When it comes to choosing a miter saw, there are several different types out there. You can choose from a compound miter saw, a portable miter saw, a single bevel miter saw, or a dual bevel miter saw.
Most of these have pretty self-explanatory differences. Obviously, the portable miter saw will be smaller and easy to take anywhere or use in your hands. A compound miter saw will be a little bit larger. The real defining factor is going to be understanding the difference in a single bevel miter saw compared to a dual bevel miter saw.
In this guide, we will compare these two models so you know just exactly what each one is and how different they are. With any luck, these details will help you make a fully-informed decision on the type of miter saw that you need in your workshop.
Single Bevel Miter Saw
Let’s start with the single bevel miter saw. If we’re being honest, this is what most miter saws will be made for. However, clearly, not all of them are built this way. It’s just more common because it is the standard and it is typically more affordable. It’s easier for companies to make in comparison.
So the best place to start is probably just a basic explanation of a single bevel miter saw, right?
This saw is designed to make your angle cuts, as all miter saws are. The single bevel miter saw will tilt on the head of the saw to give you the angle that you need. With most bevel cuts, that angle is 45 degrees but it could vary.
The single bevel saw tilts in just one direction. Whatever direction it is built to tilt is the only way that blade will go. Some of them are built to go to the left and others are built to go to the right but they will not go both ways.
The title single bevel comes from the fact that this type of saw cuts a bevel in one single fixed direction basically. That will be a good thing to remember to help tell the two saws apart.
When a single bevel miter saw might be right
These saws really are great. The downside is simply that you can’t bevel in both directions and there are times when that could limit you.
The benefit of this type of saw is that they tend to be more affordable than a double bevel miter saw. They can be used for most things and remember they are the most common solution. While they certainly won’t do everything, they are affordable and still quite versatile as well.
If you’re looking for a solution that is primarily affordable, this could be what you need. We also want to point out that the single bevel model is lighter and slightly smaller. This could make it easier to port around to job sites if that is what you need it for, if it will cover your needs.
Dual Bevel Miter Saw
Now, if you consider that the single bevel saw only works in a single direction, it would make sense that a dual bevel miter saw would work in dual directions.
This saw will tilt in both directions so you can tilt it to the left if you need it, or the right if you need it. Have it whichever way you like it! You can even make a cut one way and then flip it to make a cut the other way on the same piece of wood if you need to.
The basic way to really understand this difference is the saw does all of the movement here. If you need a bevel in both directions with a single bevel miter saw, you have to flip the wood which can just be slightly more tedious or annoying if you’re doing a lot of those cuts.
This is where the two types of saws will really stand apart. The ability to just flip the head of the saw in either direction really makes it a little bit more versatile and will generally help get the job done quicker.
This might also really help if your workspace is fairly small and you simply don’t have a lot of leeway for moving or flipping the wood to accommodate the cut on both sides.
When a dual bevel miter saw might be right
If you can afford a slightly more expensive saw, the dual bevel miter saw is like the cream of the crop. It’s well worth the expenditure for woodworkers who are making a lot of bevel cuts and need double direction to make their tasks easier.
These saws are slightly heavier to accommodate the difference in the saw but they aren’t overly huge compared to the single bevel version.
Ultimately, whether you want the dual bevel over the single bevel will primarily depend on if you want to be able to spend less time making your bevel cuts in the end.
To wrap it up, the single bevel miter saw will only tilt in a single direction while the dual bevel miter saw tilts in both directions. The major difference is simply the time that it takes to make a bevel in both directions if you need that type of cut.
If you rarely need to bevel both ways, you don’t have to worry about it but if you do a lot of bevel cuts and cut both ways, the double bevel miter is really the way to go.
The good news is that you can make them both work regardless of which type you have or decide to go with. You just need to know that one might require some additional effort and time. It’s still quite capable though, in the end.
Whether you’re in the market for a single bevel or dual bevel miter saw, it’s a good idea to know and understand the difference. You should be able to choose the right fit for you based on your budget as well as the things you plan to do with your miter saw.
Which one will you go with?