Table Saw Blade Recommendations

Over at ToolGuyd when talking about Miter Saws and Jobsite Table Saws the issue that comes often comes up is the stock blade that typically comes with the saw. Probably so as to offer the saw at a competitive price – manufacturers typically sell a table saw with marginal combination blade – and a chopsaw/miter saw with a blade more useful for cutting construction lumber rather than trim.

Over the years I have found a few favorite saw blades for use on my Unisaw – and some thin kerf blades that I use on my portable saw (Bosch 4100). I still have a batch of old blades around - but once I latched onto the Forrest and Freud brands - the old Simmonds / Systimatic blades got sidelined

What’s normally mounted on the Unisaw is:

In the Full Kerf Category I also use – for different tasks:

For My jobsite Bosch saw I use thin kerf blades and have this mounted

and have these stored away for different uses:

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I’ve looked at the Forrest blades before but I could never justify the price, especially when Freud blades have served me well. I know their service is second to none but I use a Sharpener that I bring all my dull blades to every couple of years to have serviced. They are certified to regrind Freud blades.

The one Marathon blade I won from some contest a while ago worked okay for a $20- 25 blade, until I broke one of the carbide teeth when the blade hit my miter bar (stupid mistake, picked up the miter gauge before the blade stopped spinning). It wasn’t worth the money to have it fixed and when I talked to the sharpener, he said that there could be fractured joints that weren’t apparent that could break when I’m using it.

With an under powered benchtop saw, I’ve thought about going thin kerf to cut thicker material, but I’d have to replace the custom riving knife I made. I’m also curious if the cut quailty is as good with a thinner blade. If the blade can flex I’m worried about the cut not being as straight. When I have everything all dialed in I can get glue quality joints with a standard kerf Freud blade.

Speaking of stock blades, the 24 tooth dewalt blade that came with the saw was an okay blade for construction, but when I started cutting hardwoods I found the Freud blades didn’t burn.

Someday I’ll pick up a plastic cutting blade too. I had minimal melting with a standard blade, but enough so the edges have to be deburred.

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I’m pretty sure the first blade that came with my Unisaw back in the 70’s was a steel blade - no carbide teeth. Over the years I believe that materials (different carbide), blade plate design (things like stiffness, thin kerf, laser-cut anti-vibration slots etc.), tooth geometries for different uses, and tooth to plate attachment methods have all improved. IMO companies like Forrest in the USA, Freud in Italy, Tenryu in Japan and Carbide Processors in the USA all make high quality carbide-tipped blades. Early on I recall buying SystiMatic - and Simonds blades - and I think the 2 companies actually merged at one time.
You don’t hear much about either one at the retail level - so I don’t know if they are still making 10 inch blades or any consumer products. Over recent years I’ve seen advertisements for blades from companies like Amana, Infinity Cutting Tools, Guhdo, Oshlun, and Trend Technologies claiming premium performance - but I personally keep getting my Forrest and Freud blades re-sharpened - sticking with what I know. In the businesses - we had also used blades manufactured by Carbide Processors, and Duraline Blades form Forrest that lasted and performed very well.

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I thought that I’d add a list of the 12 inch blades I mount on my Bosch GCM12SD:

What’s normally in place is:

I use these other blades for special cuts:

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Some additional different sorts of blades that I’ve seen but have not tried out:

10 inch

12 inch

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