For the average homeowner who already has a circular saw, which would be the best choice for most home projects: a table saw, radial arm saw, or miter saw?
That would depend on the kind of projects you plan to tackle, as each have their strengths and weaknesses.
- Table saws excel at ripping lumber and plywood. While they can also crosscut and miter, it can be awkward with pieces over a few feet long.
- Radial arm saws are great for crosscutting, but are difficult—and potentially dangerous—to use for ripping. They can also be used to miter, but it takes more set up time than with a power miter saw and stock thickness is limited.
- Power miter saws are perfect for mitering and crosscutting moldings and lumber, but most have limited capacity for cutting wide stock.
While all three have an important place in a well equipped shop, I would choose a table saw first with a miter saw as a close second.