Most table saws are more powerful than any miter saw ever built, so if you choose the right type of miter saw, there is no need to spend money on a machine that will not cut straight. If you plan to cut curved or irregular objects such as logs, you can buy a miter saw that will cut those objects, but the performance of the miter saw itself is not as good as the saw that comes with a benchtop miter saw.
What are the pros and cons of buying a benchtop miter saw?
A benchtop miter saw is an excellent tool for working on large trees. For general house work in general, you do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a miter saw; on a good working miter saw you get a bit more power and control when working on wood than you can buy from a manufacturer’s shop. A full tabletop miter saw has a more powerful motor than a benchtop miter saw, but it does have some limitations:
• The benchtop miter saw has only about a 5% power increase as compared with a benchtop miter saw. (1 watt = 1.8 volts, 1 pound = 15 pounds power, per foot of cut).
• The table top miter saw has no power gain over another miter saw at the same power setting (power = power / (5% of power = power, 5% = power per foot of cut)). It is thus limited in the power it can supply to its cutting motor.
• Most table saws have a max power output of 4 to 6 horsepower. There is no power gain over the power output of another miter saw, and a table top miter saw (unless you cut a large number of small logs) will not produce the same results as a benchtop miter saw.
• Table top miter saws will tend to run hotter than the benchtop saw, and have a higher idle speed than a benchtop miter saw.
This graph shows a benchtop miter saw operating at full power in one of our testing temperatures (100°F) during a 10-minute run to a 10-inch diameter log.
To find out what you are paying for, you can run through various comparisons where the miter saw gets a higher score. For instance, what happens with 6 or more cuts in the graph below that are made in this temperature range?
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