10 inch vs 12 inch Miter Saws: Which one is right for you?

Should I use a 10 inch or 12 inch miter sawWhen it comes to miter saws, the two most common sizes are 10-inch and 12-inch miter saws. These two different sizes can be useful for a variety of woodworking projects. Apart from the size, each size miter saw offers different uses. Come along as we explore the differences and benefits of each size of miter saw. You will be surprised to find why a top rated miter saw in one size may be better for your next project than the other miter saw.

Comparing 10 and 12 inch miter saws

The 10-inch Miter Saw

A 10-inch miter saw spins faster than a 12-inch miter saw because of the radius of the blade. A Kapex KS 120 10-inch miter saw spins at 5000 rpm. On the other hand, a 12-inch miter saw will spin at 4000 rpm. The faster a miter saw runs, the smoother the cut will be. For this reason, it is sometimes better to choose a smaller saw, especially when you need to make smooth, precise cuts.

Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw Review

The Hitachi C10FCE2 is a very popular budget option 10 inch miter saw

In addition to smoother, more precise cuts, a 10-inch blade is easier to find. Most hardware stores keep a large selection of 10-inch blades to choose from. This availability is handy when you need to replace a blade quickly and do not have time to shop for a new blade.

These blades are more affordable than other blades and the cost to sharpen the blades are less than getting a 12-inch blade sharpened. This benefit is especially important for those who need to budget their expenses on woodworking projects.

One drawback to the blade on a good 10-inch miter saw is its cutting limitations. A 10-inch blade can up to six inches worth of materials. For most woodworking projects, this is fine; however, for larger projects such as replacing a deck, a 12-inch miter saw may be needed.

Check out the Hitachi C10FCE2 10-inch miter saw. It is a great saw at an affordable price for the woodworker in your family. For those who need a larger saw, the DWS780 12-inch miter saw made by Dewalt may be the best option. Make sure you know whether you need a sliding or a compound miter saw before you buy.

The 12-Inch Miter Saw

Picture of the makita ls1216l dual slider compound miter sawMost 12-inch miter saws are more powerful than their 10-inch counterparts. To determine the power of a miter saw, look at the amperage of the saw. Most 12-inch miter saws have a 15-amp motor, which is powerful enough to cut larger and thicker pieces of wood. A miter saw with the ability to cut thicker materials will allow you to complete larger cutting saws. If however, you will be using your saw for standard cuts, then you may not need a 12-inch miter saw.

Some 12-in miter saws allow you to use a 10-inch blade rather than a 12-inch blade. With their increased power, this can be especially beneficial. The higher amperage and the ability to use a 10-inch blade means higher revolutions per minute, which will produce a smoother, more precise cut. This can allow you to do more finer woodworking.

Another advantage of a 12-inch miter saw is the durability that they offer. The amperage of the saw means that it will not have to strain as hard to cut through material. When the saw does not have to work as hard, it last longer.

Most 12-inch miter saws will be able to cut through up to 12 inches of materials. There are a few high-quality miter saws that can cut through larger amounts of material including the Bosch GCM12SD. If you have large pieces of lumber like 2 x 12s, most 12-inch miter saws will be unable to cut through them on a single pass. Instead, you will need to make two passes to make the cut. This is not necessarily a con to the 12-inch miter saw because most 10-inch saws cannot handle this capacity.

Finally, most 12-inch miter saws are more powerful. IF you use your saw often, it can increase your utility bill; however, because it is more powerful, it will take less time to make your cuts, which can even out the costs of the added power.

The 12-inch miter saw is typically more expensive than a 10-inch miter saw. Additionally, the cost of replacement blades can be more. Unless you are sure that you need the larger 12-inch saw, it may not be worth the extra investment.

Many people will purchase a miter saw and only use it a couple of time. If this sounds like you, save your money and opt for the 10-inch cost-saving miter saw. However, if you do a lot of woodworking, you may wish to invest in the 12-inch saw that is more powerful and long-lasting than its counterpart, the 10-inch miter saw.

The Bottom Line Concerning 10 inch and 12 inch Miter Saws

Unless you have a real need for a specifically sized miter saw or have another power tool that uses the same sized blades, opting for a less expensive miter saw could be the right way to go. When shopping for a safe miter saw, make sure to compare warranties, the amperage of the saw and reviews. Doing all of this will help you choose the best saw for your personal needs.

Finally, if you do decide to opt for a 12-inch miter saw, go the extra step to find one that will accept both 10-inch and 12-inch blades. Save the more expensive 12-inch blades for projects that require larger materials and use less expensive 10-inch blades for smaller materials. This will give you the best of both worlds when it comes to miter saws.