Close-up of a table saw blade in motion

Saw blades come in many shapes and sizes, have many different uses and are used in a variety of machines. This glossary includes all the important terms you need to know related to saw blades.

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Labeled diagram of the parts of a table saw blade

E - Expansion Slots

Laser cut expansion slots in some saw blades that make room for blade plate expansion caused by heat from friction.

G - Gullets

The space cut out from blade plate between the teeth of a saw blade. The gullets provide room for chips and waste to exit the cut.

H - Hook Angle

The amount that a saw blade tooth either tips toward or away from the direction of the blade rotation. A zero degree hook angle means that the face of the teeth are in line with the exact center of the blade.

K - Kerf

The slot a saw blade cuts into a material. A 10" "full kerf" saw blade usually has a kerf width of around 1/8". A 10" "thin kerf" will typically have a kerf width of approximately 3/32" (.094").

L - Kickback Limiters

Some blades have kickback limiting tabs positioned behind the saw blade teeth to help keep the blade from over-feeding.

P - Blade Plate

Saw blade plates are usually made of hardened steel, which is tensioned to prevent the blade from becoming "floppy" due to centrifugal force at high rotation speeds.

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.

Forrest woodworker two atb saw blade

Combination Tooth (Comb.)

The combination (4 and 1) configuration is used for "combination" blades - blades designed to do both crosscutting and ripping. The teeth are arranged in groups of five - four ATB teeth and one FT - with a large gullet in between the groups.

Freud eight inch combination saw blade

Triple Chip Grind (TCG)

The TCG configuration excells 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.

Freud double-sided laminate melamine saw blade

High Alternate Top Bevel (HiATB)

The HiATB configuration is used for extra-fine crosscutting and to cut materials surfaced with melamine, which is prone to chipping. The high bevel angle increases the knife-like action at the edge of the blade.

Forrest duraline melamine plywood saw blade

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