All About Saw Blades

Saw Blades 101


  • Expert Die | Saw Blades 101Heel - The end closest to the handle.
  • Toe - The end farthest from the handle.
  • Teeth - Small, sharp protrusions along the cutting side of the saw.
  • Gullet - The valley between the points of the teeth.
  • Rake - The angle of the front face of the tooth relative to a line perpendicular to the length of the saw. Teeth designed to cut with the grain (ripping) are generally steeper than teeth designed to cut across the grain (crosscutting)
  • Teeth per inch - An alternative measurement of the frequency of teeth on a saw blade. Usually abbreviated TPI, as in, "A blade consisting of 18TPI." [Compare points per inch.]
  • Kerf - The width of a saw cut, which depends on several factors: the width of the saw blade; the set of the blade's teeth; the amount of wobble created during cutting; and the amount of material pulled out of the sides of the cut. Although the term "kerf" is often used, to refer simply to the width of the saw blade, or to the width of the set, this can be misleading, because blades with the same thickness and set may create different kerfs.
  • Arbor - The saw motor shaft that rotates the saw blade. Often referred to as the mandrel.
  • Bevel - Angles on a carbide tooth blade. Teeth can have a single bevel, double bevel or no bevel at all. Types of bevels can alternate from tooth to tooth on a given blade. The bevel is what gives the blade its specific cutting pattern.
  • Combination saw blade - A blade used for both ripping (cutting with the grain of the wood) and crosscutting (cutting across the grain).
  • Crosscut - To cut or saw against of the grain of the wood.
  • Cutter - Outside blades used in dadoes.
  • Dado - A flat-bottomed recessed cut made across the grain of a board. Also, a set of blades used to produce precision grooves.
  • General purpose saw blade - A saw blade with a lower tooth count. Used primarily for fast crosscutting and ripping.


Expert Die | Saw FTG

 FTG – Flat top teeth are used on blades are used for ripping wood with the grain. A flat top grind (FTG) is good for removing large chips from the kerf, and is a good grind that tends to keep good edge life. The FTG is commonly found on ripping blades with a steep positive hook angle and lower tooth count, typically 10 to 30 teeth.


Expert Die | Saw ATB

 ATB – Alternate Top Bevel (ATB) is a grind that features a bevel across the top of the tooth that angles from the outside in, alternating between left side and right side. The angle of the bevel could vary from about 10° to approximately 20°. The bevel helps reduce tear out on cross grain and plywood cuts, is reasonably durable, and can still be useful at ripping with the grain. The ATB grind is used as a general purpose blade.


Expert Die | Saw FTG


H-ATB – Teeth with a top bevel of roughly 25° or higher are commonly referred to as High Alternate Top Bevel grinds. H-ATB is useful for very clean cuts in plywood, laminates, melamine, veneers, and ultra fine crosscuts in hardwood.



Expert Die | Saw TCG

TCG – The triple chip grind (TCG) also combines two different tooth grinds in one blade – a flat top grind and a trapezoidal top grind, which is essentially a flat top tooth with chamfered top. The TCG alternates between a flat top “raker” and a trapezoidal top tooth which is slightly higher than the raker tooth. The TCG is durable, and has low chip out in brittle materials, which makes it good for cutting metals, laminate flooring, very hard woods, abrasive materials, and teak. Good for high volume projects.


Expert Die | Saw Combination Teeth

Combination Tooth (4-1) - Four ATB teeth and one flat-ground tooth. The group is divided by a large gullet. Combo (4-1) are design is used on combination blades for ripping and crosscutting. Works well on solid wood, composites and man-made panels



Expert Die | Saw Positive - Negative Hook AnglePOSITIVE - NEGATIVE (HOOK ANGLE)

Positive hook angle blades (0° to 20°) are aggressive blades because the teeth are biting into the wood at a steeper angle.

Negative hook angle (-5° to 0°) are less aggressive cutters, which offers
you more control over the of saw and cut.

What Our Customers Say...

  • I take this moment to extend to you an expression of gratitude for donating three new blades, and the sharpening of nine saw blades for Hogar Escuela Adventista in El Salvador, Central America. It was a delightful trip that 14 of us made to the orphanage during the first two weeks of December. Read More
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