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The blade is the most important component of a table saw if you want to complete your project successfully. This means knowing your blade's capabilities and drawbacks is important.
In the article below, we'll discuss the various considerations you must make in order to get a suitable blade for your project as well as for future projects.
What Type of Blade Do I Need?
It's important you get the correct blade for the job. Otherwise, you'll notice a negative effect on the overall project quality.
There are four main types of table saw blades, which are featured below. You may come across many more, which are all specialized to just a few tasks.
- Ripping Blade - These blades will have between 20 and 30 teeth; this isn't many as they have large gullets between them to help with material removal. A ripping blade cuts along the grain of the wood.
- Crosscutting Blade - The opposite of the ripping blade as the crosscutting blade cuts across the grain. You'll notice that these blades have more teeth - around 90 - as fewer material needs removed; it also makes the cut more smooth.
- Combination Blade - A hybrid of the ripping and crosscutting blade. They're made to complete the two cuts using one blade; they're not as effective as the specialized blade itself but are a good budget-friendly way of getting more value for money.
- Composite Blade - Table saws can be used on a whole range of materials. However, the composite blade is built specifically for wooden projects.
What Projects Do I Have Planned?
When understanding if your blade can successfully complete your project, what you should be looking at are the different types of teeth on offer.
Below is a list of teeth types and their cutting specialties. The type of teeth on your blade will determine what type of material you can cut and how fast you can cut said material.
- Flat Top - Used to rip hard and softwoods
- ATB - Provides a smooth cut when crosscutting natural wood or plywood
- Triple Chip Grind - Used to cut hard materials like laminate, MDF, and plastic
- Comb - Used on the combination blade for crosscutting and ripping
- Hi-ATB - Used for extra-fine crosscutting and a smoother cut on materials that are more at risk of chipping
Does The Amount of Teeth Matter?
The teeth and the gullet of the blade all provide different results depending on how many there are and the spacing between them.
On blades that have fewer teeth and larger gullet spaces, you'll notice that they're far more aggressive in material removal. However, these blades don't provide a clean cut.
A blade with a large number of teeth and smaller gullet spaces between them will be suited to making smaller yet cleaner cuts.
Understanding table saw blades would allow you to determine which blades are suited to your task and particular cut. The information above should cover most general woodworking projects that you'll come across in your career or hobby.