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As a woodworker, you know that having the right tools is crucial for a successful project. When it comes to cutting angles on molding and trim, a miter saw is a must-have in your toolkit.
There are two popular types of miter saws; the double bevel vs the single bevel. In this blog post, we’ll compare them to help you determine which one is best for you and your woodworking projects. We’ll examine their features, strengths weaknesses, and overall performance of each saw to give you a clear understanding of what to expect.
Whether you’re a professional woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, this post will help you make an informed decision and choose the right miter saw.
Brief Overview of the Types of Compound Miter Saws
Compound miter saws are basically used for making angled cuts on wood materials. There are three main types:
Single bevel miter saw
The single bevel miter saw has a blade that can be tilted in one direction to make bevel cuts and can also pivot to make miter cuts. The single bevel feature allows for greater versatility in cutting, as the blade can be angled in both the horizontal and vertical planes. This type of saw is commonly used by carpenters, woodworkers, and contractors for trim and molding work, as well as for making custom picture frames and other similar projects.
Double bevel miter saws
The double-bevel compound miter saw is the most adaptable model available on the market. The key feature of these saws is that they can make bevel cuts (tilted cuts along the width of the material) in both directions, allowing for more versatile cutting. This type of saw is commonly used by carpenters, woodworkers, and contractors for making precise cross, bevel, and miter cuts.
Sliding miter saws
The sliding miter saw can make all the cuts made by the single & double bevel versions in addition to having the sliding capability. Woodworkers can easily cut through their work material by sliding the blade along the track if they need to cut through larger chunks of wood.
See our review of the top 10-inch sliding compound miter saws out in the market.
What are Bevel Cuts?
You can make four kinds of cuts using the miter saw.
- Compound cuts
- miter cuts
- bevel cuts
The bevel cut is simply an angled cut. But in this type of cut, the top of the wood and the edges are not perpendicular to each other. A bevel cut is made on a material along its thickness. Their defining characteristic is the angled edge. These cuts are typically used to avoid sharp corners in furniture pieces like tables. Bevel cuts can also be made using miter saws, circular saws, or table saws.
Single Bevel Compound Miter Saws
The single bevel miter saw can only change its cut angle in a single direction. The saw employs a pivot system to shift from a vertical 90° angle to a variety of bevel-cut angles. The majority of single-bevel miter saws can bevel angles between -1 and 47 degrees and cut angles between 0 and 45 degrees.
It is a kind of miter saw that can only cut material on one side. To make it easier for right-handed woodworkers, nearly every single bevel miter saw is built with a left bevel.
Single-bevel compound miter saws are used for most cutting jobs. Also, they are suitable when the cutting task requires you to lift the miter saw off the floor or shelf. This saw is also ideal when you want an item trimmed at an angle. This tool is also great for framing, molding, and trimming projects. The only flipside is that if you wish to cut in the reverse direction, you will need to turn the board.
Strengths of The Single Bevel Miter Saws
- It is suitable for novice woodworkers due to its minimal learning curve.
- The tool is portable and lightweight, making it perfect for tasks that require you to lift the saw.
- It is available at budget-friendly and affordable prices.
- It can accommodate a larger range of blade sizes without requiring the shoe to be changed.
- It can be used easily on thin or narrow pieces.
Weaknesses of The Single Bevel Miter Saws
- It only produces angled cuts that are one-directional. This makes it unsuitable for works that necessitate the workpiece to have matching cuts.
- Using it on longer wood pieces can be a bit challenging.
- Since double cuts cannot be made, the cuts made on opposite sides may not always be uniform.
- If you are dealing with a complex project that calls for multiple cuts, using single-bevel compound miter saws can consume more time.
- The slower bevel angle change can be a bit frustrating when you are working on important tasks.
My Top Single Bevel Miter Saw Recommendations
If you are looking for a good single-bevel compound miter saw for your next project, I have a few recommendations.
1. Hitachi C10FCH2 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw
The things I love about this saw include:
- A powerful 15-amp motor
- Laser Marker System for better cutting precision
- Miter angle range from 0 to 52°
- bevel range from 0 to 45°
- Comfort and control are increased by the horizontal handle’s smooth, vibration-reducing Elastomer grip
- Weighs 26.5 pounds, improving portability and maneuverability
Get the Hitachi C10FCH2 10in Single Bevel Miter Saw available at:
2. DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, Single Bevel, Compound (DWS715)
Some nice features of this saw include:
- a powerful 15-amp motor
- 0 to 3° and 0 to 48° bevels to the right and left, respectively
- cross-cutting capacities for 2-inch by 8-inch dimensional lumber at 90 degrees and 2-inch by 6-inch dimensional timber at 45 degrees
Get the DEWALT (DWS715) 12in Single-Bevel Miter Saw available at:
Double Bevel Compound Miter Saws
The main feature of this tool is that it can bevel in both directions. Since it is ideal for bevel and 90° cuts, woodworkers can use it to make a larger range of cuts.
The saw is used to cut materials like wood with two distinct angles. It is capable of cutting both the bevel and the side simultaneously. The saw can pivot left or right based on where the user’s body is. This option allows woodworkers to cut the same material twice in different directions without shifting its position.
Recommended Article: 9 Must-Have Miter Saw Upgrades To Enhance Precision and Efficiency
This saw is a far more flexible and effective piece of woodworking equipment. This is because it can pivot in an area twice as large as the single bevel saw. Also, since they are substantially heavier than single bevel saws, they are a less portable alternative, so woodworkers generally set them up on their workbench permanently.
Double-bevel compound miter saws are frequently used by DIY experts and professionals to create handmade projects. This tool is also ideal for individuals who require specific dimensions in their projects. Many woodworkers use this tool when there is limited time available for completing the project. It is also great for trim and crown molding work.
Generally, this saw is versatile, making its operation highly complex and also the reason for its higher price.
Strengths of The Double Bevel Miter Saws
- There is no need to reposition or rotate the workpiece to make cuts in the opposite direction.
- They have better features and capabilities, including versatility, allowing woodworkers to easily cut wood and other materials.
- They provide accuracy and precision for creating matching cuts in either direction.
- It is ideal for DIY experts and professionals.
- It is a great option for handmade projects and items.
- Since there is no turning or rotation involved, the process is faster.
- Cuts made have a higher quality with minimal tear-out.
Weaknesses of The Double Bevel Miter Saws
- It is more expensive compared to single-bevel miter saws.
- Because of the additional mechanical parts, they are also heavier, making it difficult to use them for projects that require lifting the saw off the floor.
- They can be a bit overkill for hobbyists.
- Making detailed and fancy crown molding with double bevel saws is challenging.
My Top Double Bevel Miter Saw Recommendations
If you’re in need of a top-notch double-bevel compound miter saw for your project, here are some suggestions.
1. DEWALT 12-Inch, Double Bevel, Compound Miter Saw (DWS716XPS)
This saw boasts some desirable features, including:
- a powerful 15-amp motor
- miter capacity 0 to 50° right and left
- miter angles are delivered quickly and accurately by the cam lock miter handle with a detent override
- bevel range from 0 to 48° to the right and left
Get the DEWALT (DWS716XPS) 12in Double-Bevel Miter Saw available at:
2. Metabo HPT 12-Inch Double Bevel Miter Saw (C12FDHS)
This saw is great for the following reasons:
- a robust 15-amp motor
- a broader range of cuts offered with a miter angle range from 0 to 52°
- quickly adjustable miter angles
- a micro-bevel adjustment knob is available to set the angle precisely
Get the Metabo HPT Double Bevel Miter Saw (C12FDHS) available at:
Double Bevel Miter Saw vs Single Bevel Compared Side-by-Side
There are some similarities between single-bevel and double-bevel miter saws. For example, both can be utilized to create beveled and mitered cuts. Additionally, both cut using circular rotating blades.
By the way, check out our guide to choosing between a miter saw and a circular saw.
Along with these similarities, they also have many differences.
The double-bevel miter saw can cut in both directions, whereas the single-bevel can cut only in one direction. Similarly, the double bevel is heavier due to all the complex parts in it, reducing its portability. But single bevel saws have better portability due to their lighter weight.
The double-bevel saws are more difficult to use due to their complex operation, whereas the single-bevel are ideal even for beginner woodworkers.
The double bevel miter saws have better speed since there is no time required for rotating the workpiece to cut in the other direction. They also have higher precision or accuracy as well as better convenience compared to single-bevel saws. The single bevel saw is less expensive and more labor-intensive.
Table of Differences
|Angle of Cuts
|Can cut only in one direction
|Can cut in both directions
|Ease of Use
|Easy to use and ideal even for beginner woodworkers
|A little bit difficult to use. Ideal for experts
|More time of operation
|Less time of operation
|Less convenient and efficient
|Higher precision and efficiency
|A little bit expensive
Which Saw Type is Right For Me: Single Bevel or Double Bevel?
Both single and double-bevel saws are excellent, so you should choose an appropriate saw according to the task they must complete. Both tools can provide accurate cuts and do them quite quickly.
The single bevel saw is ideal when:
- You are making picture frames or similar items
- Angled cuts must be made in several planes of the project
- You do not generally use miter cuts
- Repositioning the material to make cuts on both sides is comparatively easier
The double bevel saw is ideal when:
- You frequently use miter cuts in projects
- The project necessitates a high degree of accuracy on either side
- You are a professional or experienced cutter
- You are making delicate crown molding
- Rotating the material to make cuts on both sides is a hassle
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the bevel and miter angles?
The bevel angle is the angle between the face of a material and the surface that is being cut, while the miter angle is the angle between the edge of a material and its lengthwise axis.
A miter cut is performed at an angle that deviates from 90° with the blade positioned vertically. For a bevel cut, the blade is inclined.
Where do sliding miter saws fit in?
It is not uncommon to see a double-bevel sliding miter saw. They are quite popular among woodworkers, but a majority of sliding miter saws require around three feet of sliding clearance, which wastes a significant amount of storage space. But there are some sliding miter saws that can solve this issue. For example, the BOSCH GCM12SD Dual-Bevel Sliding Miter Saw is a popular sliding miter saw with high precision, adjustability, and convenience while occupying less space. This saw’s revolutionary axial glide system compacts it and allows for better alignment and broader cross-cuts, saving approximately 12 inches of useful work area.
Final Thoughts and Verdict
So, what’s the result of the double bevel miter saw vs single bevel match? It can be clearly seen that both single and double-bevel miter saws have advantages and disadvantages. One of the two tools cannot be declared the “most ideal” one for woodworking. The tool selected should be determined by the task at hand and one which best suits your needs.
If you enjoyed this article, take a look at our article on the difference between the miter saw and chop saw.
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