Best Cut-Off & Mitre Saws

If you’re looking for a new power tool to complete a DIY woodworking project, or to cut through heavy metals, understanding the differences between mitre and chop saws can help you make the right selection. Continue Reading...

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Based on 93 reviews
Festool KAPEX KS 120 Slide Compound Mitre Saw

Festool KAPEX KS 120 Slide Compound Mitre Saw 🏆 2024

4.7  (25)
 Summary
DOM
DOMNSW6 posts
  Verified
My One and Only Mitre SawIt has to be the most accurate - 'Machine Tool - to cut at any ( Simple 90 degree or compound angle cut. ) available!...Cheers. Show details ·  1
Makita LS1040

Makita LS1040

4.1  (11)
 Summary
Timtam
TimtamNew South Wales6 posts
 
Makita LS1018L

Makita LS1018L

2.4  (20)
 Summary
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Ned Powell
Ned PowellVIC23 posts
 
Not Happy
Not Happy
 
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Dazza
DazzaMelbourne40 posts
 
Bosch GCM 12 GDL Professional

Bosch GCM 12 GDL Professional

2.2  (6)
NeitherYoungNorOld
NeitherYoungNorOldQLD
 
Jason
JasonSA
 
Very goodI have been using this product for a week and it is great cuts are square and very happy with the stand that they have made for the saw ! Only problem was the laser needed to be squared up before use but other than that it’s fantasic Show details
Makita LS1017L

Makita LS1017L

2.5  (4)
Tim
TimVIC4 posts
 
Excellent lightweight drop sawUsed this drop saw for a sauna build so it needed to cut framing, lining boards and lots of mitres.
It never missed a beat and was easy to finely adjust to get 45 degree angles perfect.
Would definitely recommend. Show details
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Mr. Fix it
Mr. Fix itVictoria110 posts
 
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Patrick
PatrickVIC37 posts
  Fair Incentive Verified
Makita LS1019L

Makita LS1019L

5.0  (1)
PJHM
PJHM8 posts
  Verified
ADK87
ADK87VIC
  Verified
AEG STEP100X

AEG STEP100X

5.0  (1)
JocelynB
JocelynBAU23 posts
 
Peter
PeterNSW
  Verified
High precision. PerfectSwitched from a Ryobi Mitre Saw to Festool KS60 and as you would expect a world of difference! I needed precision cuts and with this Festool no problem whatsoever. I also had to switch occasionally from left to right handed cutting and then you realize how handy the Festool is. Really a gem!  Show details
Ryobi 18V One+ R18MS216-0

Ryobi 18V One+ R18MS216-0

5.0  (1)
Mark B
Mark BNSW6 posts
 
Wish I bought this soonerThis has been a great addition to my Ryobi ONE+ reno kit. It's lightweight and super easy to carry around and I can use wherever needed without worrying power cords trailing behind. I've used for fascias, new roof struts, trim and cladding. Would definitely recommend for anyone invested in the Ryobi ONE+ ecosystem.
Ozito PXC 18V 210mm PXCMSS-210

Ozito PXC 18V 210mm PXCMSS-210

5.0  (1)
PommyPeter
PommyPeterNSW5 posts
 
David
DavidSA114 posts
  Verified
Metabo KGS 305

Metabo KGS 305

4.0  (1)
Graeme.of.Kensington
Graeme.of.KensingtonVIC8 posts
 
Makita DLS714Z

Makita DLS714Z

4.0  (1)
puckel
puckelVIC47 posts
  Verified
Makita DLS211Z

Makita DLS211Z

1.0  (1)
Ian
IanNSW12 posts
 

What is the difference between a mitre saw and a chop saw?

A cut-off saw made by the popular brand Makita
A cut-off saw, also known as a chop saw.
A mitre saw made by the household name Ryobi.
A mitre saw.
### Chop saws### Mitre Saws
Cut robust materials like metal, masonry and concreteBetter for everyday woodwork, and cutting plastic and composites
Can only cut straight at a set 90 degree angleCan make angled cuts or ‘mitres,’ as well as beveled and compound cuts
Large blade size is typically 14 inches minimumSmaller blade that’s usually 10-12 inches in diameter
Stationary cutting motion - can’t pivot left and rightVersatile cutting functions - can rotate, pivot left and right, and sometimes cut on an axis
Fast and efficient as an abrasive blade spins very fast - around 5, 000 RPM (revolutions per minute)Slower and less powerful due to the smaller motor and non-abrasive blade. These spin at around 3, 000 RPM.

Visually, the design and look of chop saws and mitre saws is similar. Both are tabletop saws, and both have circular blades mounted on a pivoting arm.

There are two main differences. Firstly, a chop saw is only able to make straight cuts at a 90 degree angle. A mitre saw owes its name to the ability to cut at angles. The second main difference is that the type of blade each saw type uses is different.

Cut-off saws are abrasive, whereas mitre saws have toothed blades, which don’t have the brute force of chop saws to cut through durable materials.

Cut-off saws

What does a cut-off saw do?

Cut-off saws can perform a wide range of heavy-duty and rather impressive tasks. This is because their blades are designed for power. As a standard, cut-off saws come with an abrasive blade which - unlike most saws - is toothless.

Instead, a cut-off saw’s blade is a smooth spinning disc, usually with a diamond coating (this kind of blade is constructed from powdered metal over a steel core, with tough, synthetic diamond crystals mixed through it).

This blade is what gives a cut-off saw its renowned ability to easily slice through metals, including ferrous metals.

Chop saws can also cut wood, masonry and composite materials. Even lumber that has nails in it isn’t an obstacle for a cut-off saw with an abrasive blade.

Cut-off saws are also commonly referred to as chop saws, abrasive saws and metal cut-off saws.

Can you use a cut-off saw to cut wood?

While making straight cuts on a piece of wood can be done using a chop saw, it will require additional steps to set up the cut-up saw correctly for the purpose.

This includes swapping out the disc blade of a chop saw with a wood-cutting saw blade with teeth. These multi-purpose blades are more similar to those you’d find on a regular cold cut saw.

Prepping a chop saw to cut wood also requires taking careful measurements, and ensuring secure positioning while you’re cutting the wood.

Who should use a chop saw?

Due to its pure power, a chop saw can be indispensable for commercial use and using in factories. If you’re a welder, contractor or fabricator you may find that a chop saw gets the job of cutting large sheets of steel done accurately. Thanks to their large, powerful motors, a chop saw will be efficient, too - getting the job done quicker than other tools.

Additionally, chop saws are useful for home construction. You can use them to complete tasks such as cutting stud joints, rafters and trusses, as well as steel tubes.

Mitre saws

What is a Mitre saw used for?

A mitre saw, also called a compound mitre saw, is primarily used for cutting wood, but it can also be used to cut soft metals such as brass and aluminium, as well as plastics and composite materials.

It can’t cut through concrete, ferrous metals, or masonry.

A mitre saw is similar to a chop saw, as it also uses a circular blade on a moving arm to cut materials. However, it can also be used to make angled cuts or mitres, as well as bevel cuts and compound cuts.

  • Mitre cuts: You can set the mitre angle to 45 degrees so it swings to either to the left or right. These are commonly used to make half a corner joint for a picture frame or a door frame.
  • Bevel cuts: When you set the angle for a bevel cut, the blade will tilt on an axis to make the cut. Bevel cuts are often used on small pieces of moulding and trim. Dual-bevel ability means the direction of the angle can be towards the left or right.
  • Compound cuts: This involves setting a mitre angle and a bevel angle together, so the blade swings either to the left or right, along with tilting on an axis. These are often used for crown moulding.

Do you really need a mitre saw?

Mitre saws are commonly used by DIY-ers for home woodworking projects. They’re also a must-have in the power toolbox of carpenters, woodworkers and contractors.

If you don’t need to cut through durable metals with iron in them (ferrous metals), a miter saw may be more useful than a cut-off saw.

Mitre saws are great for adding finesse to your woodworking. They can make complex cuts cleanly and precisely. Done correctly, they can add a professional finish to a wide range of woodworking jobs.

Can you use an abrasive blade in a mitre saw?

While this sounds like a handy function if you occasionally need your mitre saw to cut metal, this is not recommended.

While substituting with an abrasive blade will give you the horsepower you need, this may come at a cost. Due to the high speed,fragments of material will often fly off when using an abrasive saw, which can clog up your mitre saw.

There’s also a plastic insert above the blade of a mitre saw, and this will become extremely hot if you swap out your mitre-saw blade with an abrasive blade.

Should I get a 10 or 12-inch mitre saw?

If you’re not sure, the main thing to consider is both the frequency with which you’ll be using your mitre saw, as well as the size of the materials you’ll commonly be cutting.

While both a 10-inch and 12-inch mitre saw are capable of cutting a 4 x 4 inch sheet of material, a 12-inch blade will cut cleaner and faster. The blade is larger, the teeth will be sharper, and the number of teeth per inch are higher.

This means that if you’re using your mitre saw frequently, especially for large projects or to cut larger pieces of wood, a 12-inch mitre saw will save you a lot of time. A 10-inch blade can also be slotted into a mitre saw that originally has a 12-inch blade inside it, if you need to complete smaller tasks.

Some downsides of using a 12-inch blade compared to a 10-inch one are that these models are harder to source and replace, more expensive, larger and more bulky - so less easily portable.

Conclusion

Overall, whether you end up buying a cut-off saw or a mitre saw depends on the type of material you commonly cut, what kind of projects you’re usually working on and how much brute power you need to complete your jobs.

A cut-off saw is better for metal and cutting straight, whereas a mitre saw is more suitable for woodworking, and finessing your projects due to its versatility in creating angles and different types of cuts.

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