Types of Saw Blades: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to saw blades, there are a ton of options out there. It can get confusing trying to figure out which blade is right for your project and tools. Let me break down the most common types of blades in simple terms so you know what’s what.

First up, circular blades. These round discs fit on tools like mitre saws, table saws, and handheld circular saws. For wood, the main kinds are rip blades, crosscut blades, and combo blades. Rip blades are best for cutting with the grain – think ripping lumber lengthwise. They have flat teeth and big gullets to clear out waste.

Crosscut blades slice across the grain and have pointed alternate teeth to shear cleanly. Combo blades do decent at both ripping and crosscutting.

Tooth count matters too. More teeth give a finer cut, while fewer teeth are more aggressive. For regular table saws, 40-50 teeth is pretty versatile. Smaller blades like on a mitre saw need more teeth – 60-80 is common. And for metal and masonry, you need specialty circular blades with tiny teeth or segmented rims.

Next up, handsaws. These are the classic wood-handled manual saws we all know and love. You can buy replacement blades for tools like coping saws, hacksaws, and bow saws when the old one gets dull. Each has its own unique blade shape for the job.

Band saws use super long, flexible blades in a loop. You choose the width and tooth style based on what you’re cutting. The tiny teeth let them make detailed, curvy cuts. Bandsaw blades come in different materials to – carbon steel, bi-metal, etc. Just find one that works for your machine.

Reciprocating saw blades go back and forth to demolish, cut pipes, or make other rough cuts. The classic “Sawzall” is a good example. These stubby blades come in wood, metal, and combo styles. Jigsaw blades are smaller and made for more detailed reciprocating cuts.

Scroll saws are similar, but the thin blades are held at both ends for ultimate control. The tiny pin-end or flat blades let scroll saws make those intricate, lacy fretwork cuts.

There are some other specialised saw blades for unique jobs. But for most DIYers, knowing the basics on circular, band, reciprocating, and jigsaw blades will cover you. Just match the blade type to your saw, choose the right teeth for the material, and you’re set! With proper saw blades, you’ll get clean, accurate cuts and your saw will perform like a dream.