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10” vs 12” Miter Saw: Compare and Buy The Right Size Miter Saw

If you’re looking for a smooth miter saw that would add finesse to your woodwork or art, then we’ve got you covered.

There are various sizes of miter saws available on the market, and choosing the best one to meet your requirements can be difficult.

Out of all the miter saws, 10” and 12” miter saws are the most prominent ones. The size of the miter saw influences its way of working in a significant way. However, the differences between them are not limited to their size.

But if you favor 10″ miter saw, we recommend the Makita LS1040 for its sheer power with a 15-amp motor, high-precision accuracy, as well as portability.

For the 12″ version, the DeWALT DWS779 gives the thumbs up in terms of sturdiness, performance, and value for money.

DeWALT DWS779 12-inch Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

The DeWALT DWS779 delivers accurate cuts with maximum performance even on hardwood lumber. Coupled with an 80T blade, it delivers astounding results for all your woodworking projects.

Last update on 2024-05-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Differences Between a 10” and 12” Miter Saw

Not what you want? Never mind.

Let’s dig a little further to find the best deals on the market.

So, to determine the correct size of miter saw for you, let us first look at the significant differences between them.


One major difference between the 10” and 12” miter saw is their design (construction, material, as well as power). It makes a difference in size, weight, portability, and performance between the two.

Each brand has its design and technology that suits different users. And each has its advantages and disadvantages over the others.

Not too sure?

Try comparing a 10” Makita and 12” DeWALT miter saw. You could easily spot the differences at one glance – handle, base, miter stops, and locking mechanism.

Some may like the vertical-design handle of Makita and some are used to the comfort of the horizontal handle. Different design styles suit different users.

Let’s put aside all the differences. If you’re looking for a miter saw that has a small footprint, then go for the 10” miter saw. It’s easy to carry and store.

Moreover, the 10-inch miter saw is cheaper. This makes a suitable choice for price-conscious buyers.

The 12” miter saw, on the other hand, is larger and therefore, allows you to make longer and deeper cuts without the need to adjust the lumber. It’s most suitable for heavy-duty cuts and requires lesser time to complete the task.


The 10” miter saw, being smaller, requires a smaller blade to operate.

It has a distinct advantage over the 12” model as it spins at a much faster rate at around 5000 rpm. That in turn ensures a smoother cut as compared to the 12” blade.

In contrast, the 12” miter saw has a larger surface and uses a 12” blade that spins at around 4000 rpm. Compared to the higher spin rate of the 10” miter saw, the 12” would expect a slightly rough finish.

But the convenience of cutting makes up for this disadvantage.

Whether it’s 10-inch or 12-inch, you can also determine the ability of a miter saw to refine cuts by looking at its Teeth Per Inch (TPI) rating.

Blades with fewer teeth cut faster but end up with a rougher finish. To have a smooth finish, use blades with higher TPI.

The common TPI ratings on the market are 24, 60, 80, and 100.


Being small in size, most of the 10” miter saws use a 13-amp motor (some use 15-amp) that consumes less electricity than the 12” miter saw. The typical 12” model uses 15-amp motor to match more extensive performance.

Does it make a difference?

Yes, the higher power allows it to work for a more extended period and providing quicker and more efficient results.

For superior performance, the 12″ miter saw is the winner.


The 12-inch miter saw has its advantages over the smaller counterpart, but the 10-inch is still the most popular miter saw for beginners and DIYers.

Thanks to the smaller footprint, portability, and lower costs, there’re some popular miter saws for you to consider.

So, if you’re in search of a miter saw for urgent use and aren’t sure if you’ll need to use it very often, you should opt for a 10” miter saw. Also, do consider a miter saw stand for comfort and stability.

For the 12″ compound miter saw, the price could add up a bit. And for the sliding miter saws, be prepared to add a hundred bucks or more. But that’s a good investment for the long haul.

It’s wiser to choose a sliding feature, in case you need to handle more jobs urgently. That’ll save up a lot of time flipping the lumber.

There’re single bevel and dual-bevel sliding miter saws available. You get to appreciate the advanced features in no time.

10” Miter Saw Cutting Capacity

The 10″ miter saw helps save on the electricity bill, but it also means lower cutting capacity. It’s most suitable for small projects and average users.

The 10″ limits cross cut up to 2 x 6 and miter cut up to 2 x 4. Although smaller size requires less maintenance, it always comes with a trade-off.

Adjusting the material to complete a deeper cut is always necessary, if not a daunting task, making it difficult to achieve accurate results.

For instance, you can use a 10” miter saw to cut a 4×4 lumber. However, you’ll need to flip the lumber several times to make a complete cut. But it allows you to finish smaller projects more quickly.

Pros and Cons Of 10” Miter Saw

All products come with pros and cons, we’ve summarized it below as a quick reference to determine if the 10-inch would fulfill your requirements.

  • Light in weight
  • Portable and easy to store
  • Faster spin rate
  • Suitable for domestic use
  • Consumes less electricity
  • Affordable
  • Easily available
  • Limited capacity
  • Not suitable for professional or lengthy projects

Who Should Use 10-Inch Miter Saw?

The 10” miter saw, being the most readily available on the market, makes a good choice for beginners and casual users alike. The option to use blades with high TPI would make up for its limited capacity.

The main reason to choose a 10″ miter saw is to save some money upfront, but the cutting material is limited to plywood and thinner lumber.

For instance, if you’re a homeowner and making small Do It Yourself (DIY) wooden furniture, then the 10” miter saw is a good choice. The general rule of thumb is that smaller size fits smaller projects.

It’s suggested that you should refrain from using the 10” miter saw for professional woodwork. It pays to accomplish the task in a more professional and timely manner.

However, if for whatever reason you love the 10”, then we’d highly recommend the 10” sliding miter saw to get you started. A one-step upgrade could bring you many pleasant moments over the non-sliding miter saw.

Now that you’re aware of the pros, cons, and usage of a 10” miter saw, read further to know more about the 12” miter saw so that you can select the one as per your requirement.

12” Miter Saw Cutting Capacity

The cutting capacity of the 12” miter saw is wider than the 10” counterparts.

Unlike the 10”, the 12” miter saw can easily cut through a 4×4 piece of wood or any other material without requiring you to flip it over. One cut, and it’s done.

The 12-inch version, with larger blade size, can quickly cut a 2 x 8 and 2 x 6 at 90 degrees and 45 degrees, respectively. And you could double the width capacity with the sliding miter saw.

Most importantly, a higher-capacity miter saw would allow you to accomplish heavy-duty work much quicker.

However, along with an excellent cutting capacity comes a greater price.

The 12” miter saw is expensive and requires slightly more maintenance to work up to its expectations. Also, its replacement blades are equally costly and require a lot of care.

Pros and Cons Of 12” Miter Saw

Like the 10”, the 12” miter saw has its share of the pros and cons listed below.

  • Durable
  • Deeper and longer cuts
  • More efficient
  • Suitable for professional use
  • Works for a longer period
  • Appropriate for cutting heavy-duty material
  • Bulkier and heavier
  • Expensive
  • Not portable
  • Consumes more electricity
  • Require a lot of maintenance and care

Who Should Use 12-Inch Miter Saw?

You should opt for a 12” miter saw if you plan on cutting or shaping wood that is dense and hard. The 12” miter saw works wonderfully for thick log as opposed to a smaller size miter saw.

When it comes to heavy-duty and time-sensitive projects, you’ll love the 12” sliding compound miter saw.

Since the miter saw delivers power for smooth and clean cuts, it won’t ruin the design or aesthetic of the furniture, but instead, it’ll enhance it.

You can also cut a laminated piece of lumber into smaller pieces and designs using the 12” miter saw. It does what the 10-inch can do and much more.

One of the most important benefits of a 12” miter saw is that you can easily mount a 10” miter saw blade on it if you’ve to do a small-scale project.

Or you’ve plenty of 10” blades to use and want to save some bucks on 12” blades. Think of this, the 12” is always downward compatible. That’s one of the advantages of upgrading your cutting machine.

Conclusion – 10” vs 12” Miter Saw

Both 10” and 12” miter saws have their share of advantages and disadvantages.

The former is cheap, easily available, and highly suitable for domestic use, especially for a small-scale project that uses a comparatively thin piece of wood or any material.

The 12” miter saw is expensive but highly suitable for professional work. It can cut heavy wood or any other material quickly and effortlessly.

Therefore, if you’re looking to buy a miter saw for long-term use, then it’s suggested that you should opt for a 12” miter saw.
On the contrary, if you don’t feel the need to use the miter saw frequently or need it primarily for cutting thin pieces of wood, buying a 10” miter saw would be the more economical and practical decision.

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