Table Saw Blades - Cross Cut vs. Rip blades

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Forum topic by Mike posted 05-25-2012 09:25 PM 14294 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mike's profile


60 posts in 2207 days

05-25-2012 09:25 PM

How many of yall switch blades according to what you’re cutting? I’m about to cut some tapered table legs, and I have several blades to choose from but I’m, tempted to use my 60 tooth finish blade. I switch to a Rip blade if I’m ripping hardwood, but my crosscut blades always give me a better finish. I always feed SLOW to be easy on the motor, and stop after a few inches for a few seconds to help with cooling. Combo blades seem to work well, but why not use a nice finish cross cut blade to do everything? It seems like as soon as I switch to a Rip blade I need to cross cut something and the rip does a poor job with a little bit of tear out yet a crosscut does nice regardless. So, just wondering what everyone else does…and what do I use on my tapered legs?

15 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3373 days

#1 posted 05-25-2012 09:36 PM

There’s never a free lunch. If all else is equal, more teeth equates to a cleaner cut, but also more resistance and heat. You may find that the 60T blade labors more in thicker rips. Slowing the saw too much with the higher tooth blade could lead to burning. It really depends on how thick the table legs are, the wood, the hook angle and side clearance of the blade, and your saw.

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

View Jeff's profile


433 posts in 3192 days

#2 posted 05-25-2012 09:37 PM

I get lazy and if the rip is short I’ll use my combination blade. But if it’s significant or I have many boards to rip I’ll switch over. My combination is a Freud Fusion Premier.

View jmos's profile (online now)


827 posts in 2367 days

#3 posted 05-25-2012 09:45 PM

I usually switch. Recently picked up Infinity Ripper and ComboMox thin kerf bladdes to replace my full kerf. All my problems with burning and the saw bogging down on rip cuts went away (1.75hp Jet hybrid). The finish from the rip blade is excellent. The combo blade works very nicely also.

Not to say I don’t cheat occasionally, but I usually switch.

If I were you, and you have a good rip blade, I would rip the legs and clean up with a hand plane, but that’s just me.

-- John

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3066 days

#4 posted 05-25-2012 09:46 PM

I use a 60 tooth blade for plywood and soft woods, but go to a 23 tooth blade for hardwoods. The lower tooth count leaves a rougher cut but the saw doesn’t have to work so hard. The roughness is easily planed or sanded out.

Going too slowly usually causes burning and stopping can really leave marks. I go for a feed rate that keeps the work moving without bogging down the saw.

Stop every few inches for cooling!?? Man, I’m glad you have to deal with those burn marks and not me. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2968 days

#5 posted 05-25-2012 10:25 PM

I put my 90 tooth crosscut blade on the Miter saw and run a 54 tooth combo blade on the table saw for everything else.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2981 days

#6 posted 05-25-2012 10:40 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks MJ,
My general use blade is a combo blade that works pretty well. Sometimes for thicker stock I will use a rip blade and then run a light pass over the jointer to clean up saw marks.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2290 days

#7 posted 05-25-2012 11:03 PM

Yes, I switch depending on the job. The reason is blade geometry. In essence and without great detail, rip blades chisel the wood because they cut with the grain; cross cut blades cut the grain as they cut across the grain; and, combination blades are a compromise and do an adequate job of both types of cuts but not t he best.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View jumbojack's profile


1676 posts in 2621 days

#8 posted 05-25-2012 11:27 PM

I’m a switcher. Really easy on the SS.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2199 days

#9 posted 05-25-2012 11:33 PM

Cutting the wood is keeping the blade cooler, you should never stop and start again, get a good crosscut blade and switch if you need to….. I switch when needed. If you saw is bogging down a bit try using a thin kerf blade. Remember it will throw your fench measurement off so readjust.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2240 days

#10 posted 05-25-2012 11:58 PM

You know, I’ve used my cheapy Diablo 50t combo for all my cuts in the past but I’ve only gotten serious about woodworking recently. Just got a hold of several 5×11x48 roughcut douglas fir beams which I started to resaw on my tablesaw just yesterday morning. Thinking I’d give the combo blade a try, I ripped away. Seeing the burnmarks (not too bad really) and also how slow going my 3hp PM became, I realized right away that I’ll need to acquire a rip blade with probably 28t max. Sticking to Diablo blades for now as I’d hate to ruin an expensive one while I’m learning and practicing. I think the rip blade should rid the problem with burn and slow feed. My saw should thank me for this.

Dont fuss over a rougher cut… that’s what planers and jointers are for. If you dont have one, then I see why you may have to compromise. If you dont get burn marks and the feed rate seems healthy for you saw, then if aint broke….

For the most part, the lumber I just got is for practice. It was free and nothing special. I’ll use the material I cut to build demos of my final projects and a bit for my kids swingset/clubhouse.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2919 days

#11 posted 05-26-2012 01:29 AM

I have a 26 tooth rip blade in my table saw and the only time I switch to a different blade is when I cut plywood. I cut plywood about twice a year. I use my sliding miter saw for cross cuts. Works great for me.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2303 days

#12 posted 05-26-2012 01:35 AM

Hi mjfnh, Welcome to LJ’s.
Personally I am way too lazy to change the blades, I have 60t in the TS that I use for everything, years ago I changed the blade everytime. I purchased a few Craftsman 60T blades on sale a few years back and they work great, in most cases the edges do not need to be jointed and on crosscuts the come out very clean. My TS is a workhorse, and I never take it easy its abouit 26 years old now, (MADE IN THE USA, before everything went overseas). I keep the blades clean and never let pitch build up on them, it makes a difference.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3977 days

#13 posted 05-26-2012 01:35 AM

I use Forrest blades, and I switch them when I’m going from hardwood to plywood. I rarely crosscut hardwood on the table saw, so it’s never an issue.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Mike's profile


60 posts in 2207 days

#14 posted 05-29-2012 02:53 PM

Thanks everyone for your posts. I decided to use my Freud 26 tooth Rip blade to taper the table legs, it did a nice enough job with little sanding required afterwards. I think what I’m going to do is, space out projects best I can so I’ll try to do all my ripping with the rip blade, then the crosscutting afterwards with my 60 tooth finish blade. There will be times where I’ll need to do just one short rip cut and I don’t think I’ll bother changing blades for the minor ones. Thanks again, it’s always interesting hearing what others are doing.

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3241 days

#15 posted 05-29-2012 05:29 PM

My all-around blade is a 40T combo for xcut and rip. I only switch blades if I have to have the cleanest cut, or if I need to make a lot of one kind of cut. I will also switch to a rip blade if I’m cutting a lot of thick material.

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