If the saw blade is out of balance, out of round, dull on one side, or being improperly tensioned, it can result in an inferior cut quality. Here are some other factors that can affect the quality of the cut.

1 Saw tooth profile and shape.

The saw tooth profile and the straightness of the tooth grind will affect the cut quality. The angle and design of a tooth factors into blade speed, cut quality and the type of material it can cut.

2 Gullet size and shape.

This determines the amount of waste material that passes through the saw. Waste material in the gullets as well as pitch buildup on the sides of the blade can cause it to overheat and ruin the blade.

3 Hook angle.

The greater the hook angle, the more the blade wants to climb into the wood, and the rougher the cut (more tear-out). Conversely, the  smaller the hook angle, the more force it takes to push the blade into the wood. For crosscutting saw blades, 10 degrees to 15 degrees is a common hook angle.

4 Blade plate thickness.

The plate of a saw blade is often 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. A thinner plate means that there is less sawdust and potentially less waste. However, thin blades, often called thin-kerf blades, are very sensitive to heating and wobbling, which in can lead to non-straight (wavy or snaky) cuts. As a result some woodworkers may opt for a thicker and therefore stiffer plate.

5 Tensioning.

Saw blades are pre-tensioned during manufacture to take on a true, flat shape when spinning. Check the blade for its trueness by thumping it with your finger while suspending it through the hole. A true saw blade has little ring. The more ring, the more standing wave it has. Standing wave is a saw blade deformation that causes an hourglass-shaped throat plate cut.

Saw blade wobbling caused by standing wave can have a serious affect on the cut quality. Keep in mind, however, that even a perfectly flat plate can wobble if there is not proper tension.

6 Blade flatness.

Once the blade is mounted on the arbor, it should be flat. When turned by hand, it should not have any sizeable wobble or drift. Use a dial indicator to check this.

Source: TigerStop. For more information call (360) 254-0661 or visit TigerStop.com.

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