Are you in a hurry and don’t have time to read this entire article? FORREST Woodworker II is the best general-purpose table saw blade you can buy. Read on to learn why.
Many woodworkers, including myself, view the table saw as one of the most important power tools available. One thing I discovered is that a table saw’s cut quality depends upon the type of the blade used, as well as its quality.
Once you understand what features make the best table saw blade products you will increase your saw’s performance and the quality of your work.
Best-Rated table saw blades compared:
What Goes Into Making a Table Saw Blade?
There are two sizes of table saw blades that dominate today’s market, the 10-inch table saw blade and the 12-inch blade. While larger blades are used in many commercial or industrial settings, this article will focus on features that make the best 10-inch table saw blade. This size is the most popular with DIY and amateur woodworkers and represents the largest percentage of the power tools on the market today.
Saw blade kerf
One thing that you will notice as you try different blades in your table saw is the width of cut that they make. In woodworking terms, the width of the cut path into the wood is referred to as kerf.
Why is there such a variance of kerf widths between table saw blades? The blade body can vary depending upon the job the blade is designed for, with thicker table saw blades often used for rough carpentry work and thinner blades designed for fine woodworking.
Thicker table saw blades can cut through wood faster but you should feed the wood into them at a slower rate if you are working with thicker stock to prevent excessive tear-out.
Table saw blade teeth
Another feature that you will notice when shopping for your table saw blades are the number of teeth various products possess. For blades designed for woodworking, the number of teeth can range from approximately 24 teeth to over 60.
Blades designed for rip cuts will have fewer teeth and will tend to cut through wood more quickly. Conversely, crosscut table saw blades tend to have 60 or more teeth and will cut more slowly. In general, table saw blades with more teeth produce a smoother cut with less tearing of the wood fibers.
blade teeth configuration
The configuration, or shape of the teeth, will affect how it cuts into the wood. A few of the configurations you will want to consider include:
- Alternate Top Bevel (ATB) – With this configuration, the teeth alternate between left and right-facing bevels. This will yield a smoother cut and is used when making crosscuts. They also make a blade for plywood that is veneered.
- Combination (Comb) – This is a general-purpose workhorse saw blade that can be used to make either cross or rip cuts in wood. This is accomplished by placing an FT tooth between four ATB teeth.
- Flat-Top (FT) – Are highly efficient teeth that cut through wood quickly. This design removes material by raking it out of the kerf area, making them the choice for woodworkers making rip cuts.
- High Alternate Top Bevel (hi-ATB) – these table saw blades have a greater bevel angle than standard ATB saw blades. This makes the knife-like cut more precise and is intended for materials that chip easily, such as Melamine.
- Triple Chip Grind (TCG) – These teeth are designed to cut through harder materials such as Laminates and MDF boards. The teeth alternate between a raking and trapeze design that will remove materials without generating chips and tears along the edge of materials that they are designed for.
The space between blade teeth has a space in front of the tooth referred to as the gullet. This space allows material to be removed as the blade cuts. Deeper spaces remove more chips and are found on aggressive blades used for rip cuts. Shallower gullets remove smaller chips and are used on the less-aggressive crosscut table saw blades.
Table Saw Blade Types
- Crosscut Blades – Are designed to cut across the grain. They will usually include 60 to 80 teeth with an ATB configuration. The kerf on these table saw blades should be thinner than those found on a blade made for rip cuts and the gullets will be smaller.
- Ripping Blades – Are designed to cut with the grain. There will be roughly 24 teeth with an FT configuration and deeper gullets. These table saw blades tend to be thicker than many of their crosscutting counterparts.
- Combination Blades – Also called general purpose blades, have a tooth count between 30 to 50 teeth that vary between ATB and FT configurations. The gullets and kerfs on these table saw blades can vary, depending upon the brand. Top-notch table saws often come included with good general-purpose combination blades.
- Dado Blades – Many saw designs can make use of wobbler dado blades or dado blade sets. These products create a wider kerf than standard general-purpose saw blades and are used to make dados that allow you to join your boards together.
Best-Rated Table Saw Blades Reviewed
Now let’s take a deeper look at a few specific models of table saw blades that I believe are the best ones on the market right now.
Best Combination Blade for the Money: Forrest WW10407125 Woodworker II
- This kerf saw saves 1/8" on wood loss for each cut.
- Tooth style:15° ATB, 20° face hook
This general-purpose blade from Forrest is truly a hand-made item. That includes hand tensioning as well as hand-brazed teeth. It helps to explain the high price tag that comes with the Woodworker II.
The 10-inch body is covered with 40 teeth set into an ATB configuration. Combining these features is what helps to make this a general-purpose saw blade that can be used on both cross and rip-cuts.
- The materials used to make the blade, as well as the hand tensioning, make this general-purpose saw blade durable enough to prevent bending or wobbling as it cuts into a wooden stock
- You will experience less blow out on the backside of your cuts due to the thin kerf as well as the number of teeth and their configuration
- A combination of ATB tooth configuration and 40 teeth will allow you to make both cross and rip cuts on your projects, allowing you to make both without having to change out your blade
- This general-purpose saw blade comes at a high price point when compared to other general-purpose blades due to the hand made components and the time involved in producing it
- The combination design used on the teeth of this general-purpose blade may cause some burning as it cuts into harder woods
Best For Plywood & Melamine: Freud LU80R010 10″ x 80T Blade
- 10" Blade Diameter, 80 Teeth, Hi-ATB Grind, 5/8" Arbor, .126" Kerf, 2° Hook Angle
- Premium TiCo Hi-Density Carbide Crosscutting Blend for Maximum Performance
- High Alternate Top Bevel (HiATB)Tooth Design produces splinter-free cuts.Maximum RPM:7000
A .126 kerf and a two-degree hook on the blade teeth help this blade bite into plywood and melamine without generating the tears that you will experience with other types of designs.
It also has a 1/8-inch thin kerf that will go into your project with less resistance than a wider blade would experience. Friction and vibration technology keeps the blade true while rotating, a feature that will create smooth cuts.
- It is covered with a perm-shield coating that creates a non-friction surface that lowers heat and helps to prevent wood burning during cuts
- There are multiple anti-slots cuts into the blade by laser, eliminating a lot of the side movement of the blade during rotation and cutting down vibrations that are generated during operation
- This is one of the greatest table saw blades for plywood due to the 80 teeth with Hi-ATB configuration that make smoother cuts with knife-like precision
- While this design is effective with some materials, it is less effective when cutting chipboard and even less effective when making rip cuts into timber
- This product is made in Italy and can be harder to find in local stores or online as it is popular and might be on backorder when you are ready to buy
Best Flat Toothed Blade: Forrest Woodworker II #1 Grind Saw Blade
- Long life micro-grain carbide teeth
- 5/8" arbor hole
- .125 kerf
Another Forrest product on my list is the number one grind, which provides a flat bottomed cut when used to make a variety of grooves and joints. That will allow you to make fewer passes to create an even surface along the bottom of the cuts you make. Extra care has been paid to the durability of the tips of the teeth which will be important when making multiple passes for these types of cuts.
- The number one grind creates a flat tooth that works well on box joints, finger joints, grooves, keyways, and splines
- Its teeth are carbide and include a micro-grain design that provides a longer life along the cutting edge and extending the life of the blade
- The gullets are of medium depth, offering a compromise between material ejection and tooth stiffness
- The tooth design and number make this design a general-purpose layout, making it less-effective for specific cuts that do not require a flat toothed blade
- You will spend a lot of money on this table saw blade, a factor that may become important for new woodworkers or those who are on a tight budget
Best Dado Blade set: Oshlun SDS-0842 8-Inch 42 Tooth Stack
- Professional grade C-4 carbide
- Full body chippers
- Precision ground carbide tips
This set allows you to take advantage of one of the major benefits of using a table saw; making dado cuts. It comes with 16 pieces, which includes the blades as well as extra shims for fine-tuning. These pieces are made from C-4 carbide, a professional-grade material that will extend the life of the teeth as well as helping to keep their sharp edge.
- This dado blade set includes extra shims that provide you with more adjustments than other sets that do not include them
- The 42 teeth included on the dado blades will help to create a smooth surface on the dado valleys and the six teeth on the chippers will help to remove material more quickly than higher counts can
- An orange storage case is included to keep the blade set together when they are not in use, as well as providing an organized shop
- A problem with dado blade sets is the need to load multiple blades on the table saw arbor, which can a lot more time to set up
- Teeth on dado blades can break more easily as they are cutting through more material than single blades do on each pass
- Some table saws are simply not designed to host dado blades
Best For Crosscuts: Freud D1280X Diablo 12-Inch Saw Blade
- The product is 12x80T Diablo Blade
- Easy to use
- The product is manufactured in Italy
I have included this 12-inch blade with a one-inch arbor on this list due to its ability to make great crosscuts. Diablo series of table saw blades are coated to reduce friction and they have laser cut vents that help to reduce blade vibration during cuts. It should be noted that this saw won’t fit on 10-inch table saws.
- The thinner kerf on this larger blade will allow it cut through lumber more easily than a wider blade would, helping to reduce friction and speed up the cutting process
- This blade uses TiCo Hi-Density Carbide with Titanium in its construction, helping to create a blade that will provide durability and a longer-lasting edge on the saw blade teeth
- A Tri-Metal Brazing on the teeth not only helps to create a sharper edge on each tooth, but it also adds to the number of cuts this blade can make before the teeth become dull
- The greater number of teeth used on this table saw blade will generate more friction and can cause burning on hardwood stock that is thicker than 1.5-inches
- A 12-inch saw blade has a larger radius and it may not fit on your table saw properly if it is designed to hold only saw blades that are 10-inches or smaller
Best Blade For Ripping Hardwood: Freud LM75R010
- 10" Blade Diameter, 30 Teeth, TCG Grind, 5/8" Arbor, .091" Kerf, 12° Hook Angle
- Premium TiCo HI-Density Carbide Ripping Blend for Maximum Performance
- Thin Kerf requires less power and allows for faster feed rate
Freud’s third entry on this list is a single purpose saw blade made for rip cuts into the wood. The unique look of the teeth on this model is due to the alternating raking and trapeze pattern that will help to make quick cuts. The gullets are wide on this table saw blade, allowing it to keep the chips and debris moving out of the cut as you feed your lumber.
- A 30-tooth pattern will allow you to remove material quickly while allowing you to feed it faster than you would with 24 teeth
- The Triple Chip Grind works well with timber as it runs along the grain, creating a straight cut along edges intended for a glue line when making panels
- Its anti-vibration and anti-friction design elements allow it run up to 7,000 RPMs, a speed that will cut through harder woods up to one-inch thick without a problem
- This table saw blade is designed to make rip cuts and it will struggle more with cross cuts as well as materials such as MDF or plywood
- Its tooth design is engineered to cut through wood quickly, which works great when cutting with the grain but will cause blowout and tears when cutting against the grain or through non-lumber
Cutting It Down To One
As you can see, all six table saw blades have features that allow them to stand out from one another. With that being said, I feel that the Forrest WW10407125 Woodworker II is the best 10-inch table saw blade for the money today. As I write for new and intermediate woodworkers, I feel that this general-purpose table saw blade offers the most bang for your bucks.
While you will pay more on this saw blade than most other table saw blades, the handheld construction is worth the price. Hand tensioning is a feature that is not found on most of the other table saw blades on this list and will provide you with a product that is stable enough to make straight cuts.
Each of the 40 teeth is hand brazed, providing protection and durability to the edge as well as the entire tooth structure. The number of teeth allows you to still move faster through cuts than you would with most crosscut table saw blades. At the same time, the ATB configuration provides you with crosscuts that won’t blow out.
A 1/8-inch kerf on this saw blade offers a thin kerf profile. That will cut into the wood more easily than the thicker blades that were reviewed and should generate less friction with each rotation.
Finally, I believe you appreciate the fact that you can make more types of cuts with this table saw blade, helping to eliminate set up time and allowing you to get your project moving along faster!