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 20V MAX* Reciprocating Saw, Tool Only (DCS380B)
  • 4-position blade clamp of DEWALT 20V reciprocating saw allows for flush cutting and increased positional versatility with tool-free blade changes
  • 1-1/8-inch stroke length delivers a fast cutting speed
  • Variable speed trigger with 0-3000 spm provides increased blade control and fast cutting speed
  • Pivoting adjustable shoe extends blade life and allows depth-of-cut control
  • Rubber comfort grip delivers optimal comfort and control
Bestseller No. 2
SKIL 15 Amp 7-1/4 Inch Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide - 5280-01
  • Powerful 15-amp motor delivers 5 300-RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
  • 7-1 4-inch carbide-tipped blade included. Spindle lock for easy blade changes.
  • 51° bevel capacity with a positive stop at 45° for a wide variety of cuts
  • Dust blower keeps line-of-cut free of sawdust for improved visibility
  • Safety lock/guarded trigger and power-on indicator minimize accidental starts
SaleBestseller No. 3
Metabo HPT 10-Inch Miter Saw | Single Bevel | Compound | 15-Amp Motor | 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. 4
DEWALT 6-1/2-Inch 20V MAX Circular Saw, Tool Only (DCS391B) , Yellow
  • 5150 RPM motor of DEWALT circular saw delivers power and speed to make the most demanding cuts with ease
  • High strength and lightweight magnesium shoe of the corded circular saw provides jobsite durability for long-term cut accuracy
  • Optimized rubber overmolded comfort grip of the compact circular saw delivers optimal balance and control
  • 0-50 degree bevel capacity allows for aggressive bevel cuts for a multitude of applications
  • 6-1/2-inch carbide-tipped blade for cutting 2 times material at 90 degree and 45 degree and more cuts per charge
SaleBestseller No. 5
GRR-RIPPER 3D Pushblock for Table Saws, Router Tables, Band Saws, and Jointers by MICROJIG
  • Protect hands and prevent kickback like never before
  • Powerful high-friction durable grip for extreme hold
  • Precision cutting and control down to 1/4" Ripping
  • Fully adjustable for easy handling
  • Work with small stock safely on the table saw, Router table, Jointer, & Band saw

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 2022-06-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API