Single Bevel vs Double Bevel Miter Saw (Key Differences Explained)

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You may not know, but not all DIY projects require the same cuts. Because of this, you’ll likely have difficulty discerning between the perks of single bevel vs. double bevel miter saw options. 

If you want to skip the guesswork, here’s a quick run-down by our resident woodworkers to help determine which power tool could deliver the miter and bevel cuts you need. 

What is a Bevel Cut?

It’s not uncommon for a woodworking newbie to get confused with bevel and miter cuts. While these power tools are expected to produce mitered cuts, not every miter saw you’ll find on the store’s shelves can do bevel cuts. 

miter saw bevel cut

When doing a miter cut, you’ll need to swivel the platform where your material is located. It’s typical for this power tool to get at least 45-degree angled cuts or more. On the flip side, bevel cuts require blade and motor angle adjustment. The miter saw has to be tilted to the side to achieve these precise cuts. 

You’ll need to cut bevels when building a picture frame, installing crown molding, or shaping tabletop corners. Other large projects that require bevel cuts are roof beams, rafters, or struts.

Differences Between a Single Bevel and a Dual Bevel Miter Saw

The difference between single and dual bevel miter saws is the direction these power tools can tilt. True to its name, single bevel miter saws can only work in one direction. 

adjusting miter saw to make a bevel cut

Meanwhile, a dual bevel miter saw isn’t limited to a single direction. We’ll tackle how these tools differ in achieving beveled cuts in their specific sections further below. 

Which Best Miter Saw Should You Buy?

The decision between dual bevel miter saws and single bevel miter saws ultimately boils down to your personal preference as a woodworker and the demands of your project. It also depends on the power and accuracy level you need when making multiple cuts on the material.

Before buying, it’s crucial to remember that the advanced features of these miter saws can incur an additional cost.

What is a Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw?

If you’re making a bevel cut using a single bevel miter saw, you should know that you’re limited to going in one direction. When you think of a single-bevel model, we recommend envisioning a clock where 12 is the 90-degree angle. 

setting up miter saw

With single bevel saws, the blade can only go in the direction of 10 or 2, not both. In other words, a single bevel saw can only tilt right or left.  

Pros

In the single vs. dual bevel saw pricing comparison, you’ll find single models are more affordable. It’s also easier to operate than a dual bevel miter saw, so many newbies prefer using it. On top of that, a single bevel saw is lighter than most dual bevel saws. 

Cons

Unlike a double bevel saw, this tool only goes in one direction. So, you’ll have to flip the material to make matching cuts at different angles. Because of this, a single bevel miter saw has an obvious disadvantage in accuracy and efficiency.

Best Single Bevel Miter Saw: DEWALT DWS715

DEWALT DWS715 Single Bevel Miter Saw

How to Use a Single Bevel Miter Saw

Step #1: Don Safety Gear and Equipment

Using a power tool can be hazardous[1], so we urge you to wear eye and ear protective gear when using single bevel miter saws. 

Step #2: Prepare and Secure the Board

It’ll be hard to make a bevel cut at full speed if your material moves around, more so if you’re dealing with wider boards. The best solution is to clamp the board to prevent it from binding the blade. 

preparing and securing board to cut with a miter saw

Step #3: Adjust the Blade

You can angle the blade depending on the kind of bevel cut you want to achieve using the lever. A gauge will also tell the user the exact angle of the saw head. 

Step #4: Cut

If you don’t want to cut the material too short, it’s best to pull the blade’s edge on the marked line before starting the cut. Once in the proper position, you can proceed to make bevels at maximum speed settings. 

What is a Double Bevel Compound Miter Saw?

Most professionals prefer using a dual bevel miter saw because it has the capacity to tilt left and right from a 90-degree angle. With this tool, there’s no need to flip the wood to make an opposing bevel cut on the other side of your material. 

Bosch dual bevel miter saw

The design of double bevel miter saws gives users the power to flip the saw head instead of flipping the wood itself. 

Cutting with a double bevel miter saw can also make things easier for you when dealing with a long piece of material in a small workstation. 

Pros

A dual bevel miter saw offers more precision and cleaner bevel cuts than its alternative. Using a dual bevel model requires no wood flipping, so you can naturally get the job done faster. 

DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Cons

When you compare single with dual bevel miter saws, the obvious disadvantage of the latter is its price tag. Besides that, when you weigh single vs. double bevel miter saws, it’s hard to ignore that the latter goes on a heavier scale. 

However, if you still want to buy a double bevel miter saw and your only concern is the price, you should look for a second-hand miter saw dealer to see if they are selling used double bevel miter saws.

Best Double Bevel Miter Saw: BOSCH GCM12SD

Bosch Power Tools GCM12SD Miter Saw

How to Use a Double Bevel Miter Saw

Double-check Your Measurements

In addition to the steps we mentioned on using a single bevel miter saw, you must check your wood’s measurements multiple times if you want a precise cut. 

checking measurements on a miter saw

Remember that trimming off more than what you need could ruin your project’s requirements and overall output. 

Adjust the Saw Better

Most dual bevel miter saw options in today’s market include a digital angle gauge that helps users to adjust cut angles accurately. It also helps to reset your dual bevel miter saw when making a matching bevel cut on the other side of the material. 

Sliding Compound Miter Saw: Pros and Cons

Pros

Besides being able to produce a compound cut, this type of miter saw offers more positive stops than the alternatives we discussed. On top of that, it has a higher cutting capacity that you wouldn’t be able to see when comparing single bevel vs. dual bevel miter saws. 

Shopmaster sliding miter saw

Cons

When you compare single vs. dual bevel miter saws, you’ll notice that sliding compound models are sold in a higher price range in the current market. They also weigh more than dual miter options, so these tools will likely require portable stands if you want to move them around the workshop. 

Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw

DEWALT DWS780 Sliding Compound Miter Saw

When Should You Buy a Single Bevel Miter Saw?

If you’re a beginner, buying single bevel vs. dual bevel miter saws is always wiser because of its price range and weight. It’s a great cutting tool to use when making angled, beveled, and mitered cuts. You’ll find this miter saw useful for trimming, photo frame assembly, or making fence pailings. 

cutting a piece of wood with non-sliding miter saw

When Should You Buy a Dual-Bevel or Sliding Miter Saw?

You should buy dual bevel or sliding miter saws if your project requires cutting from more angles. You may not know, but some pieces need intricate cuts that are hard to achieve with single bevel models. Because of this, most professionals prefer a dual bevel saw. 

However, it’s important to remember that these models are more expensive and heavier. If you don’t have enough woodworking experience, it’ll take time to get used to it.

Is a Double Bevel Miter Saw Worth it?

Choosing a double bevel miter saw is worth it if your project needs a couple of bevel cuts. It also has a higher cutting capacity than a single bevel model, so it can easily fulfill the needs of a large-scale woodworking project.

Conclusion

After pitting several options in this double bevel vs. single bevel miter saw debate, we’re sure you already realized that your decision highly depends on your project requirements and skill level. 

If you’re new to the craft, there’s no shame in getting a single bevel saw that’ll give you more ease of usage. However, dual-bevel saws are still the best option if a task needs more precision and speed.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

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