The product’s quality and precision largely depend on the tools used in woodworking. Any woodworker seeks the best tool for the job. When it comes to cutting with saw blades the precision and straightness of the cut are important. Woodworking professionals use saw blades for straight precise cuts. That cut will only be as good as the quality of the blade.
Woodworking professionals will often talk about the teeth count on a saw-blade in reference to the cut being made. The usual rule is that the more teeth the smoother the cut will be. It is also important to remember that the more teeth a saw-blade has the slower the cut will be, fewer teeth mean a faster cut, but not as smooth. The profile of the sawtooth along with the straightness of the teeth grind will effect both the final product and the cut.
How rough the cut looks are up to the woodworker. Usually, people leave the cut rough if they have other plans for it or if they plan on covering it up. This depends on the industry and the purpose of the project. On the other hand, some people prefer to have a smooth cut when it is going to be seen or is going to be a snug fit.
When looking for your first quality saw-blade it is important to do your own research to figure out what blade meets your needs. A general-purpose blade is good for what it sounds like, “general purpose”. So, if you are looking for a saw-blade for everyday activity then a general-purpose blade would be perfect.
- Where was it made?
- Where a blade was made can indicate the quality and precision of the blade. For example, Germany and Italy are renowned for their blade work and precision.
- What was used to make the blade?
- It is important to consider the quality and strength of the blade you want to buy. If it is made of a high-grade carbide, carbon, or steel then it will last longer and deliver better quality woodworking products.
- Read some reviews on the blade you want to purchase so you can ensure you are spending your money in the right place. Sometimes past customers will provide some guidance on the saw-blade you are thinking of using.
Bring it All Together
When looking for a high-quality saw blade you want to be sure to do your research. Having the right saw blade in your arsenal can make the difference between a reliable cut and a messy one. Be sure to follow us to keep with with saw blade and related content!
Table and miter saw blades come in many different configurations.
First, when it comes to the number of teeth, fewer teeth cut more quickly and more coarsely while more teeth on your blade will cut slower but it will also leave a smoother cut.
Next, is the tooth style.
Alternate Top Bevel (ATB)
Here is where we will discuss one of the few styles of teeth called ATB, which stands for alternate top bevel.
Blades with ATB teeth are great blades for all purpose crosscutting and ripping.
The ATB blade teeth are angled on the top edge with alternating angles per the above drawing. Most of these blades in the 40 to 60 tooth range are labeled as all purpose or general purpose. They can also come in a steeper angle usually listed as Hi-ATB. The steeper the bevel, the cleaner the cut. But the teeth will dull quicker on these blades. This tooth profile will assist the blade in shearing the wood fibers cleanly, using a slicing motion.
Flat Top Grind (FTG)
Here is where we will discuss one of the few styles of teeth called FTG, which stands for flat top grind.
Blades with FTG or Flat teeth are great blades perfect for ripping. They can also be used for rough crosscutting.
FTG/flat tooth blades have teeth that are square. See above drawing. These teeth are also called rakers. The teeth cut through the wood more like a chisel. These blades cut fast, are durable and are designed to rip cut along the wood’s grain. Because of the tooth design and typically lower amount of teeth, these blades will product a rougher cut.
You will also see these FTG teeth on combination blades along with ATB teeth. Which make for a great all purpose blade.
Here is where we will discuss one of the few styles of teeth that make up combination blades.
Combination Blades, also listed as ATB+R teeth, are great all purpose blades for ripping and crosscutting. Combination blades and configured like the drawings above. With 50 teeth grouped into sets of five teeth, the sets consist of four ATB teeth (alternate top bevel) and one FTG tooth (flat top grind). The ATB teeth help the blade cut clean crosscuts while the FTG teeth help the blade make rip cuts.
Triple-Chip Grind (TCG)
Next, is the tooth style.
Here is where we will discuss one of the few styles of teeth called TCG, which stands for triple chip grind.
Blades with TCG teeth are great blades for cutting dense materials.
As you can see from the above drawings the teeth on these blades alternate between a chamfered tooth and a flat raker tooth. The chamfered tooth roughs out the cut while the flat tooth cleans up the cut.
The types of materials that these blades are best for are dense materials, such as, solid surface materials, plastic laminates, brass and aluminum. ATB teeth would dull too quickly on these materials. The TCG blades can also be an option when cutting mdf, melamine, particle board.
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