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Hello woodworkes! Last week I was discuting with a coworker about what is better between miter saw and circular saw. Personally, I love my circular saw because it’s useful for crosscut and rip-cuts while a miter saw can’t do rip-cuts. However, he said he prefers a table saw above any other tool because it’s versatile, useful for rip-cuts and crosscuts too and despite it’s expesive it worth it. I looked up on Internet and found this article https://www.toolazine.com/circular-saw-vs-miter-saw-vs-table-saw-buy-first-beginner/ and realized he’s totally right. Also, I read that a miter saw is good for angled crosscuts, it’s perfect for picture framing tasks and very portable. Now, I’m not sure if circular saw are the best one. What do you prefer? What do you have in your garage?
 

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The table saw is the heart of the workshop. I have often said that I have no idea how a home owner can live without one but I know plenty that do. If you do any type of repairs or building then a table saw is the one tool you need to get started. I have two, an old Sears 10" that I use weekly and a Powermatic 66 that I also use weekly. I also have a Delta Unisaw but it's hard to get at so I don't use it that often. I also have all the other saws but I consider them specialty saws.
 

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A good table saw can do more for you than you can imagine, but having all of the other saws makes many jobs easier to do. You already have a circular saw and it can be very handy, but making accurate straight and angle cuts with it is difficult. A miter saw can help you make accurate cross cuts and angled cuts quickly and easily, but they can't do rip cuts. A table saw can do rip cuts, cross cuts, angled cross cuts, some resawing y, and make moldings using a molding head, and do it all accurately, although some of the setups might take a little longer than using one of the specialized saws. Save your money and look for a used, but good quality table saw with a good reliable fence and miter gauge. Learn how to use it safely, and you will be able to do all kinds of precision woodworking with it. You can later buy the other kinds of saws to make doing certain things faster, but when just getting started you should look for a table saw as your next purchase. It will be the single most used tool in your shop.

Charley
 

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Like everyone else said, each type of saw has it's strength's and weaknesses. My table saw is my most used saw followed by my bandsaw, jig saw and scroll saw. I don't have a miter saw and wish that I did but space and money are limited. However, you mentioned your circular saw. I have an old craftsmen that I've been using for about 40 years. A couple of months ago I bought a much newer one at a yard sale for $35. Much, much better. The question is what do I use it for? For a table saw, miter saw or bandsaw, you have to be able to bring the work piece to the saw. Each saw has it's limitations. The throat on a bandsaw, the width of the piece for a mitersaw, and the overall size of the piece for the table saw. I have a contractor's table saw and sometimes pieces are just too big to safely cut on the table saw. For example, breaking down 4' x 8' piece of plywood on my table saw would be both difficult and dangerous. For that, I use the circular saw. Works great. There are also projects where you have to trim an edge or end after the build. I've used the circular saw for this with things like garden benches.

Like Stick mentioned, don't forget hand saws. I won a Japanese Razor saw at meeting of the woodworkers club that I belong to. It has a coarse side a fine side and there is no set to the teeth. I've used it more often than I expected.

So, to answer your question, I prefer all of them. :)
 

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Sara,

I think it's safe to say we all or most started woodworking with hand saws or a circular saw. It is the most portable power tool for cutting with a bit of accuracy. Now you can say you have a woodworking shop unless you have a table saw. It is by far the most versatile tool in the shop. The others are all nice to have but the table saw can perform most cuts with accuracy and repeatability. If you don't own one, buy the best you can afford ! you can upgrade later on if you must.
Dan
 

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I'd give up all my saws in favor of the table saw. Fortunately, no one is making me do that and I have all types for various purposes. I have a 7.5 inch circular (Makita), 6.5 inch 18v portable I really enoy using because of its light weight (DeWalt), a 6.5inch track saw (Triton) which is wonderful for breaking down sheet goods, a 10 inch sliding miter (Bosch), an assortment of hand saws including my much used Dozuki Japanese saw, a 10 inch Laguna table saw that gets used most days, and a Laguna fourteen/12 bandsaw that's a dream to use, and a little 12 inch band saw that's very handywith a 3/8 ths blade that is incredibly convenient (Rikon).

Each excels at specific tasks, and I was able to buy all for cash in the 10 years before I retired. The saw I use least is the Makita circular saw. So I'm with the ones saying it depends on what you're going to use it for. If I were building, say, a shed, the Makita and DeWalt would come out and I'd put the sliding miter on a table too. But for more delicate projects, it's almost always the table saw.
 

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On further consideration, I recall that I was very happy having the circular saw from about age 20. Did a lot of home repair projects with that old Skill saw. Only gave up on it a few years ago.
 

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On further consideration, I recall that I was very happy having the circular saw from about age 20. Did a lot of home repair projects with that old Skill saw. Only gave up on it a few years ago.
Very understandable Tom. In my early years as a tradesman the only person allowed to use the TS was the cabinet maker and he also regularly used a skil saw that we were never allowed to touch. I was always amazed at what the skilled could accomplish with a skil saw. Perhaps the name was more appropriate than we thought at the time. 😁
 

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With a cutting guide you could build a set of cupboards with one. I would make a setting gauge to position the cutting guide with ( a stick with a hook on one end to register against the edge and a sliding head to butt against the cutting guide). With a setting gauge you would guarantee that the piece you cut is parallel in length and that is one of the most important criteria in making the boxes.
 

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I'd hate to give up any of my saws!
If home renos are the main focus, I'd start with the circ. saw; the TS and sliding compound miter saw are both invaluable and i wouldn't want to work without either one, but as has already been pointed out, you can take the miter saw pretty much anywhere close to where you're working...the table saw, not so much.
Some of the small jobsite portable table saws are pretty sweet, especially if you have them set up in/on a 'work center' with outfeed and side table support surfaces.
 

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Every post thus far is correct, however, let me offer another insight. You asked which circular saw or mitersaw? So everybody said “tablesaw”???

I guess your original question was too limiting for many posters. Include me it that crowd but let me give you the benefit of my being old(and experienced).

I have owned and used all of these tools for over 50 years. Let me throw in the one tool not mentioned so far. And yes my intention is to remain focused on your original question. The tool not mentioned is a radial arm saw. In my case I had a circular saw first as a power tool. Had up until that time several very good but different hand saws. Once I got infected by the power tool disease things for me changed. I had (still have) the frame style hand mitersaw. Nothing wrong with that did some high quality work by hand. Still my powered skill saw did make crude non critical cuts easily. Critical very accurate fitted joints are not easily done with a skil saw. I moved up to a table saw and then thought what I really dream about is a powered angle (miter saw) so I bought a radial arm saw. The more current style miter saws were not made yet or I never saw one. Probably 15 years passed before I got a 10” miter chop saw. Principly to cut mitered angles only. Along the way I moved through compound miter saws, double compound, and now a 12” Dewalt sliding compound mitersaw on a portable stand. In my opinion going backwards if I had this tool first most of the rest of my other saws would not be needed. It does very well and accurately most cuts and along with a good straight edge plus a good circular saw you could probably do 90 percent of everything that all my other fancy tools do. Hope that helps. But still, in my case like everybody else I can’t give up my tablesaw, bandsaw, router table, etc, etc😈
 

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Like Stick, I have all of them plus jigsaw, hand saws, and a band saw. Each of them has a purpose.
But which one do you use most often? For me, it's my table saw. I can do almost every cut that I need to, and very accurately with my table saw. Of course it won't cut curves well, so a band saw or at least a saber saw would be the next saw that I would suggest buying. My very first woodworking tools were a circular saw and a saber saw, but the next power tool that I bought was a table saw, and it was a piece of used junk, but better than having no table saw at all. Look for a good used saw and clean it up. You will save money and be able to do better work with it. Don't waste your money on poor quality saws like I did. Find a good used one at a good price, fix it up, and don't look back.

That was 4 table saws ago and each table saw was an improvement over my previous table saw. I now have a cleaned up, but used Delta Unisaw (I'm the third owner) and I am no longer searching for a better table saw. I even spent half as much for this saw as I did for the brand new saw that I bought before it and all I needed to do was clean it up. It ran and cut accurately when I brought it home.

Charley
 

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But which one do you use most often? ....Charley
Depends on what I'm doing and how precise I need the cut to be. I'm in the process of setting up my shop in a shed. In putting up the plywood walls I'm using the table saw (Grizzly G0833P) for ripping to width, the circular saw with a guide to crosscut to length, the jig saw to cut out the openings for the outlets or a notch on the wall panels, the miter saw to cut some 2x4 beams for the loft to length. I've used a hand saw to adjust some element here and there. The band saw hasn't come into play yet.

When I get the shop up and going, the project I'm doing will dictate what saw(s) I'll be using. The ones I'll most likely be using the most are the table saw, band saw, miter saw, and hand saws.
 
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