Table saw blade height?

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Forum topic by DirtyMike posted 09-22-2016 05:16 AM 813 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1051 days

09-22-2016 05:16 AM

hello all, I was just curious how high you set your blade above your material while ripping or crosscutting? I watched a forrest video on you tube where they recommenced to raise your blade well above your material to help with cooling to prolong the life of the carbide. I always shoot for 1/2 inch above lumber while ripping but I have watched many dial there blade up to just break through the surface.

Please feel free to weigh in with any tips and tricks.

6 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


6951 posts in 2348 days

#1 posted 09-22-2016 05:55 AM

A search around here will turn up lots of threads about blade height. Here is what Freud has to say about it:

• The sawblade’s projection (t) with respect to the work piece must be greater than the height of the blade’s tooth (fig. 18). Increase or decrease the projection of the saw blade to improve finish quality.

• The number of teeth cutting the wood simultaneously must be between 3 or 4 for ripping and ideally 5 to 7 for crosscutting. With less than 3 teeth cutting the sawblade begins to vibrate leading to an uneven cut. If you want to cut work pieces with increased thicknesses, but wish to maintain the same diameter saw blade, then use a blade with less teeth. If instead you want to cut work pieces with a reduced thickness, but also maintain the same diameter saw blade, then use a blade with more teeth.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View knotscott's profile


8130 posts in 3525 days

#2 posted 09-22-2016 09:42 AM

It depends on several things….the desired outcome, the type of blade, the material, the type of cut, and even the tendencies of the saw. The higher the blade is the cooler it’ll run, so if you’re experiencing burning, run the blade a bit higher. For a more polished cut, run the blade lower.

I personally don’t get too picky about it as long as the teeth clear the board.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View bondogaposis's profile


5000 posts in 2501 days

#3 posted 09-22-2016 12:11 PM

I generally set it so that the gullets just clear the top of the work piece. I don’t get too fussy about though, that is just ball park for me.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1069 days

#4 posted 09-22-2016 12:35 PM


I run my table saw blade at its highest settings for the reason cited in the Woodcraft/Forrest promotional video from 2012 (carbide runs cooler). I also keep the blade guard in place, which is required for safety if the blade is run high. However, as the video continues and various blades, types of cuts, and materials are discussed, additional lower blade height recommendations along with the basis for those recommendations are given. If I recall correctly, the recommendations are in harmony with MrUnix’s and knotscott’s comments.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1726 days

#5 posted 09-22-2016 12:51 PM

I run mine where the teeth clear the work piece by a little bit, seem to get the best outcome that way.

View Joshh's profile


28 posts in 767 days

#6 posted 09-22-2016 05:52 PM

The higher the blade the smaller is lateral force on the wood and probably less chance that the wood is thrown back at you as it is pushed down instead of forward.
On the other hand the potential of more severe injury due to contact with the blade is higher.
Get Sawstop and raise the blade high.

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