The timely changing of saw blades is essential for ensuring your tool cuts properly without damaging the workpiece — and for reducing the risk of injury to the operator. If you’re looking to purchase replacement blades for your saws, you’ll need to consider the type of saw and your specific cutting needs and applications. Specifically, do you plan to use the saw for ripping or crosscutting?
What Tooth Count Means
A saw blade consists of a series of teeth that perform the cutting action. The number of teeth varies depending on numerous factors, including application, so you’ll have to determine whether you’ll be using the blade for ripping or crosscutting. Ripping, or cutting with the wood grain, requires a blade with fewer teeth than crosscutting, which involves cutting across the grain.
Perhaps you’re not sure what type of cutting you’ll be doing, or maybe you plan to perform both ripping and crosscutting. Combination, also known as general-purpose blades, provide the ideal solution. They feature more teeth than a ripping blade but less than the crosscutting version, enabling them to handle both functions.
What Saw Blade You Need
Typically you’ll be using a saw to cut lumber both across the grain and with the grain. This requires a general-purpose, or combination saw blade. If you’re just cutting with the grain, you’ll want to use a rip saw blade. For cutting across the grain only, you’ll want a crosscut saw blade.
The value of using a saw blade for the specific cut type you’re doing (crosscut or rip) is that the blades designed for those specific cuts will cut smoother and faster, and they also will last longer. For repetitive tasks, such as cutting 2x4s to length to frame a house, you’d save time and money buying a crosscut blade. For projects that require both cut types, you’d spend a lot of time changing your blade if you used the rip and the crosscut blades, so a combination would make more sense.
If you’re not sure what type of cutting you’ll be doing, or maybe you plan to perform both ripping and crosscutting. Combination, also known as general-purpose blades, provide the ideal solution. They feature more teeth than a ripping blade but less than the crosscutting version, enabling them to handle both functions.
What Type of Saw Do You Have?
The type of saw you’re using is another factor to consider when choosing the right blade. Here’s a look at the versions that are compatible with two of the most commonly used power saws:
- Miter: Miter saws can perform quick, accurate cuts in wood at a variety of angles. As these saws are typically used for crosscutting, choose a blade with a higher tooth count.
- Table: Table saws are the preferred option for cutting large panels of lumber or plywood. This application can require ripping and crosscutting, meaning you should choose a combination blade. You could also purchase both ripping and crosscutting models to use as needed, although this can create an additional expense and may require more frequent blade switching.
How Many Teeth Does a Saw Blade Have?
The number of teeth on a saw blade depends on its type and length. Available options generally include:
- Combination: 10-inch blades with 50 teeth and 12-inch with 60 teeth
- Ripping: 10-inch blades with 24-30 teeth and 12-inch blades with 40 or fewer teeth
- Crosscutting: 10-inch blades with 60 teeth and 12-inch with 80 teeth
Questions About Choosing a Saw Blade?
Do you still have questions about which saw blade is right for your cutting tasks? The experts at Luxite Saw can help. Feel free to contact us for more information today. If you’re ready to shop for a saw blade, check out our inventory of carbide tipped blades!