Choosing the Right Carbide Saw Blade

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This one may seem pretty obvious but once in a while I run across someone who wants to use a blade that's a different size than their saw (sometimes to save money, believe it or not). In most cases, I advise against it. First of all, there's the issue of clearance: a bigger blade won't likely clear the blade guard on a miter or radial arm or the throat plate on a table saw. A smaller blade won't give you the depth of cut.

 

Conversely, try to rip solid wood with a trim blade and Solid Hardwood Flooring Guys burn more wood than you cut. Use either blade to cut laminate flooring and you'll regret it when the top layer chips and the blade gets dull after three cuts. Laminate flooring, like Pergo, is very hard and has aluminum oxide in it - use an aluminum-cutting blade.

 

Manufacturers of saw blades that make blades for the professional make several different blades, with different configurations, for different uses and they identify them accordingly. There's no need for me to list them here, just stick with their recommendations and you shouldn't have any problems.

 

But a good rule of thumb is to just stick to what the manufacturer recommends. Buy a table saw blade for a table saw, a miter blade for a miter saw and a radial arm blade for a radial arm. When you think about it, you're not going to be cutting sheets of plywood on a miter or radial arm and you're probably not going to be mitering moldings on a table saw.

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