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Miter Saw vs Chop Saw – Who is the Best Companion?

What is a Miter Saw?

Source: Amazon

When it comes to chopping of woods, it is difficult to choose between miter saw and chop saw. The race between a miter saw and chop saw has no winner, as both share the same functions. But the truth is stranger than fiction – these two saws have some evident differences that draw the comparison. It would be, thus, wise to understand the differences before you make a purchase.

The professional woodworkers, at times, might be confused and can make the wrong choice while selecting miter saw vs. chop saw, as both are quite similar in their appearances. Let this guide help you select the one as per your needs.

Miter Saw vs Chop Saw – What are their uses?

Let us take a look what are the purpose of these saws. How they have become a large part of the woodworkers and why they are so confused to choose one over the other?

The chop saw is something powerful as a tool, but makes cut with a downward movement and have a chopping motion. It consists of two parts, a blade and a base that supports the material you are cutting. People, generally, use it for cutting metals and strong woods. For home-building and framing work, nothing can be better than a chop saw. It is perfect for cutting large chunks of wood or metal. It only cuts in 90 degrees and faster as compared to other saws.

These tips for using a chop saw can be helpful:

On the other hand, a miter saw can create cuts with angle and bevel cuts. It also comes with a blade and a base. The blade on the miter saw rotates as much as possible. A miter saw comes with versatile and multi-purpose tool options. This saw allows making precise and consistent cuts at a straight and angled position. You can use it for lumber cutting, molding, cross cutting and framing activities.

Miter Saw vs Chop Saw – The Difference

If you can tell the differences between a miter saw and chop saw, you can make a better purchase, finish the projects faster and more efficiently.

Consider the appearance

What is a Chop Saw?

Source: Amazon

A beginner cannot distinguish between miter saw and chop saw, as both come with round blade and firm base. However, the close observation will show that the blade of a chop saw is large and has a grinding wheel-like disc fitted in it. The blade of a miter saw is finer and ideal to make cutting angles and clean cuts.

Look at the axis

Miter Saw Axis

Source: Amazon

When you are looking for a saw, you need to remember that the blade of a chop saw always stays at 90-degree angle to the base, which performs straight cuts. However, the axis of a miter saw can turn to make the cut at various angles.

See the power and the blade

A chop saw is a little larger than a miter saw, and comes with more power. It comes with a bigger motor with more torque and larger blades. Miter saw has more finesse cutting tools to produce clean cuts for molding, framing and piping projects.

Check the configurations

A miter saw comes with three basic configurations – sliding compound, compound and basic. For cross cuts, one can use a basic miter saw. Whereas for bevel cuts, it is best to use the other two: sliding compound and compound.

A chop saw doesn’t leave you many choices.

Material they can dice

A chop saw is a multipurpose and powerful cutting tool that can chop from cardboard boxes to metals and even thick pieces of lumber. Miter saws are perfect for small and medium size cutting. They cannot cut through metals, so it is best for using at home.


Hope you have understood the basic difference between a miter saw vs chop saw. It will help to distinguish between the two with a clear underline. It is tough to decide since they both look almost similar, but if you want power and work on larger pieces of wood and metal, opt the chop saw. However, for daily needs in small projects at home, a miter saw is the best option one can have. Share your comments below and pose questions if any.

You can refer an article from woodworkingtoolkit for more information.

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About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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