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What is the Best Blade for Cutting MDF on a Table Saw?

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Forum topic by DavidNJ posted 01-21-2013 11:49 PM 8437 views 3 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DavidNJ

384 posts in 645 days


01-21-2013 11:49 PM

I was told by a blade vendor that MDF is very hard on blades and I should use the cheapest that will make a clean cut. Is that right?

Which tooth pattern is best? I’ve noticed that a TCG (Triple Cut Grind) tooth pattern is often specified for hard materials. Is that best? If so, at what tooth count? I’ve seen it at 30T, 60T, and 80T.


27 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5453 posts in 2027 days


#1 posted 01-22-2013 12:19 AM

MDF is is very easy to cut but is tough on edge life. The triple chip grind is the most durable, so is a good choice for MDF. If all else is equal, more teeth would leave a smoother cut but will have more resistance….fewer teeth will tend to cut faster with a rougher cut. Somewhere between 30T and 60T should work fine, and even an 80T would work. Find a deal on a good one and go with it.

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

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 938 days


#2 posted 01-22-2013 12:24 AM

I keep a relatively inexpensive Freud 50T combo blade on hand just for use on MDF and plywood. When it starts to gets dull, the cut quality suffers, and I know it’s time for a resharpening.

-- John, BC, Canada

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DavidNJ

384 posts in 645 days


#3 posted 01-22-2013 02:04 AM

Should this be a thin kerf? A lot of them are thin kerf.

Does the teflon coating help in this application?

Freud has three TCG blades: 30T, 40T, 60T, 72T, and 80T. Would would give the best result?

Hooks range from -7° to 13°. Which is best?

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DavidNJ

384 posts in 645 days


#4 posted 01-22-2013 03:01 AM

Amana lists there solid surface blade (Corian, etc.) as excellent for MDF. It is 60T or 72T, 0° hook, ‘modified’ TCG (supposed to keep temps down to avoid melting the plastics). Freud had it as the LU95, but apparently not in the Diablo or Avanti line (I can’t find a website for the Avanti line).

The least expensive I’ve found if Amana’s A.G.E. line for about $70.

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MonteCristo

2097 posts in 840 days


#5 posted 01-22-2013 03:52 AM

MDF is hard on everything, not just the blade. And the dust is a killer on you too !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View DavidNJ's profile

DavidNJ

384 posts in 645 days


#6 posted 01-22-2013 04:39 AM

I have a NIOSH 100 mask now…and will have a pretty good dust collection system including dust collection blade guard and Penn State 2.5hp cyclone around the end of February.

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1229 days


#7 posted 01-22-2013 07:21 AM

I use whatever’s on the saw.
Never an issue. If I were to use a blade specifically for mdf, it would be one of my older blades.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View RonInOhio's profile

RonInOhio

720 posts in 1516 days


#8 posted 01-22-2013 08:07 AM

Ditto on the dust. It will get everywhere when you cut it.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5453 posts in 2027 days


#9 posted 01-22-2013 10:20 AM

Freud discontinued the Avanti line in June 2009.

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

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

521 posts in 1551 days


#10 posted 01-22-2013 01:42 PM

I use use a Diable combination 50T its so so on the dust but if you have more teeth you ll have alote less dust but thsos 80T blade’s will cost.

View Radu's profile

Radu

299 posts in 1695 days


#11 posted 01-22-2013 02:01 PM

I use an el cheapo circular saw blade every time I cut MDF or particle board – thin kerf – less dust

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1142 posts in 1733 days


#12 posted 01-22-2013 02:19 PM

I have cut a lot MDF and I have not noticed it to be hard on blades or router bits, quite a few raised panel doors and speaker cabinets. I use a thin kerf Freud. I always use some sort of dust collection.

-- Chris K

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1785 posts in 1145 days


#13 posted 01-22-2013 02:23 PM

I believe it to be harder on cutting edges, but not so much that I switch blades to cut it. Just use what you use everyday, have it sharpened when it gets dull. I don’t use a thin kerf, either…though I suspect it would have to make a little less dust than full kerf….that right there might be a reason to switch if you hang a thin kerf on the saw.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1502 days


#14 posted 01-22-2013 03:49 PM

I’m with NiteWalker. Unlike clamps, I think one can have too many blades, finding oneself spending too much time changing them trying to save a nickel. That’s why we have combination blades. Quality in a combination blade equals clean cuts in lots of materials.

Wear a valve-type mask, fit it well, and off you go.

David asks about a Teflon. Does anyone else think, as I do, that this is a scam? When you have so much clearance because of the larger tooth, the blade is never touching the material. I never have to clean anything off the bodies of my steel blades—all the goo is on the carbide tips.

Perhaps the Teflon coating is like whatever you do to keep the leopard seals away. “See, there’s nothing on this Teflon! It’s working!!!!”

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5453 posts in 2027 days


#15 posted 01-22-2013 04:30 PM

”David asks about a Teflon. Does anyone else think, as I do, that this is a scam?”

I don’t know if it’s a scam because it can help keep blades clean and from rusting, but as you point out, the heat starts at the teeth, and the body doesn’t contact the material very much, so I’m not sure how much difference it really makes to heat from normal use….especially hobbu use.

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

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