Simply put, Miter saws are amazing. They are so versatile and precise. They allow you to make the perfect cut over and over again. Miter saws are great for contractors, DIYers and everyone in between.
There are a number of different miter saws out there on the market. When buying a miter saw it is important to know the differences so you get the right saw for your project. We will go through all the differences and similarities between double bevel and single bevel miter saws.
Double Bevel vs Single Bevel Miter Saw
Double bevel and single bevel miter saws are very similar, with one difference. Single bevel saws tilt one direction. They make beveled cuts to the left. Double bevel saws tilt two directions. They make the same bevel cuts, but to the left and right without needing to move the material.
Before we get into the differences between a dual bevel and single bevel miter saw, lets discuss what a bevel cut is.
A bevel cut is made with the blade of the saw at an angle. This allows the blade to make a cut at an angle through the thickness of the material.
Most miter saws have a bevel that goes from 0-45-48 degrees (depending on the saw). Most common bevel cuts are at 45 degrees as seen when working with trim or baseboards. Often times miter saws will have a bevel angle guide on them. This will make it very easy for you to get the exact angle that you want.
If there is not a guide, or you are looking for a more precise measurement you can use a digital angle gauge. This will allow you to measure the angle up to 0.1 degree. These can also be helpful to make sure that your miter saw is squared.
Single bevel miter saw
Single bevel saws allow you to make 0-45 degree bevel cuts, in one direction. When looking at the saw head on most saws tilt to the left. If you want to make a bevel cut to the other direction, you have to change the placement of the material you are cutting.
As you can see in the picture above, when looking at the saw, the blade tilts to the left. This is the case in most single bevel miter saws making them easier to use if you are right handed.
These are typically the most common types of miter saws due to there price and simplicity. However in my research I found many companies phasing them out. They are also know as compound miter saws. Single bevel saws will also make miter and cross cuts.
The adjustments to bevel the saw will vary depending on the brand you have. My dewalt single bevel miter saw has a large knob. Once the knob is loose, I can tilt the saw to the desired angle using the measurement tool on the back.
Once the bevel angle is set you can make the same cut over and over with exact precision each time. This is a perfect saw for my weekend projects.
Double bevel miter saw
With double bevel saws, you can make the same 0-45-48 degree bevel cuts (depending on the brand). Unlike the single bevel saws, the double bevel allows the saw to tilt to the right and left. This means you can make different direction bevel cuts on the same material without needing to move that material. All you have to do is move the saw.
This is great for large projects that require lots of beveled cuts or when cutting longer pieces of material. It can be a hassle to have to rotate a piece of wood if that piece of wood is 6+ feet in length.
Double bevel saws are made by all the big tool companies such as Dewalt, Ryobi, Milwaukee, Bosch, Ridgid, etc. Each bevel adjustment will be a little different depending on the company. Dewalt double bevel miter saws have easy to use knobs that allow you to quikcly change the angle. They also include two seperate angle measurement tools so you get the exact angle that you want.
Projects that will require double bevel cuts include: crown molding, picture frames (sometimes can be done with miter cuts), and edges of counter tops. If opposite bevel cuts are made at the same angle on the right and left, they should perfectly fit together to make a corner.
Just like single bevel saws, you can also make miter and cross cuts with the double bevel miter saw. You can also make compound miter cuts with these saws. A compound miter cut is the combination between a miter and bevel cut (pictured below).
Differences between double and single bevel miter saws
In short when using a single bevel miter saw, you have to move the material you are cutting. When you are using a double bevel miter saw you move the saw.
In regards to size and weight, in general miter saws tend to be big and heavy. This makes them difficult to move and they require a lot of space for storage.
There is a difference in weight and size between single and double bevel miter, but usually it is small. Again, each company will be a little different when it comes to their dimensions. Below is a comparison between a single and double Dewalt 15 amp corded 12 inch compound miter saw.
So as you can see, there are some small differences in the dimensions and weight but likely not enough to sway your decision.
As you might guess, there is a price difference when it comes to double vs single bevel miter saws. In general, double bevel saws tend to be more expensive. The double bevel feature on the saw is considered more of a “luxury” and therefore the cost reflects that.
When researching prices for different companies, I found it very hard to find single bevel miter saws. Most companies including: Milwaukee, and Ridgid I was unable to find any single bevel miter saws for sale. Dewalt was the only company that had easy to find single bevel saws with a lot of variety.
It may be that in 2023 companies have found it easier and more profitable for them to just offer the dual bevel miter saws. It could also be that the double bevel made up more of the demand so they phased out the single bevel.
For Ryobi, I found the opposite. I was unable to find a dual bevel miter saw made by Ryobi. They seem to focus on the single bevel saws at this time.
The price difference for Dewalt between a single and double bevel was ~$70. While the price difference for Bosch was a whopping $150. Of note, the bosch single and double bevel saws were not exactly the same specs. It is definitely possible the double bevel Bosch had more bells and whistles than the single.
There is generally a pretty significant price difference between single and double bevel miter saws. As you can see above it ranged between $70-$150 (from my research). This can certainly be a deciding factor for most people when it comes to purchasing the right saw.
In general, miter saws are known for being very accurate. They have measurment tools included on the saws that allow for very precise cuts. With that being said, a double bevel miter saw is more accurate then a single bevel miter saw.
This is because with the double bevel saw, you never have to move the material. When moving the material on a single bevel saw, it allows the chance for inconsistencies. By simply moving the saw your accuracy is pretty much guaranteed.
All of that to say, every job may not require perfectly precise cuts every time. However, if you are frequently making picture frames or working with crown molding, precision is key.
What is the right saw for you?
This is a question that only you can answer. Now that you have all the key info it comes down to what you plan to do with the saw. If you are looking for precision cuts fast, you will want a double bevel saw. If speed and precision is not a factor and you want to save some money, the single bevel saw is right for you.
Personally, I own a Dewalt single bevel saw. It has been perfect for me so far. I rarely make very precise cuts so the need for a double bevel is not there.
In general, for most DIY’s I feel as though you can thrive with a single bevel saw. You will save some valuable money that you can put towards other features such as a saw stand, dust extractor, or some other cool accessories.
- Bevel cuts
- Single bevel miter saw
- Double bevel miter saw
- Differences between single and double bevel saws
- What is the right saw for you?
Hope this was helpful for you in making your decision, if so please let me know in the comments.
A current home owner and dad of two, who loves to fix things. I have spent countless hours fixing and repairing things around the house. I started this blog to share my knowledge with you. I hope you find what you are looking for!