Find the Right Blade for Your Machine
There are so many different types of circular saws on the market at the moment, selecting the right blade for the machine you are using can be difficult.
Different machines require different thicknesses of blade as well as specific bore sizes, and blades are designed to rotate at certain speeds for cutting specific materials.
As always you will achieve the best results by selecting the correct blade for your machine so this blog post will look in a little bit more detail at the different types of circular saws and why they need different saw blades to work efficiently.
What Saw Are You Using?
You should already know what type of circular saw that you have, but you may have more than one because different saws are designed for different purposes. Because of this you can’t use the same blade in each machine so when it comes to buying a new blade it’s important to know that is designed for the type of saw that you have.
The most important information to know is what size of blade your machine takes, and the bore size required for the blade to fit inside the machine. If the blade is the wrong size, or the bore doesn’t fit, then your job will fail before it even begins.
Saws come in many different shapes and sizes, some of the most popular types of saw are shown below.
Different machines have different requirements when it comes to the saw blade, for example if you have a cordless machine it is using battery power to rotate the blade, because a battery isn’t as powerful as a mains connection it has to work harder to get a blade spinning at the optimum speed.
In order to get the blade running at the correct speed it is recommended that you use a thinner blade in your cordless circular saw.
When we look at the thickness of a blade there are two measurements that we need, the Body and the Kerf. The Body is the thickness of the steel and the Kerf is the width of the carbide tip which is the thickness of your cut. The Kerf will always be slightly wider than the body because the hole that you are cutting needs to be wide enough for the blade to follow through without getting jammed.
One of the most popular circular saws on the market at the moment is the Plunge Saw, with the most popular sizes being 160mm and 165mm. These machines are designed to be used with blades that have a special thin kerf.
It’s important to be clear that a cordless circular saw or a plunge saw will still cut with a thicker bodied blade in, but it won’t give the best results because it won’t be able to rotate the blade fast enough.
Some important things to look for in a blade for the popular machines are as follows:
Circular Saw – Positive Hook for cutting wood, Negative Hook for cutting metal.
Cordless Saw – Thin Kerf blades with Positive Hook for cutting wood and Negative Hook for cutting metal
Chop/Mitre Saw – 0° Hook for cutting wood or a negative hook for cutting metal
Table Saw – Positive Hook for cutting wood, Negative Hook for cutting metal.
Plunge Saw – Special thin kerf to work with the riving knife, positive hook blade.
Always check that the blade you’re buying is manufactured for your machine as this will give you the best performance. Walker Tools make this extremely easy for you by printing on the blade if it is designed for a specialist machine.
Quality of Finish
So by this point you should know what type of blade you need for the material you are cutting and the machine that you are using. The final point to consider is whether you are more concerned about cutting quickly or cutting smoothly.
The finish is dependent on how many teeth the blade has, the more teeth the smoother the finish. This is because each tooth is taking out less of the material as opposed to a blade with less teeth where each tooth is ripping out large chunks. However this does mean that it is slower to cut, so if the quality of the finish isn’t important (if the wood won’t be showing anywhere) then a coarser but quicker cut from a blade with fewer teeth will be your best bet. However if it is important that the cut is accurate and smooth, then a slower cut from a finer toothed blade will give you the best results.
Less Teeth = Quicker cutting with a rougher finish
More Teeth = Slower cutting with a smoother finish
The Walker Tools range of Circular Saw Blades designed for cutting wood will tell you the finish you can expect whether it is a Coarse Cut, Medium Cut or Fine Cut, making it easier for you to select the right blade for the job.