Chops saws and miter saws are two essential power tools that can help to precisely cut woods and metals without much effort from you. At first look, they look exactly the same. Their appearances look precisely the same, and both have blades that you can cut things from top to bottom. Yet, it is crucial to know their main differences if you are planning to buy the right equipment for your project. 

Chop Saw Vs. Miter Saw: The Main Differences

Chop saw and miter saw comparison

While the chop saw and miter saw look like two peas in a pod, they have significant differences. First is the size. If you would personally see and compare them side by side, you’ll notice that chop saws have bigger bodies, and there’s a reason for that.

blades of Chop saws and miter saws
Chop saws and miter saws use different sizes of blades.

Chop saws are commonly seen in industrial and commercial settings and use at least a 14-inch blade to do the work. This means they are more suitable for heavy-duty tasks, including continuously cutting up thick materials than the standard planks of wood.

chop saw purpose
Chop saws have bigger blades that can handle tougher materials like metal and thick wood.

Miter saws are much smaller, which means they have smaller blades. This, however, doesn’t make them anything less than chop saws. They can be instrumental in their own way. They are familiar among woodwork enthusiasts for their DIY projects due to the neater cuts they create in the wood. If your projects or crafts are more on frames, trims, molding, and regular wood cutting needs, a miter saw is a friend.

miter saw size and purpose
Miter saws are smaller in size and more ideal for intricate projects.

The second (and probably the most significant) difference between a chop saw and a miter saw is the angle they cut the materials. Chop saws can only deliver straight cuts at a 90-degree angle, while the miter saw offers total versatility in cutting materials.

blade angles of miter saws
Miter saws are more flexible due to their ability to cut materials at different angles.

Miter saws come in different types, which allow you to cut wood in different angles and movements. You can choose from sliding, compound (single and dual bevel), compound sliding, and dual compound sliding miter saws. This gives you a wide variety of options to choose from, especially if you need extra flexibility in cutting your materials. For instance, the dual-compound sliding miter saws offer all the movements and cuts you need, including sliding, mitering, and beveling to both the left and right directions.

Which One Is Better?

When choosing the right equipment, it is essential to consider your work demands. The miter saw is best for intricate small projects that need precision. They are perfect for crown molding, trimming, and framing projects. On the other hand, a chop saw is ideal for handling more rigid materials, from wood to plastics to metals and tiles.

Once you’ve determined which side to pick between a chop saw and a miter saw, it is now time to choose the right type and model for your work. With lots of choices in the market, it is vital to determine which one can offer the best features to fit your daily workshop activities. Some include the blade sizes, RPM rating, motor power, and more.

DEWALT D28715 Chop Saw
DEWALT D28715 Chop Saw

One of the top picks we can recommend for a chop saw is the DEWALT D28715 14-inch chop saw with a 5.5 HP motor for more overload capacity. It also employs a quick keyless blade-changing system and quick-lock vise, which means convenience for anyone. Besides the large cutting capacity (5” round and 4-1/2” x 6-1/2” rectangle), it also offers a handy 45-degree adjustable fence.

DEWALT DWS780 Miter Saw
DEWALT DWS780 Miter Saw

For miter saws, you can have the DEWALT DWS780. It is a dual bevel compound sliding miter saw that can perform all types of cuts, including the left and right bevels. It has a 15 amp motor and a 12” 60-tooth blade that can provide regular crosscuts and 16-inch wide bevel cuts. It also has a back fence design that lets you cut 2 x 12 and 2 x 16 at 45- and 90-degree positions, respectively.


Jimmy Black started his career as a construction and carpenter foreman. After years of hard work, he decided to go on his own. Now, Jimmy is one of the trusted experts at SolidSmack who knows at first glance whether your hammer would do a great job or not. He still involves himself in various construction projects and works for individual clients. Behind formalities, he enjoys being a father to two lovely kids who keep on asking him why they can’t quit school and travel the world like Dora The Explorer.