10-inch vs 12-inch Miter Saw: How Different Are They?

In Brief: 10-inch vs 12-inch Miter Saw

10-inch miter saws are more affordable, portable and have smoother cuts due to faster RPM. While 12-inch miter saws have a higher cutting capacity but are bulkier and come at a bigger price tag.

10-inch vs 12-inch miter saw

Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, the miter saw is a tool that if picked out correctly, will last you many, many years so it’s important that you do not make an overhasty decision. 

Miter saws come in many different varieties and sizes with many reputable brands to pick from. The first and presumably most important decision ahead of you is the size of the blade. These tools come in sizes starting as small as 7 1/4” and gong all the way up to 20”. However, the most commonly used are the 10 and 12-inch blades. 

Now you might be thinking: how prominent can the 2-inch difference in these two blades be? The answer is; very. 

Before deciding on which size blade you want to get, you should start by figuring out what you want to get out of it. Both of these miter saw sizes are very helpful in woodworking and carpentry and they both come with their own pros and cons.

10-inch vs 12-inch Miter Saw.

Although blade size is the biggest difference for the 10-inch vs 12-inch debate, there are many things you need to understand before you can make your pick.

10-inch Miter Saw

10 inch miter saw illustration

The 10-inch miter saw is capable of cutting workpieces up to 6-inch wide, covering most trim and molding boards.

Not only is the 10-inch miter saw less expensive than its 12-inch counterpart, but it’s also lighter and smaller making it a great purchase if you’re in the market for a tool that you will move around a lot. 

10-inch miter saw comes with faster RPM, this means the blade will spin faster and result in smoother cuts. 

Pros

  • Cheaper: because of its smaller size the 10-inch miter saw is a more affordable miter saw than its 12-inch counterpart. The same goes for the blades, they are more widely available and more economical making the maintenance of this saw inexpensive.   Item 2
  • Portability: 10-inch miter saws are lighter than 12-inch miter saws, making them far more portable, ideal for someone who is planning to take it on to job sites. They are also smaller in size making easy to store in your shop or workspace. 

Cons

  • Cutting restraints: a 10-inch miter saw can only cut up to 6-inches of material. If you know you’re going to be working with wider pieces frequently, you might want to consider opting for the 12-inch miter saw instead.

12-inch Miter Saw

12 inch miter saw illustration

True, the 12-inch miter saw is a more expensive, heavier and bigger machine but that doesn’t mean you should write it off just yet. 

This variant is capable of cutting wider and thicker boards. If you’re working with heavier wood or large crown molding pieces, the 12-inch will be a true labor and time saver for you. (re-write)

To accommodate the larger cutting capabilities, 12-inch miter saws usually come with a stronger motor. 

True, the 12-inch miter saw is a slightly more expensive, heavier and bigger machine but that doesn’t mean you should write it off just yet. 

This variant is capable of cutting wider and thicker boards and comes with a stronger motor to accommodate these larger cutting capabilities. 

Pros

  • Higher cutting capacity: 
  • Power

Cons

  • Cost: 12-inch miter saws are more expensive to both purchase and maintain

10-inch vs 12-inch miter saw – Decision time

I hope by now you understand exactly which blade size will be most fit for your work. If you have the budget, a 12-inch miter saw will get you a strong, reliable workhorse capable of performing all kinds of heavy-duty cutting.

However, opting for the slightly cheaper 10-inch miter saw will give you more portability and smoother cuts. 

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