Table Saw v Miter Saw

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by rockislandmike, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Hey guys, my brother beat me to the punch on a digital camera, so I get the old family one for eternity. I was sort of looking forward to a new camera, but the one I have now does the trick.

    Sssooooo . . . I'm considering either a table saw or a compound miter saw, and thought I'd get your opinions on which to spring for.

    My biggest concern is my lumber loads; I've gotten significant orders in the last couple weeks already, to the point I really don't wanna bother my father-in-law to cut them down for me anymore. I know the tablesaw would do them fine (they start out as 2x6's, and I cut them down in all three directions), but I think the miter saw would be a better long term investment, **IF** it would also do the trick on 'em.

    Thoughts ?????
  2. scottg28

    scottg28 New Member

    I am no expert on compound miter saws, but I can't see an easy way to rip 2x6 with one, at least not the $300 - $400 I have seen. I bought this from sears for $129 about 15 months ago:

    Craftsman 10 in. Table Saw, Benchtop

    Features direct drive, 15 amp, 2-7/10 hp, a 36 tooth carbide tipped blade, standard arbor, 3 in. maximum cut depth and a 45 and 90 degree bevel index. Rip capacity to right 24 in., left 10-7/8 in

    It has been a real workhorse for me, and I have ripped quite a bit of lumber. The only problem I have encountered is, if you choose not to anchor it to floor, you need to get it on a level surface and even then if you have a tough rip in wetter wood it may want to buck if you go a little too fast. I scavanged so concrete form 2x10 which I will someday use to build the majority of my benchwork and did a test rip to create 5 - 2x2 (well sort of almost 2x2s) but it did fine and this was a 12 ft board.

    btw I bought it and the new router I had to have to build the oak chest that now sits at the end of our bed as part of birthday gift for my wife. It took two months, she loves it, and I have a table saw and router for building my train. you just can't beat that.

  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Got a compound miter saw, table saw and radial arm saw. For ripping, the table saw is obviously the tool to use, although you can rip with the radial arm, it gets kinda tricky. More than once I sent a piece through the wall when the blade grabbed on. I also have a split thumb thanks to the radial arm saw throwing a small piece back towards me. The compound miter does a great job of crosscutting, but usually can't cut wide boards. The one I have is a sliding compoud miter and still can't cut more than about an 8 inch wide board. The radial arm can crosscut up to about 15".

    If I had to choose only one, I would get the table saw since it can rip and crosscut and even do compound miters if you need to. The truth is that I have the miter saw only because Habor Freight had it on sale for under $100. Yeah, that's right, a 10" sliding compound miter saw for I think $89.95, freight included. You just have to wait until they go on sale, but you can't beat that price anywhere.
  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I agree the table saw should be first for most uses. It's not easy to cut small stuff with the compound miter saw. The latter is great for framing pictures, making shadow boxes and other projects requiring a precise angle, and also for building walls (chopping 2 X 4's). You can always do the miter cuts the oldfashioned way if you need to, but the table saw is indespensable. IMHO: a 10" table saw and a decent circular saw are the best first two woodworking powertools to buy, for wood working or gen home maintenace and projects.
  5. chipmonk

    chipmonk Member

    well i have both a mitter and table saw and pretty much all work needing a mitter saw can be done on a table saw though the opposite is not true. a mitter saw is good for cutting long boards to length quickly(for benchwork, legs, griders and such). a talbe saw can also be used for this but it doesnt go quite as fast. the biggest advantage of a table saw it that fact that you can rip very thin pieces of wood and cut small pieces safely and easily without the threat of "sending lumber through walls." so my advice would be to start with the table saw, later down the road though you may want to consider a mitter saw as it can be very usefull.

    Good luck:thumb:
  6. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Well, guys, thanks to your comments I took the plunge, and bought myself a table saw today at lunch. Not top of the line or anything, but a brand name that I trust (which is important to me, in anything with scary teeth that spins at some obscene speed).

    Thanks again.
  7. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Mike, an inexpensive Mitre saw that will probobly do 99% of your requirements can be had at K-Mart for about 90 bucks.

    Benchtop is an off brand but as a pro tile contractor i occassionally need to do some work with dimension lumber.I have a pricy model at home but have found this small lightweight lil unit to be just the ticket for tossing into the back of the truck and abusing at job sites.Mind you i would not want to use it for cabinetmaking but for dimension lumber it has enough power to deal with 2x material and 3/4" oak and maple boards.
    Its been in service for 4 years and has never failed me even though i really abuse it.
    I reccomend investing in a differant blade than the one that comes with it.A Pirhanna or marathon carbide tipped are good choices and will run around 20-25.00
    If you do not abuse it,the blade will service your needs for many years at home.

    This is one way to have your cake and eat it too ;)

Share This Page