Circular saw, miter saw or table saw? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Default Circular saw, miter saw or table saw?

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 itís useful for crosscut and rip-cuts while a miter saw canít do rip-cuts. However, he said he prefers a table saw above any other tool because itís versatile, useful for rip-cuts and crosscuts too and despite itís expesive it worth it. I looked up on Internet and found this article and realized heís totally right. Also, I read that a miter saw is good for angled crosscuts, itís perfect for picture framing tasks and very portable. Now, Iím not sure if circular saw are the best one. What do you prefer? What do you have in your garage?

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:19 PM
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all the above...
and handsaws...
gang saw...
should I go on...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:44 PM
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Tools do different things better, the trick is buying what you need vs what you want! On my budget anyway!
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:48 PM
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I have all of the above but rely mostly on my table saw. It will do more and do it better than the others.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits". Albert Einstein
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 09:27 PM
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 07:06 AM
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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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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 08:41 AM
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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.


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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 11:16 AM
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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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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 12:14 PM
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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.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:13 PM
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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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