The eternal debate, single bevel vs double bevel miter saw – which one to pick and why? Questions that every professional contractor and even hobbyist woodworkers have asked themselves at least once in their lives.
But, answering these questions isn’t a simple and easy task as it may appear. Why? Because a lot of factors play a part when choosing the right miter saw for you. See the emphasis I put on right and you? That’s because at the end, everything comes down to your own needs. By that I mean – the best miter saw for you depends on the work you’ll do and the types of cuts it will require to finish the given job tasks. But those two are only the elementary requirements you need to know before making a purchase. You also have to consider the saw’s weight for easy portability, its price depending on your budget and if you will use it for DIY projects or something bigger among other necessities.
So, whether you are a professional woodworker, hobbyist or even a beginner, you have to know the answers to the questions above before buying a single bevel or a double bevel miter saw.
However, before digging deeper into the single bevel vs double miter saw part of our guide, let’s go back to the roots for a moment.
What is a Miter Saw?
To keep it short – Miter saw is a power tool that’s used mostly for woodworking to make various cuts in the workpieces. And when it comes to woodworking with these saws we differentiate four types of cuts: crosscut, miter, compound and bevel cut. These cuts are done by positioning the mounted circular saw blade at an angle you prefer to do the cut and go through the workpiece.
However, the first miter saw prototype didn’t use a powered circular saw. It consisted only of a backsaw and miter box. The modern powered miter saw is also known as a chop saw.
Unlike table saws who are bigger and scarier, there isn’t a major concern when it comes to safety while working with this saw. All thanks to the protective fence to which the material is held against and in essence, it eliminates the chance of a kickback. But, on the other side, miter saws have a poor dust collection system. So don’t be surprised if debris starts flying while doing bevel cuts.
The fence also ensures you accuracy while cutting at an angle. And the angles of the blade depend on the fence. For example, the angle of a miter cut normally goes up to 45 degrees.
These saws are best used for making accurate crosscuts, miter and bevel cuts. While making a long rip cut is not even possible.
Furthermore, due to their compact size and relatively lightweight, miter saws are great for transportation from one jobsite to another. With them, you can make accurate and quick cuts almost anywhere you want.
Miter Saw Blades
When it comes to blades, these saws in general use either a 10-inch or 12-inch blade. But don’t be surprised if you see a 6-1/2″ or 7-1/4-inch saw blade as well. These blades usually have 24 to 100 teeth, and the tooth count indicates their accuracy, cutting speed and quality of the cut. They are usually made out of tungsten carbide or steel alloy material.
Always have in mind that no matter how high quality your single bevel, double bevel or whatever saw you have, it’s useless without a good blade. Without a top-notch blade, you won’t be able to make accurate crosscuts, miter, compound or bevel cuts.
If you want to know how to find the best blade for your saw, we recommend you to read our buyer’s guide on miter saw blades.
What is a Bevel Cut?
A bevel cut refers to an angled cut that’s made into the side of the workpiece alongside its thickness. The bevel cut is made at any angle but 90 degrees while the crosscut for example is made at exactly 90-degrees. These cuts are often used for trimming, but sometimes they can be decorative as well.
Miter cuts can be very similar to bevel cuts and people often confuse them, but there’s a difference between them. And FIY, when you combine a miter and bevel cut you get a compound cut.
Miter Saw Types
Similar to other power tools, there are several miter saw types:
- Original non-powered miter saw
- Standard powered miter saw
- Compound single bevel miter saw
- Compound double bevel miter saw
- Sliding compound miter saw
- Laser and LED miter saw
Every type has its own qualities and advantages depending on what you expect to get from the saw. However, in this short guide we’ll solely focus on single bevel and dual bevel saws. Because of that, it’s time to move on to the main topic.
Single Bevel Miter Saw - Everything you need to know
The single bevel compound miter saw can make various angled cuts on a workpiece by tilting the head and the saw blade in the direction you want. However, single bevel saws can only pivot to one direction up to 90°. And in general, that side is usually the left because most people are right-handed.
Because single bevel miter saws can bevel only in one direction (usually left) up to 90° – if you want to switch side to cut on the other half, you’d have to manually flip the workpiece. A problem that’s not present on dual bevel compound miter saws, but more on that in the next sub-point.
One of the main features of the single bevel compound miter saw is the weight of the tool. These saws weigh less than the double bevel miter ones which makes them more portable and easy for transportation. That’s why the single bevel saws are great for people working at more than one job site.
Another advantage that the single bevel compound miter has over the double bevel is the price. The price difference between these two power tools can sometimes be bigger than $100. It’s also excellent for DIY enthusiasts to work on their projects.
More or less they provide the same quality and accuracy when cutting as the dual bevel saws. However, due to limited movement, woodworking will take more time to finish with the single bevel saw.
- Lightweight miter saw and easy for transportation from one worksite to another
- Very straightforward and not complicated power tool that beginners can master in no time
- Reasonably priced and powerful woodworking saw to help you effortlessly make miter and bevel cuts
- Has a limited movement and can only pivot to the left or right side of the board
- Need to manually flip the board you are working on to make cuts the other side
While it’s great for beginners and DIY hobbyists, professional contractors might seek something that cuts faster
Best Single Bevel Miter Saw [Review]
Weight: 42.8 lbs
Motor: 15 amp
Dimensions: 26.77 x 21.85 x 18.90 inches
Voltage: 120 V
Arbor size: 5/8 inches
Our choice for the best single bevel miter is DeWalt’s DWS715, a bestseller on Amazon. It’s an upgraded version of the old DW715 made with a simple goal in mind – to improve precision while cutting and effortlessly do crown molding. Task accomplished.
It’s powered by a strong and durable 15-amp motor with an impressive no-load cutting speed up to 4,000 RPM. With it you can easily make all types of cuts.
If you may have wondered how did they manage to improve the precision on this new model, the answer is very simple – adjustable steel miter detent plate with 14 positive stops. The miter detent plate also has an option to override the miter stops which allows you to make setup adjustments without the saw slipping.
Nested crown molding goes up to 5-1/4-inches while base molding up to 6-1/2″ vertically thanks to the tall sliding fences who act as support. While the machined base support keeps the fence at an angle of 90-degrees for better accuracy. Not to mention the ability to effortlessly slide out for bevel cuts.
The saw blade can bevel up to 48° to the left and just 3° to the right. The DWS715 has positive stops at 0°, 45° and 33.9-degrees.
Besides the basic features every single bevel miter saw has, this one also comes with a dust bag, wrench, carbide-tipped blade and vertical clamp in the package.
- Lightweight single bevel miter saw with built-in carry handles for smooth and easy transportation
- Ensured accuracy and increased productivity due to miter detent plate with 14 positive stops
- Crosscut capacity at 90° for 2×8″ lumber and 45° for 2×6-inch dimensional lumber
- Tall sliding fences for improved bevel cuts and crown molding
- 12-inch blade in your arsenal to cut wood however you want
- Doesn’t have the most impressive dust collection design
- Compatible with DeWalt’s great laser system, but it isn’t included in the package
One of the most expensive single bevel miter saws on the market
Double Bevel Miter Saw - Everything you need to know
As you may have concluded so far by reading the part about single bevel saws – double bevel miter saws have the ability to pivot and make bevel cuts on both sides of the board without having to manually flip it.
By not needing to flip the working material to make cuts in the other direction, you also save on time. But that’s not all – you’ll reduce errors and improve accuracy as well because you won’t have to move the board before cutting. Double bevel miter saws are also great for making trims and crown molding.
The ability to tilt to both left and right side comes with a price (figuratively and literally). Because the mechanism that allows the double bevel miter saw to pivot in both directions equally, also makes it more expensive and heavier than the single bevel miter.
All of these features make the dual miter saw more suitable and attractive to professional contractors who can’t afford to waste time or make mistakes while cutting. Even though the heaviness makes it less portable than single bevel miter saws.
- Right or left side doesn’t matter, make bevel cuts in both directions with an ease
- Improved precision, accuracy and reduced mistakes since you don’t have to move the workpiece
- Great for professional contractors because it allows them to not waste time while woodworking
- Hobbyists and novices can find the dual bevel miter saw a bit overwhelming
- Much more expensive, heavier and less portable than the single bevel saw
Best Double Bevel Miter saw [Review]
Weight: 56 lbs
Motor: 15 amp
Power source: AC/DC
Dimensions: 2 x 23 x 18.5 inches
Arbor size: 5/8″ or 1-inch
For the best double bevel miter saw, we again picked a DeWalt power tool, but this time it’s the DWS779. Which is also a bestselling miter saw on Amazon with some of the best reviews you’ve ever seen.
The DWS779 comes with a powerful 15-amp motor that can generate a no-load cutting speed up to 3800 RPM. Use it to make all types of applicable cuts on wood with the help of a sturdy carbide-tipped 12-inch blade.
If you are a beginner, don’t worry much about safety apart from the basic stuff because this double bevel saw has it all. Just don’t forget to read the user guide that’s included in the package before using it.
DeWalt claim that their “super-efficient dust collecting system” will get rid of 75% of the dust made while cutting wood at the job site. A feature that hasn’t impressed many users and remains their only weakness. An issue most miter saws have.
Besides the usual, the whole package includes a carbide-tipped blade, wrench and a user manual as well.
- Guaranteed 3-year limited warranty by the manufacturer
- Cut 2×12″ lumber at 45° and 2×14″ dimensional lumber at 90-degrees thanks to the great back fence design
- Powerful and durable 15-amp motor with 3800 RPM no-load speed
- Versatile miter saw that can be used for various applications with an ease
- Cam lock miter handle for seamless adjustments
- Similar to the single bevel saw, this one also has a dust collection problem despite the smart system
- Bit heavy and not the easiest dual bevel miter saw for transportation from one to another job site
Compatible for LED but need to buy it separately and doesn’t have a laser cutting manual
Conclusion on Single Bevel vs Double Bevel Miter Saw
As mentioned at the beginning of this mini-guide for single bevel vs double bevel miter saw – choosing the right saw of this type can be a little tricky. Especially because single and dual bevel miter saws are quite similar in many of the features they offer. Nevertheless, still different enough to be two separate miter saw types.
The main difference between these two is of course – the ability to tilt on either one or both left and right sides. As we mentioned above in the direct comparison between these two saws, they allow the user to cut the woodworking material at desired angles.
Single bevel miters can adjust their saw blade to make bevel cuts up to a 90-degree angle on one side of the board. But, due to their limited movement, you will need to physically rotate the working material to cut in the other direction. While dual bevel miter saws have a mechanism that allows them to make equally good cuts on both right and left side of the workpiece without having to move it.
Both saws can be used by professionals and hobbyists depending on their needs. Although, double bevel miter saws are aimed more towards professionals and can be a bit overwhelming for less experienced woodworkers. While single bevel miter saws are easier to use and beginners can learn faster how to use them.
However, tilting to only one side or both left and right isn’t the only thing that makes these saws different. Weight is also a factor.
Single bevel miter saws weigh less than dual bevel saws which makes them more portable. Even though the difference in weight isn’t massive, single bevel saws still are easier to carry around. So, if your work requires you to go from one job site to another frequently, maybe a dual bevel wouldn’t be the best choice.
Their cutting abilities, however, don’t differ a lot. But still, single bevel saws have less accuracy because you can cut only in one direction, then you need to rotate the workpiece. While with a dual bevel miter you only need to adjust the saw blade’s angle without moving the material. This also translates to increased precision, reduced mistakes, better trims and crown molding.
When you summarize all of this, it shouldn’t surprise you that single bevel miter saws come at a cheaper price compared to the double bevel miter saw.
Hopefully, this short guide can help you to make the right decision when buying a single or double bevel miter saw and that it made some things clearer.
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