Choosing the Right Tool for the Job: Saws and Saw Blades

Choosing the right saw for your project is more than a matter of picking between electric or handheld. You’ll also need to choose the right saw blade to go along with it. Different saw tooth sizes are better for certain kinds of projects, so understanding what kind of saws are available and the difference between them is key. Here’s how to choose the right saw for whatever job you need.

How saw teeth work

Although manual labor or electric saws do a large part of the job, your saw teeth will affect the speed, precision and appearance. Getting the right saw blade will make your work exponentially easier—especially if your project requires more than one type of saw blade.

Saw teeth make two grooves in the material you’re cutting. The sawdust is pushed out by the teeth. The teeth themselves might be set at an angle, so the cut you make is actually wider than the blade itself.

Generally speaking, the teeth per inch will tell you how quickly and precisely you can cut. For example, a blade with 10 teeth per inch will saw slower—but more precisely—than a blade with five teeth per inch. Fewer teeth will leave a rougher cut behind, but they’ll do it faster. The blade you need will depend on your project.

Types of saw blades

Here’s a closer look at some of the common saw blade types you’ll be able to choose from for your project. Read on to learn what different saw blades are used for:

  • Crosscut: This is a type of handsaw blade. The teeth are set at a 70-degree angle compared to the blade. There are usually 10 to 12 beveled teeth per inch, but certain types of crosscut blades, like Japanese and backsaws, may have more.
  • Rip: Rip blades are another handsaw blade type. They’re for cutting parallel to wood grain. The teeth come around five to six per inch, and are square.
  • Combination: Combination blades are for circular saws. They’re designed to cut both hard and soft wood, either with or against the grain. They offer both rip and crosscut teeth and deep gullets in between. Blades range from 40 to 16 teeth. As mentioned earlier, the finer the cut, the more teeth the blade should have.
  • Plywood and veneer: These blades are extremely fine, designed to cut through plywood and veneer without splintering the wood. A plywood and veneer blade may have as many as 200 teeth per blade.
  • Carbide: Carbide saw blades actually denote the blade material rather than the type of saw blade and teeth. Their tungsten-enhanced tips make them sharper and harder than traditional steel blades. They also last a lot longer—although carbide blades are more expensive at the outset, their longer lifespan makes them an economical purchase in the long run. If you use your saw regularly, it may be worth investing in carbide blades.

If you have additional questions about how to choose the right saw, make sure to call the team at Central Equipment Company. We offer saw sales, rentals and repair, so you’re guaranteed to get the right tool for the job. Call or stop by today.

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