Choosing the Right Circular Knives for Your Application

Finding the ideal industrial knife for your application is essential to maintaining high productivity and protecting your investment. When searching for a suitable knife for your material and cutting needs, you have many factors to consider, one of which is the blade profile. From straight knives to cutoff knives to specialty knives, there are several blade types to choose from.

One of our most popular blades is the circular knife, a versatile and productive blade profile used in various applications. This guide to circular saw blades will help you select the right rotary blade for your industrial and material needs.

What Are Circular Knives?

Circular knives are rotary blades for industrial machines. Also known as round slitter knives, circular blades are effective in an array of applications across many industries. Circular knives are customizable to meet your needs, whether you’re an OEM or an end user of industrial blades.

Like any blade profile, a circular knife can have various edge styles, whether you need a smooth or serrated-edge knife or a knife with a specific tooth geometry. Circular knives can also consist of different blade materials, depending on the product you need to cut.

In comparison to other knife profiles, circular knives are typically for processing higher volumes of material, making them ideal for repeated use settings. They also tend to be safer, making them a good solution in busy industrial settings and workplaces. With a circular knife, the blade remains fixed to the machine, and the material is free and moveable, which drastically decreases the chances of an accident. The more a knife moves, the higher the risk of an unintentional cut.

Circular knives also provide an extremely accurate cutting profile, making them easy to operate — even on fine materials like glass or stone, which need a precision touch. Industries that formerly exclusively relied on straight knives for cutting, scoring, trimming and other uses have started integrating circular knives into their cutting processes. Circular knives allow you to isolate specific localized areas on a material, giving you precision that straight knives can’t deliver in quite the same way.

However, circular knives have one drawback — they can only cut at a 90-degree angle to the material. Specialty applications requiring unique cutting angles may find alternative blade profiles more suitable because they give you more control and flexibility.

Circular Knife Applications

Circular knives are in high demand and a commonly used type of blade for a wide range of applications. There are many different uses for circular knives, from making clean cuts to processing high material workloads to scoring and perforating and other techniques.

Circular knives are beneficial in a broad range of applications, including the following.

  • Cutting: Circular knives have a reputation for making fast, consistent and complete cuts through different materials. Rotary blades attached to a fixed machine make clean downward cuts through materials ranging from dense concrete to thin textiles. In applications that work with multiple materials, circular knives provide a good all-around solution. They are an excellent investment in a single cutting tool that offers a multipurpose capacity.
  • Trimming: Having a thin and precise blade to make fine, accurate trims into a range of products can help increase productivity and improve the quality of processed products. Circular knives can trim materials such as fabrics, leather, rubber, plastics and sheet metals.
  • Slitting: When people refer to industrial circular blades as “slitter knives,” they typically mean the beveled or toothless types of circular blades. They’re the ideal blade type for slitting materials, which is one of their primary applications. Circular knives work well for various slitting techniques, including hot knife, razor and shearing.
  • Slicing: Circular knives provide the best solution for a high workload, such as repeatedly cutting materials into uniform slices. Food processing, textile manufacturing, metal cutting and more all rely on circular knives to deliver precise, consistent and highly productive slicing. Using a circular knife to slice downward works well on dense materials, as well as slippery materials and fabrics that tend to otherwise move easily.
  • Perforating: Circular knives are the ideal piercing tool. Precision circular machine knives give you control over your perforations on various materials. Whether it’s metals, plastics or packaging materials, using a circular knife for perforating can help you increase your productivity.
  • Scoring: When you need fine precision tooling, a circular blade can help you achieve cutting techniques like scoring. With the right combination of blade type and material, you can score glass, stone, concrete, metal and an array of other materials. They’re also accurate enough to use for precision scoring applications on paper products and packaging materials.
  • Creasing: When creasing delicate materials, such as paper and packaging, you need a precise blade that creates a smooth, even crease. A rotary blade gives you control over your creasing, helping you produce a high-quality product.
  • Splitting: When you need to split materials without the risk of chipping, you need a blade that will deliver a clean and consistent cut that leaves behind a smooth finished product. Beveled or toothless circular blades help split thin and light materials, while denser and more durable materials are easy to split with a serrated-edge circular blade. With the right configuration, your circular knife is ideal for splitting leather, rubber, paper, foam and more.

No matter which cutting technique or application you use, there’s a correct circular blade for you. York Saw & Knife has an experienced team of design engineers who can help you find the perfect custom circular knife for your application.

Circular Knife Industry Uses

Circular knives are one of the most versatile industrial machine knives. As such, they’re in high demand across a vast range of industries and different scales of business. Here are some examples of industries that use circular knives.

  • Food processingCircular knives are a staple in the food processing industry. Whether you need to trim, slice or cut, circular knives help you precisely cut meat, dairy, bakery, seafood, fruit and vegetable products.
  • Plastics: Make plastic processing quicker and more productive with circular blades for plastic. With circular knives, you can cut, score, perforate and slit plastic products for a high-quality result.
  • Rubber: When processing rubber materials, you need a strong, precise knife to make a smooth and consistent cut, slice or slit. Circular knives provide you with the power and accuracy to cut dense rubber products at high workloads.
  • FoamFoam processing needs can vary greatly depending on the type of foam, its density and firmness. A circular knife is ideal for foam products of all varieties. Whether you need to cut, trim, slit or slice foam, a customized circular industrial knife can achieve these applications.
  • Textiles and leatherCircular knives are highly useful in cutting textiles and leather. The downward cut and precision blades make it easy to work with a wide range of materials, textures and thicknesses. Premium leather cutting blades allow you to split leather, while circular textile knives let you perforate and trim different fabrics.
  • Foilfilm and metals: Cutting foil, films and metals requires precise and accurate cutting tools. Circular blades, whether serrated or beveled, are ideal in foil, film and metal processing. They make clean cuts and perforations and can give you control over trimming.
  • Paper and corrugated paperWhen you need to prepare high workloads of paper products, corrugated cardboard, packaging materials and other products, circular knives are ideal for scoring and cutting. Choose a custom circular blade design to meet your paper processing needs.
  • PackagingWhen processing packaging materials, you need a versatile and high-quality blade. A circular knife can precisely cut, trim, slit and split different packaging materials.
  • Wood: Wood cutting requires a high-quality, durable and productive knife that can efficiently process high workloads. Industrial rotary blades withstand repeated use and make clean, precise and smooth cuts that minimize splitting.
  • Glass, stone and concrete: Glass, stone and concrete cutting applications require blades with high levels of control, accuracy and precision. Circular knives designed with the ideal material for these cutting needs will remain sharp for continued use in high-volume applications.
  • FiberglassProcessing Fiberglas and composite materials requires durable blades to make accurate, clean cuts and trims. Industrial circular blades deliver precise cutting to help you achieve a range of fiber cutting techniques.

For high-quality, long-lasting circular knives, choose York Saw & Knife. Our custom design capabilities allow us to produce the right circular saw blades for your needs, including material, edge style and geometry. Learn more about our manufacturing process.

Circular Blade Materials

One of the world’s most widely used materials is steel, an alloy of iron and carbon. Steel manufacturers use various additives to give their product additional properties. Different steel alloys are suitable for diverse applications due to their varying degree of hardness and durability.

Choosing the correct blade material for your application is critical because it will prevent early dulling and ensure it’s an ideal match for its function. Here is a comparison of the different types of industrial circular blade materials and their unique benefits.

  • High-carbon steel: As one of the most popular blade materials, high-carbon steel is a durable material. Containing at least 0.55% carbon increases hardness, making it ideal in repeated-use applications.
  • 1075 and 1095 spring steel: Both spring steel types contain carbon, which makes them resilient. Thin-gauge spring steel is desirable in fine and precise applications. These blades hold their edge well after repeated use.
  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel is a combination of iron, carbon and chromium. This material is best known for its high corrosion resistance, making it enduringly sought-after in food processing and other environments with high moisture content.
  • Solid carbide: Solid carbide is a tungsten steel with high hardness levels, making it ideal for repeated use. It’s ideal for processes like engraving, milling and carving due to its ability to deliver fine and precise cuts.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic blades are a unique material composed primarily of zirconia ceramic, instead of steel. Ceramic is a durable material, making it ideal for circular knives due to their fixed positioning. Because it doesn’t contain iron, it doesn’t corrode.
  • 52100: As a high-carbon steel, 51200 is highly resistant to wear over time, making it an excellent option for high-volume applications. It’s a long-lasting knife that holds its edge over time and is a wise investment.
  • M-2: M-2 is a high-speed steel containing tungsten and vanadium. This combination gives it industrial strength and resistance to high temperatures. It can also withstand friction, allowing it to keep its edge in applications like milling and metal cutting.
  • D-2: A tool steel containing chromium and carbon, D-2 is resistant to corrosion and maintains its durability with repeated use. Being an air-hardened steel, it’s extremely resistant to abrasion.
  • CPM 10V®: A unique steel tool containing vanadium, CPM 10V results from the patented Crucible Particle Metallurgy process. It’s well-known for its high wear resistance and is optimal in cold and high-heat settings.
  • 8670 carbon alloy: An alloy steel containing carbon, nickel, chromium and magnesium, 8760 carbon alloy is highly resistant to wear and tear and is an excellent material to choose for custom blades that require thicker gauges.

If you’re wondering whether you’re using the correct blade material for your application, contact the York Saw & Knife engineering team today. Our experts will assess your application needs and help you determine the blade material and configuration to give you the best cut possible for your material.

Additionally, if you need to replace an existing blade, our engineering team can reverse-engineer a custom blade for you by determining the material and its components. Contact us to learn more about the reverse-engineering process.

Choosing the Right Circular Blade Configuration

Depending on the type of material requiring cutting and the cutting application, different blade edge configurations and tooth geometries are best suited for the particular use. Whether you’re cutting, slicing, scoring or splitting, you need the perfect blade edge to meet those needs.

Here are examples of circular blade edges to choose from:

  • Square edge
  • Single-bevel blunt
  • Single-bevel sharp
  • Double blunt
  • Double sharp
  • Double-single blunt
  • Double-single sharp
  • Double-double blunt
  • Double-double sharp

In addition to the different blade edge types, you also have a choice of tooth geometry, including:

  • Standard V
  • Vari-depth V
  • Hi/lo V
  • Scalloped
  • Peg style
  • Slant tooth
  • Double-double sharp

Learn more about our laser cutting process, which allows York Saw & Knife engineers to manufacture precise blade edges and tooth geometries.

Choose York Saw & Knife for Your Industrial Circular Blades

When searching for the right circular blade for your application, you need a manufacturer dedicated to producing high-quality blades made with proven precision techniques. The ability to design a custom industrial circular knife with the ideal materials and blade configurations for your needs is a tremendous asset. For leading engineering and design in custom industrial machine knives, choose York Saw & Knife.

York Saw & Knife has been manufacturing custom industrial blades for over 100 years. We craft our American-made industrial knives to your exact specifications. For more information on how to work with our design engineering team on custom circular blades, contact us today. Request a free quote or call us at 717-276-0338.