Circular saw blade advice.

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roadrunner45

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Hello , i have brought a Makita circular saw today and plan to use the saw for cutting plywood and MDF , my question is what number of teeth blade would you recommend for this?
Thanks.
 

Hornbeam

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Before you can answer that we need to know. What diameter saw blade and what thickness of material you are cutting
 

roadrunner45

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Before you can answer that we need to know. What diameter saw blade and what thickness of material you are cutting

The diameter is 165mm and the material thickness is 18mm (MDF & Plywood).
Also where is a good place to buy the blades from , as B&Q and Screwfix do not appear to stock many blades?
Thanks.
 

Sideways

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The standard blade in a Festool ts55 - maybe the benchmark tracksaw - designed for the same work is, I think, 60 teeth and makes an excellent clean cut.
These are small diameter so 60T is a fine cut.
You can probably find a red Freud blade at Screwfix.
If your saw takes the same size blades as the Festool, buy Festool. I read somewhere that their blades are made for them by Leitz. Regardless, they are very good, better than the substitutes and not too expensive if you only need a new one now and again.
 

ozzieguy65

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Hi Roadrunner will firstly depend on why you are cutting ? if the rough out lest teeth the better. If for fine finishing cuts the 48 - 60 tooth and must be ATB style (alternative bevel)which will allow clean cuts. Brand is more impart thet where to purchase really but of cause will depend on wat you can afford as Sideways has said some nice saws out there and uf you can pick them up at the right price fine, if not stick to Trend/Makita , don go cheep please as these are nice blades but affordable. You can try they amazon warehouse as sometimes you will get returns if not ebay as I said where you buy is ok just stick to what you buy.
 

JobandKnock

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If you bought the plunging rail saw I'd recommend the deWalt DT99561QZ 165mm 165mm 42t thin kerf blade for sheet materials. If it's a conventional cordless saw look at the 3 blade packs if thin kerf deWalt blades (2 @ 24t, 2 @ 40t) which Screwfix and others sell - the 24t is good for general work whilst the 40t is good on plywood. Try sticking an 80t blade on a cordless tool and you'll flatten the battery really fast - whilst corded or cordless you'll find the feed rate you can achieve is much reduced

I use Makita saws out on site but I find the DW blades to be superior in cut quality to most of the Makita blades as well as capable of taking a few cuts through pins, nails, etc without being completely destroyed. The sole exception in Makita blades IMHO is the EfiCut blade which is superb on laminated and veneered boards. However they are very expensive and will flex badly if pushed too hard or used until.too blunt
 

Spectric

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Also where is a good place to buy the blades from , as B&Q and Screwfix do not appear to stock many blades?
The number of teeth are just a starting point, you also want quality teeth with the correct rake, (how much each tooth leans) , gullet and tooth shape to give the best performance and quality of cut for the material.

I use sheffield saws Industrial Quality TCT Circular Saw Blades — Sheffield Industrial Saws - Saw Blades and Saw Blade Machinery

and 160mm - 190mm TCT Circular Saw Blades

Either will offer you advice and quality blades.
 

Ollie78

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I find that with my ts55 and hkc55 the fewer toothed blades are actually better. The 18 or 24 tooth (these are 160mm blades) for real wood and general purpose use.
You can go for more teeth (32 or 40 I think) for MDF etc but for me my favourite is the panther 18 tooth. Also you are paying more for more carbide on a high tpi blade and they are more likely to burn.
I find that the smoothness of cut is not from the number of teeth but how sharp they are and how fast you cut.
Feeds and speeds is critical, meaning how fast it spins, tpi of blade, how fast you are pushing forwards and how deep is the cut.

I have been buying cheap Trend ones on ebay about a tenner each if you buy 3. Also find Dart to be good value they sell them at my local plant hire place.


Ollie
 

Garden Shed Projects

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I have a 165mm Makita saw and find sticking withe Makita blades works well for me. I have found the 40t works well as a general universal blade with reasonable trade off between fast and fine cut.
See attached screen grab from Google plenty of places have ‘em.
BE8C5470-DEC7-45F0-B8A8-08736682DE85.png
 

JobandKnock

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The number of teeth are just a starting point, you also want quality teeth with the correct rake, (how much each tooth leans) , gullet and tooth shape to give the best performance and quality of cut for the material.
Agreed, but when it comes to portable, hand held saws the options are much more limited. AFAIK Festool are one of the few firms who make a proper rip blade for their plunge saws (the Panther). Another factor with portable tools, especially cordless ones, which affects static machinery much less, is power. A beautifully made 24 tooth blade from an industrial manufacturer isn't going to be much use if it arrives with a 2.8mm kerf when it is intended for use on a cordless saw, where 1.4 to 1.7mm is needed to keep battery consumption at manageable levels. I find that the guys making the industrial blades generally aren't that interested in narrow kerf and often unsharpenable (I.e sub 1.8m kerf, I'm told) cordless portable blades, although one Sheffield firm I have bought from, Atkinson-Walker does manufacture blades for this market as well as the industrial stuff

I'd second the comments about overly high tooth counts, as well. A Festool 28 tooth ATB blade is infinitely preferable to the standard 48 tooth "standard" blade when cutting down plywood, chipboard or OSB flooring and cladding if only because your poor little overworked TS55 is not going to get as hot. The cutvquality is still excellent, providing adequate vacuum extraction is in use
 

Spectric

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Hi J&K Only just getting more involved with portable saws but will only be using corded 110 volt so battery life is no longer an issue but you will have a lot more chance of cooking the motor. So would you say a narrow kerf blade is the better option for only cordless plunge saws but the 2.8mm kerf is ok with corded?

On my table saw I use either a 60 tooth or 96 tooth blade which is 315mm diameter for sheet goods. This I believe equates to 2.4 TPI for the 96 tooth blade, CHECK 39 inch circumference so 96/39 = 2.46 and gives a nice cut.

A 165mm blade with 28 teeth is going to be 0.7 TPI , is this enough for a clean cut, 48 teeth gives 1.2 TPI .

Looking at AW saws they list for 160mm diameter, 18,24,30 or 50 teeth and for the 165 diameter, 18, 30 or 50 teeth but for a corded tool.

For cordless a 24 or 40 for the 165. So what a large choice of tooth counts for a saw.
 

JobandKnock

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So would you say a narrow kerf blade is the better option for only cordless plunge saws but the 2.8mm kerf is ok with corded?
2.8mm is actually the sort of kerf you'd use in a table saw. Festool TS55 corded saws have blades (these days) with a consistent 2.2mm kerf. Makita haven't learned this one, yet, so their blades are all over the place in kerf widths, just like Festool used to be. Cordless tools always require an even thinner kerf because otherwise you'd find that you have no power and the battery life would be abysmal. So really there is little or no option available to you

A 165mm blade with 28 teeth is going to be 0.7 TPI , is this enough for a clean cut, 48 teeth gives 1.2 TPI .
Yes, on MDF, chipboard, OSB and some plywood, but the motor in a plunge saw is running at around 6000 rpm. What speed does your table saw run at? With a plunge saw such as the Festool TS55 you would need to look at a 12 tooth Panther rip blade for ripping solid timber, a 28 tooth ATB blade for breaking down plywood, MDF, etc, a 48 tooth ATB blade for veneered or melamine/laminate faced man made boards, a 56 tooth special TCG blade for laminates, but a 4 to 8 tooth PCD diamond blade for cement board and other dense materials such as Corian. Most blade manufacturers follow suit. With portable tools you always need to select the lowest tooth count and most suitable tooth form for the job in part to ensure that you clear waste and avoid scorching (a real problem if your extraction is or inadequate), hence the limited range.

I have tended to quote Festool and Makita saws simply because after more than a decade of using them they are the tools I am most familiar with. Mafell, Bosch and Metabo saws are, however, very similar
 
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Spectric

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@JobandKnock thanks that is some really useful info as to what gives good results, so when buying a Makita corded it will be best to get a smaller Kerf blade?

I can see that at 6000Rpm you will be getting cleaner cuts with fewer teeth as your surface speed is higher than my table saw at 2800 Rpm even with a 315mm blade.
 

Hornbeam

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Too many teeth is just as much of a problem as too few. A low tooth count will cross cut and cut veneered panels but the finish will not be great. Trying to rip cut with a high tooth count and there is not enough gullet space for the sawdust so the blade is more likely to bog down and kick back. Narrow kerf blades use a lot less power but can get hotter and so more likely to distort. I use a 24 or 48T on a 165mm blade but only cutting ply/man made board. On the table saw with a 300mm blade I use 24T for ripping and 48 for GP and 72 for fine cross cutting
Most important for both finish and safety is use a sharp blade and dont think its just 1 cut so the one in the saw will be OK
 

JobandKnock

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...when buying a Makita corded it will be best to get a smaller Kerf blade?
I think I'd try to stick with the same kerf as the saws comes with, which is 2.2mm, isn't it? A very good reason to standardise the the kerfs of all your blades (and for that matter to get all of them reground together and ask for them to be resharpened to identical kerfs - something they can achieve on a CNC grinder) is so that you minimise wear on the anti splinter strip. After all that is one of thecreasons for having a rail saw

I can see that at 6000Rpm you will be getting cleaner cuts with fewer teeth as your surface speed is higher than my table saw at 2800 Rpm even with a 315mm blade
There is another little trick that you may be missing, one that applies to both Makita and more recent Festool saws (and probably the other trade rated saws), and that is the ability to set the saw to make a 1mm deep reverse direction scoring cut, followed by a full depth forward cut. That way you can bypass the spelching which can occur in the surfaces of crosscut in good and othe veneered boards. Your Makita has a little pull button to the right of the handle to control this
 

JobandKnock

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No, that's perfectly correct. You position the saw at the far end of the rail and pull the plunger . Then plunge the saw (it will stop at about 1mm depth) and draw the saw slowly backwards to the start of the rail. "Unplunge" the saw and press the plunger back into the home position before plungingbthecsaw fully and this time making the saw cut at full depth

Well right or wrong, that works for me
 
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