Miter Saw vs. Circular Saw – Which one to Buy?

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Quick Answer: Miter Saw vs. Circular Saw

Both a circular saw and a miter saw are great beginner tools. A circular saw is cheaper, more sturdy and can make any type of straight cut possible and is used by DIYers, small businesses, large businesses alike. A miter saw is a specialized tool used to cut miters and bevels and is meant for jobs having intensive angled cuts.

So you are tired of purchasing coffee tables, wall shelves, exquisite chairs at exorbitantly high prices, and your inner craftsman goes ‘Damn, I can make that!’.

You google up the tools needed, and you find the two beginner tools- Miter Saw and Circular Saw. Wondering which one to get? Read on.

The Miter Saw

Bosch Power Tools GCM12SD - 15 Amp 12 in. Corded Dual-Bevel Sliding Glide Miter Saw with 60 Tooth Saw Blade

The miter saw is a relative newcomer to the power tool scene. It came in the market in the 1970s and it is one of the easiest, safest tools to begin your woodworking journey with .

It is a handy saw specializing in crosscuts and angled cuts and is extremely precise and accurate.

Miter saws are handy tools in a small workshop or for a DIYer. They are accurate, precise and easy to operate. It is a specialized tool for making clean cuts.

In a Miter saw, the wood board remains stationary and the blade moves it. This is why the diameter of the cut is limited to the diameter of the blade, a point to be noted when choosing which blade size to buy.

A Miter saw is a specialized tool, and while it certainly does not offer you the versatility of a circular saw in the range of projects, it gives you the ease of operation, precision, and simple, clean angled cuts which open up a range of stylish design woodwork projects of its own.

The Circular Saw

Miter Saw vs. Circular Saw

As much as the Miter Saw is specialized, the Circular Saw is versatile. A circular saw can be bought on a budget, is portable and is capable of making any straight cut.

It can cut almost anything, almost anywhere but it comes with its own shares of cons.

It is a bit on the dangerous side as they are prone to kickback. Also, compared to Miter, the angled cuts are obviously sloppy.

The circular saw is sturdy but not accurate and it is known for making straight cut. The video below shows you how to use the most powerful versatile tool around, the circular saw:

Circular Saws have been in the market long before the Miter Saw and they are a staple in every garage of a DIY-er who works with wood. The circular saw, with the right blade, can be used to cut anything, not just wood.

The Miter Saw vs the Circular saw

Here are the key differences between a miter and circular saw –


The Miter cut is a specialized tool and can be used for four types of cuts:

The regular Cross Cut in which you cut a board to length at a perpendicular angle, a Miter cut which is cutting the end of the board on an angle, a Bevel cut which is similar to a Miter cut only through the thickness of the wood and not the width, and lastly the compound cut which is a combination of the miter and bevel cut.

The circular saw, in combination with the right tool, can be used to build anything. It is most suited for rip cuts and long cuts.

Unlike a miter saw, in a circular saw, you bring the tool to the wood. Circular Saws are available in a range of models and sizes, the most common being the 7.5 inches.

They are designed especially for the material they intend to cut and are excellent to be used for rip cuts, crosscuts or a combination of both.


A Miter Saw is easy to use, precise and safe. It does not leave a mess behind. It is great to make starting wood projects and to use as a specialized tool for angled cuts like the Miter and Bevels .

A miter saw is also extremely safe for a beginner, the same cannot be said for a circular saw.

A circular saw is a power-packed versatile and portable tool that can be used to make any cut and any workpiece. It is precise, sturdy and cheap for its usability.

It can work on any type of wood, and any type of material, if used with the proper technique.


A miter saw is expensive and as its specialization restricts its range of cuts- it can only make angles and bevels and fails to make non-linear cuts. It also involves a large setup and is less portable.

A circular saw is more dangerous than a Miter saw, thus there are some steps you need to take for your own safety- unplugging saw to change blade, clamping workpiece properly, setting the depth of cut accurately to reduce kickback probability, etc.

Also, it can make only straight cuts and is not as accurate as a miter


The Miter Saw is expensive than a circular saw because it is more specialized and easy to use.

It is a good purchase for those who want to do simple beginner projects or extend their tool arena and make their angled cuts cleaner and sharper.

Available at a cheap price, Circular Saws have been in the market long before the Miter Saw and they are a staple in every garage of a DIY-er who works with wood.

The circular saw, with the right blade, can be used to cut anything, not just wood.

Final Words

A miter saw is best to make angled tools which means it is most used by beginners and DIYers for fancy home decoration projects.

It is also widely used in the framing industry and construction industry where angled cuts are the staple.

Adding a circular saw to your workshop tools will certainly extend your range of projects and inspire you to create stuff out of nothing, just like this little bad boy does.

The circular saw is most suited for people who mean business. It is a great and vital tool to add to your toolset.

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