Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sliding Miter Saw - Choosing Between a 12 Inch and 10 Inch Model

!±8± Sliding Miter Saw - Choosing Between a 12 Inch and 10 Inch Model

When a sliding miter saw is required there are many choices ranging from 7 1/2 inches to 12 inches. The 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 inch models are generally purchased for very specific work by a tradesman and are not used as general purpose machines due to their size. The real battle arises when the choice has to be made between the 10 inch and the 12 inch models. These two sizes are the stars of the sliding miter saw market and manufacturers pull all the stops to advertise these particular models. So if we are going to buy, we have to choose between the more attractively priced 10 inch model and the more expensive 12 inch model.

In general manufacturers include the bells and whistles on both their 10 inch and 12 inch models, therefore the choice comes down to some very basic factors which we will analyze.

The terms 10 inch and 12 inch refer to the diameter of the saw blade in the machine. A sliding miter saw has a distinct advantage over their less glamorous family the non-sliding model in that sliding saws have a much wider crosscut length.

A saw with a 12 inch blade has the ability to cut thicker pieces compared to the 10 inch model. For the tradesman who has to dimension thick pieces, the extra 2 inches on the blade makes the 12 inch model indispensable on the work site.

Conversely for the majority of handymen and weekend warriors, a 10 inch saw will complete just about all the projects they will experience such as dimensioning 2x4's for framing, large picture frame molding, crown molding and weekend decking jobs. The extra 0 for a 12 inch sliding miter saw is hard to justify especially for the handymen and weekend warriors.

When deciding which model sliding miter saw to acquire one must also consider the weight of the tool. A 12 inch sliding miter saw is quite heavy compared to a 10 inch and if the tool has to be frequently moved it can be quite frustrating and hazardous moving a tool from point to point on a work site. The blade size also adds an increased replacement cost as 12 inch blades are more expensive and even when having the blade re-sharpened the extra teeth on the 12 inch blade are an additional cost.

It is good to remember that even if a job comes along suited more along the lines of a 12 inch saw, most of us have a portable table saw which can also do crosscuts with a suitable jig. A cross cut jig for a table saw is very easy to construct within 15 minutes and this solution frees up extra cash for the purchase of other more critical tools.

In the final analysis a 10 inch sliding miter saw will be sufficient to satisfy the needs of the weekend warrior and the handyman. The advanced tradesman however will need to consider the 12 inch sliding miter as a viable addition to his tool kit, even though he may already own a 10 inch model, based purely on the increased volume of work he has to do on a daily basis and the sizes of stock that may be involved.

Sliding Miter Saw - Choosing Between a 12 Inch and 10 Inch Model

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