10 Tooth Vs 12 Tooth Clutch, Which One Is Better

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There are different sizes of clutches. They have some differences based on the performance expected. The most common types of clutches of go-karts you will see are 12 or 10 teeth. If you want to know the best clutch from the 10 tooth vs 12 tooth clutch, this article is for you. The major difference between them is that compared to the 10-tooth clutches; the 12-tooth clutches support the lower gear ratio. Below we will discuss what is more difference between 10 tooth and 12 tooth clutch.

The clutch selection can make or break your go-kart. Having a good clutch will enhance your karting experience and vice versa. The market will provide you with a wide variety of centrifugal clutches, so picking up the best one is not easy. In this article, we will also guide you on how to make your investment worthwhile.

What Are Teeth on a Clutch?

Before determining which is the best (10 tooth or 12 tooth clutch), we will let you know about the teeth on a clutch. While many of you are familiar with clutches, many are not. For instance, I’ve always been aware that clutches don’t have teeth but operate by friction.

Later, I learned that clutches could have teeth or not. The friction-based toothless clutches function. Conversely, clutches with gear-like teeth function by engaging with chains or another clutch.

These clutches will have hills (these are the teeth) with gaps in between, just like gears do. It enables the clutch to reduce wear and friction.

What Is the Purpose of Teeth on a Clutch?

Before analyzing the differences between 10T and 12T clutches, it is useful to understand what the teeth actually do. The teeth of two gears are in touch if you have seen how the gear works. The other gear moves when the first one does. Energy is transported in this manner.

Where the ratio is 1:1, the energy will be transferred evenly if both portions have the same number of teeth. However, if the number of teeth varies, we get a gear ratio of 2:1 or 2:3, depending on whether we want to increase or reduce speed.

Gear ratio

It results from dividing the driver gear’s number of teeth by the driven gear’s number of teeth.

The clutch’s number of teeth and the axle sprocket’s number matter when it comes to a clutch. Here is a quick formula:

  • The gear ratio will be greater if the clutch has fewer teeth.
  • Lower gear ratios are achieved by adding additional teeth to the sprocket.
  • This gear ratio and the engine speed will determine the speed of your go-kart.

The Difference Between 10T and 12T Clutch

The number of teeth is the only distinction in technical terms. When you put them in a go-kart or a miniature bike and let them ride, the distinction becomes apparent.

In the same go-kart, a 10-tooth clutch and a 12-tooth clutch will operate very differently. It’s because the gear ratio will be different if you utilize a 60-tooth axle sprocket with both clutches.

The gear ratio of the 60-tooth axle and 10 tooth centrifugal clutch is 6:1. Every tooth on the clutch will have 6 teeth on the rear sprocket. It means the 10T clutch will have 60 teeth, and the 12T clutch 72 teeth on the rear sprocket. You can also explore 60 tooth vs 72 tooth sprocket, which is better for you. In addition, the 12 tooth clutch with a 60 tooth sprocket will produce a 5:1 gear ratio.

The difference in torque produced will impact how well the two go-karts perform. More torque will be available from the 6:1 gear ratio than the 5:1 gear ratio. Even under the same load, they will behave differently. Though does a 12-tooth clutch perform better because of a lower gear ratio? No, not at all.

The Comparison of 10 Tooth vs. 12 Tooth Clutch

What is “better” for you will vary. Which clutch arrangement is best for you depends on several factors.

  • The purpose of your go-kart
  • Axle sprocket’s tooth count.
  • Tire dimensions

Based on these three considerations, you can determine if a 10 tooth or 12 tooth centrifugal clutch will perform well with your engine.

Meanwhile, I have a broad recommendation you can use to simplify and ease your life. The 10 teeth clutch, with its lower gear ratio, is suitable for larger, heavier go-karts. When you need to push a huge load, high torque is essential.

However, you must use the 12 feet to use a go-kart for high-speed performance. High speed is provided by the 12T clutch’s gear ratio, but extremely high torque is provided by the 10T clutch’s gear ratio, so you must keep it in mind. 

Chain Compatibility

If you wish to modify your go-kart or mini-bike, you should also take this in mind. Also, the number of teeth will affect how well they work with the chains that connect them to the motor. Fewer teeth, such as 10T on a clutch of the same size, result in a larger space between the teeth. And for a clutch with additional teeth, like the 12T, that calls for a different chain.

In general, let me put it here that pitch is the phrase used to describe the space between two teeth. Using the pitch size chart, you can determine which chain will work with your clutch.

For instance:

  • Because of its 1/2-inch pitch, a 10-tooth clutch can support chains with the numbers 40, 41, and 420.
  • Due to its 3/8-inch pitch, chains with the number 35 can be used with a 12-teeth clutch.

Conclusion

We discussed a brief comparison of the 10-tooth and 12-tooth clutches. We don’t prioritize one clutch over the other. It all depends on what you expect from your clutch. The 10-tooth clutch can be the best choice to tow or carry heavy loads. And the 12-tooth clutch can be the better option if speed is your priority. However, as per my recommendation, choose a 12-tooth clutch if you are a racer. So move ahead and choose one that you think is the most appropriate for you. Good Luck!

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