Which Miter Saw is Best – 10 Inch or 12 Inch?

When considering the purchase of a miter saw you may find yourself wondering whether to buy a 10 inch or 12 inch version. The question effectively comes down to this; ‘Does size really matter?’Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that conundrum. Looking online at reviews and forums is only likely to muddy the waters further with some users advocating the smaller blade and others promoting the larger.
This guide to the pros and cons of each miter saw will help to make sure that any would-be buyer purchases the right one for their needs.
Why Choose a 10 Inch Miter Saw?

The most compelling reason for picking the smaller miter saw is perhaps the most obvious. They are always considerably cheaper than their 12 inch siblings. Often, 10 inch version can be more than $100 less expensive.

Many of the other benefits to the smaller model are also to do with economies and savings. They are lighter, draw less power (usually) than the 12 inch versions and the smaller blades are also cheaper to sharpen or replace.

One other likely benefit to the 10 inch saw is that the smaller blade is likely to lessen the possibility of deflection or wobble. Although much of the evidence is anecdotal, there is enough to suggest that this is something that ought to be taken into account before buying.

Why Choose a 12 Inch Miter Saw?

Although, as discussed above, the price of a 12 inch saw is relatively expensive in comparison to the 10 inch, there are some considerable benefits to paying the extra.

The 12 inch will be essential if you are consistently cutting pieces larger than 4 x 4’. In addition to this, they will often have a faster blade speed than the smaller model which improves the smoothness of the cut.

The final main benefit to choosing the larger miter saw is another quite simple, but largely compelling reason, but the likelihood is that a 12 inch saw will outlast a 10 inch.

Other Points to Consider

Will the user be required to cut compound miters? If so then choosing the higher quality saw can tilt side to side and rotate. The benefit of this added versatility is self evident.

Does the saw need to be able to cut at an angle of more than 45 degrees? This is the standard minimum angle that a miter saw will allow the user to cut, but some do allow for more than this.

How adjustable is the saw? Can single degree adjustments be easily made or is the accuracy less than this?

The Deciding Factor

It is important to ensure that the user has taken all of the above considerations into account prior to purchasing. If they are still undecided, then perhaps the clinching factor is this.

Between 85 and 90% of all cutting requirements can be undertaken by a 10 inch miter saw. For the remaining 10-15%, consideration will have to be made as to whether it makes financial sense to shell out the extra money required for the 12 inch saw, or whether it would be easier and cheaper to simply hire one for any larger jobs.

Author: John Clax

Share This Post On