All About Ripping Blades for Table Saws Complete Guide

Are you looking for a guide to get the perfect ripping blades for your table saw? Look no further!

This article will provide you with all the information you need to choose the right blade for a cleaner, safer and more efficient woodworking experience. You’ll learn about different styles of blades, their advantages and disadvantages, and why it’s vital to choose correctly.

Don’t worry- by the end of this article, you’ll be able to make informed decisions when choosing blades for your table saw.

Ripping blades for table saws are specialized blades designed to make straight, accurate cuts with minimal tear out on the wood. The use of a ripping blade is essential to producing quality work with a table saw. It is important to select the right type of blade for the job and for your saw to ensure maximum cutting efficiency and accuracy.

This guide will provide an overview of how ripping blades work and tips on choosing the right blade for your saw. We will also look at how different types of blades can be used in different applications and examine some common mistakes that people make when using them. By understanding ripping blades better, you can make more informed decisions when selecting a blade for your next project.

Types of Ripping Blades

There are a number of different types of ripping blades for table saws. The type you will choose most likely depends on your intended use for the blade, but there are a few distinct varieties that all should be aware of when making their purchase.

Standard Ripping Blades: Standard ripping blades feature flat teeth with alternating beveled edges that are designed to cut through wood with ease. They come in a range of sizes and are made to fit nearly any standard table saw on the market today. These standard ripping blades typically include between 24 and 80 teeth, give or take a few teeth depending on the size.

Tri-Tooth Ripping Blades: These particular blades offer very fine cuts due to their unique triple tooth arrangement in which three separate beveled edges cut simultaneously thanks to specially designed gullets between them. Due to the way they cut, they tend to leave smoother surfaces and require less sanding afterwards when used for detailed woodworking projects like furniture or cabinets.

Flat-Top Ripping Blades: As you might expect from the name, these blades feature flat top teeth instead of the traditional beveled ones used by standard and tri-tooth blades. These plates have fewer teeth overall (the range generally ranges from 18 – 40) but yield rougher cuts in return for faster feed rates when slicing thick hardwoods such as oak or walnut. They’re also far cheaper than other types.

Standard Ripping Blades

Standard ripping blades are a great choice for making cuts in hardwood and softwood. They are designed for general ripping tasks, such as making bevel cuts and trimming wood to size. These blades have large teeth which make them well-suited for fast and accurate cutting. The typical standard ripping blade has between 18 – 24 teeth per inch, offering a good balance between speed and precision.

Most standard ripping blades also feature an anti-kickback design to give extra stability and control when making rip cuts. This makes them the perfect choice for experienced DIYers who need a reliable tool for everyday cutting tasks around the home or on the job site.

Flat Top Ripping Blades

Flat top blades have a chisel-like flat-top grind on the teeth. The goal of this type of design is to produce a smooth cut. This makes it ideal for cutting detailed cuts in veneer and hardwoods with minimal tear out, especially when using the scoring feature on your saw’s adjustable-height blade guard. This also allows you to take smoother cuts with less kickback in thicker woods. The downside is that it produces small amounts of burn, usually visible as dark stripes in hardwood when applying wider or deeper cuts, or when sawing through metal and composites.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Ripping Blade

When it comes time to choose a ripping blade for your table saw, you will have quite a few options to consider. Here are some key points to remember as you look for the best blade:

  1. Size: Ripping blades typically come in 10-inch, 12-inch and 14-inch sizes. Choose the size that best fits your saw’s arbor (the hole in the center of the blade).
  2. Tooth count: Ripping blades come with between 24 teeth and 80 teeth per inch (TPI), although some rip blades may have as many as 110 teeth. As a general rule, lower TPI will be designed for faster cuts, while higher TPI blades are meant to handle cutting finer woods.
  3. Tooth design: Ripping blades usually employ flat top or deep gullet profiles that help manage large wood chips and long fibers which are generated from ripping operations. Some rip blades also use an alternating top bevel (ATB) tooth pattern, which is designed for making cleaner crosscuts or rip cuts on wood with a slightly uneven grain pattern or other variables in quality of wood materials being ripped on a table saw.
  4. Hook angle: The hook angle of the blade refers to its degree of aggressive cutting behavior; higher numbers mean more aggressive cutting action along with increased horsepower needed to drive them efficiently through stock material, while lesser aggressive settings promote squaring precision and finesse in cut result finishes between pieces of softwoods such as pine and birch.

Tooth Count

A table saw blade’s tooth count indicates the number of teeth on the blade, which determines how it will perform on certain materials. Generally, a lower tooth count is better for ripping thick lumber to create straight edges, while a higher tooth count is better for thinner pieces used in finish work that requires clean, accurate cuts.

The most common blade used for ripping lumber is an 80-tooth blade with a hook angle (the angle of point count from the center) of 0-10 degrees. This combination gives the user great results without burning or chipping when cutting hardwood or softwood.

Some table saw blades also come with variable tooth counts for added versatility.

Tooth Configuration

Tooth configuration is an important consideration when choosing table saw blades. The most commonly available tooth configuration is ATB, which stands for alternate top bevel. ATB blades have teeth that are angled on both the top and the face of the blade to create a slicing action when cutting through wood. ATB blades are good for making cuts in softwoods but not so good for hardwood because they don’t have a large enough kerf width to make a clean cut.

Another popular tooth configuration is FTG (flat top grind) which features a flat cutting edge with no angle on the face or top of the blade; this type of blade is designed for finishing cuts in harder woods and plywood, and it also works well for cross-cutting and ripping.

A final option—Hook Tooth—is designed specifically for ripping, as its curved cutting edge pulls material into itself for easier rip-cutting.

Gullet Size

A key consideration when choosing a ripping blade is the size of the gullet – which is the space between each of the saw teeth. The size and depth of this space determines how much material can be removed from the workpiece in one pass – and therefore how fast, efficient, and accurate your cut will be.

Typically, ripping blades will have a large gullet size, often as large as 1/4-inch. This allows for quick removal of debris around each tooth so that cutting can be done more quickly. However, large gullets make it less likely that you’ll get an extremely fine cut – so for applications that require more precision or detailed work, you’re better off with a ripping blade with smaller gullets.

Smaller gullets such as 1/8-inch tend to provide smoother cuts and are better suited for joinery work such as finger joints or dovetails.

Blade Maintenance and Safety

Regular blade maintenance is key to ensuring a safe and efficient table saw experience. There are many ways to maintain your saw and its blades, but here are the most important ones:

  1. Keep the blade clean: It’s essential to keep the blade free of wood dust and debris. Before beginning a rip cut, take a few moments to clear away any debris or dirt on the blade that could hamper its effectiveness or create potential hazards.
  2. Disconnect power to saw when changing out blades: Always make sure that you disconnect the power to your saw before switching blades. This will help ensure safety and reduce stress on electrical components.
  3. Wear proper eye protection: Make sure you wear protective eyewear when using any kind of power tool — even when just changing out blades — as chips and flying debris can injure unprotected eyes.
  4. Exercise caution when handling blunt blades: Make sure that you lift blunt or dull blades with gloves, as not doing so can lead to serious cuts from the sharp corners of the metal teeth of your saw’s cutting edges.
  5. Sharpen regulary: Regularly sharpen or replace worn-out blades as this will increase cutting efficiency and make ripping easier work in general – plus it reduces strain on motor components as less energy is needed for boring through wood fibers if your blade is sharper!

The Best Table Saw Blade Options for Sharp Cuts - Bob Vila

Cleaning the Blade

A clean saw blade is essential to prevent excessive wear and tear on the blade and damage to the wood. Before using your saw blade, it is important to thoroughly check it for signs of dirt, dust, or other debris.

To clean your saw blade, use a damp cloth with a mild soap solution or a specially formulated blade cleaner. Wipe away any lint or dirt that has accumulated on the surface of the blade and make sure to check for any chips or cracks in the blades or teeth. You can also use compressed air for more difficult spots like inside the grooves between each tooth. Be sure to avoid using steel wool as this can cause scratches that increase friction as you run your ripped boards across it.

After wiping down the blades and checking for any damage, dry them by patting with a soft cloth and store them in a safe place until ready for use again.

Checking for Damage

Whenever you take a blade off your table saw it’s important to check for any damage that may have occurred during the last job. Common areas of damage on blades include the gullet space between teeth, the location of which runs along the inside edge of the blade and under each individual tooth. Look for any cracks, chips or burrs here, as they can be caused by too much pressure and heat while cutting, or they may have splintering from contact with unseen nails or other materials in the board being cut.

You should also inspect each tooth for chipping and cracks or misshaping due to wear. Blades can become worn down over time even without encountering foreign objects in use. Make sure to inspect both sides of your blade for any damage as well, especially if a blade has been flipped since it’s last use — some people forget to check both sides! Replace any damaged section of blade immediately to prevent further wear on your saw and damage to whatever you’re cutting.

Techniques for Ripping with a Table Saw Blade

Using the right technique is key to getting the best performance out of any saw blade. The following are some tips and techniques to help you get the most out of your table saw blade when it comes to ripping.

1) Make sure your push stick and other safety equipment is within easy reach before you start. You should always wear eye protection when operating a table saw or working around it.

2) Use the maximum speed for ripping, which is generally no less than 3,500 revolutions per minute (RPM). If your machine runs at a lower speed, compensate by using a sharper blade or feed more slowly.

3) Always use both hands to hold the wood against the rip fence when possible, one hand directly above the blade and one below. This will help ensure accurate cuts and keep your fingers safe from harm.

4) Maintain an even, steady pace throughout each cut. This ensures even pressure on the material being cut and helps prevent kickback from occurring with unexpected shifts in pressure or force applied to the material being cut.

5) When possible, use a zero clearance throat plate on your saw whenever performing a wider rip cut — this will reduce splintering on both sides of the kerf by providing support while going through thicker stock materials like plywood or melamine-coated boards.

6) Consider crosscutting instead of ripping parts longer than 24 inches (60 cm), as these cuts are often cleaner with this method — just make sure that you have enough flange clearance for wider panels before making any decisions about which type of cut may be best for your situation.

Setting up the saw for ripping

Ripping blades come in a variety of sizes and specifications to accommodate different types of work. Selecting the right blade is key to ensuring a safe and accurate cut. Before beginning any project, use the following steps to properly set up your saw for ripping:

  1. Unplug your saw from the outlet.
  2. Place the correct size blade on the arbor, tighten it with a wrench and double check that it’s secure before proceeding.
  3. According to your machine’s instructions, adjust the miter gauge or flip stop attachment so that it’s at 90 degrees—or parallel with the table edge—for a straight rip cut.
  4. Increase the cutting height of the saw blade until it’s just slightly above your workpiece so that you don’t have any trouble making contact when you start cutting
  5. Check over your workpiece for any potential flaws such as splits or warps that may affect accuracy before making a cut
  6. When you’re ready, plug in your saw and switch it on before pushing forward onto the material
  7. Make sure you properly support long boards as necessary while they are being fed through
  8. Feed slowly while allowing the saw to do most of its work; only apply light pressure once contact has been made.

Choosing the right blade for the job

There are several different types of ripping blades available, and each one is designed to provide the best results for a specific type of job. When choosing a blade, it is important to consider the thickness and type of wood that you are cutting, as well as the accuracy required. As a general rule, it is better to use a thinner blade for hardwoods and thicker blades for softwoods.

For example, if you are working with a hardwood such as oak or walnut, then an 80-tooth or even 100-tooth blade may be appropriate for the job. If you are dealing with softer woods such as pine or cedar, then a 40- or even 24-tooth blade would be ideal. Additionally, finer teeth (such as 80-tooth blades) produce smoother edges than coarser teeth (such as 24-teeth) because they make more precise cuts.

It is also important to select the right number of teeth when choosing your ripping blade—the fewer teeth on the blade, the faster it will cut through material; however more teeth will produce more attractive edges with more intricate details.

Best Table Saw Blades for Your Project - The Home Depot


The benefits of a ripping blade are clear — they provide a cleaner cut and are designed to operate well even at high speeds. It’s important to consider your woodworking needs and pick a blade that fits those needs best. While the blades may come with certain drawbacks such as no crosscut capability, the overall precision makes them worth considering.

The number of teeth, spacing and size all factor into the performance of the ripped board, so understanding these factors is key in selecting blade. Doing some research on your particular project can help you make the right decision when selecting a ripping blade for your table saw and ensure it will do its job correctly.


What is the best blade for ripping wood on a table saw? 

The best blade for ripping wood on a table saw is a ripping blade, which has fewer teeth and larger gullets to remove more material quickly.

What are the 3 types of blades used in a table saw? 

The three types of blades used in a table saw are ripping blades, crosscut blades, and combination blades.

What is a ripping table saw blade? 

A ripping table saw blade is a type of blade specifically designed for ripping or cutting with the grain of the wood. It has fewer teeth and larger gullets to remove more material quickly.

What are two different types of blades for a table saw?

 Two different types of blades for a table saw are ripping blades and crosscut blades.

How high should a table saw blade be for ripping? 

The height of a table saw blade for ripping should be set so that the blade extends approximately 1/8″ to 1/4″ above the top of the material being cut.

What is the difference between a rip and crosscut blade?

 A rip blade is designed for cutting with the grain of the wood, while a crosscut blade is designed for cutting against the grain. Rip blades have fewer teeth and larger gullets, while crosscut blades have more teeth and smaller gullets.

What should be used when ripping on a table saw? 

When ripping on a table saw, a ripping blade should be used, and the height of the blade should be set correctly to ensure a safe and efficient cut.

What are the different types of saw blades? 

Different types of saw blades include ripping blades, crosscut blades, combination blades, dado blades, and specialty blades for specific materials or cuts.

Is a table saw good for rip cut? 

Yes, a table saw is an excellent tool for rip cuts, as it allows for precise and efficient cutting with the use of a proper blade and the correct technique.

What is the difference between a rip saw and a table saw? 

A rip saw is a type of hand saw designed for cutting with the grain of the wood, while a table saw is a stationary power tool with a circular blade that can be used for a variety of cuts, including rip cuts.

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