Before walking into a store to purchase a product, you need to have a clear definition of what you intend to buy. If you walk into a store without knowing what you want to purchase, you will end up buying nothing, or even worse, you will end up buying the wrong product. The same is the case for power saws like the miter saw.
There are compound miter saws, sliding miter saws, and the likes. However, the most important question to ask yourself is: “Are you going to purchase a single bevel vs dual bevel miter saw?”
The answer to this question will determine the overall time it would take you to complete your cuts and how easy it will be to make the cuts. So, what is the difference between both types of miter saws?
The basic difference is that the dual bevel miter saw can make precise cuts on both sides of the material without needing to flip or reposition the material while the single bevel miter saw can only make precise cuts at an angle.
This post will introduce you to and explain all you need to know about the single bevel miter saw and the dual bevel miter saw as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each miter saw to the other. So let’s get on with it.
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What Is a Bevel Cut?
Before discussing the difference between the single and double bevel cuts, it’s important to know what a “bevel cut” is. A bevel cut is a cut made through the thickness of a board or material.
It is made by tilting the head of the miter saw to either the left or the right. It is very different from a miter cut which is made by simply tilting the angle of the blade to the fence.
For a miter cut, you will move the saw’s table to a certain degree but for a bevel cut, you will tilt the angle of the blade either to the right or the left. Bevel cuts are used for doorstops and for joining pieces of wood together so they fit perfectly.
What Is a Single Bevel Miter Saw and What Is It Used for?
A single bevel miter saw is restricted to making bevel cuts at just one angle. Most single bevel miter saws can only move to your left when you are facing the power saw. This means you can only make bevel cuts on the left side. This might pose a challenge when you are working on a wooden material that needs a bevel cut at each end.
If you are working on a log and you need to make a bevel cut on each end of the log, you will need to tilt the head of the saw to the left, make the bevel cut at one end of the log, and then flip the log to the other side to make the other bevel cut.
This will be difficult if it is a heavy piece of wood. For heavy wooden materials or sheets, the whole miter saw is usually turned around to the other side to make bevel cuts on each end of the material to be cut.
The time it takes to move the miter saw and reposition the material that is being worked on will result in a longer time frame to complete your task. This is why many professional carpenters prefer to go for the dual bevel miter saw. The single bevel saws are used for making single angled cuts, crosscuts, miter cuts, and so on.
What Is a Dual Bevel Miter Saw and What Is It Used for?
A double bevel miter saw is not restricted to making cuts at one angle. With a double bevel miter saw, you can tilt the head of the saw to both the right and the left.
This means you can make bevel cuts on any side. This makes your work easier and quicker regardless of the size of the material you are working on or the number of bevel cuts you need to make.
The double bevel miter cut is a great fix for different types of cuts. Asides from the usual miter, cross, and compound cut that all miter saws can make, the dual bevel miter saw can make bevel cuts on the opposing sides of the same material.
When making furniture that deals with a lot of precision, joinery, and angled-cuts, a dual bevel miter saw is the best bet. It is popular among woodworkers that deal with a lot of crown molding and trims.
Note: If you don’t have a miter saw, then you can check here our cordless miter saw review.
Single Bevel vs Dual Bevel Miter Saw: Head to Head
The basic difference between the single bevel miter saw and the dual bevel miter saw is that the single bevel miter saw can only tilt its head in one direction usually, the left while the dual bevel can tilt its head in both directions. But how does this singular factor translate in terms of their performance? Let’s check it out.
When it comes to the speed of the blade, both saws have the same speed. The blade of a miter saw spins at about 3000 RPM.
However, the rate at which you get tasks done is a different factor. With a dual bevel miter saw, you can complete tasks quickly and easily without having to take a break to change the position of the wood or that of the miter saw itself.
With the single bevel miter saw, you will still be able to complete tasks quickly but when you have a task that requires a bevel cut on both ends of a log, plank, or board, you will have to flip the material or lift the miter saw to change its position. This will be time-consuming especially if you have a large-scale task on your hand.
The weight of a miter saw doesn’t matter unless you need to move it from place to place. The single bevel miter saw is usually lighter than the double bevel miter saw.
The size of the miter saw will play a significant role if you are using a single bevel miter saw for multiple bevel cuts. This is because you will need to lift the miter saw occasionally so you can make the required bevel cuts on the material.
Also, if your miter saw is one that you need to carry from your workplace to your home, then the weight will come into play.
The Level of Accuracy
Both the single bevel miter saw and the dual bevel miter saw are very accurate power saws that make precise cuts so you usually don’t need to worry about accuracy. The challenge you will encounter with accuracy is when you are using a single bevel miter saw to make bevel cuts at both ends of the wood.
If you want to make bevel cuts on both ends of a wooden board using a single bevel miter saw, you will need to turn the single bevel miter saw to the other side to make the cut or flip the board.
Both methods will require you to set the miter saw at the exact position it was before the move or to set the board at the exact position it was originally. If the miter saw and the board aren’t set at the exact location, it would pose a problem as one end of the board wouldn’t be as accurate as of the other end.
That will be an even bigger problem if you are building crown molding, window trims, or baseboards. Of course, this problem wouldn’t exist with a dual bevel miter saw. You can just tilt the head of the saw in any direction without needing to reposition the miter saw or the material to be cut.
With power saws, the safety of the operator matters a lot. Miter saws generally are very safe power saws. There are different safety measures designed with the miter saw to ensure the safety of the user.
However, when using single bevel saws to make bevel cuts on both ends of the material, there is an increased risk of potential accidents to the user.
This is because miter saws aren’t particularly designed to be carried or flipped regularly. They are tabletop saws which mean they are to be placed on a firm table or a miter saw stand to use them.
While lifting the miter saw, you can trip and the saw can drop from your hands. Not to mention the risk of getting cut or the risk of electrocution if the single bevel miter saw is a corded model.
With the double bevel miter saw, you don’t need to lift the miter saw or change its position. You make get bevel cuts on either end of the material just by tilting the head of the saw. This makes the dual bevel miter saw safer to use than the single bevel miter saw especially when it comes to making multiple bevel cuts.
The Price or Cost
The dual bevel miter saw is usually higher priced than the single bevel miter saw. A single bevel miter saw would cost you less than $2xx while a dual bevel miter saw can rake well over $5xx for some models.
The price variation will also play a huge role in determining which of the miter saws you buy. Though the dual bevel is costlier than the single bevel, you can’t say it’s not worth that price. So getting a dual bevel miter saw can be a good long term investment for you.
Should You Purchase a Single Bevel or Dual Bevel Miter Saw?
Any one of the miter saws would be a great power tool to have in your workshop. However, the final decision to pick just one rests on a few factors.
- Your Profession – If you are a DIYer or a homeowner that fancies doing renovation, repairs, and light woodwork yourself, you can get the single bevel miter saw. This is because the tool wouldn’t be heavily used and the cuts you would need to make with the miter saw wouldn’t be too complex for a single bevel miter saw to handle. Also, a single miter saw is lighter, portable, and easier to use. So the wise decision will be to save cost and purchase the single bevel miter saw.
On the other hand, if you are a professional carpenter or woodworker, then a dual bevel miter saw would be your best bet. This is because you are very likely to have large-scale tasks on your hands that will require multiple bevels and miter cuts. Using a single bevel miter saw will result in so much time-wasting for a professional.
- Your Budget – The single bevel miter saw is cheaper than the dual bevel miter saw. So if you need a pocket-friendly option, you should go for the single bevel miter saw. Other factors to consider before purchasing a miter saw include your level of expertise and the task at hand.
So there you have it. If you have any questions, comments, or need a recommendation on single bevel miter saw vs double bevel, you can leave a comment below and I’ll reply to it as soon as possible. Have a nice day.