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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at getting a new saw but I don't know much about them.

Besides being able to handle larger jobs, what is the difference between a table saw and a miter saw ?
 

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A miter saw, or chop saw, cuts boards crosswise either perpendicular or at an angle usually less than 46 degrees. A 10" chop saw will cut a 6" wide board, 12" a 8" board. You can not cut lengthwise.

A table saw (prices from $100 to $500 usually only vary in fine accuracy and power) allows you to cut crosswise up to about 20" and length wise (rip) just about any length. A table saw is much more versatile; however, it does take a little more space for safe operating.
 

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I have both buy if i could only have one it would be the table saw. It would be hard to rip cut anything on the miter saw . with a little pratice and a few homemade jigs you can do amazing things with a good table saw Go for the 10 in model if you have the money .
 

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Second on the table saw comments. About $350 gets you a decent cast iron 10" contractors saw from Grizzley. I love mine. It rips to 24" with a decent fence and reasonable accuracy. You want a heavy saw because its more stable. I hate it when the saw goes scooting across the floor when you're ripping a long pc.

My second choice would be a radial arm saw. Again a 10". You can still rip with them, but not to 24" with most, and crosscut is almost as easy as a chop saw(miter saw). Ripping is impossible with a chop saw.
 

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We have a sawbuck, sliding mitre saw. For framing it's going to process studs and rafters much faster than a table saw and will work in tighter spots. I have a table saw too, and primarily for ripping 4x8 sheets. A good table saw is much more versatile for jobs other than construction too. I have a radial arm saw that I don't use much and it is a shame because it would probably be the most versatile of the bunch. Its really meant for precision woodworking and not really for construction. If I had a lot of construction to do I'd take a compound mitre saw (sliding so you can cut wider material) and a circular saw for framing and general construction. If I planned to do fine woodworking after I'd probably take the table saw.
 

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Ross said:
We have a sawbuck, sliding mitre saw. For framing it's going to process studs and rafters much faster than a table saw and will work in tighter spots. I have a table saw too, and primarily for ripping 4x8 sheets. A good table saw is much more versatile for jobs other than construction too. I have a radial arm saw that I don't use much and it is a shame because it would probably be the most versatile of the bunch. Its really meant for precision woodworking and not really for construction. If I had a lot of construction to do I'd take a compound mitre saw (sliding so you can cut wider material) and a circular saw for framing and general construction. If I planned to do fine woodworking after I'd probably take the table saw.
What makes a compound mitre saw different from a mitre saw?
 

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With a compound miter saw you can cut two angles at the same time. With a regular miter the saw can be adjusted to cut at an angle but with the compound miter the saw head can also be adjusted by tilting it, thus giving you a compound cut
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sound like I want a good table saw. I have a circular saw. And sounds like a miter or compound miter isn't really what would work best for construction.

Thanks guys.:)
 

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johnkl said:
With a compound miter saw you can cut two angles at the same time. With a regular miter the saw can be adjusted to cut at an angle but with the compound miter the saw head can also be adjusted by tilting it, thus giving you a compound cut
Thanks, I understand...

So, looking at the Harbor Freight website, they carry brand names, and then within each category, they carry a lower-end brand...ie welders, its Chicago Electric, Air Nailers, its central pneumatic, etc. Are these just junk?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
shelbynteg said:
Thanks, I understand...

So, looking at the Harbor Freight website, they carry brand names, and then within each category, they carry a lower-end brand...ie welders, its Chicago Electric, Air Nailers, its central pneumatic, etc. Are these just junk?
For saws and about the same price, I'd check out Lowe's. They have Delta saws which(I think) is a reputable brand for the small shop.
 

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Was just in Harbor Freight over in Ft.Worth,Tx . It seems Most of their inventory is made in either Tiawan or China. The stuff I saw looks Awfully Cheap in my opinion. Delta is made in China as well as DeWalt. Ryobi is made here in the USA. Makita is THE Best as it is made here in USA even though it is a japanese company. Ryobi is good quality in my opinion for the price that you pay. Makita will Always be more expensive than Ryobi. Craftsman Used to be an American company but I'm not sure now. That Craftsman geardrive 7 1/2 inch, handsaw is really hard to beat but you need big forearms to hoist it around. ...fordy :)
 

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Can you guys get Rigid? My two favorite tool companies are Rigid and Milwaukee Delta has slipped in quality if you ask me, DeWalt and B+D are the same thing and are OK but hardly what they were. I'll stick to the two I suggested, Miwaukee is American made too.
 

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Quote: So, looking at the Harbor Freight website, they carry brand names, and then within each category, they carry a lower-end brand...ie welders, its Chicago Electric, Air Nailers, its central pneumatic, etc. Are these just junk?

They're not top line, IMO, but they can be useful depending on what you want them for. Right now they've got a framing nailer for $95 ($99-$5 shipping coupon), that is a good value if you are only building 1 barn, shop, or house.

As for their woodworking stuff, the Grizzly products are usually better (tighter tolerances, less tweaking) and a bit more expensive, but if you're a gear nut, and a new Powermatic 66 is beyond your pocketbook, they might warrant a look.

Concerning saws, I have a Grizzly TS, but if I could have just one tool in my shop, you'd have to fight me to haul off the old DeWalt RAS on the sidewall. Set up right, and given due respect, it'll durn near due everything I want a saw to do. :worship:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
what I'm trying to figure out is how you would cut angles on a table saw. I mean I know you can tilt the blade. But I'm talking about cutting a straight 45 like for a picture frame and such.
 

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that's why the compound mitre saw is so popular. Ryobi makes an 8 inch compound mitre saw for alittle over a 100 bucks. You will have to fabricate your supports for each side of the main aluminum frame.........extremely handy saw.....fordy :)
 

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A mitre guage can be added to a table saw that will run in a precut groove machined in the table top. Set the mitre to whatever angle and run the piece through. If you have a lot of these cuts to make a compound mitre saw is the saw to get.
 

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A radial arm saw you can tilt the blade as you say plus the arm the saw itself slides on can be moved at an angle to the fence. If most of your work is gonna be cross cutting structural boards like 2 6, up to 2 x 12s or bigger but you still want ripping capacity sometimes I'd go with the radial. They're quite versatile.

I think Home Depot sells rigid power tools,

I've had very good luck with my 18V cordless drill I got from Harbor Freight. I couldn't afford a Dewalt and the Central Machinery on I got from HF cost $40. With a fresh battery it'll drive a construction screw all the way thru a 2 x 4.
 
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