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
Oshlun LG-R01 Radial Arm Saw Laser Guide,Grey
  • Fits most radial arm saws and saws with a threaded 5/8-Inch arbor shaft
  • New recessed laser design to protect the laser from hitting the material on deep cuts
  • New thinner design to fit more saws
  • New brighter and more accurate laser line
  • Includes extra set of LR44 batteries
Bestseller No. 2
Radial Arm Saw Accessory Jacobs Chuck for Drill & Router Bits Craftsman Wards Powr Kraft
  • Accessory Drill Chuck Attachment for Radial Arm Saws.
  • Chuck is a Jacobs brand. It has a 1/16" to 1/2" (1.5mm-13mm) bit capacity and has 1/2"-20 threads.
  • It attaches to the 1/2"-20 threaded accessory drive on most Craftsmanand Wards Radial Arm Saws. The accessory drive is on the opposite side of te motor from the blade.
  • Includes the chuck key.
SaleBestseller No. 3
JET JMS-10X, 10-Inch Dual-Bevel Compound Miter Saw, 1Ph 115V (707210)
  • GREATER SUPPORT: Adjustable left and right fence, and extension tables
  • SMOOTH SLIDE OPERATION: Enclosed linear bearings
  • MAXIMUM CONTROL: Ergonomic, D-shaped, ambidextrous, rubber grip handle
  • QUICKLY CHANGE MITER ANGLES: Single-motion thumb lever
  • POWER THROUGH WOOD: Heavy-duty 15-amp motor
SaleBestseller No. 4
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. 5
DEWALT Miter Saw, 12 Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound, Stainless Steel Detent Plate with 10 Stops, Cam-Lock Handle, For Quick & Accurate Miter Angles, Corded (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

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 2023-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API