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Circular and Mitre Saw Blades – A Toolstop Buying Guide

Circular and Mitre Saw Blades – A Toolstop Buying Guide

Posted by Toolstop Fraser on 24th Jan 2013

Buying the correct blade for circular and/or mitre saw is essential for safety!

In this buying guide, we’ll show you how to choose the correct circular saw blade for your power tool and for the job you’re undertaking. Click here to see all the different blades we have in stock for your mitre and circular saws.

Buying Circular & Mitre Saw Blades – Size Matters

First off, check the size of the bore on your machine. This is probably going to matter more if you’re hiring the saw. Making sure the blade you’re about to fit is the right one for the saw you’re using starts with the bore. You’ll find out this information in the user manual.

A saw with a bore of 30mm will need a blade with a bore of 30mm. It’s that simple.

The diameter of the blade also matters. Too large a diameter of the blade may affect any guard fitted to your saw. Once again, this is a safety issue. The user manual for the saw will outline the maximum and minimum blade diameters you can safely use. The thickness of the blade will determine the width of the cut. Finer, more precise cutting applications will need a thinner diameter blade.

All measurements will be etched into the blade itself and will be clearly marked on the packaging.

It’s worth pointing out that good quality blades will have notches cut out of the disk itself. This allows the disk to expand as it heats up while cutting and, therefore, prevents warping. A warped blade will mess up your cut and is potentially hazardous to your health!

Buying and fitting only the correct size of the blade to your saw is essential for your safety.

Buying Circular & Mitre Saw Blades – Application Matters

If your application was cutting hardwood and you want a nice clean face to the cut, then try fine-toothed blades. Because of their high tooth count, they’ll cut quickly and easily through the material and leave you with a nice, crisp edge on the cut. The same would apply if you were cutting aluminium or perspex. The shape of the teeth, the number of the teeth and the quality of the tungsten carbide mean your cut will be quick but you’ll only be left with a lovely, clean straight edge.

However, it’s worth pointing out that blades with more teeth usually require your saw, to work a bit slower and harder. But it’s the teeth on the blade that are doing the cutting and that will determine the quality of the final cut.

Check out these great deals on Circular Saw Blades:

Buying Circular & Mitre Saw Blades – Cuts Matter

The blade you buy and fit onto your saw will produce a cut specific to the manufacturer’s design. The type of cuts achievable are normally:

Very coarse cut

  • fast rip cuts and cross cuts in softwood, hardwood, raw chipboards and formwork boards

Coarse cut

  • rip and cross cuts in softwood, hardwood, raw chipboards, formwork, boards and plywood

Fine cut

  • cross cuts in softwood, plywood, wood core plywood, chipboards laminated on one side, and parquet

Very fine cut

  • cross cuts in softwood, hardwood, plywood, wood core plywood, parquet, fibre materials and MDF

The cut performed by the blade actually comes solely from the teeth, rather than the disk itself.

Therefore, the type of teeth on the blade you choose will have the biggest impact on the material. Choosing the correct tooth-type is essential, both in terms of cut quality and personal safety.

First of all, the greater number of teeth on the blade denotes a finer, more accurate cut.

The high number of teeth, coupled with the thinness of the blade, means that it’s ideal for fine, accurate cuts in parquet and laminates. And because the teeth (or blades) are made of tungsten carbide, they’re extremely hard wearing and they can be re-ground, allowing you squeeze plenty of working life out of them.

Another factor to consider is the shape of the blade’s teeth. The shape of the teeth cut into the tungsten blade affect the quality of the cut you’ll achieve.

Some examples of shaped teeth are alternate top bevel. This is where one bladed tooth slopes one direction, the one behind it slopes in another direction. Teeth like these are ideal for fast cuts, perhaps through rough wood, particularly along or across the grain.

Buying Circular & Mitre Saw Blades – Height Matters

Perhaps the most obvious, but also the most overlooked, is to make sure you buy and use the circular saw blades at the right height.

When buying, and using circular saw blades, it isn’t just a case of making sure you’ve purchased the correct size of the blade with the correct shape and number of teeth for the application, but that you’re using the blade at the correct height in your machine.

Bear in mind that it’s the teeth that actually do the cutting.

The blade, or disk part, is only there to – literally – support the teeth. The teeth are sharpened, ground and designed to do the cutting.

Therefore, setting your machine to the correct height (or depth) of cut will determine whether you’re getting the most out of the blade and not putting your machine under too much stress. When cutting, the teeth of the blade should only just be protruding from the cut, no more than a couple of millimetres or so.

This means the teeth will be making contact with your cutting material at the correct angle, your machine will be able to operate at the best speed for the cut and you’ll experience less resistance and vibration.

Feel free to use the comments section below to ask any questions you may have about saw blades. And be sure to share this guide with your friends.

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