Why 12-inch miter saw is worth buying
Miter saws come in a variety of sizes. The two most popular models are the 10-inch and 12-inch. While 10-inch saws are smaller, lighter, and generally more portable, they do not have the right amount of power for certain jobs. If you are cutting larger framing materials or trim stock, then the 12-inch saw is going to be the right option.
The advantages of using a 12-inch saw over a smaller version boil down to size and power. With a larger blade, larger saws are able to cut through much larger material. These bigger saw blades are also able to produce much faster tooth speeds than a smaller saw, which makes the cuts that much cleaner, even on thicker, and tougher materials.
As you would expect with a larger saw, 12-inch models also have larger motors. They usually use a 15 amp motor, which is able to produce plenty of RPM. These powerful motors help to make cutting even the bulkiest boards quick and simple, which will save you time on the job site.
Which type of miter saw should you use?
There are several different varieties of miter saws that you can choose from, with each one offering different advantages and disadvantages.
- Basic – As you can guess from the name of this type of saw, these are the most basic form a miter saw available. These saws can be used to cut boards to length and miter them, but they cannot be used to put a bevel onto boards.
- Compound – Compound miter saws are almost the exact same as basic miter saws, in that they can cut lumber to length and miter it. In addition to these basic cuts, however, compound miter saws can also be used to bevel the wood, which is essential for trim work and certain construction projects. The only real drawback to a compound saw is that they cannot always cut larger sectional lumber.
- Sliding Compound – If you are looking to get as much out of your 12-inch miter saw’s added cutting size as possible, then you might want to get a sliding compound saw. These saws are much like a normal compound saw, except that the blade slides front to back in addition to cutting down. This increases the available cutting capacity exponentially. These saws are quite bulky, however.
- Cordless – If portability is important to you, then you might want to look for a portable miter saw. Since there is no need to plug them in, these saws are great for cutting pretty much anywhere a cut is needed. Of course, the battery will run out on you if you don’t keep it charged in between jobs.
When you are looking for your miter saw, it is best to figure out exactly what you need it for. This will help to determine what type of price you can expect to pay for the features that you need. Obviously, the more advanced, powerful, or technically superior a model is, the more you can expect to pay for it. If you are looking for a saw to help around the house on occasional home improvement work, it might be best to go with a more basic, and budget-friendly option, like the SKILSAW 3821-01.
Features to consider while buying the best 12-inch miter saw
As you can imagine, there are plenty of features that you need to carefully consider when you are looking for the best 12-inch miter saw. In this section, we will go through everything you need to know to find the best option for your needs.
Each miter saw on the market will come with a general style blade. These blades are good for most cuts, but will not provide the power you need for tougher materials, or the finesse you need for finer cuts. To determine what a blade is best suited for, you need to check the tooth count. More teeth will equal a finer cut but less power, while fewer teeth will equal more power, but a rougher cut.
While miter cuts are the bread and butter of a basic miter saw, a compound model will also allow you to make beveled cuts. These cuts are essential in construction and crafting, as they allow you to fit pieces of wood together with ease. It is important to find a saw that allows for right and left bevel cuts, as this will save you a ton of time when you are trying to fit pieces together.
Power and speed
The amount of power that your saw possesses, and the speed that it can rotate the saw blade, are highly dependent on the type of work that you intend to do with your saw. If you are cutting larger materials, then you will want a more powerful motor, like the one on the DEWALT DWS780. If you are looking for finer cuts, then faster speeds are more important, making the Makita LS1221 an attractive option for finishing work.
Dust collection systems are essential if you are working on a job site or in your own workshop. The last thing that you want to have to do is clean up a huge mess at the end of the day. Of all the models we looked into, the Makita LS1221 has the most secure dust bag. Of course, if you don’t mind spending some extra cash, you can get an attachment to hook your saw up to a wet/dry vacuum for even better dust collection.
The fence helps to make sure that the material you are cutting is properly aligned with the blade for accurate cuts. If you intend to make smaller cuts, then you should look for a saw that has fence clamps, like those on the Bosch GCM12SD. These clamps will hold the lumber you are cutting secure, so you don’t get your hand too close to the blade.
Laser guides make it much easier and faster to line up the material you are going to be cutting with the saw so you can make quick and accurate cuts every time. While the batteries will need to be changed every so often, it is well worth it if you are going to be doing a ton of cutting with your saw.
Positive stops are another system that is designed to make your cuts quick and accurate. These are stops along the miter scale on common angle points. When you are adjusting your saw’s cutting angle, a scale with positive stops will allow you to quickly find the right angle without having to fine tune it for these common measurements.
There are two basic options when it comes to the stand for a table saw. You can purchase one that fits your saw specifically, or you can actually attach your saw to a workbench with bolts. Portable stands to make it easier to move your saw around a worksite, though this does add some additional cost.
The handle for your miter saw should fit well in your hand and not be too larger or too small. It should also absorb most of the vibrations from the saw when you are cutting so that you don’t experience a high degree of hand fatigue while you are working.
As with any larger purchase, you need to be sure that you get a good warranty on your new miter saw. That way, you will be covered should anything go wrong with it from normal use. You just need to be careful to read through the warranty completely. Otherwise, you might think that you are completely covered but not be.