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What is a Crosscut Blade?

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  • Written By: Mary Lougee
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A crosscut blade typically is used to cut all types of wood such as plywood, chipboard, hardwood, and softwood. This type of blade has alternating teeth where one tooth cuts in one direction and the next tooth cuts in the opposite direction. There are several varieties, types, and uses for crosscut blades.

Crosscut saw blades can be found on handsaws with a wooden handle. Workers in the forestry industry used these to cut down standing trees. These saws come in one-person and two-person models. This type of crosscut blade is beneficial because it cuts in both directions, helping to reduce the labor involved in cutting down trees.

Cabinetry shops usually enlist the use of a crosscut blade on chop saws, radial arm saws, table saws, and also miter saws. A crosscut saw blade cuts through all types of wood commonly used in cabinet-making while only removing a small amount of the surface, which is called the run-out. This practice can save valuable materials.

Crosscut saw blades can be purchased with tough carbide teeth. This type of blade is durable and can be re-sharpened many times so that it is cost-effective. The hook angle is the tip of each blade that is turned over and is designed to control the speed at which the wood is fed. The higher the hook angle is then the faster the rate of feed due to it quickly pulling the wood through.

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The number of teeth on a crosscut blade typically has a distinct bearing on its performance. Larger teeth will penetrate deeper into the wood and cut much faster than smaller teeth, which are placed closer together. A crosscut blade with larger teeth tends to tear the wood and leave a rough cut that requires more sanding to finish a project. The versions with smaller teeth usually leave a smooth cut that requires little sanding.

Crosscut saw blades usually can be purchased as a combination blade for crosscutting and ripping boards at the same time. These are designed with teeth and also flat spots between them, which are called rakers. Rakers eject the chips of wood that are created by the deep bite of the teeth. The rakers are designed to keep the extra chips out of the way of the cutting surface.

When planning a wood project, it usually is a good idea to plan what type of wood is going to be cut and how deep of a cut is necessary. This usually will ensure that the correct type of crosscutting blade will be selected for its ease of use and longevity. A combination blade that crosscuts and also rips usually is not suitable for the softer woods as it can tear, leaving the cut to look like it has been shredded instead of cut.

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