Do you ever find yourself wondering if you really need a mitre saw when you already have a trusty table saw? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll delve into the question of whether a mitre saw is necessary if you’ve already got a table saw in your woodworking arsenal. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and explore this topic together!

Now, I know you might be scratching your head and pondering the pros and cons of these two powerful tools. Don’t worry, my young friend, we’re here to break it down for you in simple terms. We’ll take a closer look at the specific features and benefits of each tool, and help you decide if owning both is really worth it or if you can make do with just one.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, get cozy, and get ready to unravel the mystery of whether a mitre saw is a must-have addition alongside your table saw. Let’s get started, shall we?

do I need a mitre saw if I have a table saw?

Do I Need a Mitre Saw If I Have a Table Saw?

When it comes to woodworking, having the right tools can make all the difference. Two popular choices for woodworkers are the mitre saw and the table saw. Both of these power tools have their unique features and functions, but do you really need both in your workshop? In this article, we will explore the differences between a mitre saw and a table saw and help you determine if you need both or if one can suffice for your woodworking needs.

The Functions of a Mitre Saw

A mitre saw, also known as a chop saw, is a versatile tool designed for making precise angled cuts. It is commonly used for making crosscuts, mitre cuts, bevel cuts, and compound cuts. The blade of a mitre saw is mounted on a hinged arm, allowing you to lower it onto the workpiece and make clean and accurate cuts. The mitre saw excels at cutting trim, moulding, and other materials that require angled cuts.

One of the key advantages of a mitre saw is its ability to pivot and rotate, allowing you to make angled cuts both horizontally and vertically. This feature makes it ideal for cutting crown moulding and picture frames, as well as performing tasks that require precision and accuracy. The mitre saw is also portable, making it easy to transport to different job sites if needed.

While a mitre saw is a valuable tool for certain woodworking tasks, it does have limitations. It is primarily designed for crosscuts and angled cuts, and it does not excel at ripping or cutting large sheets of material. This is where a table saw comes into play.

The Functions of a Table Saw

A table saw is a powerful woodworking tool that is designed for making straight cuts and ripping large pieces of material. It consists of a flat table with a circular saw blade protruding from the center. The workpiece is pushed along a fence to guide the cut and ensure accuracy. Table saws are known for their stability, power, and the ability to handle large and heavy materials.

Table saws are versatile tools that can be used for a wide range of woodworking tasks. They are particularly useful for ripping boards to width, cutting large sheets of plywood or MDF, and creating joint cuts such as grooves, dadoes, and rabbets. The precision and power of a table saw make it an essential tool in many woodworking shops.

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While a table saw is incredibly useful, it may not be the best option for certain angled cuts or bevel cuts. This is where a mitre saw can come in handy to complement the capabilities of the table saw.

Benefits of Having Both a Mitre Saw and a Table Saw

While it is possible to complete most woodworking projects with just a table saw or a mitre saw, having both in your arsenal offers several benefits:

  1. Versatility: With a mitre saw and a table saw, you can tackle a wider range of woodworking projects. The mitre saw’s ability to make angled cuts complements the table saw’s straight cutting capabilities.
  2. Efficiency: Having both tools allows you to work more efficiently. You can use the mitre saw to quickly and accurately make angled cuts, while the table saw takes care of the straight cuts and ripping.
  3. Precision: The mitre saw excels at making precise angled cuts, while the table saw provides the stability and accuracy needed for straight cuts. By combining the two, you can achieve exceptional precision in your woodworking projects.
  4. Time-saving: With the right setup, having both tools can save you time. You can set up each tool for the specific cuts you need to make, eliminating the need for constant adjustments on a single tool.

Having both a mitre saw and a table saw in your workshop offers the best of both worlds when it comes to versatility, efficiency, precision, and time-saving. While it may require a larger investment upfront, the benefits outweigh the cost for many woodworkers.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between a Mitre Saw and a Table Saw

Project Types

One of the main factors to consider when deciding whether you need a mitre saw, a table saw, or both, is the type of woodworking projects you regularly undertake. If you primarily work on projects that require angled cuts, such as trim work, picture frames, or crown moulding, a mitre saw is essential. On the other hand, if you frequently work with large sheets of material, need to make straight cuts, or require ripping capabilities, a table saw is a must-have.

If your projects involve a combination of angled cuts and straight cuts, having both tools will provide the versatility and efficiency needed to tackle a wide range of woodworking tasks. However, if your budget or space limitations make it difficult to have both tools, consider the types of projects you prioritize and choose accordingly.

Workshop Space and Budget

Another important consideration is the available space in your workshop and your budget. Table saws tend to take up more space due to their larger size and the need for a dedicated work station or table. If your workshop is limited in space, you may need to prioritize which tool is more essential for your woodworking needs.

Budget is also a factor to consider. Table saws often have a higher price tag compared to mitre saws due to their complex design and additional features. If you have a limited budget, you may need to start with one tool and gradually add the other as your woodworking needs and budget allow.

Skill Level and Experience

Your skill level and experience in woodworking can also influence whether you need both tools or if one can suffice. If you are a beginner or have limited experience with power tools, it may be more practical to start with a table saw as it is generally easier to learn and master. As you gain more experience and confidence, you can consider adding a mitre saw to expand your capabilities.

If you are an experienced woodworker who frequently works on complex projects that require precision and angled cuts, having both a mitre saw and a table saw is highly advantageous. The combination of these two tools will enable you to achieve professional-level results in your woodworking projects.

Tips for Efficiently Using a Mitre Saw and a Table Saw

Regardless of whether you choose to have a mitre saw, a table saw, or both, here are some tips for efficiently using these tools:

  • Measure Twice, Cut Once: Always take accurate measurements and double-check before making any cuts. This will help prevent mistakes and save you time and material.
  • Ensure a Stable Workpiece: When using a mitre saw or a table saw, it is crucial to securely hold the workpiece and prevent any movement during the cutting process. This will result in cleaner and safer cuts.
  • Wear Safety Gear: Safety should be a top priority when using any power tools. Always wear safety glasses, ear protection, and appropriate clothing to protect yourself from any potential hazards.
  • Use a Push Stick: When working with a table saw, it is recommended to use a push stick to guide the workpiece through the blade. This helps maintain a safe distance between your hands and the blade.
  • Keep Tools Well-Maintained: Regularly clean and maintain your mitre saw and table saw to ensure optimal performance and longevity. This includes keeping the blades sharp, lubricating moving parts, and checking for any loose or damaged components.
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By following these tips and practicing proper safety protocols, you can make the most out of your mitre saw, table saw, or combination of the two.


In conclusion, while a mitre saw and a table saw serve different functions, having both in your woodworking arsenal offers numerous benefits. The mitre saw excels at making angled cuts, while the table saw is ideal for straight cuts and ripping large pieces of material. By having both tools, you can enhance your woodworking capabilities, improve efficiency, achieve exceptional precision, and tackle a wider range of projects.

However, the need for both tools depends on factors such as the types of projects you undertake, the available space in your workshop, your budget, and your skill level. Evaluate your specific woodworking needs and consider these factors to make an informed decision about whether you need a mitre saw, a table saw, or both.

Remember to always prioritize safety and follow the recommended tips for efficiently using these tools. With the right tools, knowledge, and skills, you can take your woodworking projects to the next level.

Key Takeaways

  • A table saw can make straight cuts, but a miter saw is essential for making angled cuts.
  • A miter saw allows for precise miter cuts, bevel cuts, and compound cuts that a table saw alone cannot achieve.
  • If you work with materials that require angled cuts, such as molding or trim, a miter saw will be a valuable addition to your tools.
  • While a table saw is versatile, a miter saw offers more flexibility and accuracy for certain types of cuts.
  • If budget allows, having both a table saw and a miter saw in your workshop will provide you with complete cutting capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section where we answer common questions about the need for a mitre saw when you already have a table saw. Read on to find out more.

1. Can a table saw replace a mitre saw?

While a table saw is a versatile tool, it doesn’t completely replace a mitre saw. The main difference between the two is in their cutting ability. A table saw is best suited for ripping and crosscutting long, straight pieces of lumber. On the other hand, a mitre saw excels at making angled and bevelled cuts with accuracy. So, if you frequently work on projects that require precise angled cuts, a mitre saw is a valuable addition to your workshop.

Additionally, a mitre saw is also more portable compared to a table saw, making it convenient for on-site jobs or projects that involve moving around. However, if you primarily work on straight cuts and have limited space or budget, a table saw can serve as a versatile tool that can handle a wide range of tasks.

2. What are the advantages of using a mitre saw?

A mitre saw offers several advantages that make it a valuable tool for woodworking and other projects. First and foremost, its accuracy in making angled cuts is unmatched. The mitre saw’s preset angles and adjustable bevel stops allow for precise, repeatable cuts, making it ideal for tasks such as framing, molding, and trim work.

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Another advantage is the ease of use. With a mitre saw, you can quickly set up and make angled cuts without the need for complex calculations or complicated setups. This saves both time and effort, enabling you to complete projects efficiently. Additionally, most mitre saws come with built-in safety features, such as blade guards and blade brakes, ensuring a safer working environment.

3. Do professional woodworkers use both table saws and mitre saws?

Absolutely! Professional woodworkers often utilize both table saws and mitre saws in their projects. While a table saw excels at straight cuts and ripping large pieces of wood, a mitre saw adds another dimension by allowing for precise angled and bevelled cuts. These two tools complement each other, enabling woodworkers to tackle a wider variety of projects.

For example, a contractor may use a table saw to rip long boards for framing, and then turn to a mitre saw to make angled cuts for trim installation. Having both tools in their arsenal allows professionals to work efficiently and achieve the highest level of accuracy in their projects.

4. Can a sliding compound mitre saw replace a table saw?

While a sliding compound mitre saw offers some overlapping functionality with a table saw, it cannot fully replace it. A sliding compound mitre saw combines the ability to make angled and bevelled cuts with the added advantage of sliding the blade forward and backward. This feature allows for cutting wider boards or pieces that wouldn’t fit on a regular mitre saw.

However, a sliding compound mitre saw still lacks the ripping capacity and the ability to make rip cuts that a table saw provides. So if your projects involve a lot of rip cuts or working with larger sheets of material, a table saw is still a better choice. It’s worth noting that both tools can coexist in a workshop and be utilized for their respective strengths.

5. Can I use a miter saw on a table saw stand?

While a miter saw and a table saw are designed as separate tools with their own respective stands, it is possible to use a miter saw on a table saw stand in some cases. However, this depends on the design of the specific table saw stand and how well it accommodates a miter saw.

Some table saw stands offer additional features or attachments that can accommodate a miter saw, such as an auxiliary mounting bracket or a detachable miter saw station. However, it’s important to ensure that the table saw stand can securely hold and stabilize the miter saw to maintain safety and accuracy during use. If you plan to use a miter saw on a table saw stand, always review the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines to ensure compatibility and safety.

do I need a mitre saw if I have a table saw? 2

Should You Buy A Miter Saw? – Beginner Woodworker’s guide


Here’s a short summary for you! If you have a table saw, you might wonder if you need a mitre saw too. Well, it depends on what type of cuts you want to make. A table saw is great for straight cuts, but a mitre saw is better for angled and beveled cuts.

If you’re mostly working on projects that require straight cuts, like ripping boards or cutting plywood, then a table saw should be enough. It’s versatile and can handle a wide range of tasks. But if you’re often working with trim, molding, or making precise angled cuts, a mitre saw will be a valuable addition to your tool collection.

Remember, both tools have their strengths, and having both can give you more flexibility and options in your woodworking projects. So consider your specific needs and the types of cuts you’ll be making to determine if you need a mitre saw in addition to your table saw.

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