If you’re interested in purchasing a miter saw blade and already started researching to find a suitable one, you may have already noticed that there are many options to choose from. Not to mention, there’s more and more being released into the market each day. This can make choosing the right blade very daunting.
However, you shouldn’t fear as we have got the complete guide to help you choose the best miter saw blade suitable for your needs. It’s essential to understand some of the components that go into making a useful blade. For this reason, we have provided a buyer’s guide for you.
Along with this, we have also gone through the countless options available on the market to find some of the best miter saw blades for you to choose from. We have listed precisely what features you can expect to receive from the blade to help make the process of eliminating easy.
What Is A Miter Saw Blade and What Are Its Uses?
As the name implies, a miter saw blade is a blade that’s specifically designed to be used in a miter saw. The purpose of a miter saw is to make accurate miters and crosscuts in a particular workpiece. This is done by taking a mounted blade and positioning it onto a board made from wood or other material.
The earliest versions of a miter saw consisted of back saw that was placed in a miter box. However, the modern versions are made up of electric circular saw. These power tools can be positioned in many different angles and lowered onto wood or other material boards placed against a backstop. Another name for a miter saw is a chop saw.
A miter saw is designed with the specific purpose of making angled cuts. These cuts can either be done for rafters, trim work, molding, and other forms of general carpentry applications. However, having a miter saw equipped with the right blade can aid in making the saw more versatile.
Our Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose The Best Miter Saw Blade
Most woodworking shops use a steel blade in a miter saw. There is a variety of different blade devices that are made from contrasting materials. The use of different material is intended to accommodate cutting metal, ceramic, and stone. If you find that the blades’ selection is overwhelming, you can always refer to the label located on the blade. This label is provided by the manufacturer, which is used to indicate the materials that the blade is specifically designed to cut through.
Steel blades have the reputation of becoming dull after limited use. For this reason, many of the blades available are designed with blade tips that are made from other materials. Blades that are known for lasting longer are carbide tipped chop saw blades. At the same time, diamond-tipped blades are commonly used in professional environments. These tipped blades are capable of handling masonry and woodwork projects.
There are other benefits of using tipped steel blades, such as carbide teeth. These advantageous features include the ability to make straighter and sharper cuts.
Here are some things you should consider before purchasing a blade:
Miter Saw Size
One of the first considerations that need to be made is the blade’s size that can be used in your miter saw. Your saw has a size that’s assigned to that particular model. For example, a 10-inch miter saw. This helps you determine which blade size is going to be suitable for your saw.
Blades range in sizes from 5-inches to 12-inches. Out of those ranges, the most popular are the 8,10, and 12-inch miter saw blade sizes. Due to these being the most popular, this is the range where you’re going to find the greatest variety.
The benefit of obtaining larger blades, such as 12-inch miter saw blades, is that you’re given the ability to make cuts through your wood longer. Nonetheless, if you’re conducting woodworking projects as a hobby, a 10-inch miter saw blade is more suitable.
The thickness of the blade
This is another feature that you’re going to have to look at your miter saw to get the most suitable blade. Luckily, manufacturers ensure that this information is easily available in the documents that come with your miter saw when you purchase it.
Thinner blades are known for cutting wood and other materials rapidly compared to thicker blades. However, thicker blades tend to be more durable and last longer than thinner blades.
With many blade products, the blade thickness fails to be mentioned. Nonetheless, the width of the cut helps show the thickness. This cut’s width is known as the blade’s kerf. The kerf changes depending on the thickness of the blade. Thus, it’s a great way of finding out how thick a blade is. Kerf is explained in more detail below.
There is a wide variety of tooth count on blades that range from as little as 14 teeth per inch to as many as 120 teeth per inch. The teeth on blades are used to make a blade more robust. The tooth count on a blade helps to distinguish what material you can cut with that specific blade, as well as the type of cut you can expect from it.
When deciding on a blade, it’s highly recommended to go for a blade with approximately 80 teeth per inch. High tooth count on miter blades is advantageous if you wish to conduct cleaner crosscutting. These types of cuts are usually small. With that being said, the slower speed of the cut isn’t going to result in your wood burning.
If you have any doubts in which tooth count to go for, your best bet would be to refer to the manufacturer documents that come with your miter saw.
The amount of teeth present isn’t the only factor that affects the performance of the blade. The shape of the teeth also influences the performance of a blade.
The shape of the teeth helps in making good rip cuts and good crosscuts. You can also combine blades to get the best of both worlds and help achieve both decent crosscuts and rip cuts.
When looking at blades that are going to be exclusively used in a miter saw, the best option would be to get blades with Alternative Top Bevel teeth (ATB). This is the best type of tooth shape to go for as it was made explicitly for crosscutting.
This doesn’t mean you absolutely have to use ATB teeth. You can use other tooth patterns. However, these different tooth patterns may damage the wood or other material that is cut. Otherwise, the blade is likely to leave behind rough edges.
Types of Blades
There are a variety of different blades that you can purchase. Here are a few that are commonly used as a miter saw blade. We have also included the acronym associated with that particular blade (as knowing these makes it easier when you go shopping) as well as what the uses the blade can partake in. These miter saw blades are:
- Alternative Top Bevel (ATB): This blade can be used for crosscutting and produces a smooth cut when done on natural wood
- Triple-Chip Grind (TCG): This blade is used for cutting that’s deemed for general purposes on wood, PVC, metal, and other materials.
- Alternate Top Bevel – with a Raker (ATBR): This blade can be used to produce clean cuts from crosscutting on particleboard and plywood.
- Flat Top Grind (FTG): This blade is the perfect option if you wish to conduct ripping that follows against and with the grain.
- High Alternate Top Bevel (Hi-ATB): This blade is specifically used to conduct crosscutting done with a clean cut on materials such as plywood and particleboard.
Different Materials Need Different Blades
Another important consideration to make is what kind of material you wish to cut with your miter saws blades. The materials that you’re going to be cutting is ultimately going to determine the type of blade you purchase.
A common crosscut blade that you are going to use on a 2 X 4 usually causes chipping to occur when used to cut plastic veneers or plywood. However, these are blades specially designed with angles on the teeth and a hook-like tooth design to eliminate the chipping that can be used.
If you struggle to find these types of blades, you don’t need to worry. The majority of product lines offer blades that have been specially marked as ‘veneer’ or ‘plywood.’ These blades are designed with these tooth features to help prevent chipping from occurring.
Here are some blades that are used to cut different materials:
- Non-ferrous and steel: these materials require a very high number of teeth in order to cut effectively. Moreover, these blades also need to be coated to cut into these solid metals.
- Plywood and laminate: Miter saw blades used to cut laminate and plywood are equipped with a unique design that not many other blades are made with. These are specially designed to cater to the compositions of these materials. This has been previously discussed above, and you can find many blades that are specifically advertised to cut laminate and plywood effectively.
- Melamine: This is a type of wood with specialized qualities. This wood material requires the correct blade. Failing to use the right blade for this material is going to result in edges that have a splintered appearance. Blades used to precisely cut melamine are very similar to crosscut blades, as these blades occupy a higher number of teeth than ordinary blades. TCG blades are the best for cutting melamine.
The gullet on your blade is known as the spaces that are placed in-between the teeth. It can also be identified as the rounded section that’s been cut into the plate. This feature is equipped to help remove the debris that is generated from cutting.
Miter saws commonly use blades that are designed to perform crosscuts. The design to provide these crosscuts entails more teeth, while minimal space (smaller gullet size) in-between the teeth. These blades are made with smaller gullets, however, there are going to be more of these gullets placed across the entire blade.
As mentioned above, Kerf is the term that’s used to describe the width of the cut that a particular blade makes in a piece of wood or other material. It also isn’t uncommon for people to believe that the kerf of a blade is also the thickness of that respective blade. A thinner blade provides for more precise cutting and aids in reducing wasted material. Having a thicker blade usually results in having to carve away the extra wood that’s been left behind the first time. This is likely to cause most miter saws to use more energy. As a result, the blade can slow down and generate excessive heat. The problem with the presence of excessive heat is that it tends to lead to the wood or other material burning.
What Are The Best Miter Blades?
A variety of different miter blades out on the market can make it daunting when trying to choose the right one. However, you don’t need to fear as we have gone through all of these options and found the best blades that you can use to conduct cutting operations effectively. Here’s what we found:
Freud D12100X 100
The Freud D12100X 100 is one of the best high-quality blades out there. Along with this, it’s also one very popular 12-inch blade, and it has countless amounts of perfect ratings on Amazon. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it has a size of miter saws blades 12 inch. One slight downfall is that it has a pretty steep price tag. However, the fantastic features that come with Freud D12100X 100 make the price worthwhile.
The Freud D12100X is equipped with a 100 tooth count. This 100 tooth count makes it possible to provide super smooth cuts. Not to mention, the Freud d12100X has a 12-inch blade that provides thin kerf. Due to this, the wastage of material is limited.
- 100 tooth count for super-smooth cuts and finishes well
- The 12-inch blade is very thin which produces a thin kerf
- The 12 in miter saw blade is equipped with a laser-cut stabilizer that is used to trap noise and vibrations while working on the materials.
- The 12 miter saw blades are significantly rough on softwood
Irwin 11870 Tools Classic Series Steel Blade
This is possibly the best 10-inch miter saw blade on our list. The 10 in saw blade is equipped with a tooth count of 180. That’s extremely impressive as it’s got 100 more teeth than most 10-inch miter saw blade reviews, which only have an 80 tooth count.
This feature makes it one of the best miter saw blades on this list, as it provides incredibly smooth cuts, and these cuts are made very accurately. Not to mention, it’s one affordable 10-inch blade. The 10-inch blade is also extremely thin and offers a thin kerf of 0.09 inches. Due to this, the waste materials are kept to a minimum.
This 10-inch blade also offers micro-grain carbide teeth, which aid in the durability of the 10-inch blade. The carbide tipped teeth also allow you to cut a lot of metal materials without wearing down your 10-inch blade.
- One of the best miter saw with a thin kerf and smooth cuts
- Carbide tipped for durability
- Very reasonable price
- The blades get dull very quickly
Makita A-93681 10-Inch 80 Tooth Micro Polished Blades
These miter saws blades offer 80 teeth. This makes it one of the best miter blades as this 80 tooth count provides very clean and crisp cuts. This is the ideal 80 tooth blade if you’re looking for quality blades for your smaller miter saws. The carbide teeth are hardened to aid in durability.
The 80 tooth design is equipped with a blade that has an alternative design and alternative top, which allows the 80 teeth to provide precise cuts. The 80 tooth count also features micro-grain carbide teeth that generate the perfect finish cuts.
- Smoother cuts are provided with minimal material loss
- 80 teeth with carbide features help make it durable and create precise cuts
- The sharp blade offers smooth cuts
- The blade is said to be noisy
- The blade has had some remarks that the 80 teeth can become defective
Hitachi 115435 10″ 60T Fine Finish VPR Miter Saw Blade
This table saw blade offers incredible durability thanks to the use of top-notch Japanese steel being incorporated into the design along with carbide teeth. These carbide teeth allow for excellent precision to be generated when making cuts.
The table saw 10-inch blade is equipped with laser features that ensure precision cuts while reducing vibration and noise. However, this Hitachi blade had a problem with rust in the past. Nonetheless, the designers have now equipped the blade with electrophoresis coating to prevent rust from occurring on the blade.
The blade also features tungsten-styled carbide tips that have been entirely welded with computerized technology. This makes this table saw blade extremely precise when cutting.
- The blade works very well in most miter saws
- The high-quality Japanese style creates durability
- The carbide tips generate precision when cutting
- The blade features a significant tri-metal shock for resistant brazing
- The blade does experience blade wobbling
- The blade gets dull quite fast
Hitachi 115436 12″ 80T Fine Finish VPR Miter Saw Blade
The miter saw blade 12 inch has 80 teeth incorporated into the design. This Hitachi miter saw blades 12 inch has one of the best 12-inch miter saw blade reviews, and customers are extremely pleased with the results they gain from using this kind of blade.
The blade uses large micro-grain teeth that feature carbide. This 12 miter saw blade aids in providing some of the best cutting, as it’s precise and smooth. This helps offer a polished finish while reducing the material wastage. It also uses a laser-cut expansion slot. This is an excellent feature as it aids in reducing the noise and vibration caused by using the blade. Not to mention, this feature also helps the blade stay cool while cutting.
The 12-inch blade has excellent durability as it can withstand extreme circumstances of impact. This durability is also thanks to the carbide tipped teeth that the blade is equipped with.
- The blade provides soft, precise, and fine lines
- The carbide used on the tips of the teeth help improve the durability
- The blade is dishwasher safe
- A long lifespan is offered due to the inclusion of high-quality steel
- The blade works very well and is accurate
- The wastage of materials is reduced
- Rust is prevented with electrophoresis coating
- The blade would have provided even better results if it was sharper
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Blade Wobble?
A blade wobble can be caused by a variety of different factors, and it’s an issue that you’re likely to come across as you make use of your miter saw. This issue can cause vibration to generate in your saw. The result of a blade wobble is that cuts are made uneven and rough as well as reduce the accuracy when trying to make cuts.
One of the reasons that a blade wobble occurs is from the bushings or bearings being worn out. The bearings or bushings are the features that hold the main shaft (along with the blade) in place. An efficient miter saw should have the blades as a close fit to the shaft, while the shaft rotates with the blade. However, when these bearings or bushings are worn out, there is too much space present, and the shaft (along with the blade) starts to wobble.
What Miter Saw Blade Is The Best Option for Ripping?
Each miter saw blade is made to conduct different cutting operations. With the large variety of saw blades to choose from, it’s essential to make the correct choice. A rip blade would prove to come in handy when wanting to conduct ripping operations. This is due to the miter saw blade featuring flat top wood, which is excellent for ripping wood that is either hard or soft.
What Are The Best Circular Saw Blades To Use?
Clean cuts and less sawdust is produced when a circular saw blade that has high-speed features is used. A result of using this type of circular saw blade is that it tends to lead to fewer materials being wasted.
Are Saw Blades With More Teeth Better?
A smooth and fine finish is provided on the edges of wood when a saw blade with more teeth is used. Using this type of saw blade also aids in delivering less dust and reduces the waste of material.
Can You Cut Metal With A Miter Saw?
You are able to cut metal with a miter saw, but only if you use the correct miter saw blade. A carbide blade is the best to conduct metal cutting operations.
Carbide teeth blades are especially effective in cutting aluminum. However, it’s essential to take note that these carbide teeth miter saw blades wear out quicker when a large amount of cutting on metal is being conducted.
What Is The General Amount of Teeth A Miter Saw Blade Should Have?
In order for a miter saw blade to be effective, it generally needs to be equipped with at least 80 teeth or more. You are definitely going to need more if you wish to use the blade for finishing work. Blades that are equipped with more teeth tend to perform better in delivering a crisp, smooth, and fine cut.
What Are The Advantages of Having A Miter Saw Blade With More Teeth?
There are a vast amount of benefits that are gained from having miter saw blades with more teeth (high tooth count). These types of blades provide smoother cuts. A general rule that also applies is that more teeth equal less material waste as well as reduce the production of dust. Blades that are equipped with fewer teeth provide a faster removal of the wood on the grain length.
Can You Sharpen A Miter Saw Blade?
It is possible to sharpen your miter saw blades. However, to conduct sharpening these blades, you need to remove the blade before you can start the process of sharpening the blades. Once you have removed these blades, you need to clamp it to your workbench and use a crayon to mark the teeth before beginning the sharpening process.
It’s very important to ensure you purchase a high-quality miter saw. However, it’s pointless spending all that money on a high-quality power tool that provides excellent features if you fail to purchase an effective miter saw blade that holds the features that you wish to achieve from using the miter saw blade.
For example, it’s no good to buy a miter saw blade with micro-grain carbide teeth if you only plan on crosscutting wood. If you were to do this, you wouldn’t be gaining the optimal results from your miter saw, and your miter saw blade.
Along with saying this, the miter saw blades included in our review are all designed for different uses. For this reason, one blade may be the best option for one person, while it won’t be anywhere close to the best choice for someone else.
The blade you choose is based on entirely your needs and your needs only. If you wish to have a blade for ripping, the best miter saw blade would be a Flat Top Grind blade.
Whereas, if someone else wanted a blade for crosscutting, this would be the worst option for them to use. Instead, the best choice for them would be an Alternative Top Bevel. The same goes for you as an Alternative Top Bevel wouldn’t be the best option for you if you plan to use the miter saw for ripping.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to look at what you wish to achieve from using your miter saw and find a miter saw blade (using our helpful buyer’s guide) that suits these needs.
If you have any questions or need some expertise in choosing the right blades, you are more than welcome to send us a message with your name email along with your message. Be sure to include your name email so that we know where to send a reply.