Woodworking can be a fun and exciting activity for some people. The ability to create something by yourself and a few tools is a fantastic feeling. If you are one of those who pay attention to precision and accuracy to each woodcut, one of the best power tools that you can get is a table saw.
Table saws are some of the most versatile tools among woodworking tools. You can use them to cross-cut, rip, dado, square, and many more. One significant component of table saws is the blades. A blade for saw can determine the precision in which you’re going to do your cuts.
There are many things that you have to keep in mind when searching for a great saw blade. There are many factors, such as teeth quality, kerf, type, teeth configuration, gullet, angle, and many more. The most appropriate way to choose a blade is to determine what your project needs are; if you need a general-purpose blade, the Forrest WW07Q307100 Woodworker II can be a great option.
On the other hand, if you’re on a budget, the CMT 213.040.10 can do the required job without spending so much money. Overall, there are many options for you; you just have to choose the blade that fits your project.
Why Do You Need the Best Table Saw Blades?
As we said before, there are many types of table saws blades on the market, and each one can serve a different purpose.
Right now, you can find general-purpose blades that work with most ripping and cross-cutting jobs without any issues. However, you can also get a blade that specializes in certain types of cuts; it all depends on your preferences.
Regardless of what type of saw blade you get, you must choose a great one. Quality is a non-negotiable factor when looking for the best saw blades. If you get a blade with poor quality, it may get damaged faster, so you would end up spending even more money in the long run. If you want precision and clean cuts, you have to keep an eye out for many things, such as the blade’s teeth, kerf, configuration, and type.
The Anatomy of a Table Saw Blade
Before you start looking for new blades, you have to understand their anatomy. Many things make up a saw blade, and each product has a specific configuration and build that can influence your choice. Some are better for cross cuts, others for cutting MDF or plywood, and so on.
You can easily determine the quality of a blade by looking at its tooth count, geometry, and overall build. However, there are some features that you can’t tell from looking at the product, so if you need more information about a particular product, you can contact the manufacturer.
If you want to know more about a blade’s anatomy, keep reading!
Blade Tooth Count
One of the most critical features of any table saw blade is its teeth. You can find a lot of blades with a different tooth count, so you have to look carefully and choose one that adapts to your needs.
Does this mean that the more teeth the blade has, the better? Not necessarily. Each teeth configuration serves a different purpose. For example: If you are into general woodworking, you may use blades that have from 24 teeth to 60 teeth. On the other hand, if you work with cross-cut saw blades, these can be found with 60-80 teeth or more. Crosscut saw blades are better for providing a smooth cut across the grain without tearing all the wood fibers.
As a rule of thumb, the more teeth the blade has, the slower it can cut, which means that the cuts are going to be smoother. Cuts from a blade with fewer teeth can go through wood quicker but may tear the wood fibers. Keep in mind the type of project that you’re going to be working with before choosing a specific set of teeth.
As for the quality, the best blades that you can use are those that have carbide tips. This material can help the blade stay sharp for a longer time, provide more cuts, and take more re-sharpening. To ensure that you get a quality product, try to go for a blade with C3 micro-grain carbide teeth or higher.
Blade Teeth Configuration
The teeth configuration refers to the shape of the blade’s teeth. This can influence how the blade can cut through the wood. The main types of teeth configurations are the following:
This is a fantastic teeth configuration to cut through wood faster. It’s designed for raking and cutting material more efficiently. This type of teeth configuration is used for ripping blades.
Alternate Top Bevel (ATB)
This configuration allows for a smoother cut on veneered plywood and natural wood. This teeth configuration makes the teeth alternate between the left and right-hand bevel. ATB blades fit perfectly for the best table saw blade for plywood.
This configuration serves two main purposes: ripping and cross-cutting. This teeth configuration places one FT tooth along with four ATB teeth, and a deep gullet that separates each teeth group.
Triple Chip Grind (TCG)
TCG blades are used for non-ferrous metal blades. It works by alternating high ‘trapeze’ teeth, and flat ‘raking’ teeth. This configuration works perfectly for cutting complicated or hard materials such as plastic, laminate, and MDF.
High Alternate Top Bevel (Hi-ATB)
This type of teeth configuration is similar to the ATB, with the difference that the Hi-ATB has a higher bevel angle than the ATB configuration. If you’re planning on cutting melamine, this configuration helps to achieve a more precise cut.
The ‘kerf’ refers to the width of the blade’s cut. In most cases, a thin kerf blade is used for easier woodworking, while blades with a thick kerf are used for heavy wood projects. A thicker kerf can be perfect for providing a more accurate woodcut, but they require a lot more power from the motor.
Thin kerf blades are popular because they take much less power, so they tend to be more durable and smoother. If you’re planning on sawing through a lot of wood, consider getting thin kerf blades, so you don’t overwork your motor. However, if you need precision, go for a full-kerf blade.
Full-kerf blades usually have a thickness of 1/8″, and they should be used on table saws that have a 3-HP (or higher) motors. Thin kerf blades have a width of 3/32″, so they take much less power.
Blade Teeth Gullet
The ‘gullet’ refers to the space between each tooth. The gullet helps to remove the material as the saw blade cuts through the wood. Shallow gullets are used to eliminate small chips and sawdust, whereas deep gullets work on ripping blades to remove a high quantity of chips.
Blade Hook Angle
The hook angle can determine the final result of your cuts. Hooks with a low angle usually have a slower feed rate, whereas hooks with a higher angle have a faster feed rate, but tend to be more aggressive.
This feature may not seem as important as the other options of the list, but the coating does have a purpose that you have to keep in mind before buying a saw blade. Some people may look at the coating as just a layer of paint on their blade. However, some blades that have a specific type of coating can help the blade to run cooler, get cleaned easier, and avoid corrosion.
Blade Sound Dampening
This is another secondary feature that you can take into account when looking for the most appropriate blade for you. Blades that don’t have sound dampening can vibrate a lot and be very noisy. However, if you get a blade with proper sound dampening, the blade is going to cause fewer vibrations, and overall less noise, which can make it work more smoothly.
The sound dampening process implies laser-cut reeds, changes in the tooth spacing, and plugs/fillers made to absorb vibrations.
Types of Table Saw Blades
This is one of the most common types of blades. Combination blades (also called a general-purpose blade) usually have from 30 to 50 teeth and work with FT or ATB configurations. This general purpose blade is excellent for people who are looking for a product that can work with different types of wood efficiently.
This type of blade excels at cutting across the grain. You can find a smaller gullet and a thin kerf on those blades. A cross-cutting saw works with the ATB configuration, and it usually comes with 60 to 80 teeth.
Rather than cutting across the grain, a ripping blade can cut with the grain. These blades usually come with a fewer tooth count, such as 24. The teeth configuration is FT, and they come with deep gullets. Ripping blades are generally thicker than cross-cut blades.
Regarding the design of table saw blades, dado blades come with a wide kerf that allows you to make dados. This option is great if you’re looking to join separate boards together using dados.
How to Choose the Best Table Saw Blade for You
This answer depends on the type of project that you’re going to work on. You may need to cut through some specific materials, or you may want a particular kind of cut. You have to take into account all the features that a saw blade has before getting one.
Keep in mind that the most popular sizes are 8-to-10-inch table saw blades, but you can find other diameters such as a 12-inch blade. If you’re starting, we recommend that you go with a 40-tooth general purpose blade or a 50-tooth combination blade. Getting a general-purpose blade can help you manage most of your woodworking projects, so if you want a powerful tool that serves many purposes, a 40-tooth or a 50-tooth general purpose blade can do the trick.
As you get better at woodworking, you could go for a 24-tooth ripping blade, which helps to achieve smoother cuts. If you feel like you’re already good enough with a general-purpose blade, give it a go!
Other products, such as an 80-tooth cross-cutting blade can help to avoid burning or splintering, and achieve a smoother cut. Overall, you should choose a blade depending on what you want to do and your experience level.
Best Crosscut Blade – Freud D1280X Diablo 12-Inch 80-Tooth ATB – Table Saw Blade
If you’re planning on doing cross-cuts in softwood and hardwoods, this blade is for you. This 12-inch table saw blade is popular because of its ability to make extremely clean cuts, making the work much easier. One of the most incredible features of Diablo is its laser-cut thin kerf and stabilizer, which helps reducing noise and blade warp while also making fast but cleaner cuts.
As for durability, you don’t have to worry; the Diablo’s Tri-Metal Brazing delivers excellent tips that can take a lot of impact. Overall, the blade’s 80 tooth design comes with Freud’s TiCo Hi-Density Carbide with titanium, which gives the teeth a great look and a clean finish. You can read more about this product here.
The Tri-Metal Brazing provides durable teeth that provide sharper and cleaner cuts.
The laser-cut stabilizer gives the blade an extra layer of durability by reducing noise, heating, and vibration.
It can cut through most types of softwood and hardwood.
It only works with a 12-inch table saw.
The blade’s red paint can rub off onto the wood in some cases.
Best for Ripping Hardwood – Freud 10-Inch Rip Blade (30 Teeth)
If your project involves ripping hardwood, don’t look further; this is the best table saw blade for ripping hardwood! As with the previous product, this 10in saw blade has a TiCo Hi-Density Carbide that helps the blade achieve premium performance and laser-cut technology that reduces vibration, noise, and heating.
This blade’s thin kerf places less workload on your motor, but it still goes through wood like a knife through butter. It doesn’t provide any resistance to feeding, thanks to its anti-friction coating. Overall, it’s the best blade for ripping hardwood quickly and efficiently. Click here to read more about this product.
Its anti-friction feature works perfectly for avoiding resistance to feeding.
Its coating helps to reduce heating, noise, and vibration
It’s designed with a thin kerf, which requires less power from your saw table’s motor.
It has a faster feed rate than other blades with thicker kerfs.
This blade only cuts up to one-inch wood without any issues.
It’s not suitable for cross-cuts or materials such as plywood.
The teeth may cause a blowout if you’re cutting against the grain.
It doesn’t provide cuts as smoothly as other blades.
Best Budget Option – CMT 213.040.10 10-Inch, 40-Tooth General Purpose Blade
If you need an affordable 10-inch table saw blade that does the job efficiently, the CMT v213.040.10 is a great option for you. The 40-tooth ATB configuration works amazingly for ripping and crosscutting jobs. This product works with a table saw, radial arm saw, miter saw, and special saw.
This CMT 10-inch table saw blade comes with Micro-Grain Carbide teeth, which helps to achieve smoother cuts and more durability. Last but not least, its non-stick PTFE coating works perfectly to keep the blade running cool and preventing corrosion. Overall, it’s an affordable 40-tooth general purpose blade that you can use as a secondary option for your main blade, or to do general woodworking projects.
Click here to learn more about this product.
It’s an affordable blade.
It works great for ripping and cross-cutting wood, but it also works for cutting plywood, laminate, or chipboard.
It has a great non-stick PTFE coating that makes the blade more durable and resistant.
It works with every kind of saw.
You may find blade scoring after some cuts.
The cuts may not be as smooth as with other, more expensive blades.
Best Dado Set – DEWALT DW7670 8-Inch Table Saw Blade Dado Set (24-Tooth ATB+R)
If you want to make the most out of your table saw, a dado set is a must. This set has heavy-gauge, laser-cut plates that can achieve cleaner cuts. The blade’s teeth are made from Micro-Grain Carbide, which reduces splintering and helps with durability.
The DEWALT DW7670 also comes with four-tooth chippers that allow for flat-bottom cuts and complement the blade. You can cut through prefinished maple or veneer plywood without any chipping or tear-out. As for the shims, you’re getting stainless steel shims that allow for fine width adjustments.
This is a fantastic dado set that you can get for an affordable price! If you’re interested, click here to read more about this product.
It comes with a sturdy storage case.
Cuts easily through the plywood.
There’s no vibration when using the blades.
It takes time to set up.
It may not be compatible with every table saw.
The teeth may wear down faster than other single blades.
Best Combination Blade – Freud D1050X Diablo Saw Blade (10-Inch, 50-Tooth ATB)
If you’re starting with woodworking and are looking for a suitable combination blade, the Freud D1050X Diablo is a great place to start. You can make razor-sharp cuts in wood and wood composites without any issues. This product comes with a 0.98-inch kerf that allows for ease of feed, so if you want stability and accuracy for a general-purpose blade, this is a top-rated choice.
The blade’s laser-cut stabilizer provides vibration reduction, which is useful if you want to have more control of the saw table when cutting. As for the teeth, they are covered with Freud’s TiCo Hi-Density Carbide, which helps to avoid early wear, and keeps the teeth’ sharpness up to four times longer than products with standard carbide. Click here to read more about this product.
An exclusive TiCo Hi-Density Carbide protects the teeth.
It works great for most ripping and cross-cutting work.
It doesn’t require much power from the motor.
The teeth are not as sharp as other products.
While it has a laser-cut stabilizer, it doesn’t make much noise reduction.
Best General-Purpose Blade – Forrest WW07Q307100 Woodworker II (10-Inch, 30-Tooth Set)
This is one of the favorite options among professional woodworkers, and for a good reason; Forrest’s blades are premium-quality products, and the Woodworker II proves it. You can use it effortlessly on both ripping and cross-cutting work.
One of the most remarkable features of the blade is that each one is hand-made, and it has C4 Carbide teeth, which can provide excellent quality and smooth cuts that are almost mark-free.
However, high-quality teeth are not the only great thing about this product. This is one of the quietest products on the list. The blade runs with little vibration and noise, which is good to keep control of the blade. Overall, it’s a fantastic blade that does the job efficiently.
Click here to read more about this article.
It has premium-quality teeth.
It has excellent noise reduction.
The teeth configuration allows for less blow out on your cuts.
It may not be suitable for harder woods.
It’s not as affordable as other blades.
Choosing the best saw blade may seem like a complicated task at first, but if you know what you’re looking for, you can select a fantastic product in a matter of minutes. Remember to always look for quality products, so you avoid having to replace the blades frequently.
There are products for all wants and needs. If you’re starting with woodworking and want one blade to manage most basic projects, you can get a general-purpose blade or a combination blade. However, as you gain more experience, you can try out other types of blades, depending on your project.