Miter saw or portable table saw? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Miter saw or portable table saw?

Hello everyone, great forums here and your advice has helped a lot in the past!

I am a beginner who has made a few small projects and I'm considering buying either a miter saw or portable table saw: I use our woodshop at work to cut a lot of my wood for my projects and would like to be able to do that at home. Been using the chop saw for cutting 1x2s, 2x4s. I have rarely used the table saw and have resorted to my circular saw and straight edge to cut small boards. Anyway, I do have limited space and thought a portable table saw may be more versital because I can cut flat boards as well as cut 2x4s? Any thoughts are appreciated.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 01:38 PM
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Comparing a table saw and a miter saw is like comparing apples and oranges. They are at their best when doing two different functions.

A table saw can do most of what a miter saw does, just takes a little more effort and time.

A good portable saw will do most if not all a table saw will do. Just have to take a little more time in being sure you have it set up properly. I have a good friend who used to have a complete shop setup in his garage. He made many beautiful pieces of furniture. Then as he made moves dictated by his AF career he had to downsize. He now has a portable table saw and still does beautiful work.

The quality of your work is subject not as much to the quality of your equipment, but how you use that equipment.

That is a lot of words to say I would get the portable saw.

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post #3 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 01:40 PM
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I'm not near as experienced as alot of guys her but I can tell you I wouldn't trade my miter for anything. Now that being said I don't make long rip cuts typically, but do want a table saw. As of now I have a guide for my circular saw. For what I do my 12" miter is invaluable.

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post #4 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 01:44 PM
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If you have access to a woodshop at work...I'm assuming they have both tools. Which one do you use more often?
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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I would have to say I use the miter saw at work more often...never beveled cuts; just straight cuts. I was also considering a guide for my circular saw as a cheaper alternative to the table saw and buy the miter saw...
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 04:59 PM
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Sounds like you have your answer...a circular saw can be incredibly versatile with a few homemade jigs. Are you thinking a SCMS or more basic model?
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 05:47 PM
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For me it would be the table saw. You can cut miters on the table saw but you canít cut sheet material on a Miter saw.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Scms?
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, sliding compound miter saw! I got the abbreviation! Duh.

Anyway, I was looking a a non-sliding Dewalt DW713 10 inch...
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-22-2018, 09:47 PM
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Budget? I'd go with a hitachi C10FCE2 based on personal experience. I'm not a dewalt fan, the spring on the head is too stiff for me when making cuts. I have 4 hitachi SCMS on stands and will swear by their reliability. The only thing you miss on basic miter saws is the ability to cut on either side of the bevel. It becomes annoying after awhile but its manageable.

Edit: I should have mentioned...regardless of the brand of saw, as long as it's tuned up with a good blade, they will all provide comparable cuts. It's all ergonomics and personal preference after that.

Last edited by Echo415; 04-22-2018 at 09:50 PM.
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-23-2018, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, have looked at the Hitachi saws...prices seem very cheap and I wonder how they are quality-wise and how long-lasting they are.
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-23-2018, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus64 View Post
Yes, have looked at the Hitachi saws...prices seem very cheap and I wonder how they are quality-wise and how long-lasting they are.
I have 4 SCMS hitachi saws...I can't even remember when I bought the first one but I haven't had issues with any of them. They get used daily and don't show any signs of slowing down.
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-24-2018, 09:14 AM
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I'd rather have a sliding compound mitre saw and a circular saw with guide/saw horses than a table saw big enough to cut a 75lb sheet of 3/4" plywood. I almost never need to cut plywood and when I do my circular saw and guide work just fine albeit just a little slower.

I mostly need to cross cut 1"/2" planks and for that my compound mitre saw works better for me and is safer than a table saw (I lust for a SCMS but haven't partaken just yet). For framing and small boxes I rely on my mitre trimmer for precision. I run a negative hook 80T blade on my CMS and it cuts 1/4" aluminum like butter (spray a little WD40 as you cut). That can be very useful for non-woodworking DIY needs.

A big Unisaw/66 is the center-point of many workshops but not mine. My space is tight and all my tools are on casters. Plywood and planks get sized outside and is a fair weather proposition. DIY, precision framing and smaller projects are what I do mostly.
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-24-2018, 10:06 AM
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Hitachi invented the sliding compound miter saw. I remember when that 8" saw first showed up at my local tool store at the end of the 80's. It was stunning. Prior to that, no SLIDING compound miter saw had existed. We all used radial saws for that kind of work.


That being said, Hitachi just recently (as in a couple of months ago) sold their entire tool division to the same private equity group that bankrupted Toys R Us and Nabisco. This investment group "uses other peoples money" in highly leveraged buyout manipulations to acquire right and title to well known brands, eviscerating their assets, and then bankrupting out of the debt ridden carcass that remains, since the interest on the money they borrowed to buy the company exceeds the revenue the company is able to earn, especially after the cream of the brand was siphoned off the top.


By September of this year, the name "Hitachi" on power tools will no longer exist. The private equity group also recently bought the Metabo brand, and will rename all Hitachi tools as Metabo HPT. Based on the past performance of this private equity group (KKR), this move does not bode well for either brand.


I would have recommended Hitachi tools when Hitachi Tools was still owned by Hitachi, but now that Hitachi Tools is owned by KKR, I don't see a long term future for that brand, or the successor brand Metabo HPT. The leveraged buyout will increase their debt, and quality will be thrifted out of production to service that debt. Then patents will be sold off to enrich the investors, and engineering will be whittled down with lay offs to lower costs and service the debt. With no new innovative engineering, and poorer quality to reduce costs, people will stop buying the product, which will reduce revenue. After 10 years or so, with all the good corporate assets and real estate sold off to enrich the investors before impending bankruptcy, yet another Nabisco and Toys R Us will be in the news. Another brand bites the dust.
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-24-2018, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting stuff...didn't realize Hitachi invented the sliding system...I am really leaning towards a sliding compound saw.

Do I dare ask if anyone thinks Craftsman saws are any good? You can get a lot for your money from what they offer.
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post #16 of 20 Old 04-24-2018, 02:46 PM
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I have a 10" DeWalt SCMS and it works perfectly well for everything I do as a hobbyist and DIYer. Between a circular saw and SCMS I use the TS a lot less often.

In terms of portable TS--I have more reservations than I had had in the past:

I have a low-end Craftsman portable TS that has always done well by me. It's portable in that it's lightweight and has a removable stand. It doesn't have wheels. However, its table is quite a bit wider than the portable TS tables that are on the market nowadays. Also, it has an extendable wing that gives 30" on the right hand side of the blade.

The current portables have such small tables that it almost doesn't seem worthwhile to buy one.
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post #17 of 20 Old 04-24-2018, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus64 View Post
Interesting stuff...didn't realize Hitachi invented the sliding system...I am really leaning towards a sliding compound saw.

Do I dare ask if anyone thinks Craftsman saws are any good? You can get a lot for your money from what they offer.
Certainly you may dare. In most situations that is the first place I would look for a tool. All of my larger power tools are Craftsman. Have had no problems with any of them. They all do exactly what I ask. My SCMS is one of the cheaper of their saws and is perfectly adequate. Can usually be had for less than $200 on sale.

George
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post #18 of 20 Old 04-24-2018, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I think that a sliding miter saw is the way I'll go. The sliding feature will let me cut wider boards and that's something I may need to do down the line.

My Dad had a nice Dewalt miter saw and a Craftsman table saw with extensions. When he passed I had zero interest in woodworking (and didn't have a house or garage!). Sold most of his power tools and boy I wish that I didn't, haha! Now that I am in my wife's home I have a great interest in making things so it's like a new hobby for me. My Dad would be ecstatic that I am making things with his remaining tools.

Sorry to ramble on!

Now comes the process of what brand of miter saw to buy!

All you folks are great, by the way. Really appreciate your advice.
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post #19 of 20 Old 04-24-2018, 04:17 PM
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The wife won't let me keep anything in the garage so my tools are used outside in the yard, then locked away in a shed. As a result, it has to be lightweight, portable, and cordless. It's a good way to burn more calories actually of having to move tools around.

I just stick with a circular saw with guide, and a 27 pound Makita dual miter saw, that's easy to carry, but big enough to cut most.
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post #20 of 20 Old 05-04-2018, 02:35 PM
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Make sure you guys leave enough room in the shed for you to sleep.
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