As a beginner in using a miter saw, it will be best to understand that the saw blade is the heart of your miter saw. As such, it will help to know how to select the correct blade size for your miter saw. The standard miter saw sizes include 7.5 “, 8.5″, 10″, and 12″, and the blade diameters most commonly used are the 10″ and the 12″ saw blades with smaller miter saws using 8-1/2″ and 7-1/2” saw blades.
You will seldom find other sizes of miter saw blades. Thus, when choosing a miter saw blade, select the one recommended for your saw. Besides, using the wrong saw blade size is unsafe and may not be productive of the desired result. Plus, using the wrong saw blade size won’t provide accurate RPM, and the saw will fail to cut well. Thus, when selecting a saw blade, it will be best to understand miter saw blades.
|Type of Miter Saw||Blade Sizes|
|Compound Miter Saw||7-1/4″, 8-1/2″, 10″, 12″|
|Sliding Compound Miter Saw||10″, 12″|
|Dual-Bevel Compound Miter Saw||10″, 12″|
Understanding Miter Saw Blades
As mentioned above, the most used miter saw blades are 10 and 12 inches in diameter. These miter saw blades usually get wrought in carbon steel. Besides, these saw blades are also often coated to facilitate the cutting process. Since the miter saw gets designed for short cuts across the wood grain, you must carefully select the blade you use.
Table saws, on the other hand, are designed for making long rip cuts along the grain in contradistinction to the miter saw cutting action.
When selecting miter saw blades, you will find that saw blades come with their designated number of teeth. The number of teeth, for example, may range anywhere from 24 teeth/inch to 100 teeth/inch. A miter saw blade can cut finely with a higher tooth count. Additionally, the blade label also shows the kerf measurement and the hook angle of the saw blade’s teeth.
The thickness of the kerf indicates the amount of material the saw blade can remove when cutting. Besides, the standard kerf thickness is around 3.2 mm or 1/8”, though you can use thinner kerf saw blades when working with finer wood.
Furthermore, the hook of the saw blade refers to the level of aggressiveness of the saw blade when pulling material in. For example, if you want to create a little board movement, you can use a low hook or a negative hook angle.
You will find variations of teeth designs in a saw blade. You will find, for example, Alternating top bevel (ATB), Triple Chip Grind (TCG), and Flat Top Grind (FTG). You must know the applications of each design because each design is meant for specific edge treatment and material.
As you inspect the miter saw blade, you will find the arbor bolt that holds the saw blade to the rotor. The diameter of the saw blade must match the saw blade hole to secure the saw blade well.
For example, the 12” saw blade usually fits the 1” arbor holes. While the 10” saw blade matches well with the 5/8” arbor holes. The threads of the arbor bolt are reversely threaded, allowing the saw’s rotational spin to keep the saw blade tightened to the arbor.
Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Size of Miter Saw Blade
As a beginner in miter saw, it will be best to know the critical factors to consider when choosing the right size and correct miter saw blade. Below are the following essential factors to consider when choosing miter saw blade:
The blade, as mentioned above, is the heart of the miter saw. Yet, one part of the saw blade that is very important is the teeth because they cut. Blades come in a different number of teeth. The rule, however, is the higher the teeth count, the finer the cut.
Aside from the number of teeth, saw blades come in different materials or make. You will find tungsten-carbide tips, while you will also find steel saw blades. Carbide-tipped blades last longer than plain steel saw blades. Lastly, it will be good to note that the larger the saw blade, the greater the average tooth count of the blade.
Miter saw blades come with a middle hole referred to as “a bore.” You can slip the borehole over the arbor of the saw blade and lock it into place. As mentioned above, you need to know the arbor size of your miter saw. If you have a ten-inch miter saw, it has a 5/8” arbor. The 12” miter saw, however, has a 1” arbor. But there are some aberrations in the sizes of the arbor. So, when buying saw blades, ensure you double-check the size of the arbor before you shell out your hard-earned money.
Width of the Saw Blade Kerf
The kerf is another factor you should consider when choosing the right size of saw blade for your miter saw. Woodworkers keep keen attention to the width of the kerf because the kerf size has a bearing on the precision of the saw cuts.
If you are engaged in a project that requires precise tolerances, you need to be cognizant of the width of the kerf of the saw blade you will use. Besides, if you want to reduce chipping, you can use narrow kerf blades. Thin kerf blades are also perfect for laminates and plywood.
Cost of the Saw Blade
You don’t want to shed more money for something that is not worth it. Besides, you want to spend less as a wise consumer. So, when buying a miter saw blade, you also want to consider the cost of the saw blade. The prices of saw blades differ significantly.
The ten-inch saw blades, for example, have different prices than the twelve-inch saw blades. In fact, the 12-inch ones can be around thirty percent more expensive than the 10-inch ones. The larger saw blades, of course, have greater teeth, making them last longer than the smaller ones.
Besides, they may be more durable. The ten-inch saw blades, however, are easier to find and more versatile because you can use them on a table saw. Thus, the ten-inch saw blades are the best when it comes to the versatility of saw blades.
After reading this post, you discover that you have several factors to consider when selecting a miter saw blade. For example, you need to consider the diameter, the bore size, and the kerf. Knowing the importance of these measurements will help you zero in on the ideal miter saw blade for your use.
If you want to raise your woodworking level a notch, you need to be very meticulous in choosing a miter saw blade. Besides, your safety may partly hinge on the blade you select for your miter saw. So, it is crucial that you know the abovementioned essential things to consider when choosing a miter saw blade.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.