Picking The Right Blade For Your Mitre Saw

Evolution RAGE 255mm Multipurpose TCT BladeWhen you buy a mitre saw, then most of the manufacturers, usually include one general purpose blade. Some of these will be suitable for cutting wood only, whereas other ones will be able to cut through different materials. These are often referred to as multi-purpose blades.

This type of blade will indeed work pretty well and will certainly fulfil its purpose in getting you off to a start. There is little doubt in my mind though, that should you want to get the full use out of your saw, you will want to purchase a few blades, to be able to do different types of work.

In this article we want to show you what is available, and more importantly, what important features to look out for, when you come to make your purchases. Let’s have a look at the popular terms that are used when it comes to describing blades for mitre saws.

Teeth per inch (TPI)

The TPI is one of the most important descriptions to understand. You will see that these blades are described by the number of teeth and a typical description would be something like 25-Tooth or 60-Tooth. This refers to the number of teeth around the circumference or rim of the actual blade. The more teeth there are, then the smoother the cut.

The principle behind this is that, the more teeth there are on a blade, then the smoother and finer your cut will be. Saw blades with less teeth will be faster and more aggressive to use, but the finish will be somewhat rougher. That is ok if you are doing general purpose work such as cutting wood for studs or something that will be covered up eventually.

Evolution RAGE 255mm Multipurpose TCT Blade

Evolution RAGE 255 mm Multipurpose TCT Blade

Ideally you should have a mixture of blades. Keep a 40 tooth blade for general work and also have an 80 tooth blade for finer cuts. if you are working on woods like veneers or plywood, then you would also need an 80 tooth, as otherwise the finish would look pretty rough.

The Hook Angle

You can find this measurement written on the blade or on the packaging. This is the amount the tooth leans back from the cut. From minus 5 to positive 7 is an ideal measurement, as this prevents what is called snagging or grabbing of the blade which can cause problems.

This does start to get technical and to be honest most people will probably never need to care. For those who like the detail, the only time you would ever consider looking at this hook angle, is if you are cutting different types of wood all the time.

If you are ever cutting metal or Melamine then you will need a negative hook. Our advice is that if it states on the packaging that the blade is suitable for cutting certain types of wood, then it will always have the right hook on the teeth of the blade.

Triple Chip Grind

A fancy term but an important one. This is actually about each tooth on the blade and they way it is constructed. The better blades will have what is called a tombstone look to them, and one edge of the blade will have been triple grinded. This not only cuts harder materials better, but will also add more life to your blade.

Have a look at the video below, which explains the above terms really well

There are also flat top grinds (FTG) and one known as an “alternate top bevel.”(ATB) ┬áMost ripping blades will use the flat top grind and cross cuts use an ATB. We would recommend that for almost all purposes stuck with the triple grind and you will be fine.

Sizes

You will need to buy a blade that fits your saw. So for example if you have bought the popular 10″ Mitre saw, then you will want to make sure that you get a 10″ blade. That sounds pretty simple but some people do think they can fit different blades and they will work ok.

Materials

Blades are made from different materials, and it is important to understand, which are the best in terms of cutting capability, how long they will last and also get a good understanding of the price differences.

Kerf

This is a phrase that you will here when people describe saw blades. The simplest way to understand this is that it is the thickness of the actual cut itself. The wider the blade, then the bigger the kerf will be.