Single vs. Double Bevel Miter Saw: Which is Better for You?

Single Bevel vs Double Bevel Miter Saw

A miter saw is one of those vital power tools that every professional woodworker and DIY enthusiast should have in the workshop or garage.

The efficiency and accuracy of the miter saw always makes it a very reliable power saw, but when you get to your local hardware to buy one or start shopping online, you will notice that there are several options available. However, one of the most critical decisions will be whether to pick a single, or dual bevel miter saw.

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While the two are handy to have around and will be ideal for making various applications from making crosscuts and miter cuts to bevel and compound ones, they will be suitable in different situations.

The only way to pick between the two fantastic power saws will be first to understand the capabilities of each and also what sets it apart from the other.

Single bevel miter saw

Some projects will require you to make some angled cuts in two planes like when you are building picture frames or crown molding. In such situation, the single bevel miter saw will be a handy tool.

Single bevel miter saws will have a pivoting function to make it possible to make angled cuts either to the left or right. And it will also make bevel cuts but only in one direction, and this is where the saw gets its name.

Another way to state it is that the single bevel saw will only tilt to one side which in most cases is to the left to allow you to make the bevel cuts in one direction.

You can use the single bevel miter saw to make bevel and miter cuts independently or even do both concurrently and hence making it quite a handy saw. But, in case you need to make bevel cuts on both sides of the workpiece you have to flip the material over physically.

When you do not have a lot of tasks to complete the single bevel saw is in most cases just sufficient. It is an ideal tool for armature woodwork project and also for general home improvement.

Although the single bevel miter saw will perform almost all the cuts that you can do with the double bevel ones, it takes more time and effort.

Pros

  • Quite affordable. Cost is always a factor for most woodworkers, and if it is your primary concern, the single bevel miter saw is an excellent choice as it is relative.ly affordable if you compare it to the dual bevel miter saws. You can get some basic and small models of the single bevel miter saw for under $100 and the powerful ones from the leading brands for a couple of hundred dollars.
  • Good for home improvement. Whether you a professional contractor or just want something to help you out with your home improvement or renovation project the single bevel miter saw will be handy. Also, it is among the most reliable power saws for armature woodworking projects as you can use it for a variety of cuts.
  • Easy to use. The single bevel miter saw is relatively easy to use if you compare it to the double bevel miter saw. Since the blade will only tilt in one direction, it will be easy even for beginner woodworkers to figure out how to make bevels and other cuts.

Cons

  • Requires you to turn the workpiece. The most significant demerit of this saw is that you will need to flip the workpiece physically when you need to make bevel cuts on both sides. And this means that you will have to be extra keen to get the angles correct.
  • Cuts are relatively slower. Like most other power saws, the single bevel will have a fast spinning blade but using it to make cuts takes more time because you have to keep flipping and rearranging the materials to make matching cuts on opposite sides.
  • Not very ideal for long pieces. When working with very long pieces, the single bevel miter saw will not be very convenient. And this is more so if you do not have a spacious workshop with enough room for flipping the material.

Double Bevel Miter Saw

dual bevel miter saw

If you are a professional contractor or even a hobbyist working on projects with strict deadlines you will not want to keep flipping the material to make cuts because this only wastes time.

With a dual or double bevel miter saw, you never have to flip and rearrange the workpiece to make bevels and other cuts on different sides. And this is what sets it apart from the single bevel miter saw.

The design of the saw head on the dual bevel miter saw allows it to tilt to both the right and left so that you can make matching bevel and miter cuts in both directions.

Dual bevel miter saws are quite handy when you need to make repeat and uniform cuts for pieces like crown moldings. And besides, from making the tasks easy, it also allows you to finish the job faster.

When you have a large volume of work and working with crown molding and other trim workpieces, the dual bevel miter saws are the best pick. They are also the best saws when making repetitive cuts and when dealing with longer workpieces.

Pros

  • No need to rotate material. The tilting nature of the head design on the double bevel miter saw means that you never have to flip and rearrange the workpiece to make matching bevel pieces. All you need is to tilt your saw in the opposite direction and adjust the position of the material.
  • Makes cuts fast. When it comes to making projects easier and accomplishing your cuts quickly, the dual bevel miter saw is always the best option. And this is also because you do not have to flip the workpiece to get matching cuts.
  • Accurate and precise. Since you will not need to deal with placement and positioning of the material every time you want to make matching cuts you are more likely to get precise and accurate cuts when using a dual bevel than with the single bevel miter saw.

Cons       

  • Relatively expensive. The dual bevel miter saw is a pricey power saw if you compare it to the single bevel ones. And this is more so because the single bevel can perform all the cuts that it makes but with some extra effort and time. You should be ready to spend upwards of $200 to get a high-quality dual bevel miter saw from a reputable brand.

The Bottom Line

Single Bevel vs Double Bevel Miter Saw - infographic

When it comes to buying a miter saw you only need to pick one between the single bevel and dual bevel. Since they perform similar functions, it does not make sense to have both.

However, the saw you pick will depend on your particular needs. If you are a DIY or hobbyist that likes to do some armature woodwork and home improvement projects the single bevel miter saw should be just enough.

If you do not deal with extra long lumber pieces and also do not want to spend a lot of cash on your miter saw, the single bevel model will be sufficient for you. And this is because it can make all the cuts that you can do with the dual bevel miter saw.

For professional woodworkers and those that plan to do some advanced DIY projects that involve longer pieces and require some speed, the dual bevel miter saw is the best choice.

The double bevel miter saw will also be the right saw to buy where cost is not a concern, and are instead looking for something that offers convenience, precision and accuracy.

Best Single Bevel Miter Saws

#1. Hitachi C10FCE2 10-Inch Single Bevel Miter Saw

Hitachi C10FCE2

Hitachi C10FCE2 is a powerful and handy single bevel miter saw that can handle even the toughest cutting job thanks to the 15-Amp motor.

This saw provides a 0 to 52-degree miter angle range to the left and right to increase the flexibility of this single bevel miter saw. And it has a 0 to 45-degree bevel range with some adjustable bevel stops for precise bevel cuts.

With this Hitachi, miter saw you also get a large table that provides better support for your materials and positive miter stops that are easy to use for quick miter adjustments.

The saw is also comfortable and quite straightforward to use thanks to the horizontal handle that also has a vibration-reducing elastomer grip that keeps you in full control of the tool at all times.

And it will also come with a handy dust bag to keep its interior dust-free.

#2. DeWalt DW715 12-Inch Single Bevel Miter Saw

DeWalt DW715

The 15-Amp DeWalt DW715 is another excellent single bevel compound miter saw that is handy to have in the workshop. And it will deliver a no-load speed of up to 4,000 RPM.

It is a versatile power saw that can handle a variety of tasks in the workshop that will bevel to the left for up to 48 degrees and up to 3 degrees to the right. 

The power saw also has an adjustable miter detent plate with up to 11 positive stops and a tall sliding fence to make your crown, and base molding work easier. And there is also a miter detent override that makes it possible to adjust the settings without having your saw slip into the miter detents

The 4 hardened steel bevel stops that are at 0, 33.9, 45 and 48 degrees will help to deliver versatility at the common bevel angles.

This DeWalt miter saw will also come with a dust bag, blade wrench and some comfortable side handle in the base.

Best Double Bevel Miter Saws

#1. DeWalt DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Miter Saw

DeWalt DWS780

If you are on the market for a portable, convenient and easy to use double bevel miter saw the DeWalt DWS780 is an excellent choice. The saw runs on a powerful 15-Amp motor that generates up to 3,000 RPM to make all your cuts easy.

It has a unique handle design to increase portability and a new precise miter system to make sure that you always get accurate cuts. And there is also an adjustable stainless steel miter detent with 10 positive stops that will increase the productivity and enhance accuracy.

The integrated XPS cross cut positioning will provide an adjustment-free indicator of the cut line while the unique back fence will allow you to cut lumber with a dimension of up to 2x16 at 90-degree and 2x12 for the 45-degree cuts.

And with the efficient dust collection system that will capture up to 75% of the wood dust, you can be sure of maintaining a clean work environment.

#2. Makita LS1216L 12-Inch Dual Bevel Miter Saw

Makita LS1216L Dual Bevel Miter Saw

Like most other powerful dual bevel miter saws the Makita LS1216L runs on a 15-Amp motor that can generate up to 3,200 RPM.

It is quite a versatile miter saw that comes with a 60T carbide blade and a large cutting capacity of up to 8-inch crown molding, 6 1/2-inch baseboard and 15-inch crosscut.

The compact design makes it easy to handle, and it also features a patented 4-steel rail sliding system to increase rigidity so that you always get some superior cuts.

There is tall dual sliding fence system on the miter saw that is handy in producing some accurate miter and bevel cuts. And the saw also uses an independent laser system to indicate the line of cut, and it does this regardless of whether the blade is turning or not.

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