Today’s circular saw is known as a versatile tool. Yes, it is, but its omnipotence is based on replaceable accessories, first of all, blades. For example, you can use the same saw with a 7 1/4 inch blade for cutting wood, and then install your 10-inch tile saw blade to make exquisite ornaments of tiles. So an expert woodworker may have a whole collection of blades, varying in size, teeth, and material. If you want to make maximum use of your circular saw, let’s see how to choose blades for it.
What’s the Job? What to Cut?
This is the first question to answer. Will you cut wood, plywood, metal, tile, or what? There are special blades for various materials, while wood is definitely the default option. Some specific work (like wet tile cutting) may require a specific saw as well, but that’s another story.
The type of your work also matters. Are you into fine woodwork, where split millimeters matter? Or will you rather do rough jobs that require more force than precision? This affects not only the size of the blade but its teeth as well, their number and position. In the first case, you’d rather use a rip-cut blade, for the latter, a crosscutting one will do better.
If you need the blade for fine work, you should choose a blade with smaller teeth. There will be more of them, of course, so the cut will be more precise, being done with more micro-cuts at a time.
On the other hand, blades with fewer teeth are rougher and more durable. They are a better choice for cutting thick boards or logs. They are great for the kind of work where cutting strength is more important than precision.
Remember, though, that you can only compare directly blades of the same diameter. If the diameter differs, it’s not the number of teeth that matters, but rather the gullet. To compare gullets of blades with different diameters, divide the number of teeth by the diameters for both blades and compare the results: they affect the effect.
While for an amateur most saw blades seem versatile, there are compatibility issues you might need to consider before buying a blade you like. First of all, each saw is compatible with a certain range of blade diameters. Too small blades will not reach the material properly, and too big ones just won’t fit. Usually, the range can be found in the manual. As for manufacturers, most of them offer blades of any size possible, making them compatible with certain models.
Take care of thickness (also known as kerf) as well. It defines more than the width of the cut. The blade should be neither too thick nor too thin for your saw. Luckily, it’s rather a range than an exact number, from 3/32” to 1/8” – not too much but still important.
It’s easier with arbor size which is usually 5/8”. If the blade has a different arbor, it will be mentioned in the manual or in the description. But if you’re reading this, probably you have the standard 5/8” one.
Finally, the RPM limitations should be compatible with those of your saw. The RPM can be found in manuals as well.
To Cut a Long Story Short
No matter which job you’re about to do, there’s a blade for that. Find yours, the one that will fit both the saw you have and the work you plan. Share it on your social media pages, for your friends to see and discuss. You can also leave a comment down here, and we’ll appreciate that.