The right saw blade can make a cheap tool work great; the wrong saw blade can make a great tool run poorly.
This was illustrated to me when I was setting up my new table saw (more about it in next week’s post). I thought, “I’ll use the stock blade that comes with the saw. It’ll be fine for awhile.” Nope. My new saw, that I had done tons of research on, saved up money for, and finally purchased, cut like crap. There was a lot of vibration, chatter, and the cut was very rough. Luckily, I also had a brand new blade of my preferred brand. Once I dropped it in, the saw ran quieter, had less vibration, and my cuts were superior. All from a single high quality saw blade.
That Saw Blade is the Freud Diablo Saw Blade. This is the brand of saw blade that try to use exclusively. From my Table saw to my battery powered circular saw, you’re going to see a red blade on my tools. This isn’t to say there aren’t other good saw blades out there, just that in my experience the value, quality, and longevity of Diablo blades is superior.
For my table saw I have settled on the Freud D1040X Diablo 10-Inch 40-Tooth ATB General Purpose Saw Blade. It’s exactly as the name suggests: general purpose. I am not going to take the time to change from a ripping blade to a crosscut blade, etc. Why? Because I’m lazy and I think it’s a huge waste of time. The Diablo 40-tooth does everything I need it to well. I use this one blade to work on pressure treated lumber, framing lumber, oak, plywood, and anything else I happen to be working on.
I use a 10 inch Miter Saw. A lot of guys use 12 inch Miter Saws. No matter what the brand of saw if you pay attention you will see a lot of red blades on yellow, blue, red, orange, and green saws. Since the Miter Saw is only used to cross cut I use the Freud D1060X Diablo 10-Inch 60 Tooth ATB Fine Finish Saw Blade. The higher tooth count gives ultra smooth, and precise cuts on Crown Moulding to 2x4s. There is very little tear out using this blade and it gives all the other advantages; smoother and quieter than lesser blades.
Circular Saw/Skill Saw
This is the only saw that I run multiple blades on. This is mainly due to the pure utility and versatility of the circular saw. Most of the time I’m using my circular saw and DIY Saw Guide to break down sheets of plywood for cabinetry. This calls for a higher tooth count blade for a cleaner cut. The Freud D0740A Diablo 7-1/4 40 Tooth ATB Finishing Saw Blade does a great job for this operation.
If I’m building a deck or doing framing I’ll switch to a lower tooth count blade like this one: Freud D0724X Diablo 7-1/4-Inch 24 Tooth ATB Carbide Framing Saw Blade. It’s a little cheaper (less teeth), and cuts faster (less teeth).
I HATE Hardie board (Fiber Cement). It’s a good product and lasts forever, but I really hate working with it. Hardie requires a special blade to cut through the cement boards. A regular saw blade will only make five or six cuts before being completely ruined. These specialty blades are expensive. In fact I was looking for a Freud D0704DH Diablo 7-1/4-Inch-by-4-Tooth Polycrystalline Diamond Tipped TCG Hardie Fiber Cement Saw Blade at the box store and couldn’t find one. When I ask the associate he said, “We always show they’re in-stock but we’re out most of the time. It’s one of our most stolen items.” I was stuck with a slightly less expensive blade that will only last 1/4 as long as the Freud Hardie Blade.
I know spending more on something disposable is painful. But trust me, with the longevity you’ll come out ahead using Freud Diablo blades over cheaper ones. Not to mention there is the joy of use. Your tools will run better, cut better, and provide a more enjoyable user experience. That’s hard to put a price on but it’s not insignificant.
What’s Your Favorite Blade?
Share your thoughts below.
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