When you think about it, miter saws and chops saw are similar when it comes to functionality. In fact, their appearance is almost identical, too. Despite these semblances, these two power tools are entirely different. Then, chop saw vs. miter saw: which of them will benefit you the most? Well, you have to read on to find out!
Chop Saw Vs. Miter Saw: A Basic Introduction
Both of the miter saw and chop saw are using circular blades as their primary cutting element. These blades spin at a rapid rate so that they can cut efficiently and quickly. Many models of chop saws and miter saws today offer the variable speed feature. This particular component allows you to control the RPM (rotation per minute) of the blade. With this, these tools can work with various materials on the field.
Aside from the blade, the miter saw, and chop saw are also using "drop down" component. Specifically, this one is the arm of the saws, in where the blade is attached. It propagates the blade in "up and down" motion whenever the saws are working on something.
In application, it is notable that chops saws exhibit more power than its counterpart. Because of this, this tool has been common in industrial and commercial tasks. Contractors are using them to cut tight and large materials. They have been quite usable for DIY purposes as well. However, it is not like that you can see them frequently.
For small-scale projects and home renovations, many people prefer to use the miter saw. Specifically, they would go for those 10-inch or 12-inch models. These particular options are apparently more acceptable than using a heavy-duty chop saw.
A miter saw is efficient whenever you want to create clean and even finished cuts. They are also usable for dealing workpieces such as wooden picture frames, doors, and molding. Because of this functionality, it is entirely a given already that a miter saw is the best route for dedicated woodworkers.
Differences of a Miter Saw and Chop Saw
Although they are quite similar, miter saws and chops saws function differently. Take note that a miter saw has a capability to rotate, which makes it capable of making cuts in various angles. Such design is the root or origin of its name (miter). On the other hand, chop saws can only make straight cuts (90-degree angled cuts).
This particular difference is not an indicator that a miter saw is more versatile and flexible than a chop saw. Instead, this distinction proves that these tools are for different applications. As we mentioned earlier, chop saws are for accomplishing heavy-duty cutting tasks. Meanwhile, a miter saw is ideal for fine and delicate woodworking. It is something that wood artisans would certainly love.
Another difference between these two tools is their power. Because chop saws are large, they are typically operated by large motors. The blades they are using are big as well, around 14 inches or more. Unlike miter saws, chop saws can cut anything, thanks to the abrasive metal design of their blades. Therefore, it is always a good idea if you wear your safety gears whenever you are going to use this tool.
Meanwhile, miter saws are for applications that require precision and finesse. They are even usable for making wood-related artworks and crafts because of their capability to make smooth and detailed cuts.
Just like we mentioned earlier, miter saws have the ability to make angled cuts. This feature makes them a versatile choice for any woodworking projects. However, such capability is most beneficial for molding and framing projects. These particular tasks require the flexibility and mobility of miter saws.
Of course, you can still use the miter saw on complex applications. But this time, you might need a compound miter saw. The latter will allow you to tilt the blade of the saw on its axis. It is a great feature. However, you can rarely see it on typical woodworking projects and home renovations.
Most of the miter saws that you can see today come in either 10-inch blades or 12-inch blades. All of us have intended applications to use. Therefore, choosing between these two models is just a matter of preference. However, if you are just a mere weekend warrior, we deem that there is no need for you to invest in a 12-inch option. The latter is just an "overkill," considering that the 10-inch miter saw can almost do any DIY projects.
We would completely understand if you see a chop saw as a beast on the workshop. After all, everything about this device is aggressive, bulky, and powerful. Professional contractors who are into fabricating, welding, and building houses will need a chop saw. It can easily cut trusses, rafters, joists, and studs. A miter saw cannot accommodate these materials anymore.
Most of the chop saws that can see on the market today have metal wheels with abrasive. However, you can still spot models that are using blades that have "cold cut." Specifically, abrasive saw blades generate sparks whenever they are cutting. It is notable that they make the workpiece hot during the entire procedure. On the other hand, a cold cut saw blade would keep the material cool even after cutting. It doesn't produce too many sparks either.
You can find a lot of chop saws today that have 14-inch or so foot levers. This particular design is for commercial and industrial applications. Of course, you can expect that they have large bodies as well. Meanwhile, there are chop saws that are powered by gasoline. They are the freehand chop saws, and they feature extreme mobility. But on the other hand, we recommend that you exercise extreme caution whenever you are using a freehand saw.
Overall, you can see that chop saws and miter saws belong to different worlds, especially if we highlight their respective capacities and intended applications. Therefore, you should not be confused about which of them you are going to choose. For heavy-duty cutting tasks, go with a chop saw. For light woodworking tasks and home-related projects, pick a miter saw. It is quite simple!
If you have any questions, comments, and suggestions, just drop them in the comment section below! We will be waiting!
Thomas Roberge is a Pro himself, who has been in the business of home renovation and construction, working with various tools. He used to be the owner of 2 local construction companies with over 18 years experience. His works also include writing inspiring Do IT Yourself Tips and Tricks.