Table saw blades are capable of cutting everything from lumber and sheets to fancy joinery. There is an array of blade types for every purpose. When you are looking for a glue-line cut, you have to have separate saws for ripping and crosscutting.
Again, hybrid blades are there so that you don’t have to change blades frequently. If you know properly about which table saw blade types would go with your work, you can become a master at carpentry.
Don’t worry! The choices aren’t as tricky as it sounds. Scroll down to find out the in-depth information that can help you choose the right one for you.
What Are The Different Table Saw Blade Types?
Depending on the shape, teeth numbers, or grind, there are mainly four basic blade types. They are –
- Flat top grind (FTG).
- Alternate top bevel (ATB)
- Alternate top bevel raker (ATBR).
- Triple-chip grind (TCG)
These types of blades have teeth whose top edges are square to the saw plate. They are fast-cutting and sturdy. The blades are suitable for ripping. There are fewer teeth than others with massive gullets. The gullets are for removing more material over a longer distance, and they also help reduce heat and burning.
These blades come with 24 to 32 teeth. The rake angle generally starts from 20° degrees. These blades attack the timber like a chisel chopping out the ends of a mortise.
The teeth are angled across the top edge, where the other teeth are leaning in the opposite direction. These blades are great for starting your woodworking. The rake angle is around 10° – 12°. Since these blades are generally designed for crosscuts and will need to remove material, the blades need shear angles.
The steeper the bevel angle, the more precise the cuts will be. The shape will cause it to shear the wood fibers using a slicing motion. These blades have 40 to 50 teeth, which are known as ‘general purpose blades. There can be Hi-ATB blades ( around 25° – 38° angle), which will be suitable for veneers and tear-out-free crosscutting.
These combination blades are 50-teeth blades that are arranged in sets of five, with four ATB teeth with a raker tooth. Both ATB and raker teeth have made these blades – the ‘all-purpose blades’.
The teeth alternate between a chamfered tooth and a ranker tooth. The chamfered tooth roughly cuts, where the following FTG tooth cleans it up. These blades are meant for cutting dense materials – plastic laminate, Corian, nonferrous metals – brass, aluminum, and more.
The number of teeth is higher here as these blades come with around 80 teeth.
Glue-Line Rip Blade
A glue-line rip blade has a slightly slower feed rate than a standard rip blade, which leaves cleaner edges that may not require jointing before gluing. This type is excellent if you rip lots of solid wood. These aren’t designed for cutting stock thicker than 1 in.
You may get confused between the ‘combination blade’ and ‘all-purpose blade’. Combination blade or you may name it – multi-purpose blades as the 50-teeth ATBR tooth construction is dedicated to both ripping and crosscutting. In contrast, the ‘all-purpose’ blade is a newer 40-tooth ATB version. However, both types can replace separate rip and crosscut blades. The 50-teeth combination blade is better for cutting dadoes and grooves for its virtually flat top kerf.
For cutting slots across the grain or slots with the grain, you’ll need a dado set. You can cut quality grooves or dadoes on your table saw from 1/4 in. wide up to just below 1 inch. The dado set is suitable for rabbet, which is an L-shaped groove on the edge of a board.
While other saw blades come with one flat metal blade, dado blades come in two different designs: stacked and wobble.
Stacked blades have multiple cutters and spacers sandwiched together to create a wider appearance. Manufacturers construct stacked blades with ripper style blades and spacers in the middle and crosscut blades outer side. It is for removing large amounts of material while maintaining a smooth cut line along the groove’s edges.
On the other hand, wobble blades rotate in an offset pattern to saw wide grooves as they spin through the wood. This has an adjuster that alters the width of the wobble. Wobble blades are usually lower-priced and don’t offer the same quality cut as a stacked blade.
What Type Of Table Saw Blade Do I Need?
You may need to cut plywood or MDF or particleboard or hardboard or plastic laminate or any other material for your projects. So, let’s check out the blade types based on what task you are performing.
Ripping: The 24-teeth FTG blade can suit your demands in this case. You can also have 40 or 50 teeth all-purpose or combination blade. However, it may not offer you the exact output as the FTG blade.
Crosscutting: Trimming wood across the grain can end up with splinters at the sides. To minimize the tear-out, the blades come with ATB teeth for the shearing action. The blades have more teeth than others(around 60 to 80) to offer a glue-line finish. Moreover, you can also have a 40-teeth ATB blade or a 50-teeth combination blade.
Some Tips That Can Help You Choose The Right Table Saw Blade
- Go for the high-quality blades as they are resharpenable. This will eventually save your pocket.
- If you want slower and smoother cuts, go for the blades with fewer teeth.
- If you want to make jigs on aluminum, brass, and other nonferrous metal, the TCG will be an ideal choice.
- The anti-kickback shoulders give a slower feed rate to prevent kickback when ripping.
- The 3/32” thin kerf blade cuts 25% less wood than a 1/8” thick kerf and is the right choice for in-powered saws. However, you may encounter rougher cuts.
- To get the precise cuts, ensure that the rip fence and miter gauge slots are appropriately aligned.
- The expansion slots that end bluntly in open holes indicate old technologies and come with a piercing sound.
- It would be best if you went for laser-cut plates and teeth made from hard, microscopic grains of carbide. The particle sizes should be less than 1 micron and C-4 grade hardness.
Which Blade To Choose For Your Table Saw?
If you end up with low-quality blades to save a few bucks, that’s going to cost you lots of cleanup work over the years. Though today’s general-purpose blades are sturdy, relying exclusively on one blade has disadvantages. For best results, you should have at least two blades to keep one sharp for critical cuts. Instead of having two identical blades, I recommend choosing a good companion for your primary one.
- When you work with many hardwoods, it’s worth investing in a rip blade to speed up your work.
- For crosscutting lumber and most plywood, get a quality 80-tooth blade.
- Buy a TCG blade if you cut a lot of plastic laminate or nonferrous metals.
1. How many teeth blade for ripping?
The the10-inch ripping blades generally come with 24-30 teeth and the 12-inch blades come with 40 or fewer teeth.
2. What is the rake?
The rake indicates the angle of the tooth face from the center of the blade.
3. Where can you use the blades with zero rakes?
Some blades with zero rake or even negative rake are particularly good for radial-arm saws and miter saws as they prevent self-feeding or climb cutting. They can be used on the table saw, too.
4. What kind of hook angle will you find in ripping blades?
Rip blades have the highest hook angles. They cut aggressively with their forward-leaning teeth that produce a fast feed rate with minimal effort.
5. What does the relief angle do?
The relief angles provide clearance for the blade and lessen heat build-up at the time of cutting.
As there is a myriad of blades available, your priority should be to avoid economy blades. The best ones don’t scrimp on steel or carbide. Let me know in the comment section which table saw blade types you are looking for.