Welcome to our big circular saw blade test 2021. Here we present all the circular saw blades that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best circular saw blade for you.
You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a circular saw blade.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The Best Circular Saw Blade: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a circular saw blade
- 5 Decision: What types of circular saw blades are there and which is the right one for you?
- 5.1 How do CS/CV blades work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.2 How do carbide blades work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.3 How does an NF blade work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.4 How do saw blades for metalworking work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
- 6 Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate circular saw blades
- 7 Facts worth knowing about circular saw blades
The most important facts
- Circular saw blades played a major role in your sawing success. Your saw can be as good as it is - without the right saw blade, the cutting results will still not be as good as they could be.
- Circular saw blades must always be adapted to the respective sawing material. For example, you need a different saw blade for wood than for aluminium.
- The manufacturer of your saw determines which circular saw blades you can use - the saw blades must have the right diameter and the right bore.
The Best Circular Saw Blade: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a circular saw blade
Which saw do I have?
Below we show you some of the different saw types. Hand-held circular saw: Hand-held circular saw blades usually have a blade diameter of 160 to 190 mm, depending on the manufacturer's specifications. Circular table saw: Circular saw blades for circular table saws are in many cases larger than for circular hand saws. They usually have a diameter of around 250 mm with a bore of 30 mm. Tilting saw: Tilting saw blades must be suitable for thick firewood logs. They usually have a fairly large diameter, from 400 mm upwards.
Band saw blades, jigsaw blades, fret saw blades and saw blades for scroll saws as well as reciprocating saws are not covered here because of their different mode of operation.
What does a circular saw blade cost?
Which circular saw blades for which application?
Which saw blade for wood?
When it comes to saw blades for wood, it always depends on what you want to cut and, above all, how you want to cut it. Basically, the cleaner the cuts, the more teeth the saw blade should have. If you only want to cut your work quickly and with a rough (lengthwise) cut, then a wood saw blade with 16 or 24 teeth is sufficient. An example of this would be work with roof battens or firewood.
For clean (cross) cuts, however, you need more teeth; 36 should be enough, and for extremely clean and fine cuts and work you can even use saw blades with over 70 teeth.
Especially for coated chipboard, furniture or parquet and laminate flooring, you should use more teeth.
Which saw blade for metal and plastic?
If you want to cut metal, you should first find out whether your circular saw is suitable for this purpose. If not, it is better to use a metal circular saw. For plastic, aluminium and generally non-ferrous metals (such as copper, zinc, bronze and brass), you should use circular saw blades that are explicitly stated by the manufacturer to be suitable for these purposes.
They usually have a high number of teeth, at least more than 50. You should be careful with these workpieces anyway, as they are not very hard. So saw carefully. There are also circular saw blades for "normal" metals, steel and stainless steel.
The number of teeth usually varies depending on what the user wants to cut. Basically, however, they are very stable and some are suitable for dry cutters. These are extremely solid metal saws. One of the most useful accessories for a hand-held circular saw is the guide rail. It makes precise cuts child's play. They have a rubber lip to minimise fraying of the material.
Decision: What types of circular saw blades are there and which is the right one for you?
Basically, you can distinguish between four types of circular saw blades:
- CS/CV blades
- HM blades
- NF blades
- Blades for metal
For the (hobby) do-it-yourselfer, the hand-held circular saw is a very useful tool for making long cuts in various materials. It does not matter whether it is wood, plastics or - with the right saw blade - even metal.
In addition to a well-functioning hand-held circular saw, the right saw blade is crucial for an optimal result. Important criteria for the selection are the material to be processed, the area of application, the cutting depth and, above all, the teeth. There are also sub-criteria for the teeth, such as the type of set, the width, the shape and, last but not least, the tooth position. The depth of cut means the maximum chip thickness that a single tooth removes on its way through the material.
In setting, the tips of the teeth are bent outwards and then ground. The teeth are subjected to a lot of stress in the area of the tips and therefore tend to dull and overheat very quickly. The number of teeth influences the cutting quality and the necessary feed forces. The number of teeth must always be seen in relation to the diameter of the saw blade.
The width and shape of the teeth also influence the cutting quality and determine whether even a fine cut is possible with it. The aggressiveness of the cut, on the other hand, is determined by the tooth position and must therefore always be matched to your material.
If all this is well matched to your upcoming work, it can advance the progress of the work considerably and improve the quality of the cuts. The following section briefly explains the differences between the various types so that you can decide for yourself which circular saw blade is right for you. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of saw blade are also described in detail.
How do CS/CV blades work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
CS/CV blades are also called set wolf tooth saw blades and are mainly used for firewood processing. However, using the circular saw blades for hardwood is not recommended, as the blades are rather useless for harder wood. It is rather designed for working with soft wood and promises a high cutting quality there.
A particular advantage of these circular saw blades is that the blunted blades can be sharpened yourself and therefore do not have to be constantly re-purchased for frequent use. However, it should be mentioned that the blades wear out faster compared to other types. Accordingly, the cutting quality is also strongly related to the sharpness of the blade.
The saw blade is made of chrome vanadium steel. Vanadium is known for its ductility, which is enormously important for a circular saw blade. The extraordinary thing about the CS/CV blades is that the main blade and the teeth are made of the same material. During production, the teeth are first set, then hardened and finally ground.
Because of its elasticity, the chrome steel allows for very sharply ground teeth with high aggressiveness. If CV blades are not resharpened regularly, the increased friction of the blunted teeth will make the saw blade unusable by annealing the tips of the teeth. Due to the short service life with hardwoods and composites, CV blades are now only rarely used.
How do carbide blades work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
TCT blades - also called carbide blades - are blades tipped with carbide. This feature provides more stability, durability and thus an increase in overall performance. However, the circular saw blades are only suitable for processing wood.
The blades are suitable for both softwood and hardwood and in this respect are very flexible in their areas of application. However, care should be taken to ensure that there are no foreign bodies in the wood. This would result in immediate tooth breakage, as the blade reacts very sensitively to foreign bodies.
When blunting the blade, it is not possible to sharpen it manually yourself. Therefore, you have to have it sharpened by a specialist at a high cost. A cheaper alternative would be to buy a new blade directly. The flexible carbide blades are designed to perform longitudinal and cross cuts cleanly. This is a particularly important feature, as both types of cut are difficult to cut in different ways and place different demands on the saw blade.
With carbide blades, additional carbide plates are soldered onto the main blade as teeth. The carbide teeth are made of tungsten, tantalum, titanium, cobalt or carbide and have the properties that they are highly heat-resistant and remain sharp for a long time. Because of this, they have a long service life, especially with hardwoods and composites.
These properties have led to HM blades almost completely displacing CS/CV blades from the market. The saw blades are made of elastic steel, which makes the blades very flexible and stable and they only give way in the case of solid foreign bodies.
How does an NF blade work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
An NF blade is a nail-resistant carbide blade that describes circular saw blades that are suitable for wood with foreign bodies. NF blades combine the advantages of a carbide blade with an additional, but only limited nail resistance. In this case, conditional means that the blade is designed for wood and cannot cut metal pieces, but can cut smaller foreign bodies such as nails or screws.
However, the nail resistance has to be accepted in the form of a somewhat lower cutting performance than with the simple carbide blades. This type of circular saw blade is rather a hybrid model that combines extremely sharp carbide teeth with the ability to cut wood with foreign bodies.
In combination with an optimal cutting angle, clean and tear-free cuts can be achieved without damaging the wood or the blade. As a result, the NF blade has a long service life and can also be recycled in an environmentally friendly way in the event of damage or wear.
A new purchase is more cost-intensive than with CS/CV and carbide blades and also involves higher maintenance costs. The functional principle of the NF blade is very similar to that of the HM blade.
The teeth are made of hard metals such as tungsten, tantalum, titanium, cobalt or carbides and are therefore very heat-resistant and durable. The cutting bodies are also subjected to a special treatment and receive a special grinding. This makes the saw blade largely nail-resistant, particularly aggressive and sharp.
How do saw blades for metalworking work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
Blades for metalworking are universal saw blades. You can use them to cut most non-alloy and low-alloy steels, as well as most non-ferrous metals. The processing of aluminium, steel and copper is also possible in dimensions. These are mainly HM blades, which are known for their performance and durability.
With the help of NF blades, a variety of hard materials can thus be cut through without damaging the blade itself. It must be mentioned, however, that there are strong differences in quality when it comes to saw blades for metalworking. With low-quality products, it is possible that after a few cuts in normal structural steel, the blades are blunt and unusable.
The toothing of saw blades for metal processing depends on the purpose of use and the material. It can be said that saw blades for materials with a high wall thickness should have a lower toothing. The thinner the wall thickness or the sheets to be processed, the more teeth a saw blade must have.
If you are constantly processing special materials such as steel, copper, aluminium and plastics, you should use special saw blades optimised for this purpose. When mounting your saw blade, make sure you use it in the correct direction of rotation, as a cut in the wrong direction could immediately render your saw blade unusable.
Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate circular saw blades
When choosing a saw blade, you should consider many important factors. In the following, we explain what you should look for when buying a circular saw blade. Here is an initial overview:
- Diameter and saw blade bore
- Number and shape of teeth
- Quality grade
- Maximum number of revolutions
And now we will go into the individual points in detail.
As a rule, a distinction is made between chrome vanadium saw blades and carbide saw blades. Chrome vanadium saw blades are manufactured in one piece. This means that they are stamped out of a metal plate.
This means that the body and teeth are made of the same material, namely steel. Since the production is therefore cheaper, you can get these saw blades quite cheaply. But the disadvantage is that they wear out quickly and are not durable.
Nowadays, carbide saw blades are most commonly used. These are also called "HW", hard metal material. They are not made from one piece, but are a combination of different materials.
For example, the body is made of steel, while the teeth are made of carbide. This is why carbide blades are usually more solid and durable than CV blades - they are also more versatile.
Although safety measures are now very sophisticated, there is still a risk of injury. The circular saw is one of the main causes of accident annuities or the like. Care should definitely be taken when handling a circular saw.
Diameter and saw blade bore
The diameter of the saw blade and its bore are specified by the manufacturer of your saw and must be observed. The diameter of the circular saw blade is adapted to the respective saw and is specified by the manufacturer.
Circular saw blades for circular table saws, for example, are usually larger than those for circular hand saws. The diameter of the saw blade hole refers to the hole in the centre of the blade. This is used to clamp the saw blade onto the circular saw. Again, the manufacturer's specifications apply here.
However, you can sometimes play a little trick in this area: The diameter can be reduced with insert rings, so that you can also use saw blades that are actually unsuitable.
Teeth: number, shape, chip space and rake angle
The saw blade teeth are a very important factor. The number of teeth determines how cleanly you cut. Different tooth shapes are suitable for different cuts.
Regarding the number of teeth, you should consider the following point: The more teeth the saw blade has, the finer and cleaner the cuts will be. But the slower you cut.
For example, wood: If you only want to cut your workpiece quickly and with a rough (lengthwise) cut, then a wood saw blade with 16 or 24 teeth is sufficient. For clean (cross) cuts, however, you need more teeth; 36 should be enough, and for extremely clean and fine cuts and work you can even use saw blades with over 70 teeth.
There are two main types of tooth shape: On the one hand, alternate tooth blades (WZ), and on the other, flat tooth blades (FZ). Alternate teeth are ideal for making cross-sections. With flat teeth, on the other hand, perfect longitudinal cuts can be achieved.
But of course you can also use one blade for both activities. With a positive tooth angle, you can saw quickly and easily - but the workpiece is more likely to fray. With a negative tilt, the angle is very shallow and sawing takes longer. However, you can saw hard materials better with it.
There are different quality grades for the precision of circular saw blades. But be careful: These do not give any information about the quality of the saw blades, but only about the precision of the cuts.
- 1 or A: Very rough cuts. Suitable for fast longitudinal and cross cuts in softwood, hardwood and for coarse chipboard
- 2 or B: Coarse cuts. Suitable for longitudinal and cross cuts in softwood, hardwood, for coarse chipboard, shuttering boards and plywood
- 3 or C: Fine cuts. Suitable for cross cuts in softwood, hardwood, plywood, coated chipboard and parquet
- 4 or D: Very fine cuts. Suitable for cross cuts in softwood, hardwood, plywood, parquet, single and double-sided coated chipboard, MDF and fibre materials.
Maximum number of revolutions
The manufacturer of your saw always states the maximum number of revolutions per minute the machine can perform. There are also such values for circular saw blades. You should always make sure that the values match. If a saw blade can only handle a few revolutions, but you have a very fast saw, the wear on the blade will be very high.
Facts worth knowing about circular saw blades
How can I sharpen my circular saw blade?
If the circular saw blade is blunt, you can no longer saw properly and your safety is no longer guaranteed. Therefore, you should either buy a new one or try sharpening your old saw blade - either yourself or professionally.
First, however, you should bear one thing in mind: Most of today's saw blades can no longer be sharpened by yourself. These have hardened teeth that are just as hard as saw files. In this case, you should use a diamond file or a sharpener or grinder. However, if your saw blade is suitable and you want to sharpen it by hand, proceed as follows:
- Dressing: You bring the teeth, which now have different lengths, back to the same length, for example with a flat file.
- Shaping: Then shape the teeth with a triangular file, for example, until they have the same shape again
- Setting: Now bend the teeth alternately on both sides. This way the saw cut will be wider than the blade and the blade will not jam during sawing. A suitable tool is a setter's pliers.
- Sharpening: Now sharpen the circular saw blade with a triangular file.
Remember: You do not always have to carry out all these steps. Take a close look at your saw blade and decide where to start. Or you can have the saw blades professionally sharpened by a sharpening service. This saves you a lot of effort - but of course it costs. Of course, you can also sharpen your saw blades yourself using a grinding and sharpening device, but then you first have to make an investment.
Photo source: Tyler Olson