Chop Saw vs Miter Saw

When it comes to power tools there are lots of them that look almost the same but are meant for entirely different tasks. Other than a chop saw vs miter saw, another great example includes impact drivers and drills. They look familiar but serve different purposes.

To avoid any injuries, make the most out of your work, and prevent spending money on the wrong power tool, we’re going to compare these two very similar-looking tools and determine what each is good for. As a result, you will know exactly what you get for your new construction project or anything of the sort.

Miter Saw: Key Features and Benefits

professional miter saw

Both the miter saw and the chop saw mainly consist of a pivoting arm and a spinning blade mounted on it. However, crucial differences also lie in these similarities. The miter saw is a lot more versatile than the chop saw, as it can make straight cuts, angle cuts, compound, and a few more.

Miter saws are also smaller than chop saws but that isn’t a bad feature at all. The average blade size for a miter saw is usually eight to twelve inches. This makes them easier to transport than chop saws and also prevents them from taking up more space on your workbench.

Another thing about this tool is that many of the best miter saws out there spin at lower RPM than chop saws. As a result, they are free to use blades with various teeth because the risk of kickback or severe injuries is quite low if you’re being careful and follow the safety procedures.

What Can I Use a Miter Saw For?

The main uses for miter saws can be found in woodworking. They are the perfect tool to make angled, compound, bevel, straight cuts, and more. Unlike table saws that are perfect for making rip cuts (cutting alongside the grain of the wood), miter saws are perfect for cross cuts (cutting opposite the grain). Another example includes miter saws vs circular saws, as one thrives in making rip cuts and the other crosscuts. This is why it’s best to always use the right type of tool for any job in order to cut down on time, effort, and increase the quality of work.

When it comes to making different types of cuts, this usually depends on the type of miter saw blade you insert. There are separate blades intended specifically for cross-cutting, compound cuts, even combination blades that can make a variety of different cuts with a miter saw without having to replace the blade every five minutes.

Miter Saw Features

The main thing to remember about miter saws is that they are the perfect cross-cutting tool for woodworkers. They are very versatile, as they can easily make angled, straight, compound, and a few other cuts. The miter saw features smaller blades than chop saws, is less powerful but easier to transport, and takes up less space.


  • Very Versatile
  • Safer to Use
  • Portable
  • Accurate and Easy to Use


  • Can’t Cut Masonry or Tough Metals
  • Only Good for Finer Detail

Chop Saw: Key Features and Benefits

man cutting metal with chop saw

The main differences you will find when it comes between a miter saw vs a chop saw are usually regarding size, power, and use. Chop saws can be significantly bigger than miter saws, mainly because they are more powerful and spin at much faster rates. As a result, this tool takes up much more space and is the number one choice for heavy-duty construction work.

Because they are more powerful and have way more RPM, the chop saw is prone to a lot of kickback if the right type of blade isn’t used. Almost always, this involves having to use toothless abrasive blades that have specific coats for cutting specific materials. This makes the blade much stronger and durable, and can even cut faster without the teeth.

What Can I Use a Chop Saw For?

Chop saws are similar to miter saws in many ways. However, even though they can cut various wood types themselves, this tool is intended for more heavy-duty jobs. They are almost always used on big construction projects and by many construction companies. If you see a tool that looks like this on a huge construction site it is much more likely to be a chop saw rather than a miter.

The best materials to use a chop saw for include masonry, metal, and hardwoods. You should still keep in mind to use the right type of blade for each material. This usually involves abrasive blades with various coatings. However, when cutting metals like steel, aluminum, and similar they tend to cause a lot of sparks, thus making the finished cut very hot to the touch.

As a result, many companies now use cold-cut chop saw blades or cold cutting saws. There are many benefits that come from such a tool, as the cut metal is always safe to touch after cutting and is never too hot. This option can also decrease cutting time by as much as three times, making it an obvious choice for many professionals.

Chop Saw Features

When considering getting a chop saw, the key takeaways you should know about include that these saws are perfect for cutting many metals, masonry, and even wood as well. They are bigger, more powerful, and more aggressive than miter saws, they usually require different blades, and include a model known as a dry cut saw or cold cut saw that leaves the metal cold to the touch and also cuts much faster.


  • Very Powerful
  • Cuts Many Materials
  • Very Efficient and Precise
  • Cuts Very Fast with Cold-Cut Blade


  • Doesn’t Cut Angles
  • Harder to Transport

Main Differences Between Chop vs Miter Saw

When comparing the main chop saw vs miter saw difference, there’s isn’t that much you need to remember. The list only includes a few key features to know in order to make the perfect decision. As a result, here are the key takeaways of the entire comparison:

  • Chop saws are more powerful than miter saws but take up more space.
  • Miter saws are for woodworking whereas a chop saw can easily cut tough metals, masonry, wood, and more.
  • Miter saws make a wide variety of angled cuts while chop saws can only make straight 90-degree cuts.
  • Chop saws feature an average blade size between 12 – 15 inches, and miter saws feature an average blade size of 8 – 12 inches.

About The Author

Stole Trishanski

Stole likes writing and DIY. Being raised by a single mother, he was forced to adapt and discover his way around the house by himself. He brings his life experiences to you in hopes of sharing his knowledge with everyone who needs it.

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