What Saw Blades to Use for Miter Saw
Woodcutting equipment comes in different forms because of its wide range of applications. Miter saw is one of those woodcutting equipment that is always present in every woodworking workshop. One very important part of the miter saw, and for any woodcutting equipment for that matter, is its saw blade. The saw blade used in the miter saw also comes in different types for different uses.
One blade cannot do all of the work. There are different types of blade that are made for certain types of materials or wood that are to be cut using the miter saw. Knowing which blade to use is essential to have that clean and high-quality wood cuts using your miter saw.
What kind of saw blade should you use for the woodwork at hand and how do you take care of your saw blades? These questions will be answered in the next sections.
Miter Saw Blades
Since a miter saw is a type of saw that requires a rotating blade, the most ideal shape for its blade is circular. There are many kinds of circular blades available in the market that has different characteristics which serves different purposes. Choosing the right saw blade for a particular wood or woodcutting task is essential to have the best results.
Here is a list of circular blades that you can use for a miter saw.
- Ripping Saw Blades – Rip saw blades are the kind of blades that is used to cut through hardwood, and even stacks of them. These blades are specifically designed for smooth but efficient cuts. It is also designed to reduce the feed resistance which is usually attributed to ripping. The rip saw blades have only a few teeth, which typically have 24 teeth on a 10 inch blade, on the blade compared to crosscut or combination blades.
- Crosscut Saw Blades – These blades are used to cut across the wood grains. For other saw, such as a hand saw, a clean cut across the wood grains is usually very difficult to attain. But for crosscut blades, you are assured of a smooth, clean cut through the grains.
- Plywood or Laminate Saw Blades – If there are different types of blades, there surely are different types of wood. For plywood or laminates, there are specific blades that can be used. Plywood could be difficult to cut without chipping the veneer at the back of the wood. While plastic laminates are also difficult to cut because the plastic veneer is brittle and has a tendency to chip.Saw blades made for the purpose of cutting plywood and laminates are designed such that the chipping or splintering. Having a triple-chip tooth and a lot of teeth on your blade with a 10 degree hook angle is the ideal plywood and laminate saw blade to use. Using this blade would ensure a clean cut and smooth finish on your plywood and laminates.
- Melamine Saw Blades – Another challenging type of wood to cut through using the miter saw is melamine wood. Melamine is a type of wood which has a coating on both sides of the wood. It is usually used to construct cabinets. Cutting through this kind of wood was found to be one of the most difficult task.
Melamine has the tendency to chip when cut because of its brittle faces due to its coting. Blades that are used for this wood usually have a high tooth count which produces a clean and smooth finish on melamine cuts.
- Non-Ferrous Saw Blades – Miter saws, and other saws for that matter, is not only limited to cutting wood. These kind of blades can also be used to cut non-ferrous metals such as brass, copper and aluminum that are used in constructing. The blades are designed to cut through rough and hard materials such as metals.
- Steel Saw Blades – As its name suggests, steel saw blades are used to cut through steel. These blades are designed to cut through any steel, steel studs, steel rods, steel pipes, steel studs, rebar and channels. The blades are made from carbide grade steel which is resistant to breakage and can last longer than ordinary steel blades.
Indeed, there are different blades for different applications as is there are different materials used for different wood and metal works. Having these classifications would let you know that there is not just one blade for everything. Choosing the right blade for the right purpose serves an important role when keeping your miter saw in perfect working condition.
Maintaining Miter Saw Blades
Miter saw blades also needs to be maintained to keep it in good condition and last longer. Proper saw blade maintenance is a must not just to keep your blades in good shape but to also save in buying new blades or fixing them.
In that light, here are some tips to maintain your blades.
- When a saw blade is being used for some time already they tend to become dull or caked with pitch which makes them less effective in cutting. A pitch on the blade is usually characterized as a coating from the previous material that you used it for. To remove this, there are cleaning solutions that can be purchased to clean up your saw blades.
- The teeth of the blades are usually made of carbide which is a very hard metal. Carbides are quite expensive so proper maintenance should be done in order to keep this part of the blade in good condition.The carbide teeth of the blades are brittle and they tend to chip or break when dropped or when it is in contact with other metallic tools. Always be careful when handling these blades when installing it in your miter saw and storing them. Make sure that it is not in contact with other tools during storage.
- What are blades for but for cutting so you should keep them sharp to have quality cuts that you need for your woodworks. Your blades needs sharpening when you observe an increase in feed resistance and that the quality of the cuts decreased. But don’t try to touch the blades with your hands because this might hurt you and may spoil the cutting geometry. Sharpen it with a sharpening tool or take it to a saw blade sharpening shop to do the sharpening for you.
Miter saw blades are very important and they make saws serve their purpose of cutting. If you want to have those quality cuts, invest on good saw blades so that you can work on different kinds of materials. This is beneficial for you to enable you to work as flexible as needed and that you won’t be limited with what you can do with your miter saw because of the limits of your saw blades.
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