August 24, 2021
A question I get often asked a lot by newbie woodworkers is about which is better between the single and the dual bevel miter saws. Well, if you are a newbie, I would not suggest you buy a complicated miter saw that would be hard for you to handle. Instead, I would recommend that you purchase the less complicated one to help you learn the rudiments of using a miter saw.
Of course, the single bevel miter saw comes with a saw head that could only rotate or bevel in one direction (left). However, the dual bevel miter saw highlights a head that rotates in either direction from 0° to 48° (left and right). It is also capable of making bevel cuts (in both directions). You can effectively operate these two types of miter saws. Yet, it is evident that the dual bevel comes with a convenient advantage over the single bevel miter saw.
What is a Bevel Cut?
The miter saw can cut in four different ways. These cuts include crosscuts, miter cuts, bevel cuts, and compound cuts. The crosscut, as the name implies, is a 90° cut from top to bottom. The miter cut is angled, wherein you cut at an angle across the workpiece (45°). On the other hand, a bevel cut entails an angled cut through the board’s thickness, while a compound cut combines both a miter and a bevel cut. Having known the four different cuts that a miter can do, I am pretty sure you can now distinguish between a miter and a bevel cut.
A miter cut is a cut, of course, other than the 90° along the workpiece’s width. So, you can measure a miter cut relative to the square cut. On the other hand, a bevel cut is a cut (other 90°) along the workpiece’s thickness. To make a miter cut, you should angle the blade through the wood’s horizontal plane. To create a bevel cut, you should make an angled cut through the wood’s vertical plane.
Understanding a Single Bevel Miter Saw
You will indeed find the single bevel saw handy for some projects that necessitate angled cuts. If you are building a picture frame, for example, or crown molding, you will find the single bevel miter saw useful. This saw comes with a pivoting function to allow you to make angled cuts to the left or right. Yet, it will only allow you to make a bevel cut unidirectionally.
Moreover, a single bevel saw can only pitch to the left side, allowing you to bevel unidirectionally. You can make an independent bevel or miter cut using the single bevel miter saw. You can also make both together, and for this reason, this saw is quite handy. Yet, it necessitates the flipping over of the workpiece if you want to create a bevel cut on both sides.
What Can a Single Bevel Miter Saw Do Best?
You can use the single bevel saw for making different angled cuts. Since it is lightweight, you can move it around quickly to where you would like to do the cutting. Additionally, the single version can do whatever cuts you need.
But when it comes to making compound cuts, you need to flip over the board to accomplish such a cut. It will help if you engage in utmost precision when you flip the board over. Moreover, you must have the board in the precise placement when cutting on the other side.
Hence, it is a challenge when making compound cuts using a single version. Nevertheless, if you would confine your works to projects like frames, molding, and trims, you will find the single bevel saw perfect for your needs.
- It’s one of the most inexpensive options you have.
- It is lightweight and very portable.
- It is pretty easy to use and comes with simple designs.
- It would take you more time to complete your works.
- You need to flip over the materials if you are working on a compound cut.
- It is not suited for longer and wider workpiece.
Understanding the Double Bevel Miter Saw
The standard miter saw can rotate to make cuts at various miter angles. But it can just cut straight down at ninety degrees. Compound, however, can tilt sideways and rotate to cut angles and bevels simultaneously. Nevertheless, the typical compound saw can only pitch to one side. However, the double bevel version can slant to both sides (left and right). So, you can bevel in both left and right directions sans flipping the wood.
When cutting crown molding, you will find the double bevel miter saw perfect for such a purpose. It allows you to do the first cut, then slide down the molding. Afterward, you can tilt (to the opposite side) its blade and make the succeeding cut sans flipping the piece. Moreover, it can come in handy when making odd angles.
One almost impossible project to do without using a double miter saw is the intricate crown molding. You will find it hard to make that intricate cut on fancy crown molding without using the double bevel saw. Furthermore, you will need a proper miter saw station that have enough spaces on both left and right side of miter wings.
- It is perfect for a professional craftsman.
- It offers precision cuts.
- You can use this kind of miter saw for custom trims and crown moldings.
- It is easy and quick to use.
- It offers more accurate cuts.
- It is more expensive than the single version.
Detailed Comparison of these Two Miter Saws
Having known what the single and double bevel miter saws are, it will also help to take a look at their stark differences and how they stack up against each other in various aspects:
As mentioned above in the discussion of the double bevel miter saw, the single bevel and compound miter saws come with a base that could rotate in both directions. However, you can only tilt their blades in one direction (to the left-hand side). On the other hand, the double bevel saw can tilt its blade to both sides, allowing for more versatility and pivoting capability.
When it comes to mobility, you can quickly move the single bevel miter saw from one place to another because it is lighter than the double bevel one. It is also less bulky for better transportability. Hence, if you are often using your miter saw for your various job sites, you will find the single bevel saw more job-site friendly.
On the other hand, the double bevel version is quite bulky compared to the single bevel miter saw. Moreover, it is heavier than the single version, making it more difficult to move around.
Ease of Use
Of course, the single bevel miter saw is the easier one to use, especially for beginner miter saw users who are just learning the rudiments of using a miter saw. It offers straightforward controls and processes that you can quickly grasp and master.
Moreover, it provides repeatability of setup. Nevertheless, it is not easy to use when making complicated angled cuts. Hence, in this respect, the double bevel miter saw excels over the single bevel miter saw.
Cutting Ability on the Same Side
You will need to flip the wood if you want to cut bevel angles on the workpiece’s both ends. With the single version, you need to flip the workpiece over to make compound cuts. However, the dual bevel miter saw will let you make compound cuts without flipping over your workpiece to other side.
If working in a cramped space, you will find it challenging to work on long crown moldings using a single bevel miter saw. The reason is that you need to flip over the molding to cut both ends. Yet, if you are working using a double bevel miter saw, you won’t need to flip over the workpiece. Hence, you can work your way easily, even in a cramped space.
The single bevel miter saw, of course, is less expensive than the double version. Hence, if you’re on a budget, you will find the single version a better and more appealing option. Yet, the double bevel miter saw is a worthwhile investment, though it is more expensive.
Efficiency in Completing the Projects
You can count on both miter saws when it comes to completing your projects. Yet, it is evident that you can finish your projects faster using a double bevel miter saw. Moreover, you will spend less effort when using a dual bevel miter saw. As mentioned above, you won’t need to flip over your material just to make cuts on both sides.
Precision of Cuts
Both miter saws can make precision cuts, though they differ in the level of accuracy of cuts. Of course, the double bevel miter saw can make more precise cuts than the single versions. Hence, most professionals prefer the double bevel miter saw over the single version. Besides, it is pretty challenging to make precise cuts when you need to flip over the materials to make the opposite angle cut. Hence, the double bevel miter saw is a more viable option for professionals.
Is Double Bevel Miter Saw Worth Buying?
Well, if you are a DIYer or an occasional woodworker, you may not need to buy a double bevel miter saw, for you can get by with a single bevel miter saw. Moreover, you can still accomplish your small projects using the single bevel saw.
Nevertheless, if you are a professional woodworker with plenty of challenging projects, you will find the double bevel miter saw a good investment. It can speed up your work and provide you with excellent finishes.
The thing is, if you are just starting in woodworking, you don’t need to spend more on complicated tools. But if you are a professional, it will be necessary to invest in something like a double bevel miter saw.
After knowing the upsides and downsides of each version, you’re now in a better position to choose between these two miter saws. As mentioned above, you can go for the single version if you are a tyro in woodworking and you want to learn the rudiments of the use of miter saw. Moreover, you can choose it if you are on a tight budget. Plus, if you value portability, you can always go for the single version.
On the other hand, you can opt for the double bevel miter saw if you are already a professional woodworker desirous of speeding up your works. Moreover, if you want more accuracy, the dual version is a better option. The point is, you need to choose a miter saw according to your level of expertise and needs.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.