Many woodworkers, including myself, view the table saw as one of the most important power tools available. One thing I discovered is that a table saw’s cut quality depends upon the type of the blade used, as well as its quality.
Once you understand what features make the best table saw blade products you will increase your saw’s performance and the quality of your work.
Benefits of Saw Blades
- Cut lumber and other materials. If you plan to make furniture or make framing for a structure, you need a saw blade to tackle the task efficiently. Specific blades are designed for certain jobs and materials.
- They're a good investment. Carbide saw blades, in particular, are longer lasting because they resist heat and damage. One carbide saw blade should outlast several steel blades, so you'll save money in the long run.
- Make precise, straight cuts. For many projects, you want a saw blade that will produce clean results. You won't get cuts that are as sharp if you use a hand saw.
Types of Saw Blades
Saw blades are the replaceable toothed cutting elements used in a variety of hand tools and portable and stationary power tools. They are used to cut wood, masonry, metal, bone, etc.
Circular Saw Blades
For cutting wood, circular saw blades are available in three primary styles: rip, crosscut, and combination. The distinction is based on tooth form and gullet size. For ripping, teeth are flat-topped and gullets are deep. For crosscutting, teeth alternate between left- and right-handed bevels and gullets are shallow to slow the feed rate. For many users, the combination blade produces an acceptable cutting speed and finish for with- and cross-grain cutting, as it combines flat-top and alternating bevel teeth with deep and shallow gullets. Its use precludes having to change blades or saws between operations.
While many traditional saws include a handle, some saws use replaceable blades. Bow saws, coping saws, hacksaws, and so on are typical special-purpose saws for which blades are purchased separately. There is not a great variety of choice when it comes to these replacement blades, as their purposes are explicitly designated. Hacksaw blades are selectable based on length and TPI within a narrow range with faster cutting types available for softer metals.
Bandsaw blades are sold as continuous loops of metal that are welded to form stock and custom sizes and are used in portable and horizontal and vertical machines. They can be used to cut most materials including steels, aluminum, and non-ferrous alloys, wood, plastics and foam, meat, etc. but the material of the blade and the tooth design has a large bearing on its suitability for any particular application. They can be used dry or lubricated, again depending on the application.
Reciprocating Saw Blades
Reciprocating saws are identified as portable units designed primarily for demolition but used for other activities such as pipe cutting. Other saws, such as jigsaws, scroll saws, etc. rely on the reciprocating motion of the saw and as a general category could be classified as reciprocating, rather than rotary, saws. Reciprocating saws mimic the motion of most hand saws, but usually cut in only one direction of the stroke. Reciprocating saw blades are identified as to use, for wood, for metal, for metal and wood, etc. Shapes are generally sloped for plunge cutting or straight for edge cutting and are available in assorted lengths and mounts. Short, narrow reciprocating blades are available for scroll cutting.
Tips for cutting hardwood
I have already told you that you need a specific blade of carbide to cut through the hardwood. It must be of a high density and with sharp teeth. Here are several tips that may also help you:
- Safety goes first. Keep in mind the sharpness of the blade, no matter how small and lightweight it is.
- Don’t move your hands close to the saw. Wear protective goggles in case of splinters;
- Pick the right blade that fits the size of the wood perfectly;
- Fix the wood on the bench;
- For rip cuts, you need more teeth with more space between each other;
- Make sure there is a direct line you are following. If there is no, make it yourself. If you don’t see it properly, stop your work and attach the LED light or laser to see;
- Check out whether the blade is not overheated.
Q: WHAT SAW BLADE MAKES THE SMOOTHEST CUT?
A: If you want an extra-smooth finish for fine work (such as moldings), consider 80 to 100-tooth hi-ATB blades. If you want a clean-cut in MDF, melamine, and plywood, a 40-60-tooth ATB blade will work just fine.
Q: ARE MORE TEETH ON A SAW BLADE BETTER?
A: Blades with fewer teeth will cut faster, but you’ll have rougher edges as a result. The more teeth a blade has, the slower the saw will work, but the surface will have a cleaner finish.
Q: HOW DO YOU CLEAN A SAW BLADE?
A: Buy a cleaner that's designed for blades, particularly a neutral pH cleaner. You can also use warm water and a mild dish detergent if the blade has a corrosion-resistant coating. First, soak the blade. Then scrub the teeth with a nylon-bristle brush. Repeat as required until the dirt deposits are removed. Dry the blade, and use a rust preventative spray or oil on it.