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

When buying a miter saw, you have to make a series of decisions before you arrive at your ideal model. You have to decide on the size of the miter saw you need, the brand, the type of the miter saw, and of course, whether you are going to buy a single or a double bevel miter saw.

The size of the saw will depend on the nature of your projects. The 10-inch and 12-inch versions are the market’s most popular options.

When it comes to choosing the brand, we already know some of the well-reputed ones out there. That means making a decision here may not pose a big challenge.

Picking the type of miter saw involves opting for one of the three available options—a sliding compound miter saw, compound miter saw, and a conventional miter saw. Here, making a decision can be a little daunting, especially if you can’t tell the difference between these miter saws. However, let us leave that for another day.

Today, we will be drawing a clear line between a single bevel miter saw and a double bevel miter saw. Where does each serve ideally? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each?

Well, those are just a few of the many questions we will be answering in our today’s article. Just read through to know what type of miter saw is perfect for your needs.

Definition Of A Bevel?

As you all know, a miter saw can make four different types of cuts: crosscut, miter, bevel, and compound cut. The crosscut involves making a 90-degree cut across the width of a workpiece. It’s the most basic cut you can make with a miter saw.

A miter cut is an angled cut across the width of a workpiece. Here, you are making a 90-degree cut through the thickness of the material when simultaneously cutting at an angle across the width of the workpiece.

In picture frames, the two ends meeting to make a corner are a perfect example of miter cuts. To achieve a miter cut, you have to rely on the miter gauge to help you set the workpiece at an angle.

Bevel cut involves making an angled cut through the thickness of the board. Here, you are maintaining a 90-degree angle across the width and at the same time making an angled cut throughout the thickness of the material. You will see this kind of cut in doorstops. For you to make a bevel cut, you need to tilt the blade to the preferred angle.

Lastly, a compound cut, just as the name suggests, is a bevel cut and miter cut summed up in one. It involves making an angled cut both through the thickness and across the width of the material. That means to achieve a compound cut, you have to set the angle of the blade and that of the workpiece as well.

Single Bevel Miter Saws

We’ve looked at different types of cuts and how to make each with a miter saw. At this point, I believe you know that the name “bevel” in “single bevel miter saws” is associated with a type of cut.

So, what are single bevel miter saws? Well, as aforementioned, to achieve a bevel cut, you have to make adjustments to the angle of the blade. In other words, you have to tilt the blade either to the right or the left side of the saw.

Miter saws that will allow you to tilt the blade to only one side are called single bevel miter saws. Usually, single bevel miter cuts will bend towards the left. With this type of miter saw, you can make any of the four cuts. Where you want to make angled cuts (bevel cut, miter cut, or a compound cut) on both ends of the material, you have to flip the workpiece over

Bestseller No. 1Top Pick
DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, 15-Amp, Single Bevel, Compound (DWS715)
  • Stainless-steel miter detent plate of 12-inch miter saw blade comes with 14 positive stops
  • The mitre saw features the precise miter system and machined base fence support
  • Tall sliding fence of DEWALT miter saw supports 5-1/2-inch base vertically

When To Buy A Single Bevel Miter Saw?

You now know why we call some saws single bevel miter saws. Next is to find out where these kinds of tools serve ideally. So, what would make you buy a single bevel miter saw and not a double bevel miter saw?

Now, before we proceed any further, I want to make it clear that a single bevel miter saw can achieve everything a double bevel miter saw can—you can read that again and again. That’s because although it won’t tilt to both sides, you can still flip your workpiece over when you need to make an angled cut to the opposite end of your workpiece.

With that said, whether you should buy a single or a double bevel miter saw will come from other factors other than the saw’s scope of work. Some of the determining factors here include your budget, the level of convenience you want in your operations, portability, skill level, and so on.

When talking about your budget, a single bevel miter saw comes at a lower price than the other version. That means if you are looking forward to spending the least amount of money possible for a miter saw, you have to go for a single bevel miter saw.

About convenience, a single bevel miter saw doesn’t offer the highest level of it in operations. That’s especially true if you are making angled cuts at both ends of your workpiece. Turning the workpiece over every time is time-consuming and can be tedious for larger projects.

When it comes to portability, single bevel miter cuts are usually lighter in weight. Therefore, if you want a unit that you can easily carry around with less hassle, then of the two, a single bevel miter saw is the one that suits your needs better.

Lastly, since a single bevel miter saw tilts to only one side, it is simple. The fewer number of parts makes it easier to operate compared to the other model. Therefore, if you are a beginner looking for a miter saw that’s easy to use, consider the single bevel variety.

Advantages of Single Bevel Miter Saw

  • Less expensive.
  • Enhanced portability.
  • More straightforward to use.
  • Simple but versatile.

Disadvantages of Single Bevel Miter Saw

  • Less convenient as you may at times have to turn the workpiece around.
  • Longer working time.

Double Bevel Miter Saw

A double bevel miter saw is also known as a dual bevel miter saw. Unlike the single bevel that bends only in one direction, a double bevel miter saw tilts in both. That kind of movement is sometimes known as pivoting.

Although they have a complex structure, dual bevel miter saws aren’t in any way more versatile than the single bevel variety. With that said, why should you consider this kind and not the other? Well, let’s find out.

Bestseller No. 1Top Pick
DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS780)
  • Integrated CUTLINE Blade Positioning System provides adjustment free cut line indication for better accuracy and visibility for the 12-inch miter saw blade
  • Powerful 15 Amp, 3,800 rpm motor delivers extended power and durability for the mitre saw
  • Super-efficient dust collection system of DEWALT miter saw captures over 75% of dust generated

When To Buy A Double Bevel Miter Saw

The dual bevel miter saws are similar to single bevel models in many ways. However, there are still some differences between the two models. The variations are what make one option more preferable for some situations than the other.

For instance, since dual bevel miter saws bevel in both directions (right and left), they are more convenient to use. That’s because you don’t need to turn the board around when you want to cut both ends.

Turning the piece of wood around takes time and effort. Therefore, with the double-bevel action eliminating that step, you will be able to finish your projects faster and with less fatigue. With that said, double bevel miter saws are considered ideal for projects with strict deadlines.

Also, the ability to cut both ends without having to reposition the workpiece ensures that you make spot-on cuts. For that reason, double bevel miter saw also come in handy for repetitive projects that require a high level of uniformity.

Hence, a double bevel miter saw outshines the single bevel option in convenience, time, uniformity, and effort. That means if you value all these factors, a double bevel miter saw should suit you better.

However, there are a few shortcomings of the dual bevel miter saw. For instance, they are more costly, less portable, and more complex to use compared to the single bevel miter saws. But other than that, they are a class to have.

Advantages of Double Bevel Miter Saws

  • Time-saving.
  • High uniformity for repetitive projects.
  • You don’t need to adjust the workpiece.
  • Improved accuracy.

Disadvantages of a Double Bevel Miter Saw

  • A bit expensive.
  • Quite complex to operate.

Single Bevel Miter Saw Vs. Double Bevel Miter Saws—Quick Comparison Table

 Single Bevel Miter SawsDouble Bevel Miter Saws
TiltabilitySaw blade tilts to one side (Usually the left)The saw blade tilts in both directions.
AnatomySimple structureMore complex structure
ErrorHigh likelihood of human errorMinimal chances as no readjustment of the workpiece
CostInexpensiveUsually more expensive
PortabilityEasy to moveNot easy to move
Human EffortRequires more effort to operateMinimal human effort
TimeProject takes more time to finishShorter project times

The Bottom Line

At times it’s challenging to decide between a single bevel miter saw and a double bevel option. While these saws all do the same work, they differ in areas of convenience, affordability, portability, and more. The double bevel miter saw, for example, is more convenient, time-saving, more accurate, and makes the work simpler.

However, all these perks come at an added cost. It’s up to you to weigh whether the extra benefits are worth the additional cost they claim. If you are a professional, we recommend that you buy a double bevel miter saw. For hobbyists and those joining the trade, a single bevel miter saw works just fine.

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