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First saw for DIYer...circular, mitre or table?

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[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2013
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Canada

First saw for DIYer...circular, mitre or table?

If you could recommend only one saw for a new home owner, which would it be...circular, table or mitre? I'd be looking at doing some basic stuff like cutting 2x4's, maybe laminate, baseboard etc.
49 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 24, 2007
2290 posts
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Well, and 3 are very different saws with different purposes. Based on what you've said you need it for I'd go with a mitre saw. You'll likely add a circular saw at some point though...
Deal Addict
Dec 9, 2003
4917 posts
761 upvotes
Calgary
Circular first - cheaper and more versatile

Then Table - for long long cuts that a circular saw cant do well and straight

Then Mitre for precision carpentry

The ONLY reason for a Mitre saw first is if you are doing just a floor. And even then the cuts you do can generally be under the baseboard and a "little rough"

And yes, I have all three and thats the order I bought them in.
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Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
I would say circular then mitre then table. You can use a straight edge with the circular saw if you need to.

C
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2006
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Hack saw, do it like a real man. ;) JK

Honestly, I have all 3 and then some but had very little use for a circular / table, most of my cut for projects are from mitre or hack saw or jig/scroll saw.

For example, if you buy a big sheet, place like home depot could cut it down for you so that remove the need for the table saw.

My vote is a mitre first and circular then table, if it must be those 3. Everyone should have a hack & jig saw plus a cheap reciprocating saw.
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Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
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hdom wrote: Hack saw, do it like a real man. ;) JK

Honestly, I have all 3 and then some but had very little use for a circular / table, most of my cut for projects are from mitre or hack saw or jig/scroll saw.

For example, if you buy a big sheet, place like home depot could cut it down for you so that remove the need for the table saw.

My vote is a mitre first and circular then table, if it must be those 3. Everyone should have a hack & jig saw plus a cheap reciprocating saw.
You must be confusing a hand saw with a hack saw.
Deal Addict
Dec 14, 2011
1565 posts
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London
I would go mitre as well. I rarely use my circular saw, however I think it is a tad scary! I use the mitre a lot for all kinds of projects and it is so easy to carry. My small table saw does come in handy, but does take up some room in the garage.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2013
3330 posts
1418 upvotes
Canada
Drakestar wrote: I would go mitre as well. I rarely use my circular saw, however I think it is a tad scary! I use the mitre a lot for all kinds of projects and it is so easy to carry. My small table saw does come in handy, but does take up some room in the garage.
Why do you find the circular scary?
Deal Addict
Dec 14, 2011
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London
gbill2004 wrote: Why do you find the circular scary?
Good question. Probably just lack of experience. I have not had many projects that I used it for. I would probably find a chainsaw scary as well. Big spinning blade that is handheld and not on a fixed base I suppose.

I use my hands for work, so safety is always first for me.
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Dec 10, 2008
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Miter, no question.
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Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
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Richmond Hill
I also vote for the mitre saw. Like someone else mentioned, I can typically get Home Depot to do everything I need for table saw cuts.
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Deal Addict
Dec 9, 2003
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Calgary
Most of the time you can do everything a mitre saw can do with a $5 mitre box .... baseboard, flooring, picture frames etc

Image
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Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
Based on your needs, Mitre. 2x4 you want precision so mitre. Baseboards, definitely mitre. Laminate as well.

I've generally used my mitre the most and that's similar to what you plan to cut for. People who are really experienced and good will use a circular saw for most. But Mitre is dummy proof. Make sure to get a stand too. I used it for cutting my deck board (2x6), add chair rail and the boxes (that was alot of cuts... alot of precision cutting, re-cutting required). I also used it to add crown moulding (that is not easy).

Why not also buy a cheap circular saw? I got a black and decker one on sale. I think around $70. I got this one and it works fine for the times I've used it.
https://www.lowes.ca/circular-saws/blac ... 68850.html

With circular, you should definitely get some clamps and horse saw.

I bought a used tablesaw with stand for about $120 as I was doing some work for the washroom adding shadow boxes so needed to cut long vertical pieces. This one is heavy and pretty big in that it's the hardest to move around to store. The others, I put it on the top shelves on my garage and can easily access it when needed. The table saw, is right now in the back shed. I would like to get it out but it takes alot of space and moving it is a bit of a pain. If I was doing alot of cuts one after another, with the lines marked, table saw would be the easiest.
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Jul 14, 2008
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Cough wrote: Most of the time you can do everything a mitre saw can do with a $5 mitre box .... baseboard, flooring, picture frames etc

Image
Not sure if you're serious, but I have one of those older steel/iron Stanley mitre hand saws, and it's great (you can find them for cheap online, kijiji, etc). While I wouldn't use it for a giant project, making quick cuts here and there and even small projects, it's great. Quiet, minimal dust, etc
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Nov 19, 2004
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Cambridge, ON
I rarely use the circular saw. Between the miter and table saw, tough call. For your use, likely the miter saw will suffice, but as soon as you need to cut that last piece of laminate lengthwise, you are going to want the table saw.

How about a jig saw? They are more versatile for all cuts, though a little slower than the others and not as easy to do nice straight cuts without extra effort.

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