LUXITE® Carbide-Tipped Circular Saw Blades are precision engineered for clean, precise cuts with woodworking, plastic, metals, and other cutting applications. All LUXITE® brand saw blades are available for crosscut saw, rip saw, and combination saw applications.
The world of carpentry is a world of tools. Tools are absolutely vital to a carpenter’s work, and even those who could carve a china cabinet with a pocketknife will not deny the power of good tools to save time, energy and materials. Each tool has a crucial point where the rubber meets the road — and when it comes to miter saws and table saws, that component is the blade.
Saw blades do their work quickly. The delicate mechanics of their operation occur too rapidly for the human eye to process, so we must gauge their quality by observing the wood they have cut. Taking the mystery out of these tools will help you make an educated purchase, finding the one best for each task at hand.
To fully understand what saw blade is best for your project and setup, we will explain the different components of a saw blade, the benefits of having a quality blade and the different types of blades available. First, let’s take a look at how a saw blade actually works.
Parts of a Saw Blade
Saw blades come in many different variations. How does the actual makeup of the blade play into things? Let’s demystify this tool by breaking it into its four essential qualities: number of teeth, gullet size, tooth configuration and hook angle.
Number of teeth: Saw blades will have different numbers of teeth depending on whether they are meant to remove material smoothly or quickly. A high tooth count on a saw blade means the finished cut will look smooth and polished, though it takes longer to get through a piece of wood. Since each tooth has to do less work, less splintering and splitting occurs. A blade with a low number of teeth, on the other hand, will move quickly through a piece of wood but won’t leave as smooth a surface.
Gullet size: The gullet is the space in front of each tooth, and its size and depth determine how much wood can be removed during cutting. In general, the fewer teeth a saw blade has, the faster its feed rate and the larger its gullet size. More teeth means smaller gullets, which help to keep the blade from feeding too quickly.
Flat-top: A flat-top tooth is perfectly square and used for quick ripping.
Alternate top bevels: Alternate top bevels are angled to provide a sharper tooth edge for crosscutting, with each subsequent tooth beveled in the opposite direction.
Combination teeth: Combination teeth combine flat-tops and alternate top bevels. They’re great for both ripping and crosscutting.
Triple-chip grind: Triple-chip grind switches between a chamfered tooth and a raker, which alternately chews up the material, then tidies up the mess. It’s useful for materials like plywood and particle board.
Hook angle: This is the angle at which the tooth strays from the vertical. A positive hook angle means the tooth is leaning forward into the cut, whereas a negative hook angle means the tooth leans backward, away from the direction of cutting. Positive hook angles are more aggressive and cut more quickly, though they can cause climbing and splintering. Negative hook angles are better for smooth cuts with lower feed rates.
Carbide Tip Table Saw Blades
Blades for table saws need to be able to perform a number of basic tasks extremely well. Because table saws are for long cuts, you’ll find yourself using them for many purposes and numerous materials.
You’ll use your table saw for different tasks, particularly if you have other saws available like a hand saw or a miter saw. In this case, you may find your table saw useful for performing one type of cut over another. For instance, if your miter saw is set up to make crosscuts — that is, cuts across the grain of wood instead of parallel to it — then you may want to have a dedicated rip saw blade on your table saw. Ripping blades have a high feed rate and are useful for long, straight cuts along the wood’s grain, typically to split a long board into smaller parts.
Your table saw blade might also need to handle gummier, denser materials like plywood, sheet metal, plastic and particle board, and you may have a miter saw ready for all the necessary lumber cuts. In this case, you’d use a dedicated blade on your table saw for cutting through tougher material.
It’s also likely that you’re looking for an all-around blade for your table saw — one capable of cutting both across the grain and along it. Whatever your preference, a quality blade will make the difference.
Benefits of Having a High-Quality Table Saw Blade
Table saws are designed to improve accuracy, save time and reduce the effort needed to make a straight cut. The blade is what ultimately creates the cut, so investing in a high-quality blade will save you lots of time in the long run. Because lumber costs money, a slip in accuracy will cost you money as well — another reason that a high-quality blade can pay itself off with just one perfect cut on a large piece of plywood.
Table saw blades do a lot of work. Because the machine itself is so useful for long cuts, the blade is subject to long hours and grueling work conditions. It needs to be able to withstand a high amount of friction and the heat that results, and its teeth need to stay sharp so you don’t have to spend much time sharpening them.
When metal heats up, a number of things can happen to it. Primarily and unavoidably, the metal will expand. It can also warp and buckle, causing it to cut a wider slot in the wood and stray off course more easily. A cheap blade may be more susceptible to warping, which is why those long, skinny notches are built in. Additionally, a cheap blade’s teeth will inevitably dull faster than those of a high-quality blade.
When you invest in a good blade, that extra bit of money pays off when you don’t have to head back to buy a replacement. It also rewards your investment when your cuts are tight, smooth and precise.
Types of Table Saw Blades
Table saws complete a number of tasks exceptionally well, and having the right blade for the job makes it much smoother. Here are some of the best options to consider for your table saw:
Crosscut blades: These blades are designed to cut across the grain of the wood. Chopping across the tree rings and cellulose that make up lumber is hard work, with lots of pockets of high-density wood and fluffy pulp to cut through. To keep the cut smooth and prevent chipping and splintering, a crosscut blade sports a higher tooth count — around 50-80 teeth per blade. These blades have smaller gullets to slow down the feed rate. In turn, the cut has a more polished look. Crosscut blades grow hotter and put more torque on the motor.
Rip cut blades: Where the table saw stands above its alternative most is in the act of cutting along the grain. Rip blades need to do their job quickly because the cuts themselves are longer, and the heat buildup would otherwise grow too high. They do this with fewer teeth and deep gullets. The larger gullets shed sawdust more quickly. However, rip cut blades will not produce as smooth a cut as crosscut blades.
Combination blades: Luckily, there is a happy middle ground for those needing both cross and rip cuts. The teeth alternate between beveled and flat tops, and a deep gullet for shedding sawdust lies after every four to five teeth. This design means smooth cutting for crosscuts and a relatively quick feed rate for ripping. If you’ll be doing a good bit of both, a combination blade is a great option for you.
Carbide-tipped table saw blades: Though crosscut, rip and combination blades all come with carbide tips, these table saw blades deserve mention all on their own. Carbide is an extremely hard metal known for keeping its shape through repeated use. Because it is brittle, it would crack if used to make the entire blade — therefore, it’s brazed onto a steel blade’s teeth. Even though they last longer, carbide tips can also be sharpened several times to make the blade like new, which justifies the extra bump in their cost.
Carbide Tip Miter Saw Blades
The miter saw, also known as the chop box or chop saw, is popular for its versatility, portability, ease of use and the number of angles it can cut. Highly adjustable and smooth to operate, the miter saw is a tool that has it all.
Even taking all of its possible uses into account, the miter saw still has specialties. It cuts extremely well across the grain of wood and offers incredible precision — because you lower it by hand, the miter saw allows a degree of accuracy that’s difficult to achieve with other tools. Plus, its design lets you fix and stabilize the material so that you don’t have to spend excessive energy holding it.
If you own both a table saw and a miter saw, you will likely want different blades for each one. The miter saw excels at slightly different operations than the table saw, and the proper blade changes with your application.
The Benefits of Having High-Quality Blades for Miter Saws
Just as with the table saw, a good blade makes a world of difference on a miter saw. Even though miter saw cuts aren't quite as long as those made by table saws, miter saw blades have a unique set of demands made on them.
With a table saw, the wood meets the blade at a low angle and is then fed past it. Miter saws, however, operate by dipping downward. Though they can also start at one end of the piece of lumber and cut laterally through it, they must occasionally break through the wood by being lowered directly onto it. This process creates a whole new degree of strain on the motor, particularly since the tool is largely used for denser crosscuts.
The blade that comes standard on the majority of miter saws has around 24-40 teeth and is best for rough cuts, like those on dimensional lumber and deck material. This blade does not make a very clean cut and or handle well in hardwood. Since the miter is so often used for crosscutting, it makes sense to upgrade to a higher-quality saw blade.
Why Not to Use a Rip Saw Blade on a Miter Saw
The design of a miter saw is such that wood lays across its blade path and not along it. For this reason, you will not use a miter saw for ripping. Rip blades typically have a tooth count of 24-30, which is why replacing the stock blade makes sense for most applications. Miter saws are powerful tools because they transcend regular carpentry jobs like cutting two-by-fours. They pass into the realm of fine woodworking — the device is sensitive enough to make furniture. Why remove its capabilities with a rough-cutting rip blade?
While a rip blade might move through the lumber quickly, that bit of time you save will be lost when you need to sand each end of your cut. A rip blade leaves a rough pattern of scoring on your wood that a finer blade will eliminate.
Blades You Can Use With a Miter Saw
Miter saws operate best when they have a blade with a high tooth count. We’ll look at the best options here:
Crosscut blade: Whereas a table saw can handle both crosscutting and ripping, a miter saw is inarguably suited to crosscutting. That’s why you should look for a blade with a high tooth count and smaller gullets. A negative hook angle is also useful, as the blade will ease into the wood more gracefully.
Combination blade: Though you probably won’t be ripping with a miter saw, you still may be cutting through some material that isn’t pure lumber. Whether it’s plywood, particle board or something else, a combination blade can be the answer to hacking through it while still making clean cuts on your lumber.
Carbide-tipped miter saw blades: As with a table saw, it pays to get carbide-tipped blades for your miter saw. Miter saws lend themselves to precision work, and carbide tips chew through even the densest hardwood with ease.
Why Choose Luxite Miter and Table Saw Blades
Luxite understands the value of high-quality blades and what they mean for your time, quality of work and bottom line. Manufactured by York Saw & Knife Co, Inc., a leader in the world of high-end saw blades, Luxite's carbide tipped saw blades make finer cuts while outlasting any other blade of their kind. Made in the USA, these blades will turn your miter saw or table saw into a professional-grade woodworking tool. Whether you’re looking for rip, crosscut or combination blades, trust Luxite to deliver the best product possible.