Torture Test: Fiber-Cement Sawblades
We cut through the contenders to find the longest-lasting, most cost-effective blades.
Synopsis: Cutting fiber-cement siding with a circular saw requires special sawblades, which can be expensive. Veteran tool tester Andy Beasley cut thousands of feet of HardiePlank siding using 21 different blades to find out which one delivers the best value. Photo: Patricia Steed
It’s hardly surprising that fiber-cement siding is popular. The material is fire resistant, distasteful to bugs, and extremely durable. But let’s face it: Fiber cement is a drag to cut with a circular saw. There’s that whining racket that comes from milling a cement-based product, and the resulting cloud of silica dust is a health hazard. You can ease the process and save some money by using the right blade. There are swarms of 7 1⁄4-in. fiber-cement blades on the market and just as many promises of superior performance. How do you decide which blade to buy? Clearly, you need someone gullible enough to test a boatload of…