Your circular saw is solid tool, it is actually your best ally in the layout of your interior, and you have to take care of it all the time. However, it is nothing without a high quality blade. The saw blade will determine the quality of the cut, so the choice of a circular saw is very important. The selection of the saw blade depends on many criteria, such as the type of work that will be intended to be done or whether for frequent or occasional use.
If you do not know where to start, then this guide will help you to focus on the key points and the criteria that you should consider when you want to buy a good blade. In particular, the guide will present detailed information about the quality of the blades, the material, the teeth and the diameter. I will also suggest some high quality blades that I’ve tried in my workshop.
Parts of circular saw blade
The choice of circular saw blades depends on several points. Above all, it will depend on the type of work to be performed and the usage frequency. Some have been dedicated only for occasional use, others for everyday use. For intensive use or for professional use, it is necessary to bring a more solid and stiff blade. But before we dig deep, we need to know the main parts of the blade
Here are the main parts that you should focus on when buying a blade:
- The diameter of the blade
- The number of teeth
- The bore size
- The material of the teeth
- The material of the blade body
- The material that you will cut
The diameter as well as the number of teeth of the blade will determine the type of works that can be done by the blade.
The depth of the cut will be closely related to the diameter of the blade. For example, a cutting depth of 3 inches will require a blade of diameter of 8 ¼ inches. You will also have to consider the thickness of the material to be treated. Regarding the teeth, they can be flat, trapezoidal or bevel.
Circular Blade Teeth 101
Circular saw blades according to uses: type of tooth and angle of attack.
What is the angle of attack?
The angle of attack is the inclination angle of the tooth tip. The angle of attack is positive when the tooth is bent forward and negative if it is tilted backwards. Negative angle blades are always used with radial or miter saws for cutting wood or metals. This inclination prevents the abrupt return of the blade to the user.
The choice of the blade is essentially must be done according to the work to be done and the material to be cut. But to optimize the quality of the cut for better finish and smoother cuts, you need to take type of teeth into account when choosing your circular saw blade:
There are different types of teeth shapes out there like:
FLAT TOP GRIND TEETH (FTG)
These teeth plow through the wood. They are used in rip blades, where a fast feed rate is important to prevents overheating and bottom-side tear-out isn’t an issue because the cut runs parallel to the wood fibers.
ALTERNATE TOP BEVEL TEETH (ATB)
These Teeth cut like knives, scoring the wood to minimize tear-out. Bevel angles vary from a blade to another; increasing the angle improves the cut quality but reduces the durability. The ATB teeth are used on crosscut, general-purpose and some rip blades. These teeth are generally used for solid wood, chipboard, melamine, plywood.
HIGH-ANGLE ALTERNATE TOP BEVEL (Hi-ATB)
These teeth have steep bevel angles (30 to 45 degrees) to cut melamine prefectly without tearing out the paper-thin face veneers. This tooth configuration is also great for hardwood and plywood. These steeply beveled teeth are less durable than regular ATB teeth, thouth.
TRIPLE-CHIP GRIND (TCG)
These teeth have beveled corners. On the blade, they alternate with FTG teeth. TCG teeth don’t have scoring bevels, so they are very durable. They are used on glue-line rip blades and blades for melamine board, laminates and other manufactured materials when tooth durability is most important.
These are also few considerations that you should have in mind when you choose your blade:
- The materials to be cut (wood, composite materials, non-ferrous metals, plastic) determines the tip of the tooth.
- The thickness of the blade.
- The necessary cutting depth is indicated by the diameter of the blade itself.
- The number of teeth (the higher the number of teeth, the better the finish).
- The number of revolutions per minute allowed (rpm) relative to the diameter of the blade (Must be checked according to the performance of the circular saw you want to buy).
Note that the indentations are provided so that the metal can expand under heat. Because the circular blades or any type of blades gets heated by the continuous operation.
Circular Saw Blade Materials
There are many types of materials used in making circular blades.
But you may wonder why is that?
That is because material of the blade must be much stronger than the material of the item you want to cut. The strongest material ever for cutting is diamond, so you have to pick the right material according to your usage.
You have to know that the primary tool that makes the cut is the blade, not your saw. Meaning that you can use the same circular saw for cutting wood, also for cutting masonry blocks and concrete. It all depends on the material of the blade.
Carbide is a hard compound material that is denoted by the metal added to it, meaning that there is another metal that will be added to the carbide compound. Several materials can be added to the carbide compound like:
Tungsten: hard metal which has the highest melting point of all metals (more than 3400 ° C), as well as the lower vapor pressure and higher tensile strength at a temperature above 1650 Co.
The Tungsten Carbide Blades have a more RPM capacity than other blades. Those blades are very popular when it comes for cutting non-ferrous metals and plastic because you don’t have to sharpen it frequently as the other blade types.
The carbide blades have many advantages:
- Resistant to friction and hardly scratched,
- Resists wear and unalterable,
- Resistant to temperature differences (its melting point is 3400 ° C),
- A non-corrosive material.
- A long service life
The only disadvantage for the tungsten carbide blades is that it’s hard to be sharpen
The blades are not made entirely of carbide compound, it’s only the tips. The sharpness of these tips lasts 20 to 50 times longer than that of steel blades. Actually, these blades can increase your productivity by 10 to 20%. After wear, you can sharpen the blades by a sharpening machine, which have diamond components specifically made for that purpose.
Tungsten carbide blades can be used for clean and precise cuts of softwood, hardwood, coated particleboard, non-ferrous metal, plastic, Plexiglas sheets, plywood, veneer and MDF.
Also they can be used for cutting aluminum, copper and PVC.
The diamond is nearly the hardest metal on earth, thus, it can be used for making cutting blades such as the abrasive blades. The tips of those blades are enhanced with diamond, and that gives them the ability to cut abrasive materials such as stone, concrete, masonry blocks, asphalt and ceramics.
There is an important factor you need to know regarding the material of the blade, and that factor is the coating of the material, it is called “Anti-friction coating”. That’s for sure is given for a higher price because that coating prevents the blade from heating up as much and gives the blade a longer life span, rust prevention and allows you to run the blade and the saw longer. The coating may be of platinum,Teflon, chrome, titanium, or iridium.
Circular Blade Diameters
A blade is a toothed metal disc with a hole in the middle that is called a bore. It is through this hole that the blade is fixed to the saw. You can choose a blade with a bore diameter larger than that of your saw, provided you mount it with a reducing ring.
The toothed reduction rings fit the blades whose bore is greater than the shaft of the machine. They must not be thicker than the blade and have a diameter at least 10 mm smaller than that of the clamping flange.
You must choose a blade whose diameter does not exceed the maximum diameter of the blades that can be mounted on the circular saw. Choosing a slightly smaller blade is not dangerous; simply you will have a maximum depth of cut reduced.
Also, the diameter of the blade has a relationship with the RPM capacity of the circular saw, larger diameters have lower RPM capacity than smaller diameters. And this table shows you the maximum RPM capacity for each circular saw blade:
The blade diameter determines the depth of the cut. The most common blade diameters in the market are the 7-1/4 inch blade that will give you a cutting depth of 2-1/2 inch and the 8-1/4 inch blade that will give you a cutting depth of 3 inches.
Number of Teeth
There are blades with 10 to 80 teeth. A very important factor to take into account is how many teeth your blade has, because it directly influences the speed of the cut as well as its finesse. The more the teeth, the better the cutting finish will be, but also the slower the cutting process.
However, you may wonder, why is there blades with a little number of teeth?. The truth is that you cannot compare apples to oranges. Blades with many teeth have their own use, also the blades with fewer teeth.
The blades with little number of teeth are used for rough carpentry works as they cut quicker than the blades that have many teeth. They are also known as the construction blades, where the quality of the finish is not so important. Also, the large spaces between the teeth allow rapid evacuation of chips.
Blades that have many teeth are called plywood blades. They are usually made of HSS (High-speed steel) -Tungsten blades are considered HSS blades-.
When should I replace my circular saw blade?
Knowing when to change your circular saw or table saw blade is important to the project that you are working on. If you have a dull blade, you are not going to cut efficiently and quickly as you want.
- If you are pushing your saw to cut through the wood or it’s not going smoothly as it is once was, then this is probably the blade is dull and you need to replace it.
- If you have excess chipping on the wood, so you can check your blade and if you see chips in it or if the blade itself is rounded over and does not have a nice sharp edge so you need to replace it.
Evolution circular saw blades are well known by the variety of diameters they present, from 5-3/8 inches to 15 inches. They also present a wide variety of teeth. Thanks to its large number of teeth, it performs clean and precise cuts without difficulty. Made of tungsten carbide, it is versatile and robust. It also remains sharp for a long time. It allows you to cut through softwood, hardwood, chipboard, aluminum profile, plastic and plexiglass without having to change blades.
Things We Liked
Things We Didn’t Like
- A wide variety of diameters and number of teeth
- Max RPM is 4200 for the 5-3/8-inch blade
- Produces more cleaner cuts than other general purpose blades
- Compatible with all circular saw brands
- Multi-Purpose blade
- The 10-inch blade should have more quality control.
- Although you can use it for aluminum cutting, but you cannot use it for higher grades of aluminum (309 and higher)
- After too many cuts, it will start to throw sparks and leave very hot edges
Don’t forget to check other guides related to circular blades:
4 points you must not miss when choosing your circular saw blade
So, let’s wrap it up in just 5 straight points, we now know all the information and the different types of circular blades, I don’t want you to lose your train of thought.
- Check the characteristics of your circular saw, that will determine many factors, the RPM, the bore diameter and many other things
- You have to choose the blade according to the material to be cut, and the easiest way to know that is from the manufacturer itself, and luckily, the manufacturer specifies that in its product description.
- You have to specify the quality of the finish that you want, because according to that, you will determine the number of teeth that you want.
- Sometimes you may get lost between the logos and abbreviations, to choose well, consider the manufacturers recommendations, the material of the teeth and their type.