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10 vs. 12 Miter Saw

Last Updated: 10 June 2022

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Editor-in-Chief of the Handy Home Master

The 10 vs. 12 miter saw is an ongoing debate in the craftsmen community as both are strong contenders. Some prefer the 12-inch miter saw’s power, while other woodworkers go for the portability and easy operating of the 10-inch saw.

People often assume that bigger gadgets are better, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes the smaller contenders win the battle, leaving everyone amazed. However, winning the title of best miter saw is not straightforward, multiple factors determine the winner.

If you’re also confused about this 10 vs. 12 miter saw equation, keep on reading, and we’ll clarify your doubts.

What is 10 Inch Miter Saw?

What is 10 Inch Miter Saw

10-inch miter saws are the most used and loved tools in the woodworkers’ community. These handy and easy-to-use saws cut small-medium woodblocks in a jiffy, saving you from a lot of hassle. If you work with laminated ply and soft/hardwood, this 10-inch blade will ensure you never struggle with making clean, deep cuts.

A 10-inch miter saw’s maximum cutting depth is 5 ½ inches, sufficient for most projects. Whether you conduct DIY tasks or run a woodwork-related business, a reliable 10-inch miter saw will never go wrong.

Pros of Using 10 Inch Miter Saw

  • A 10-inch miter saw offers higher power exertion, helping you complete a task with minimal effort.
  • These saws provide a fast spinning speed, which is ideal for both hard and soft surfaces.
  • If you often transport your equipment, a 10-inch saw is a more portable and handy tool for you.
  • The smaller surface area makes a 10-inch miter saw sturdier and more versatile.

Cons of Using a 10 Inch Miter Saw

  • A 10-inch miter saw requires more hassle while you work on thicker, harder wooden surfaces.
  • If your cutting projects include massive wood/ply blocks, 10-inch isn’t a wise choice.

When Should I Use 10 Inch Miter Saw?

If you are not a professional woodworker and need a tool to fix little things in the home/garage, you should use a 10-inch miter saw. This Saw will go easy on your pocket, won’t require much effort, and help you save on the electricity bill too.

What is 12 Inch Miter Saw?

What is 12 Inch Miter Saw

The 2nd most used blade in miter saws in the 12-inch one. This Saw comes with a teethed blade, which is useful for thicker and heftier objects. This Saw’s motor is powerful, and since its RPM is high too, it significantly increases your energy bill. Professional woodworkers and passionate DIY-ers prefer it in the 10 vs. 12 miter saw equation for their powerful cuts and fine results, essential for hardened materials, i.e., laminated ply or wood.

Pros of Using 12 Inch Miter Saw

  • 12-inch miter saw easily wades through hefty woodblocks, saving your time and effort.
  • When fine cutting is your priority, a 12-inch saw comes in handy.
  • These bigger saws are best for thicker material, as they make deep cuts.
  • Apart from regular cuts, 12-inch miter saws are equally suitable for elongated/angular cuts.
  • 12-inch saws offer higher RPM (rotation per minute), easing prolonged woodworking projects.

Cons of Using 12 Inch Miter Saw

  • The hefty size means a 12-inch miter saw is hard to carry around.
  • A 12-inch blade’s motor will require higher power to operate, which can increase your project’s overall cost.

When Should I Use 12 Inch Miter Saw?

A 12-inch miter saw is mostly used for thick surfaces where you cannot work with a smaller blade. If your work includes hard plywood and laminated lumbar and can’t decide between 10 vs. 12 miter saw blades, the 12-inch one will perfectly fit with your pursuits.

Main Differences Between 10 Inch Vs. 12 Inch Miter Saw

Feature 10-inch Miter saw 12-inch miter saw
Portability Easy Difficult
Motor power 13AMP 15AMP
Cutting limit 5 ½ inch material 7 ½ inch material
RPM Lower Higher
Usability Small, beginner-level projects Professional woodwork, hard-to-cut materials

  • Portability
    Transporting a 10-inch miter saw is comparatively easier because of its smaller size and lighter construction. If you take your miter saw at work sites or bring it home quite often, go for a portable design between the 10 vs. 12 miter saw options.
  • Motor power
    Since 12-inch miter saws have bigger motors, they run on 15AMP power. Using more electricity means a heftier bill, something every handyman would like to avoid. Contrarily, a 10-inch miter saw’s motor requires 13AMP power, which goes easier on your pocket.
  • Cutting limit (on average)
    A 12-inch miter saw can make a cut as deep as 7 ½ inches, which makes it a good choice for thicker, harder surfaces. But, with a 10-inch miter saw, the maximum cut depth you can acquire is 5 ½ inches.
  • Rotation per minute
    Powerful motors produce higher rotations per minute, which, in return, decreases your work time. In this aspect of the 10 vs. 12 miter saw competition, the latter has the upper hand, as 12-inch saws’ RPM is always higher than the smaller counterparts.
  • Usability
    If you’re a professional woodworker who comes across different kinds of ply/wood, having a powerful motor will suffice your requirements. But if you use a miter saw occasionally or for less important projects, get a more portable option, i.e., a 10-inch saw.

Can you use 10-inch Blade instead of a 12-inch blade?

Can you use 10-inch Blade instead of a 12-inch blade

If you’re an experimenting soul, the thought of switching between 10 vs. 12 miter saw blades must have crossed your mind. You can replace a 12-inch miter saw’s blade with a smaller option and experience both tools’ power at once. Since a 12-inch saw’s motor has better RPM, using a smaller blade with it will exert more power to the object, eventually making your errand easier.

Verdict and Our Recommendation

We’d like to conclude it this way: if you want to make a long-term investment in your gear collection, go for a 12-inch miter saw. It will be expensive, but worth every buck. But, if you have a limited budget and still need an excellent blade, opt for a 10-inch miter saw. This handy tool will facilitate your tasks without leaving a hole in your pocket or asking for extra effort.

Picking between 10 vs. 12 miter saw might seem a trivial task, but this 2-inches size difference can significantly impact your work progress. Note your budget, and select a miter saw that offers the best value for your money, not some flashy-looking tool. We wish you good luck with your miter saw shopping. Cheers!

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