Perhaps the most crucial part of a saw is the blade. A saw wouldn’t be a saw without its blade. With that point in mind, you might now be asking yourself, “Which blade is the best for me?”
Miter saws come in various blade sizes, each with their pros, cons, and intended purposes. However, the most commonly used sizes are the 10-inch and 12-inch saws. These are the default choices of the miter saw blade world.
But what size is best for you? There’s only a two-inch difference between them, what difference could there possibly be? Surprisingly, those two inches offer a lot of variation between these two blades.
If you are new to miter saws and unsure which size blade to use for your project, we put together a head-to-head comparison of the 10-inch versus 12 inch miter saw to help you make sense of this choice.
Choosing the Right Saw for Best Use
The project you are undertaking and the materials you will be cutting will significantly impact the size of blade you should choose. When comparing the 10-inch and 12-inch miter blades, you will find that each has their specialty that can make your life much easier if you use them correctly.
The 10-inch saw miter blade is typically used to cut smaller pieces of wood or make smoother, more delicate cuts. Since the 10-inch blade has a smaller radius than the 12-inch miter, it can spin faster, which helps it achieve that smooth, precise cut.
On the other hand, the 12-inch miter saws pack on more teeth on its edge, which gives it more power and a greater cut length. This increased power makes it ideal for cutting more heavy-duty wood materials and making more substantial cuts without moving the material around the saw too much.
Which Saw Has More Durability?
If you are faced with a long project which requires a multitude of cuts, a big concern of yours is how long your miter saw will be able to perform well. Battery power, single or dual bevel, blade sharpness are the key aspects to examine when determining the durability of a 10 against a 12-inch saw.
As we said before, the smaller radius of the 10-inch miter blades makes it spin faster than its 12-inch saw miter counterpart. This difference can lead to the blade’s teeth becoming dull faster and the blade wearing down more quickly.
The wider radius on the 12-inch blade gives it a slower but more powerful spin rate. More teeth are used less frequently to make more significant cuts, thus prolonging their usage time before they dull and wear down.
Furthermore, 10-inch miter saw models usually only have a battery capacity of 13 amps to 15 amps. In comparison, 12-inch saw models typically have a battery capacity of at least 15 amps or 18 amps. This difference gives the 12-inch miter saws even more power and lasting time than its 10-inch brother.
The last thing to consider when it comes to durability is the material you are using. If the wood you will need to cut is dense and large, 12-inch miter saws are your preferred choice to chew through that thick wood. However, if you are working with smaller, lighter pieces, a 10 inch saw will be more than enough.
If you are looking for a compound miter saw, then read this article: Compound Miter Saw Buying Guide
Choosing the Best Price
Budget is another aspect to keep in mind when purchasing tools for a job. After all, now one likes spending more money than they have to, right? Let’s examine the cost of the 10-inch vs. the 12-inch miter saws.
When buying a 10-inch miter saw, you will find that their prices usually fall between $150 and $250. So it is a less expensive alternative. There are, of course, outliers, but your average model will fall in this range. The variation comes from differences in brand, and whether it is single or dual bevel and sliding or stationary.
Learn more about sliding and non sliding miter saws here.
When shopping around for a 12-inch miter saw, you might find models ranging from $230 all the way up to $700. This higher range is a result of the wider diameter of the blade, the higher number of teeth on that blade, and the greater amount of materials it took to make them.
You are also paying for the higher battery amp level, and the greater cutting capacity of the 12-inch miter blades. This high price brings its benefits, though. Many 12 inch models can make the cuts a 10-inch model can and also accommodate a 10-inch blade. A 10-inch saw, however, is limited to its smaller capabilities.
When Should You Use a 10-Inch Blade?
- If you are undertaking a small project that does not require too many big cuts.
- If you want a less expensive option and cannot splurge on a more sophisticated tool.
- If you need to make finer, smoother, and more intricate cuts
- If you are a novice DIYer still learning the ins and outs of miter saws.
When Should You Use a 12-Inch Blade?
- If you are working on a large project involving large, heavy, dense pieces of wood.
- If you have a budget big enough to cover the advanced capabilities of a 12-inch model.
- If you need the length, power, and durability to cut through large and dense pieces of wood for an extended period without losing battery power or blade sharpness.
- If you are an experienced professional used to handling sophisticated pieces of equipment.
10-Inch vs. 12-Inch Miter Saw: The Bottom Line
While these two blades may appear to be similar at first glance, they vary quite a bit. The finer and smoother cuts a 10″ miter saw blade offers are more suited to beginner projects using smaller and lighter pieces of wood.
The 12-inch saw blade offers the power and durability many professionals need to undertake long-term projects that use heavy-duty materials without having to worry about wearing the saw down.
The price difference between the two blades is significant enough to make or break a budget.
Which blade is right for you? That choice is best left up to you, but we hope this information has helped you make the right one. Good luck with your project and happy cutting!