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Table saw vs Miter saw: which to buy?

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[OP]
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Jan 14, 2009
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Table saw vs Miter saw: which to buy?

I'm going to do be doing some major renovations. Should I buy a portable table saw? I will be getting a portable circular saw for cutting big pieces of plywood etc.
46 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
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If you have the budget for major renovations, you should have the budget for both.

I own one of each, Craftsman Professionals, a table saw bought for about $400 on sale, and a mitre saw bought for about $300 on sale (both about half price if I recall, and really damn good tools!)

If you had to go for one, get the table saw, if you already have a circular saw.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
Deal Expert
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Dec 26, 2005
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Thornhill
you mention 3 saws there:
- circular saw
- mitre saw
- table saw

I'd get them in that order... a circular saw can do the work of the other two, but certainly not as accurately. I personally use my mitre saw the most out of the three, but it definitely won't do what a table saw can. And I wouldn't use a table saw to chop 2x4"s or the like. As the other poster said, get them all :)

- circular saw $100~$120 for a pretty good one
- mitre saw, 10" non-slider $200~$250 for a pretty good one
- table saw, probably < $300 - there's a deal on a Craftsman one in the Hot Deals forum

edit: ooops, misread your post... if you already are getting a circular saw, I'd go for a table saw... you may not use it too often, depending on what you are working on.

bjl
What we do in life echoes in Eternity... and in Google cache.
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[OP]
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Jan 14, 2009
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Please note that I have given both respondents a "thanks". However, you both failed to mention jobmate as the best choice as far as cost/benefit is concerned. This is not about compensating for having a small pp. just doing some reno work.
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10331 posts
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hands down, mitre saw over any of the others.

It will be your most used tool by far in any reno involving wood or cuts.
[OP]
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Jan 14, 2009
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rocking23nf wrote: hands down, mitre saw over any of the others.

It will be your most used tool by far in any reno involving wood or cuts.

Ok, I guess I will buy a miter saw.
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Jan 19, 2011
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freeonboard wrote: Please note that I have given both respondents a "thanks". However, you both failed to mention jobmate as the best choice as far as cost/benefit is concerned. This is not about compensating for having a small pp. just doing some reno work.
Jobmate? First off I don't even think they make either table saws or mitre saws, but if you want a motor with an expected service life measured in minutes, by all means.

If you want cheap and good, Craftsman (not Professional), Ryobi, Mastercraft, and the like will work well.

And with a circular saw already, the mitre saw is not the most useful tool to get, I would go for a portable table saw.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
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Oct 22, 2007
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freeonboard wrote: you both failed to mention job mate as the best choice as far as cost/benefit is concerned. This is not about compensating for having a small pp. just doing some reno work.
Sorry freeonboard, I don't mean any disrespect but I had to laugh when you mentioned job mate. Major renovation and Job mate, just don't mix. I've been enticed in purchasing job mate products strictly based on price point and most if not all have failed when I needed them most and had to return them. I believe Canadian Tire has failed with this home name brand.

As for the table saw and miter saw, there are certain cuts you can't do on a table saw that you can do on a miter saw, vise versa. We don't really know to what extent you plan on placing demands on these two saws but if price point is your main concern and not reliability, ease of use, accuracy etc, then I'd look for the best sale, but there are certain brands that just can't keep up with the usage of a "major home reno"

Personally, I have one table saw and three miter saws. Hands down the best miter saw I have is the Dewalt DW718, and the DW723 stand, but I don't think that's within your budget. There is a used one on Kijiji at present, but there are several other used brands of table saws and miter saw on Kijiji. You may have to align it and replace or sharpen the blade but it maybe worth looking into.

I also have a radial arm saw which can do what a table saw and miter saw can do but again it's limited, but is more like both a table and miter saw.
Deal Guru
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Nov 18, 2005
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freeonboard wrote: Please note that I have given both respondents a "thanks". However, you both failed to mention jobmate as the best choice as far as cost/benefit is concerned. This is not about compensating for having a small pp. just doing some reno work.

Pretty nasty reply to people who are giving you great and free advice.
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Feb 3, 2005
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Georgetown
freeonboard wrote: Please note that I have given both respondents a "thanks". However, you both failed to mention jobmate as the best choice as far as cost/benefit is concerned. This is not about compensating for having a small pp. just doing some reno work.

Wow... just... wow! If you seriously think Jobmate is a brand you should *EVER* buy, you obviously have not bought many Jobmate tools before - or used them much!!

Jobmate is worse than crap! You are better off throwing your money in the garbage than buying a Jobmate tool! Throwing money away only provides the pain of not having the money anymore... buying Jobmate provides the pain of not having that money anymore, and suffering through the use of a crappy tool that is destined to perform horribly, fail/break quickly, and generally drive you insane.

I look for the cheapest option - so don't go thinking I like to pay a premium for anything - but I have learned that you DO NOT buy garbage because you are just throwing your money away. Buy something decent and it should last a long time and you should never have to buy it again.

Bottom line - if you are going to use the tool once (literally... once.. not for one "project"), and don't think you will ever need to use it again... you might get by with Jobmate. If you are doing a real reno project, or know you will occassionally need to use the tools... do yourself a favour and avoid Jobmate!

Make your own decision, but you have been informed...
Newbie
Apr 7, 2008
91 posts
46 upvotes
Edmonton
I regret every Jobmate purchase I've ever made (sander, drill, screw bits, levels, etc.) It was all junk.

As other's have said, it depends on the cut you need to make. I needed both a Mitre saw and a table saw for my renovations since I need to make chops/rips all over the place.

If you don't care about precision, you can get away entirely with a circular saw like I did when building a garage. But for any finishing work you need the other saws.
Deal Expert
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Dec 26, 2005
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Thornhill
I'm with everyone else here on Jobmate. They are just horrid, inaccurate, and break much too easily. Of the tools I bought from their line (when I was younger), the only things I still have from JM are a metal ruler that I use to cut drywall with, and driver bits that I basically treat as disposable.

If you're thinking low end, consider Mastercraft (some will yell at me for that), or Ryobi.

bjl
What we do in life echoes in Eternity... and in Google cache.
RFD discounts for Schluter products
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
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t3359 wrote: I'm with everyone else here on Jobmate. They are just horrid, inaccurate, and break much too easily. Of the tools I bought from their line (when I was younger), the only things I still have from JM are a metal ruler that I use to cut drywall with, and driver bits that I basically treat as disposable.

If you're thinking low end, consider Mastercraft (some will yell at me for that), or Ryobi.

bjl

love my mastercraft maximum mitre saw, have had it for 3 years, 1000s of cuts, works awesome.
[OP]
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Jan 14, 2009
1072 posts
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fieldhousehandyman wrote: Jobmate? First off I don't even think they make either table saws or mitre saws, but if you want a motor with an expected service life measured in minutes, by all means.

If you want cheap and good, Craftsman (not Professional), Ryobi, Mastercraft, and the like will work well.

And with a circular saw already, the mitre saw is not the most useful tool to get, I would go for a portable table saw.
I have had a jobmate portable drill for 10 yrs with no problems. They are made by the same company that makes master craft and probably craftsman.
Its just marketing. And yes jobmate does make mitre saws and tables.

After some research, I have decided to just buy a good circular saw and fast square. Please note that I am giving almost everybody in this thread a "thanks" for all their posts as I appreciate the input, though you all have a blind spot when it comes to jobmate.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
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freeonboard wrote: I have had a jobmate portable drill for 10 yrs with no problems. They are made by the same company that makes master craft and probably craftsman.
Its just marketing. And yes jobmate does make mitre saws and tables.

After some research, I have decided to just buy a good circular saw and fast square. Please note that I am giving almost everybody in this thread a "thanks" for all their posts as I appreciate the input, though you all have a blind spot when it comes to jobmate.

Craftsman and Craftsman Professional tools are absolutely not made by the same company that makes Jobmate tools! Either put up your proof, or shut up, to be blunt.

I would also doubt that the same company making Jobmate tools makes Mastercraft, but even if that were the case, they are night and day different in terms of quality.

Whether or not you give me thanks is inconsequential, and no I don't have a blind spot about Jobmate, I can smell crap from a mile off, and that 'brand' makes quite the stench.

I own tools by Craftsman, Craftsman Professional, Dewalt, and Makita, as well as Mastercraft, and I actually put my tools to use, rather than put them on display, so I need tools that actually work, all the time, without exception.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 14, 2009
1072 posts
77 upvotes
fieldhousehandyman wrote: Craftsman and Craftsman Professional tools are absolutely not made by the same company that makes Jobmate tools! Either put up your proof, or shut up, to be blunt.

I would also doubt that the same company making Jobmate tools makes Mastercraft, but even if that were the case, they are night and day different in terms of quality.

Whether or not you give me thanks is inconsequential, and no I don't have a blind spot about Jobmate, I can smell crap from a mile off, and that 'brand' makes quite the stench.

I own tools by Craftsman, Craftsman Professional, Dewalt, and Makita, as well as Mastercraft, and I actually put my tools to use, rather than put them on display, so I need tools that actually work, all the time, without exception.

Sure it is a stigmatizing stench but the stigma is generated by marketing not the performance of jobmate tools. Jobmate is marketed to poor people. Advertising is very powerful. I still think of smoking as cool even though there is nothing cool about it. Everything is made by the same company. It the same with motor oil . all the oil comes out of the same tank. just the packaging is different. if i knew where you lived, i'd come over and physically force you to start using jobmate.
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Oct 22, 2007
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Many manufactures make other brand of products but they're not made to the same standards. When I worked for both Goodyear and Firestone I must have heard hundreds of customers come into our head office and ask why the off brand tires did not last as long nor have the same handling as our own name brand, after all we made them.......right? I wasn't allowed to tell them that when the off brand company negotiated the price for the tire we made for them they didn't want to pay for the same standards that we had so the quality suffered. I don't understand why people believe that just because a company makes other off brand products the quality is the same. That's just not true in so many ways.

By the way, I've used more Job Mate tools that I'm embarrassed to say and I must have been out of my mind to purchase them since they failed when I most relied on them.

To give you an example, I helped a neighbour build a deck last year and he had his brand new 18volt cordless jobmate drill and I brought my 18volt 10 year old Dewalt cordless. After 3 hours of steady use, his burned out, a bit embarrassed he said, "no problem I have the receipt I'll go get another one and be back", well three drills later he returned with his money back.................I wonder why? We both ended up finishing the deck with my 10 year old Dewalt cordless and it's never let me down.


Ive even noticed the difference in quality between a Hilti drill and a Dewalt drill although I believe Hilti is a bit overpriced.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 14, 2009
1072 posts
77 upvotes
Maymybonneliveforever wrote: Many manufactures make other brand of products but they're not made to the same standards. When I worked for both Goodyear and Firestone I must have heard hundreds of customers come into our head office and ask why the off brand tires did last as long nor have the same handling as our own name brand, after all we made them.......right? I wasn't allowed to tell them that when the off brand company negotiated the price for the tire we made for them they didn't want to pay for the same standards that we had so the quality suffered. I don't understand why people believe that just because a company makes other off brand products the quality is the same. That's just not true in so many ways.

By the way, I've used more Job Mate tools that I'm embarrassed to say and I must have been out of my mind to purchase them since the failed when I most relied on them.

To give you an example, I helped a neighbour build a deck last year and he had his brand new 18volt cordless jobmate drill and I brought my 18volt 10 year old Dewalt cordless. After 3 hours of steady use, his burned out, a bit embarrassed he said, "no problem I have the receipt I'll go get another one and be back", well three drills later he returned with his money back.................I wonder why? We both ended up finishing the deck with my 10 year old Dewalt cordless and it's never let me down.


Ive even noticed the difference in quality between a Hilti drill and a Dewalt drill although I believe Hilti is a bit overpriced.
You could be right for steady use for a big project but I stand by what I have said.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2989 posts
1241 upvotes
freeonboard wrote: Sure it is a stigmatizing stench but the stigma is generated by marketing not the performance of jobmate tools. Jobmate is marketed to poor people. Advertising is very powerful. I still think of smoking as cool even though there is nothing cool about it. Everything is made by the same company. It the same with motor oil . all the oil comes out of the same tank. just the packaging is different. if i knew where you lived, i'd come over and physically force you to start using jobmate.

"Everything is made by the same company?"

Well, if you can prove it, I will believe it, but you probably can't!

Note to self: don't bother replying to freeonboard's threads!

LOL
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 14, 2009
1072 posts
77 upvotes
fieldhousehandyman wrote: "Everything is made by the same company?"

Well, if you can prove it, I will believe it, but you probably can't!

Note to self: don't bother replying to freeonboard's threads!

LOL
Daneher. google it. im the only guy who consistently thanks good posters so you are biting your nose to spite your face.

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