A miter saw is one of the most important tools that you can find in any woodworking workshop. Of course, the part of the miter saw that makes it functional is the blade.
The blades of a miter saw come in various shapes and sizes to serve different purposes.
In this little guide, we’ll go through all of these things to help you understand your miter saw better.
Generally, the miter saw requires a rotating blade, so the ideal shape for a miter saw blade is a circular one. There are plenty of circular blades on the market with varying characteristics and purposes, so choosing the right one is a vital step when you want to get the best results.
How to Choose The Right Miter Saw Blade for You
Although for a beginner, it may not seem very important to get a specific blade for a specific job, it makes a huge difference once you’re familiar with the mechanism of the miter saw.
The 3 Factors That Affect the Type of Blade You Need
1. Types of Miter Saw Blade
Before you get to know they different types of miter saw blade, you need to know the basics of circular blades. You will learn every tiny detail about circular blades.
To cut different materials, you’ll need different kinds of miter saw blades. The ones you can find include:
Ripping Miter Saw Blade:
Ripping saw blades are typically used to cut through hardwood –even stacks of them. They give you very smooth and efficient cuts.
If you’re looking to reduce the feed resistance that’s often associated with ripping, it’s a great choice for you.
Rip saw blades usually have 24 teeth on a 10-inch blade.
Crosscut Miter Saw Blade:
Crosscut saw blades are typically used to cut across the wood grains. This is a pretty tough task for other saws –like the hand saw-. However, a crosscut blade on a miter saw will give you the smoothest and cleanest cut through the grains.
Plywood or Laminate Miter Saw Blades:
Plywood can be a little hard to cut without chipping the veneer at the back of the wood.
In the same way, plastic laminates can be hard to cut as the plastic veneer is thin and often gets chipped.
That’s why saw blades that are made for cutting plywood and laminates come with a triple-chip tooth and a lot of teeth on your blade with a 10-degree hook angle.
This makes them ideal for cutting plywood and laminates without chipping anything extra.
Melamine Miter Saw Blade
Melamine wood is another challenge when it comes to wood cutting and woodwork.
This type of wood is usually used to make cabinets.
Both sides of melamine would have a coating so cutting through it can be a very tough task as they make the workpiece brittle and prone to chipping when you begin cutting it.
That’s why melamine-cutting blades have a big amount of teeth to produce the cleanest and smoothest cuts.
Non-Ferrous Miter Saw Blade:
You’re not limited to cutting wood with your miter saw.
You can also cut non-ferrous metals that are used in construction like brass, copper, and aluminum.
These blades have a special characteristic which enables them to cut through hard materials like metals.
Steel Miter Saw Blade:
As the name suggests, a steel saw blade is used to cut through steel of any shape or form including steel studs, steel rods, steel pipes, rebar, and channel steel sections.
The blade itself is typically made of carbide grade steel which highly resists damage and breaking and can last much longer than ordinary steel blades.
2. Diameter of Your Miter Saw
Each miter saw has a specific size of blade that’s supposed to work with it.
Using the wrong size will definitely lead to bugs and problems, and that’s why it’s important to check the user manual for the recommended blade size.
The common miter saw sizes are 7.5 inches, 8.5 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches.
Using the wrong blade size will hinder the cutting range of the saw and would prevent the blade from fitting in its slot appropriately.
3. Tooth Count of The Blade
The number of teeth the blade has is important as it’s the factor that determines the effectiveness of your cut.
Smoother finishes and cleaner cuts require a blade with numerous teeth.
Whereas cutting thicker material requires fewer teeth.
It’s worth mentioning that the larger the blade is, the higher the average tooth count would be.
In this sense, a 12-inch blade would need 80-100 teeth to create a smooth finish, while an 8.5-inch blade will need only 60.
If you’ve taken your decision for the miter saw blade, you many need to know how to replace it correctly, in this short video you will know how to do that: