Working with the right saw blade will make you more efficient in your woodworking tasks. Get to know the many types of saw blades and their uses with our handy saw blades guide.
The different types of saw blades
Electric saws cut through all kinds of material and can make intricate cuts without worries. But in order to produce the best results, you must use the correct saw blade for the type of power saw. Also, there are blades meant for special projects like making crosscuts, dadoes, miters, and rip cuts.
Crosscut Saw Blades
Crosscut blades are made for cutting perpendicularly to the wood’s natural grain. These saw blades may not be as fast as rip-cut blades but will give you smooth and seamless cuts. This is the reason why crosscut saw blades are more preferred by woodworkers working on fine and intricate projects.
A crosscut blade is capable of making many single cuts as this moves on the stock compared to rip blades. This results in much slower feed rates. Use high-quality crosscut blades to produce polished, seamless results.
Dado Cutting Blades
Dadoes require expertise and the right tool to make the cut. So for cutting dadoes, use dado cutting saw blades. These are commonly used with radial arm saws and table saws. You may also use dado blades to cut wood moldings, joints like tenon joints, and many more.
You can find two types of dado blades: quick and stack and adjustable blades. As the name goes, adjustable blades are fully adjustable while quick and stack ones can create very quick and very clean accurate cuts on your workpiece.
Dry Diamond Blades
When cutting denser but intricate materials like porcelain and ceramics, you need dry diamond blades. Contractors working on masonry and tiling works use dry diamond blades to make their jobs easier and more efficient.
When using dry diamond blades you should consider the diameter of the mounting flange as this should be equal to the diameter of the diamond blades. The blade must be mounted on a blade shaft in between correct flanges and tightened well using a tightening tool or basic wrench. Dry diamond saw blades heat up easily so make sure to check the blade regularly for any cracks or marks, usually due to heat. You’ll find these on the blade center of the segments. If you find these, change the blade.
Finishing Saw Blades
To create smoother cuts for a project, use fine-tooth blades made for finishing your work. Finishing blades are fine-tooth blades with 40 TPIs. These can make smooth and seamless cuts on wood; some can be used as paneling saw blades so you can cut through wood panels and plywood. Wooden panels usually come with one side with a smooth and finished surface while the other side is coarse and unfinished.
Finishing saw blades is also the best choice for cutting plastic laminates and veneer wood. These blades have more teeth making them less aggressive giving you a cleaner cut.
Metal Cutting Blades
Metals need a special type of blade called a metal cutting saw blade. This type of blade is created for high-speed cutting and can cut through steel seamlessly. Some metal cutting blades like the Makita metal cutting blades offer spark-free cuts.
This kind of blade can cut pipes, rebars, metal tubing, and any other dense materials. Always adjust the saw’s cutting depth according to the thickness of your workpiece to ensure proper deep cuts on metal and other materials.
Nail Cutting Blades
Contractors and workers on reclaimed job sites and renovations use nail-cutting blades. These blades will help remove all exposed and hidden nails from used lumber to ensure that the worksite is safer. A nail cutting blade will cut quickly and more efficiently plus, will also help remove small-diameter metal bars and pipes. Another name for a nail cutting blade is a demolition blade. This has low teeth count and has a flat-top grinding power designed for ripping through all kinds of material, especially metal.
Rip Saw Blades
A rip saw blade is very common and is used for cutting wood on the grain and for other basic cutting tasks. Rip blades will not give you smooth cuts but will cut wood faster and more efficiently compared to using crosscut blades.
These are the most common types of saw blades. Almost all of these blades are available in most hardware stores and power saw supplies. However, some blades like dry diamond saw blades should be ordered from a special supplier. Be sure to use compatible blades to match your saw’s specifications. Buy generic saw blades only when necessary.