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Chop Saw vs Miter Saw Explained | Are You Cutting Metal or Wood?

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard the term “chop saw” used to describe a miter saw. It’s not a huge deal, but we always try to educate our readers (and those new to the trades) about the differences. It helps to use terminology correctly—particularly when you communicate with other professionals. In looking at a chop saw vs miter saw we can quickly see these are two very distinct tools.

They not only serve different purposes (metal-cutting vs wood), but they also function very differently from one another. This article goes through the various Pros and Cons as well as the differences, strengths, and weaknesses of each of these tools. If you’re more interested in the types of miter saws (compound, sliding, etc) we have an article on that as well.

Key Differences Between the Chop Saw vs Miter Saw

Possibly the best way to differentiate the chop saw vs miter saw is to simply cover the key differences. But first, let’s talk about what makes these two types of saws similar.

Both tools primarily allow for cross-cutting of material. The miter saw and the chop saw both have a back fence to hold material fast while cutting. These tools also both use a circular saw blade with an exposed bottom cutting edge that spins away from the user.

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