Chop Saw vs Miter Saw | Which One is Better For a Beginner

Fact Checked By James A Weber | Post Updated On: December 11, 2021

Once you are here to pick one one between a chop saw and a miter saw, we already know that you are a new learner! In that case, you must learn the basic differences of the saws in detail otherwise you will end up choosing the wrong one!

Today, we have come up with all the features, positive and negative aspects and some important confusion! We will solve your problems today! Have a look!

Chop Saw vs Miter Saw Difference:

We will describe you everything of a chop saw vs. miter saw down below. If you are interested, skin through it!

Chop Saw: Definition and Features

If you have cut materials before, you will surely know the name of a chop saw. These saws usually have a spinning disc. This disc stays mounted on the pivoting arm of the chop saw. Usually miter saws have teeth on the disc of the saw. But when it comes to the chop saw, there is a coating of diamond.

This is used for perfection in abrasion. When you have to deal with the robust materials and the light work of these materials, you will surely remember the name of a chop saw.

The blades of both saws are different from each other. But apart from the blades, the capability of these saws are different too. The problem with the chop saw is these have no ability to pivot right or left.

As a result, you can only cut the materials in a 90-degree angle. If you have materials like this, nothing can be better than a chop saw! On the other hand, miter saws are usually smaller than chop saws and the blade of a chop saw is about 14-inch.

When you need sheer brute force, you can completely rely on a chop saw. However, if you plan to settle for a chop saw, you have to go through the necessary steps beforehand. While working, there will be a lot of sparks.

And when these sparks will be produced, you have to ensure the safety of you and your property. So, certify that the things you keep around aree combustible-free elements.

Miter Saw: Definition and Features

If you still don’t know what a miter saw is, we will explain it to you. Miter saw is a saw that has a spinning blade in verticale and circular design. A pivoting arm is added here and the blade it mounted on it.

For cutting the angles, the blade usually works in a swivelling motion. Along with this, for cutting the bevels, miters and going through the other compound cuts, the blade usually swings to the right or left and provides you perfect cuts. When these saws are compared to the chop saws, you must understand that these are small in size.

Here, the blades are about 8-12 inches. Along with the other features, some of the specific miter saws have dual bevel. So, these will provide you the opportunity of swinging either way.

With this additional feature, you will be able to work in the other direction without flipping the material! Yes, that makes your work easier than before!

Work Process of a Chop Saw

When you are dealing with metal or wood, chop saws can be an amazing deal. Also, in terms of working with the composite materials and masonry, these saws can do good to you! As this type of saw has embedded nails, cutting through the lumber is easier than the other saws.

It is highly popular for a monster force when it comes to cutting. So, the construction workers mostly prefer this saw more than the others. Along with the high force of work, this saw tends to provide you cuts that are incredibly precise.

The precise cuts are ensured by the toothless cutting disc of the saw. Most of the toothless blades work with the chop saws, but when it comes to the toothed blades, you have to be careful the spinning speed of the blade of such saw is more or less 5000 RPM.

So, if you compare this with the miter saw, this is way too fast than that. And with this fast speed, if you go with a toothed blade, you will surely face kickbacks.

These might result in unwanted accidents. If you work in a construction side or you are planning to build houses, you can rely on this one without any doubt!

Work Process of a Miter Saw

When it comes to the cuts of a miter saw, you can get your hands on the complex cuts. So, more often, this saw is used for derail work in the base moldings. At the time of working with the door frames and the window frames, you will always love a miter saw.

Just like a chop saw, this miter saw also has the ability to create precise cuts. If you want a professional finish, we would always recommend the miter saw more than the chop saw.

The bevels of the closet doors are also cut with the help of this saw. If you are a carpenter or you are planning to be one, you will surely need a miter saw. Also, when there are finer and precise cuts ahead, this can be a life savior!

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Chop Saw: Positive and Negatives


  • Provides brute power
  • Affords precise cuts
  • Highly efficient
  • Capable of cutting almost everything
  • Has a large size


  • Able to cut 90-angle only
  • Heavy to carry
  • Has limited usage

Miter Saw: Positives and Negatives


  • Provides miter, bevel and compound cuts
  • Lightweight
  • Portable to carry
  • Safe to use for newbie
  • Highly efficient


  • Not able to cut masonry and metal
  • Only great for fine detail
  • Has a restricted size

Difference Overview

Let us put the whole thing in short points to make it clear to you.

Cutting Tool:

The cutting tool of the chop saw or a cut of saw is abrasive wheels. On the other hand, the miter saw uses a toothed circular blade saw for the process.


When it comes to the cuts, the chop saw is capable of making perfect crosscuts. However, a miter saw can provide you crosscuts along with bevel, miter cut and other compound cuts!


Chop saws are usually preferred for constructions along with metalworking. You can also work with it if you are doing any home improvement.

On the other hand, a miter saw is specially designed for woodworking. But you can also make it an amazing tool for trimming and crown molding.


A chop saw is able to cut any tough metals including both the ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

But the miter saw can cut wood, plywood and plastic. Also, it works great with MDF and other softer metals. This is the best tool for soft metals like aluminium.

Chop Saw vs Miter Saw: FAQs

Is a miter saw the same as a chop saw?

Often a miter saw and a chop saw are similar. Yes, they are quite similar but there are differences too! Chop saws only have the ability to cut straight in a 90-degree angle. It has an abrasive metal cut-off wheel.

So, you can understand that these are hardy machines and will suffer almost anything! But miter saws are different because they go for angled cuts too with the help of the toothed blades.

Can you turn a miter saw into a chop saw?

Yes, there are methods of turning a miter saw into a chop saw. However, if you go through the procedure, keep in mind that it will ruin over time.

When you have a miter saw, it usually spins with a higher RPM and if you add it with abrasive cut-off wheels, the speed might destroy it! If you want, you can settle for a cutoff saw in this case.

Are miter saws dangerous?

Precisely, no matter what saw you use, if you use the saw in an improper manner, you will surely see that they are hazardous. In that case, you might suffer from personal injury or shock. Fire is a common accident that happens when you use a miter saw improperly.

In this case, you can always settle for the general precautious. Check the blade guard and make sure it moves before you operate it. Also, use a guide and make sure you wear safety gears. Try not to turn the miter saw into other saws because it can make the operation complicated and accidental.

Final Note

So, now you have already learned about the basic differences between the miter saw and the chop saw! All you need to do now is get the one that fits you best. If you are new, need a saw that is multi-functional, go for a miter saw. If you work in a construction site or require heavy-duty work for professional purposes, a chop saw is the best deal.

No matter what you choose, don’t forget to mention it here! Please, comment below about the positive and negative aspects you have seen after using both of these!

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