The Importance of Table Saw RPM – Blade Speeds Explained

| Last Updated: March 1, 2021

Tool Tango is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Understanding the RPM of your table saw is essential in terms of safety and effectiveness.

In the article below, we’ll discuss why keeping your table saw RPM in consideration is important. We’ll speak more about what affects the RPM and how that affects you.  

Terminology and Common Concepts

Sometimes jargony words and confusing terms can get in the way of learning and understanding concepts. Below is a short terminology section to help you better understand the article. 

  • RPM - Revolutions per minute; this means the number of times the blade can make one full spin per minute. 

  • Linear Tooth Cutting Speed - The distance (feet) at which one individual tooth covers per second; this is measured as feet per second.

  • Blade Diameter - The width of the blade can be understood by measuring from end to end. 

  • Arbor - The shaft/spindle to which the blade is connected to. Arbor speed is the rate at which this can operate. 

  • Centrifugal Pressure - When curricular objects move fast enough, force/pressure is directed away from the center, storing in the ends of the circle, ultimately causing pressure on the ends of a curricular object.

Table Saw RPM

RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) tells you how fast your motor can spin your blade. Most common table saw motors would provide between 1700 and 3400 RPM. 

What Affects RPM? 

The rate at which your blade can spin is directly linked to the design of the blade. Variables such as diameter will show that the larger the diameter, the slower the RPM, whereas smaller diameter blades can survive faster speeds. 

You should also look into the linear tooth cutting speed; this is the speed at which it takes for one tooth to spin; this is measured as one foot per minute. 

The average 10-inch diameter blade will provide the user with around 3450 RPM, and each tooth will measure 150 FPS. As the diameter decreases, the speed can increase. 

Hold up, are you interested in other topics related to table saws? If so, these might be something to check out: 

How Fast is a Table Saw Blade? 

When you discuss the speed of your table saw, it isn’t as simple as knowing the motor speed. Other factors come into play. 

Arbor & Motor Speed 

Your arbor is the shaft which your saw blade mounts; the speed at which your arbor rotates is determined by the motor and tends to be slower than the overall motor speed.

For example, if your motor offers speeds of 30,000 RPM, that’s quite fast. However, your arbor might only be able to offer 4000 RPM. 

Direct Driven Table Saws 

In these table saws, the blade is connected directly to the motor to give you one specific speed between the arbor and motor. The issue is that you can’t adjust the speed for different projects

Belt Driven Table Saws

The belt-driven table saws tend to be more popular as their speed can be adjusted. The arbor speed will be faster and allow you more flexibility with what tasks you can complete. 

Blade Safety 101 

Many people don’t understand that just because your blade can reach a maximum speed doesn’t mean that it’ll provide you with the best results. 

If you’re pushing your 6-inch blade to its max of 10,000 RPM, there’s a risk of the blade cracking under centrifugal pressure, throwing shards of the sharp blade towards you, and others. 

If you mess around with your motor and arbor speeds, this max speed can certainly be surpassed, but it is highly irresponsible to do so as you put your own and others' safety at high risk. 

To understand more about your table saw and blade capabilities, always reference your user manual. Don’t use a blade that can’t handle the speeds at which the table saw provides. 

Please take a look at our blade speed table below: 


RPM is an important part in how your table saw operates, you’ll need to consider all of the information above in order to complete your woodworking tasks successfully. Now that you’ve got this information at the ready, you'll be far safer and prepared to deal with issues that arise in the future.