types of chop saws. These ares-

  • Metal chop saw-This is a special chop saw that is made to cut through any metal. Using this saw you can make clean straight cuts on a metal and not angle cuts.
  • Wood chop saw-This is the most common chop saw type that is capable of moving up and down to make straight cuts on a wood. When buying wood chop saw you need to be sure that you will not be making angle cuts, otherwise you will need to purchase a miter saw. Wood chop saw are easy to use you just need to follow the safety precautions and wear the right gear before operating it.
  • Abrasive chop saw-These are chop saws that are useful when cutting tough material. Normally, the blade does not have teeth instead; they come with a grinding wheel that is capable of cutting through concrete, tiles, metals etc.

Difference between miter saw and chop saw

If you are wondering if you should purchase chop saw or miter saw, you need to understand the difference between the two.

Main difference is that miter saws are capable or rotating at different angles to make bevel cuts whereas chop saws can only make straight cuts or 90 degrees angle cuts.

The other difference is that miter saws are useful for producing fine cuts on small pieces of material such as framing, molding and small piping. On other hand chop, saws are powerful tools often used to cut abrasive metals or any other hand material.

Related questions

Below are some of the miter saw vs chop saw related questions that saw users ask.

Can you use a miter saw as a chop saw

It is not possible to use miter saw as a chop saw because miter saw blades are generally designed to work on woods to make angle cuts whereas chop saw are used to make straight cuts on metals and other tough materials.

The fact that chop saws have bigger motor and blade, it is not possible to use miter saw as chop saw which has a fine blade  purposely made for trimming angles and making fine wood cuts.

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