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Woodworking Circular Saw Blades

Woodworking saw blades are round circular saw blades that are designed to cut various types of wood, including lumber, plywood, softwood, hardwood, panels and laminates. They can be used in various applications, depending on the type of wood you are cutting and the kind of task you are performing. Blades come in a variety of sizes and can be made of various materials to accommodate different uses.


It’s important to remember that each blade type is designed to make certain types of cuts for a reason. They are engineered specifically for that particular cut and may not work well to make other kinds of cuts in other types of material. For instance, a crosscutting blade shouldn’t be used to make rip cuts. It can be unsafe to use the incorrect blade for certain tasks, as the blade teeth and thickness may not be sufficient to cut certain materials and could cause problems during the cut. Always use the appropriate blade for each type of material.

Types of Woodworking Circular Saw Blades

Plywood Blades

For cutting plywood. The blade has numerous fine teeth for a better, cleaner cut.

Ripping Blade

For cutting parallel to the wood grain. This blade has fewer teeth and a large gullet.

Crosscutting Blade

For cutting across the wood grain. This blade has more teeth and a small gullet for smoother cuts.

Combination Blade (All-Purpose Blade)

For cutting across or parallel to the wood grain. Great for all-purpose wood cutting. If you need a blade for general use, this is the best blade for you as it can be used for a majority of woodworking applications.

Fine-Tooth Finish Blade

For making extra smooth cuts.

Hollow Ground Blade

For making smooth cuts across the wood grain.

Dado Blade

For making grooves, dadoes and rabbet cuts in lumber.

Thin Kerf Blade

For cutting dimensional lumber.

Finish/Paneling Blade

For cutting paneling, veneer, plywood, laminates and plastics



How thick a blade is. The thicker the blade is, the longer it lasts and the more it can be resharpened. Blades with a thin kerf tend to be sharper and cut faster. Thinner kerf blades require less work from your motor since they cut less wood. If your saw doesn’t pack a large amount of power, thinner kerf blades are the best choice. However, thin kerf blades tend to cut rougher edges than thicker kerf blades.


The sharp points on the blade. The more teeth a blade has, the cleaner the cut. Fewer teeth make for a rougher cut. The number of teeth depends on the blade. Some blades have only 24 teeth while others can contain up to 60 to 80 teeth.

There are five types of teeth:

• Flat Top: Used in ripping hard and soft woods
• Alternate Top Bevel: The teeth alternate between a right-handed and left-handed bevel. Perfect for smooth cuts during crosscutting of natural woods and veneered plywood
• Combination Tooth: Perfect for both crosscutting and ripping
• Triple Chip Grind: Cuts laminates, plastics, MDF and non-ferrous metal
• High Alternate Top Bevel: Used for extra-fine crosscutting


The curved area between two saw teeth. Serves as an area for chip removal while you are cutting. Ripping blades tend to have deeper gullets to accommodate the bigger chips that are produced while cutting. Crosscutting blades have a smaller gullet because they produce smaller and fewer chips.

Expansion Slot:

A grooved area of the blade (typically on larger blades) designed to create an avenue for built-up heat on the blade.


The part of the blade behind the teeth that provides added support to the teeth.

Hook Tooth/Rake:

Angle of the saw tooth in relation to the center of the blade. Blades can have a negative, positive or zero degree hook angle:

Negative Hook Angle:

Saw teeth tip away from the direction of the blade rotation. Blades with a negative hook angle slow the feed rate during the cut

Positive Hook Angle:

Saw teeth tip toward the direction of the blade rotation. Blades with a high positive hook angle cut aggressively and have a fast feed rate.

Zero Degree Hook Angle:

Saw teeth are in line with the center of the blade


Horizontal cut made in lumber.

Rip Cut:

A cut that is parallel to the wood grain.

Before you buy

There are several things to consider before buying a woodworking circular saw blade. Always consider the diameter needed, the kerf, and the arbor size. The type of wood is also important (see the types of blades list above). Also think about if you want any sort of coating on your blade. Many blades are coated to prevent corrosion and wear while maximizing blade performance.


Are coated blades worth the extra money?

It depends. Do you care about what the wood looks like after cutting it? Many times, blades can leave burn marks if they are too hot and overheat while they are used to cut. If you want to avoid burn marks or you are concerned with the appearance of the wood, spend the extra money on a coated blade. The coating helps reduce friction and heat, which means the blade is less likely to leave burn marks on the wood. If not, stick with a regular blade without coating.

What kind of saw blade should I use?

It depends on the application. If you are making rough cuts, opt for a ripping blade. If you want a more precise, finer cut, go for a crosscutting blade. If you need a blade for various cutting applications, go for a combination blade. Also, there are blades designed for cutting certain types of wood, like plywood (plywood blade), lumber (dado blade), dimensional lumber (thin kerf blade).

I have more questions!

We'd love to help. Give us a call at 866-597-3850 (Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm CDT). Or email us at sales@toolbarn.com.