Which Table Saw Blade Should I Buy?
Article - January 14, 2015
Choosing the right blade for your table saw can be tricky business. There are numerous brands and within those brands you have various blade configurations, angles and tooth counts. It’s no wonder emailer Pat was confused when he went blade shopping. Here’s what he had đồ sộ say:
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I am shopping for a blade for my used TS-3650 I just bought and will be buying a Dado blade also. I’m on a budget but good blades and safety are a must. Any light you can shed will be appreciated. I am still confused as đồ sộ why some blades have fewer or more teeth than vãn others. To which, the DeWalt #DW7647 has 80 teeth; the DW7646 has 60 albeit with the same Hook Angle. Wherein lies the advantage of one over the other?
As I write, I have five new blades in front of bầm, purchased this evening. Welcome đồ sộ ‘Blade City’! Four will be returned unopened but I wanted all specs in front of bầm. The differences astound bầm. All are 10″:
– FREUD 80T “Ultra Fine Crosscut”
– FREUD Combination, 50T
– CRAFTSMAN Carbide C300, 80T, “Fine Finish Trim”
– DEWALT DW7647, 80T
– Oldham 40T Combination
But why the variance in quantity of teeth? What I am gradually picking up here is that some blades are better at Crosscutting, others at Ripping. My needs will be both. I am not a professional woodworker by any means but in due time I’d lượt thích đồ sộ get into cabinetmaking. For now, until my skills are honed, it’s going đồ sộ be lots of pine boxes, plywood, small items such as outdoor planters, indoor planters, jewelry boxes, bookcases, shelves, etc. You get the idea. Maybe just having one blade isn’t going đồ sộ suffice for what I need đồ sộ bởi. And on top of it, I want a clean, neat cut. The Forrest Woodworker-II claims đồ sộ cut a finish where sanding isn’t required. How much bởi I believe that? Well common sense tells bầm it’s probably cleaner than vãn most but also a bit of advertising embellishment. Or is it actually THAT good?
Like most things in life, having too many options leads đồ sộ confusion and paralysis by analysis. So let’s simplify! Higher tooth counts (50 – 80) equate đồ sộ smoother cuts. Because there are more teeth doing the cutting, you have less tearout but more heat build up and motor strain. Lower tooth counts (24-30) equate đồ sộ rougher cuts. But because there is a lot more room between the teeth, dust is ejected efficiently and there’s less of a chance of heat buildup. That means less strain on the motor and an easier time plowing through thick boards. It also means you have a higher chance of tearing out wood fibers.
Now let’s think about the two cuts we make at the table saw, rips and cross-cuts. Rip cuts are made with the grain of the wood and are typically long in nature. This is the ideal situation for a low-tooth count blade. The aggressive cut won’t cause tearout because it’s cutting with the grain and the decreased friction and high efficiency make it physically easier đồ sộ push the wood through the saw.
Would that same blade bởi as well on a cross-cut? The blade would have no trouble making the cut but the major issue has đồ sộ bởi with tearout. An important part of making fine furniture is making clean cuts right off the saw, so sánh getting tearout on our cross-cuts is never a good thing. This is where the higher tooth-count blades come in handy. The increased number of teeth results in a smoother cut. But what about heat and friction you ask? Well because cross-cuts are nearly always short in duration, there usually isn’t enough time for that đồ sộ be a factor. So if you’re looking for a good blade for your miter saw, a tool that exclusively cross-cuts, you probably want a nice 80-tooth blade lượt thích this one.
Where you’ll run rẩy into real trouble is if you decide đồ sộ use a ripping blade for cross-cuts or a cross-cut blade for rips. You’ll get tearout and burning, respectively, so sánh avoid doing that if possible.
Now there is one more thing đồ sộ consider, and that’s the beast known as plywood. Plywood has a tendency đồ sộ tearout a lot, especially on cross-cuts. That thin veneer layer just doesn’t stand up well đồ sộ sawing. So when cutting plywood, a high-tooth count blade is a must if you want a clean crisp edge.
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In the ideal world, we would all have both ripping and cross-cut blades in our cửa hàng and we’d change the blade according đồ sộ the activity. But let’s be realistic here: changing blades sucks. And frankly, I am just too lazy for that. So what I opt for is a combination blade, usually 40-50 tooth lượt thích the Forrest Woodworker II (for Pat’s saw specifically, I’d recommend the thin-kerf Forrest Woodworker II) A high quality combination blade is capable of giving you excellent results for both rips and crosscuts. Is it as good as using high quality separate blades? Nope. But for the convenience and savings in time I will giảm giá with what little tearout I experience, if any at all. And after about 10 years of working with a Forrest Woodworker II, I can honestly say I have never once thought đồ sộ myself, “Boy, that cut would have better with an 80 tooth blade.”
Is it capable of producing finish-ready cuts? In my opinion, no. The finish is incredibly smooth by table saw standards but I wouldn’t điện thoại tư vấn it finish ready. That doesn’t bother bầm since I always prep my materials by hand before finishing.
In summary, 30 tooth and below for rips, 40-50 tooth for combination, and 60 tooth plus for cross-cuts.
Keep in mind there are lots of other options and features associated with table saw blades lượt thích tooth configurations, angles, and coatings. But in my opinion, nothing impacts the results of the cut more than vãn tooth count. Perhaps in the future we can dive into some of these other details.
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