For “What’s the Difference?” in FHB #201, I wrote about the significance of tooth grinds on circular sawblades. Choosing a blade with the correct number of teeth is equally important for getting the best performance from a circular saw, a miter saw, or a tablesaw.
Circular sawblades come with a wide range of tooth counts, everything from 14 to 120 teeth. To get the cleanest cuts, use a blade with the correct number of teeth for a given application. The material being cut, its thickness, and the direction of the grain relative to the sawblade help to determine which blade is best. Perhaps the key factor to consider when choosing a sawblade is the desired result. A blade with a lower tooth count tends to cut faster than a blade with a higher tooth count, but the quality of the cut is rougher, which doesn’t matter if you’re a framer. On the other hand, a blade with too high a tooth count for an application yields a slower cut that ends up burning the material, which no cabinetmaker would tolerate.
Circular sawblades differ in cost as much as they do in performance. Blades range in price from a few dollars to more than $100. The blade design, the amount of carbide, and the quality of the carbide used in the blade influence cost the most.