VENICE, ITALY -- IRWIN Tools, a division of Newell Rubbermaid and manufacturer of professional-grade hand tools and power tool accessories, plans to launch a new line of circular saw blades. These new high performance, precision laser-cut, thin kerf saw blades, debuting under the popular Marples brand, are aimed at the fine woodworking market.

A few features of the new saw blades include: oversized carbide teeth; a heat-resistant, non-stick coating and the ability to be resharpened. They are available in several sizes: 10-inch diameter with 24-, 40-, 50-, 60-, 80- and 84-tooth count; 12-inch diameter with 40-, 60-, 80-, 96- and 100-tooth count as well as an 8-inch stacked dado set.

According to Curt Rahilly, vice president of marketing, the new Marples Woodworking Series Saw Blades, allow IRWIN to fill a gap in its product offerings -- tooling for the higher end market.

The company had been searching for products to market to the "discerning woodworker" for some time. Approximately one year ago IRWIN executives met with Piergiorgio "Giorgio" Pozzo who has extensive experience in saw blade manufacturing -- his family founded Freud Tools. After separating from the company in 2005, Pozzo acquired FLAI, an Italian firm known for its high-end saw blades. When Pozzo took over FLAI, he moved its manufacturing plant to Udine, Italy into a high-tech, 3,000-square-meter (approximately 32,000 square feet) facility.

In March, IRWIN acquired FLAI and it will now manufacture the Marples Woodworking Series Saw Blades in its state-of-the-art pristine facility with bright lights and gleaming white floors, which help shop workers check for accuracy in their numerous quality checks, says Pozzo.

The Marples Woodworking Series Saw Blades will be available in the United States in June at Lowe's hardware stores with additional distribution channels to be announced later. 

Video: IRWIN Tools Saw Blade Factory Tour

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.