Quick Summary: Single vs Double Bevel Miter Saw
The single bevel miter saw can only bevel in one direction (usually the left), while the double bevel miter saw can bevel in both directions.
The single bevel is cheaper and more portable but more time-consuming to use. While the double bevel increases your accuracy and productivity but is more bulky and expensive.
The miter saw comes in many different varieties, sizes and price categories. There’s the basic miter saw and the compound miter saw. The latter comes in even more varieties – single and double bevel and sliding or non-sliding.
In this article, we will be comparing the single vs the double bevel miter saw. If you want more info on the other variants, check out our article on sliding vs non-sliding.
Different types of miter saws
Before we can discuss the differences between the single vs double bevel miter saw we need to cover the fundamentals:
The Basic Miter Saw
Essentially a chop saw with one difference, it can do angled cuts on the face of the board — these are called miter cuts.
The Compound Miter Saw
Add a tilting blade to the basic miter saw and you get this power tool: The compound miter saw. The bevel tilts in one direction (left or right), allowing for two new types of cuts – the bevel and the miter cut.
A bevel cut is a cut made on the edge of the workpiece and goes in an angle (most commonly 45°) through the thickness of the workpiece. The compound cut is a combination of the miter and the bevel cut.
The Dual-Bevel Miter Saw
Also known as the double-bevel miter saw. The only difference between this one and the regular compound miter saw is that it bevels in both the left and right direction. This allows cutting bevels without flipping over the piece of wood you’re working on.
Sliding Compound Saws
These come with additional rails or sliders attached to the blade-head which move forward and backward, allowing you to cut much wider materials.
Single vs Dual-Bevel Miter Saws
Now that you know the types of miter saws available and the cuts they are capable of doing let us start by comparing the single and double bevel miter saw.
Single Bevel Miter Saw
We have already gone over what this saw can do; it’s bevel allows it to tilt up to 50 degrees in one direction (usually to the left) allowing the possibility of bevel and compound cuts.
- Affordable: single bevel miter saws are the cheapest and most accessible type of compound miter saws available. Smaller models can come as low as 100$ while the dual bevel miter saw usually remains above the 200$ mark.
- Very portable: fewer fancy features result in a relatively lightweight saw, making them easy to move around, ideal if you plan to take it with you to job sites.
- More time-consuming: having to continuously turn over your workpiece can be cumbersome and make the task at hand more laborious.
Double Bevel Miter Saw
If you’re a professional contractor-or a dedicated hobbyist- and have projects with strict deadlines you may want to consider a miter saw with a double bevel, as it will save you a lot of time and effort.
With the double – or dual – bevel miter saw, you don’t need to flip over your workpiece to make matching bevel cuts on both sides. You can simply tilt the blade over in the other direction and go at it again. This saves both time and eliminates the possibility of human errors when you have to physically flip over the piece and reposition it.
This is why we think the double bevel miter saw is the tool best used by professionals or hobbyists who handle a miter saw on a day-to-day basis.
- Increased Speed: not having to physically flip your workpiece over will help you finish projects faster and meet tight deadlines.
- Increased Accuracy: Without the need to reposition the workpiece you can achieve much more accurate cuts as you eliminate the possibility of human error.
- More expensive: often double as expensive as a single bevel miter saw. A big disadvantage if you consider that the single bevel miter saw is capable of performing exactly the same cuts, just with more hassle and time required.
Single vs Double Bevel Miter Saw: decision time
If you’re on the fence about whether to get the single or double bevel miter saw, and budget is a big factor for you — go with the single bevel. It can perform all the cuts you need, for about half the price of the double miter saw.
On the other hand, if you are a professional or a hobbyist who does a lot of fancy crown molding, it would be in your best interest to spend the extra dollar on a double bevel miter saw. The investment will be well worth the increase in speed, productivity, and accuracy.