LAST UPDATED: March 2, 2021
The Best Circular Saw Blade (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
The right blade makes any saw work wonders.
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PUBLISHED ON March 2, 2021
There's no doubt that reciprocating saws are a seemingly magic tool that turns frustration into fun. The euphoric release of throwing in the towel and chopping up whatever stands in your way is almost worth the mess you'll make. That said, they aren't the only cutting tool you'll get use out of in the shop.
If you're after a little more control and a little less cleanup, you're probably ready to set yourself up with a chop saw, miter saw, or radial arm saw. And if you're the crafty type, metal might not be the only thing you're ready to chew through. As you already know, a saw isn't worth its salt if you don't have the right blade attached to it. Now, you could go to the hardware store and figure it all out. But we're here to help you through that little bit of homework you need to do. Check out our recommendations for the top circular saw blades in the guide below.
Two-pack of 10-inch blades. One featuring 60 teeth and the other 32. This combination is a perfect starter kit for folks taking on wood-based projects.
- Features two essential blades
- Great price point
- Decent performing blades
- May have an unexpectedly short lifespan
Fast-cutting, rugged, framing blade. The low tooth count in combination with unique design characteristics helps this blade outpace competitors in many ways.
- Cuts extremely fast
- Excellent price point
- Tends to leave very rough cuts
Pack of 10 high-quality framing blades. The well-thought design results in a fast cutting, reliable blade that leaves behind a decent finish.
- Includes 10 blades
- Constructed to offer an extended lifespan
- Professional quality
- A little pricey for such a basic model
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Circular Saw Blade
- Safety. Making cuts with dull or the wrong blade is hazardous. Many things can go wrong, very few of which don’t pose a threat to your well-being.
- Make proper cuts. Using the right blade is also beneficial to the workpiece. A blade that can precisely cut through the material as you need it reduces the risk of causing damage to the workpiece.
- Compatibility with machinery. As aforementioned, a wide range of saws use circular blades. And while you may not have more than one to work with at this point, you may get more use out of a single saw blade than you may anticipate.
Types of Circular Saw Blades
As you can gather, metal blades are designed to cut through metals. That isn’t to say that all blades in this category are the same, though. You have the option to select between a traditional design featuring teeth or an abrasive blade that closely resembles what you would use on your rotary cut-off tool.
Which you should use balances itself on a few factors, perhaps the most important being the tool you are using. As a rule of thumb, abrasive blades are meant for machines that produce high speeds, while the traditional type is better that work at lower operational rates.
It’s just as likely that you’ll be using a circular saw blade to cut wood as you would metal. And like metal blades, there’s a wide variety out there. When selecting a blade for cutting wood, you need to be mindful of the type of work you perform. There are blades for making rip cuts, cross cuts, and the combination of either. Not using the correct one will produce low-quality cuts or even ruin the workpiece.
Of course, there are a bunch of different kinds of masonry saw blades as well. On top of cutting different materials, masonry blades are also designed to make wet or dry cuts. It’s imperative to make the right decision on what blade to use based on your environment and the work you are performing. On that note, if you’re working on refinishing the bathroom or kitchen, you might consider reading our guide to Tile Saw Blades.
Located in Henderson, Nev., Oshlun prides itself on producing quality blades with affordable price tags. Circular blades may be the primary focus, but there is a wide range of cutting tool attachments from this manufacturer. The Oshlun ATB Finishing and Trimming Saw Blade may take our pick for best premium, but it is far from overpriced considering the performance.
With roots reaching as far back as 1924, it's no wonder why DeWalt is an industry leader. Its headquarters is in Baltimore, Md., and the brand is credited with developing the first woodworking machine. That said, it is probably not a surprise to see the DeWalt 10-Inch Miter/Table Saw Blades take our top pick.
Barreling in on 70 years of experience, the Mibro Group is another industry veteran known for supplying high-quality blades. They focus on a broad demographic but don't lose sight of their focus on power tool accessories. The Mibro Group 416381 8-Inch Carbide Stacking Dado Blade Set is an adequate representation of the brand's offerings.
Circular Saw Blade Pricing
- $5-$20: Individual blades can price anywhere in this price range. Quality and blade type directly influence the selling price.
- $20-$50: Most blades in this price range comes in packs of multiples. However, premium quality single blades may also list in this price range.
- $50 and up: A single saw blade rarely lists for more than $50. Most offerings in this price range include more than a single blade of exceptional quality.
Proper Blade Type
The first thing that should come to mind when shopping for blades is the type of cutting it can perform. There are a few things you need to be considerate of depending on the material you are cutting during this point. For example, if you are cutting wood across the grain, you need a blade that can perform cross cuts or rip cuts if you’re cutting along the grain.
No matter the medium, you’re better off spending your money on the best blade you can afford. A top tier machine can be held back by a bad blade while a budget saw can contend with the pros with a top tier blade. Furthermore, bad blades will wear out more quickly, causing more harm than good.
- Blade Count. Blades wear out, and if you’re sourcing them from the internet, your project might sit for a day or two while you wait for new ones to come in. If you find a type of blade, you like it’s worth seeing if it’s available in packs of multiples to prevent the hassle of cutting a job short or postponing it in the future.
Best Circular Saw Blades Reviews & Recommendations 2021
Here's a versatile wood-cutting blade that most shop owners will get good use out of. This is a set of two circular saw blades made out of tungsten carbide that works to provide a long useful life for the tool. One blade is a 60-tooth fine-finish blade, and the other is a 32-tooth general purpose blade. That combination gives you the options you need to take on a range of projects. You can use these blades with softwood, hardwood, chipboard, and plywood with ease. Each has a thin kerf, which helps cut smoothly and quickly, and an arbor size of 5/8 inch. The blade plates are computer-balanced to reduce vibrations and improve the blade's stability, leaving a clean cut.
Unfortunately, the blade does fall short when it comes to the lifespan one might expect. A lot of users report the blades wearing down quicker than they would anticipate.
Let’s face it — everyone needs a deal now and again. Well, we have one here for you, and it’s far from cheap. Its innovative design helps you get more precision, more durability, and more consistency. This circular saw blade, which measures 7.25 inches, features 24 teeth and is meant for framing and rip cuts. The construction-grade carbide teeth last longer, and a specialized heat vent and expansion slot design reduces vibrations while improving blade stability. In combination with all the unique characteristics, that low tooth-count helps this blade cut much more quickly than much of the competition. Irwin even claims this to be the fastest framing blade ever.
While fast, a smooth cut is something this blade seems to struggle to produce. That might be something to expect with this type of blade to an extent, but a few too many users claim it is a real issue.
We’re hard-pressed to find a better pick for our premium option considering what this pack has to offer. It’s not a singular blade, but the brand that offers this is highly regarded with woodworkers, construction workers, and hobbyists. This is a set of framing blades, so they are ideal for general-purpose wood cutting. You’ll find them very handy when throwing together speaker boxes, setting up that addition to the garage, or any other project that has you working with lumber. While the price is relatively high, you should consider what you’re getting out of this purchase—namely a long life. There’s a total of 10 blades included. Each of which features a specialized carbide edge to produce an exceptionally long lifespan. It’s safe to say it’s the last time you’ll purchase framing blades for quite some time.
The price is hard to ignore, though, especially considering the limited use. Beyond that, there seems to be an issue of buyers receiving the wrong quantities quite often.
Porter-Cable has been around the block a few times and knows a thing or two about what workers need. This circular saw blade is the one you need when trying to make intricate designs or precise cuts. That high tooth count even reduces the need for final finishing. This 4.5-inch blade has 120 teeth, and it can create clean, sharp edges in wood with a sand-free finish. It’s also nice to know that despite having a very high number of teeth, it’s capable of cutting very quickly, keeping project times at a minimum. And while it has an elegant touch, it’s suitable for cutting pretty much any wood ranging from plywood to hardwood.
Two things you want to know about this blade are that it doesn’t last very long, and it tends to leave burn marks. Even before it dulls completely, folks report the heat being a real issue if you’re not careful.
You aren’t always going to deal with wood. Instead, you’ll have to work with vinyl and laminate from time to time, which is the tool for the job. This blade is designed for cutting paneling, vinyl, and other similar materials. It has 90 teeth and is made out of quality steel. An ultra-thin kerf makes cutting quick and easy work, and a unique anti-stick rim reduces both friction and gum-up on the teeth. It features a 10-millimeter arbor and a three-degree hook angle. It’s nice to see that DeWalt ensures you get both great value and long life out of this circular saw blade by backing it with a one-year warranty and a 30-day no-risk trial.
This is an affordable option that’s great for quick projects. That said, you can expect there to be some snags. While it seems to perform well, it does wear down a little too quickly for extended tasks.
If you’re after something a little more prestigious, this is the blade you should consider. This blade measures 5.5 inches and has 36 teeth to make quick work of finishing and trimming stages of a project. It’s made with professional-quality micro-grain carbide for extra strength, and that metal is precision ground during manufacturing to ensure your cuts are sharp and precise. A super-thin kerf and aggressive hook angle help you cut any wood with ease. The design offers the benefit of reducing as much drag as possible on the saw motor. Oshlun proudly states that the design helps to preserve the battery life of cordless saws.
The one thing holding this blade back is the odd arbor sizes. They’re a little too small for many machines resulting in a poor fit. It is possible to fix, but something you need to be very aware of before putting it to use.
Dado blades are necessary for performing a specific task for woodworking. That task is creating dadoes, or grooves, in lumber. Even auto enthusiasts and hobbyists know the importance of making proper joinery or unique designs in wood pieces they use around the shop or fabricating interior parts. That said, these are the blades you need if that’s what your project requires of you. This setup includes two blades, five two-wing chippers, and the metal shims you need to make slight adjustments. And though it may seem like a costly set, as far as dado blades go, this is a relatively low price. And being from the Mibro Group, it promises to provide ample performance for quite some time.
As far as the drawbacks go, there are a lot of complaints concerning quality control. The machining on the wing chippers is off at times, and that can create massive problems. It’s worth giving this set a good inspection before putting it to work.
Here we have another great contender for those who just need a single saw blade for wood cutting. After all, you might not be taking on a series of long-term projects that’ll warrant replacement any time soon. It is worth mentioning that the tungsten carbide construction of this blade does promise a long useful life. What also makes this a choice blade for many is the fact that it’s a general-purpose wood cutting design capable of performing rip cuts, crosscuts, cutting plywood along with laminate. The high tooth count also helps to make sure that the cuts are as clean as possible across all mediums. The thin kerf helps to speed up the cuts some as well as helping to provide a decent user experience.
The problem with this blade is that aesthetically pleasing blue finish. Unfortunately, it tends to discolor wood while it cuts. Still, it will perform perfectly fine while making rough cuts.
Finally, we make our way to a blade that’s capable of cutting through thin steel. Irwin might not be the first brand that comes to mind when we’re talking about saw blades, but it’s certainly one that we all rely on. As for the blade, it is a 68-tooth blade that depends on tungsten carbide for the cutting edge. It also implores the use of anti-vibration vents that help to keep the blade as stable as possible during cutting. As for the metal, it’ll work with. It’s designed to work with metal materials used for construction—metal roofing and so on. However, it does perform well when dealing with vinyl and other materials of the likes.
The primary concern with this blade seems to be the rough cuts it produces. Many reviewers discuss the mess it leaves behind both in the shop and on the workpiece. Also, it appears that the edge does dull relatively quickly.
And what if you do need a blade that can cut through decently thick steel? Well, we’re wrapping up our list with just that. This blade from Freud is capable of chopping through most steels under 1/8-inch thick. With this on your saw, you’ll make quick work of steel tubing, angle iron, studs, flat bar, and a range of other mild steel objects you’ll run across in the shop. The 48-tooth layout cuts quickly, but the anti-vibration design keeps the blade stable as you work. The design also does a great job of keeping heat and noise at bay. And we should note that it does a great job at leaving clean cuts by creating as few burrs as possible if any.
The thing you should know about this option is that it does wear down quickly. That might be something to expect when cutting steel, but the high price in combination with a short life is a major turnoff for many.
- Blades are designed to cut materials in given circumstances. You must make sure that you choose a blade that can cut the material you need based on the given parameters.
- If there’s any time you should spend a little extra money, it’s when you’re buying blades.
- Even a high-quality blade can’t think for you. No matter what you’re cutting, you need to make sure to treat the blade with the utmost respect.
- Circular saw blades work wonders, but you can’t use them for everything. If you’re looking to get that whole shop in the best shape possible, consider our guides to Scroll Saw Blades and Bandsaw Blades.
Q: What type of circular saw blade should I use?
That depends on the material you are cutting and the cuts you are performing along with the saw you are using. For example, cutting wood will require either a rip saw or crosscut saw, depending on the direction of the cut.
Q: Are more teeth on a circular saw blade better?
More teeth translate to a smoother cut, while fewer teeth create cuts more quickly. Which is better depends on the work you are performing and your personal preference.
Q: Do circular saw blades make good knives?
Saw blades are usually made from high-quality steel. That’s why they are popular for use when crafting knives.
Q: Is it worth sharpening circular saw blades?
Absolutely. Sharpening saw blades is an excellent way to save some money and preserve the performance of your saw.
Again, the DeWalt 10-Inch Miter/Table Saw Blades is our top pick, and we recognize the Irwin Tools Marathon Carbide Corded Circular Saw Blade as Best Value. But at the end of the day, we are talking about tools with specific jobs in mind. That means they might not serve you well in any capacity.
That brings up an interesting question. What are you working on? What blade is going to get that job done? We want to know what you're up to and what makes a blade work for you!