10 Inch Vs. 12 Inch Miter Saw: Which One to Buy?

When we go to buy a miter saw, we can see there are two main types of miter saws are available in the market according to the miter saw blade size. Those are 10-inches and 12-inch miter saws. Both can be used for the same cutting process but there are some distinguished differences. So let’s see which miter saw is really good for buying among 10-inch miter saws and 12-inch miter saws.

A 10-inch miter saw is with a higher spinning rate and lower cutting capacity of 2″ x 10″ and powered by 10 amps motor. The 12 inch miter saws have a lower spinning rate with a higher cutting capacity of 3″ x 12″ and powered by a 15 amp motor.

When you buy one of these miter saw, you have to pay attention to more factors in detail. Because every detail depends on the manufacturing brand. So let’s see, what are those factors in-detail step by step.

10 Inch Miter Saw

10-inch Miter Saw

The 10-inch miter saw is widely used for small woodworking projects and beginners due to its lower cutting capacity and lower performance. Normally, 10 inches miter saws can use 10-inch miter saw blades. Due to the lower radius, the same RPM will get higher spinning from the 10 inch saw blade considering the 12-inch miter saw.

10 inch saw blades have 24 – 60 teeth. Sometimes we can see 100 teeth for the fine cutting surface. We can cut about 2-3 inches of cutting height and it will depend on the outer flange diameter.

10 inch saw blades are with higher strength due to their lower radius. Hence we can hardly see a blade wobble.

Due to the high RPM, cutting quality is independent of the number of saw blade teeth. But we can see problems when it cut hardwoods.

Most of the 10-inch miter saws are powered by the 10 – 12 amps motor with 3000 -3500 RPMs. It is sufficient for operating the 10-inch saw blade. Normally, 10 inch miter saws and blades are really cheaper than 12-inch miter saws. We can see most of the portable miter saws are 10 inches because it is less weight and lower size.

12 Inch Miter Saw

12-Inch Miter Saw

The 12-inch miter saws are used to cut the higher thickness workpieces. These miter saws can use a 12-inch miter saw blade and a 10-inch miter saw blade if the arbor diameter is the same. Normally 12-inch miter saws are powered by the 15 amp motor and it has more than 4000 RPM. When we consider the speed, we can see 12 inch miter saws have lower speeds because of their higher radius compared with the same RPM 10-inch miter saw.

12 inch saw blades are thicker than 10 inches. As a result of this, we can expect some wobble on low-quality saw blades. We must consider the quality of the saw blade when we select the 12-inch miter saw blade.

12-inches miter saws are used by professional woodworkers. Most 12 inch miter saws are not potable, due to their size and weight.

When we consider the 12-inch miter saw blade we can see lower teeth are 32 and mostly higher teeth are 80. For the ultra-smooth case, we can use 100 teeth saw blade.

Difference Between 10 Inch and 12 Inch Miter Saw

10 Inch Miter Saw12 Inch Miter Saw
UsageBeginners, Outdoor,
Professional users, Indoor
Size and WeightSmall and lightweightLarge and weight
Number Saw Blade Teeth24 – 6032 – 80
Arbor Size5/8″1″
Common ProblemsWorkpiece burning
Blade wobble
Workpiece burning
Power motor10 amp15 amp
RPM3000-4000More than 4000
10-inch Miter Saw Vs. 12-Inch Miter Saw

10 Inch Miter Saw Cutting Capacity

  • Normally, 10 inch single bevel miter saw can cut 2-inch x 6-inch dimensional lumber cross cut capacity at 90 degree and 2-inch x 4-inch dimensional lumber at 45 degree. It can bevel cut 0-48 to the left or right.
  • 10 inch double bevel miter saw can cut 3 inch x 12 inch workpiece with using sliding miter saw head.

When the miter saw head can slide along the kerf, it can cut more capacity.

12 Inch Miter Saw Cutting Capacity

  • Normally, 12 inch single bevel miter saw can cut 2-inch x 8-inch dimensional lumber cross cut capacity at 90 degree and 2-inch x 6-inch dimensional lumber at 45 degree. It can bevel cut 0-48 to the left or right.
  • 12 inch double bevil miter saw can cut 3.5 inch x 12 inch cross cut capacity at 0 mitter angle. At 45 degree mitter angle it can cut 3.5 inch x 5.5 inch workpiece easily.

In some cases, we can cut 1-inch x 10-inch workpieces using the 12-inch miter saw.

**Capacity can be varied with the manufacturing brand of the miter saw. Hence it depends on the brand of the miter saw

Can We Cut Half of the Dimater of the Saw Blade?

This is impossible. Because flanges and arbors are used to tight the saw blade. As a result of this, these parts take a few inches of space from the saw blade center. Hence we are not able to lower the exact half of the diameter depth.

And also, the saw blade cutting path is circular. Hence it will cut a circular path if we are not able to slide it. This kind of behavior can be observed when we cut the wider workpieces. So cutting path has limited to a certain amount of thickness and height.

Which is Better? 10 Inch or 12 Inch Miter Saw

This depends on the user and types of the miter saw. If you are a beginner or outdoor worker you can use a 10-inch miter saw. It is really low weight and size. And also its is less costly for both miter saw and blade. Due to the less size of the saw blade, we can observe fewer problems on the saw blade such as wobble, smoking, burning, etc.

But if you are a professional woodworker, I think a 12-inch miter saw is really important for you. It has a wider cutting capacity. 12 inches is mostly used in indoor workshops for permanent usage. You have to invest more money in 12 inches miter saws.

Can I Put 10 Inch Miter Saw Blade on 12 Inch Miter Saw?

You can put a 10-inch miter saw blade on 12-inch miter saws if the arbor diameter is the same. When you put 10 inch saw blade in a 12-inch miter saw you can expect aggressive cutting speed due to the high-power motor. Dust management will be a problem due to the less radius of the saw blade.

But you are not able to put a 12-inch saw blade on a 10-inch miter saw. Because the blade will hit on the upper guard and blade guard. So never try for that.

Imagine if you fixed it anyway, you can’t expect better performance due to the radius of the saw blade. The power of the motor will not perform well.

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Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.