Getting Better Cuts From Your Saw Blade

There are several things that you can do to ensure you get the best cuts and longest life out of your saw blade. Just follow these tips to achieve chip-free cuts in Particleboard or MDF on a Panel Saw or Sliding Table Saw.

Using the right saw blade and proper alignment:

* Make sure to always use the right blade for the material you are cutting. Different types of matereial may require you to use a different style of wood. (Tip: Use a triple chip grind blade with 80 teeth for particleboard or MDF.)

* Use a properly tuned saw, and make sure your fence and miter slots are aligned parallel to the blade. Having blades perfectly parallel to the fence helps avoid back cutting whether you are using a single blade or a two blade system. Keep your saw blade teeth raised so that half the carbide is showing over the stock.

* Always run the proper blade configuration with the correct amount of teeth, TCG grind, and the correct prescore. If the prescore is not used, be sure to use a high ATB blade.

* Select a precision saw blade with the appropriate tip configuration for the machine and material being used, tensioned to the motor rpm of the machine it is used on, and a micrograin carbide designed for longer life on composite materials. (cermet II is a longer life tip material that is both tougher and longer lasting than carbide)

* Maintain proper Blade Projection. The blade projection is the distance from the top of the material to the top of the blade when it is cutting. The blade projection can have a great effect on the surface finish. Keeping a blade projection between 20mm and 30mm should ensure a clean surface finish.

Maintaining Good Saw Blade Sharpening:

*ALWAYS CUT WITH A SHARP SAW BLADE. Cutting with a sharp saw blade will give cleaner, smoother cuts, and will help to extend the life of your saw blade. Trying to get a few more cuts out of your saw blade between sharpening to save a little money can result in dimishing the sharpening life of your saw blade, give bad cuts, and is potentially dangerous.

* When having your saw blade sharpened make sure that the sharpening shop is properly matching the prescore to the main blade.

Keep the Blade and operating equipment clean of dust and wood chips:

*Make sure the saw flanges are clean and burr-free.

*Keep the mounting surfaces clean. Any debris on the mounting surfaces can cause the bade to wobble, resulting in removing many of the teeth from the cut on the sides and increasing the kerf of the cut. Chips and dust in the cutting path on the material can also impact the horsepower consumption, feed rate, vibration, and heat build up which will have a negative effect on the tool life and the finish.

*Keep blades from binding in the cut


* Scoring can give very good cuts in many materials. If using thin material, stack cut using double face tape to secure the stock.

* Make sure the blade is well adjusted to the scoring blade.