How to Choose the Right Circular Saw Blade

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The perfect circular saw blade exists for nearly every job. Don't mess up your project by using the wrong one.

Things You'll Need

  • Circular Saws
  • Combination Blades
  • Crosscut Blades
  • Flooring Blades
  • Hollow-ground Planer Blades
  • Hollow-ground Plywood Blades
  • Masonry Blades
  • Metal/plastic-cutting Blades
  • Nail-cutting Blades
  • Ripping Blades
  • Thin-kerf Blades
  • Learn how blades are named. Some are obvious: A masonry blade is used to cut brick. A flooring blade is made for cutting flooring and rough lumber. This type of blade can even handle an occasional nail.

  • Recognize that the more teeth that are on the blade, the cleaner the cut. Carbide-tipped blades are more expensive, but they require less frequent sharpening and make the smoothest cuts.

  • Select a ripping blade for long cuts with the grain. Don't use this blade with plywood. The crosscut blade can cut plywood easily, as well as regular wood (across the grain).

  • Use a combination blade for general-purpose woodwork. The large teeth leave a rough-cut and the blade can be used for cross cutting or with-the-grain rips.

  • Look for a hollow-ground planer for smooth miter and crosscuts. There is also a hollow-ground plywood blade that cuts plywood and paneling without splintering.

  • Choose a non-ferrous metal/plastic-cutting blade for aluminum, brass, copper, lead, and most solid plastics.

  • Pick up a thin-kerf blade to minimize wood waste when cutting.

  • Try a nail-cutter if you're doing heavy remodeling. You may run across hardware in the wood.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never use a saw to cut a material it is not designed to cut.

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