Is a Miter Saw needed if you have a Table Saw ?

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Forum topic by fstellab posted 03-12-2013 02:37 AM 6035 views 1 time favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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86 posts in 2081 days

03-12-2013 02:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question miter saw tablesaw


I just finished building my crosscut slide, nothing special, just like all of the simple sleds out there.

It works, and its accurate, easy and safe. I am thinking that I no longer have a use for my miter saw.
My Ridgid Miter saw served me well when I did not have a table saw, but I really don’t use it.

Will I regret getting rid of the saw ? Its not a money thing, I need the space, I would rather use the miter station I built for a router table.


-- Fred Stellabotte (

37 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2948 days

#1 posted 03-12-2013 02:41 AM

The miter saw is helpful for cutting longer boards, especially if you need miters on them. Plan on doing any molding in the future? That said, I use my table saw for miters about 90% more than my miter saw.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3227 days

#2 posted 03-12-2013 02:44 AM

I use mine to cut 1×12 boards to rough length. I would like to eliminate mine also.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2107 days

#3 posted 03-12-2013 02:49 AM

I find that I have a continuing use for the miter saw. It is hard to cut compound angles on a table saw.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View jonwright's profile


68 posts in 1933 days

#4 posted 03-12-2013 02:49 AM

I have the Hitachi 12” miter saw. it has the laser on it, and it doesn’t really line up with the cuts so it’s kinda useless for really fine detail work. It’s nice to take the longer boards and do my rough cutting, and now that I have a jig saw that’s actually useful I may wind up using that more than getting out the miter saw (I’ve a smaller shop and I have drag that big thing out and set it up).

I’m still very much a noob to fine woodworking but I’ve always been very exacting.

My miter is good for rough work, but when it comes time to shave 1/32” off a board it’s the table saw. No question. but rough sizing a bunch of boards for a larger project is likety split quick on the miter. I’ll keep it for trim and other construction type needs, but as of now I don’t forsee needing it much for my project work.

I’ve even attempted a mini table with stop blocks and all – the cuts still weren’t exact and I wound up trimming again on the table saw anway. And I will say I’m not exactly sure how much adjustment I can really make on the miter anyway to make it exact (it may be a deal where I got what I paid for).

By now I’m about the same opinion as you – maybe nice to have but I don’t use it much these days. For a while I used it often.

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 2245 days

#5 posted 03-12-2013 02:58 AM

If space is an issue why not build one of those flip top tables and keep it for those times you might miss it. At best you’ll get half of what you paid for it. I might be biased because I use mine quit a bit.

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2381 days

#6 posted 03-12-2013 02:59 AM

It all depens what type of work you typically do…If you are cross-cutting 12-foot boards a alot, a mitre saw is handy. If not, toss it.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2860 days

#7 posted 03-12-2013 03:06 AM

For me the answer is absolutely. If not a neccesity, than certainly a major convenience.

My table saw is small however and kind of crappy. No extensions, direct drive, non-standard miter slots,so cross-cuts can be especially a pain.

I really love my miter saw. Found it invaluable especially for cutting framing,rafters,etc. in construction type projects.

Very little setup is required. Quick and easy.

View MrFid's profile


874 posts in 1901 days

#8 posted 03-12-2013 03:11 AM

Yeah same with me… my miter saw is 3x more expensive than my table saw (I am sad to say). I guess this means more about the fact that I need a new table saw than anything else, but I like my DeWalt DW715 a lot.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2282 days

#9 posted 03-12-2013 03:19 AM

I have a good size table saw with a 50” rip capacity, and I wouldn’t dream of getting rid of my miter saw. In fact, I’m going to buy another. We all like to work a bit differently, but even with sleds I prefer to cut my miters on the miter saw, as well cross cutting long boards.

-- John, BC, Canada

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3819 days

#10 posted 03-12-2013 03:25 AM

My miter saw is only use when hanging crown molding on job site other than that it shop art…BC

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3659 days

#11 posted 03-12-2013 03:32 AM

jonwright—I have a Hitachi 12” slider, and it is dead-on accurate. The laser is adjustable … mine is set to the left side of the kerf.

bullhead1—That is exactly what I am doing now. One side will have the miter saw, the other side my DW733 planer.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View splinter164's profile


19 posts in 1938 days

#12 posted 03-12-2013 03:39 AM

I started with enough space but have filled it with tools. (nice problem to have!). I have a large router table but in the process of eliminating it by moving the router to the tablesaw extension. I’ll keep the miter saw on its own table for quick and easy cross cuts, no matter what length. I know I’d miss mine if I had to only rely on the table saw. I concur with Bullhead on the flip top table option.

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2833 days

#13 posted 03-12-2013 03:43 AM

Although I’ve considered a miter saw, I’ve never had one in my shop, just a good table saw and a good circular saw and good jig saw. I have a small shop (large for some folks 24 X 24). Because I’ve learned to do with out a miter saw, I now know I will never have one.

I do have a great router table I built which I could never do without. I purchased a good lift for it and now I make my own molding. If you have to choose between a router table and a miter saw – go with the router table. It’s a no brainier….

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2273 days

#14 posted 03-12-2013 03:51 AM

Just my opinion…a properly set up and tuned miter saw with a good blade makes accurate cuts..quick and easy


-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View TechRedneck's profile


768 posts in 2853 days

#15 posted 03-12-2013 03:56 AM

I buy my lumber rough cut from the mill. Before starting a project I then rip and rough cut to length on my SCMS. I use the miter saw quite a bit. Mine is a Milwaukee with the digital readout and is accurate for most stuff.

BUT… 90% of the time I use it for 90 degree cuts and can slice a board over 12” wide and 8-10’ long. That said, as expensive and nice as it is, I don’t think you can get as accurate and precise as you can with a cross cut sled or miter sled.

I just finished three small jewelry boxes and found that no matter how it was dialed in, the SCMS has a very slight deflection. This is true for nearly all sliding miter saws. So, I cut a hair over the line and true up the edge on my shooting board and a nice sharp plane to get the tolerances I want.

I was researching plans to build a new cross cut sled for the table saw and band saw this past weekend. With a good quality blade you can get a nice smooth finish on the table saw that comes close to the old school shooting board.

I have found over the years that investing in the right tools and getting precision cuts sure makes woodworking easier and more enjoyable, not to mention improving the quality of the work. Next on my list is a Incra TS-LS fence to replace the crappy stock fence on the TS.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

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