Saw Blade Buying Guide

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools

Basic Saw Blade Details – Power Tools

Buying saw blades for your power tools doesn’t need to be all that complicated. once you understand the different kinds of cuts blades are made for you’ll have a leg up on buying your next saw blade. Saw blades are designed and manufactured to perform different cutting operations. Saw blades typically work best when you choose one based on the application at hand. Most saw blades are designed for ripping lumber, crosscutting lumber, cutting plastic, cutting special panel goods and even cutting some types of metal. You can also buy muli-purpose blades that are designed to be decent at ripping and crosscutting.

The type of cutting and material determines the number of teeth, the hook angle, kerf thickness, and the configuration of the teeth. Basically a ripping blade as fewer more aggressive looking teeth while a crosscutting trim blade will have many more finer looking teeth. You can read a really good publication from Rockler, Saw Blades 101, which has very detailed information if you want to learn more.

In my opinion you REALLY need to buy the best blades you can afford. Trust me when I say you’ll be sorry if you don’t. I’ve become a huge fan of Freud saw blades. I have their blades on my table saw, sliding miter saw and my circular saw. Their blades are certainly not the cheapest but they last forever, make amazing cuts and once you buy their product I’m convinced you won’t go back to another blade.

Saw Blade Recommendations

The following is a list of recommended saw blades, all based on ones I own and trust.


Ripping Blade

Buy yourself a good ripping blade for ripping down lumber. If you have to rip down several pieces of material for a big project then one of these blades will save you tons of time and take a serious strain off your saw. You can buy the Freud LU87R010 10-Inch 24 Tooth FTG Thin Kerf Ripping Saw Blade with 5/8-Inch Arbor and PermaShield Coating for $40 at Amazon. (I buy all my saw blades from Amazon because they have great prices)

freud-thin-kerf-crosscutCrosscutting Blade

Don’t skimp on a good crosscutting blade. Crosscutting blades make such a huge difference when you’re working on any finish carpentry projects. As you can see this blade has 60 teeth and it makes amazing crosscuts. You can buy the Freud LU88R010 10-Inch 60 Tooth ATB Thin Kerf Crosscutting Saw Blade with 5/8-Inch Arbor and PermaShield Coating for $55.

freud-stack-dadoStack Dado

Having a dado set is really important if you plan on doing any cabinet and furniture building. Again I’m a huge fan of Freud and the Stack Dado. This dado set allows you to cut widths from 1/4″ to 29/32″. You can buy the Freud SD508 Super Dado 8-Inch Stack Dado for $200.

Thin Kerf Miterfreud-thin-kerf-miter

I’ve been using this blade in my sliding miter saw for almost 5 years now and it’s still as good as new. Miter saws only work as well as the blade you put on them. I still remember the first time I put a decent blade on mine, it was a night and day difference. You can buy the Freud LU91R010 10-Inch 60 Tooth ATB Thin Kerf Miter Saw Blade with 5/8-Inch Arbor and PermaShield Coating for $65.

freud-framing-saw-bladeCircular Saw Blade

Put one of these blades on your circular saw and  you’ll be blown away I promise. With 24 teeth this blade will cut and rip through framing lumber like a hot knife cutting butter. You can buy the Freud D0624X Diablo 6-1/2-Inch 24 Tooth ATB Framing Saw Blade with 5/8-Inch Arbor for $10!

Buying Quality Saw Blades

There you have it, my recommendations for buying saw blades. Just remember to buy quality blades and a blade that’s made for the type of cutting you’ll be doing. Also check your owner’s manual about the arbor size and recommended blade specifications for your particular saw.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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