Circular Saw Blade Types: 5 Things You Need To Know (Before Purchasing)

circular saw blade types

The circular saw is a powerful rotary motion saw very commonly used in the USA. Its teeth are in constant motion and will cut various materials from plastic to solid wood.

There are plenty of different blade types available, but each of them has specific usage cases. You need to be aware of precisely what you would like to cut to determine your circular saw’s right blade type.

We will explain the differences in blade types for circular saws and guide you through each one’s pros and cons.

What You Need To Know about Circular Saw Blades

Your circular saw is a tool that can help you fix your interiors and exteriors at home. It is a powerful tool that can help you create something sturdy, beautiful, and functional. To have the best saw blade that serves your purpose, here are a couple of things to keep in mind while buying one.

Saw Plate Thickness

A saw plate is generally 1/8th to 1/4th inch thick, depending on the material you are cutting. It also depends on the cost of your project. Ideally, a thick blade will give a sturdy and clean finish. However, it could result in wastage and bring your costs up. 

A thin blade will help you save your fine material. The con of a thin kerf blade is that it is delicate. Moreover, it is prone to heating and wobbling. This gives it a wavy and uneven cut. So, choose your blade thickness based on your project. 

Saw Tooth Design

The saw tooth design helps determine the kind of cuts the circular saw makes. Remember, the number of teeth also plays a role in your circular saw. 

If your saw blade has a greater number of teeth, you’ll be able to make slower, smoother, and finer cuts. In contrast, a saw blade having lesser teeth makes shoddy-looking, quick work. You also have different types of tooth designs depending on the cuts you want to make. 

Flat Top Grind

These blades have a flat top like the name denotes. They are used to rip apart the material. They work based on speed rather than precision. These are popular in rip blades. Plowing through the wood quickly without overheating is the priority of this design. 

Triple Chip Grind

The triple chip grind is like the FTG except, the edges of this design are beveled. The TCG predominantly used a combination of the FTG and chamfered FTG.  This is a durable type of teeth design for a circular saw blade. It is used to cut laminates as well as other manufactured materials. 

Alternate Top Bevel  

The Alternate Top Bevel or ATB teeth design cuts just like a knife. It helps in scoring the wood and giving you a more refined finish. It is used for general purposes and gives you a beveled bottom. The ATB helps in crosscutting and gives you a smooth and clean cut. 

Veneers and laminates that need smoothness require an Alternate Top Bevel circular saw blade for cutting. Note that these blades are not built for speed and dull faster due to the bevel’s angle. 

Hook Angle

Hook angle shows the direction in which the tooth enters the material being cut. There are two types of hook angles, positive hook angle, and negative hook angle. In a positive hook angle, the teeth are faced forward. Whereas in a negative hook angle, they are faced backward. 

A positive hook angle helps rip and fast moves. The negative hook angle will help you in crosscutting wood. However, if you want a saw blade that helps you in ripping and crosscutting, look for zero hook angle.

Tooth Material

The saw blade material is as important as its size and safety features. The stronger the material of your blade, the more its precision in cutting the material you want. Steel is the most commonly used material for a saw blade tooth as it is strong, durable, and sharp.

In the present time, carbide is the material used for the circular saw blades. It is a combination of tungsten, cobalt, and carbon. Carbide blades are long-lasting, corrosion-free, and resistant to friction. Only, they can be brittle and difficult to sharpen once they become dull. 

Another material that can be used to make a circular saw blade is diamond. Diamond is the hardest material that we know. It is sharp, strong, and conducive to cutting hard-to-cut materials like concrete, stone, and asphalt. 

Irrespective of tooth material, plan your budget so that you can get an Anti-Friction coating on your circular saw blade. The coating is mostly of Platinum, Iridium, Teflon, Chrome, or Titanium. This coating prevents overheating, corrosion and makes the blade more durable. 

Here Are The Different Circular Saw Blade Types

There are several types of circular saw blades, each with its own pros and cons. 

1 Combination Blades

They are blades that can work for both crosscutting and parallel cutting of wood. 


  • Multipurpose
  • Durable
  • Fast


  • Doesn’t give smooth cuts
  • Not for fine work 

2 Crosscutting Blades

You use these blades especially to cut across the grain of the wood. 


  • Smaller teeth
  • Precision cutting
  • Cutting across the grain


  • Prone to overheating
  • Slow speed 

3 Dado Blades  

These are specialty blades used to cut slots at right angles. There are two styles of Dado blades. Stacked blades have two circular blades and a chipper blade stacked together. The wobble blade has a single circular blade mounted on the hub. 


  • Precision cutting
  • Smooth finish 
  • Let’s you cut grooves 


  • Prone to overheating
  • May not have accuracy in depth

4 Fine Tooth Finish Blades 

As the name suggests, these blades have fine teeth and give a smooth finish.


  • Smooth cuts
  • Fine teeth
  • Precision cuts
  • Fine detailing and splinter-free.


  • Slow speed
  • Prone to overheating

5 Hollow Ground Blades 

Hollow ground blades are used for extra-fine crosscutting. Generally, we use carbide blades for this purpose. 


  • Ultra-smooth cuts
  • Cuts coated material like laminates easily
  • Extremely sharp and precise


  • High friction levels
  • Prone to overheating
  • Wearing of the teeth is faster

6 Paneling Blades 

These are blades used for materials other than wood. 


  • Helps you cut panels
  • Used with materials like laminates, plastic, etc.


  • Rapid speed might damage your material
  • Overheats at times and needs to cool down before use

7 Plywood Blades 

These are blades used to cut plywood. Generally, they consist of approximately 40 teeth and are small in size.


  • Specifically for plywood
  • Fine cutting


  • Not used for other materials
  • Small teeth mean slower speed 
  • Prone to overheating

8 Ripping Blades 

You use these FTG blades to plow through wood. They cut along the grain only.


  • Flat teeth grind means that the ripping is easier
  • Fast speed 
  • Move through larger chips of wood


  • Don’t give a smooth finish 
  • Need extreme caution due to their immense speed
  • Wood splinters are common 

9 Thin Kerf Blades 

As the name suggests, these are circular saw blades that have a thin kerf. They help in cutting a single piece of wood several times. 


  • Minimizes wastage
  • Cutting several times on a single piece of wood
  • Requires less energy and power


  • Risk of overheating
  • Higher chance of friction and sparks
  • May not give smooth and even lines

10 Abrasive Blade

Generally, you use abrasive blades to cut masonry and cement-based materials. 


  • Cuts cement-based materials and masonry articles
  • Is inexpensive


  • Prone to friction
  • Produces sparks and can be a fire hazard

Products Recommended By Us 

Circular saw blades are handy when you need to finish an interior project or any other construction-related work. Here are three products that we recommend.

Freud D0760A Diablo 

The Freud D0760A Diablo is a circular saw blade that gives an ultra-fine finishing. It has a diameter of 7 ¼ inches and is made of carbide. It is a 4.8-ounce blade that you can use to cut plywood, softwood, and hardwood. 

The circular blade has a rating of 4.8/ 5 on Amazon. It cuts a wide range of materials and gives an ultra-smooth finish.

DeWalt DWA171460 

DeWalt DWA1714607 is a thin kerf circular saw blade of 7 ¼ inch diameter. It is useful for an underpowered circular saw. The saw blade has minimum wastage and gives fine cuts and a smooth finish. 

This 9-ounce blade is made of carbide and can cut plastic. It is rated at 4.8/5 on Amazon. 

Irwin Tools Marathon (24030)

Irwin circular saw blade with FTG is an excellent product for ripping and framing wood. It is used generally for softwood and is a 1.6- ounce carbide blade. It helps cut plywood like butter and rapidly too. 

Rated an astounding 4.7/5 on Amazon, this blade comes highly recommended for your circular saw. 

Summing Up

While we recommend these circular saw blades, do read the tips to keep in mind while purchasing your circular saw blade. Each blade has a unique purpose. You have to choose the right one based on your need and project.

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