It’s time to upgrade the stock blade that came with your table saw! You can work more efficiently and get better results with a relatively small investment in a higher-quality blade.
Table saw blades come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations, each optimized for a different purpose. Most table saws used by DIYers and hobbyists take a 10” blade. Here I’ll give you a look at the best 10” table saw blades in three different categories: general-purpose blades, ripping blades, and crosscut blades.
All of the blades mentioned here are quality products from reputable manufacturers, but they each have pros and cons. In each category, I’ll give you my recommendation for:
- Most Affordable Blade: The market is full of cheap saw blades that underperform or wear out too soon. I’ll steer you clear of those with affordable choices that have proven themselves.
- Best Premium Blade: If you plan to use a blade for years to come, you can save money and aggravation in the long run by purchasing a high-performance blade made to last.
- Best Overall Value: These are the blades that hit the “sweet spot” in the tradeoff between price and performance.
If you want to skip all the details and buy a single blade to replace the one that came with your saw, I recommend the Freud 10″ x 40T Premier Fusion.
What to Look For
Let’s take a look at some of the key things to consider when comparing these blades. For more details, take a look at our complete guide to choosing the right table saw blade.
Rip-cuts vs. Crosscuts
All hardwoods and softwoods have a grain, which refers to the lengthwise arrangement of wood fibers resulting from the way a tree grew. These individual fibers are very tough, which is what makes wood such an excellent building material. But the direction in which you’re cutting the wood makes a big difference.
Ripping wood refers to making a rip-cut with the direction of the grain. Separating the wood fibers from each other, rather than cutting across the fibers, is less demanding for both your saw and blade. You can make these cuts quickly with blades designed to take big bites out of the wood. Since these are usually your longest cuts, the time savings can add up.
Crosscutting wood refers to cuts made across the grain. This requires cutting individual fibers rather than separating them from each other. These cuts place more demands on your saw and blade. So for a clean cut, you’ll want a blade that takes smaller bites with each tooth.
Sheet goods like plywood generally don’t have a specific grain. But each individual layer of plywood has its own grain, alternating 90 degrees from one layer to the next. You’re cutting across the grain in some layers no matter which direction you cut, so you’ll want to use a blade with good ting ability.
Tooth Shape: FT or ATB
Most of the blades reviewed below are either FT or ATB blades.
FT is short for flat-top, meaning the tops of the teeth are flat across the width of the blade. Flat teeth chew through the material in your workpiece rather than slicing. They’re better suited for less strenuous cuts such as ripping with the grain of the wood.
ATB is short for alternate top bevel, referring to the angle (or bevel) of the teeth. These teeth are usually cut at an angle between 10 and 40 degrees compared to a flat tooth. The direction in which they slope down (left-to-right or right-to-left) alternates between teeth. Angled bevels produce more of a cutting or slicing effect than flat teeth do. As such, ATB blades produce cleaner cuts than FT blades and are better suited for the more difficult job of cutting across the grain of the wood.
The fewer teeth a blade has, the bigger the gap between them (called the gullet). Larger gullets let you feed material into the saw faster, with each tooth removing more material. Because each tooth is doing more work, blades with relatively few teeth are best suited to ripping with the grain of the wood. As you’ll see below, blades designed for ripping often have as few as 24 teeth.
More teeth on a blade mean each tooth has to remove less material. This tends to produce cleaner cuts and lets the blade tackle the harder job of cutting across the grain. The smaller gullets mean you must feed material into the saw more slowly. Blades designed for crosscutting typically have between 60 and 80 teeth, though some have as many as 100.
General-purpose blades aim to do an adequate job of both ripping and crosscutting. They have tooth counts between the above ranges, usually around 40 or 50.
You’ll often see the size and tooth count abbreviated. For instance, 10” x 40T indicates a 40-tooth 10” blade.
A blade’s kerf refers to the thickness of the cuts it makes. Most of the blades reviewed below are full-kerf blades, meaning they remove about 1/8” (0.125”) of material with each cut. Make sure you always account for this lost material when measuring and planning your cuts!
Some table saws, particularly portable contractor models, have motors that may struggle when removing so much material. If you run into problems with your saw bogging down, you might consider a thin-kerf blade that removes about 25% less material (approximately 3/32”) with each cut. There’s no precise definition of what constitutes a thin kerf, but most are between 0.092” and 0.10”. Taking out less material with each bite eases the load on the motor.
Most of the blades reviewed below are full-kerf blades, but there are a few with thinner kerfs. Pay attention to the kerf width of blades when swapping them out, as you may need to recalibrate your saw’s fence distance!
One Blade or Several
A ripping blade will let you quickly rip long lengths of lumber. And a crosscut blade will make nice clean cuts across even the hardest of woods. But neither will do a very good job on the other type of cut. If you only have a single table saw, you might be switching blades back and forth more than you like.
A general-purpose blade saves you the blade-swapping and provides acceptable performance. But it won’t do either job quite as well as a purpose-built blade. This choice comes down to your personal preference.
Note: Don’t confuse the term “general-purpose blade” with “combination blade”. The latter refers specifically to a blade that has both ATB and FT teeth. Most combination blades would count as general-purpose blades, but not all general-purpose blades are combination blades!
Best General-Purpose Table Saw Blades
General-purpose blades typically feature 40 to 50 ATB teeth. This configuration lets them quickly rip wood lengthwise while still producing clean crosscuts.
Most Affordable Blade: The DeWalt 10" x 40T PrecisionTrim blade provides cuts as clean as more expensive blades. If you want a single blade to upgrade the one that came with your table saw, this blade should immediately improve the quality of your projects.
Best Premium Blade: The Forrest 10” x 40T Woodworker II is considered the “gold standard” of blades by many. The factory-provided sharpening services make this blade a long-term investment for people serious about getting the absolute best results.
Best Overall Value: The Freud 10″ x 40T Premier Fusion can make glossy-smooth cross cuts and does an adequate job of ripping. It may not be quite as durable as the Woodworker II but provides excellent quality results at a more approachable price point.
This thin-kerf blade features 40 ATB teeth with a kerf of 0.098”. Keep this in mind if you want a straight 1:1 replacement for an existing blade with a more common width.
The teeth are high-quality C4 carbide, a feature typically found only on more expensive blades. This produces a nicer finish than lower-grade carbide teeth, but it can also make them more brittle. I think the trade-off of quality for durability is worth it, especially given the price, but it’s something to think about.
Eight laser-cut vibration-dampening slots in the body and four outer expansion slots reduce vibration and noise. This is especially nice if you have a home workshop like mine and you’re trying not to annoy the rest of the house!
- Thick C4 carbide teeth with a precision finish
- Very clean crosscuts
- Good performance ripping hardwood and cutting plywood
- More durable than blades with higher ATB tooth angle
- Quiet when cutting, not much louder than when spinning
- No chip-out when cutting material like melamine
- Teeth are somewhat brittle and can be damaged if hitting nails or if used on metal
- Some customers received blades with a noticeable warp or wobble
More than one woodworking expert has called Forrest’s Woodworker II the “gold standard” of general-purpose saw blades. And it’s usually priced accordingly. Its 40 ATB teeth produce a full-kerf (1/8”) cut that often needs no sanding at all before gluing or joining. The C4-grade carbide teeth are very hard in order to produce clean cuts. This hardness does make them somewhat brittle and prone to breaking if used on material with knots or nails in it.
While the blade does not have vibration-reducing slots in its body, it generally operates quietly and without a lot of vibration. The design of the blade may make it hard to find local shops that can sharpen it. But Forrest is known for its customer service and the reasonable prices it charges for factory sharpening and repair.
I think this is the best general-purpose table saw blade for anyone willing to spend the money to get the finest quality cuts. It’s a blade that the manufacturer will stand behind for many years to come.
- Clean rip and crosscuts on hardwood as well as plywood
- “Like cutting butter with a hot knife” according to one customer, with little to no sanding required
- Factory sharpening service at reasonable rates, including replacing broken teeth
- Good customer service to handle any problems with blades
- Very quiet with little vibration
- Some customers report chipped or misaligned teeth on arrival
- Might be more prone to burning wood than some other blades
- Difficult to have sharpened locally due to proprietary construction process
The 40 teeth on this blade are Hi-ATB, meaning they have a steeper angle (30 degrees) than normal ATB teeth. The angle means they slice through wood more easily, but can be less durable. Indeed, some customers report that the teeth on this blade chip easily. It has a standard 1/8” kerf.
This blade is noted for providing very smooth crosscuts in a variety of material from hardwood to plywood. It doesn’t measure up quite as well when ripping compared to similar blades.
For vibration reduction, this blade has four large laser-cut slots in the body and four hook-shaped expansion slots around the edge. The trademark red coating of Freud saw blades is designed to reduce drag for easier cuts and to reduce the buildup of pitch on the blade.
- Glassy-smooth cross cuts on many kinds of wood
- Very little tear-out cutting plywood
- Smooth enough results for gluing without sanding
- Long useful life before needing sharpening
- Less dust than comparable blades
- Some customers report teeth chipped either out of the box or after only a few cuts
- Does not rip as well as some other general-purpose blades, especially hardwoods
- Hard to get sharpened locally, may need to send to factory
- The red coating may rub off on harder materials
Best Table Saw Blades for Ripping
These are the right tools for the job if you have a lot of lumber that you need to rip lengthwise. But they’ll be a poor choice if you need to cut plywood or make crosscuts in hardwood. You’ll want to pair them with a crosscut or general-purpose blade.
Most Affordable Blade: The Oshlun 10” x 24T ATB Ripping Saw Blade provides surprising results for a blade at the lower end of the price spectrum. If you want a blade that specializes in ripping, and you’re okay with some amount of sanding and cleanup, this is a very affordable choice.
Best Premium Blade: The Forrest 10” x 20T Woodworker II Fast Feed Rip Blade again shows why the Woodworker II line is a favorite of many woodworkers. I think that, overall, this is the best table saw blade for ripping hardwoods. And the factory-provided sharpening services will extend its useful life.
Best Overall Value: The Freud 10″ x 24T Heavy-Duty Rip Blade makes clean cuts even in lower-powered saws. It’s also an excellent choice as far as a blade for ripping hardwoods. And its flat-topped teeth also make it great for cutting flat grooves and dadoes.
Oshlun is not quite as well-known as other manufacturers in this article. But their moderately-priced saw blades are highly rated by many customers. This 24-tooth ATB rip-saw blade features C4 carbide teeth, the hardest typically found on consumer saw blades. It features an aggressive hook angle for fast ripping of lumber.
This blade rips very smoothly through most any wood, but the resulting cuts are not as clean as more expensive blades. So you’ll definitely need to spend some time sanding and cleaning up the cuts before gluing or moving on to finishing.
- More moderately priced than some specialty blades
- Aggressive cutting makes for easy ripping of lumber
- No burning when ripping hardwood
- Little to no tear-out when ripping
- Center hole may sometimes ship slightly undersized and require sanding to fit smoothly
- Cuts have blade marks and will need sanding before gluing or finishing
With just 20 ATB teeth, this blade specializes in one thing only: fast ripping of lumber. It handles up to 2” thick hardwood workpieces with no problem. Like its general-purpose cousin above, this blade is priced to match the “gold standard” reputation of Forrest saw blades.
The teeth are hard C4-grade carbide and may leave some minor marks that are easily removed with a light sanding.
This blade will appeal to someone who often needs to rip thick or hard materials. To keep the blade under full warranty, Forrest recommends using their factory sharpening service whenever the blade becomes dull. Though it is more expensive than “disposable” blades, these factory services mean this blade can provide many years of service.
- Forrest’s customer service is very highly regarded
- Factory sharpening service for a reasonable fee
- Easy ripping of difficult materials like 2” oak
- Repair service keeps blade functioning like new for much less than buying a new blade
- More expensive than similarly-configured blades
- Minor marks require sanding
This full-kerf blade features 24 flat-top teeth optimized for ripping through thick or hard material. It makes clean rip-cuts that are usually ready for gluing without requiring any further sanding or cleanup.
While full-kerf blades sometimes tax less powerful motors, customers report that this blade rips fine even with 1 3/4 HP motors. (Freud does offer a very similar thin-kerf version of this blade, though, if motor power is a concern for you.)
Eight vibration-reducing slots laser-cut in the body plus four expansion slots around the edge provide for a very quiet blade. One reviewer called it the quietest blade he’s ever used. The teeth are a Freud proprietary titanium carbide/cobalt blend they say is optimized for use in ripping applications.
- Many cuts are ready to glue right off the saw
- Flat-top teeth allow cutting dadoes and other grooves with perfectly flat bottoms
- Cuts smoothly even in lower-powered table saws
- Very quiet operation
- Some reports of chipped teeth upon arrival or shortly after use
- One customer reported the kerf is wider than specified, making for sloppy 1/8″ grooves
Best Table Saw Blades for Crosscuts
The high tooth count on crosscut blades means each tooth removes less material. This leads to cleaner crosscuts but means the material must be fed much more slowly, so you won’t want to use them for long rip cuts.
Most Affordable Blade: The DeWalt 10” x 60T Fine Finish Saw Blade is usually available at an attractive price in a 2-pack. It makes clean cuts with minimal burning.
Best Premium Blade: The Freud 10” x 80T Ultimate Cut-Off Saw Blade makes glossy smooth cuts even on thick hardwood. It operates with very little vibration and noise and can be easily sharpened.
Best Overall Value: The Freud Diablo 10″ x 60T Fine Finish Saw Blade from Freud’s thin-kerf Diablo line makes clean crosscuts with a minimum of tear-out. The results won’t be quite as smooth as from an 80-tooth blade but should need only minimal cleanup.
Note that the link below is to the 2-pack of this blade. This packaging seems to have easier availability and better pricing than individual packages! While modestly priced compared to some competitors, the 60 ATB teeth on this thin-kerf blade produce quality crosscuts.
The carbide teeth are smaller than on more expensive blades. So while these aren’t necessarily disposable blades, they won’t stand up to too many sharpenings. You’ll want to plan on replacing them once the time comes.
- Minimal chip-out even on melamine
- Clean cuts with little burning
- Does an adequate job at ripping (albeit at slower feed)
- Good value when purchasing 2-pack
- Difficult to resharpen more than a couple times, so will need replacing
- The yellow coating can rub off on workpieces
This full-kerf blade sports 80 ATB teeth and promises “glass-smooth finishes” when crosscutting both hard and softwoods. Freud achieves this in part by grinding the sides of the teeth to a polished finish so they leave no saw marks that need sanding.
Because of the high tooth count, you’ll need to feed your workpiece even more slowly through this blade than with a 60-tooth blade. But you’re most likely going to more than make up the time lost since you’ll need to do very little cleanup after. Many customers report not needing to do any sanding at all before gluing pieces, with cut finishes resembling the result of sanding at 400 grit.
This blade typically fetches a higher price, as you might expect given the quality of the results. But the time saved by not needing to clean up less-than-perfect cuts means it might just pay for itself.
- Glossy smooth crosscuts
- No vibration even when cutting thick hardwood
- Quieter than many comparable blades
- Little to no tear-out
- Can be sharpened inexpensively
- Some customers report receiving blades with chipped teeth
- Imperfections in the flush-ground tooth sides may snag wood and cause imperfections
Another crosscut blade from Freud, this one is from their line of thin-kerf Diablo saw blades. With 60 Hi-ATB teeth, it won’t provide quite the same glassy cuts as the full-kerf 80-tooth blade above. But it still makes clean crosscuts in most materials and is typically in the lower end price-wise.
I think it is the best choice for value-conscious purchasers. By opting for a dedicated rip or crosscut blade, you’ve already decided you are willing to spend a bit more to get better-quality cuts. Skimp too much and you might end up getting worse results on both kinds of cuts than with a decent general-purpose blade. And you may still end up paying more in the end.
- Minimal tear-out on cuts
- Thin kerf lets lower-powered saws handle more challenging workpieces
- Relatively quiet operation
- Little to no burning of wood
- Not as clean of cuts as 80-tooth blades will provide
- Thin kerf leads to some flexing; may not cut quite as straight as full-kerf blades
I hope the recommendations above show that you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get good results. Even a moderately-priced general-purpose blade will be a significant step up from the stock blade that came with your saw. And higher-end blades will give you even cleaner cuts along with increased useful life.
If you’re serious about getting the best results, dedicated blades for ripping and crosscutting will let you really step it up. Just be sure you’re willing to spend the time to swap out the right blade for the job.