Circular Saw Vs Miter Saw – Differences Explained

Last Updated on October 20, 2021

There are a hundred types of saws available in the market with individual features and attributes. It is essential to choose the right kind of tool according to your work need. Otherwise, your purpose of work will not be served and will end up lying on storage.

Those who are professionals will not mind enhancing their tool collection. But for beginners, it is wise to choose a tool which serves multi-purpose.

However, a circular saw is a kind of saw which offers a versatile cutting experience as it can cut a variety of materials with utter smoothness. But there is still some limitation of it and that is where miter saw takes the platform.

It is very reasonable to get confused between miter saw and circular saw as both of them functions almost similarly. That is why it is a must to know every detail and differences to get the best result in your work.

Brief Discussion on Circular Saw

Some key points are discussed below which will show you the pros and cons of a circular saw.

What is a Circular Saw?

A circular saw is a powerful tool used to cut woods, plywood, timbers. It has a round blade with sharped teeth at the edge for cutting. In a rotary motion, it spins around at high speed to cut through materials.

This saw is most famous among carpenters because of its ability for smooth cutting on woods. With the right kind of blade, it can work on plastic and metal sheets too. Most of the circular saws are handheld. It can come with a cord or be completely cordless; both the options are available.

The Cutting Process

A circular saw is very handy. It is not stationary which means it is not attached to any heavy object or stands. You can move around the tool according to your need. It usually comes with a cord, but in recent days cordless options are also available.

Versatility of Cuts

Circular saw is a versatile saw. It is capable of doing several types of cuts and also on different materials like wood, timber, plastic as well as metal. However, this tool is mostly known for straight cuts but with long term experience angled cut can also be done using this tool.

Storage and Mobility

A circular saw is small in size. Hence it does not require much space to store the tool after use. Also, it is handy and portable. You can easily carry it to your work station.

Budget Requirement

A circular saw can be your best crafting companion within a friendly budget.  Usually, it costs from 50$ to 80$ based on the model and added features.

Also, you will be able to do multiple tasks with the same tool. So actually you will get the benefit of various tools, investing for a single tool only.

Safety Requirements

Circular saw is a handheld tool. That is why extra attention needs to be given while using. Make sure that the cord doesn’t come along your way.

Otherwise, you could get tangled and face fatal accident with the running blade on. Also, do not wear any loose clothing or jewellery while working with the tool.

Advantages of a Circular Saw

  • Can make plunge cuts too
  • Lightweight, easy to carry
  • Available at a reasonable price
  • Suitable for heavy duty job
  • Can work on different materials like wood, plastic, and metal

Disadvantages of a Circular Saw

  • Not suitable for an accurate cut
  • Can be time-consuming
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Extreme hand grip required to avoid accidents

Brief Discussion on Miter Saw

We have come up with a short yet useful segment about the main features of a miter saw.

What is a Miter Saw?

A miter saw is one of the popular handy tools known for a precious cut. It is capable of accurate cut and a miter saw can cut at any angle. In some models, the tool can be tilted for making a diagonal cut.

The blade is attached to the standing machine which makes it stationary. Length and angle of the cut can easily be adjusted to the need. So it very useful for artisans who want to make specially crafted products like a photo frame, mirror frame.

The Cutting Process

A miter saw is immobile; the blade is attached to a stand. You have to move along your material to cut. Because of its firm position, it is safer to use and also causes fewer mistakes in the cutting.

Versatility of Cuts

Miter saw is a specialized tool. It comes into play when a precise angled cut and smooth finishing is required. Circular saw is also capable of making angled cut but that needs expertise and does not always come with smooth finishing.

But this instrument is specially designed for making the cross cut and angle cuts, and also with the best possible neat error-free outcome. To make specially crafted items like a photo frame or a mirror frame, a miter saw is a must.

Storage and Mobility

A miter saw comes with a saw stand. So it will take the right amount of space in your storage. It is not massive but it is medium sized. This device is not suitable for you if your work station is far and you have to carry it every day; not that it is impossible to carry, but a fair amount of effort is needed.


A miter tool is a specialized tool. That is why it comes with some extra expense. The minimum range for a miter tool usually starts from 200$.

Often people try to replace circular saw with a miter saw. But there is a reason for its higher price, and you will see the difference once you start working with it. The error rate of work will be zero with a fantastic outcome, saving you precious time.

Safety Requirements

A miter saw is attached to a stand and it is non-mobile. So there is less risk associated with the tool. Still, the basic safety rules should be followed like wearing goggles, ear protection, non-slip gloves, tight clothes, etc. The accident risk rate is usually lower with a miter saw.

Advantages of a Miter Saw

  • A specialized tool for crosscutting
  • Ensures high accuracy of cutting
  • Easy to operate
  • Low chances of physical risk associated
  • Works faster with immense precision

Disadvantages of a Miter Saw

  • Cannot work on various materials; meant for woods only
  • Not versatile; suitable for crosscutting only
  • Comparatively expensive
  • Not portable; attached withstand

Circular Saw vs. Miter Saw: Comparison at a Glance


Circular Saw

Miter Saw

MultitaskingSuitable for various types of cuttingA specialized tool for crosscutting only
PriceBudget FriendlyExpensive
PortabilityExtremely portablePortable but not handy
PrecisionNot preciseHighly Precise
Workability on different materialSuitable for various working materialIdeal for wood only
Heavy Duty JobPerfect for high volume and heavy duty jobNot suitable for heavy duty job
Ease of useRequires experience and expertiseEasy to use


Because of the functional similarity, it is often confusing for users which tool to buy. From the discussion, you should realize by now that circular saw can do multitasking whereas miter saw is meant for crosscutting only. Also, the price difference is hugely distinctive between these two.

So before making a purchase decision, you should be sure about your working need. Just for two or three crosscuts now and then, it is not advisable to invest so much for a miter tool when the task can be done with a circular saw at a much lower cost.

But if you are incredibly cautious for a precise and accurate cut, then miter saw can give you the ultimate best outcome.