Miter Saw or Table Saw - Router Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Default Miter Saw or Table Saw

Hi! I'm preparing my family's garage to have basic woodworking tools. Both the miter saw and table saw seem useful, but we should be careful with our budget. Which saw would be a better "first"? We have an old circular saw, jigsaw, and... that's it. Some basic hand-saws and now a coping saw. I know a miter saw can cut great, accurate angles, which would be wonderful for every project. But if we want to run longer boards, I think a table saw would be the right tool. For what we do (smaller projects/home improvement) I think the miter saw would be great. Since we've never owned either type of saw, however, I can't say. Down the road, can we get a higher-quality circular saw and mount it to a table? Also, is it fine to buy these power tools used?

Apologies, usually my posts are well-organized, but this one turned into a long mess. Any advice is very welcome!
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 07:35 PM
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IMO there both the first things you buy , but if I could only have one it would definitely be a table saw. Table saws usually come with miter gauges , so you can do angled cuts too .
A little more versatile than the wmiter saw .

My concern is the fence on cheaper models of table saws will give you headaches . My first saw was a Delta contractors saw ,but I ordered it with the Beisemeyer fence which is a tank and won't have any deflection issues
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 08:26 PM
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My very first table saw was a Craftsmn $167 piece of junk, I couldn't give it away fast enough, so try to buy the best that you can afford and if you can't afford a fairly decent tool, save your money until you can. If you buy cheap, in the long run it will be the most expensive. I think that trying to put a circular will give you to many head aches, but that's just my opinion.

If you are careful and have the time, you can do a lot with your hand saws to start with untul you decide on what you really want and can afford. Wishing you the best,

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainMan 2.0 View Post
My concern is the fence on cheaper models of table saws will give you headaches .
Indeed. The solution is to hang the fence on the wall, and make at least one saw sled. Worked like a charm for my Harbor Freight saw, the one I still have, and use.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 08:44 PM
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My table saw is the most important tool in my shop and I didn't scrimp on it, it's a 3 hp Unisaw. Spend enough to get a good one, it doesn't have to be a unisaw, but make sure it has a good fence as mentioned. You can do very good miters on a table saw. I have 2 sleds that come in very handy. One is for 90 degree square crosscuts and the other is square 45 degree cuts. A good after market miter gauge will give you very accurate angled cuts (Osborn, Incra, Kreg, and JDS Accumiter all make good miter gauges). Between the sleds and the after market miter gauges you can do anything a chop saw can do and with wider material. The trade off is that you are constantly adjusting the table saw which is slower than adjusting chop saws.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 09:11 PM
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If you're talking about construction, Ben, as opposed to cabinetry or fine woodworking, I'm going to be the odd man out here.
No question in my mind that for doing reno's a sliding compound mitre saw (as opposed to a straight chop saw) is far more practical. You just can't handle long lengths on a table saw...who has that kind of real estate around their tablesaw?
There's not much you can't do with a good quality circ. saw, good blades, and some simple to make jigs, for the ripping and panel cutting that are all part of the process.
Don't skimp on the blades! Having said that, I picked up a Cdn. Tire house brand thin kerf blade for my SiL's circ. saw and I was blown away by how easily it ripped down 1" thick PT decking material; as fast as I could slide the saw it made the cuts effortlessly!

* Oh! And you can take the SCMS and circ, saw right to where you're actually working. Can't do that with a cabinet saw...although the smaller construction type portable tablesaws will certainly be that adaptable.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 09:13 PM
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I agree with Charles. In my opinion the table saw is the king of the shop. I use sleds and an Incra 1000SE which is more accurate than a lot of miter saws. My suggestion would be to go for the table saw then a good router. I don't use my miter saw that much any more but I'm always using the saw and router. Search YouTube for videos and ideas.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
If you're talking about construction, Ben, as opposed to cabinetry or fine woodworking, I'm going to be the odd man out here.
No question in my mind that for doing reno's a sliding compound mitre saw (as opposed to a straight chop saw) is far more practical. You just can't handle long lengths on a table saw...who has that kind of real estate around their tablesaw?
There's not much you can't do with a good quality circ. saw, good blades, and some simple to make jigs, for the ripping and panel cutting that are all part of the process.
Don't skimp on the blades! Having said that, I picked up a Cdn. Tire house brand thin kerf blade for my SiL's circ. saw and I was blown away by how easily it ripped down 1" thick PT decking material; as fast as I could slide the saw it made the cuts effortlessly!

* Oh! And you can take the SCMS and circ, saw right to where you're actually working. Can't do that with a cabinet saw...although the smaller construction type portable tablesaws will certainly be that adaptable.

I agree! add a Kreg Rip Cut Guide for the circular saw and you are ready to go. https://www.amazon.com/Kreg-KMA2675-...+rip+cut+guide

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 09:48 PM
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TABLE SAW. It is the heart of a woodworkers shop. Find an old Delta Contractor saw. Add a T2 or T3 fence when you have more money.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 09:50 PM
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Ben asked: "Down the road, can we get a higher-quality circular saw and mount it to a table?"
What are you using now? Just because it's old doesn't mean that it's inadequate for the purpose for which it was designed. It might benefit from a tune up, and being adjusted for accuracy, but if it hasn't been dropped or otherwise abused it's probably still got lots of life left in it.
One blade doesn't do everything. You need a 24 tooth blade for ripping and a 40 tooth for fine cuts.
As for mounting it upside down in a table, don't bother. There's tons of past threads here that explain crosscut jigs, not to mention You tube vids explaining the concept. For ripping boards, use the rip fence that saws are designed to accept. There's 3rd party models available if you can't locate the one for your saw.
Plywood Crosscut Guide - Popular Woodworking Magazine
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...3d756e3101.jpg
http://www.pennstateind.com/graphics/pps-b.jpg
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