A table saw is an essential tool for any professional craftsmen. Even if you are a secondary level DIYers, a table saw can be really helpful. If you know how to use a table saw properly you can do a very wide range of cutting operations with a table saw. There are different types of table saws that are intended to perform different types of cutting in different workspaces. But you are not done yet. The default blade comes with the unit of the table saw, might not always be the right blade for your type of project. Depending on your project types you may need to replace the blade sooner or later. That requires you to have a complete understanding of the blades of a table saw. Choosing the right blade is always crucial for any power saw to get the best result. The wrong blade may even cause a serious accident. That is why it’s very important to understand the blades of a table saw and choose accordingly.
Basically, there are two types of table saw blades, rip blade and crosscutting blade. The name tells everything. If you need to perform rip cut, you will need the first one and for crosscutting, you will need the second one.
- Rip Blade: This type of blade has a smaller number of teeth and larger gullets. That means it has more space for removing the chips. These blades are intended for cutting along with the grain of the material you are cutting and they perform rougher cutting.
- Crosscutting Blade: Crosscutting blades are used for cutting the grains of the materials. They have more teeth and smaller gullets, therefore they perform finer cuts. Since they have less space for chip removal and more teeth to cut across, the feed rate is pretty slow.
If you need both a smooth finish and quicker cut, there are combo blades, the combination of both rip blade and crosscutting blade. There are special purpose blades those are intended to cut mostly special type of material like plywood, hardwood, metal, plastic or even bricks. That is why the type of blade plays a very important role while choosing the right table saw blade. You should have a general purpose blade that will cut almost any materials. But if you are really looking for professional finishing a general purpose blade will not give you that.
Read Table Saw Blade Buying Guide.
Most of the table saw blade has teeth between 24 and 80. There are blades those are particularly designed for several types of materials. What makes the differences actually? If you have a blade with fewer teeth, you will have faster and rougher cuts, on the other hand, more teeth will give you slower but smoother cuts. Never push the blade to the workpiece for faster speed. It will cause kickback and injure you severely.
Table saw blades are made from different types of materials. It depends on the purpose of the blade. If the blade is intended to cut plywood and hardwood, they are usually made of metal. And obviously, if the blade is made to cut through metal, they are made of harder metals. Most of the time, the metal core body has harder metal teeth. The Harder metal is applied around the edge of the blade. The masonry blades have diamond-tipped teeth. If you are cutting the soft metal like aluminum, your blade will need tungsten carbide tipped teeth. To cut the PVC or acrylic materials the blades have low-tempered tungsten carbide tipped teeth.
Basically, a table saw blade is measured by the diameter. There are two types of measurement, the diameter of the mounting hole and the diameter of the blade. 8, 10 and 12 inches diameters are the most common. There are bigger ones as well, but they are for commercial purposes. You will find the right size of the blade on the user manual that comes with the product. Since there is a blade guard you cannot set larger blade there. The diameter of the mounting hole of the most standard table saw is 5/8 inch. But there are exceptions as well.
Blade adjustment has been a crucial feature for any table saw nowadays. The blade can be adjusted vertically and also by changing the axis. By changing the axis of the blade you can perform cuts in different angles. Cutting angles are important for bevel cuts and joints. You can change the depth of cut by adjusting vertically since that allows you to expose more of the blade.
The speed of the blade is measured by RPM (Revolutions per minute). The blades are designed to rotate at a certain speed. The speed must never exceed. If the limit is exceeded, the blade might get broken. So while choosing the right table saw blade, you need to know the highest speed.
These are the basics you should know about the blades of a table saw. Knowing those basic will be helpful to choose the right blade for the table saw which is very important to get the best result from the best table saw you have purchased. Also, you may like to look at the article How to Choose the Right Bandsaw Blade.