Choosing Table Saw Blades

How many different blades do I need for a table saw?

Carbide Woodturning Tools For The B...
Carbide Woodturning Tools For The Beginner

Now that you’ve bought a table saw you have to figure out which blades to buy for it. Choosing table saw blades can be a challenge if you don’t know what the differences are. In this article, you find some suggestions on which ones to buy and why. Some of the topics discussed here are the differences between all purpose blades vs. combination blades. The differences between a thin and thick kerf blade and why it matters. 

You’ll also learn about why you might want to have a ripping blade also why tooth count matters.

The Truth Behind Some of The Biggest Myths Surrounding Table Saw Blades

The truth is that there are a lot of myths surrounding table saw blades. Some people believe that the higher the price, the better the quality. Others think that it’s a matter of preference. But in reality, it’s not as simple as that. There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing which blade you want to purchase.

People often believe that a high-quality blade will cost them more money, but this isn’t always true. You can find some great blades at an affordable price and some expensive blades with low-quality steel inside them. So what should you look for in a table saw blade?

Many people also think that it doesn’t matter what type of blade they buy because they’re all pretty much the same and just have different prices to suit different budgets

Beginner Table Saw Blades

The blades for table saws are an important part of any table saw. Just like the table saw fence and the miter gauge. In this article, we will discuss some of the best beginner table saw blades available on the market today.

Table saw blades are the most important part of any table saw. They can be changed depending on what type of cutting you want to do, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In this article, we will discuss some of the best beginner table saw blades available.

The saw blade is the most important component of your table saw. The type of blade can make all the difference between a clean cut and a rough cut which will need to be sanded. One of the best ways to ensure you are getting the right blade is to do a little research on what that blade is good for.

Choosing a table saw blade is one of the most important steps when attempting any type of woodworking project.

Essential Table Saw Blades

If you own a table saw there are a few blades that you’ll want to buy straight away. 

The first one is the general-purpose blade. This blade will be quite handy to have around because not only can it rip cut but it can also crosscut.

What’s nice about this blade is that it takes all the guesswork out of deciding which blade to put in the table saw. Maybe at the time you only have to make a few rip cuts and a handful of crosscuts. This blade is a good choice. It saves you the time of changing from a rip blade to a crosscut blade.

The all-purpose blade comes in two styles. The 40 tooth count and the 50 tooth count. In my personal opinion, the blade that has 40 teeth cuts a little faster when ripping wood.

The second blade to consider getting is the combination blade. Like the general-purpose blade, it can also rip and crosscut lumber. The reason why it’s called a combination blade is that the blade has two different types of teeth. Teeth for ripping wood and teeth for cutting across the grain

This blade is a decent choice but one thing to keep in mind is that it’s more expensive than the general-purpose blade. What’s also different about this blade when you’re looking at it is the blade’s teeth have been put into groups of five teeth.

The first cutting tooth in each group has a triple chip grind (TCG) followed by four teeth called alternate top bevel (ATB). Following each group, you’ll notice a deeper gullet than you would find on a general-purpose blade. 

These are just three visual differences that can be seen but what do they do?  

A Table Saw Ripping Blade Is One That You Should Have

A table saw ripping blade is a type of blade that can only be used when cutting with the grain of wood. When cutting boards or sheets of plywood, the narrow profile of a ripping blade ensures that you can remove material smoothly and efficiently. It excels at cutting down long sheet goods.

This type of blade has 3 or 4 teeth per inch, and its kerf (the width of the cut) is smaller than that of a crosscut blade.  

Tooth Count For A Table Saw Blade

One of the most important considerations for a table saw blade is tooth count. The tooth count is the number of teeth per inch (TPI) and is measured by dividing the number of teeth in front of and behind the blade. 

The lower TPI means that more teeth are in contact with wood. The more teeth that are in contact with the wood, the smoother the cut will be. The higher TPI means that fewer teeth are in contact with the wood and the cut will be much rougher.

As a woodworker, it’s safe to say that you should buy table saw blades that have at least 10 TPI. This should be sufficient for smoother and cleaner saw cuts, and the material won’t tear out as much.

The tooth geometry is another important consideration when buying table saw blades. The tooth spacing and height can also affect the wood being cut. The purpose of a table saw blade is to provide even, smooth, and efficient cuts. 

They are both created with the same purpose in mind by offering different tooth configurations that work well for specific types of materials. Tooth size can vary from 1/8″ to 3/4″. 

Is It Better to Have More Teeth on A Table Saw Blade?

The number of teeth on a table saw blade determines the smoothness of the wood. A saw blade with a higher number of teeth will be more efficient and smoother when cutting, but it will also require more power to run. 

There is no definitive answer to which blade is better. It’s important to consider the preference of both the operator and the type of wood being cut when deciding how many teeth your blade should have. 

Do Blades With More Teeth Cut Faster?

The answer to this question is that blades with more teeth do cut faster. This is because the teeth create small tears in the material and these small tears will help to cut through the material. 

A table saw blade with more teeth isn’t always better than a blade with fewer teeth. The number of teeth on a blade isn’t the only factor that determines the quality of the cut.

The most important factor in determining the quality of the cut is the type of material being cut. Fewer teeth are better for cutting soft materials, such as softwood or plastics, while more teeth are better for cutting hardwood and other materials, such as aluminum.

People often wonder what the difference is between carbide-tipped and non-carbide-tipped saw blades. Carbide-tipped blades are designed to cut through hard materials, like steel or aluminum. Non-carbide tips are designed for cutting softer materials, such as wood or plastics.

Are Combination Blades Worth Buying?

This question is controversial because there are some woodworkers who believe that there should be a blade for just ripping and another blade dedicated to crosscutting. 

The argument is that a combination blade won’t provide the cleanest cut possible. A long time ago that may very well have been the truth. However, combination blades have come a long way since then.

So in my opinion a combination blade is a good investment. My point is why keep taking the time to switch out blades from ripping to crosscutting and vice versa when today’s combination blades can give you the results that you want?

In the long run, you’ll save a lot of money and a little space in the workshop. 

Combination vs General Purpose Saw Blades

The only advantage of having a general-purpose saw blade vs. a combination is that it’s less expensive. A major downfall of a general-purpose blade is it will wear down quicker. If you have the money to buy combination blades, that’s the way to go.

They can cut through a wider variety of materials that a general-purpose blade can’t. They also require less maintenance than general-purpose blades.

If you don’t have the money for a good combo blade and have to buy the general-purpose kind, make sure that you only cut wood with it. This will extend the life of the blade a little bit. It doesn’t cut well through things that aren’t made of just wood. MDF is brutal on these types of blades and so are types of sheet wood.

40 tooth or 50 Tooth Combination Blade

The answer to this question depends on your specific needs. A 40 tooth combination blade is perfect for general use and will be sufficient for most jobs. 

The 40 tooth combination blade will produce a smoother finish than the 50 tooth option, but it won’t last as long before needing to be replaced. A 50 tooth blade is an excellent choice for cutting hard materials such as hardwood or plastic. It will also produce a rougher cut though.

Thin Kerf vs. Full Kerf

A couple of things determine what kerf you want to have. First is the power of the table saw itself. If you have a saw that has a lower horsepower then the thin kerf blades will probably be the ones you want to start with.

The table saws that have a lower horsepower can turn a thinner kerf through hardwood easier. It’s less wear and tear on the table saw motor and other parts of the saw.

If you use a thicker kerf saw blade on a table saw that doesn’t have the power to drive it you run the risk of the saw bogging down. This usually happens on long ripping cuts of thicker plywood. 

The problem with thin kerf table saw blades is they don’t tend to be as accurate as thick ones. The reason is they deflect more when under too much pressure when moving the material through the blade. 

If you have a table saw that runs on a 220-volt circuit with 3 horsepower, you can easily use a thick kerf table saw blade.

If the situation is where you have a saw that runs on 110 volts you’re going to want to use a thin kerf blade to keep the saw from struggling as it cuts.

References:

Learn about what a thin and thick kerf is.