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Are you looking to buy a single bevel or dual bevel miter saw? If so, you’re probably asked yourself the following questions: Should you buy a sliding or non-sliding saw, what size should the saw be, and should it be single or dual bevel?
These questions may seem tough, but if you read this article about single bevel vs dual bevel miter saw you’ll have all the information you need to make the right decision. That said, the main factor in your decision will be the use of the miter saw itself.
Generally speaking, single bevel miter saws are more suitable for DIY enthusiasts and woodworking amateurs, while dual bevel miter saws are better suited for professional craftsmen seeking a more precise compound sliding miter saw.
There are four types of woodcuts you can make: bevel, miter, compound, and crosscut. Although bevel and miter cuts are similar, they’re not the same. A bevel is an angled slope that can be vertical or horizontal, but it always at 45 degrees.
A bevel cut is a cut different than a 90-degree angle cut, which cuts along edge or the end of the material. You measure a bevel cut against a straight edge cut. The blade needs to be adjusted when making a bevel cut, so you need specialized blades, i.e. a miter saw.
A miter cut or an angle cut cuts across the board at a 45-degree angle. A 90-degree cut is called a cross-cut – it goes straight up and down. The compound cut is a combination of the angle and the bevel cut.
These are just the basics, but you do need to know the difference between a single and a dual bevel.
A single bevel miter saw can only bevel in a single direction. It will most likely pivot to your left while facing the machine, and it won’t flip over 90 degrees vertically. For bevel cutting in the opposite direction, you’ll have to flip over the board and start to cut in an identical direction.
A dual bevel miter saw can bevel in both directions. It will pivot to the left and to the right, all the same. To make opposite bevel cuts on the same board, just keep it on the machine and flip the blade over. In other words, you’re not moving the material, you’re just adjusting the blades by rotating it.
Now it’s time to discuss differences and similarities between both saws. Each can be used for miter and beveled cuts. In addition, both have circular spinning blades that make the cuts.
They still have many differences, despite their similarities. The most visible differences are when you use these miter saws to make angled cuts. As mentioned before, a single bevel can make cuts only in a single direction, while the double or dual bevel saw can cut in both directions.
Basically, the single bevel miter saw is limited to either making cuts to the left, or to the right. Whilst, as stated above, a double bevel saw can cut both ways, without having to move the panel, wood, or whatever you’re working on.
The other important difference is the price. Understandably, double bevel miter saws are pricier. That said, the difference isn’t that huge, especially if you’re going to use the miter saw a lot. If you’re working on many projects, you’ll save quite a lot of time with the double bevel miter saw.
Let’s start with the pros and cons of single bevel miter saws. It’s simply not true that these miter saws are a poor choice. They have their uses, and are actually quite reliable at getting the job done. So, let’s start with the pros.
For most people, single bevel miter saws are usually cheap and affordable. Many can be found for less than a hundred dollars, which is a great deal. If you have a workshop, a tool collection, or you want to build them up, a single bevel miter saw is essential.
That brings us to the other point – this saw can be used by both DIY enthusiasts and professional woodworkers alike. This saw is straightforward and effective, there are no complications in its use. You can keep it around for personal use, or use it professionally if that’s your job.
Again, a single bevel saw is much easier to use, making it easy for the beginners. Since you can only tilt the blade in one direction, you have a steady, safe, and easy job, no matter what you’re working on.
Single bevel saws are also lighter. If you need to carry it to the job site, you’ll have less weight on your hands.
If you need to make cuts on both sides of the wood, you’re not going to have a fun time. Miter saws with a single bevel are inaccurate and aren’t the best choices for more demanding tasks.
Furthermore, professionals usually prefer dual bevel miter saws as you can work the wood from more with positive stops which are necessary in any unit as they the worker to adjust the angles easily. If you’re a pro, a single bevel saw probably won’t be enough for you. Again, this is all depending on the task at hand.
Now you know that single bevel miter saws are quite balanced, and bring a lot to the table despite their shortcomings. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the dual bevel miter saw.
Obviously, you’ll have a much easier time when working on both sides of the material for matching cuts. You just have to flip the blade in the opposite direction and move the material accordingly, instead of rotating the entire object you’re working on.
In the same regard, the dual bevel miter saw is more efficient. It will save you time, and help you finish your projects quicker and easier.
Also, these saws are much more precise than single bevel saws. This means that if you have an eye for detail, and the skills for using the saw to its full potential, you’ll make it worthwhile. You can achieve beautiful detailing and finishing jobs will be much smoother.
The dual bevel miter saws aren’t perfect. For one, they’re more expensive. Depending on the brand and size, expect to pay extra for them.
These saws can be a little heavier than their single bevel counterparts.
As you can see, when comparing single bevel vs double, the difference isn’t that huge, but the double bevel saw usually comes out on top. If you have the money, investing in a double miter saw is a good choice. Still, you have to think about your needs, i.e. what you’ll use it for.
Before you make a snap decision and make a purchase on a whim, ask yourself what you’ll do with a miter saw. If you’re going to make miter, bevel, or angled cuts, a single bevel saw will suffice.
This saw will come in handy when making crown molding, or picture frames. In other words, smaller and less demanding jobs can be carried out with a single bevel saw. If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended that you start with a single bevel saw.
They’re also lighter, so the risks while operating are minimal. If you’re a DIY guy or girl, the single bevel saw will be a perfect match for you. This is a great tool to have in the house, you can put in your workshop, shed, or garage, and it will surely come in handy from time to time.
On the other hand, if you’re a professional, the right choice for you is pretty obvious. You’ll make better use of a dual bevel, even if you have to pay a little extra for it. It will show its value in no time, especially if you have a busy schedule ahead of you.
This saw isn’t recommended for beginners who are picking up a miter saw for the first time. If you’re experienced, a dual bevel saw will feel natural, and you’ll get used to it pretty quickly. But it could be a little heavier, so bear that in mind.
Otherwise, it’s much more versatile and it allows you to make more accurate and precise cuts in both directions from more angles. If you have an eye for detail, you’ll appreciate this type of compound saw.
You can use the dual bevel miter saw for making handcrafted trims, custom woodworking items, expert crown molding, etc. With that in mind, when comparing a single bevel miter saw to a dual bevel, the dual miter saw comes out on top for professional use, while single bevel is better for rookies in woodworking.
The precision of double bevel miter saws becomes noticeable when making the same cuts on each side, and making many cuts match, no matter the number of repetitions. A dual bevel miter saw can do compound miter cuts, giving you a full range of different compound angles.
While this might boil down to both personal preference and brand loyalty, if you ask the pros, some brands definitely standout among other brands in regards to both power and precision. We've done an extensive amount of research and testing on what is the best compound sliding miter saw to buy and cover all the benefits and features of both single bevel vs double models available.
Power tools are certainly something you want to make the right decision on the first time, as they are expensive and can either take your productivity to the next level or hinder your progress altogether.
As you’ve no doubt deduced, there’s no clear winner when looking at single bevel or dual bevel miter saw. They have some great shared features. It all comes down to the amount and type of work you have.
If you need precision, speed, and have a lot of work to do, a dual bevel compound miter saw is the right for you. On the other hand, if you’re new to this, and only work on occasional projects, more as a hobby, a single bevel miter saw would be much better suited to your needs. You might sacrifice a bit in terms both versatility and power, but it will get the job done.
Hopefully this article will help you make the right choice for your future projects. Feel free to leave a reply if you have any further queries?
My name is Michael McDonnell, and I’m the creator of The Tool Scout. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade with over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. I started The Tool Scout because I love talking about everything DIY related and figured I could help others with the decision-making process when it comes to selecting the right tools for the right job.
Apart from being a blue-collar kinda guy on a relatively noble quest to help others, I’m also a serial entrepreneur and an obvious lifelong Lakers fan. 🏀