What Size Miter Saw Do I Need: A Clear Guide to Find What You Need

Are you in the process of revamping your workshop with a new miter saw, but uncertain of the size you need? You’ve come to the right place; let us help you find a suitable model by answering the question – “What size miter saw do I need?

When considering a miter saw, there is an array of sizes and capabilities to choose from. Here is a comprehensive overview of the common sizes and what they can offer:

  • The 7¼-inch device is a great choice for small DIY projects due to its lightweight and portable nature.
  • 10-inch: Suitable for DIY projects and small carpentry work, versatile, and easy to maneuver.
  • 12-inch: Ideal for larger carpentry projects, heavy-duty, and capable of making precise cuts.

Gain an understanding of the array of sizes and features that miter saws have to offer, and then determine which is most appropriate for your requirements. Check out our comprehensive article to discover valuable knowledge about miter saws that will elevate your woodworking abilities.

Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.

Explanation of What a Miter Saw Is

A miter saw is a specialized saw that allows you to cut at different angles with precision, not to be confused wit circular saws. It has a circular blade mounted on an arm that pivots from side to side to make angled cuts.

The saw blade can be adjusted vertically to modify the depth of its cut, as well as tilted in one direction or another for creating bevel cuts. For more complex cuts, advanced models even offer compound angle capabilities and dual bevel miter cuts.

Miter saws come in different types including compound miter saws, sliding compound miter saws, and dual compound sliding miter saws. Compound style miter saws allow you to tilt the blade left or right while still maintaining the same angle on your workpiece, whereas sliding compound miter saws let you move the blade back and forth along its rails resulting in longer cutting capacity.

Delve into a more involved discussion of the topic by reading my article “What Is a Miter Saw?” a Clear Introduction. Maximize the potential of your projects and discover all there is to know about this tool. Visit the website and enrich your understanding for maximum application.

Ebook part 1 woodworking basics

Importance of Choosing the Right Size Miter Saw

This article is actually an extension to my article What Miter Saw Do I Need? 11 Tips to Find the Best Miter Saw where I go deeper into the more specific question, what size miter saw do I need?

Choosing the right size mitre saw can have significant implications for your project’s success and efficiency. A smaller 7 1/4-inch blade may not be sufficient for larger pieces of lumber or thicker materials leading to inaccurate results or multiple passes which increase time consumption.A larger 12-inch diameter blade may be overkill for small DIY projects. Having an appropriate-sized tool will not only improve quality but reduce production time thus allowing more projects to be completed without sacrificing attention to detail.

Additionally, larger saws are typically heavier and take up more space in your workspace which may be less optimal for some users. Keep reading to discover the various aspects you should analyze when selecting ideal mitre saw sizes for your project.

Definition and Explanation of the Different Types of Miter Saws

Before moving on to answering the question “What size miter saw do I need”, you need to know this. There are three varieties of mitre saws available: standard, compound, and sliding compound. Standard miter saws enable users to make angled cuts up to 45 degrees in either direction.

Compound miter saws can tilt the blade in addition to pivoting it left or right. This allows you to make beveled cuts at the same time as mitered cuts.

Sliding compound type miter saws have all the features of a compound miter saw but also have rails that allow the blade to slide back and forth. This increases the width of the cut you can make.

Overview of Their Uses

Mitre saws are incredibly versatile tools that can be used for a variety of tasks including trimming lumber or creating custom frames for artwork or photographs. They’re perfect for precise angle cuts on materials like crown molding or baseboards. Mietre saw use ranges from basic DIY projects like home repairs all the way up to professional carpentry work.

Regular miter saws are great for beginners who want an affordable tool for basic cutting tasks such as creating picture frames or trimming baseboards around rooms in one’s house. However, if you need more complex features such as beveling capability or wider cutting widths then you may want to consider upgrading your purchase choice with a sliding compound type miter saw which offers increased flexibility.

Professional carpenters and contractors typically rely on pricier mitre saws to deliver precise cuts on large pieces of lumber. No matter your woodworking requirements, you can find a mitre saw that will perfectly suit your needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Size Miter Saw

Understanding Blade Size and Its Impact on Cutting Capacity

When choosing the right size mitre saw, it is important to understand the size of the blade and its impact on cutting capacity. The blade size determines the depth of cut that you can make with your saw. Generally, smaller blades have a shallower cutting capacity, while larger blades can make deeper cuts.

Saw blades are most typically offered in 7 1/4-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch blade diameters. Smaller blades are suitable for light-duty tasks like trimming door frames or baseboards, while larger ones can manage large wood components like crown molding or thick deck boards.

It’s worth noting that not all mitre saws are compatible with all sizes of blades. As you consider what size miter saw you need, be sure to check which blade sizes are compatible with each model.

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The Importance of Considering the Size and Type of Materials You Will Be Cutting

When choosing a mitre saw, it is essential to assess the size and type of material that you require to cut regularly. If your projects include thicker or wider pieces of wood or other materials, an expensive mitre saw will ensure you have ample cutting capability.

Similarly, if you frequently work with hardwoods or other dense materials like metal or plastic, then you’ll want to choose a more powerful saw that can handle these materials without bogging down or overheating. Additionally, if your projects often require angled cuts rather than straight cuts, then investing in a compound style miter saw (which allows for both angled and beveled cuts) would likely be beneficial.

The Space Available in Your Workspace

The amount of space available in your workspace is another important consideration when deciding what size miter saw you need. A larger saw necessitates a greater space for operation than a smaller one, both in terms of the saw’s size and the area needed to cut longer materials. For smaller workspaces such as a workshop or garage, a compact saw may be the more suitable option due to its limited footprint.

If you have ample space to work with, a larger saw might be the most suitable choice. It’s also important to consider how easy it is to move the mitre saw around your workspace.

If you often need to transport your tools between locations or take them to job sites, portability should be an essential consideration during your decision-making process. A lightweight, compact miter saw would be more convenient to move than a bulky one in this scenario.

Ultimately, choosing the right size mitre saw requires careful consideration of several factors including the size of the blade and cutting capacity, materials being cut, available workspace, and portability needs. Consider all factors as you select a tool to guarantee that your needs are met and each project produces exceptional output. Investing in the right solution will empower you to reach your desired results with ease.

What size miter saw do I need

Small Miter Saws (7 1/4 inch Miter saw – 8 inch Miter Saws)

Evolution Power Tools R185SMS+ 7-1/4" Multi-Material Compound Sliding Miter Saw


The 7 1/4-inch miter saw is perfect for DIY projects and small-scale woodworking. With its compact size and powerful performance, this saw offers an ideal solution for your needs. Enjoy the convenience of portability with these lightweight tools, and easily transport them from one location to another – perfect for those without a dedicated workspace.

For novice DIYers or those on a budget, small mitre saws offer an accessible entry point as they are more economical than larger models. Moreover, they take up considerably less space, making them highly convenient and accessible.

If limited space is an issue in your small workshop or garage, consider investing in a compact saw for maximum convenience. This will provide ample room to work without feeling confined and make the most of your workspace.


Of course, some drawbacks are associated with using a small mitre saw. The limited size of the blade might prove inadequate when cutting through thicker pieces of wood or molding, as it may be necessary to make multiple passes or opt for an alternative tool.

Another potential disadvantage is that the accuracy of smaller miter saws may not be as precise as with larger models. While this won’t make much difference for some DIY projects, it could be an issue if your project requires very precise cuts.

Ideal For DIY Projects Or Small Scale Woodworking

If you’re tackling home improvement projects like picture frames or crown molding, a small mitre saw is the ideal tool for the job. Despite their size limitations, these saws are capable of achieving top-notch results without sacrificing too much space or costing an arm and a leg.

For those just beginning their woodworking journey, investing in costly tools can be intimidating. Fortunately, a small miter saw is an affordable option that allows one to test their dedication to the hobby without breaking the bank. With this tool, newcomers can explore the fundamentals of woodworking and decide if they enjoy it before committing to more expensive equipment.

Overall, while small mitre saws may have some limitations, they’re a great choice for many DIY enthusiasts and those who are just starting out in woodworking. Ideal for those inspired to bring their project ideas into reality, these user-friendly products offer unbeatable portability and affordability. Unlock your creative potential and let your imagination come alive with these products at your disposal.

Medium Miter Saws (10 inch Miter Saw)

DEWALT Miter Saw, Single Bevel, Compound, 10-Inch, 15-Amp with w/Safety

Advantages and Disadvantages

This type of miter saw is a great choice for users looking to tackle home improvement tasks, carpentry, or furniture making. This size grants a multitude of benefits, such as its versatility that enables it to fulfill a broad spectrum of projects.

It can handle larger pieces of wood than a small miter saw without being too bulky or difficult to maneuver like a larger model. Another advantage is that 10-inch saws are often more affordable than their larger counterparts.

They are also easier to transport if you need to take your tool on-site or move it around your workshop. When selecting a medium-sized miter saw, one should also think about the potential drawbacks.

These models may lack the robust cutting capacity of larger versions when dealing with thicker materials. Furthermore, though easier to transport than their bigger counterparts, these models can still be quite weighty.

Ideal for Home Improvement Projects, Carpentry, or Furniture Making

If you’re interested in tackling home improvement projects like baseboard molding installation or creating custom furniture pieces like bookshelves and tables, a 10-inch miter saw could be an excellent choice for your needs. These tools are ideal for making precise angled cuts in wood and other materials.

Plus, with their relatively compact size compared to larger models, they can fit comfortably in most workshops or on job sites. Carpenters who work on smaller-scale projects will also appreciate the convenience and versatility offered by a mid-sized miter saw.

The 10-inch miter saw is a reliable and versatile tool, suited for use on a variety of projects, such as decks, sheds, stairs and other home renovation efforts. Lightweight yet durable enough to handle the most commonly used woods in carpentry and construction jobs, this staple tool is perfect for both amateur and seasoned woodworkers alike to produce precise outcomes with professional finesse.

Large Miter Saws (12 inch Miter Saw or Larger)

Sierra ingletadora - KS 120 REB

The Big Boys of the Shop

Large miter saws are the biggest and most powerful options on the market. They are designed for professional use and can handle cutting through thick, substantial pieces of lumber. If you’re looking to complete more serious construction projects, a 12-inch miter saw or larger is probably necessary.


The main advantage of a large miter saw is its robustness. With more power comes the ability to cut through thicker pieces of wood with ease. Additionally, many large saws come with added features that can help make your job easier, such as laser guides and digital readouts that ensure accuracy.

Another important advantage is speed – with a larger blade size, you will be able to make quicker cuts without sacrificing quality. Contractors who require a swift and efficient means of completing projects will find this product an ideal selection.


The negative aspect of having a substantial miter saw is that it occupies a considerable amount of room in your workspace. Their larger dimensions limit portability, however this may not be a concern if you intend to keep the device stationary.

There’s the cost factor – large miter saws are often significantly more expensive than smaller ones due to their extra features and increased power. If you are a beginner or lack budget flexibility for crafting DIY projects at home, investing in a tool may not be within reach.

Ideal for Professional Use

If you’re a professional carpenter or contractor who works with larger pieces of lumber frequently, then a 12-inch miter saw or above is definitely worth considering. Cutting with its remarkable strength and precision, you can complete tasks quickly and efficiently as never before. Achieve maximum accuracy without sacrificing speed with this standout tool.

Overall, large miter saws are best suited for those who work with substantial pieces of lumber and require precision cuts time and again. While they may be overkill for smaller jobs, their robustness ensures they are an excellent long-term investment for contractors who need to complete large projects quickly.

To find yourself the best 12” miter saw for your workshop and the projects you are working on, I made a comparison article. Go to 5 Very Best Sliding Miter Saws (My Honest Opinion) to see more.

One of them is the Festool Kapex 120, which I have myself in my workshop and recommend to everyone. To see my honest review of this miter saw, go to Festool Kapex KS 120 REB Review: Is This the Best Miter Saw Ever?

Other Considerations When Choosing Miter Saw Sizes

Budget constraints

When selecting a miter saw, consider your budgetary constraints to ensure you find an affordable solution. These saws come in different sizes and the associated price tags vary as well.

Some luxury models may reach up to $500 and more in cost, while more economical options can start at around $100. If you’re on a tight budget, smaller miter saws are generally more affordable than larger ones.

However, keep in mind that opting for a less expensive model may mean sacrificing features or cutting capacity. Before securing your purchase, ensure that you’ve done your due diligence and investigated the different prices across various brands and models.

Some retailers may offer discounts or promotions depending on the time of year or sales events. Additionally, buying a used miter saw can be an affordable option but be sure to inspect the machine thoroughly before purchasing.

Portability needs

If you work on job sites or move around frequently in your workshop, it’s important to consider the portability of your miter saw. Smaller miter saws tend to be more portable as they are lightweight and compact in size. Larger miter saws may be more stable and have greater cutting capacity but they are usually heavier and bulkier to transport.

Some features that enhance portability include foldable legs, built-in handles, or wheels for easy maneuvering. If mobility is a top priority for you then look for models with these added features.

The most portable miter saw on the market, which won’t need a power source, is the cordless type Miter saw. I wrote an entire article about it where I show you the 5 best battery-powered miter saws on the market to choose from. Go to my article The 5 Very Best Cordless Miter Saws on the Market to see more.

Safety concerns

When working with power tools it is crucial to prioritize safety first. Choosing the right size of miter saw not only affects the quality of cuts but also your safety during operation.

Smaller miter saws have lower horsepower which means they cut at slower speeds making them generally safer than larger ones which operate at higher speeds cutting through materials with ease but requiring more caution when in use. Other safety features that you should look out for when purchasing a miter saw include blade guards, dust collection systems, and an emergency shut-off switch.

When working with a power tool, it is imperative to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for optimal safety, such as safety goggles, earplugs, and gloves. By prioritizing safety, you can prevent serious accidents and injuries in the workshop. Go to my article woodworking safety – what PPE do you need for Woodworking? to dive deeper into this.


Recap on Why Choosing the Right Size Miter Saw is Important

Choosing the right size miter saw is essential for achieving accurate and efficient cuts. When selecting the size precisely tailored to your requirements, numerous aspects should be considered. These include the type and size of materials you will be working with, available workspace, budget constraints, portability needs, and safety concerns.

Regardless of your level of experience or intended use for a miter saw, investing in the right size will help you achieve better results with less wasted time and material. For DIYers and professional carpenters and contractors alike, choosing the correct saw size is essential for producing high-quality results on a wide range of projects. Ensure your work looks flawless by making the appropriate selection.

Final Thoughts On what size miter saw do I need

At the end of the day, choosing a miter saw that’s too small could result in inaccurate cuts and frustration. On the other hand, going too big may mean overpaying for features you don’t need or having to sacrifice valuable workspace. Finding that sweet spot where your work can be done efficiently while also fitting within your budget is key.

When choosing miter saw sizes, remember that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Consider how much space it will occupy in your workshop and how convenient it would be to transport if necessary – these factors are just as important.

Investing in ample research and careful consideration prior to purchase can pay dividends in the long term when it comes to successful woodworking projects. With an abundance of miter saws on the market, each boasting its own advantages, there is no reason why anyone should settle for anything less than exactly what they require!

Now that you have determined the size of the miter saw required, you should ensure it is securely positioned for optimal cutting. A miter saw stand is ideal for this purpose, particularly if you have a limited workshop space. Subsequently, check out my article: The Most Complete Guide About Miter Saw Stands (Important!) to understand the full capabilities of a miter saw stand and how to find one that perfectly meets your requirements.

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