All cut up – choosing the right saw blades

by | Apr 1, 2014 | Business

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While it’s fair to say that a poor workman (or woman) blames their tools, if you don’t have the right tools for the job in hand then some blame may lie with the equipment. This is particularly true when it comes to choosing the right saw blade for the job. A few basic rules apply; if you stick to these you’ll have no excuses for poor workmanship!




The blade is the most important part of any saw and finding a quality aluminum distributor will help when it comes to finding good quality saws. Today, there is a huge range of different types of saw blades available, all suited to different jobs and a quality aluminum distributor should be able to offer a full range of different blades.


General purposes saws for general jobs


A general purpose saw blade should be a standard part of your equipment. These work well for ripping and crosscutting, but where fine finishing is required, specific saws should be used instead. General purpose blades are fine for simple jobs and will work well on wood. However they’re less well suited to man-made sheets of material – ply, laminate or plastic materials in particular.


Rip saws


Rip saw blades are, obviously, ideal for large rip jobs. If you have a stack of hardwood to work through, they’ll be ideal and make the task easier on you and the saw. Generally, rip blades will feature fewer teeth than a crosscut blade or one for specialist materials. Standard rip blades will feature around twenty four teeth and are stocked by most aluminum distributors.


Cross cutting


With up to 80 teeth, a cross cut blade offers a finer finish and should be used where a clean cut finish is required. A general purpose blade can do the job but will not give a finish that’s particularly clean; where the finished look is crucial, a cross cut blade is the one for the job.


Fine detailing


Miter blades are designed for the obvious; these give the perfect finish when you want assembly- ready edging. Miter blades again feature a higher number of teeth than a standard rip blade and the plates are usually thicker. For small, fine jobs (picture frames and detailed edging) the miter blade is ideal.


Man-made obstacles


Man-made materials, including laminate and plywood, tend to splinter if not sawn with care. Again, specialist blades are the only choice here if you want to avoid this. Distributors should be able to offer a specific range of blades for different types of material though most can be used effectively on a number of materials.


Howard Precision Metals is one of the Midwest’s largest distributors of aluminum. In addition to Aluminum Plate, they stock a huge range of sawing equipment; you won’t find a better aluminum distributor in the area.