Choosing a blade for cordless circular saw

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Forum topic by Alchemist_Anonymous posted 04-07-2017 07:13 PM 1430 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Alchemist_Anonymous's profile


3 posts in 562 days

04-07-2017 07:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: circular saw blade cordless

I recently acquired a low-budget ($80) Parkside brand, 18V cordless, hand-held circular saw. The saw came with a low-budget 18-teeth ripping blade. I intend to use it mostly for cross-cutting wood planks, and cutting thin (at most 18mm (2/3’’)) plywood and laminated particleboard for making simple furniture: shelves, boxes etc. I might want to use it occasionally on other materials (plastic, aluminum), but wood and engineered wood are the main applications. I’m aware of the limitations of this tool, and I can live with a bit of sanding, if I have to.

I am looking for an optimal cross-cut/general purpose blade in order to achieve the smoothest possible cuts given the limits of this machine. The tool is very small, the maximum blade diameter is 150mm (6’’). Few manufacturers produce this blade size, so given my location and budget, my options seem to be limited to the following:
(kerf/blade thickness, no. of teeth, geometry+hook angle, “non-stick” coating, price (all dim. in mm))

More expensive:
Freud LU2C 0100 (3.2/2.2, 48 teeth, ATB +15, coated, $45)
Freud LU2B 0100 (3.2/2.2, 36 teeth, ATB +15, coated, $42)
Bosch Expert for Wood (2.6/1.6, 36 teeth, ATB +10, coated, $43.5) – thinner kerf

Bosch Optiline for Wood (2.4/1.4, 36 teeth, ATB +15, not coated, $21) – thinner kerf, not coated
Bosch Optiline Multi Material (2.0/1.4, 42T, HLTCG -5, not coated, $27) – even thinner kerf, different geometry

My questions are the following:

1. Does anyone have any experience using any of these products, or maybe Bosch VS Freud or Bosch Expert VS Bosch Optiline? Does it really matter, given that since 2009 Bosch owns Freud and manufactures Bosch blades in Freud factories? I am not asking for beliefs or opinions, only factual experience.

2. As far as I understand, increasing number of teeth, smaller (or negative) hook angle and larger kerf all increase the load on the saw’s motor. Should I be wary of an overload if I choose the “smoothest” blade (i.e. full kerf Freud, 48 teeth)? Which of the factors listed above is the most important with respect to motor load/potential burning of the workpiece (kerf, geometry, hook angle, or no. of teeth)?

3. Does blade coating have a significant effect on performance (by reducing friction, which could be important given the low power of the tool)? Is this effect (and better materials) worth double the price (Bosch Optiline (non-coated) range vs. Bosch Expert/Freud (coated))?

4. Does anyone have any experience with ATB (Alternate Top Bevel) vs HLTCG (High-Low Triple Chip Grind) geometry? Would the negative-angle HLTCG blade result in better cuts on laminated particleboard, plywood, etc.? Is HLTCG significantly worse for other wood applications (i.e. is it specialized to composites and plastics)? Would it significantly increase loads on the motor, or does the thinner kerf of the Bosch Multi Material blade compensate for the negative hook angle?

5. Which one of the above blades would you suggest in my situation? Given the low price of the tool, should I rather go with the Optiline budget blade, or maximise its performance by buying a more expensive blade? Also, should I rather use full kerf or choose a thinner kerf?

Thanks for your input, your help is most appreciated.

6 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5228 posts in 1868 days

#1 posted 04-07-2017 09:27 PM

Wow, lots of question, here goes:
1) I have no direct experience with the exact products mention but I do have a bit of experience with Bosch and Freud blades and over 90% of the time it boils down to you get what you pay for.

2) Smooth cutting and easy cutting with cordless saw blades are typically at the opposite end of the spectrum. Thicker kerf or more teeth would generate the most load on the saw depending on the material being cut and the depth of cut. It’s hard to say if negative kerf or blade geometry would be the third or fourth consideration given the tremendous variability that all different geometries could create.

3) I have found that blade coating does more to reduce pitch build up on the blade than make cutting easier as the saw plate shouldn’t actually ever touch what’s being cut given the additional width of the kerf.

4) ATB teeth tend to cut faster and will work better in plywood and lumber. A TCG blade would be better for particleboard, MDF, plastics & metal. The thinner kerf should help but will necessitate a thinner plate making a smoother more difficult.

5) I would start with the cheapest blade to start with and after identifying any deficiencies, contact the manufacturer of any future blade purchase and have them confirm that it will do what you need it to.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Alchemist_Anonymous's profile


3 posts in 562 days

#2 posted 04-08-2017 09:27 AM

Thanks for your answers! Based on your replies (and similar answers on another forum) I will aim for
1. thinnest possible kerf
2. moderate number of teeth, ATB geometry
3. No coating, cheaper option

i.e. probably the Bosch Optiline for Wood.
Putting a Freud blade on this tool would be a bit like hanging the Mona Lisa in the loo.

View greenacres2's profile


328 posts in 2315 days

#3 posted 04-08-2017 11:27 AM

Tenryu makes a few blades that are listed as “Cord Free” in a 6” with 1/2” arbor. Don’t know how they’d compare to the ones you listed, but my 10” blades from them are excellent. Carbide Processors carries the 6” in a 18T (rip) and 36T (cross cut). The few Bosch circular blades I’ve tried seem more geared to construction cuts than woodworking cuts.

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2444 days

#4 posted 04-08-2017 01:02 PM

“Putting a Freud blade on this tool would be a bit like hanging the Mona Lisa in the loo.” The saw is NOT the end product, your cut is. If the more expensive blade will make your end product better then go for it.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5228 posts in 1868 days

#5 posted 04-08-2017 01:55 PM

This blade: is what I bought for and old Wappat 6” saw I have and it performs very well, but this is a corded saw that has decent power. I found it to be a good value but I don’t know how much if any additional VAT or other tax you might be subject to potentially making it not such a good deal?

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Alchemist_Anonymous's profile


3 posts in 562 days

#6 posted 04-10-2017 09:32 AM

Thanks for the tips. I did look at the Freud Diablo blades, however unfortunately it seems that they are only marketed in the US, I could not find them in Europe. There is a Freud Pro line here, but I’m not sure if it’s the same thing, and it is impossible to find detailed info on the manufacturer’s page.

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