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tools and equipment 101 | Posted: 9/8/2021
Saw blades come in many different shapes and sizes. Luckily Irwin’s line of circular saw blades is a cut above the rest so selecting the right saw blade for your application is easy.
First, before we get into our offering of Irwin, let’s get some basic terminology out of the way so we can better understand the different types of circular saw blades. Two key terms you should be familiar with are “rip-cut” and “cross-cut”. A simple way the know the difference between the two is that a rip-cut changes the width of the material, and a cross-cut changes the length. A cross-cut, the type of cut you will use most often, is when you cut across the grain of the wood, like when you cut a 2 x 4 in half. A rip cut would be used to cut with the grain of the wood, like when you trim plywood to narrower widths. But what exactly do we mean by grain? Well, wood grain or wood fibers run the length of the lumber. Think of the wood fibers as a bundle of straws. A cross-cut, or cut across the grain, makes those straws shorter. A rip-cut is when you cut with the grain of the wood, making the bundle of straws narrower.
Saw blades are specifically made to be better at certain types of cuts, so let’s get into what features you should look out for in a saw blade and how that translates to the types of cuts it will make.
Now, the number of teeth actually determines your blade’s cutting action. More teeth mean a slower and smoother cut, which is something you want in a crosscut. You will notice that more teeth on a blade will decrease the hook angle, which is the angle of the tooth relative to the centerline of the blade. This is because these blades are for super crisp, slow, methodical cuts; like cutting finishing trim pieces on a table saw. With very little space between the teeth, you can feed the material at your own pace and the saw won’t pull or tug. On the other hand, if you are not concerned about an impossibly smooth cut, fewer teeth will do the trick! Ripping blades have fewer teeth and an extremely positive hook angle.
The higher the positive hook angle, the more aggressive the blade, this means it will pull material and get the job done faster. Another feature you will notice on saw blades is the large spaces or depth between the teeth. These are called gullets, and they are used to remove sawdust and any other waste material that the blade encounters from the cut. A larger gullet equals more material removed per slice.
When you get into more expensive blades, you’re going to notice more holes! Well, these larger holes closer to the center of the blade are called vents or body slots. They help to reduce vibration and heat in the blade. The smaller cut-outs in the gullet are called expansion slots. When the blade gets hot from constant use, the expansion slots allow the blade room to grow instead of warping when it doesn’t have room to expand. This causes less vibration, a straighter cut, and helps to maintain the strength of the blade overtime. But the coolest thing about these little slots is what they’re modeled after the similarly-shaped holes found in t-rex teeth!
The last thing you are going to want to look for in a blade is the size. The proper size of a blade depends on the tool you are going to be using it in and the thickness of the material you want to cut. For instance, if you use the wrong blade with the wrong tool or material, you could end up with poor quality cuts; a damaged tool, blade, material; or, worst of all, you could be putting yourself in serious danger. For cordless circular saws, you want a blade that’s a little smaller, because a smaller blade doesn’t take as much power to run. A 7-1/4-inch blade is a standard size on your corded circular saws. And when you are getting into your higher blade sizes, 8-1/4, 10, and 12 inches, these are typically for your table saws and miter saws. They can handle quick cuts of thick boards or super smooth long cuts of finishing trim.
First up, we have our Cordless Circular Saw Blades. These blades are optimized specifically for cordless circular saws based on their size. The cuts made by this blade are ultra-thin because of the thin blade kerf. Kerf is the term for the width of the carbide teeth on a blade. A thin kerf means the saw doesn’t have to work as hard to get through the material and that means we get more cuts throughout the battery life of our cordless circular saws. Even better, those super sharp carbide teeth ensure that this blade has a long lifespan. Another feature of these awesome blades is the dip behind each tooth. This is referred to as a reinforced shoulder, which means the part of the blade behind each tooth will spend less time in contact with your material, reducing the chance of kickback and translating to a longer life for the blade. We have different options, depending on the kind of cut you need. For quick, dirty cuts we have multiple sizes of 18 teeth blades, and for silky smooth finishing cuts, you can pick up a 40-tooth blade in the 6-1/2-inch size.
Next up we have our Classic Series Circular Saw Blades. These blades feature an economical grade of carbide teeth brazed to a stainless-steel body, built to save you money. These won’t last the longest out of the Irwin blades, but they are not meant to! These are the blades for your abusive jobs, like sawing wood beams encrusted in concrete. We have these available in 6-1/2, 7-1/4, and 8-1/4-inch sizes with a number of teeth variants in each size.
One of our most popular blades available from Irwin is the Marathon Circular Saw Blades. These come in a standard size of 7-1/4 inches but with 24 or 40 teeth depending on the type of cuts you want. Some interesting features of these blades include the heat vents and expansion slots, which are optimized to reduce the vibration and give you a straighter cut every time. Just like the cordless circular saw blades, these too have a reinforced shoulder. Lastly, and it’s hard to see with a naked eye, but every other tooth on this blade is .1mm thinner. You wouldn’t think that this amounts to much, but it actually translates into cuts that are 20% faster!
The Miter/Table Saw Blades are a great addition to any precision project. These blades are designed with a smooth finish in mind. The teeth are 400 grit diamond-ground—just the thing to make your cut as clean and accurate as possible. The smaller blades with fewer teeth are your quick-cut ripping blades, but as we move up in the line we see just how many teeth we can fit on these large blades and how narrow that hook angle will get! These blades are definitely for your precision work, like final trim pieces. Expertly balanced with construction-grade carbide teeth, this blade is sure to last a long time.
Finally, we have the Marathon with WELDTEC Circular Saw Blades. These blades look pretty heavy-duty, but that’s because they’re built for the Big Jobs. This revolutionary new saw blade has welded carbide teeth for a 30% stronger tooth bond and a longer life. These teeth are sharpened to fine, more durable cutting edges that stay sharp, longer. And remember those vents we talked about before? Well, this blade is full of them to dissipate heat—a sure sign of a long-lasting and high-quality blade. Even a board filled with nails is no match for the WELDTEC saw blade!
So, keep in mind that no matter what you need, ohcanadasupply.ca has the “bite” to find the right blade for the job. If this wasn’t enough information to sink your “teeth” into, feel free to contact us here. And make sure to subscribe to our email list so you can keep up to date with our latest offers, flyers, new products, and giveaways here at ohcanadasupply.ca!
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