There are a number of different saw blades that are used in a variety of different projects. If you’re going to be working on anything at all you want to make sure that you’re going to have the right tools and finding the right saw that you need is going to be one of those important tasks. So just what do you do? Well you need to look at your main projects first to determine what you really need and how it’s going to help you accomplish your work faster.
24-Tooth FTG, 40-Tooth ATB, 50-Tooth ATBR Combination Blade
If you’re looking to rip solid wood then you’ll want one of these types of wood. Ripping is when you cut through a piece of wood alongside the grain rather than cutting across the grain as you will most times. The cut is a lot faster to execute, but it’s going to be more rough and coarse than a crosscut. With a 24-tooth you’re going to have even more of that rough side and a little faster, while a 40-tooth or 50-tooth will cut a little slower but it’s going to look nicer and be smoother in the end. It still won’t be as smooth as a crosscut however.
40-Tooth – 80-Tooth ATB, 50-Tooth ATBR Combination Blade
If you’re looking for crosscutting of more solid wood or even plywood you’re going to want these types of blades. They are going to give you a much cleaner cut because there are more teeth involved. Still, as long as you have a good quality blade you’re going to do well with these tasks. If your 40-tooth blade is a higher quality than the 80-tooth blade that you own you’re going to be better off using it instead of the higher tooth option.
40-Tooth ATB, 50-Tooth ATBR Combination Blade
If you’re looking to get started with joinery you’re going to want one of these blades that can get you exactly the right style and look. You’ll be able to get a smooth surface that’s ready for gluing and it won’t matter what way you’re cutting either. If you’re cutting with the grain or across the grain these blades are good at providing you with just the right outline. This is important to getting a good finished product that you can count on to be high quality over time.
40-Tooth – 80-Tooth ATB or TCG
If you’re planning on sawing MDF, melamine or particleboard you’re going to want one of these types of blades. They’re going to help you get through just about anything and you’ll be able to do it more quickly as well. Not only that but you’re going to get a clean cut. With an ATB you’ll get the cleanest cut, but if you use a TCG blade you’re going to have the ability to use it longer because this type of blade doesn’t dull as fast as an ATB. You’ll have to decide which is most important for you.
If you’re planning on sawing things that aren’t wood, like plastic laminate, nonferrous metal and plastic you’re going to want this type of blade. It’s possible to use an ATB style blade for this type of work but you’re going to have to spend a lot of time trying to sharpen the blades again as these types of materials will dull your ATB blades a lot faster. With a TCG you’re going to get a good quality cut but you’re also not going to have too dull of a blade when you’re finished.
Using Your Blades
There are a number of different uses for each type of blade that you might want to get and you’re going to want to look at each of those uses before you decide on a specific blade or series of blades. The best thing you can do is make sure that you’re getting several different types of blades that will take care of many projects. If you can only get a couple blades at this point try to get some that will work over multiple purposes so you can maximize your investment over the long term.
If you’re able to get a lot of blades make sure you’re getting ones that are going to be more specialized. That way you’re getting the best blade for the job rather than simply getting a blade that is capable of doing the job if needed. You want something that will get the best possible job done for you and you’ll find that by doing a little bit of research on what’s out there and taking a look at these points about what different blades are going to be capable of as well as what they’re really going to help you the most with.
Overall, you want to make sure that your saw is prepared for what you’re doing. If you’re never going to use it for ripping solid wood you may never need a 24-tooth FTG blade. If you’re never going to use it for joinery you may not need a 50-tooth ATBR combination (unless you’re using it for crosscutting). There are many things to look at but you don’t need to get a lot of blades that you’re never even going to use. You’re much better off getting a couple high quality blades that will do what you want them to do.
A saw is a great tool for your wood projects and even for metalworking or plastic projects. Overall, the best thing that you can do is make sure that you’re prepared for whatever you’re doing. If that means having a lot of different blades on hand for whenever you need them then that’s great. If you have to just pick up blades as you’re going to use them that will work well for you as well. Just make sure that you’re paying attention to what they can do and what they can’t do. You’re not going to do yourself any favors when you end up with a dull blade and a project that’s not done because you didn’t know what it could do.