Circular Saw and Sliding Compound Miter saw.

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Forum topic by Micah Muzny posted 10-18-2013 10:26 PM 1723 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

185 posts in 1726 days

10-18-2013 10:26 PM

Hello all,

As some of you may know I was looking for a table saw. I am beginning to think I can maybe hold off on the table saw right now and may not need one as badly as I think I do. I was wondering how far I can get with a circular saw and a sliding compound miter saw? Will they be able to work for a while until I make the full decision to get a table saw? A lot of the projects I want to build contain many angled cuts and some straight cuts, so from what I can tell, I think a circular saw and sliding compound miter saw would work good for me. If the need arises that I would need a table saw, I could just use my dads for now. Do you guys and gals think this is a good way to go for now?

13 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#1 posted 10-18-2013 11:12 PM

Circular saw and a shop built guide, and some horses will work wonders.
Miter saw is a key part of my process, but some folks on here don’t care for them.
I think I would just as soon have a 10 slider so I can share blades with the table saw.. !2” blades are $$$$.
Seriously look into a good zero clearance guide for the circ. saw though.
I can’t over emphasize how much better you can make accurate cuts; in sheet goods especially

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2916 days

#2 posted 10-18-2013 11:27 PM

It depends on what you plan to make. I make mostly artsy-Crafty stuff. Pretty small, so I had a compound sliding miter saw years before getting a table saw. I now have a pretty complete workshop but did not start that way.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 2787 days

#3 posted 10-18-2013 11:41 PM

I would go with the table saw. I use it about 10 times more than my sliding miter saw.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2558 days

#4 posted 10-19-2013 01:02 AM

I tend to find a table saw far more useful than a miter saw, but everything has its place. For a cheap edge guide harbor freight has this one. They used to have a 48” version as well but its not on their site right now.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1887 days

#5 posted 10-19-2013 01:06 AM

Agree with crank49. But when you do have the extra space and extra $, get the table saw as soon as you can – since you will need to rip and square off wood more often than you think (assuming your woodworking will be frequent). And if your space is limited, you can get a lot done with a small contractor/portable table saw – just put it on a portable stand with folding up leaves and outfeed your cuts on to another same height surface/stand when needed. Your fence may only cut 18” wide with a decent portable saw, but then again you have a circular saw (or the big box store/lumberyard) to cut down your purchased sheetgoods to manageable sizes beforehand.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2087 days

#6 posted 10-19-2013 01:29 AM

You can’t beat a table saw for ripping. But you can get by with a circular saw if you need to. It takes longer to set it up with a guide.

View Rick's profile


9591 posts in 3027 days

#7 posted 10-19-2013 05:54 AM

Table Saw!!

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2039 days

#8 posted 10-19-2013 06:00 AM

Even a low-end table saw will help pull off cuts more easily than a circular saw with an edge guide. I have both the 24” and 50” harbor freight edge guides, and while they do the job, there is a lot to be desired with regards to the clamping action (aligning to clamp can get frustrating).

-- paxorion

View elduque's profile


31 posts in 1898 days

#9 posted 10-19-2013 08:41 AM

I agree with redsled. Let the guys at the big box store do the big cuts on sheet goods. The Home Depot by my house has a panel saw and a 14” Dewalt radial arm saw, and those guys are happy to help.
Get a good used circular, and a couple good blades. Yes, it can be time-consuming to set up accurately, but those frustrating set-ups build skill and patience. There are several jigs that you can make (with your circular saw), to make accurate cuts easier.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#10 posted 10-19-2013 07:12 PM

The guide I’m talking about is not anything like those “edge guides” you buy.
The shop built variety as linked to by elduque above is the ticket.

The zero clearance edge of the shop built guide lines up exactly with the cut, so you don’t loose so much time adding and subtracting dimensions from the edge to the cut.

View knotscott's profile


8006 posts in 3370 days

#11 posted 10-19-2013 07:23 PM

You could certainly “get by” with a circ saw and a miter saw, but it’s not the easiest or most precise setup to use on a regular basis. A good TS is the heart of most wood shops….it’s precise, easy to use, and versatile.

The ABC's of Table Saws

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View ColonelTravis's profile


1768 posts in 1888 days

#12 posted 10-19-2013 07:30 PM

My friend, I bought a MS before a TS and I was an idiot.

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


4719 posts in 2345 days

#13 posted 10-19-2013 08:50 PM

A lot depends on what you are trying to build. Generally though a table saw is way more versatile that SCMS will ever be. A circular saw is better at breaking up sheet goods than a table saw, unless you have a large enough area for a large outfeed table and side extensions. I would think about a project that you want to make, what saws will make that project easier? That will give you a clue as where you should spend your money.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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