Best Table Saw Blade: TOP Consumer-Rated Picks for 2017

Naturally, the best table saw blade for your needs will be determined by what types of cuts you’ll be making. Also, what it is that you’re actually cutting: Plywood? Hardwood? Metal? Plastic? Rip cuts or cross-cuts?

In general, there are four types of blades that are used on table saws:

  • Raker (or FTG) blades are usually 24-tooth blades that are best used for making quick work of long rip cuts
  • ATB and ATBR (combination) blades are 40 to 80-tooth ‘all-purpose’ blades
  • TCG blades are high tooth-count blades used for dense materials like plastics and non-ferrous metals (any metal except iron and steel)

In this article, we’ve taken a thorough look at dozens and dozens of the best table saw blades out there.  We feel we've come up with a short list of the best-reviewed, top-rated picks of them all.

Whether you’re looking for one good all-purpose blade or you’re aiming to improve the quality of your cuts over a wider range of materials, you should be able to find something here to help upgrade your table saw’s overall performance.

Quick Look: Table Saw Blade

Product Summaries: TOP Picks for the Best Table Saw Blades

For quick, quality rips on rough stock, the unanimous top pick for the best FTG blade is the 24-tooth Freud Thin Kerf Rip.

This blade has a perfect 5-star rating on Amazon out of over 400 reviews, and is hands-down the best selling, top-rated pick for those tricky rips where higher tooth count blades will want to bind up.

For the best all-purpose table saw blade, we recommend either the 60-tooth Diablo 1060X or the Diablo 1050X Combination blade.

Either one of these choices is a great option if you’re looking for that one perfect blade that’ll get you through most any job at the table saw (we’ll discuss the differences between the two in the review section).

If you’re willing to spend a little money and are looking for an absolutely pro-quality finish on your cuts and joinery, the Forrest Woodworker II gets our nod for the best professional, high-performance blade.

This is a premium product that delivers the finest finish and most minimal kerf, and is generally what you’ll find on a lot of professional carpenter’s table saws.  This blade is definitely for the avid DIY’er who’s serious about producing the most quality work possible.

And lastly, the 84-tooth IRWIN Marples gets our pick for the best TCG, ‘non-wood’ blade.

This is another top quality blade that’s crafted in Italy. This blade will deliver the smoothest possible performance on tough materials like MDF, particle board, plastic laminates, copper, aluminum, and other non-ferrous metals.


Reviews of the Best Table Saw Blades

Best Table Saw Blade for Rip Cuts

Freud 24-tooth FTG Thin Kerf Rip

best table saw blade

Rip cutting (cutting with the grain of the board as opposed to across it) can be a frustrating task without A) the right saw, or B) the right saw blade - it’s much trickier to get a quality rip than it is to get a quality cross cut.

Also, most of the time when folks are ripping boards to width, they’ll be making several long passes on a larger sheet of material. For this reason you’ll want a blade with few teeth that’ll get through material quickly.

FTG (flat top grind) blades like this 24-tooth Freud are really the only option when it comes to making easy work of long, tricky rips. You can use an all-purpose ATB or combination blade, but your in-feed will be slow and you’ll run into binding much more frequently.

The ideal thickness for this blade ranges from ¾” to 2 ¾”, so you can use it on plywood just as well as normal lumber.

Things we liked
  • Best consumer-rated ripping blade by a long shot (perfect 5-star rating on Amazon)

  • Thin kerf equals a faster feed rate and minimal waste

  • Blade is available in several different sizes for use with 8”, 9”, 10”, or 12” table and miter saws

Things we didn’t like

Best Table Saw Blade for Plywood

Diablo 60-tooth 1060X

best table saw blade

A 22 or 24-tooth blade like the Freud Thin Kerf above will produce OK results on ¾” plywood, but you’ll definitely get tearout.

For much cleaner results on plywood (and for any plywood thinner than ¾”), you’ll need to go with a finer ATB blade with a higher tooth count.

The 60-tooth Diablo 1060X is an ATB blade that’s proven time and again to be the preferred choice for a range of different plywoods.

Also, even though this is a #1 pick for plywood, the blade is a really good all-purpose blade as well that’ll produce fine results on a range of different woods. This blade even works on stubborn species like mahogany, maple, oak, and walnut (we’ve even heard of people having good results on bamboo with this blade).

For that reason, it’s also one of the best table saw blades for hardwoods -- overall.  This best table saw blade is just a super reliable pick that’ll get you the best results possible without having to spend top dollar on a premium blade.

Things we liked
  • Excellent, finish-quality cuts even on thin ¼” plywoods

  • Good even on tough hardwoods

  • Available in packs of 5 for large projects

  • Works well on any thin veneer sheet good

Things we didn’t like
  • Only 1 size available (10” for table or miter saws)


Best ‘All-Purpose’ Table Saw Blade

Diablo 1050X Combination Blade

best table saw blade

So if you’re looking for that one kind of do it all, jack-of-all-trades blade, the Diablo 1050X gets our pick for the best all-purpose table saw blade.

We don’t usually like to make ‘one tool does it all’ type claims and recommendations. Yet, the bottom line is we understand that a ton of DIY’ers try and operate on a minimal basis, and aren’t keen on spending tons of money on the best table saw blade available.

That being said, if we had to pick one single blade to use for the rest of our table-sawing lives, it would be this one.  This blade will rip, cross-cut, and produce decent results on everything from plywood to laminates to 2 x 4’s.

Bottom line, you really won’t find anything that’s more of a do-it-all workhorse.

The blade itself is actually what’s called an ATBR combination blade. These are 50-tooth blades that are arranged in 10 sets of 5 (4 ATB teeth followed by one FTG).  They come with small gaps in between to minimize vibration. The goal with this design of course is to provide the ‘happiest’ medium between ripping and cross cutting over the widest possible range of materials.

Things we liked
  • Good price

  • Stabilizing gaps between the 5-tooth sets allow for almost no vibration

  • Uniquely engineered to expand as the blade gets hot, maintaining a true cut and minimizing warp even over long rips

Things we didn’t like
  • Only available in one size (10” for miter or table saw)


Best Pro-Quality Woodworking Blade

Forrest Woodworker II

best table saw blade

Have you passed the rookie stage of your DIY career and feel you’ve reached a level where you’re ready to make the transition to pro-quality equipment?  The Woodworker II ATB table saw blade is one of the finest general-purpose woodworking blades ever produced.

You’ll find this blade being used in all kinds of professional woodworking shops, and is probably the blade of choice for full-time carpenters and furniture makers across the country. It’s also got to be one of the best table saw blades for joinery, hands down.

What makes it so special?

Materials and craftsmanship - these blades are essentially hand-made one by one, with the C-4 carbide teeth hand-brazed to the plate and each unit hand-tensioned to exact specifications before hitting the shelf.

Long, tricky rip cuts will come out with a sanded-quality finish, and cross-cuts are virtually guaranteed to come out splinter-free. Also, the blades work excellent on plywood and other thin-veneer sheets which are notorious for tearout.

We’re not saying that this blade alone will make you a master carpenter, but one thing’s for sure - it certainly won’t hurt.

Things we liked
  • All-purpose blade that can be used to rip or cross-cut trim, plywood, or any boards up to 2” thick

  • Made in USA

  • Can send the blade back in to Forrest to have them sharpen it back to original tolerance

  • Minimal kerf saves ⅛” of material on each cut

  • Little to no jump, splintering, burning, or tearout

Things we didn’t like

Best Table Saw Blade for MDF, Particle Board, and Non-Ferrous Metal

IRWIN Marples 84-tooth Triple Chip Grind (TCG)

best table saw blade

Metals, plastics, and other composite materials aren’t something that most average DIY’ers spend a lot of time with on their table saw.

That being said, you’ll almost inevitably get to a point where you’ve got to cut a piece of copper, aluminum, melamine, Corian, or some other kind of difficult chip board. And when you do, you certainly won’t want to use your good woodworking blade. These materials often wear down teeth faster than a jackrabbit on ice skates.

What you need for these ‘non-wood’ situations is a TCG (triple chip grind) blade. These types of blades are specifically engineered to smoothly tear through particle boards, dense composites, plastic laminates, and non-ferrous metals.

(For cutting iron and steel you’ll need a ferrous blade like this one or an abrasive cut off disc).

The IRWIN Marples is a relatively expensive blade, but it really is your best choice when it comes to tough stuff like this.

It is a premium-quality, finely-crafted blade that’s made in Italy, and is one of the best selling saw blades on Amazon with over 600 4 and 5-star customer reviews.

In short, if you’re looking for the best table saw metal cutting blade, particle board blade, or plastic/PVC blade, this is the one.

Things we liked
  • Made in Italy (just sounds cool, doesn’t it?)

  • Tons of different sizes available to fit miter, table, and circular saws

  • Great results on veneer plywood and fragile composite molding

Things we didn’t like
  • Can’t really think of anything … price isn’t even too bad for such a quality blade


The Nitty Gritty

So now that we’ve hand-picked our top table saw blades for a variety of different cuts and materials, let’s talk a little more in detail about why these blades are better engineered for their specific purposes.

FTG​ Blades

Flat top grind (FTG) blades are generally best for rip cuts because they’re low tooth count (22 or 24 teeth) that can get through material quickly.  Which is important when you’re feeding a long piece of lumber or plywood into the saw.

ATB Blades​

40, 50, or even 60-tooth alternate top bevel (ATB) or combination (ATBR) blades can also work well for ripping.  However, the cutting will be much more slow-going (especially for hardwoods) and you’ll be prone to binding unless you’re using a really good quality blade.

For cross-cuts and miters, your main enemy will be tearout, and you’ll want to use a relatively high tooth count (50+) ATB blade, or a good quality combination (ATBR) blade.

ATB blades are great shearers and produce clean cuts, but their main drawback is they have to be fed into the saw slowly - the reason why they’re generally unpractical for long rips.

Cutting Sheet Goods​

When cutting sheet goods, the thin veneers of plywood, particle board, and MDF are especially prone to tearout, and they’re also really rough on sharp ATB teeth - they’ll wear them out quickly.

When cutting stuff like this, it’s really a give and take on whether you want a clean cut, or whether you want your blade to last.

If you need a clean cut on plywood or particle board, you’ve got no choice other than to go with a 50-tooth or higher ATB. However if it’s not imperative that you get a tear-out free cut, it’s better to use a TCG blade that can stand up to the rigors of the material.

Summary​

To summarize, here’s a really great video from the Woodworkers Guild of America that goes over what to consider when choosing the right table saw blade for the job.

Short Reference Guide 

Rip Cutting (lumber and thick (3/4") plywood)

[24-tooth FTG blade // 40-tooth ATB blade // 50-tooth ATBR combination blade]

The FTG blade is good for quick rips down to a rough size; the ATB and combination blades will produce cleaner cuts, but will be much more slow-going.

Cross-cutting, mitering, and general plywood cutting

[40 to 80-tooth ATB blade // 50-tooth ATBR combination blade]

This is where the overall quality of the blade comes into play a lot. In general a higher tooth count blade will produce a cleaner cut with minimal tear-out on lumber and plywood. However, a really good quality 40-tooth ATB blade will work better than an average quality 80-tooth blade

Cuts for joinery

[40-60 tooth ATB blade // 50-tooth ATBR combination blade]

If you’re sawing joints, there’s no getting around the fact that you need a high-quality blade -- be ready to spend a little extra money on something like the Woodworker II if you expect halfway decent results

Particle board, MDF, melamine, and Corian board

[40-80 tooth ATB blade // TCG blade]

These thin-veneer sheet goods are very prone to tearout; the ATB blade will produce a cleaner cut, but they’ll get worn out really quickly. A TCG blade is recommended

Non-ferrous metals, plastic laminates, and other composites

[TCG blade]

For any of the above ‘non-wood’ materials, a good Triple Chip Grind (TCG) blade is really you’re only option

Roundup Conclusion: #1 TOP Pick for the Best Table Saw Blade

Like we mentioned earlier, we really don’t like recommending one specific tool or product as a be-all, end-all solution to every obstacle or situation you come across.

That being said, if we were going to pick one single blade on our table saw to use over the widest range of different materials and cutting scenarios, we’d have to go with the Diablo 1050X Combination Blade.

This is fantastic, highly-rated blade that will produce quality results on just about anything -- it’ll definitely be the go-to workhorse nine times out of ten when you head to the garage and bust out the table saw.