Investing in the best table saw blades is a long-term decision and has more to do with quality and longevity than it does with finance. By pouring your hard-earned money into subpar tools and equipment, you really spend more in the long run. Put simply, cheap tools are not long-term investments. Carpenters and woodworkers alike will agree that a high-quality tool can last a lifetime. However, with the sheer volume of products on the market today, it is hard to tell whether you making a good or a bad buy. Tools are a considerable expense if they are meant for prolonged use; however, it's just as important to know that the quality of the tools in which you are investing has more to do with the manufacturer and not its price. That’s why we have put together a list of the best of each necessary table saw blade for all your project needs.
Which Blade to Wield for What and Why
Carpenters, manufacturers, and DIYers all love using table saws for cutting a myriad of materials. However, not all blades are created equally. Different blades are designed specifically for the material to be cut and the function it is to serve. Using the correct blade will make an immediately recognizable difference in the quality of your woodworking.
Blades are designed specifically for ripping solid wood, cross cutting wood and plywood, joinery, sawing MDF, melamine and particle board, as well as for sawing plastics. The four blade types for these cuts are flat top grind (FTG), alternate top bevel (ATB), combination (ATBR) and triple chip grind (TCG).
FTG blades have teeth with top edges that are square. These teeth cut the wood like a chisel. They’re fast and durable, but don’t produce a clean surface. They are for ripping and sawing wood, by going perpendicular to the wood grain.
ATB blades—or all-purpose blades—have angled teeth, across the top edge of the blade. Every other tooth points in the opposite direction and the shape of the tooth shears the wood cleanly. The steeper the bevel angle, the cleaner the cut.
ATBR blades are another type of all-purpose blade. They have 50 teeth, which are designed in sets of five. Four teeth are followed by a raker tooth. ATB teeth are designed to crosscut while the raker teeth do the ripping.
The vast majority of DIY projects will be best served with an all-purpose, or combination table saw blade. The CMT Orange Tools 205.060.10 Industrial Cut-Off ATB Blade offers good value, but if you’re looking for an example of one of the best ATB-combo table saw blades on the market, it has to be the Amana Tool TB14540 Carbide Tipped Thin Kerf General Purpose 14 Inch. A forty- to fifty-toothed combo blade is likely to cost anywhere from $75 to around $120. What you pay for is pure ripping power and clean, consistent cuts. If you care about the quality of your work, you have to care about the quality of your blade.
Attempting to cut your way through hardwood, using a combination saw blade, will leave even the best blades useless. For hardwoods, you will want to use a high-quality 24-tooth FTG rip blade. This will cut hardwoods much faster than your combo blade. For an appropriate rip blade, like the Freud Tools 10" Industrial Heavy Duty Rip Saw Blade, it should run between $40 and $60. You can certainly buy the best FTC table saw blade on the market. However, since ripping the wood will leave a rough edge, there’s no reason to break the bank. At the same time, beware of $20 blades and anything that looks too cheap to be true—it most probably is. One good FTG blade, priced at around $50, will save you many times that amount in the long run. Cheap blades will dull very quickly and make your cuts look amateurish.
For crosscuts on lumber and plywood, you will want to pick up a top-of-the-line 40-tooth ATBR all-purpose blade such as the CM12806115A Chopmaster Circular Saw Blade. These blades are important because the cut lines are often visible on the finished product. Therefore, don’t skimp on the quality of your ATB blade, or else you’ll catch yourself wondering why you’re doing so much sanding on the joining seams of your project. Be prepared to invest $100 to $150 for one of the best alternate top bevel table saw blades available on the market.
Finally, your triple-chip grind table saw blade is perfect for plastic laminates and soft metals. If you try to cut these materials with an all-purpose saw blade, you can kiss that investment goodbye! You must treat your tools with respect and that means using the right tool for the job, otherwise, you will spend five times the costs on replacement parts. A quality TCG blade, such as the Amana Tool 620121 Carbide-Tipped General Purpose 20 Inch Circular Saw Blade is not cheap, but there is no alternative for ensuring the sustained integrity of your workshop investments. From adequately performing blades to the best TCG blades available on the market, they can cost you anywhere from $200 to $500.
1. CMT Orange Tools 205.060.10 Industrial Cut-Off ATB Blade
The CMT Orange Cut-Off ATB has a laser-cut body of German steel. It has been computer tensioned and precisely-calculated for fish hook teeth. The teeth are forged from the finest micro-grain carbide. It features many layers of PTFE that have been securely baked on.
CMT has made itself famous due to its standard of uncompromising quality and state-of-the-art design. The baked-on PTFE coating assists the blade to cut smoother, avoid corrosion, and stay sharper for more cuts. The fish hook tooth design provides the added benefit of reduced noise and vibration-free performance. This is the best ATB saw blade for the value, which comes in at under $70 it will do the job well and live to fight another day.
2. Amana Tool TB14540 Carbide-Tipped Thin Kerf General Purpose 14 Inch
The Amana Thin Kerf Tool is the next step up. It features 15° hooked teeth and is carbide tipped. The diameter of this model measures 14" in circumference and has 54 teeth in total. It is designed to have a 1" bore, .090" kerf, and the plate’s thickness is .062".
The thin kerf blade acts to reduce stress on the saw and ease pressure on the motor. The diameter reduction results in minimal loss of stock. These blades are typically used on saws powered by universal motors. The manufacturer notes that these blades are not recommended for cutting stock thicker than ¾ of an inch. However, the use of stabilizers can eliminate the risk of error. This is believed to be the best table saw blade for general purpose ATB cutting.
3. Freud Tools 10" Industrial Heavy Duty Rip Saw Blade
Freud has designed a rip saw blade with triple chip tooth design and a heavy-duty thick kerf plate. The featured triple chip tooth design benefits the craftsman by producing an extremely smooth, chip-free surface. This will save time and effort for gluing, sanding and finishing the work. The thick, heavy-duty kerf plate will cut for a long lifetime, while still staying true and flat.
This saw blade is best for ripping plywood and other similar materials. The laser-cut anti-vibration slots are designed to drastically reduce vibration and sideways movement of your material during cuts. The added control from the anti-vibration slots minimizes wear and extends the life of the blade. The Freud Heavy Duty Rip Saw Blade is the best table saw reviewed, as it provides a crisp, splinter-free finish. There’s no need for sanding with this blade. It is the recognized as the best blade for finish work and clean rip cuts.
4. CM12806115A Chopmaster Circular Saw Blade
The plate is hand-tensioned, for up to 15 minutes per blade. Superior C-4 carbide teeth are brazed to the plate by hand. The Chopmaster blade is straightened multiple times throughout the manufacturing process. Chopmaster offers a sharpening service on all its blades, keeping them good as new. The blade has a 30° alternate top bevel with a 5° face hook and is designed to rip and crosscut material up to 2" in thickness.
This is a truly professional blade. The high tooth count makes for tight miter joints and no bottom splinters. The Chopmaster blade leaves a scratch-free polished cut on any material. This saw blade is the best for ripping and cross cutting.
5. Amana Tool 620121 Carbide-Tipped General Purpose 20-Inch Circular Saw Blade
This Amana, carbide-tipped saw blade is a quality investment for your toolbox. It features a triple-chip grind with a 10° hook angle. The high tooth count makes this blade great for single or double-sided plastic laminated material.
This saw is best used for general trimming and crosscutting of hardwood, softwood, plywood, and composition materials. The Amana leaves a smooth, clean, and chip-free finish.
Set yourself up for a lifetime of high standards and superior craftsmanship. The tools you invest in are as important as the work you make. Don't be lured in by cheap alternatives. When it comes to your craft, use the right tool for the right job and work with the love of an artisan.
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