Choosing The Best Table Saw Blade
If your table saw blade just isn’t cutting it anymore, you have come to the right place. I am going to give you some insight on how to choose the best table saw blade.
1. What are different types of table saw blades available? We can do this by putting the blades into two categories first by what you’re trying to achieve. See below:
Cross-Cut (cutting across the grain) Ripping (cutting with grain)
2. What is the primary type of material will you be cutting with this blade? If you’re just going to be cutting one type of material we can choose a blade that will be more specific for the job at hand. There are blades specific for cutting plastics melamine or etc.
Ask yourself these 2 simple questions before you begin to search for a new table saw blade and it will help you become less overwhelmed.
Like I talked about before cross-cutting is cutting across the grain. You will use cross-cutting all the time in your woodworking projects. The toughest challenge with cross-cutting is dealing with tear-out. So let’s talk about some characteristics of a cross table saw and how you can choose the best table saw blade.
Cross cut table saw blades normal come in a 60 t0 80 tooth configuration. The higher tooth count is going to give you smoother cut across your work surface. The gullet is the area in between the saw teeth. Gullet on a cross-cut table saw blade is going to have smaller gullets which result in less chip removal and having to feed at slower feed rated. When a quality saw blade is used and cut through in a cross cut formation the end grain will almost have a sheen to it.
- 60-80 tooth configuration
- smaller gullets
- slower feed rates
- high quality blade for best performance
Ripping as discussed is cutting with the grain. Common tooth count for a ripping blade is 24 teeth. This is a big difference compared to the 60-80tooth we just discussed. Your ripping blade will remove material very quickly from your work piece. Even with the best table saw blade you will not be able to achieve a mirror-like surface like you might be able to with cross cut blade. Gullets with a rip blade are much larger and have much better chip removal. This gives you the ability to move through material very quickly.
- 24 tooth count commonly
- big gullet
- greater chip removal
- fast feed rate
- rougher cut finish
Four Main Tooth Configurations
- Flat-Top Grind (FTG) Flat-top grind is a very simple grind style. The top edges of the teeth are square to the main saw blade on this type of grind. You can almost relate to the teeth on this blade to chisel cutting through the material at high-speed. FTG blades efficently and quickly cut through material.
- Triple Chip Grid (TCD) Now with a triple chip grind your going to have a trapezoidal-like tooth followed by a raker. The raker tooth with have a flat top grind on it which well help remove the corners of the material left behind from first trapezoidal tooth. TCD blades are great for cutting plastics laminates and even non-ferrous metals.
- Alternate Top Bevel (ATB) With alternate top bevel it is what the name is saying. The teeth are beveled in alternating directions. This tip design gives the tooth the ability to slice through the wood fibers. If you have a steeper angle on your bevels you get a cleaner but in return they dull very quickly. The style of blade works great for cross cutting as well as cutting plywood, particle board, fiberboard and more.
- Combination or (ATBR) The combination blade gives you the ability to cross cut and rip the same blade. Combination blade commonly has teeth in sets of 5. These include 4 ATB teeth and then 1 raker to clear the material. That last raker tooth will also help keep the blade straight throughout the cut.
Now How To Choose The Best Table Saw Blade
Putting everything together I laid out in the article will help you ultimately choose the best table saw blade. Start by determining if what type of cutting will you be dong the most. Cross-cutting or Ripping? Next step, what material will you be primarily but cutting with this blade? Asking these two simple questions will help in your quest of buying a new table saw blade.
If you’re looking for a general multi-purpose blade your best bet is to choose a combination blade and have the ability to cross-cut and rip very efficiently. You can check one out here on amazon.
I hope this brief overview helped you with what different saw blade types there are on the market and will help you in your purchase. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me through the contact page.