Sliding Miter Saw – 10” Or 12”?

Compared to an actual miter saw, a sliding miter saw is better in a lot of regards. Back in the day sliding miters were limited in type and model options. They were also quite expensive. It has become the common modern consensus that 10” saws are more effective than 12” ones.

While the latter is indeed good, different tasks like landscaping where it might be required to cut plenty of 4x6’s, the 12 inch power saw cannot manage it as well as could be expected.

Below are facts and guidance that users have actually learned, some of them the hard way, and why a majority of them voted for 10-inch miter saws. While bigger blades mean large scale building projects, the average DIY-er and woodworker/carpenter is sure to appreciate the smaller blade diameter, and what it can do for them.

  • It is not uncommon for a pair of 10 inch and 12 inch blades to share the same number of cutting teeth. Disadvantages with the latter include a higher cost to sharpen said teeth.
  • In fact, more closer-together teeth will be needed for the 12” blade to perform fine cuts as compared to the simplicity and excellence brought in the same regard by the 10” blade.
  • Most renowned slider saw products are highly compatible with 10-inch blades and work at their optimum with them as compared to 12 inchers.
  • In fact, local hardware stores near you most probably favour a wider selection of 10-inch blades than 12” varieties.
  • Scientifically speaking (physics to be precise), a 12-inch blade shows greater probability of deflection than a 10-inch one. This means the 12” can wobble more, reducing its efficiency with some projects and increasing risk potential.

10 inch or 12 inch

It is unheard of to use a ripping blade on a miter saw while on the other hand the use of a crosscut blade is not far off the mark; almost all sliding saw renters and owners have relied on these blades at some point in their projects or careers.

A beginner or even someone just starting out with a brand new miter power saw can rely on the sheer versatility brought by crosscut blades. This piece of advice will certainly save you costs.

  • Instead of purchasing two different blades to complement or supplement the ones that already came with your power saw product, one crosscut blade will fulfil all your crafting needs better and more simply.
  • Over the course of using your power miter saw, you will be asked to change blades for efficiency purposes. As far as compounding costs go, opting for 10” crosscut blades can save you money over the long term.

The other reason was only mentioned in passing earlier, namely sharpening costs. Let us see how a 10” blade sits with that expense compared to a 12” one. For our example, we shall consider a blade with 60 teeth for both diameters.

  • Users have discovered that a 10-inch 60-tooth blade cost them only $16 dollars in sharpening costs while the 12-inch 60-tooth blade served a bill of $21. This may not seem like a lot of money to some people, but to others who are living on a budget it makes a huge difference.
  • Plus there is the compounding cost factor to consider, namely how these costs can accumulate over time with repeat sharpening requirements.
  • Some blades absolutely need regular sharpening and you can now understand how a 10” blade gets you the needed work output at lesser expense.

What affects the accuracy and quality of work and depends on the blade used with any given power miter saw?

The answer to this question is twofold.

  • Deflection (turning, swerving, curving) and Wobbling (shakiness, unsteadiness, slight adjustment issues) are the two main trouble points that miter saw blades display.
  • These issues may not be a problem when it comes to framing work but they can make or break projects involved in interior trimming and/or fine woodworking.
  • Not only does a 10” saw blade cost less than an equivalent 12” model, they also have little to no deflection and wobbling problems compared to their bigger cousins.
  • They are also lighter (less bulky), portable (can be carried from place to place), and compact (take up less space.)

Are there any disadvantages to the 10-inch saw blade?

  • When we say 10-inch saw blade we also include the 10-inch saw model or miter product it goes with. The machine itself is useless if it is not a slider.
  • While similarities can be drawn to table saws, remember that our topic centers around sliding miter saws and how the 10” and 12” blades perform on this type of power tool.
  • While larger lumber cuts and casework demand the touch of a 12” slicer blade, versatility, reliability, and all-round efficiency is best found with 10” blades that come with machines, which are in turn designed with sliders.

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