10-inch Vs. 12-inch Miter Saw: Which One Do You Need (and Why)?

When it comes to precision, versatility, and intricate cuts, the miter saw is a top dog. The miter saw is capable of making clean and precise crosscuts, bevel cuts, angled cuts, and straight cuts.

All that is required from you is to tilt the direction of the saw and change the blade to a required type for your task. This is the reason many woodworkers opt for a miter saw.

Miter Saw Inches Definition

As with most saws, the tool is useless without a blade. There are different types of miter saw blades and they vary based on their number of teeth and the level of thickness. When you see or hear people differentiate miter saws in terms of “inches”, they are largely referring to the size or thickness of the blade. So, when you see the terms 10-inch and 12-inch miter saws in this article, we are talking about the blade.

Two widely-used miter saws are the 10’ inch and 12’ inch miter saws. The difference between both saws in figures is mere 2 inches, but the difference in terms of speed, capacity, quality, and power is substantial.

The question most DIYers ask is “which of these miter saws should I buy?” or “which of these saws will fit my task the best?” Though the 10-inch miter saw is the most common, the type of saw you pick for your task depends on you.

We know this might be a tough decision for you to make especially if you are new to this. So, we have researched for you and we came up with this article to give you insights into the properties, strengths, and weaknesses of both miter saws in a bid to make your decision easier. Let’s get to it.

10-inch Miter Saw vs 12-inch Miter Saw

These two tools come with many differences, here are some of them:

The first thing you notice when comparing the 10-inch vs 12-inch miter saw is the blade. The 10-inch miter saw come with a smaller blade that makes more precise cuts. While the 12-inch miter saw comes with a larger and faster blade that makes more clean cuts.

What is a 10-inch Miter Saw and What Does it look like?

In terms of appearance, the 10-inch miter saw and the 12-inch miter saw look the same as a regular miter saw. Both saws use a disc-shaped blade, have a blade guard, an adjustable table, a bevel gauge, and other features you find on most miter saws.

The main visible difference is the size of the blade. The 10-inch miter saw has a smaller and thinner blade than the 12-inch miter saw.

The most widely-used miter saw is the 10-inch miter saw.

What is a 12-inch Miter Saw and What Does it Look Like?

The 12-inch miter saw as stated earlier has the same appearance as the 10-inch miter saw except for the blade. The blade and some other parts of the 12-inch miter saw are larger than those used with the 10-inch miter saw.

This makes the 12-inch saw a very powerful cutting tool. In terms of appearance, the 12-inch miter saw looks like a slightly bigger version of the 10-inch model.

What Are the Strengths of a 10-inch Miter Saw?

  • The blade spins faster than the 12-inch miter saw. This makes the 10-inch miter saw capable of making even and smooth cuts.
  • The 10-inch miter saw is a popular choice for many woodworkers which makes it easily found in markets.
  • The small size of the 10-inch miter saw blade makes it easier to maneuver than the 12-inch model.
  • The speed and small size of the 10-inch blade make it capable of making precise cuts required on materials like trims and baseboards.
  • In terms of cost, the 10-inch miter saw is cheaper than the 12-inch model.
  • The 10-inch miter saw is lighter and easier to use than the 12-inch model. This is why the 10-inch miter saw is recommended for beginners.

What Are the Weaknesses of a 10-inch Miter Saw?

  • Due to the improved precision of the 10-inch saw, you have to get pinpoint measurements for your tasks which might be rather difficult.
  • Most 10-inch miter saws can’t cut materials beyond 6 inches in width.
  • The 10-inch miter saw isn’t built for cutting big materials and large boards.

What Are the Strengths of a 12-inch Miter Saw?

  • You can cut larger and tougher materials quickly with a 12-inch miter saw due to the larger blade.
  • The 12-inch miter saw packs much power. “Milwaukee” for instance, boasts that their 12-inch miter saw can make as much as 330 cuts with a fully charged battery. That amount of cut requires much power not just from the battery but from the saw itself.
  • The 12-inch miter saw can cut wide materials over 10 inches in width.

What Are the Weaknesses of a 12-inch Miter Saw?

  • In terms of cost, the 12-inch miter saw is expensive
  • The large and heavy parts of the 12-inch miter saw make it slightly difficult to move around.
  • The 12-inch miter saw can’t make detailed or precise cuts due to the size and thickness of the blade.

The 10-inch and 12-inch Miter Saw Head to Head

You already know both miter saws largely have the same appearance and the same build. So what makes them different? The difference between both saws is measured in terms of their performances and cuts made.

Blade

The 10-inch miter saw has a smaller blade when compared to the 12-inch miter saw. This makes the 10-inch miter saw much suited for making precise cuts than the 12-inch. If you are working with angles, edges, or surfaces that require detailed cuts, the 10-inch is the best option of the duo.

Speed

The 10-inch miter saw blade spins faster than the 12-inch miter saw blade. Faster blades equal cleaner cuts. The cuts you get with a 12-inch miter saw wouldn’t be as smooth or clean as the ones made with a 10-inch miter saw.

Power

The 12-inch miter saw packs more power than the 10-inch power saw. This is because of the larger and more aggressive blade that the 12-inch saw has. Larger blades equal more cutting power. If you want to cut large and tough materials like plywood sheets and metal, the 12-inch miter saw is your best bet.

The 12-inch miter saw can cut wider boards than the 10-inch power saw.

Versatility

The 12-inch miter saw has a secret weapon in this head to head battle. Most 12-inch saws allow the user to mount a 10-inch blade on the 12-inch miter saw.

If you look at the bigger picture, this kind of makes the 12-inch miter saw a hybrid miter saw. It can also provide you with the accuracy and speed of a 10-inch miter saw while still maintaining its advantages of power and capacity of the material to be cut.

Final Words

In summary, the 10-inch miter saw is small, easy to move, capable of making precise cuts, and cheaper than the 12-inch miter saw while the 12-inch miter saw is bigger, more powerful, and has more capacity than the 10-inch miter saw. Don’t forget the secret weapon the 12-inch saw has in its arsenal.

Let us know if this article makes your choice of a miter saw easier by leaving a comment below in the comment section. Also, if you have any questions or additional information on this article, do let us know too. Have a fabulous miter saw shopping experience.

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