Miter Saw Vs. Chop Saw: What do you need?

Although chop saws and miter saws look similar, there are considerable differences in their work. There are many similarities between them, and it is often confusing for newcomers to decide which saw is best for their job. That rises a debate, miter saw vs. chop saw. If you are new to this industry, maybe you are going through the same problem. If you want to know the difference between a chop saw and a miter saw and which saw would be suitable to use for your work, then this article is for you. I hope you can find the answers to all the questions related to the chop saw and miter saw here. And, take a side of the debate of miter saw vs. chop saw.

Difference between miter saw and chop saw.

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What is a Miter Saw?

Miter Saw

The miter saw is a tabletop saw. There is a round blade on the pivoting table. To cut something, you have to lower the blade on the table with a handle. When the blade is lowered, the safety guard on the top of the blade rises so that the blade can do its job. There is a switch with the handle so that the spherical blade does the cut when pressed. There is a meter scale on the table through which one can cut something to the correct size. In addition, to cut something at the perfect angle, you can rotate the blade at a certain angle with the help of the miter lock handle. 45-degree is a very common angle. Chop Saw can easily cut something at a 45-degree angle. Then there is a bevel gauge under the blade that you can use to tilt the blade at a certain angle to bevel something.

The blade has to be tilted at an angle of your choice to do the bevel. So, here are some dual bevel meter saws. This means that if you have a dual bevel miter saw, you can tilt the blade on both sides. However, it is not very important. If you can tilt the blade to one side, you can do the bevel cut at any angle from 1 to 90 degrees. However, if you want, there is no harm in using a dual bevel miter saw.

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What Is a Miter Saw Used For?

miter saw uses

We usually use a miter saw to cut something complicated. Miter saws can quickly go from complex to more complex cuts. If you notice, you will see angle cuts in your window or door frame corners. It is challenging to get the desired result even by using scale and pencil to cut an angle with a regular saw. But with the help of a miter saw, it is possible to make the same cut instantly. Also, it is so easier to do a bevel cut with a miter saw. So, a miter saw is best to do bevel cuts. Miter saws have alleviated the suffering of carpenters a lot.

Then, if you want to do bevel and angle cut simultaneously, you can do it very comfortably with a miter saw. It is never possible to get a professional finish as a miter saw with a simple saw, no matter how hard you try. That’s why we use the miter saw to cut something so hard and get a professional finish at work.

What is a Chop Saw?

Chop Saw

Chop saw is known as an abrasive saw, or metal cutting saw as well. The chop saw blade is mounted on a pivoting arm. Chop saw also has a safety guard on the blade as a miter saw. When you lower the blade to cut something, the safety guard goes up, exposing the blade. There is a handle to bring the blade down. A power switch is provided with the handle. There is also another handle to carry it.

Chop saws tend to be much heavier than meter saws. Being heavy, it gets more stability when cutting something. The chop saw size is also more extensive than the miter saw. Miter saw blades are usually 8 to 12 inches. The average size of a chop saw blade is 14 inches. However, chop saw blades do not have teeth like meter saw blades. Chop saw blades or discs have a diamond coating on them. Because of the diamond coating, the chop saw can cut rigid materials with ease. It usually cuts through the abrasion. This is why it is called abrasive saw.

Unlike a miter saw, it has no angle gauge or bevel gauge for rotating chop saw disc. As a result, chop saws cannot cut angles or bevels like meter saws. Chop saws are limited to straight 90-degree cuts. You can easily overcome this matter with a bit of effort.

The chop saw disc has a diamond coating, which causes sparks to ignite during cutting. So as a precaution, you should keep the combustible material away while working on chopping and use safety glasses. However, it is not a big problem. Everything needs a little bit of caution. If you are careful, no such accident will happen. So, don’t worry about that.

What Is a Chop Saw Used For?

chop Saw Cut Angles

Chop saws are more commonly used on construction sites. Chop saws are much heavier and more substantial than meter saws. Being heavy and powerful, it was ideal for cutting robust materials such as steel, masonry, lumber, etc. Chop saws have no angle gauges or bevel gauges for movement, so they have high stability, suitable for cutting rigid materials. In addition, the chop saw disc has a diamond coating which makes it easy to cut heavy materials like steel. You cannot do an angle cut with a chop saw, though. However, if you work a little more complicated, it is not very difficult to do an angle cut with a chop saw. Since chop saws are used for cutting hard materials, it does not have an angle gauge or bevel gauge like a miter saw in terms of stability. With a diamond-coated toothless disc, the chop saw finish also comes in handy. Construction workers like it enough because of the massive force.

Another thing to remember is that a chop saw is not the only toothless disk to be used. You can also use a toothed disc for other purposes if you wish. However, since the chop saw works at about 5000 RPM, it becomes a little challenging to handle it when fitted with toothed discs. But a skilled hand can do it very quickly.

Can a Chop Saw Cut Angles?

chop Saw Cut Angles

If I have to answer this question straightforwardly, you cannot cut angles using a chop saw alone. As mentioned earlier, the chop saw does not have an angle gauge or bevel gauge. These are not given to make the chop saw more stable. That’s why you can’t do either angle cut or bevel cut with a chop saw. Miter saws are used for cutting light material. There is no need for more stability in the miter saw for this. So the meter saw has an angle gauge or bevel gauge. With which you can do angle cut or bevel cut very nicely. If you want to cut the angle, then the miter saw will be suitable for you.

This does not mean that it is not possible to cut the angle with a chop saw. If you want to cut the angle with a chop saw, you must follow the old method. Using a scale and pencil, you have to fix the angle you want to cut in advance. Then you can easily cut the angle with a chop saw. It is not a difficult job for a skilled person.

Can I Use a Miter Saw instead of a Chop Saw?

Since miter saw and chop saw look the same again, they work in the same way. So the question may arise as to whether we can do chop sawing with a miter saw. However, you can use the meter saw as a chop saw if you wish. Still, as a professional, I would not support doing such a thing. There are several reasons for this.

Miter saws are used to cut light materials such as wood, plywood. Chop saws, on the other hand, are designed to cut heavy materials precisely. Now, if you try to cut metal with a miter saw, you may have success. But it will not be suitable for the longevity of your meter saw.

Also, toothed blades are used in miter saws. With which you cannot cut metal. In that case, you need to use a toothless disc if you want to cut metal with a miter saw. The miter saw is not ideal for using toothless discs. If you use a toothless disc at the meter saw, the part of the miter saw where the blade is set will be damaged.

The miter saw rotates at 3000 RPM, which is about 2000 RPM less than the chop saw. Moreover, the chop saw is capable of generating five horsepower. There the miter saw produces only 2.5 horsepower. You will never get massive power as a chop saw with a miter saw, even if you want to. It is not possible to get a finish as a chop saw with a miter saw. If you do not want to damage your miter saw, it is best not to use it as a chop saw.

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Which Can Cut What?

The primary difference between miter saws and chop saws is that they are made for cutting different materials. We will never get our desired results if we do not use the right saw for the suitable material. If we do not know which material to cut with which saw, we will not ensure the proper use of these two saws.

Miter Saw information

Miter Saw

Miter saws are mainly made for cutting wood or plywood. It can also use it to cut plastics and composites. The miter saw is made for cutting light materials. Miter saws are ideal for cutting materials that do not require much energy to cut.

If you want to cut metal with a miter saw, you cannot do that with a regular blade. However, if you use abrasive discs, you would be able to cut metal. But that would be inappropriate. It is not possible to work on a construction site with a miter saw because it is not capable of cutting masonry or concrete.

Chop Saw

Reliable tool for cutting metal. It is made to cut metal or similar robust materials. Chop saw is very powerful, so it can easily cut masonry or concrete as well. As a result, it is a widely used tool on construction sites

Wood, plywood, plastic, composite can be cut with a chop saw. But as a professional, I can’t suggest cutting them with a chop saw. Although chop saws can cut these easily, they will not be as precise as miter saws. I think it is better not to cut the light material with a chop saw. It won’t be able to give you a miter saw-like finish.



The infographic above only has the main points of two saws which is the difference between a Miter Saw Vs Chop Saw.

Which one shoud you choose?

When you’ve read this much, I’m sure you’ve figured out which saw is best for you. Which saw you buy, depends on your work. In this case, you need to understand well what you are doing or what purpose you will use the saw for.

If you are a carpenter and do not usually need to cut metal, then a miter saw is suitable for you. Carpenter’s work requires cutting angles, bevels, and compounds which can do with a miter saw. The miter saw is suitable for cutting plywood and wood. If you want to cut wood and metal, masonry, concrete, you will not work only with the miter saw. Then you will need a chop saw as well as a miter saw.

Suppose you need a saw for construction site work. Then it is a chop saw. Metal cutting is usually required at construction sites. There are also works of concrete, lumber, and masonry at the construction site. For which chop saw is the most ideal. Of course, the meter saw will not be able to cut such heavy materials.

Chop saw, and miter saw work are different. If you want to get one saw to work instead of another, it will only increase your repair bill. For the longevity of the saw, we should cut the material that they are made for cutting.

5 thoughts on “Miter Saw Vs. Chop Saw: What do you need?”

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