Miter Saw vs Chop Saw – Which is Best and Why?

difference between miter saw vs chop saw

Most people still don’t understand the difference between a miter saw and a chop saw. The two tools are very similar but what you need to know is that they are a bit different and each one is suitable for specific jobs. Without having a clear understanding of how each one works, you will always experience some problems in your workplace.

In this guide, we shall explain the differences between the two and at the end, you will be able to know which one you should use for your workshops according to the type of jobs you are intending to do.

Difference between a Miter vs Chop Saw

Chop Saw Miter saw
Larger than a miter saw Provides smooth and neat cuts as compared to a chop saw
More suitable for heavy duty materials It is more precise
Uses a bigger motor which makes it powerful Easy to adjust to provide angled cuts
It comes with a 14-Inch Blade Uses a 10-12 inch blade
It is normally used by welders, contractors, and fabricators Normally used by homeowners

What is a Chop Saw?

A chop saw is the best choice for anyone in need of a cutting tool that is powerful and one that can be used to cut even the heavy-duty metals. It uses a powerful motor which enables it to provide an excellent cutting experience. You can use it to make straight cuts on different materials such as wood or metal.

Who should buy a chop saw?

A chop saw is the best for anyone who wants to perform any of the following tasks.

  • It is the best for commercial and industrial purposes
  • If your job requires cutting different types of metal such as steel
  • Very effective when cutting rafters, studs joints and also trusses.
  • Suitable for cutting a piece of angle iron or a steel tube

When should you use a chop saw?

  • If you are searching for a very powerful and more aggressive when cutting
  • You can use it when cutting concrete, metals and different types of wood
  • Highly reliable when cutting large pieces of metal
  • When you need a cutting tool that is very fast
  • It uses a large and powerful motor which boosts its performance.

Drawbacks of a chop saw

  • It is not possible to cut different materials at certain angles.
  • It is a bit big

What is a Miter saw?

If you are searching for a cutting device you can use to make angled cuts, a miter saw will be the best choice. You can use it to make angled cuts on window casing, picture frames, crown molding among other cuts that are not easy to make using a regular saw. Miter saw use a circular blade to cut through the deep down.

Who should buy a miter saw?

A miter saw is the best tool for contractors, craftsmen, woodworkers, carpenters, and DIY enthusiasts. If you want to get the best possible results when cutting, this tool will be an excellent choice. You may find that it is a bit expensive but it is very convenient which means that it is worth the price. The best thing about it is that it is very fast, accurate, powerful and it is also versatile. This means that it can be used to cut different types of materials.

When should you use a miter saw?

  • Unlike a chop saw, a miter saw allows you to cut various materials from different angles.
  • When you want to get clean and accurate cuts
  • When you want to use a compact cutting tool since it is more compact than a miter saw.
  • It is the best tool for cutting wood and small amounts of metals such as aluminum.
  • If you are searching for a flexible cutting tool that will allow you to cut in different locations
  • If you are searching for a tool you can use in your woodworking or household tasks
  • If you are searching for a safe cutting tool, a miter saw is the best because it holds the material in place when cutting. Also, there are minimal chances of kickbacks as compared to when you are using a chop saw.

Drawbacks of a Miter Saw

  • It is not strong enough as compared to a chop saw which means that it is not the best for cutting metals.
  • The blades are 10-12 inches which means that they are only suitable for cutting small pieces.


Miters saws and chop saws are very common in most workshops but you need to know how exactly each of the two works before buying. This will allow you to choose the best tool that suits your cutting requirements. If you are searching for the most effective cutting tool, then a chop saw will be the best choice. On the other hand, if you need a tool for simple cutting tasks, then you need to consider a miter saw. If you were not sure which one you should choose, it is our hope that now you are able to differentiate between the two. Look for the one that suits your cutting requirements.


About the Author David Vieria

David has been a woodworker for most of his life — in his dad’s cabinet shop. After using the tools himself, he decided to share it his woodworking and power tools knowledge with DIYers. Read more about him

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