When you need to buy a miter saw blade, you quickly find out there are very many details in the specifications and start wondering if you are buying the correct product for the job you want to get done.
How to pick a miter saw blade?
Well, there are some essential general concepts you should know because they allow you to figure out, or at least have a good approximation, or the blade you need.
There are blades with fewer teeth and blades with many teeth. The number of teeth has to do with the kind of cut the blade will do. The blade with the more teeth will have a finer, smoother cut than a blade with fewer teeth. On the other hand, a blade with fewer teeth will cut rougher but much faster. So, if finishing of the cut is not an essential issue for you, go for fewer teeth. This is the case, for example, when the surface of the cut is going to be seen in the final product. The number of teeth varies from 24 to 100 in the blades available in the market.
Another important specification you should know is the teeth design because of their important differences in the shape of the teeth, the space between them, and the inclination they have. This spec will also influence the speed and the finishing of the cut because it will change the amount of material the blade will remove from the cut surface.
In this case, the most common spec is ATB, which stands for Alternate Teeth Bevel. It provides a sharp point and cutting edge for improved cut quality. ATB is widely used for hardboard, fiberboard, cross-cutting wood, plywood, veneer, and particleboard.
Kerf is the width of the teeth at its widest point, which determines the width of the cut. The thin kerf blades produce less resistance to cut but are more prone to vibrate or wobble, movements that will show in the finishing of the cut. Miter saw blades, in general, produce thin or ultra-thin kerf. The coating is intended to reduce the movement of the blade during the cutting.
Some models specify the Arbor, which is the diameter of the bolt that keeps the blade into the machine. There are 1” and 5/8” arbor bolts. Miter saw blades come in ten or twelve inches diameter. In this article, we are focusing on the best 12-inch miter saw blades.
Here you have comments about some products available in the market to help you select which one fits your needs:
Forrest – CM12806115 Chopmaster
The Forrest has 80 teeth, ATB, thin kerf. This is a quality wood cutting blade that will last very long if properly maintained. It has a perfect balance of cutting teeth, angle and thickness for the majority of the miter works. It can cut through hardwood types and still yield a fine finishing.
This blade is made in America, not imported. The negative side is the price, which has an important extra when compared to others.
CMT – 219.090.12 Industrial Sliding Compound Miter & Radial Saw Blade
The CMT is a blade with 90 teeth for smooth cuts that also have the coating, PTFE is this case, to reduce the movement of the blade during the job.
Due to the number of teeth and the coating, this blade makes very little noise compared to others with little vibration as well. It has very good user reviews but requires care not to let it fall because it may get easily damaged.
Freud – LU91R012 – Sliding 12-inch Miter Saw Blade with 1 In. Arbor
This blade from Freud has 72 teeth, ATB teeth design and a thin kerf for smooth cuts in plywood, laminate, and chipboard. It also has a low noise performance due to its coating.
By the way, the coating is also a protection against corrosion and pitch build-up. It requires sharpening frequently for improved performance.
Makita – A-94817 – Ultra Coated 12-inch Miter Saw Blade
With 100 teeth and ultra-thin kerf, the Makita is the ideal blade for fine cutting of hardwood. It is very quiet due to the number of teeth, the thickness of the blade and the coating. At $ 68, it has a great relation between cost and benefit. It cuts like a katana going through butter.
You have to handle this blade with care when assembling or removing it from your saw in order to avoid damaging the teeth.
DeWalt – DW3128P5 – Crosscutting 12-inch Miter Saw Blade
DeWalt is also a traditional manufacturer of miter saws. This blade has 80 teeth, thin kerf for the smooth cut. The pack of two blades, in fact, comes with one blade of 80 teeth and one blade of 32 teeth for rougher cuts. It requires less sharpening than most of the competition products because it is made of tough tungsten carbide.
This product is backed by a 3-year limited warranty. This is not a high-performance blade as chipping or tear-out may happen when cutting almost any kind of lumber.
Hitachi – 115436 – Fine Finish VPR 12″
Although Hitachi is a well known Japanese brand for the hardware of many different natures, this product is made in China. With 80 teeth and thin kerf, this blade is ideal for plywood, softwood, MDF and hardwood cuts.
It also has an acceptable quality for the price you are paying. It might be a better idea to have the blade replaced instead of sharpened.
Neiko – 10768A – Carbide Tipped 80 Tooth
This Neiko blade comes with 80 carbides tipped teeth for more resistance to abrasion. It is a blade for hard cuts due to its material and sharpness.
It is the cheapest blade of our selection but yields an acceptable performance for the price you are paying. You will feel more vibration and the cut will not be as smooth as those of other selections.
Yes, there is a lot to choose from when it comes to 12-inch miter saw blades. Have clearly in mind the kind of work you are going to do with the blade now that you have learned about the specifications and have seen some good examples. As general recommendations, let the blade carry on with the work, do not try to force the blade into the wood and, also, remember that treated lumber has a more moisture content than the construction lumber, so use the lower tooth blade even for small cuts.
This is a quality wood cutting blade that will last very long if properly maintained. It has a perfect balance of cutting teeth, angle and thickness for the majority of the miter works.
Last update on 2022-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API