When it comes to cutting baseboard and other types of wood, we often get asked “Can 10-inch miter saws cut 4×4 posts?
Well, we’re here to present to you some of our findings over the years and some of our recent testing with different-sized drills.
We’ll compare whether a 10-inch miter saw or a 12-inch miter saw fares better when it comes to cutting 4×4
In this post we will discuss the following:
- Can you cut 4×4 in a single pass with a 10-inch miter saw?
- Disadvantages of cutting a 4×4 with a 10-inch miter saw
- Should you use a 12-inch miter saw to cut 4×4?
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Can You Cut 4x4 in a Single Pass with a 10-Inch Miter Saw?
It’s important that you understand the limitations of your miter saw before you start working on 4x4s with it.
You don’t want to order a whole bunch of lumber only to find out that your 10-inch miter saw may not be ideal for it.
However, the question still remains: Can 10-inch miter saws cut 4x4s with ease and in a single pass? The answer is yes, they can. However, they can only do so if they have certain features in their arsenal.
For the first method, you can adjust the blade guard of your miter saw in such a way that its cutting capacity increases slightly. As you get more clearance for your blade through this method, you will be able to cut a 4×4 board in a single pass.
If your miter saw does not allow you to adjust your blade guard, then your second option would be to get a dual bevel miter saw.
These saws have a higher range of motion since they allow you to tilt the blade forward. This increases their cutting capacity by a lot and allows you to easily cut 4x4s in a single pass.
Disadvantages of Cutting 4x4s with a 10-Inch Miter Saw
While 10-inch miter saws definitely get the job done, they’re not ideal for cutting 4x4s.
In fact, there are a number of significant disadvantages that become apparent when you compare their performance with 12-inch miter saws for the same task.
First of all, 10-inch miter saws take a much longer time to get the task done as compared to 12-inch miter saws. Hence, if you have a time constraint, then the latter would definitely prove to be a better tool.
Those extra 2 inches may not seem like a lot but they’re exactly what provides you with the cutting capacity, versatility, torque, and force you to need to get the job done quickly.
Another thing you must worry about with 10-inch miter saws is the fact that they take a lot more to maintain. 10-inch miter saws don’t fare well when they are used to cut 4x4s. Hence, they dull out a lot faster and have to be maintained a lot more regularly.
People often think that a 10-inch miter saw would be a cheaper option for cutting 4x4s as compared to a 12-inch miter saw.
While this may seem like the case when you examine things on the surface, the truth couldn’t be farther from this. The costs of maintenance, new replacement blades, and electricity all add up when you use a 10-inch miter saw to cut 4x4s.
Ultimately, you end up spending a lot more money than if you had just bought a 12-inch miter saw.
One more thing to be concerned about is the chance of kickback. Miter saws are quite safe and are known to not have kickback issues as long as they’re not being overloaded. When you use a 10-inch miter saw to cut 4x4s, the chances of kickback are significant.
Lastly, 10-inch miter saws don’t provide enough torque to properly cut through thick and hard 4x4s. They’ll definitely do the job but you might get a much rougher result than if you were using a 12-inch miter saw.
Not only that but the lack of torque can also cause your 10-inch miter saw’s blade to break down a lot more quickly. In more extreme cases, even the motor of your miter saw can become damaged.
So, Should I Use 12-Inch Miter Saws to Cut 4x4s?
The question you need to ask yourself here is: “How often will I be working with 4x4s?”
If you work with 4x4s often and intend to do so in the future as well, then you’re better off buying a tool that is made for that purpose: the 12-inch miter saw.
However, if you need to cut 4x4s just for a small job and won’t be working with them again, then you can save some money by getting a 10-inch miter saw. Maybe you might have to replace its blade after the job is done but that will be it.
If you do decide to buy a 12-inch miter saw, then you’ll have to consider whether you want a single-bevel or a dual-bevel saw. Dual-bevel saws have higher cutting capacity but they are also more expensive.
A 12-inch miter saw would be perfect for regular cutting of 4x4s because it has a bigger blade. The bigger blade can perform longer and wider cuts on 4x4s with much more ease than a 10-inch miter saw ever could.
We tested out many 12-inch and 10-inch miter saws with 4x4s for many months under different conditions. We found that even the cheapest 12-inch miter saw was able to provide faster and cleaner cuts than the best 10-inch miter saw we had.
The cleaner cuts are due to the fact that the teeth of most 12-inch miter saws are sharper and they also have more TPI (Tooth Per Inch). This provides a smooth cut for your 4x4s.
Not only that but it also lowers the chance of kickback and makes the whole cutting operation safer.
Hence, if you want to work regularly with 4x4s, you should get a 12-inch miter saw. However, if you won’t be working with it too often, then you can save some money and get yourself a 10-inch miter saw.
Wrapping Things Up…
We love doing these little tests because they help us get to the bottom of which tools are better for different types of tasks.
Don’t make things harder for yourself and buy the right tool for the job. It’s safer, faster, and costs less energy so you can spend it on other productive work around the house.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
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