When we talk about the diameter of a circular saw blade, we’re talking about the length of the line between the tips of two of the blade’s opposite teeth, passing through the center of the saw blade. This is considered the overall size of the blade, in inches, and all saws and saw blades are rated on this size. Diameter is a twice of saw blade’s radius, although radius is never used to describe saw blade.
Normally, you can’t use a different sized saw blade than what the saw is designed for, although there are some exceptions, such as with dado blades. Attempting to use a larger size saw blade will cause the saw to bind up and not operate, while using a smaller size blade typically requires running the saw without blade guards in place, a decidedly unsafe situation. Typical circular saw blade diameter ranges from 6-1/2 inches to 12 inches, but saw blades with 3-3/8″ up to 16″ can found on the market. The most common sizes are 6-1/2″, 7-1/4″, 10″ and 12″. The smaller diameters are typically used only for hand-held circular saws while larger diameters are frequently seen on stationary saws. Table saws equipment includes 10 to 12 inch blades, while the largest ones, those of 12 inches in diameter or more are installed on radial arm or compound miter saws.
Correlation with Cutting Depth
The smaller size blades are good for quick and easy jobs, definitely for thinner lumber and higher rotation speeds. If the diameter is large enough, carpenter has an ability to cut the thicker woods in one go. This is called the capacity of a saw blade or cutting depth, determining how thick lumber can a circ saw blade cut. Blade diameter is an important factor in figuring out the saw’s capacity. Typically, the maximum depth of cut that a saw can make is about 30% of the blade diameter. While it might be possible to cut up to 40% of the blade’s diameter in some situations, this would usually require removing safety guards from the blade.
Diameter on Specialty Blades
Although the majority of cutting done by any type of circular saw is wood, they are also used for other materials. Specialty blades are created for a variety of materials, from aluminum to ceramic tile. Plexiglas and plastics are another fairly common materials cut on circular saws. It is important to note that when cutting plastics with circular saws, the maximum material thickness is about 15% of the blade diameter. Thick plastic pieces are normally cut with band saws, because the amount of friction generated by a circular saw can melt the edge of the plastic being cut.
Cutting in One Pass
Carpenters and woodworkers alike prefer to be able to make their cuts in one pass, without having to turn the material. The possibility of properly aligning the material for a second pass from the other side is virtually impossible. One more thing you should take care when choosing a large or small diameter circular saw blade is the power of circular saw. Larger circular saws allow you to make deep cuts and blades last longer due to larger circumference. Therefore, it is common to buy as large a saw as budgetary constraints allow. However, larger saw blades also produce more friction, requiring much larger motors to power them. The motor gets overloaded easily with an inappropriate diameter.