The Best Table Saw Blades for Sharp Cuts
While a good table saw makes large jobs easier and more accurate when it comes to cutting wood, it’s only as good as its blade. A quality blade used for the right job can help you achieve the intended results, but the wrong blade can quickly ruin a DIY project.
Stroll through the saw blade section of the tools department in your local home improvement store, and you’ll soon realize that you have many options to consider. Selecting the right blade for your table saw and projects can be confusing.
Whether you need a quality all-purpose blade to cover all your needs or a specialty blade for making ripping lumber more efficient, read on to learn about some of the best table saw blade options available.
Types of Table Saw Blades
Understanding how saw blades meet specialized needs is crucial to picking the right one for the job. Below are some common types of saw blades you can buy.
Manufacturers design crosscut saw blades to make smooth cuts across the wood’s grain. These saws have more teeth and feature fewer gullets. A 10-inch crosscut blade may have 60 to 80 teeth, allowing it to make more cuts with each revolution than a ripping or a combination blade.
With fewer spaces between the teeth, crosscut blades remove less material, resulting in a smoother cut. It also means it takes these blades longer to move through wood. Crosscut blades are an excellent choice for finish carpentry and other applications that require precision and a smooth finish.
Ripping saw blade is designed to cut along or with the grain of the wood. Since it’s easier to cut with the grain than against it, these blades feature flat teeth configurations that can quickly remove large chunks of wood. Ripping blades typically have 10 to 30 teeth with more severe teeth angles of at least 20 degrees. Fewer teeth on the blade allow for more gullets for removing material.
While this design makes ripping blades ideal for rip cuts, they are not ideal for cross cuts since they produce too much tear-out, (the amount of wood removed with each cut,) plus this type of blade often leaves behind ragged edges.
General-purpose combination blades can handle both crosscuts and rip cuts. Combination blades find a middle ground between crosscut and ripping blades with 40 to 50 teeth. While they may not be the best blade for ripping or cross cuts, they can do both effectively, eliminating the need to change blades mid-project. Combination blades work well for projects that demand both types of cuts but don’t necessarily need the smooth finish of a crosscut blade or the speed of a ripping blade.