10-Inch vs 12-Inch Miter Saw: Which is Better for You?

10-Inch-vs.-12-Inch-Miter-Saw

If you have any relationship with woodwork, then a saw is essential for you. The market for saws is so vast and varied that you can very easily get lost; like you have the type of the saw and then you have the subtypes of the type, and then you have the sizes of the subtypes. So, that’s a lot to consider when investing in one. 

One type we’re going to talk about today is the miter saw which is very important for carpentry workshops and DIY-ers alike. The market is now chock-full of different angles and sizes, the most common being the 10-inch and 12-inch miter saws is, and these are the ones that we’re going to discuss today. The differences, the similarities, and how you are to choose which one will fit you best.

Which one will be the winner in “10-Inch Vs. 12-Inch Miter Saw”? It is all up to you. 

10-Inch Miter Saw Overview

The 10-inch so is the most common miter saw out there right now. Although we cannot say that it’s light, it is relatively lighter than it’s 12-inch counterpart. It does have a slightly weaker motor, but, it has other merits that subsidize for that such as the ability to work on and manage the fine details of projects. Although it can’t cut anything above the standard 4x4, some people actually cut from one side and then flip the wood over and cut from the other side and there you go.

12-Inch Miter Saw Overview

The 12-inch is supplied by a 15amp motor which allows it to go through any material like a piece of cake, no effort required whatsoever. Nevertheless, there are several cons to that which we will discuss. 

Another thing is that real-life experiment has shown that the 12-inch fires up immediately, there is no waste of time, yet, the 10-inch may take a few seconds up to one minute to just get in the groove of things.

10-Inch vs. 12-Inch Miter Saw - Full Comparison

Weight

We’re talking about electrical saws here, so they are quite heavy no matter what, but, of course, a 12-inch miter saw is much heavier than a 10-inch. Moreover, most of the time, the 12-inch will be mounted to your workspace; therefore, it will be stationary. While you can move a 10-inch around when needed. Some opinions suggest that if you have the financial freedom to do this, you can keep the 12-inch it mounted in your workshop and keep the 10-inch for outside jobs, just pick it up, put it in your truck and get going.

Blade

12-inch blades are massive; therefore, the distribution of the teeth on it is wider, and this is a disadvantage. As 50 teeth on a bigger radius is worse than 50 teeth on a smaller radius.

Also, the 10-inch miter saw can share it’s blade, sometimes, if you are in a rush, with a table saw, and it will work just fine. However, you can never ever do that to a 12-inch, that would only lead to disaster.

Kind of Work The Device Is Intended For

This is the main point that you should be thinking off and it can be a dealbreaker in many cases. If your work is mostly large scale projects with large boards above the standard 4x4, then you should just save your time and effort and get the 12-inch.

But, if your work is more focused on details and small projects, perhaps some baseboards and windows; then you don’t need to waste your money on a 12-inch. The 10-inch will do just fine, and if you are cornered into a situation where you have to work with a bigger board once or twice, then you can follow the trick mentioned before, which is cutting from one side and flipping the board then cutting from the other.

Speed

Now, this is a very natural logical conclusion, a smaller blade with a smaller radius will spin much faster than the blade of a larger radius. That shows when you find the 10-inch miter saw spinning at 5000 RPM while the maximum of the 12-inch is 4000 RPM.

Durability

You must always know that durability of any device is mainly dependent on the use of it, so if you get a 12-inch miter and hardly use it a lot choosing to focus more on your 10-inch, then that is sure to tip the scales a little bit and vice-versa. 

But, let’s say you use both for the same amount of time. The 12-inch is bigger; it has a stronger motor, so cutting through materials is no big deal for, it doesn’t put a lot of effort into its work. Thus, the blade will remain pretty sharp for a long time. While with the 10-inch, you’re jumping from one board to the other, from one thickness to the next, blades are bound to dull much quicker.

Safety

However, one con of the 12-inch is that it has been found to be a little too light on the front side of the entire device. This means that sometimes it might lean backwards and if you’re not paying attention or if you have not bolted it down to your working-space at first. It could lead to some serious injury. 

Another thing is that when you are done with the 12-inch, and you pull the blade up, the guard does not come down entirely to cover the blade. So, whenever you’re done with the 12-inch, you have to pull it up and keep your hands, your clothes and just about everything to yourself. Don’t come near the blade before you’ve unplugged the device and the blade has stopped rolling.

Overall Cost

The overall cost in relation to your budget. Of course, it’s logical that the 12-inch is much more expensive than a 10-inch. Actually, a 10-inch can very well be half the price of the 12-inch. Also, you are not just looking at the hefty price tag; you’re looking at the fact that it will suck in a lot of electricity in relation to the 10-inch, so you’re also looking at a bigger electricity bill.

Maintenance also is not only expensive but not available everywhere for the 12-inch. It’s hard to find blades and spare parts; it’s hard to find people who are specialized in them. So, they can be quite expensive; however with the 10-inch you can just head to the hardware store nearest to you, and you’ll find a full range of blades plus everything you could want or need. 

Best of Both Worlds

Now a little trick that very few saws have is that they will be a 12-inch saw that could accept the 10-inch blade so, and you get to do all the small detailed, precise work that’s usually the job for a 10-inch while maintaining the capacity of cutting boards that are on the larger side. That is, of course, an option if you are okay with investing a little bit more money in the beginning.

Final Thoughts

Now the final thoughts are that comparisons are not always conjectured to prove that one product is worse than the other. They may be done just to highlight the differences between the two products and for the user to understand his own needs and capabilities in order to make a well-informed decision. 

So to sum up, if you have a lot of big projects coming up your way, have the space, and you’re financially capable, get the 12-inch saw. You may even invest a little bit more and get the 12-inch that also suits the 10-inch blades and just play all your cards right. However, if you are on the other side, working your own little projects around the house or even outside, you don’t have the space or the necessary funds then just keep to your every day 10-inch miter saw. It will serve you well.