The 10 vs 12 Miter Saw: Which Is Better? The Definitive Guide

We already discussed in our previous discussion about chop saw vs miter saw and learned the advantages and disadvantages of the miter saw and chop saw. In this article, we are about to discuss one of the most frequently asked questions about miter saws is which one better 10 or 12 sliding miters saw. However, since we all have different needs, there is no clear-cut answer to this question. Indeed both saws can be great additions to your workshop.

It is important to take a closer look at the issue of 10 vs 12 miters saw to know which would work best for you. In this article, I will be taking a closer look at these two miter saws. We will look at the pros and cons of each saw and what they have to offer.

The 10-Inch Miter Saw Basics: 101

This is the perfect choice for anyone starting as a woodworker. The saw has a smaller radius compared to its 12-inch counterpart. A smaller radius translates to faster spin. When compared to the larger 12 inches, the 10 inches spins more rapidly.

To put this into perspective, the best 10-inch miter saw can spin at 5000 RPMs while a 12 inch saw spins at 4000 RPMs. Due to its faster spin, the 10-inch saw produces smoother and more precise cuts.

Another great thing about the 10-inch miter saw is that it does not wobble for having the miter saw stand. This, combined with it being more precise, makes it ideal for making cuts that require accuracy. In my experience, 10-inch saws are best for working on interior trim.

Despite its many advantages, the 10-inches is not without its fair share of cons. The biggest disadvantage is its cutting limitations. The saw can cut up to 6 inches of material. While this is sufficient for most projects, it’s not suited to large cutting projects.

The 10 inches saw will struggle when it comes to larger projects such as replacing a deck. In this regard, it is only suited to cutting materials that are 6 inches and below.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of 10 Inch Miter Saw


  • Compared to the 12 inches saw, 10 inches saw blades are easier to find which makes finding a replacement easier
  • The 10 inches saw is cheaper than its 12-inch counterpart and so are the replacement blades
  • Due to the saw being smaller it is more portable and does not require a lot of storage space compared to the 12-inch saw
  • The blades of the 10 inch saw spin faster than the blades on a 12-inch blade


  • Has a limited cutting capacity and can only cut materials of 6 inches

The 12-inch miter saw: Basics 101

More power and a larger blade; this is what you can expect from a 12-inch miter saw. Most come fitted with a 15 amp motor. As such, they can easily cut through thick blocks of wood and other materials.

Their ability to cut through large blocks of wood makes them ideal for large cutting projects. The 12-inch saw can handle all the projects 10 inches can. However, the 10-inch saw cannot handle all the projects a 12-inch can.

One of the best things about the 12-inch saw is that it accepts 10-inch blades. Thus you can have the best of both worlds. A 10-inch blade allows you to cut wood with more finesse than a 12-inch blade.

With a 12 inch saw, you can cut through 12-inch wide wood with 2 cuts. This means with one pass; you can cut through a 4×6 piece of wood. Thus, you can do more with a 12-inch saw than with its 10-inch counterpart.

Also, 12-inch saws are ideal for cutting harder materials such as plywood. It is also easy to cut laminated wood into small pieces with a 12-inch saw.

When it comes to cost, 12 inch miter saws are not the most cost-effective. Firstly, they are the costlier of the two models. Secondly, they are more powerful, meaning they consume more power. Lastly, 12-inch blades tend to be harder to find and are more expensive.

12 Inch Miter Saw: Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Due to it being more powerful a 12-inch saw does not strain when cutting through wood and thus is more durable
  • The 12-inch saw can easily cut through dense materials, and thus you can do more with this tool than with a 10 inch saw
  • More power and a larger blade with more teeth mean you can finish larger projects quickly than with a 10-inch saw.
  • Unlike the 10 inch blade, the 12-inch blade accepts 10-inch blades making it more versatile


  • 12-inch saws have a higher cost of purchase and ownership since replacement blades are expensive
  • The powerful motor consumes more energy than a 10 inch saw motor meaning more power is consumed

Which is Better; 10 Or 12 Inches Miter Saw- Why?

So what is the verdict? Clearly, both saws have their strengths and weaknesses. As such, they are suited to different projects. The 12 inch is costlier but can do more and also gets the job done in little time compared to the 10 inches saw.

From this, it may seem that the 12 inch is the clear winner. But before you splash money on a new 12-inch saw, think about your needs. If you mostly handle small projects that require precision, the 12 inches will be a costly and unnecessary investment.

On the other hand, if you handle a lot of heavy-duty projects, then a 12-inch saw is what you need. The 10-inch saw is more portable, affordable, and produces smoother cuts. Thus it is more suited to smaller projects.


There are several factors you should consider when buying a miter saw. The most important being your cutting needs. The saw you opt for should be able to handle the kind of material you will be cutting regularly.

Cost is another. If you are on a tight budget, then a 10-inch saw can be the best option. However, if you want to invest in a saw that can do more, a 12-inch saw will be ideal.

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