Table Saw Vs Miter Saw – What To Choose?

Woodworkers from all walks of life, whether you’re ripping through some wood for a home project, or making smaller cross-cuts on a day to day basis for your job – would know that miter and table saws are important for their own reasons, and a staple in the workers’ inventory.

There can often be some confusion, especially for those looking to make their first cuts, on what saw to purchase, which boils down to your needs, and what you’ll be using either saw for. 

You may be wondering, what is the difference between a table and a miter saw? Well, put simply, their size and looks aside, a miter saw is used mainly for its prowess in miter cuts, whereas a table saw is used primarily for ripping through wood.

There are some other differences between the two, which you’ll become aware of once the four models are compared against each other.

Want to read the entire article, but don’t have time on your side at the moment? Not a problem, we’ve made an overview in list form for you to look so you know whether you require a table saw or miter saw.

  • Miter saws are used more so for their accuracy and range of cuts, table saws for both their power and ripping ability
  • SawStop PCS175-TGP236 Table Saw is a high-end model featuring almost all the aspects on a table saw you’d need
  • DEWALT DWE7491RS Table Saw is great value for money, featuring reliability of DeWalt, aimed for those on the go
  • The DeWalt DWS780 Miter Saw is one of the best in class, and has a learning curve suited for all experience levels
  • The Hitachi C10FCH2 Miter Saw is the lightest on the market, yet features impressive accuracy and power features

Why Are We Looking Into Both Of These Saws And Models?

We’re looking into both these saws, as well as two models in each miter and table saw, due to the similarities they share with the cuts they can make.

Most woodworkers who are serious about woodworking will have one of these saws within their workshop, and it’s essential to uncover the differences between both before moving ahead and purchasing the wrong one – so that’s why I’ve created this guide for you today.

The two models in each table and miter saw class are amongst the best that you can buy. Interestingly enough, each model comes with a unique feature that I’ve highlighted in each section, which separates these models from the rest of the competition within its field.

Table Saws

Table saws are often said to be the gateway saw for the hobbyist as they look to begin either a serious career or their own DIY journey into woodworking with. There’s a large chance you used one of these within your woodworking classes at school, and these saws can often be the most dangerous to use out of the saw family, if used incorrectly.

Table saws derive their name from their design, which is a saw mounted underneath a table with a portion of the blade exposed.

Their primary method of cuts is known as ripping, as you feed the piece of wood into the blade. Some table saws can be equipped with additional features that allow for alternative cuts, however this method of cutting is usually what they are renowned for.

SawStop PCS175-TGP236 Table Saw

To start off our table saw reviews, we’ll be looking at the PCS175-TGP236 table saw from SawStop.

There’s no denying that this is the best table saw that you possibly purchase for use in your home – whichever way you may use it.

You may look at the price and be put off – yet for the premier products, you have to pay a premium price – and this is where the PCS175-TGP236 stands atop,  in a league of its own. 

Innovation is key within this model, paired with durability and an impressive performance that can lift your woodworking skills by simply sitting within your workshop.

Safety is one of the aspects that SawStop look to cover with this model, and is a feature I’ve highlighted as my favorite in the sections below, amongst a list of other impressive additions the PCS175-TGP236 features.

Specifications

  • 60hz, 1.75 HP motor
  • Total weight of 317 lbs, dimensions of 20” x 27” with additional extension wings of 12” X 23”
  • Blade diameter: 10″ with left blade tilt
  • Max depth of cut at 0°is 3 ⅛, max depth at 45° is 2 ¼”
  • 4” Dust collection port 

Features & Patented Safety System

We’ll start off with the patented safety system, an exclusive SawStop design that promotes the safety of your work.

If you want to keep your fingers (and I’m sure we all do, right?), and work for longer periods without stress – this is a feature which is definitely for you. You can’t place a price on safety.

SawStop achieves optimal safety with their PCS175-TGP236 through the electronic safety system which differentiates the touch of wood and hand. If it detects skin instead of wood, the brake will stop the blade in seconds. 

How does it detect the difference? Through an electronic signal that is sent through the blade.

The sudden stop can result in a damaged blade, however this is better than damaged fingers, isn’t it?

As well as the patented safety system on the PCS175-TGP236, let’s talk about the power on this model.

A 1.75 HP,  the 60Hz motor provides a performance for your work that is almost seamless, with the 10” blade effortlessly gliding through almost all woods.

The blade itself is tilted to the left, an important aspect when working. This isn’t just an important feature for protecting the 36” rip fence, but also assists with the emergency braking system.

The rip fence itself is SawStop’s T-Glide Fence System, and aims to provide an operation that is both smooth and incredibly precise, reducing kickback and inaccuracies. With the additional extended wings found on this model, almost all sizes of woods can be fitted onto the table.

What do you think of this model? It’s a definite yes from me, and if you’re serious about what you do – it should be on top of your wish list – even with its pricetag.

DEWALT DWE7491RS Table Saw

You’ll notice that this table saw from DeWalt is on the opposite side of the price spectrum than that of the SawStop model – yet it’s nothing to be scuffed at, as the DWE7491RS holds up on its own, packed with some great features without overcomplicating itself.

This is the next in line of the 744/745 table series DeWalt introduced, that features some additional upgrades, including a rip capacity of 32” and a motor that is also an improvement on its predecessor.

In what is great value for money, the DWE7491RS is built for portability and those in transit, with a rolling stand and heavy duty wheels. If you’re constantly on the go, this should be another tool on your list – and it won’t break the bank, either.

Let’s start off by looking into the specifications of this model, followed by its features and my favorite aspect.

Specifications

  • 15 amps No load, 15amp, 120V motor with an attainable speed of 4,800 RPM
  • Total weight of 110 lbs, with dimensions of 31” x 24.5” x 31”
  • 10” , 24 tooth blade with a ⅝” arbor and a 32” ½” rip capacity
  • Max depth of cut at 45° 2-¼”, 90° is 30-⅛”
  • 2” dust collection port

Features & Rip Capacity

The rip capacity on the DWE7491RS model is 32”, and is one of the largest that can be found for a table saw of this size. This allows you to work with larger pieces, and at its price – is exceptional value for money.

Thanks to the rack and pinion fence system, any adjustments that you look to make on this model when working are incredibly quick, and accurate. The fence rails are telescopic, and allow for extension and retraction that also assists in portability of the model.

Another handy addition that we touched on earlier is the upgraded motor on this model. An attainable motor speed of 4,800 RPM is a large increase on the previous speed of 3,850 RPM that is found on previous models.

Thanks to the upgrade in motor allowing for a higher maximum RPM to be achieved, there are a number of tasks that can be completed on this design, such as framing lumber, up to 2” x 12”,  sheet material ripping of 4” x 8”, and various other projects that are perfect for both the DIYer and the professional contractor.

The motor is no use without a strong blade, and that’s another aspect that DeWalt have included upon their DWE7491RS model.

A 10”, 24 tooth carbide blade is packaged with this table saw, allowing you to tackle those jobs effectively with both the motor in assistance, and the assurance of durability in DeWalt’s famous builds.

Miter Saw Models Review

When you look at both the table and miter saw in a side by side comparison, you may wonder how people often get this power tools confused for one another.

They perform similar cuts, however, are both aesthetically different. Unlike a table saw, miter saw has it’s full blade visible, however half is usually shielded by a guard for safety reasons. The miter saw has the ability to rotate, and create angled cuts – which is where the tool gets its name from.

Miter saws can be found in 10” and 12” varieties, and are quite precise when cutting, creating cross-cuts, bevel cuts – and their namesake cuts, to name some examples of what they can do.

DeWalt DWS780 Miter Saw

The DWS780 is a very impressive, 12” sliding compound miter saw – suited for both the day to day hobbyist and contractor.

There’s isn’t any discriminating with this model, and it doesn’t hold a steep learning curve – so anyone can pick this up and start creating cuts.

Due to its sliding nature, it’s perfect for working with larger pieces of wood, and prevents damage to the power cord thanks to a design that sees the cord led through the back of the miter saw.

What else can you find on this model? I’ve listed some specs and some of the impressive features below.

Specifications

  • Max RPM speed of 3,800 thanks to a 5amp motor
  • Total weight of 54lbs, with dimensions of 21.5” x 17.7” x 17.1”
  • Can cut lumber up to 2” x 16” at 90° and 2” x 12” at 45°
  • Miter ability of 0-60° left and 0 to 50° right, with a bevel of 0 to 48° both left and right, mi
  • Cross cut capacity at 90° of 12”, 45° of 4” x 8”

Features & XPS Crosscut Positioning System

If you’re not familiar with the XPS crosscut positioning system that DeWalt include on a majority of their miter saws, I can bring you up to speed. This system features an LED light that shines an adjustment free sight-line onto the wood you’re working with, giving you incredible accuracy, resulting in a cleaner and smoother cut.

The only downside with this LED feature is that it’s a white light, and this can be difficult to see under bright environments, however it can be replaced.

The sliding feature of this compound miter saw allows the DWS780 to provide a larger capacity than alternative models, giving up to 14” of space using the 90° crosscut aspect, and up to 16” using the specialized setup.

Added to an already large capacity model of 12”, DeWalt have definitely impressed with this feature.

What are your thoughts on the capacity of the DWS780?

As well as the capacity, there are some other nifty features DeWalt have included. An integrated gearbox and belt-drive system increased the miter saws’ vertical cutting capacity, and to catch the dust created by the 3,800 RPM motor, you have a collection system that captures up to 75% of dust.

The detent plate comes with ten positive stops, which not only ensures the accuracy of your work, but also improved the productivity and performance of your work. It’s a model which is built with durability in mind, regardless of how you work.

You’re aware of my thoughts on this model, so I’d like to hear yours – leave me a comment in the section at the bottom of the article, expressing your favorite feature of the DWS780.  

Hitachi C10FCH2 Miter Saw

To finish up both our table and miter saw reviews, we’ll be rounding off the article with a look into the Hitachi C10FCH2 miter saw.

This is one of two Hitachi models within the C10FCH2 series, and features an exclusive laser marking system, unlike the C10FCG model, which doesn’t.

It’s one of the lightest miter saws in the 10” class, weighing only 26.5lbs. Yet don’t be discouraged by its’ light size, as it holds an impressive motor that can cut through most woods fed through it.

It’s also quite an affordable miter saw, so is definitely attainable for all budgets – especially if you’re watching your money.

I’ve listed some of the specifications of this model below, so you can make up your own mind to see if it’s suited for you.

Specifications

  • 15Amp, 5,000 RPM motor  with a 1950W output and 1520W input
  • Total weight of 26.5lbs and dimensions of 20.5” x 16” x 13.5” 
  • Thumb actuated positive stops for quick adjustments
  • Miter angle range of 0-52° both left and right, bevel of 0-45° left
  • 4” pivoting flip fence for crown molding vertical cutting

Features & No Load Motor

One of the favorite features by many customers of this model is the no load motor, that can reach a maximum speed of 5,000 RPM.

For the price you pay for this model, it’s a definite winner, and allows for a swift startup that eliminates any kickback from occuring when switched on. Not only is this great for startup, yet it also allows for a rise in performance, and an increase in the longevity of both the motor and miter saw itself.

Vibration is also reduced with the Elastomer grip, that also adds an extra dimension of comfort when working – meaning you can control the saw better when working through long periods.

The C10FCH2 features Hitachi’s Laser Marker System, that lines up a laser marked on the piece you’re working on, that can be activated before the blade has begun to move into action. This, like DeWalt’s XPS crosscut system, allows for your cuts to be more accurate than they have been before.

If you’re looking for a model that combines accuracy and power, with added portability for an affordable price – you should definitely be adding the C10FCH2 to your cut.

What’s your favorite feature of this model? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

The Round Up

So we’ve reviewed two of the favorite models in both the miter and table saw categories, as well as explaining the difference between the two tools. If you’re new, don’t worry – we’ve all started somewhere, and I hope this guide has been able to assist you.

If you’ve come here primarily looking for information on what table saw to purchase next – your choice may depend heavily on how much you’re willing to spend, with the SawStop model being one of the best you could possibly purchase, and will stay that way for years to come. 

However, it may be out of the general hobbyists price range, and if that’s the case, you won’t go wrong with choosing the DeWalt DWE749RS table saw.

With the miter saws we’ve looked into, the Hitachi C10FCH2 is the best value for money, combining everything you’d need in a miter saw, without going overboard. Plus, it’s priced at quite an affordable price. The DeWalt DWS780 is amongst the best in the class, and some would argue and say it’s the best. However, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

I hope you had as much fun reading this article as I did putting it together for you – and good luck with your next purchase, I can assure you that if you pick one of the models we’ve discussed, you won’t go wrong.

If you have any questions, or would like to share some of your experiences within the trade, let me know in the comments below.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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