Which blade

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Forum topic by bluekingfisher posted 07-04-2011 10:16 AM 1644 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1292 posts in 3157 days

07-04-2011 10:16 AM

I bought some 22mm laminated MDF sheets cheap on ebay over the weekend to build into storage cabinets for the workshop. I tend just to keep a 40T combo blade on the saw for most of my work. I was concerned however the blade would chip the laminate surface so I had a look at my blade collection. I have an 8” thin kerf 60 T blade so I slotted it onto the saw, figuring more teeth would provide a finer finish. Lo-and-behold the blade gave a perfect cut. I’m not sure what sort of blade it is because it came as a job lot with an old saw I bought years ago and never used.

I would like to ask, what is the best saw blade for cutting laminate boards/veneered plywood etc? How many teeth should I be looking at and do I need to consider rake angle? does this make a difference?

Is there a preferred brand and what sort of money is involved in such a blade, I know they don’t come cheap but I guess it will last a lifetime if looked after.

Thanks fellahs.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

3 replies so far

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3865 days

#1 posted 07-04-2011 03:37 PM

Google “laminate saw blade”....the possibilities are endless : )
I saw everything from 5”x 24 teeth>12”x100+ teeth….with some differences between ”laminate” and ”veneer” blades.I guess you’ll have to decide which blade fits your specific needs the most .
Have a great day : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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8141 posts in 3553 days

#2 posted 07-04-2011 04:54 PM

Defining “best” is an important step. “Best cut”, and “best choice” can be two different things….it really depends on your saw, the materials, your preferences, etc. MDF is a known blade killer due to the abrasive nature of some of the materials used….however it’s very easy to cut and is easy to get a good cut in until the blade goes dull. The veneered plywood is tougher to get a good cut with because it’s prone to tearout. The best cut in veneered plywood comes from a blade with a top grind that has a steep bevel…it’s known as a “Hi-ATB” grind (typically 25° to 40° top bevel)...the steeper the bevel angle, the less tearout there tends to be. Its essentially an exaggerated version of the more common ATB grind. The downside of the Hi-ATB grind is edge life…those super pointy tips are more prone to abrasion than other grinds. If you plan to cut high volumes, a triple chip grind (TCG) will also do a good job and will have better edge life in MDF, but will have a bit more tearout in veneered ply.

Higher tooth counts tend to equate to a cleaner cut if all other parameters are equal, but they also tend to equate to more resistance, more heat, more bogging, and more tendency to burn. Depending on the other parameters involved, a happy medium of 60T to 80T is typically pretty good. More teeth also tend to cost a bit more upfront, and can cost more to sharpen, but tend to last longer if not overheated by having too many teeth for the thickness of the materials. Blades like the Infinity 010-080 “Ultrasmooth” or 010-060, Forrest Duraline, CMT 210.080, Freud LU80 or LU79 (TK) are outstanding choices for clean cuts. There are two very good 40T general purpose blade with Hi-ATB grinds that will also do a nice job in veneers and ply…the Infinity Super General and Freud Fusion. Forrest also has a new 48T WWII aimed at competing with these two blades. Freud makes a 60T TCG blade that’s a good choice where durability is key (LU82M010).

Hook angles can range from roughly -7° to as much as + 22°. A steep positive hook angle will have more pull on the material than a low or negative hook blade, which is a feature well suited for ripping on a TS. A low positive to negative hook blade is well suited for use on a sliding compound miter saw (SCMS) or radial arm saw (RAS) to prevent “climb” or self feeding of the material, and is highly recommended when cutting metals on any type of saw. The steeper hook angles will feed faster but can also increase tear out characteristics at the exit of the cut. A lower hook angle will have less tear out, but will require more feed pressure and may have a higher tendency for burning to occur if the saw bogs down.

My favorite brands are Infinity, Forrest, Ridge Carbide, Freud, Tenryu, CMT, Amana, and Systimatic, but note that some offer multiple lines…it’s more important to choose the proper blade than the brand. Price can go from $50-$100 depending on sales. There are some excellent bargains to be had on Onsrud blades on Ebay if you’re lucky enough to get one that no one else is bidding on….as low as $12.50 and up.

More about blades here

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

View bluekingfisher's profile


1292 posts in 3157 days

#3 posted 07-04-2011 05:00 PM

Wow, very informative write up, thanks for taking the time to compose and write. Too ofetn one can get bogged down with all of the advertising and claims of greatness.

Having the informed knowledge of a woodworker is very helpful.

Much appreciated.

Thanks again.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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