In the course of renovating a room in my house, I need to make some
bevel & straight cuts on a 10' x 6" baseboard. So here's my
opportunity to add to my collection. As woodworkers and possibly home
handymen, would a compound miter saw (non-sliding) or circular saw be
For the home handyman/carpentry type projects, the circular saw will
be more versatile. For the woodworker projects in the workshop, miter
saw. For me, but YMMV, miter saw = greater accuracy and precision,
circular saw = higher utility and portability.
For the specific task mentioned. trim work in a fixed location, I'd go
with the miter saw. But neither one really replaces the other. Budget
permitting, get both.
For what you're doing, a CMS would probably work out better. It would
take you much less time to adjust to a CMS than it would to a circular
saw for doing things like trim and angles.
A circular saw is actually a fairly inexpensive purchase, so I'd consider
both. I don't feel the circular saw is as accurate as the CMS, but it's
one of those tools where accuracy comes from the operator.
"The potential difference between the top and bottom of a tree is the
reason why all trees have to be grounded..." -- Bored Borg on
...yup! Many times I've been caught without a CMS (or figgered I
didn't need it due to the size of the job) and ended-up using my
handy-dandy 6" Makita kit saw and the speed square in my pouch for
straight and miter cuts on base and casing...a little slow, but the
quality is comparable, 'specially if it's paint grade. Were I the OP
I'd opt for the miter first, then the worm-drive...less of a learning
curve with the CMS, those worm drives are powerful and a bit daunting
for an inexperienced homeowner, IMO.
A circular saw can do everything a miter saw can do, but a miter saw
can only do a fraction of what a circular saw can do. That being
said, a miter saw is faster and more accurate for what it does, and is
worth the money if you do frequent cross cuts, or just happen to have
the money kicking around.
I would suggest getting a circular saw with a good blade (the blade
will make more difference than the saw itself), and spending some time
to make some good quality jigs for the saw. Fortunately, even the
best of circular saw jigs are pretty fast and cheap to make. I
personally like the cross-cut jigs that use aluminum L-bars to guide
the saw -- just make sure you take the time to ensure everything is
perfectly square, and there is no slop. Also take the time to round
all the corners -- especially of the aluminum-L-bars.
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