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Understanding Cutting Materials

Understanding Cutting Materials:


Aggregate Map
Aggregate hardness is referenced by the Mohs Scale. This scale assigns arbitrary quantitative units, ranging from 1 through 10, by which the scratch hardness of a mineral is determined. Each unit of hardness is represented by a mineral that can scratch any other mineral having a lower-ranking number. The minerals are ranked from talc (#1 / the softest) upward through diamond (#10 / the hardest). Hard aggregates shorten blade life and reduce cutting speed.


Most carbide saw blades are designed to do their best work in a certain type of cutting operation and materials. There are carbide saw blades designed for ripping hardwood, softwood, or lumber, crosscutting hardwood, softwood, or lumber, cutting OSB, plywood and panels, cutting laminates, fiberglass and plastics, cutting melamine, cutting metal and steel, cutting fiber cement board and hardiplank panels, and cutting non-ferrous metals. What a blade does best is determined by the number of teeth, the type of gullet, the tooth configuration and the hook angle (angle of the tooth).
In general, carbide saw blades with fewer teeth move material faster and carbide saw blades with more teeth yield a fine finish cut. You can use the following list for your referrence on selecting the number of teeth for your cutting operation.
18 Teeth - Fast Ripping
24 Teeth - Crosscut and Framing
30 Teeth - Crosscut and Framing
40 Teeth - Trim and Finish
60 Teeth - Trim and Fine Finish
80 Teeth - Trim and Fine Finish
100 Teeth - Trim and Ultra Fine Finish
120 Teeth - Ultra Fine Finish

The shape of the carbide tooth and the way of teeth are grouped also affect the way how the carbide saw blade cuts. The configuration of the teeth on a carbide saw saw blade has a lot to do with whether the blade will work best for fast ripping, crosscut, framing, trim or finish on wood, metal, steel, non-ferrous metal, plastic, fiber cement boards, etc. The following three configuration of the teeth are the most common design.
1). For cutting wood materials - Alternate Top Bevel (ATB) "Alternate top bevel" means that the saw blade teeth alternate between a right and left hand bevel. This tooth configuration gives a smoother cut when crosscutting natural woods and veneered plywood. The alternating beveled teeth form a knife-like edge on either side of the blade and make a cleaner cut than flat top teeth.
2). For cutting metal and steel materials - Flat Top (FTG) Flat top teeth are used on blades made for ripping hard and soft woods. Since wood is much less likely to chip and splinter when it is being cut in the direction of the grain, the focus of a rip blade is to quickly and efficiently remove material. The flat top tooth is the most efficient design for cutting and raking material out of the cut.
3). For cutting metal, non-ferrous metal and plastic materials - Triple Chip Grind (TCG) The TCG configuration excels at cutting hard materials like laminates, MDF, and plastics. Teeth alternate between a flat raking tooth and a higher "trapeze" tooth. The TCG configuration is also used for non-ferrous metal cutting blades.

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