Saw Blades for specific applications
Some laminates and acrylics have a “filler” in it to save on costs. The filler is generally a clay so you are cutting through very fine rocks. That is hard on blades.
Some acrylics, laminate, plastics in general are harder and more brittle than others are. This is where a high ATB can be very helpful in preventing chipping. A high ATB is an alternate top bevel blade where the tips are sharper and more pointed . You typically have a sharper point making the initial piercing into the material and a narrower cutting edge on the sides of the tips.
Woodworker II blades are excellent general-purpose blades. They are typically very well made. Their best use seems to be in applications where they make a limited number of very short cuts. They can heat up in an application where they are cutting continuously and thus are not generally suitable for cutting materials in manufacturing applications.
Many of the special purpose blades are made for manufacturing applications. In these uses, the material is run through continuously at high speeds for a full shift with possibly breaks for lunch and coffee breaks. In this case, the different grinds really are a necessity.
Besides different grinds, different saw blades may have different carbide on them. We use a different grade of carbide on our laminate blades than we do on our general-purpose blades or on our nail cutter blades.
Our Cermet 2 grade is an extremely fine grade with a complex binder that is specifically designed to stay sharp in an extremely high wear situation such as cutting through man-made materials with clay binder where the abrasion is very high.
For general-purpose cutting, we really like our super C, which takes advantage of submicron technology to give the saw blade that is tougher than a C2 with better wear than a C3.
There are certain applications that are very hard on the carbide. If you are cutting flooring, you run into a real chance of hitting nails. Many truss applications pay their people by piece rate so they really shove the lumber through. In this case, we go with what we call our nail cutting grade, which is big grains with a lot of cobalt.
Be very careful
Saw tips do occasionally come off sawblades and carbide saw tips can break. Mostly the broken part buries itself in the wood. Occasionally the broken part lands in an eye. It has been better than a year since I received a phone call about somebody going blind because they had a piece of carbide land in their eye and I would not mind if I never got another one. It is a low probability but it does happen. It is much more likely to happen if you are using the wrong saw blade.
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