Circular Saw Vs Miter Saw | Comparison & Uses Explained

The carpentry industry can’t function without the circular and miter saw. It would not have reached the current status without these tools that act as a lifeline for the industry. Circular and miter saws are used to carry out low-scale work such as cutting wood scrape, wooden pieces, and trim work. These machines cut your total wood cutting time by half because they are fast.

Circular Saw Vs Miter Saw

In addition, these machines are relatively safe to use and allow for accurate work. Both the machines are handheld and can be mounted that gives utter convenience. They are driven by motors with a certain horsepower that runs the toothed blade connected to it via a belt or gear system. In the next section, we will thoroughly dissect the anatomy of machines and analyze their work to enable you to decide which one is better for you.

Circular Saw Vs. Miter Saw

Circular Saw

You might have seen a circular saw at your nearby workshop or on the internet. It is safe to say that the circular saw is the muscle of the carpentry industry, and it is known for its fast performance and versatility. A circular saw allows for great convenience and can cut a variety of other materials besides wood. For instance, it can be used to cut concrete boards, etc. Let us discuss in detail the components of a circular saw.

Circular Saw

So basically, a circular saw isn’t as complex of a machine as it looks. It is powered by electricity as you can see there is an electric cord attached to its end. It is equipped with a motor which is electrically powered. This motor spins the blade via a belt or gear system. A circular saw can be held from the handle, and there is a trigger button close to the handle so that you can conveniently access that.

Moreover, there is a toothed blade that does the actual cutting. The blade is secured by a bolt and clamp to keep it firmly in one place. In addition to that, there is a plate attached just next to the blade that ensures the alignment of the blade and allows for accurate cuts. Then it comes with an upper guard and blade cover that secures the blade from all around. Lastly, it comes with a bevel adjustment system and depth lock knob that helps cut bevels and depth in a wood plank.

Miter Saw

Miter saw is more or less the same as a circular saw and lends you the same job as a circular saw. The main difference is the placement of the blade. You have to drop the blade down from above to cut the wood piece in a miter saw. On the contrary, in a circular saw, the blade is against the workpiece to cut the wood piece. Let us discuss the components of a miter saw deeply for better understanding.

Miter Saw

First thing’s first, a miter saw,  just like all other types of saws, is driven by electric motors; that is; the motors are powered by electric energy, which in return drives the blade. Now the blade is often toothed so that cuts to the workpiece are guarded by a blade guard when not in use. Then there is a handle close to the blade, which allows you to hold the blade part to raise or lower it. There is a trigger switch situated on the handle for convenient powering.

In addition to that, some advanced miter saws are equipped with sliding rails that guide the blade to move forward or backward for more convenience. Moreover, a miter scale and miter lock handle keep the workpiece tightly in one place. Not only that, but a miter saw also comes with a kerf plate and durst port that grants cleaner cuts by reducing splintering and keeps the sawdust at bay. Last but not least, you also get a fence system in the miter saw that holds the workpiece in one place and allows for precise cuts. If you’re interested to buy one read the reviews & buying guide of miter saw.

Major Differences Between Circular Saw and Miter Saw

While it is hard to choose one over the other, we leave the right to choose on the reader. For some, a circular saw is better than a miter saw and vice versa. Both the machines have made their marks in the carpentry industry and have made the works of carpenters easier tenfold. However, we cannot deny that every machine comes with its own setbacks. The next section gives you a detailed comparison between both the machines to choose which one is right for you.

Circular Saw Vs. Miter Saw

Precision In The Work

When we talk about precision, a miter saw is definitely the chief, and it is very obvious because a circular saw is a handheld that causes human error to occur. When you hold a machine in your hands, there always can be some miscalculations which can lead to inaccuracy in your work. As the miter saw is mounted on a flat surface, therefore there are fewer vibrations which leads to accurate cuts.

Variety In Cuts And Angles

A circular saw allows for a variety in cuts and angles as it is a handheld machine. You can move the machine at any angle to have different kinds of cuts on your workpiece. Whereas for a circular saw, the workpiece is held firmly at a certain angle, and moving it is a hassle. Therefore, if you need to cut angles and bevels in your wood piece, then a circular saw is your way to go.


There is a major difference in the cost of both the machines. A circular saw is easy to use and can carry out small DIY projects, whereas a miter saw can carry out large-scale projects. Besides, the miter saw allows for more accuracy and precision in the cuts, which makes them relatively expensive. In addition to that, a miter saw is faster than a circular saw, which makes them expensive.

Ease Of Use

Miter saw is relatively easier to use as it is mounted on a table, and the wood plank needs to be fed to the blade. On the other hand, a circular saw is a handheld, and you need to have mastery in making cuts on the required workpiece. Therefore, a miter saw is easy to use (here is how you to use the miter saw properly), and a circular saw requires skills to use it.


A Circular saw is definitely more portable than a miter saw because they are lightweight and handheld. On the other hand, a miter saw needs a flat surface to mount it on and weighs more than a circular saw. Hence you can easily move a circular saw around and operate it whenever you need without needing a table.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which one is better, a miter saw, or a circular saw?

You can’t say for sure which of the tools is better than the other because it depends on your requirements. You might not need a miter saw for your project, so a circular saw would work best for you and vice versa. Both the machines have their own benefits and setbacks. At the end of the day, you need to decide which machine you need the most.

2. Is a miter and circular saw dangerous to use?

Well, both the tools are perfectly guarded and made safe to use whenever you want. However, there is always some percent risk of injuries if not used properly. You need to be highly skillful in using the miter and circular saw because a slight miscalculation can cause serious injuries as your hand might get in contact with the blade.

3. Can I use a miter saw and circular saw for my home DIY projects?

If you are skilled enough to use these machines, you can use them to carry out small DIY projects. These machines allow you to cut versatile workpieces and grant rip-cuts, bevels, and precise angled cuts. In addition, you can also use them in your workshops for your business purposes.

Final Note

Miter Saw and Circular saw can be a backbone for trim carpentry and small-scale wood cutting industry. They are easy to use, versatile in their work, and allow for precision in work. Besides, these carpentry tools allow for fast wood cutting, save your energy, and allow for different styled cuts on the workpiece. The above article gives you a detailed comparison between a circular saw and a miter saw, their anatomy, and their working.

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