While there are several types of electric saws available on the market today, not all of them are designed for general use. Some of the types are designed and made to perform a specific function accurately. A miter saw is one such type of electric saw that comes designed for specialized functioning.
When it comes to a miter saw, it is entirely different from other types of saws. This type of saw is designed in such a way that it could make accurate crosscuts on materials with ease. Considering the design, a miter saw has a spring-loaded head mounted with a circular saw that could be pulled down on the workpiece for cutting. A miter saw is commonly referred to as a chop saw.
A miter saw is available in different types, each type designed to perform the same primary function, but the accuracy, ease of use, efficiency, and the overall design could be different. Among the various types of miter saw, 10-inch and 12-inch miter saws commonly confuse the customers. While both of these miter saws are assumed to be the same. It is not the same, they are different and only a person with experience could differentiate it. Here is everything you need to know about 10 and 12-inch miter saws.
Things you need to know before purchasing a miter saw
We have already explained in simple words what is a miter saw, however, there are a few things you need to know about miter saws. A miter saw is designed to be stationary and not portable, while the smaller ones could be moved around, it is best that it is fixed to a designated stand or workbench and kept somewhere stationary. The cutting compatibility of a miter saw depends on the type of blade mounted, generally based on the type of blade mounted, a miter saw could cut through plastic, wood, and even some metals.
Unlike other saws, a miter saw has the feature that would allow the user to alter the cutting angle, some models allow the user to set a precise cutting angle.
Things you need to know about a 10-inch miter saw
A 10-inch miter saw has a smaller blade radius than a 12-inch miter saw and this is one of the biggest differences between the two. As the size of the blade is comparatively smaller a 10-inch miter saw tends to be faster than 12-inch ones. When it comes to speed, as far as, we know, a 10-inch miter saw from the best brand could offer a maximum speed of 5000 RPM and a 12-inch could offer only 4000 RPM. When it comes to miter saws, as the speed increases, the smoothness of cutting increases. There are several features, that make a 10-inch miter saw different from a 12-inch one. You could know more about these in the advantages and disadvantages sections.
Advantages of a 10-inch miter saw
- Availability – Search the market and you will find it easy to find a 10-inch blade rather than a 12-inch blade. At the same time, it is the same for a 10-inch miter saw, it is easier to find than a 12-inch miter saw. This has been the scenario for a very long time. The selection of a 10-inch blade is always the higher when compared to 12-inch miter saw blades and this, in turn, would reduce the time you have to spend on searching for a 10-inch blade. The easier you could find a blade, the fastest you could complete your job.
- Affordability – A 10-inch miter saw is cheaper than a 12-inch miter saw and this is obvious. However, if you consider purchasing a 12-inch miter saw from a cheap brand, then you could find them cheaper. But, you would be compromising on quality and efficiency. In general, a 10-inch miter saw is comparatively cheaper than a 12-inch saw.
- Portability – When compared to a 12-inch miter saw, a 10-inch miter saw is smaller. As a 10-inch miter saw is small, it is comparatively portable and they are easy to be moved around. However, some 10-inch miter saws are designed in such a way that it should be fixed to a designated stand or benchwork. Except for such models, most other 10-inch miter saws are portable.
- Versatility – When it comes to 10-inch miter saws, the versatility simply refers to the type of cuts it could make and the number of different 10-inch blades available on the market. Based on the type of 10-inch blade you mount, the saw could cut different materials.
- Faster – As already mentioned in the beginning, a smaller blade means more speed. If compared to a 12-inch miter saw, a 10-inch miter saw is faster, the best 10-inch miter saw could offer a maximum RPM of 5000.
Disadvantages of a 10-inch miter saw
- Workpiece thickness limitation – It is true that a 10-inch miter saw is versatile, but this versatility is limited to cutting material with maximum thickness 6-inches. Yes, a 10-inch miter saw could cut only material with a thickness of maximum 6-inches only, mount any type of 10-inch blade, a 10-inch miter saw would not be able to cut material with a thickness higher than 6-inch. This makes a 10-inch miter saw incompatible for heavy-duty and large projects.
Things you need to know about a 12-inch miter saw
Yes, of course, the major difference between a 10 and 12-inch miter saw is the blade size itself. It would be unfair to neglect the fact that there are unique advantages that a 12-inch miter saw could offer. When it comes to power, as the size of the blade in a 12-inch miter saw is larger, the power offered by this type of miter saw is high. Most commonly 12-inch miter saws come incorporated with a 15-amp motor that could help the saw cut through large and thick wood with ease. This advantage of cutting large logs of wood could help the user finish cutting within the least time.
A 12-inch miter saw could perform every cutting function that a 10-inch miter saw could do. However, vice versa is not possible. It is also important that you know that, most 12-inch miter saw model comes designed to be mounted with 10-inch blades too, but the same is not possible on a 10-inch miter saw. This feature alone makes a 12-inch miter saw comparatively more versatile.
Advantages of a 12-inch miter saw
- Durability – The durability of a 12-inch miter saw is an advantage it enjoys as the power offered by this tool is high. Which reduces the strain on the 12-inch blades. While a 10-inch blade is strained during functioning, a 12-inch blade has a very low strain on it.
- Capacity – A 12-inch miter saw always has a diverse capacity, while the maximum size of the cutting when is limited to 12-inches, the same saw could be mounted with smaller size cutting wheels. Apart from this, mount a suitable 12-inch cutting wheel and it could cut dense and thick wood with ease.
- Versatility – Both 10-inch and 12-inch miter saws are versatile, however, the level of versatility offered by a 12-inch miter saw is comparatively higher. If an appropriate 10-inch wheel is mounted, a 10-inch miter saw could cut any material, but a 12-inch blade could do the same with the same blade. This makes a 12-inch miter saw comparatively more versatile than a 10-inch miter saw.
- Power – While 10-inch miter saws are faster and a 12-inch miter saw is slower; a 12-inch miter saw is powerful than 10-inch miter saws. When it comes to cutting thick and dense wood or material, power is a major factor. The same power could make cutting thin material faster.
- Diversity of cutting – Since a 12-inch miter saw is powerful, it could cut through almost any material with ease. When it comes to 10-inch miter saws, the material should have a thickness less than 6-inches and an appropriate blade is required. However, when it comes to a 12-inch miter saw, the same type of 12-inch blade could cut comparatively more diverse materials.
- Faster cutting – Even if the overall blade speed of a 12-inch miter saw is low, the power offered and the size of the blade makes it more efficient. As the size of the blade is larger, the tooth speed of 12-inch miter saw is high and this along with more power makes the cutting faster.
Disadvantages of a 12-inch miter saw
- Expensive – Yes, obviously, a powerful motor, large size, large blades have its share on increasing the price of a 12-inch miter saw. The blade and the motor, both are expensive than 10-inch miter saws.
- Low portability – 12-inch miter saws are comparatively bigger than a 10-inch miter saw, which makes it a stationary power tool. In general, all the 12-inch miter saws are designed in such a way that it should be fixed to a designated stand or benchwork.
- Comparatively higher power consumption – A 12-inch miter saw comes with a powerful motor, commonly 15-amps, which draws and consumes more power than a 10-inch miter saw. When it comes to the hobbyist, purchasing and using a 12-inch miter saw could mean a higher electricity bill amount.
10-inch vs 12-inch miter saw, which one is better?
There is no absolute answer to this question when selecting between a 10-inch and 12-inch miter saw, there are some things to consider to select the better one.
First, consider your usage, are you purchasing a miter saw for a small project? Then, a 10-inch miter saw would do just fine. On the other hand, if you are a professional and if you are working on a large project, a 12-inch miter saw would be better for you. Apart from all these facts, remember, a 12-inch miter saw could perform almost every function of a 10-inch miter saw, it could also mount a 10-inch blade if required.
When it comes to 10-inch and 12-inch miter saws, if you are an expert, it is an easy task. If you are not, you must read everything mentioned above and decide for yourself. Remember, the best among 10-inch and 12-inch miter saw would be based on your requirement alone.