Mitre Saw Vs Circular Saw – What Are The Differences?


Power Tools are one of the many blessings modern-day carpentry can have. You must have noticed exquisite furniture, niches, arches, and designs carved out of simple wood. Power tools like a mitre saw or circular saw assists carpenter in developing such elegant pieces of art. This article will focus on a mitre saw vs circular saw, their working, benefits, disadvantages and other important aspects of both saws.

Mitre Saw Vs Circular Saw – Main Differences

Mitre Saw

What is a Mitre Saw

As its name suggests, a mitre saw helps us make mitre cuts. Mitre cuts refer to any angular cutting in wood. For instance, 30-degree angles, bevel cuts, or others. A compass or other tool is required to mark the required angle on wood, and then it can be simply cut across the marked line to obtain the required mitre cut.

Related: Top 8 Mitre Saws of 2021

Working mechanism

Miter saw is utilised for specialised jobs. Its blade is quite similar to the circular saw. This saw comes with a stationary workstation and attached fence. The blade of a mitre saw is attached to an arm able to swivel right or left. Accurate cutting can be done as the arm allows the saw to lock in place, restricting its unwanted motion.

Apart from regular cuts, a mitre saw can be utilised to make fences, cupboards, window casings, door frames, or crown mouldings, etc.

Features of Miter Saw

A mitre saw is used for high-precision work. It has the edge over a circular saw. If you are a beginner at woodworking, it is advisable to go with the circular saw. It is a stationary and motor-powered cutting tool with a blade diameter ranging from eight to twelve inches. It can perform for unique types of cuts in wood.

Furthermore, the ability to depth stop and rotation allows you to work flexibly. It has a built-in sawdust mechanism, so you don’t have to worry about a messy working environment. There is a protective guard blade with the mitre saw with additional fencing attached to the workstation.

Cuts With Mitre Saw

You can perform four specialised cuts with the help of a mitre saw. The working mechanism and specifications of these cuts are given below:

1. The Crosscut

It is a very easy cut performed along the length of the board at an angle of ninety degrees. For example, if you have a woodblock measuring 2 inches by 4 inches and it is required to be cut in half, a cross-cut is required, which can be easily and accurately carried out with the mitre saw.

2. The Mitre Cut

Have you ever noticed the cuts at the top corners of your door frame? A forty-five-degree angle saw is generally used to make these trims be joined later. When a wooden board or log is cut at a certain angle, a mitre cut is produced.

3. The Bevel Cut

A bevel cut is made along with the thickness of a wooden log or plyboard. For instance, the shims, doorsteps, or baseboards are typical examples of bevel joinery.

4. The Compound Cut

When a bevel cut is used in conjunction with mitre cut, the compound cut is developed. As seen in crown mouldings in homes, the trims around corner edges can be joined seamlessly with compound cuts.

Pros of mitre saw
  • Mitre saws produce precise cuts with minor errors.
  • The tight-fitting seams are developed easily.
  • Mitre saw saves time.
  • The operations of the mitre saw are simple and swift.
  • The mitre saw has several safety features.
  • Easy to use.
Cons of mitre saw
  • Mitre saws are not versatile because they are fixed in place.
  • A Miter saw is quite expensive.
  • A reasonable space is required for the mitre saw.
  • You cannot cut plywood with a mitre saw
  • It is not recommended for Rip-cuts
  • Rabbet and dado cutting cannot be performed without additional attachments.

Circular Saw

A circular saw is an extremely versatile saw present in almost every carpenter’s workshop. It is a handheld tool with a motor-operated cutting blade. There are tooths or grooves in the blade that can produce long cuts along wooden boards very easily.

Relate: 1O Best Circular Saws in the UK

A typical circular saw can accommodate multiple blade sizes as well. For example, the blades with a diameter running from 3 ⅜ inches up to 16 inches can be attached with a circular saw. It also offers greater cutting depth apart from the dado blade, which is a built-in feature. The circular saws come with metal or plastic frames for enhanced safety and accuracy.

Salient features

Do you know that a metal or plastic plate is attached as a safeguard with a circular saw? It is a hand-held tool that can cut through several materials, including wood, plastic, metal, or stone. The adaptability is another charming feature as it allows the user to use multiple blade sizes for different job requirements. Multiple attachments like angles and stop guides are provided for increased accuracy and precision.

Cuts with Circular Saw

Do you know you can perform the following types of cuts with a circular saw?

The Plunge Cuts

A plunge cut is executed by placing the blade above the plank and simply lowering it down. It is the simplest cut one can do with a circular saw.

The Dado and Rabbet

Circular saws make it very easy to make hollowed centres and dado cutting for various project requirements.

The Crosscut

The extremely popular crosscut is efficiently executed with the help of a circular saw. It requires you to simply mark the guidelines and cut across the grains of wood.

The Rip Cuts

The rip cuts are similar to crosscuts. The only difference between the two is that rip cuts are performed along the board’s length. In this way, the utilities and applications for cut length are determined.

Pros of circular saw
  • A Circular saw is known to be an extremely versatile tool.
  • It has no match concerning long cuttings and rips cuttings.
  • It is cost-effective.
  • It can cut through plywood.
  • It is portable.
  • Rabbet and dado can be done.
Cons of circular saw
  • The accuracy of the circular saw is average.
  • It takes much time and effort to master.
  • Crosscuts are made with poor accuracy.
  • It is quite risky.
  • A circular saw can produce jagged edges and tear-outs.

Important things to consider

If you have a Miter Saw, it is vital to keep in mind that the size and type of blade make all the difference while cutting different woods. Whereas, if you have a Circular Saw, you must own a few sturdy sawhorses and clamps. These attachments will keep your saw fixed and easy to operate.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you use a circular saw as a mitre saw?

Operating a circular saw needs a high level of expertise. Although you can use a circular saw to make mitre cuts, yet it is very tricky. The mitre cuts will be difficult to produce due to the blade guard on a circular saw. Apart from that, it is also possible to twist the saw and bind the blade when using it as a mitre saw.

2. Is there a difference between a mitre saw blade and a circular saw blade?

The circular saw blades are either toothed ones or abrasive disc type and used for cutting plastic, wood, or metal. Whereas sharp spinning blades are used for precise, delicate, and elegant angular cuttings in wood with a mitre saw.


There are various parameters to analyse both saws. These attributes include functionality, price, storage, portability, types of required cuts, or the nature of the project. Apart from these basic factors, the level of expertise also matters a lot. For beginners, neither of two is recommended. A handsaw can be used for minute works. While with increased expertise, a user can opt for a mitre saw or circular saw. However, the circular saw requires an enormous amount of practice and manhours to master.

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