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Miter Saw Vs Circular Saw | In-depth Comparison

Among all the saw machines, the miter saw and the circular saw are very popular and they are widely used. If you are a professional, then this guide is not for you, it is for the beginners who just have stepped into the woodworking world and don’t know the differences.

To give you a short summary, let me tell you. Works that involve a lot of trimming, angle cutting, and cross-cutting, a miter saw is perfect for that kind of job. On the contrary, for projects that include rip-cut works or cutting plywood, a circular saw is suitable for that kind of job.

However, for better understanding, I have designed a Miter saw vs Circular saw comparison. And this comparison should be enough to help you decide which saw you should go with. From their all the features to pros to cons, I haven’t left anything behind, you will get to know every nook and crannies about two of these saw machines.

So without wasting any more second, let the battle begin!

A Quick Comparison

Are you in a hurry? Don’t have time for reading the entire article? No worries! Just take a look below, I have made a quick comparison so that you get the core thing!

Miter Saw

Circular Saw

Best for you when you have to make a lot of crosscuts. Wide range cutting isn’t its thing. A good choice for tasks that requires a wide range of cutting. It can do cross cuts as well.
You will get extreme accuracy with a good miter saw Circular saw isn’t as accurate as miter saw since the cutting is a little complex.
Miter saw cannot make Rip-cuts. It can make Rip cuts, you can use either guide rail or straight edge.
Delivers less accuracy when it comes down to cross cuts Higher accuracy in cross-cutting.
Not suitable for cutting plywood. Highly suitable for cutting plywoods.
Miter saw is very easy to learn and use Little hard at the beginning, takes time to master circular saw
Not portable, the miter saw is bulky and requires a workbench for comfortable use. It is a portable machine, you can carry and store it pretty easily in most places.
Miter saws are expensive Circular saws don’t come with a hefty price, they are affordable

What is Miter Saw?

Miter saw is a cutting machine that makes crosscuts and angle cuts in materials. Angled cuts are also called as Miter cut when you cut material in angle, 90-degree or so, then that is an angled or miter cut. Not only that, but a miter saw also enables you to make bevel cuts as well. You can say miter saws are specially designed to make miter cuts. Miter saw and the circular saw, both look pretty the same because both come with a rotating circular saw blade. Though they look pretty much the same, there are obvious differences in operating and uses. We will get to that soon below!

What is Circular Saw?

As I mentioned in the above section, circular saws are pretty much the same as miter saw. This saw comes with a flat circular saw blade that rotates pretty fast and can effortlessly cut through different materials such as plastic, plywood, normal wood, and metal as well. Circular saws are not complex at all, they are very straight and simple. It is a handheld machine and is available in both corded and cordless versions. If you want high portability, then going with the cordless model will be a wise idea.

Circular saws are highly versatile, they can do a wide range of cutting works. Plus, they can do the cross-cutting with good accuracy as well. This saw is widely used, you will find them nearly in every garages or workshop. One of the reasons why they are found everywhere is the price. They come at an inexpensive price so that everyone can afford it. Though they come at a low price, that doesn’t reflect in their performance, they are highly powerful.

Differences Between Miter Saw and Circular Saw

Now let me give you a tour of an in-depth comparison of the two most widely used saw machines. I have compared every aspect so that you can easily decide.

Operating Process

In a miter saw you will see a handle under which the saw blade is set. You have to pull the handle down and land the blade onto the work-piece. This is very easy and fun to do. You won’t have to put heavy energy to get the handle down, it’s very smooth and can be put down very smoothly.

On the contrary, you feed the circular saw blade against the work-piece in a straight path. Circular saws come with a bed where you can place the wood comfortably and securely.


When it comes down to making cuts, circular saw wins it because they are highly versatile. You can do a different kind of cutting with a circular saw, it is an all in one machine. Not only cutting woods, but you can also use it to cut different materials as well, it will cut through effortlessly. If you are experienced in using a circular saw, you can effortlessly make a different kind of cuttings and can use the saw for different tasks as well. With good experience, a circular saw user can make a bevel and miter cut also.

And miter saw is developed for a specific task. The main specialty of this saw machine is to make the cross-cut and angle cuts (miter cuts). That being said, circular saws also can make crosscuts and miter cuts, then why you should go for the miter saw. The reason is, making cross cuts, angled cuts are way too easier with a miter saw. Making this cut in the circular saw is a little tough and requires good experience. Plus, with a miter saw you will get good accuracy very easily, this is something that is hard to expect from the circular saw. Having that said, if the user is experienced enough, then it’s possible.

Portability and Storage

Miter saw is a big machine, it is supposed to be mounted on the workbench. And this machine is heavy as well. So the miter saw isn’t portable at all. Plus, because of its size, storing is a little tough as well since you won’t be able to store it anywhere you want. If you work in different places, then definitely miter saw isn’t something you should look up to.

And on the other hand, circular saws are highly portable and they are small in size so that you can store them anywhere you want. The weight of the circular saw is less and can be carried to anywhere very easily. If you are looking for portability, a circular saw is a way to go.

Ease of use

Using a circular saw requires good experience, if you are a beginner it would be a little hard at the beginning to use the circular saw. Compared to that, using a miter saw is very easy and comfortable as well. Though miter saw isn’t as versatile as a circular saw.


If you have a tight budget, I would suggest you go with the circular saw because they are very inexpensive. Not only that, they can get a lot of tasks done but you have to have a good experience for that because circular saws are a bit complex. Miter saws are expensive and if you are not a professional woodworker, I would advise you not to go with a miter saw. If are professionally a woodworker, you work with work-pieces most of the time, then you can think of investing a big amount in a miter saw. Otherwise, the circular saw is the best option.

Which One Should You Pick?

If the tasks in your hand involve different kinds of cuttings and you work in different places, you should choose the circular saw. This saw is extremely versatile, you can use it to cut different materials, and to make different types of cuts. And since they are small in size and low in weight, you can carry them to different workplaces very easily. Lastly, they are way too low priced than the miter saw.

And if you are a professional woodworker who needs special cutting with full accuracy, then miter saw is your thing. But keep in mind you cannot carry the miter saw to different places, that’s heavy. And you need a big space to store that as well since it is big. Plus, you will have to have a big budget as well because they are very expensive. But the price is justified since they offer greater comfort. Using a miter saw is way too easier than the circular saw.


Time to wrap up! I have tried to make the miter saw vs circular saw as in-depth as possible. To my knowledge, I didn’t leave anything that you need to know about these two cutting saws, it’s all there. Hope this helps!

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James R. Robertson
James R. Robertson

James R. Robertson is an expert advisor in all types of saws. His hobby is using different types of saw tools and has over 8 years of experience. Based on his experience with different types of saws, he is sharing his opinion about various saws. So that a beginner can get started right away. Happy reading!

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