Skill Saw Blades: What to Look For Complete Guide

Do you want to make sure your skill saw blades are up to the job? Confused about what features to keep an eye out for when shopping for blades? In this guide, you’ll learn everything from types of blades to ensure you have the right tool for any job.

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 When it comes to saw blades, there are a lot of things to consider. The type of saw blade you need will depend on the material you are cutting, the type of cut you are making, and the accuracy that is required.

This guide will help you understand the different types of saw blades available and which ones best suit your needs. We’ll also explain how to select a blade that is right for your specific project. From circular saw blades to table saw blades and everything in between, this guide has everything you need to know about saw blades for your next project!

Explanation of Skill Saw Blades

Skill saw blades come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Choosing the right blade for your particular sawing task can make a significant difference in the quality of your cut and the life of the blade itself. To ensure that you purchase the best possible skill saw blade for your specific application, here is an overview of what to consider before making a decision.

When purchasing skill saw blades, take into consideration their diameter, arbor hole size, tooth configuration (material type or ATB/FTG), materials and grade/hardness. A regular 7-1/4” skill saw has an arbor hole of 5/8” so be sure to select a blade of that size with the correct tooth type.

The teeth on skill saw blades help determine their cutting properties:

  • Alternate Top Bevel (ATB) – The teeth have faces which alternate left and right at different angles providing irregular “points” on either side that dig into wood – good for smooth cuts in woodworking applications as well as hand-held woodworking/planing tools; commonly used with skill saws
  • Flat Top Grind (FTG) – The teeth have flat face angles which provide more aggressive but uncontrolled cuts; commonly used with non-power driven tools such as handsaws or crosscut miter saws – some use it for curved cuts too

Pick out a grade to suit your needs – harder grades last longer but may compromise on smoothness or speed when cutting certain soft materials such as plywood or MDF boards. Blade material is also an important consideration when choosing a skill saw blade; most are made from carbon steel, bimetal or stainless steel. Carbon steel provides economical and reliable performance while bimetal blades combine both carbon steel and hardened high speed steels giving them greater strength, heat resistance and wear qualities than normal carbon grades. Stainless steel is suitable for when you need corrosion protection and enhanced heat resistance. Finally, be sure to select the appropriate number of teeth per inch (TPI) that meets the requirements of your project; coarser blades (lower TPI) will cut quicker while finer blades (higher TPI) will produce smoother cuts; choose accordingly.

Importance of selecting the right skill saw blade

Selecting the right skill saw blade is essential for achieving optimum results. Different types of saw blades are designed for specific types of cuts. Some are designed to handle difficult ripping and cross-cutting in tough woods and others are ideal for delicate miter or pure rip cuts. A high quality skill saw blade will not only produce accurate and clean results, but will also have a long-lasting durability.

When buying a skill saw blade, it is important to determine the type of wood you will be working with since different blades can be used based on the type of wood that is being cut. Soft woods such as pine and spruce require softer blades that do not generate as much friction. Conversely, hardwoods such as oak require harder blades which create more friction to achieve a cleaner cut. Additionally, special consideration should be given to the manner in which the wood will be cut (ripping or crosscutting). This will determine which set of teeth provide the best results – skip tooth blades for ripping and straight tooth blades for crosscutting.

Additionally, selecting a blade size plays an important role in choosing the right blade for your project– larger sized circular saws can accommodate larger sized blades without slowing down performance, however smaller diameter saws run more slowly and require smaller sizes so that they can still maintain adequate speed during cutting operations. The correct diameter size should always been measured to ensure that it meets manufacturer guidelines before making a purchase.

Blade Materials

Blade materials are an important part of selecting the best skill saw blade for your job. Here is a breakdown of the most common types of materials used to make saw blades and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

High-speed Steel: High-speed steel (HSS) blades are the most common kind found on saws today. HSS is tough and wears well, making them ideal for cutting hardwoods, metals, mild steel, plastic, composites and more. HSS has been around for over hundred years and has a proven track record.

Carbide tipped: Carbide tipped blades are available in many sizes and styles, making them great for various applications such as cutting metal, metal pipes or other composites such as fiberglass or PVC pipe. Carbide tipped blades offer superior strength compared to HSS but come at a higher price point accordingly.

Diamond Blades: Diamond blades last longer than other types of blades because they are made with an industrial diamond coating that lasts longer under higher heat conditions caused by fast cutting speeds. Diamond blades provide good accuracy even when operating at high speeds above 10,000 RPMs due to their hardness so they’re great for precise applications on stone, concrete or brickwork where speed matters more than accuracy.

Carbon Steel Blades

Carbon steel blades are the most common type of saw blade due to their affordability and ease of use. They are strong and durable, able to withstand heavy use in a variety of cutting applications. They are typically found in general purpose saws and works great for ripping, cross-cutting, and other basic cutting jobs.

However, carbon steel blades tend to lose their edge quickly when cutting hard materials like brick or block. They also require regular maintenance such as sharpening and cleaning as they can be prone to rusting. It’s important to take care when storing these blades so that these issues can be minimized.

Overall, carbon steel saw blades are ideal for those who are new to sawing or for those on a budget who need an affordable and dependable blade for light-duty tasks around the house.

High-Speed Steel Blades

High Speed Steel (HSS) blades often incorporate a titanium coating, to increase the durability of the blade. HSS blades are most often used for cutting into soft woods and plastic materials. They can handle some metalwork applications as well, such as non-ferrous metals, like aluminum and brass.

High Speed Steel Blades are less expensive than Carbide tipped blades and they tend to remain sharpened longer than regular steel blades. However, they may not last as long in certain kinds of materials compared to Carbide tips. Also, they require frequent sharpening or replacement depending on the materials being cut with them.

Carbide-Tipped Blades

Carbide-tipped saw blades are the most expensive blades but they are also the most durable and longest lasting. They provide clean, precise cuts, and they can handle extremely heavy use in construction environments. The carbide tips can tackle any hard material such as nonferous metals, concrete, and slate. They should be far your blade of choice when cutting into hard material like masonry or metal.

Often used in glass fabrication, their tooth design allows them to cut cleanly through both soft materials such as sawdust, while withstanding more intense materials such as stone or brick. Furthermore, carbide saw blades often have laser-etched marks along their circumference that indicate precisely where to start a cut for accurate results.

Keep in mind that carbide blades need a lot of power from your saw to cut effectively so make sure you select the correct sized blade for your machine type and power output.


Blade Size and Tooth Count

The size and tooth count of your skill saw blades are two very important factors to consider when selecting the best blade for your specific application. Blade size is determined by the diameter of the blade, which is usually indicated in inches. The most common sizes range from 3-3/8” to 7-1/4”, with smaller blades being used for jobs requiring more precision and larger blades used for heavier cutting. The size of the blade will affect how deep it can cut, how much material it can remove, and how quickly it cuts through materials.

Tooth count indicates the number of teeth on a single blade, with higher tooth counts being better suited for finer cut work such as making miter cuts or creating joinery. Each saw blade has an optimal tooth count that is based on its specific application; for example, a fine-tooth blade should be used for making precise miter cuts compared to a coarse-tooth saw that might be better suited for cutting thick lumber or large pieces of plywood. Additionally, alternate tooth configurations such as hook angles, double set teeth and flat grounding designs are often used depending upon the type of material being cut.

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Understanding Blade Size

Blade size is measured in inches, with the most common sizes falling between four and 12 inches. Blades with a larger diameter can be used to make wider cuts, while blades with a smaller diameter are best suited for making narrow, precise cuts. When selecting the right blade size for your saw, it’s important to consider the type of material you will be cutting and the project at hand.

The other factor to keep in mind when choosing saw blades is the tooth count. Simply put, this refers to the number of teeth on a blade. Blades with fewer teeth cut faster but produce a rougher edge; blades with more teeth move slower but give off finer results. Every blade comes with an assigned tooth count which must be considered when purchasing one for your project.

When shopping for saw blades, it’s also important to look for ones made from high-carbon steel, as this type of steel is incredibly durable and resistant to heat buildup during long cutting sessions – both of which are important attributes when it comes to skilled saw blades. Additionally, look for blades that are coated or treated with an anti-stick substance as this can help reduce friction and increase life expectancy as well as decrease wear on the blade itself during use.

Choosing the Right Size and Tooth Count

Choosing the right skill saw blade size and tooth count will significantly impact your project’s success and result. To select the right combination of size and tooth count it’s important to first consider what type of material you’ll be cutting, whether it is hardwood, softwood, metal, plywood or other types of materials.

The most common sizes for skill saw blades are 4.5-inches to 8.25-inch diameter blades which are available in varying tooth count configurations ranging from 14 teeth per inch (TPI) up to 80 TPI for finer cuts in harder materials. The number of teeth per inch helps determine how much material the blade can remove during each pass to make a smoother cut with less resistance on tougher materials. Lower TPI blades are best used with harder woods while higher TPI blades are used with softer woods and metals.

It’s also important to take into account the depth of cut you need when selecting your blade size and tooth count combination since both can affect maximum cutting depth capability as well as cutting speed depending on material thicknesses and desired finish results. Generally speaking, larger diameter blades have been seen to offer better stability than a smaller diameter blade when cutting thicker material – however, larger diameter doesn’t always mean greater depth capacity because maximum cutting depths also depend upon thicknesses of individual kerf widths which vary according to combination choice per type of material being cut.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Skill Saw Blade

When selecting a skill saw blade, it is important to consider the type of material being cut and the desired finish quality. Various factors such as tooth count, construction, size, and angle of tooth set all affect how a blade performs in given cutting applications.

Tooth Count: The number of teeth per inch (tpi) are usually given in increments of four for most general purpose blades. Generally speaking, blades with fewer teeth cut faster but leave a rougher finish and require more sanding to achieve the desired result. Blades with more teeth result in slower cutting performance but will leave behind a smoother edge which requires less sanding or finishing work after the cut.

Construction: Different types of skill saw blades are designed for specific materials such as wood and metal, although there are some that can be used for both. For woodwork, you should look for “universal” blades which are designed to cut accurately through both hard and soft woods as well as particle board or MDF (a type of composite material). For other materials such as plastic or metal you should opt for specialty blades designed specifically for these purposes.

Size: Skill saws come in various sizes from 4” to 12” plus larger sizes designed specifically blade shapes. It is important to use the correct size blade for your saw – smaller blades may not have enough power whereas too long a blade may cause vibrations that could damage your saw motor or produce inaccuracy during cutting operations. Always check with your manufacturer before attempting to make adjustments yourself!

Angle Of Tooth Set: Generally speaking, most skill saws come with at least two distinct types of “tooth set” possibilities – flat top positive rake/flat (also known as “ATBR”) or side-hooked positive rake/regular (“SHPR”). Both designs offer different advantages in different materials – there is no universal design that works best across all applications so you must choose the right one depending on what type of material you will be working on. The ATBR design offers advantages when cutting through softer woods where greater accuracy is needed due to its flat top design reducing chip-out risk; SHPR is better suited for harder woods and metals where fast removal rate is needed because this suggests more hook angles on each tooth helps it tear out material quickly yet still leaves behind a smooth finish afterwards.

Saw Power and RPM

When it comes to selecting the right saw blade for a given job, the two most important properties to consider are the saw’s power and revolutions per minute (RPM). This is because different tasks require different RPMs and saw capacitiy.

Saw motor power, or wattage is determined by calculating wattage over a given time frame, usually in minutes. The higher the wattage and time frame, the better capacity of material a saw can cut. To determine the proper saw blade for a given job then, one should look at both the power rating on their tool as well as its RPM rating; as these two factors are directly related.

To help select suitable blades for your skil saw, manufacturers provide guidance in their instruction manuals and include information suchas: recommended speed (RPM) range; type of blade; size of arbor hole; tooth count or diameter; kerf size; and maximum cutting depth. It is important to use blades that remain within these parameters in order to get precise cuts when making woodworking projects or repairs.

Blade Quality

When selecting a blade for your skill saw, it is important to pay attention to the quality of the blade. High-quality blades will last longer and provide the best performance.

The type of steel used in the blade is an important factor in determining quality. A carbon steel blade is less expensive than other options, but won’t stay sharp as long and not be able to withstand heavy-duty use. High speed steel (HSS) blades are more popular among professional contractors for their superior strength and durability. Cobalt alloy blades are even higher quality than HSS blades and have become increasingly popular with homeowners who use their saws heavily or over extended periods of time. Blades that are made from titanium or tungsten carbide are very durable, but also much more expensive than other options.

You should also pay attention to the number of teeth on each blade – more teeth generally mean a smoother finish, while fewer teeth make deeper cuts more quickly. Paying attention to these details can help you select the right skill saw blade for your specific needs and ensure better performance and longer life out of your tool.


Durability is an important characteristic to look for when purchasing a circular saw blade. Different saw blades are made from different materials, so it’s important to understand what each blade is composed of in order to ensure it will withstand frequent use and hard work.

Carbide-tipped blades are the most popular for their long lasting performance, but they also come with a higher price tag. High-speed steel blades have good rigid construction yet still remain affordable and that makes them an attractive choice for many woodworkers. Steel alloy blades provide excellent performance, but they need to be regularly maintained in order to maintain their sharpness and edge retention. Plywood blades are coated with titanium and ceramic which help them resist damage caused by constant cutting along the grain of the wood. Thin kerf blades offer improved speed due to their reduced mass, which often compensates for the short lifespan of this type of blade.

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It is important to be mindful when selecting the right saw blade for your project. Not only do you need to consider the type of material you are cutting, but also you will want to look at the number of teeth on your blade and how thick it is.

It is also important to always use a quality blade such as those available from reputable sellers like Diamond Blade Warehouse. Furthermore, it is especially critical to inspect any blades before each use and replace them as needed if any defects are discovered.

To ensure that your project runs smoothly and efficiently, remember to follow these tips when choosing a saw blade for your next project.


What should I look for in a saw blade?

You should look for the size, type, number of teeth, and material of the saw blade.

How do I choose a circular saw blade?

You should choose a circular saw blade based on the type of material you are cutting and the number of teeth on the blade.

How do I know if my saw blade is good?

You can know if your saw blade is good by checking its sharpness, durability, and the quality of the cuts it produces.

What makes a good circular saw blade?

A good circular saw blade should have sharp teeth, be made of high-quality material, and be suitable for the material being cut.

What is the most common skill saw blade?

The most common skill saw blade has 24 teeth and is suitable for cutting softwood.

What are the 4 types of saw blades?

The four types of saw blades are rip, crosscut, combination, and dado.

Is more teeth better on a saw blade?

Not necessarily. The number of teeth on a saw blade should be appropriate for the material being cut.

Which saw blade makes the smoothest cut?

A fine-toothed blade makes the smoothest cut on a material.

Which circular saw blade to use for wood?

A circular saw blade with 24 to 40 teeth and a high TPI (teeth per inch) is suitable for cutting wood.

How do I know if my skill saw blade is sharp?

You can know if your skill saw blade is sharp by inspecting its teeth for dullness or damage, and by testing it on a piece of scrap material.

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