The Best Saw Blades (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Your next project needs a reliable saw blade
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON February 19, 2021
If you do a lot of woodworking, you need high-quality saw blades to complete your projects. There are also saw blades that are designed to cut metal, brick, and other materials. However, if you want a premium product, expect to invest a little bit of money. It can be challenging to choose the best of the best because there are so many options available.
In our buying guide below, we list some of the best saw blades you can use in conjunction with various saws—from table saws to circular saws and miter saws. No matter what your project requires, you need a top-notch blade to get it done right. We've done the research so you can spend more time on your project and less time figuring out which saw blade is right for you.
This ultra-fine circular saw blade cuts wood and wood composites and is designed for 12-inch miter saws and slide miter saws.
High performance. Cuts effortlessly through wood. Withstands impact.
Doesn’t cut all material—such as wood laminate—very well. Dulls over time.
This circular saw blade is made for an angle grinder to carve, sculpt, and shape wood, including plywood, parquet, laminated flooring, etc.
Anti-kickback design. Won’t overheat during continual use. High rotation speed.
Not for beginners. Throws a lot of chips. May not clear some guards.
This 7 1/4-inch saw blade is designed for corded and corded circular saws and is great for framing, cross-cutting, and fine finish work.
Consistent smooth, clean cuts. Impact resistant and long-lasting. Tough and wear-resistant.
You may need to use tape to prevent rough edges. Blade may wander during long cuts.
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Saw Blades
- Cut lumber and other materials. If you plan to make furniture or make framing for a structure, you need a saw blade to tackle the task efficiently. Specific blades are designed for certain jobs and materials.
- They're a good investment. Carbide saw blades, in particular, are longer lasting because they resist heat and damage. One carbide saw blade should outlast several steel blades, so you'll save money in the long run.
- Make precise, straight cuts. For many projects, you want a saw blade that will produce clean results. You won't get cuts that are as sharp if you use a hand saw.
Types of Saw Blades
If you want a table saw blade that can be used for most projects look for a general-purpose blade that can cross-cut and tackle hardwood with ease. You know you have a good blade if it can cross-cut double-sided plywood with minimal splintering. More expensive general-purpose or combination blades tend to be a little better quality.
Stacked Dado Kit
A dado blade kit can create grooves in wood that are up to 3/4-inches wide. If you design furniture or make cabinets, you need this type of blade system to make grooves, notches, and rabbets. Dado kits make a flat bottom cut, which is required for furniture and cabinet joints, as well as box joints.
If you're a more experienced woodworker, you should add a ripping blade to your toolbox. It's a good option if you plan on cutting slots for decorative splines because the flat teeth produce a crisp, flat-bottomed groove and create extra-smooth edges. Ripping blades cut along the grain, so it's not a good option if you plan on cross-cutting since they cut materials quickly.
If you plan on cutting across the grain and want to avoid splintering and burning, you need a cross-cutting blade. A good 10-inch one, for example, will feature 60 to 80 teeth (the more, the better). Some, such as Triple Chip Grind (TCG) blades, are not as effective on solid wood but are fine for cutting chipboard, melamine, and plywood.
If you plan on cutting tile and slate, a continuous-rim blade will do the job. Continuous-rim blades are a type of diamond-edged blade with actual diamonds on the edges that enable it to cut specific materials and produce a clean finish. It's important to note that some are designed solely for dry cutting, while others are for wet cutting, and still more can do both.
This type of blade is also a diamond blade, but it has a serrated rim and is designed to cut materials such as brick and concrete. A turbo-rim blade is more aggressive than a continuous-rim blade, and the cut won't be as clean. Again, some are designed for dry cutting, while others work in both dry and wet applications.
Based in Atlanta, Ga., Diablo got its start in 1990 and produces cutting tools and abrasives for DIYers and contractors in its technologically advanced facilities. It produces products like saw blades, hammer drill bits, sanding belts, and more.
Based in Belarus, GRAFF designs high-quality blades for wood and metal. Its products are sold all over the world in countries such as the United States, Canada, England, Germany, and Russia. One top product is the GRAFF Speedcutter angle grinder blade.
Freud was founded in Italy in 1950, and Freud America, Inc., has been making carbide cutting tools for the woodworking industry for over 50 years. It's known for its MicroGrain Carbide with Titanium known as TiCo. We recommend the Freud 10" Super Dado Set.
Saw Blade Pricing
- Under $20: You can find budget-friendly saw blades that can get the job done well. However, they may not produce cuts as clean as you'd like, and they won't last as long as more expensive options.
- $20-$60: Like many things in life, the more you spend, the more you get. Higher-end saw blades are more durable, and of better quality, so they will produce better results.
- $100 and up: If you plan on purchasing a dado set, expect to spend a bit more money. This high-performance equipment is designed for cabinetry and furniture work, and the blades will do the job effectively and efficiently.
Different saw blades are designed for different applications. Typically, bigger blades are required for heavy-duty projects. Also, consider your saw: if you have a smaller circular saw, for example, you will need to use a smaller blade. They can range in size from 8 to 12 inches in diameter—just make sure the blade is compatible with your saw.
The number of teeth correlates to the type of material you plan on cutting. For example, circular saw blades can cut wood and metal, and you can find products with 40 to 60 teeth that can get the job done. If you choose a blade with a higher number of teeth, it will create sharper and more precise results.
This is vital because the arbor size needs to match your particular saw. In general, the standard arbor size is 5/8 inch. However, some saws have a 7/8-inch arbor. The purpose of the arbor, or shaft, is to hold the saw blade. For example, the arbor is 5/8 inch in diameter on a saw that uses an 8- or 10-inch blade.
- Durability: If you frequently use a circular saw or another type of saw, the blades will eventually wear down. As a result, you have to swap them out now and then. If you want to do so less frequently, choose a longer-lasting blade. One way to determine its durability is to check the warranty—a one-year warranty backs many so that you can expect it to last at least 12 months under regular use.
Best Saw Blade Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- It's more challenging to cut plywood and particle board and wood covered in plastic or plastic laminate. Look for saw blades with carbide teeth to handle this type of work.
- You can use a circular saw to cut steel and aluminum as long as you have the proper blade.
- Always wear eye protection when using all types of saws, especially if you're cutting steel.
Q: What saw blade makes the smoothest cut?
A: If you want an extra-smooth finish for fine work (such as moldings), consider 80 to 100-tooth hi-ATB blades. If you want a clean-cut in MDF, melamine, and plywood, a 40-60-tooth ATB blade will work just fine.
Q: Are more teeth on a saw blade better?
A: Blades with fewer teeth will cut faster, but you’ll have rougher edges as a result. The more teeth a blade has, the slower the saw will work, but the surface will have a cleaner finish.
Q: How do you clean a saw blade?
A: Buy a cleaner that's designed for blades, particularly a neutral pH cleaner. You can also use warm water and a mild dish detergent if the blade has a corrosion-resistant coating. First, soak the blade. Then scrub the teeth with a nylon-bristle brush. Repeat as required until the dirt deposits are removed. Dry the blade, and use a rust preventative spray or oil on it.
Our pick for the best saw blade is the Freud 100 Tooth Diablo Ultra Fine Circular Saw Blade. Designed for 12-inch miter saws and slide miter saws, this blade features high-density carbide tips and cuts through wood with little effort. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Grinder Wood Carving Disc GRAFF Speedcutter Circular Saw Blade.