Skill Saw vs Miter Saw

Saws, the ultimate tool for any hobbyist and professional woodworker. Unfortunately choosing between saws becomes a daunting task for a novice. In this skill saw vs. miter saw article we will look closely at both and we believe you are bound to make an informed decision.

Identifying which tool to use can be a quantum heel to your career. As such, let’s cut the chase and look at how these two stellar machines compare, features, how to use them, etc.

Skill saw

The term skill saw seems to confuse numerous novices. Initially, skill saw referred to a company – Skilsaw – which was among the first companies to make circular saws.

Currently, many pros use the term skill and circular saw interchangeably.

What is a skill saw?

Well, a skill saw is an electric handheld saw that uses an abrasive spinning disc to make cuts through items such as wood, plastic, and metal. It is basically ideal for making long straight line cuts.

It is potable hence preferred by numerous casual workers and hobbyist. The downside of it is that it does not make precise cuts compared to other saws.

Which are the different types of skill saws?

  • Sidewinder
  • Hypoid
  • Worm drive saw

Where can you use a skill saw?

The simple answer would be anywhere especially for light tasks. Its portability makes it easier to lug around your workstation.

Remember to clamp your item when making angle cuts to prevent it from moving around.


  • Portable
  • Safe to use
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Cheap compared to other saws


  • Does not make precise and accurate cuts
  • Cannot handle complex tasks
  • Lack of dust disposal system

Miter saw

Are you a perfectionist? Why not go for miter saws? Preferred by many for making precise miter, cross and angular cuts miter saw is just the thing for you.

Additionally, you can perform bevel cuts when working with a compound miter saw. However, miter saws cannot make rip cuts, unlike the circular counterparts.

Which are the different types of miter saws?

  • Standard miter saws: The most common type ideal for accurate miter cuts. They are light and cheap compared to other saws
  • Compound miter saws: It performs miter, bevel, and compound cuts. Just tilt the blade to the desired angle.
  • Sliding compound miter saws: They are the most feature-rich saws. The blade and the arm can move up and down unlike standard and compound which are stationary. It is obviously more expensive.

Where can you use miter saws?

Well, miter saws are just the thing for framing and trimming tasks. And, you guessed it right, making accurate and precise angle cuts.

Having said that, they are ideal for artistic tasks rather than carpentry operations.


  • Make a host of cuts – bevel, miter, and compound cuts
  • Accurate and precise
  • Ideal for artistic operations


  • Expensive compared to other saws
  • Heavy and not portable
  • Cannot make rip cuts


From this skill saw vs. miter saw article it is apparent that each is well suited for individual tasks. However, miter saws are more accurate and perform a wide array of cuts.

Therefore, if you desire to go professional, go for miter saws. Are you a novice? Start with skill saws.

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