Do you just want to know what is the best circular saw blade without having to read this entire 2000 word article? The Freud D0740A Diablo Finishing Saw Blade is your best option.
You may buy the most expensive circular saw out there, but ultimately, the quality of your cuts will only be as good as your blades are. That’s why it is important to buy the best circular saw blade for your particular line of work.
In this guide, you will learn what you have to consider when looking for the best circular saw blade. You will also find reviews of five best-rated circular blades that are worth your money.
What Types Of Circular Saw Blades Are There?
There is a large selection of circular saw blades out there, ranging in size and purpose. Blades categories indicate the type of cut or intended material. Some examples include:
- Rip blades
- Crosscut blades
- Finishing blades
- Combination/General-Purpose blades
- Plywood blades
- Masonary/Metal/Plastic blades
- Dado blades
You will use a rip blade for cuts along the grain. It will move through the wood quickly and leaves a rougher surface if used for crosscuts. They have fewer teeth.
A crosscut blade works well across wood fibers. It will cut more slowly, but it will leave a smoother edge when finished. These blade types have a higher tooth count.
Finishing blades use more teeth and a thinner kerf to create clean edges. These will produce less chipping and tear out for exposed surfaces on the final assembly.
Combination/General-Purpose blades are a compromise between crosscut and rip blades. You can make either type of cut without having to change out blades. However, it performs less effectively than a dedicated blade type.
Plywood blades have a lot of teeth and can cut into plywoods and similar materials without tearing out the edges. It will cut slowly and can heat up when used on standard woods.
There are circular saw blades for cutting through masonry, metal, plastic, and other materials. These are material-specific and usually produce poor cuts in wood.
Dado blades usually come as a set. You can make grooves, dadoes, and other joinery using these. Dado blades are used on table saws so we won’t be talking much about this type.
How Often Do Circular Saw Blades Need To Be Replaced?
There are no indicators or time-frames for replacing blades. Factors including care, use, and blade quality will determine how long it will last. There are things to look for, however, that let you know it is time for a new blade:
- Blade Damage
- Visible Wear
- Harder Push-Through
- Excessive Tearout
- Burned Edges
Blade damage will be visible on the surface. Cracks, warping, and missing teeth indicate that it is time for a new blade. Do not cut with a damaged circular saw blade. It can break apart or bind in the wood and kickback, causing injuries and damaging your project or saw.
Visible wear comes in the form of dull teeth. If you sharpen your blades, the teeth become too short over repeated sharpening sessions to cut effectively.
You might notice that your blade starts to bind more often during cuts. If this is happening consistently, it might be time for a replacement.
If your blade starts to slow down through the cut, or if it takes longer to work through the wood, it is time to consider a new saw blade.
If your cuts begin to produce more chips in the wood, especially along the kerf, a dull or damaged blade is often the cause.
If the blade starts to cause burning along the cut edge, it has become dull and needs to be cleaned, sharpened, or replaced.
Try to clean a blade before replacing it
If a circular saw blade begins to cut less effectively in my shop and there is no visible damage, I try to clean it before replacing it.
Pitch and other residues can build up on the teeth. That can cover the cutting edge and make the blade seem dull. Cleaning a saw blade maintains performance and will save you money.
Can You Sharpen A Circular Saw Blade?
The traditional method involves using a file to redefine the cutting edge of each tooth on the blade. There are also electric circular saw blade sharpeners that make the job easier and faster.
Keep in mind that sharpening circular saw blades can be challenging, no matter which method you use. My late grandfather used to spend hours hand-sharpening his saw blades. Many of today’s saw blade designs use materials that are difficult for non-professionals to sharpen.
I find that it takes up too much of my valuable shop time, so I purchase new blades when it becomes necessary.
Features to consider before buying
Your selection will influence how the blade performs in your circular saw, so keep these in mind as you shop:
- Blade size – Needs to match the size of your saw
- Configuration/Number of teeth – Tooth design affects performance. Fewer teeth cut faster but rougher while more teeth are slower but cleaner
- Tooth-tipped materials – Various carbides extend the longevity
- Intended use – Manufacturers will often list the materials it is designed to cut
Best Circular Saw Blades Reviewed
Freud D0740A Diablo Finishing Saw Blade
- Product Type:Saw Blade
- Item Package Weight:0.181 Kilograms
- Item Package Dimension:0.762 cm L X18.288 cm W X21.59 cm H
Freud is known as a blade producer in the market, giving you the knowledge that its products are produced “in-house” and not by a third party. That is beneficial as it provides more quality control in the blade design.
It has been designed to cut wet lumber, something that other blades can struggle through.
- It has an arbor mounting hole that is laser cut. This helps to keep tighter tolerances and will reduce the wear at this critical connection point on the blade.
- Titanium cobalt is used for the tips. This material will help to extend the life of the saw blade before it becomes dull from use.
- There are stabilizer vents that are laser cut into multiple areas on the blade surface. This helps to reduce the noise produced as the blade moves through the wood fibers.
- The 40 tooth design will not produce as smooth a finish as other finishing blades reviewed here. That is because other finishing blades have more teeth than this blade.
- An Alternate Top Bevel (ATB) design places the teeth offset on both sides of the center. It produces a thicker kerf than other configurations.
DEWALT DWA171460 Circular Saw Blade
- Made from high-density tungsten Carbide for toughness, wear-resistance, and long life
- Tough coat anti-stick coating reduces friction and gumming
- Thin kerf design for smooth cuts
DeWALT has produced this 7.25-inch blade to fit its product line of circular saws. It also combines 60 teeth with a thin kerf so that you can make cuts that will not chip or leave a rough surface. A slow and steady pace can produce edges that will require little to no sanding.
- The overall design provides you with a fine-grade cut. This can be used to create edges that are finishing ready in most cases, saving you time.
- It has three sections of “body slots” spaced evenly across the blade. These will help the metal stay true as it heats up during the cut.
- It is designed for use with corded and cordless circular saws. That should prevent the blade from slipping on a 5/8-inch arbor that is found on today’s models.
- A thinner kerf equates to a flimsier blade. You will need to be cautious when applying pressure to the saw as it cuts so that you do not force the blade to bend.
- The trademarked Tough Coat can break down easily with use. This will produce more friction through the wood over time, but it should not be considered a deal-breaker.
Freud Diablo DO748F – Best for metals
- VERSATILE: This blade can fit most 5/8 inch bores
- EXTREME DURABILITY: Shock resistant brazing allows the carbide tips to withstand extreme impacts, improving their lifetime in high intensity applications
- PROPRIETARY STEEL BLEND: Freud’s TiCo hi density carbide is used in the construction of this circular saw blade. This robust design lets it last longer and cut faster than other steel blends
The steel demon blade is intended for thinner metals that are often used in a home workshop. Its 48 tooth design will cut through all-thread, angle iron, channel, conduit, flat-bar, as well as steel studs without damaging the blade.
- It uses a triple chip grind (TCG) for the teeth. That is ideal for cutting through hard materials without wearing out the blade too quickly.
- This blade works well at cutting metals that are .25-inches or less in thickness. That will cover most metals that a woodworker would use on their jigs and cabinetry.
- It has four sets of laser-etched vent points. This provides more stability during heating than three slots will and is critical for proper performance in hard materials.
- This saw blade may be of limited use in many woodshops. It is designed for cutting into soft metals, a material that some woodworkers may not use in their projects often.
- It has a higher price point when compared to other saws on this list. That can be an issue for a beginning woodworker, especially as the blade is not intended for cutting wood.
Bosch DCB624 6-1/2-inch General Purpose Blade
- Brute Carbide – an upgraded C3/C4 micro grain formulation for increased impact damage resistance
- ATB tooth geometry – for fast cross cutting, cutoff and trim of wood and plywood
- SpeedCoat – an antifriction finish for faster cutting with no burning or melting
This offering from Bosch will give you a smoother edge on crosscuts and materials such as veneers. That is due, in part, to the ATB tooth geometry. You can make faster cuts with this 24 teeth general purpose saw across the wood grain than you can with a higher tooth count.
- Bosch uses Brute carbide for the tips. This material should offer a durable cutting edge that can withstand impacts from harder woods.
- It is designed to be used on multiple materials. This includes wood, plywood, composite decking, as well as plastic.
- A Speed-Coat anti-friction coating allows the blade to generate less resistance at speeds up to 7,800 RPMs. That is an acceptable range for most woodshop cutting applications.
- It is a general-purpose blade. The 24 teeth will make crosscuts and rip cuts, but these will be slower and rougher than more specialized blades can produce.
- This blade is only 6.5-inches in size. That will limit it to more shallow cuts than can be made with the 7.25-inch circular saw blades on this list.
DEWALT DW3324 7-1/4-Inch Crosscutting Blade
- The product is 7-1/4" 100T cross blade
- Easy to use
- The product is manufactured in China
DeWALT’s second entry here represents a more heavy-duty design made for constant use. The blade will hold shape and is designed for up to 7,000 RPMs.
That is enough speed for crosscutting applications. Contractors and home improvement projects using a circular saw or miter saw are ideal for this blade.
- This is a budget offering from DeWALT. That will allow woodworkers who have a tight budget to get more than one blade for the price of a single blade.
- It has 100 teeth. A fine crosscut can be made using that type of configuration without producing chips and tears along the kerf line.
- The blade is thicker than other designs reviewed here. That makes it ideal for saws used in construction settings where thicker kerfs are acceptable from blades that hold shape during use.
- The lower price is due to it being manufactured overseas. That equates to less-stringent quality controls that are visible on the rough surface and a thin coating.
- This saw blade is designed for limited use. Lower overall specifications keep the price down as the blade will need to be replaced more often.
Cutting it Down To One
The Freud D0740A Diablo Finishing Saw Blade represents the best circular saw blade of this review. Its features are affordable but do not lack in performance due to cost-cutting.
The 40 teeth produce a smooth finish and can be used at a faster feeding-pace than others we looked at. Its ATB geometry will produce a wider kerf, but that is balanced by the smooth edge.
Laser cuts on the arbor and vents allow it to remain true during operation, and the carbide tips will cut for longer.