Are circular saw blades universal or interchangeable? I have always asked this question until recently. So, the other day I wanted to replace blades on my circular saw and this question hit me.
So, are circular saw blades universal or interchangeable? Well, no. The reason is that there are no blades that can fit perfectly in different circular saw models. Consequently, some blades don’t fit in any other circular saw model. Therefore, the blades are not interchangeable because of the type of circular saw blade you are using.
Circular saws are common in home renovation projects. The saw will only serve you well if you have high-quality blades.
In this regard, go for a quality carbide-tipped blade if you want precise cuts. Carbide-tipped blades are affordable and easy to sharpen.
The blades are designed to be used on solid wood. Carbide blades can cut better than steel blades.
How Effective Are Circular Saw Blades?
Provided you fit the circular saw with the correct blade, it can cut different materials including plywood, softwood, hardwood, plastic laminate, wood siding, etc.
There are safety precautions to observe when using the circular saw blades to avoid injuries.
Circular saw blades come in different models. Some models have retractable blade guards to protect you from cutting materials being thrown at the sides and top of the circular saw.
However, larger circular saws are open under the base, and you need to use them with extreme care.
It is advisable to wear ear, eye, and lung protection gear regardless of the type of circular saw blade you are using.
The most important feature in the circular saw is the blade. Your blade has the power to cut plywood, plastic laminate, or concrete.
However, it can only do the work is the blade is ideal.
Identify the material you want to cut into, then choose the right circular saw blade.
You can generalize the blade category you want to buy. If you want to cut wood, narrow your search to wood cutting saw blades.
Select the blade size you need depending on the kind of finish you want.
Are circular Saw Blades Universal?
Below are things to consider when looking for interchangeable saw blades.
Different blades have different diameters. You probably already know it already. The blade size must not exceed 10”.
The blade diameter should not exceed the maximum allowed diameter designed for the circular saw.
If you buy a smaller blade, know that it reduces the maximum cutting depth. However, it can still work in your circular saw.
If you are in doubt, use the manufacturer guide of the circular saw and check the blade size currently on your circular saw.
The size of your shaft or the center hole in your blade matters.
Mostly, 10” blades have 5/8” arbors. Some people put spaces in larger arbors, which may work, but it is a safety risk.
I strongly advise that you don’t do it as it is dangerous. Arbor size is measured in mm (millimeters).
The diameter reduces with the reduction in bushes.
The blade revolution per minute should not exceed the maximum recommended for the circular saw.
Exceeding the recommendation risks damaging the blade as it may come apart when in use.
Probably, this is the hardest specification to find when looking for interchangeable blades for your circular saw.
Carefully consider the RPM specification when looking for the right blade. Don’t replace a 3300RPM blade with a 5200RPM blade.
The revolutions are in relation to the blade diameter against the circular saw capacity.
Blade thickness is crucial as it determines whether the new blade will fit into the circular saw.
When people ask about interchangeability or universality of blades, they have to consider the thickness of the blades.
If you have a blade size that fits, but the thickness is off, then you still don’t have the right match.
The Hook of Your Blade
The hook is the cutting surface angle relative to the blade radius. Hook angle is vital for sliding compound saws.
A positive hook can cause the circular saw to climb through the wood, which is a safety risk.
It is difficult to find one blade that will do it all. Negative hook angle reduces risks of kickbacks which improves safety.
Number of Teeth
The number of teeth plays a big role.
For instance, blades with more teeth are suitable for crosscuts like MDF mouldings as they don’t tear the wood giving you prefinished mouldings.
The blades are good for hardwood flooring.
However, courser blades are more suited for ripping or on materials that don’t need to be perfect like wood framing.
Courser blades tear or chip the wood cutting.
Some people prefer a combination of blades as they can expect to cut any kind of materials and needs to change the blades constantly.
Smaller teeth give a better finish and are suitable for crosscutting. However, blades with smaller teeth are slower.
Remember, the gullet is more crucial than the teeth number of the blade.
For instance, a 130mm saw blade having 24 teeth has the same gullet as a 260mm saw blade having 48 teeth.
Blades have markings indicating what they are designed to do, whether ripping or crosscutting.
The marking also indicates whether they are combination saw blades.
Type of Teeth
Different blades have different teeth types.
The type of teeth depends on the materials you want to cut and the kind of cut you desire.
The blades you get in the market may be similar but with different tooth type, which means they won’t fit perfectly to what you desire.
Tooth type also depends on the gullet. A larger gullet means faster cut.
Types of Circular Saw Blades
The key to cutting woodworking projects correctly is to use the correct saw blade.
Of course, the blade should be sharp and be able to cut clearly without tearing or burning the wood.
There are two primary types of saw blades i.e., Crosscut and rip blades.
A rip blade cuts with the grain of the material.
Rip blades have a limited number of deep teeth to help clear away cut materials.
The blades cut quickly, but don’t leave the cleanest finishes.
A crosscut blade cut with kerf and use carbides or chisels alternating between cutting wide right and wide left on every other tooth.
The aim is to produce a finer finish on materials when doing crosscutting.
Besides the rip and crosscut blades, there are the combination blades. Combination blades have the advantages of crosscut and rip blades.
The blades are common nowadays and have 24 to 80 teeth. The more the teeth, the finer the finish.
Blades with low teeth count cut aggressively and leave rough finishes.
It follows then that those with more teeth leave cleaner finish.
Specialty blades have much higher teeth count.
These blades leave a smoother finish, and there is little tear-out.
However, the blades cut slowly. An example of a specialty blade is the plywood blade.
Are circular Saw Blades Universal and Interchangeable?
No, it is difficult to find the correct blade. Some people opt for combination blades to give them more freedom.
You can’t get interchangeable circular saw blades from different models and brands that fit perfectly.
The intended use of any blade is always indicated by the manufacturer to give you an easy time narrowing down your choices for the right tooth type or gullet size.
You have the freedom to go for other options or all-purpose blades provided you get a good compromise between finish quality and speed.
The logos and abbreviations are very confusing.
It is better to consider the manufacturer’s recommendations and the kind of material used when looking for the right saw blade.
Are Circular Saw Blades Versatile?
Circular saw blades can easily adapt to other functions. For instance, you can get a blade for ripping and get another for crosscutting.
Since circular saw blades come in different sizes and shapes, they can be used for other purposes.
The blades are not interchangeable and universal with any circular saw.
You need to get the matching blade that will fit in perfectly.
There are saw blades that can fit perfectly in a circular saw. The challenge is getting the right one.
Nowadays, manufacturers are designing blades that give users more freedom. It means that some blades can be used interchangeably on circular blades.
However, not all blades can be interchanged in the circular saws.
It is your responsibility to go through the various saw blades and the manufacturer’s recommendations and find that blade you are looking for to fit in your circular saw.
I recently wrote an article answering the question, Are Circular Saws Reverse Threaded? Read it here.