Newb Question on Table Saw Blade - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-06-2017, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Newb Question on Table Saw Blade

I have prefaced most of my posts that I am a "rank newb", but even with that disclaimer, I almost feel silly asking this question. How do you tell if a table saw blade is dull? I asked my dad and he said that the cut will probably have swirl marks on the blade side of the cut. Anyway, how can I tell? Thanks
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-06-2017, 04:24 PM
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That is a difficult question to answer. If it's real dull you can look close at the teeth and see and feel the dullness of the blade. It may also burn the edges of the wood or smoke when cutting. If it's only a little dull you would have to have experience with a sharp blade so you could feel the difference in how hard you have to push the wood through to make the cut.

The best thing to do if you only have one blade is to buy a new blade and try it. You will need a blade to use while you are having a dull one sharpened anyway.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-06-2017, 06:27 PM
where's my table saw?
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my blade won't cut ...

There are several variables in effect when a blade won't cut... I did not say it's dull, yet.

Too many teeth, a fine tooth blade, will not rip down the length easily, it will heat up and start to burn to wood and it may make swirl marks on the wood. If you know the history of the blade and it's only been used by you, on your saw then hopefully it hasn't been abused. A unknown sourced blade is more of a gamble.

Wood that has a lot of gum or pitch like Pine will cause a blade to heat up and not cut well. It's best to start with a blade that has all the gum removed, by scrubbing with a brass brush and some "purple" Simple Green in a pie pan. Let is soak for a hour or so.

Other woods are quite hard like Rosewood and require a very sharp blade. Cross cutting and ripping are two different types of cuts and you may need two different blades, one for each.

Blades have different "sets" or offsets on the teeth. Search for saw blade types and you'll see this. One way to tell if a blade is dull is to look at the teeth and see if there is any reflected light on the cutting edge of each tooth. A sharp edge will not reflect light.

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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 07-06-2017 at 06:53 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-06-2017, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. I think I'll just get new blades for both saws and be done with it, then have the others sharpened. What tooth count and brand should I buy? I'll be ripping mainly pine boards. I cross cut with the miter saw. I'm on a couple of other boards, but this one is the best. Thanks
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-06-2017, 08:35 PM
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That's a really good question. I ask myself the same question each time the table saw gets used... "Is it time for a new blade, or will this get me through one more project?"

The first time I purchased a new table saw blade, I literally drew blood a couple of times while mounting it. At that point it was clear to me what a sharp blade was, LOL!
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