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Saw blade question

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  • Saw blade question

    I recently purchased a craftsman 10" sliding compound miter saw. model is not important

    Anyways I am wondering what blade I should replace the standard craftsman blade with. I do not do much trim work, I just cut a lot of 2x4s 2x6s etc and some plywood with it.
    I just want a decent blade , not the most costly blade or the cheapest but one that will do a good job and last longer than a cheap one if I take care of it and not end up cutting nails or screws with it. what are your recommendations?
    thanks in advance

  • #2
    Re: Saw blade question

    For sliders you want a blade with a negative hook angle. A positive hook angle will make the blade bite into the lumber and will make the saw harder to control.
    Look at the Freud LU91 series, HD carries the Ridgid line (same as Freud)
    Last edited by wbrooks; 09-29-2011, 07:34 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Saw blade question

      There are of course a "few" answers to this question and everybody has their own "take", so to speak.

      For radial arm saws, sliding compound miter saws, and compound miter saws there are forces exacted by the overhead blade that pushes the stock down and back against the fence. Because of this, the rotation of the blade has a tendency to "self-feed", causing the blade (on RAS and "sliding" saws) forces to have a tendency to climb/advance forward quickly toward the operator, if the cut is rushed. The often suggested cure for this is to use a blade with a "negative-hook" angle design on the blade. Freud and a few others make blades with such a design and are described as SCMS, CMS, and RAS application blades.

      I however have never used such a blade and with using a radial arm saw (predecessor to the Sliding CMS) for more than forty years, I have just become accustomed to the "self-feeding" tendency and thus control the carriage accordingly. (That doesn't make MY choice right or wrong, it just makes it "my choice" and everyone needs to recognize that every "circular" saw design has its dangers and one needs to be aware of the particulars of their use!)

      Now after all that, let me give you a direct answer to your question: On my Table Saw, RAS and my Ridgid CMS, I use the "Ridgid" brand, 50-tooth combination blade. My RAS and the CMS are primarily used for cross-cut work on a variety of materials, including pine, oak, plywood, MDF, chipboard, etc. The Ridgid 50-tooth combination makes very nice cross-grain cuts, providing you do them slowly and not just "hack" your way as if it was a "chop saw". You're cutting wood, not "chopping" it and if you rush the cut, you will see a dramatic difference. On my table saw, the 50-tooth also does a very nice job of ripping too.

      One thing I should clarify about MY choice... I don't like to have to order a blade from the internet or a catalog. When I need a blade, for me, it is just the easiest to go to the local store and pick one up. That of course seriously limits one's choice; but like you, I don't believe in paying a bloody fortune for something like a "Woodworker II", no matter how many people tell me they're the best blade in the world. The Ridgid blades are made in Italy (perhaps by "Freud", but I don't know that for sure) and costs about $40. I think they are better than several other brands that that I have used in the past and certainly they are significantly better than the OEM blades.

      The "50-tooth combination" works best for my use, but your use might well be different. Generally, the less the tooth count the more rapid the cut will be, but with poorer quality. For rough lumber or poor quality woods and with thick, heavy ripping, etc. you need fewer teeth and more "gullet" to clear the debri and have the blade run cooler without burning. For smoother/finer cuts you want more teeth, but of course that can mean significantly slower cuts and much higher friction... not a good thing for heavy and/or thick stock. Fewer teeth may mean more tear-out, especially on plywood and veneers and especially on thin plywood, like underlayment, panelling, etc. So the one blade fits all, is not something you should look for if you are doing a wide variety of stock and cuttings. But, for general purpose uses like "1 by" and "2 by" solid stock and most molding and trim work, 50-tooth "combination" blade works well in both ripping and cross-cutting, providing the wood quality is reasonable... at least that has been MY experience.

      I hope this helps,

      Last edited by CWSmith; 09-27-2011, 03:30 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Saw blade question

        Here are a couple of blades that would do what you're asking;

        Onsrud mtr-10-098-60 | eBay

        Onsrud 10" Miter Saw Blade w/60 Teeth (MTR-10-126-60)* | eBay
        I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.