The miter saw is one of the most used and loved tools in the woodworking community. There are more than enough reasons for it.
When you are making angle cuts or cross cuts in composite or wood, for projects like cabinets, door frames, and baseboards, you will need a good miter saw. There are different kinds of miter saws to choose from.
Among them, a single bevel miter saw is more an economical choice. And then there is the dual bevel miter saw.
There are probably dozens of brands, and hundreds of models of the miter saw available in the market.
In this article, we will discuss one of the common questions related to buying a miter saw and also differentiate between a single bevel and a dual bevel miter saw.
In this post we'll cover:
What Is Miter Cut And Bevel Cut?
The most basic use of your miter saw is to make crosscuts. A typical crosscut will be perpendicular to the length of the board, as well as the height of the board.
But with a proper tool such as a miter saw, you can alter the angle you make with the length.
When you cut a board across the width, but not perpendicular to the length, at some other angle instead, that cut is called a miter cut.
A point to note here is that a miter cut is always at an angle with the length but perpendicular to the board’s height.
With an advanced miter saw, you can also alter the angle with the height as well. When the cut does not go vertically through the height of a board, it is called a bevel cut.
Miter saws that are specially made for bevel cuts are also known as the compound miter saw. There are some basic difference between a miter saw and a compound miter saw.
Miter cut and bevel cuts are independent and do not rely on each other. You can make just a miter cut, or just a bevel cut, or miter-bevel compound cut.
Single Bevel Vs. Double Bevel Miter Saw
Most of the miter saws of these days are pretty advanced and allows you to make bevel cuts. This is achieved by tilting the upper portion of the saw in a given direction.
It is easy to guess from the name that a single bevel saw will allow you to pivot on one side only, whereas a double bevel saw will pivot in both directions.
However, there is more to it than just that. Everything(almost) that can be done with a double bevel miter saw can also be achieved with a single bevel miter saw.
So, why do we need the extra luxury of pivoting on either side? Well, It is a luxury, after all. But the luxury does not end here.
A typical single bevel miter saw falls in the category of simple miter saws. The functionality they offer is also kind of limited. The size, shape, weight, and price of everything are on the lower end of the spectrum.
An average double bevel miter saw is much more advanced compared to a single bevel one. The luxury does not end with only the extra dimension of beveling ability.
The tools usually also have wider miter angle control as well as a wider range of bevel cuts.
Not to mention a sliding arm to pull or push the blade in or out. In other words, when you talk about a double bevel miter saw, you are talking about a bigger, fancier, pricier tool.
What Is A Single Bevel Miter Saw?
The name “single bevel miter saw” suggests a simple miter saw. It can be pivoted in only one direction, either to the left or to the right, but not to both sides.
However, this does not limit your ability to work with the tool. You can still make bevel cuts in the other directions simply by rotating the board.
A single bevel miter saw is usually small in size and lightweight. It is quite easy to relocate and maneuver. They are easy to use and will not feel overwhelming, especially for newcomers in woodworking. They are usually cheaper as well.
What Is A Double Bevel Miter Saw?
“Double bevel miter saw” usually refers to the most advanced and featureful miter saws. As the name suggests, they can pivot on both sides freely, giving you more time to spend cutting by saving the time you’d need otherwise to mark, rotate, and reposition your piece.
An average double bevel miter saw is relatively heavy and bulkier when compared to a single bevel miter saw. They are not as easy to move about and carry. They offer more functionality and more control than most other miter saws. They are sturdier and of good quality, but a tad bit pricier as well.
Which One Of The Two Is Better?
If I am honest, both of the tools are better. I know it doesn’t make sense. The reason being, which tool is better depending on the scenario.
- If you are starting at woodworking, Hands down, a single bevel miter saw is better. You do not want to overwhelm yourself with “things to remember.” It is much easier for learning.
- If you are a DIYer, go for a single bevel saw. Because you are not likely going to use it too frequently, and it is not worth it to invest a lot in the tool unless you put it in enough work.
- If you are planning towards a contracting career, you will likely need to travel to places a lot along with your saw. In that case, a single bevel saw will make the journey easier, but a double bevel saw will make the job easier. Up to you to choose.
- If you own a shop/garage and regular at the task, definitely get a double bevel saw. You will be thanking yourself a lot of times.
- If you are a hobbyist, then you will be taking complicated tasks more frequently. Tasks that require a whole lot of small yet delicate cuts. A double bevel saw will save a lot of time in the long run.
As I mentioned before, there is no single best tool to do it all. Neither of the two is the best saw. There is no such thing. However, you can choose the best saw for your situation. Before investing your money in it, give it a good thought, and be sure of your plans.
In case you are not certain, or you want to take the safe route, always, I mean ALWAYS choose a single bevel saw. You can manage to do everything with a single bevel saw that you can do with a double bevel saw. Cheers.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.