How to Pick the Right Table Saw Blade
When looking for the perfect saw blade for your table saw one of the first things to consider is the horsepower of your saw. While a 3 horsepower 220 volt or larger will do fine with a full kerf saw blade, lesser powered table saws such as contractor saws and bench top saws will do better with a thin kerf blade. A thin kerf blade will put less drain on your motor so that it does not slow down as much as a full kerf blade. You can certainly use full kerf blades on the lower powered saws, just realize they will not cut as fast. A full kerf blade is determined by the thickness of the carbide. A full kerf blade is .125″ while a thin kerf blade usually runs in the neighborhood of .093″ For ripping material on a 10″ table saw you want to be in the range of 18-30 teeth. For crosscutting, 60-80 teeth will give you a cleaner cut. If you are a one size fits all type of person a 40 or 50 tooth blade will do ok in all operations, but excels in none.
For applications where you need a splinter free cut on both sides of sheet goods (plywood and melamine) a blade with an ATB or a Hi-ATB top grind and a hook angle ranging from a +2 degrees to a -6 degrees will give you the best cut; and, if you want the absolute best cuts add a zero clearance blade insert and size it to the blade you are using for sheet goods. My favorite for a great crosscut or for cutting sheet goods is an ATAF blade. While not every manufacturer offers these, Tenryu, Diablo and Freud do. If you look closely, not only is the top of the tooth an alternating bevel ( hence the term atb ) but the face of the tooth also has a bevel, actually referred to as a shear angle, which slices through the material drawing less power from the motor but also giving a super clean cut. This tooth geometry is similar to a spiral router bit in that it shears more than cuts. Image courtesy of Tenryu Saw Blades Saw blades are like shoes, pick them wisely and they will give you long service for years to come,buy cheap ones and you will be replacing them soon and complaining all the time.