Radial Arm Saw Vs Miter Saw: What’s The Difference And Whats Better?

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Having the right saw for your DIY project can be a blessing sometimes. It takes a perfect saw to accurately complete the task at hand smoothly and efficiently.

Also, having an ideal saw means that you have the saw‘s full detail, from why it is best to how it works.

I have been working on my wood cutting project for months now, and the only challenge was selecting the right saw to use (previously I’d tried rounding wood by hand which was a challenge)

After I got the best solution to my saw problem, I thought it is best to share my journey to success.

The challenge comes from selecting two of the best saw in the market: Miter saw (many under $200 here), and radial arm saw.

Therefore, for beginners to solve this dilemma, I prepared a comparison summary below on both saws.

Below is the difference between the uses, benefits, features, disadvantages, and advantages of both tools.

Radial arm saw

The radial saw is mounted with a circular saw on the horizontal arm. This tool was made purposely to cut limbs or large wood logs.

Nowadays, radial arm saw is becoming less and less popular.

However, there are some features and properties that make this tool remain relevant to many professional woodcutters.

Features of the radial arm saw

• Externally installed safety features
• It can operate using 12 to 22 blade dia
• The cutting device is circular
• Ability to add additional fence on the existing one


• It provides a versatile use. Therefore, you will do other woodwork projects like drum sanding, routing, and board levelling.
• This tool is an idea for any crosscutting of thick limber.
• A radial arm saw can cut through more complex and heavy wood.
• It requires a small space for storage.


• Highly expensive
• Fewer safety features
• They are becoming obsolete

Miter saw

It is a cutting device that contains a circular cutting blade making it portable and precise in wood cutting.

This saw is unique as it includes an effective and efficient side and slit fence. It is the most powerful tool available in the market.

Miter saw it is best for trimming, but it can be used for things like a miter, crosscut, compound cut, and bevel.

Features of miter saw

• Depth stop
• Availability of clamps
• Side fence
• Blade sizes from 8 to 12-inch dia
• Works on a motorised system
• In-built locking system


• It offers an exact cutting work
• You can use it for angular wood cutting projects
• The safety features in the tool make it best to use regardless of the experience level
• It is portable
• Cheap hence affordable


• Cannot cut through the heavy wood
• Required an extensive space
• Less powerful

Which is the best saw to use, Radial Arm or Miter?

Miter saw has more advantages over radial arm saw, which is better in cross-cutting work only.

A radial arm saw is a dangerous tool to work with, especially if you have no experience in the project.

Although you may need a radial saw to crosscut wood, you cannot get any trimming and shaping alternative for the lumber.

Miter saw are an upgrade of cutting devices that contains the most effective and precise engineering tech.

This type of wood cutting device can offer you many significant advantages in all your wood cutting model.

SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 12-Inch (DWS779)
  • Stainless steel miter detent plate of the 12-inch miter saw blade comes with 10 positive stops
  • The mitre saw has a precise miter system and machined base fence support
  • Precise miter system and machined base fence support Cam-lock miter handle with detent override delivers quick and accurate miter angles for DEWALT miter saw
  • Tall sliding fences support 6-3/4-inch base vertically
  • Bevels 0 degree - 48degree left and right
Bestseller No. 2
DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, 15-Amp, Single Bevel, Compound (DWS715)
  • Stainless-steel miter detent plate of 12-inch miter saw blade comes with 14 positive stops
  • The mitre saw features the precise miter system and machined base fence support
  • Tall sliding fence of DEWALT miter saw supports 5-1/2-inch base vertically
  • Bevels 0 degree - 48degree to the left and 0 degree- 3degree to the right. Tool height-15 inch
  • 2-inch x 8-inch dimensional lumber cross cut capacity at 90 degree and 2-inch x 6-inch dimensional lumber at 45 degree
Bestseller No. 3
Skil 10" Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw - MS6305-00
  • POWERFUL 15 AMP MOTOR - Delivers 4,800 RPM for quick, detailed cuts
  • DUAL BEVEL – Perform cuts in four positive stop positions at 48° & 45° left, 0°, and 45° right
  • LED SHADOW LINE - Provides high precision cuts with greater accuracy than lasers
  • 2x12 CUTTING CAPACITY – Cross cuts lumber up to 2x12 at 90 degrees, and 2x8 lumber at 45 degrees
  • CUTS AT COMMON ANGLES - Cuts up to 50 degrees left and right with 11 positive stops at most used angles
SaleBestseller No. 4
Metabo HPT | Compound Miter Saw | 10-Inch | Single Bevel | 15-Amp Motor | 0-52° Miter Angle Range | 0-45° Bevel Range | Large Table | 10" 24T TCT Miter Saw Blade | C10FCGS
  • MOTOR: 15 Amp motor delivers high power for the toughest of cuts generating a no-load speed of up to 5,000 RPM
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Only 24.2 lbs. to facilitate maneuverability and portability
  • MITER ANGLE RANGE: 0-52 degrees, to the right and left for increased flexibility
  • BEVEL RANGE: 0-45 degrees, to the left with adjustable bevel stops for precision cuts
  • LARGE TABLE: Offers better material support with vice clamping system to secure work piece
SaleBestseller No. 5
DEWALT Double Bevel Sliding Miter Saw, 12-inch, Compound (DWS780R)
  • Integrated CUTLINE Blade Positioning System provides adjustment free cut line indication for better accuracy and visibility for the 12-inch miter saw blade
  • XPS technology uses an LED to project light down either side of the blade, creating a shadow on the cutline once the saw arm is lowered
  • Super-efficient dust collection system of DEWALT miter saw captures over 75% of dust generated
  • Tall sliding fences support crown molding up to 7-1/2-inch nested and base molding up to 6-3/4-inch vertically against the fence while easily sliding out of the way for bevel cuts
  • Exclusive back fence design cuts up to 2x14 dimensional lumber at 90 degree and 2x10 at 45 degree

Radial Arm Saw Vs Miter Saw: What’s The Difference And Whats Better?

Therefore, when selecting the right saw for your project, you need to consider your needs first.

Also, you can choose the perfect saw based on your preference and affordability.

Considering all the features, advantages, and disadvantages of both tools can help you make the right decision.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API