Most quality circular saw blade manufacturers will provide a wealth of information about the circular saw blade either on the blade itself or the packaging. Be wary of blades that say nothing on the packaging or the blade itself about the design of the blade.
Note: Some of the more expensive circular saw blades will be chemically coated in order to reduce friction and inhibit corrosion which will extend the life of the blade.
Note: The quickest way to destroy a circular saw blade is to cut lumber that has nails and screws embedded in it.
Circular Saw Blade Selection Guide
Note: Pictures of blades chosen should not be taken as a specific recommendation of that circular saw blade for any cutting process and/or manufacture. Pictures are only meant to give a visual identity to each of the types of circular saw blades.
Common Circular Saw Blades
General purpose circular saw blade used for cutting hard and soft woods with, across or at angles to the grain. Available with steel or carbide tips. Often the choice of contractors for portable circular saws for framing and rough-in construction.
Used for cutting across the grain. The small gullet and large number of teeth, usually 48 or more makes for very smooth cuts. Available with steel or carbide tips. Commonly used in miter saws for furniture quality woodworking.
Used for cutting with the grain. The large gullet to remove the saw dust and chips and relatively small number of teeth, usually 28 or less makes for fast cutting in hardwoods and softwoods. Available with steel or carbide tips. Commonly used in table saws.
Used for cutting plywood, wood paneling and other types of large panels. Plywood saw blades can have as many as 100 fine teeth or more. Available with steel (most common) and carbide tips (best for sheets of particle board and MDF. Commonly used in table saws and portable circular saws.
Used for making very smooth cuts across the grain on larger pieces of softwood lumber. The blade is thinner in the center than where the teeth are formed and has a large number of teeth – more than 120. The thinner body prevents binding in thicker pieces of lumber. Generally a hollow ground circular saw blade is only available with steel teeth. Commonly used on miter and radial arm saws.
Commonly used on miter and radial arm saws. The thin kerf blade is generally used for cutting dimensional hardwood or engineered lumber products. It is most commonly available with 80 or more carbide teeth. The thin profile provides for less material waste and smooth cutting.
Specialty Circular Saw Blades
Used for cutting masonry, ceramic tile, natural stone and steel. Often used in portable gas powered circular saws. It is also used on chop saws. The abrasive blade or disc is available in different abrasion levels for different cutting applications and materials.
Diamond circular saw blades are used for cutting glass, masonry, ceramics and natural stone. In many cases diamond blades are mounted in wet saws. Wet saws keep the blade cool by pouring a continuous stream of water over the blade as it is cutting. Diamond circular saw blades are available in numerous styles depending on the materials being cut.
Fiber cement circular saw blades are specifically designed for cross cutting fiber cement products such as siding. The blades have carbide tips and are designed to reduce the amount of dust rising into the air when cutting.
Dado circular saw blades as the name implies make are designed to make dado cuts in lumber. They are most often used in table and radial arm saws. There are two types of dado circular saw blades.
The stacked blade which uses a number of chipper blades between two circular saw blades. The quantity of chipper blades used and the thickness of the circular saw blades determines the width of the dado.
The second type of dado circular saw blade uses an adjustable plate that forces the blade to cut on an angle to the material. Blades are available in steel and carbide tipped.
Wet and pressure treated lumber has a tendency to bind circular saw blades which produces heat which in turn will burn out the tips on a regular saw blade very quickly. This blade has been designed to specifically cut wet and pressure treated lumber without binding. It is most commonly used on portable circular saws. The basic tooth layout and overall design is that of a combination circular saw blade.
A complete selection of circular saw blades