If you have been searching for a miter saw, then you might have come across different variants.
Due to the sheer number of choices, most beginners have difficulty choosing the correct power tools. The first hurdle is usually the name of these variants.
Moreover, even professionals are sometimes confused about which miter saw would add value to their workshops. Also, the differences might be hard to understand for someone who isn’t used to the jargon related to power tools.
Hence, to make things a bit easier, we have come up with this guide about the two common miter saws available on the market. We’re sure it will come in handy to compare the variations and help you get a clear idea.
So, without further delay, let’s learn about the saws!
Single Bevel Vs. Double Bevel Miter Saw
Rather than immediately jumping into the comparison, let’s take some time to understand the bevel miter saw. As a woodworker, you will need to understand the basic principles to make your choice easier.
What Is A Bevel?
The word “bevel” in woodworking stands for a sloping cut made into wood. In this cut, the blade goes through the thickness of the wood plank. It’s usually done at a 45-degree angle, but it can differ according to the model of the saw.
This cut is usually needed to create small pieces. Also, bevel cuts are significant for creating aesthetic-looking pieces, like a doorstop. Moreover, this is also important to smooth the edges to prevent injuries.
However, other than this style of cut, the word “bevel” also represents mobility in a miter saw. A single bevel miter saw can cut the wood in only one direction. In comparison, the double bevel miter saw can cut the plank in both directions.
Other Cuts That Miter Saws Can Make
Rather than just creating bevels, miter saws are great for creating different types of angled cuts. The most common cut made with a miter saw is usually the cross-cut, where a plank is divided with a 90 degrees cut.
Also, the miter saw enables you to create the “miter” cut. This is an angled cut usually at 45 degrees, but the angle stopper can help change it. In this case, the blade goes through the width of the plank to divide the pieces.
Here, we would like to add that the only major cut that the miter saw cannot perform is the rip cut. The cut is made along the length of a plank in it, so it can’t be done with a miter saw.
Now, it’s time to learn about each saw variant individually. The single bevel miter saw is a must-have power tool suggested for all beginner woodworkers. It helps you to get the most aesthetically pleasing angled cuts without needing to do much.
If we start from the basics, it is one of the most inexpensive bevel miter saws found on the market. Yes, this statement may change according to the model, but still, it’s a reasonably priced item.
Even though other saws, such as the table saw, may help you perform rip cuts and cross-cuts, they aren’t meant to create angled cuts. A single bevel miter saw helps to cut the wood both by its width and thickness.
The “single” in this saw stand for its limited ability to move in only one direction. Hence, you would need to flip the wood plank to get an angular cut in the opposite direction.
How Does A Single Bevel Miter Saw Work?
We wouldn’t go in-depth about how the saw works. But, we will give you a preliminary understanding of how this fabulous tool makes your job easier.
The usual single-bevel miter saw looks like any other standard miter saw. There is a handle on the top of this machine that allows you to maneuver it during cutting.
Like all other power tools, it derives power either from electricity or batteries. So, when you are ready to cut the plank, grab the handle and push the trigger. This would get the blade whirling, bringing it down at a 90 degrees angle to create a cross-cut.
However, the same saw creates angled cuts if you push the handle towards its bevel or miter movement. You can decide on the angles from the angle stopper.
Want a bit more insight? Check out the different parts shared by both miter saws.
Seldom would you be able to make a difference between the single or the double bevel miter saw at first glance? A slight variation is seen in the size, as the double bevel miter can be a bit heavier.
When it comes to the main divergence, it is in the ability to “pivot.” You can move the double, or dual bevel miter saw in both directions compared to the singular models.
The single versions usually move in the left direction, whereas the double can move towards both the left and right. This provides you with the advantage of producing bevel cuts in both directions without rotating the plank.
Professional woodworkers often find turning the plank tedious, especially during a deadline. Hence, a double bevel miter does help to ease the process. However, there is no job that it can do that can’t be done with a single variant.
How Does A Double Bevel Miter Saw Work?
When it comes to utilizing a double bevel miter saw, it’s just like the single variant. The only difference lies in leading the handle in the right direction. With this saw, you can make the bevel cuts without rotating the plank.
All that is required is to place the plank on the working area and bring down the blade at the desired angle. As you go to work without further rotation, keep the kerf in mind while dividing the plank.
The word “kerf” stands for the amount of wood that is turned into sawdust. It usually depends on the thickness of the blade.
Moreover, the moveable handle of miter saws usually has a mechanism to lock it in place. Always remember to read the user manual for a particular saw before you start to use it.
Common Parts Of Bevel Miter Saws
Even though we are comparing the two saws, they are actually quite similar to each other. Except for the pivoting capacity present in the double-bevel miter saw, equal parts and mechanisms are present in both variants. Hence, let us have a look at the standard features that make up these helpful power tools.
One of the foremost things to check in a miter saw is the blade. In both single and double saws, the typical blade size is around 10-12 inches. However, 8-inch blades are also available.
The blade size determines the capacity of a saw. So, a bigger blade will be able to cut through a bigger plank. Before getting a miter saw, make sure to check the width of any commonly used plank.
Another essential feature of the blade is the teeth. If it has more of them, you will probably end up getting a smoother and faster cut. However, some newer models also come with blades with wide apart teeth that are used to cut with woodgrain.
The saw gets its power through the motor, so it should have enough juice for you to cut the wood smoothly. A staggering or slow motor may give uneven cuts which look bad.
Most miter saw motors fall within the range of 15 amps, which is enough power to make accurate cuts. Another determinant of good saws is the rotation speed. This is usually stated through a number like 5,000 RPM. More rotations ensure a faster speed of cutting.
In general, the speed of miter saws is around 3,000 to 3,800 RPM. A higher speed availability also provides the option to use the miter saw for materials other than wood.
Sturdy Table And Miter Scale
As a power tool, the miter saw strives to provide you with precision. Even though you can move miter saws around, it’s best to place them on a stable elevated surface. Moreover, the saw comes attached to a surface or table that allows proper steering of the machine.
This table might be a tad larger in the case of double bevel miter saws, as it requires more space to cut the plank. Also, the scale to properly align the plank is usually on the table. There is also an angle stop selector that allows the options for cutting the plank.
Handle And Trigger
To cut a wood plank, you will need to lower the blade by operating the handle present on this miter saw. This also contains the trigger that gets the blade moving. Also, the handle usually has gripping to make holding it easier.
You will need to push the trigger and then carefully lower the handle to cut the plank. In miter saws, locks are also present to help you create different types of cuts.
The handle also allows you to cut at an angle. While the movement is restricted to one side in single-bevel miter saws, the dual models let you maneuver it in both directions. Moreover, in sliding miter saws, the handle allows you to bring forth the blade and then cut from back to front.
Safety is a crucial aspect of all power tools, and it isn’t different in miter saws. Several layers of safety are added to these saws, including a blade guard, handle locks, trigger, and brakes.
There is a plastic guard placed in front of the blade. When you push down the handle, this guard rises to expose the blade to proceed with the cut. Moreover, this ensures that your hand and fingers remain safe while the blade is in motion.
Additionally, the trigger is added to provide more control to the user. Earlier saws used to come with on and off switches, but those were quite hard to control. The presence of a trigger lets you start and stop the blade as per your liking. Also, this allows for making delicate cuts on wood.
Most miter saws also come with emergency brakes to stop in a few seconds if there is a need. Even though this might not be available in each miter saw, we suggest you get one with it.
Advantages Of A Single Bevel Miter Saw
When choosing a suitable power tool, it’s vital to look at the plus points. So, let’s have a look at the best aspects of single-bevel miter saws.
Lightweight And Compact
Even though we wouldn’t call a single bevel miter saw the most portable power saw, it’s still better than other options. Most models have a compact body that allows you to transfer it from one place to another.
Moreover, this tool does take up little to no space in your workshop. You can easily keep it in a corner without paying much heed to it. Also, some contractors even like to carry it on their outdoor jobs.
Simple To Use
Beginner woodworkers often fret about working with saws. Yes, you will still need to take accurate measurements, but using the single bevel miter saw is much simpler.
Understanding how the saw works takes only a few minutes, and after that, you are good to go. Seldom do these variants have an elaborate mechanism, as it doesn’t require anything fancy.
However, the simplicity of this machine makes it the perfect initiation tool for DIY enthusiasts and beginners. Unlike other power saws that may have several steps, operating the single bevel miter saw is relatively simple. Also, a lot of information is available on the internet to help you use the tool in an effective way.
Don’t think that you are going to get anything less with this power saw. It’s able to do almost everything that the other miter saws are also meant to do. You may need a bit more time to get used to rotating the wooden planks, but learning to use the machine is easy.
Moreover, this power saw is perfect for those looking for a reasonably versatile tool as a beginner. Even many professionals swear by using single-bevel miter saws because of their uncomplicated nature.
Let’s be honest; no one wants to go broke after buying their first power tool. Hence, this variant of miter saws is suitable for taking baby steps towards growing in woodworking. It may not give you the fastest operation, but affordability makes up the gap.
Moreover, it’s also an excellent option for those woodworking enthusiasts who are infrequent with their projects. Hence, you don’t really need to spend a lot on a fancy power saw if you are going to use it once a month.
Disadvantages Of A Single Bevel Miter Saw
As a fairly basic power saw, the single bevel miter saw does have some drawbacks. Here are some of them to help you choose the right saw for your work.
Takes Up More Time
With the single bevel, miter saw, you can cut angles in only one direction. Hence, you will need to reload the plank into the machine to produce a cut in the opposite direction. This will take away some of the precious time you might have spent finishing the project.
Even though this might not seem like a big deal for a beginner, it’s indeed a pain point for professionals. However, people who have been using these saws for a long time will have picked up some ways to speed up the process.
One of the most vital points in favor of double-bevel miter saws is uniformity. Because of the need to constantly flip the plank, some amount of uniformity is lost in the process. Unlike the advanced variant, you aren’t able to perform the cuts in one go.
Moreover, you will need to practice a lot before you get to a professional level of accuracy. On the brighter side, it can be a good opportunity for beginners to learn the skills of doing the most with a simple tool.
Not Great For Fancy Cuts
There will be times when you need to add aesthetic cuts to make a project look better. This is primarily done with the help of different trims. However, the reduced capability of this variant will be a hindrance to creating those.
We have seen that cutting and installing crown molding is time-consuming and inconvenient while using a single bevel miter saw. Also, making matching cuts takes a lot of patience with this tool.
Unsuitable For Long Planks
Do you plan on working with long wood planks? Then, you may want to skip on getting a single bevel miter saw as it isn’t equipped to work with very long pieces.
Moreover, long pieces require a lot of table space which is missing in these saws. Always make sure to check the specifications of a power saw before placing it to avoid incompatibilities.
Single Bevel Miter Saw: Pros
- Easy to operate
- Lightweight and portable
- Good for beginners
Single Bevel Miter Saw: Cons
- Need to flip the piece
- Incompatible with long planks
- Less uniform
Advantages Of A Double Bevel Miter Saw
If you are a professional looking forward to investing in a brand-new power saw, these points will help you understand if the double bevel miter saw is the correct choice. So, let’s have a look at its advantages.
The foremost feature that stands out in the case of a double-bevel miter saw is its ability to work faster. There is no need to flip the plank to get the proper cuts. So, professionals who need to finish multiple projects at a time will find it extremely helpful.
All one needs to do is pivot the angle in the right direction to get a better cut. This helps in reducing the time necessary to finish a single project. Moreover, it’s great for professional workshops where multiple tools are required.
Enhanced Precision And Accuracy
As there is no need to flip the work, this saw invariably produces much cleaner and uniform cuts. The handle can pivot towards either left or right depending on the cut being made.
Apart from speeding up the whole process, this high precision and accuracy also let you work with smaller details. This is why many professionals go for a double bevel miter saw as they progress in their careers.
If you are looking forward to setting up a woodworking workshop, especially in home improvement, then this is an item you must include.
No Need For Flipping
Even though flipping wood planks may seem like a common thing, the extra chore can often be bothersome. Other than adding boredom to work, flipping can actually mess up calculations. Hence, if you don’t like spending an eternity on one project, a double-bevel miter saw might be your best choice.
Lets You Work In Small Or Large Projects
The greater size of the double bevel miter saw allows you to include larger wood planks compared to the other variant. Moreover, the ability to pivot the handle in both directions lets you work with larger pieces.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot work with small pieces. Besides, this is actually the perfect tool for intricate woodwork like handcrafted trims.
Adds Professional Versatility
This point is especially for those woodworkers who want to take their projects to the next level. Along with making the work easier, a double-bevel miter saw can also help you learn new skills.
These often include the latest features to make the power saws useful for regular use of the machines. As the popularity of handmade items rises, having your double bevel miter saw lets you pick up the fancier cuts.
Moreover, these saws may also come with combination blades that enable you to cut materials other than wood. Also, the added benefit of compound cuts and laser guides is available in the latest models.
Disadvantages Of A Double Bevel Miter Saw
As no tool can be without its flaws, here are some drawbacks that we observed about double bevel miter saws:
After laying your eyes on a double-bevel miter saw you might not want to let it go. However, it does come with an added price point which is justified by its quality. But, this might make it an unreasonable purchase for amateur woodworkers.
Hence, we do like to suggest this variant of saws, especially to professionals who will get the most use out of it. Also, more benefits are added to the machine because of the price hike from the standard variants.
Heavier And Requires More Space
Unlike the single bevel variants, these are probably best when placed in a workshop. The table is larger because of the ability to pivot in both directions. Also, the machine does gain some extra weight from the added mechanisms, which provides its ability to pivot. So, you may not be able to move around this power saw as the single bevel variants.
Double Bevel Miter Saw: Pros
- Saves time
- No need to flip the plank
- Good for working with larger wood pieces
- Highly accurate and precise
- Add versatility to cuts
Double Bevel Miter Saw: Cons
- Relatively expensive
Similarities Between Single And Double Bevel Miter Saws
It’s time to talk about some of the similarities seen in both products. This will actually help you to choose any one of them without compromising on similar aspects. As we mentioned before, there are many similarities shared by the two saws as they are mostly the same product.
However, at times, people forget to look at the similarities and instead gravitate toward the differences. Having a better picture of the common aspects is especially important for beginners and DIY enthusiasts. These points can genuinely help them save a bit of money if they aren’t ready to invest in something big.
Hence, let’s have a look at the identical aspects of the saws.
Cuts Made With The Saw
We would like to begin with the fact that both saws can make similar cuts. Using a single or double bevel miter saw, you can get cross-cuts, bevels, and miter cuts. Both are equally helpful for creating the precise angular cuts that you may need for different projects.
Hence, if you are specifically looking for a saw to create angular cuts, you can choose either. Moreover, most miter saws come with the usual angle capacity of 45 degrees. However, it might be a bit more in the case of double saws.
So, rather than looking at variants, you may also look for different models of the same saw to get better features.
Technique Of Usage
One of the crucial things about using power saws is to master the skill to use them. Even though the double bevel miter saw may have a bit more learning curve, you will essentially use a similar technique in both of them.
Other than some minute design aspects that differ between manufacturers, these saws need to be operated with a handle on the top. Both variants are also available in sliding or compound options if you are keen on getting them.
Hence, if you are a professional, there won’t be a need to learn something entirely new to use either of them.
Can’t Perform Rips
If you are looking for a tool that might help in ripping a plank, both of these options will disappoint you. Rather than working lengthwise, the miter saw is meant to cut by the width of a plank. This is also a reason for these being useful for making precise and clean bevel cuts.
Other options like a circular saw, or a table saw might be better options for ripping wood. Those options are also preferred for working with large pieces of wood, unlike miter saws.
A common aspect seen in both variants is the size of the blades. The standard options include a 10 or 12-inch blade, but 8-inch blades are also available. So, even though the double bevel miter may accommodate a longer piece of wood, it will still take a similar width.
Moreover, the blades are pretty alike, and you may even find the same ones being used in the tools produced by a single manufacturer. Hence, someone who already owns a miter saw will find it much easier to get a new one.
Differences Between Single And Double Bevel Miter Saws
Moving on, we would like to draw your attention to the differences present in the variants. Till now, we have discussed various aspects of these incredible power tools to give you a brief idea about each. Over here, we will chalk out the contrast present between the two products.
So, without any delay, let us find out what makes the two distinct.
Professional woodworkers need to have speed so that they can finish projects on the stipulated timeline. Even though they can get the work done with a single bevel saw, it may take them considerably more time.
However, using a double or dual bevel saw for the same project may save a lot of time. This is primarily due to the ease of use presented with the double bevel saw, as there is no need to flip the wood.
Also, manufacturers may even add a slightly powerful motor in the double bevel options to juice up the blades.
Precision And Accuracy
Even after being close contenders, the double bevel miter saw takes away the cake regarding precision and accuracy. As a person doesn’t need to flip or rotate a plank, the cuts come out much smoother and even. Professionals love this quality as it helps them to do flawless projects.
With that being said, we would also add the point that beginners don’t need to go the extra mile to get the double bevel variant. A single bevel option works just as well and performs almost the same tasks as the other one.
In the earlier section, while discussing the similarities, we talked about how it’s similar. Here, we would like to point out the slight difference present in the double-bevel variant.
As this saw can pivot in both directions, you may need to spend some time getting used to the motion. However, this won’t take much time if you are akin to using a miter saw.
Also, as the double bevel variant tends to be a tad heavier, you may need to get used to lifting it or using it in a stationary spot.
Compared to it, using the single bevel version is as easy as it can get. All you need to do is read the manual and watch some videos to get started on the saw.
A glaring difference seen between the variants is the cost. This is why the costlier option, which is the double-bevel miter saw, is usually recommended for professionals.
The single-bevel version is a little less versatile than the former option, so it costs much less. However, manufacturers may charge a higher price by adding features like a laser guide or some extra angle stops.
Hence, it’s always good to compare separate models before purchasing a piece.
When it comes to portability, the single bevel miter saw stands out as the lighter variant. Hence, many professionals like to have both saws to use when the need arises.
Also, it is easier to carry a single bevel miter saw to a job site as a lighter option. In comparison, the larger size and the heavier weight of the double-bevel version may make it impossible to do so.
Therefore, woodworkers who work regularly may need access to both power saws to make their job easier.
Single Bevel Vs. Double Bevel Miter Saw FAQ
Is this your first time learning in-depth about miter saws? Here are some helpful answers to common queries that people have about single-bevel vs. double-bevel miter saws.
Is A Miter Saw Worth It?
Yes, a miter saw is definitely worth your investment. It lets you make angled cuts which are crucial to finish different woodworking projects. Moreover, the miter saw can also perform bevel cuts that you cannot manage with a circular or table saw.
Can You Use A Miter Saw On A Regular Table?
To answer it simply, yes, you can use the miter saw on a regular table. However, it is always crucial to find a table that has enough stability to hold the miter saw in place. If you happen to have a double bevel miter saw that’s heavier, you may want to place it on a fixed spot.
Can A 12-inch Miter Saw Blade Cut A 4×6 Board?
When a miter saw has larger blades, it suggests the width that it can handle. So, the 12-inch blade will cut the 4×6 board quite quickly. Moreover, the 12-inch blade will also cut 2×8 and 2×6 boards. Check out the guide of a miter saw before buying it to ensure that it supports a specific wood size.
Do I Need A Double Bevel Miter Saw?
If you are an amateur at woodworking, we will suggest you not to buy a double bevel miter saw. The reason being that it isn’t starkly different from the single variant. It only makes cutting angles a tad easier.
However, you may get the same results with a single bevel miter saw with a bit of practice. But, if you are a professional who is thinking of upgrading to a better model, then you can invest in it.
Are Sliding Miter Saws Better?
We wouldn’t categorize a sliding miter saw as a better saw. Instead, it is much easier to use and can provide cleaner cuts. However, it also costs a bit more compared to the usual models. If you have a reasonable budget, then a sliding miter saw might be an excellent first choice to make woodworking simpler.
Who Should Get The Single Bevel Miter Saw?
We would like to recommend the single bevel miter saw for beginners and amateur woodworkers. With this simple power saw, you will get perfect angular cuts to give your projects a professional look.
Initially, you may have to pick up the skill of proper measurement and rotating the plank with perfection. However, we are sure that you will be able to grasp it quickly. And, in the future, when you spend on a double bevel variant, using it will become much more manageable.
Moreover, we would also like to recommend the single variant to professionals who work on job sites. Keep it for the days when you need to carry a saw to avoid lugging the heavy double-bevel variant.
Who Should Get The Double Bevel Miter Saw?
We would like to recommend the double bevel miter saw to professionals and serious woodworkers. If you have been looking to make precise angular cuts, it will give you the perfect results.
Having a double bevel saw is a must for workshops as it hurries up the work process by cutting down the time you spend on each project. Also, if you have used a miter saw before, learning to use the variant won’t take much time.
Moreover, it also helps to create great-looking handmade products with some of the best finishes. If you are into making bevel cuts, then look no further than the double bevel miter saw.
We are coming to the end of comparing two great power tools that have managed to make woodworking a breeze. However, it’s time to point out that there can never be a clear winner while comparing the two variants.
On having a closer look, we found positives and negatives for both of them. Hence, the choice will rely on the expectations and requirements of the user.
Moreover, you should keep your woodworking skills in mind before purchasing either the single-bevel variant or the double-bevel variant. If you are still curious, you can just visit a store to check out some of the top models.
With that, we would like to say goodbye. Don’t forget to let us know if you have any queries regarding single-bevel vs. double-bevel miter saws.
Till then, take care and have a nice day!
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