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?

Hi Matt,
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.


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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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