What is the essential part of a table saw blade? Of course, the blade. There would be absolutely no woodworker who would deny that the choice of the blade can be a game-changer. But for a person that is just stepping into woodworking, such a choice may be a matter of concern.
However, the need to use the correct blade still persists regardless if you are a beginner or professional. The reason to support such a need is the difference in all the projects. You will not get to work on something over and over again. So to cut different materials perfectly, your table saw must have the perfect table blade on it.
In case you use the wrong blade on material, the outcome will not be the one you expected. The cut will not be a clean cut, nor will it be precise. Besides this, you having an injury is also a possibility. Thus, you must understand table saw blade types to use them whenever needed.
Blade Specifications To know
Let’s quickly take a look at the main specifications to keep in mind when you are choosing the right table saw blade for your needs.
Teeth per Inch (TPI)
The number of teeth per inch (TPI) is an important factor to keep in mind when shopping for a table saw blade.
More teeth per inch in a table saw blade generally means that it is better equipped to make clean and precise cuts. Faster and rougher cuts are produced with a lower TPI count, while higher TPI counts are best for harder materials that necessitate clean cuts.
For example, a high TPI count is required for stone-cutting blades.
Finally, don’t forget about the kerf of the blade. To put it another way, it will influence how much of your material will be wasted when you cut through it.
The type of teeth on the saw blade is the next key factor to examine.
Flat-top grind, which is perfect for fast rips and rougher cross cuts; and alternating top bevel, which is excellent over all ripping and crosscutting are two of the most popular tooth designs. Also available is the TCG tooth design, which is designed for cutting through extremely hard materials.
Major Types Of Table Saw Blade You Must Know
Since you understand how important it is to have, now is the time to understand what blade will fulfill your requirements. Here are the different types of blades to choose the right one from.
As the name implies, these are the blades you would generally get to see. A general-purpose blade usually has 40 teeth. These teeth are enough to serve almost every application. Therefore, if you ask a woodworker about the basic blade, you will hear about this one.
While talking about the specification of purpose, there is actually none. These blades are the best ones for general usage. The teeth of such a blade have even spaces between them. You may see some alternative beveling in them as well. If you see yourself needing a blade that will serve you all the purposes, go for a general-purpose blade.
If you are cutting natural wood, here, rip blade is what you should aim for. These are the blades made to be used while cutting with the grain. The spaces in front of the teeth of this blade are larger, which allows the shaving to disperse. The number of teeth in this blade is not much.
Mostly you would find this number to be 20. However, it ranges between 10 to 30 for most of the models. The teeth of Rip blades have a flat configuration. It is because they need to handle large pieces of wood.
The cut is made pretty fast when used along the material’s grain. But the cut is usually a bit rough if you compare it to other blades, especially the crosscut.
Crosscut blades are made just for you if you want the cleanest and finest cuts possible. Just like ripping blades, these require to be cut across the wood’s grain. However, the spacing between the teeth of the crosscut table saw blade is pretty less. Such quality allows the chip to be removed while cutting.
Unlike the previous one, you may find a good variety for the number of teeth here. The teeth range from 60 to 90 in number but are very small. The tininess of the teeth does remove access to the material like the ripping one does. As a result, you get a smoother cut on the material, giving you an extra clean finish.
Thin Kerf Blades
If you are looking for a blade that is extremely thin than any other kind of blade, consider a thin kerf blade. While comparing the thinness, you would find that it is about 25 percent thinner than an average blade.
Due to being this thin, the saw’s dust is reduced to a minimum quantity. Thus, you can reduce the wastage of the wood. The blades are made for thin-stripping as they provide you with precise rips. Rather than having the normal standards, you would find these having a high TPI count.
TPI stands for teeth per inch. These contain carbide teeth. The quality of each tooth ensures the smoothest texture. While purchasing, you can also ask for thick kerf or flat kerf if that’s what you want.
Looking for a blade that can cut and rip altogether? Then go for a combination and specialty blade. You must have guessed already that this one is a combination of two blades. So here’s the solution for the people who have their hearts calling out for both ripping and crosscut blades.
There are a total of 50 teeth in it, which are designed to have characteristics of both blades. Forty of the teeth are shaped pretty evenly with the alternative bevel design. Does this sound familiar? Because it is the feature of a crosscut blade.
The remaining ten teeth are widely spaced, just like the rip blade. With the huge gaps in front of the teeth and flat-top, they can perform the function of ripping blades. You may even get surprised to find out that these blades can even cut through brick as well.
While talking about some of the unique blades of all time, one cannot forget dado blades. The uniqueness of these blades paired with their usefulness makes them just perfect to use. Rather than having just a single blade, there are multiple blades.
These are used for making dados, thus justifying their name dado. Previously, they were designed to cut only the hollows in the wood, unlike cutting it thoroughly. There are two kinds of dado sets: stacked blade and wobble blade.
A stacked dado will give you consistent results. Cut using a dado is basically made to join one timber to another. However, the movement is quick and back and forth with a wobble blade.
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Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Table Saw Blade
Since you now know about some of the best blade types to choose from, here are the criteria that will help you choose the right one. You can look for all these qualities when deciding one from all the table saw blade types.
The size of the blade determines the style of cut made. Usually, the diameter is 10-inch of most blades. However, it is not a fixed size. You can get any size from 8 inch, 10-inch combination, or 12 inches. Therefore, you may find a good variety for all the table saw blade types.
Even bigger ones range up to 30 inches, but the woodworker does not prefer those. So, before buying the blade, try to find out the specific size dimensions as not all saw blade types have a similar configuration.
What else can matter more than the quality of the blade that you are using for your table saw? The top blades won’t hesitate to use carbide or steel. In addition, the blade should last long. A durable blade will save you from running to the store to get a new one.
Though you may need to sharpen them periodically, they are pretty sturdy. The material is what makes a difference between the cheap and good quality. The cheap ones usually have stamped and thin steel plates. The cheap ones are usually noisy, which makes the whole cutting process irritating.
The materials used to make the saw blades are steel or carbon steel. However, the preferable material is a composite of hardened metal or tungsten carbide for the teeth. Such requirement arose due to the functioning of the blade as it has to cut through various tough materials.
You can even find table saw blades that use a combination of diamond and metal powder. You would also notice that these have diamond-tipped teeth. These are used to cut late or ceramic tile. Such blades are popularly called composite blades.
RPM stands for revolutions per minute. It is the maximum speed your blade can attain. It is not recommended to go above the maximum RPM of blade specs. If the blade rotates faster than the spec, this can damage it. For all table saw blade types, this factor persists.
If precision is what you seek in cutting, then the teeth of the blade matter for you the most. As stated earlier, the material is usually tungsten carbide. The number of teeth depends upon the type of blade you are going after.
Defining a range can be tough as a crosscut blade contains more teeth than a general ripping one. However, the speed of cutting can be determined by this number. For example, if the table saw blade had fewer teeth, then the cut would be faster.
Instead, if you want a smoother cut, then fewer teeth will not provide you that. For that, you must choose the one that contains more teeth. It is the teeth guide you need to follow.
Adjustment of the blade is according to the user. You can make the needed adjustment to ensure the efficiency of the blade. You get a handwheel to control the height of your blade. There is a need to ensure a height that will give you the desired depth of the cut.
You can also tilt the blade accordingly with the same wheel. This is useful to make a bevel cut. It is the cut that is not made at 90 degrees. Expensive cabinet models may include, and are not limited to, a tilt feature, and a hand wheel and/or feed control – all of which can seriously help with any DIY project. Cheap portable saws won’t have these features.
You can never compromise having a good blade for your table saw. There are blades made for every single purpose you seek to perform. So with the guide mentioned here, you shall be able to get your hands on the perfect blade for yourself.