The right blade can be just as important as the right saw! Picking the correct 12 inch miter saw blade can be tricky. There are many types and sizes of circular saw blades, but which one fits my saw? Further mire which type fits the material I’m using?
The short answer is that you need to find a 12 inch blade that works with the material you’re cutting. Typically a fine tooth blade for trim, and something more aggressive for lumber cuts. Below we’ll discuss in detail everything you need to consider.
For more reference, check out Dewalt’s listings for their variety of circular saw blades for wood *Note that not all the blades listed there are for miter saws*
You need to know that circular saw blades is a huge category of blade types. Luckily we only need to look at a few types.
Circular blades are used to cut everything from concrete, plastics, metal and wood. Some blades are meant for higher speeds. Some need water cooling, some are abrasive and have no teeth. Others will have many teeth, others will have fewer spaced out.
The Correct 12 Inch Miter Saw Blade
First, you need to find the correct size. Miter saw blades are 10 inch and 12 inch. You must use the correct size! Check the blade on your saw and it will tell you its size. Today, we’re looking at 12 inch miter saw blades.
Tooth count matters. Most saw blades you will see will run from about 50-100 teeth. The more teeth the finer the cut and less likely you will have tear out. For example, if you’re cutting trim, you’ll want a higher tooth count. This will give the pieces you cut a nicer finish that will show when it is installed.
If you are cutting lumber such as standard 2x4s for framing a wall, you will want to use a different type of blade. For lumber you will want to use a blade that cuts through the material quickly. Minor tear out is normal if you’re cutting 2x4s for framing so it won’t be as big of a deal.
A blade with 50-60 teeth will work nicely. If you were to use a 100 tooth blade, the cut will take much longer, and you might end up burning the material. Will both types of blade cut both types of material? Yes, but let’s use the correct blade type to get the job done right!
On top of efficiency and quality of cut, your safety is an important part of choosing the right blade!
If you were to try to cut a piece of lumber with an abrasive blade, the blade may get stuck and kick the material around your work area, or worse, in to you! Not only will using the right blade make your work better and quicker, it’ll be safer as well.
Cutting fine material with a rugged blade with a low tooth count might result in splintering. Take a few moments to consider your safety, it only takes a moment to choose the right blade, you body might thank you!
If you’ve been using your current 12 inch miter saw blade for a while now, it might be time to replace it! Blades can dull over time or become damaged. Build up on the teeth can also occur depending on the material you’ve been cutting.
If your blade show significant wear it will be time to replace. If you have missing or damaged teeth, you to replace it immediately. A missing tooth will only cause extra tear out and damage to the material. On top of this it will not cut as quickly.
If your blade is in good structural condition, but is just dull, there are options to sharpen your blade. This can give new life to an old blade and save you money! Ensure that your blade is still in good condition and not damaged.
Similarly, cleaning your blade will also give it a new lease on life. Your blade might seem like it is dull and needs a sharpen. It might be the case that you simply need to clean the blade with a cleaning solution and a stiff brush. Wood resin can build up and dull your blade. You might find that after a simple cleaning you blade is renewed and sharp again.
Remember, significant wear means you need to replace the blade as cleaning and sharpening will not be enough to restore it.
How many different types of blade do you need?
That answer relies on your personal needs. A professional who needs to make many versatile cuts on a variety of materials needs many different blades. A professional who uses their miter saw only for trim will want a couple precision blades with a high tooth count.
If you’re a homeowner who only needs to use their saw occasionally for a variety of projects that only need a few cuts, one fine blade and one with a lower tooth count will likely service your needs.
See what your needs are and plan accordingly. The right 12 inch miter saw blade will not only result in a better finished product, but it will be more efficient and safer!