by Michael Boyer
Last Updated January 21, 2019
When it comes to miter saw blades, there is no part of the saw blade that is more important than the teeth – which only makes sense considering the teeth are what ultimately do the cutting.
It is important to consider what kind of cuts you expect to make, as different numbers of teeth are necessary depending on the kind of cut that you intend to make with the blade.
For instance, if you want to make straight rip cuts on hardwood, then you are going to want to look for a miter saw blade with as few teeth as possible. On the other hand, if you want to make fine cuts or cross cuts, then you are better served with a blade that features as many teeth as possible.
Of course, there is also blades which skirts the line between being a straight ripping saw blade and a finer, cross cutting saw blade. This combination miter saw blade keeps its teeth count within a fairly narrow window but provides a solid amount of versatility.
Also check our reviews about the top quality blades on the market:
As with all products, durability is by far one of the most important qualities, but miter saw blades also have the additional prerequisite of being precise.
While the teeth may be the primary factor in determining the actual quality of the cut made, the body of the blade will play an important role in determining both of the important qualities affected by the manufacturing.
In this case, the options are narrowed down significantly for us and the rankings are fairly standard with a clear winner as opposed to some blades being better than others depending on the circumstance.
On the lower end of the spectrum, the body of a blade can be steel stamped, where a machine stamps the body of the blade out of a sheet of metal.
The force required to cut the sheet can warp the body which will ultimately throw off its precision when cutting. As a result, many brands use lasers to cut the body from the sheet of metal thereby reducing the force necessary and preventing the warping effect.
Tooth geometry refers to the shapes of the teeth as they impact the wood. In this instance, the shape will affect how suitable a certain type of miter saw blade is for different types of cuts.
This is not to suggest that a saw blade with a different tooth geometry than the ideal cannot make the cut, but it will be more difficult or time-consuming and will wear down the miter saw blade much more quickly.
When it comes to the types of tooth geometries, many manufacturers have even taken the liberty to slightly alter a pre-existing tooth geometry to come up with their own proprietary tooth geometry.
The thing to keep in mind is that some tooth geometries are designed to increase the miter saw blade’s cutting power–which is useful for rip cutting–while others are intended to make the cut more precise and accurate–which is useful for cross cuts.
As we can see from our reviews, due to the variety of cuts and miters saws themselves, there is simply no blade that is going to be the best in every situation.
If you need a miter saw blade to handle exceptionally fine work, chances are that you are going to look for a different blade than if you just need to make a large number of crosscuts in a more professional setting.
Regardless of your needs, we ultimately recommend the Freud LU91R012 for the majority of users. This blade has 72 teeth, which puts it a hair closer to a cross cutting than a combination blade, but not so much that it cannot still make a solid rip cut as well.
Throw in the sound dampening and Perma Shield coating, and the choice is easy.
In the world of circular saw blades, regardless the specific type of circular saw employed, Freud is one of the biggest and most reputable names in the business.Though not nearly the oldest company on our list, Freud does specialize in the various tool attachment accessories – though the company does not specialize in saw blades specifically.
Still, as one of the most respected brands in the market, it should not be difficult to see why we rated this as our Editor’s Choice Best Performing miter saw blade.
When it comes to the most important qualities, the vast majority of manufacturers find a way to ensure that they remain competitive, making the differences in their performance more a matter of what type of cut you specifically need and your skill as a woodworker.
Thus, the advantage of each blade lies in its features. Here, the Freud LU91R012 offers features aimed at making the experience all-around better, like including a number of different types of sound dampeners.
Of course, when you are judging a miter saw blade, by far the most important quality is how it cuts – a feature that is predominantly determined by the teeth.
Thankfully, the Freud LU91R012 has excellent teeth that can be used for a decent variety of jobs, further providing ample reason to award it our Editor’s Choice Best Performing rating.
One of the biggest ways that the Freud LU91R012 improves the cut is with the use of their proprietary alloy used for the tips of the teeth.
On top of that, the Perma Shield protects the blade during the cut, keeps it clean and also helps ensure that the Freud LU91R012 will not burn or scar your wood as it makes the cut.
Out of all the different companies on our list, there are none more deserving of the respect they have earned than Forrest Blades. For one, this company is one of the oldest tool companies that we came across.
That said, most other brands actually began making industrial power tools and branched into consumer and professional markets. Forrest Blades specializes not only in attachments for power tools, like some of their competitors, but saw blades in particular.
One of the most notable qualities of the Forrest CM12806115 is its tooth geometry which, unlike most of the other miter saw blades that we reviewed that use an alternate top bevel tooth geometry, is a high-angle alternate bevel.
This basically means that the Forrest CM12806115 has different types of teeth on the body, both the flat top tooth geometry as well as the alternate top bevel tooth geometry.
Generally, you use this configuration to cut through specific types of material that require this tooth geometry to prevent the blade from tearing the material. This unit definitely favors the ATB tooth geometry over the flat top tooth geometry, which might make it the best miter saw blade for hardwood.
While the Forrest CM12806115 may not necessarily be the most efficient miter saw blade in terms of how much wood it inherently shaves off since both its kerf and blade thickness are more sizeable than all of the other products that we reviewed, this thickness provides the blade with a wider area to make straight.
The fine manufacturing of the Forrest CM12806115 provides such a precise cut that its runout is between .001/.002. This is further enhanced by the use of a weighted steel plate for the body to prevent vibration from decreasing the accuracy of the cut.
Finally, this miter saw blade has a 30-degree hook angle to provide an aggressive chop cut or ideal for use with a compound sliding miter saw.
Out of all the brands on our list, none are more generally well known or well respected than DeWalt–though the brand has definitely gone through its ups and downs. Still, with a history as storied as DeWalt’s, that is bound to happen, since they were founded over 90 years ago.
That said, DeWalt is currently on the upswing after being bought by Black & Decker and then rebranded as their professional grade line of products. At this point in their evolution, DeWalt is a company in revitalization, and while they are generally not the best in their class, they are still generally high performing – though they are also quite expensive too.
When choosing a miter saw blade, one of the most important things to consider is the tooth geometry, because it will positively or negatively impact the type of cut you intend to make. For the DeWalt DW72100PT, the tooth geometry is one of its primary selling points, as this is the only product that we reviewed which uses alternate top bevel/raker tooth geometry.
In cutting terms, this means that the blade can be used for both rip cuts as well as crosscuts, providing additional versatility not just with a miter saw but also a variety of power circular saws. In this case, the 100 teeth do definitely make it a bit easier for the DeWalt DW72100PT to provide a smooth finish regardless the cut made.
While the DeWalt DW72100PT generally does not supersede any miter saw blade on our list in any given category, it does provide an all-around great value with a number of features that meet the professional or high-end grade of the power tool accessory market.
For instance, the trueness and accuracy of the miter saw blade is enhanced by the use of a laser-cutting manufacturing process. On top of that, the DeWalt DW72100PT also comes with a tough coat finish that not only protects the blade from streaks but also ensures that the blade does not burn the wood while cutting it.
Finally, the teeth themselves are made of a strong and sharp carbide, again keeping in line with some of the standards for the market.
As a company, no other on our list can trace its roots back as far as Makita, which was founded over a century ago. Of course, back then Makita specialized in electric motors – which comes in handy now that Makita is one of the world leaders in professional power tools.
That said, Makita does not specialize in power tool accessories more generally nor power saw blades specifically. In this regard, Makita relies on its significant market share in other related product categories to subsidize their miter saw blades and provides excellent value compared to most of the other brands that we saw.
The brand understands how to identify the primary purpose of a product. With a miter saw blade, that is the teeth, and the Makita A-93734 makes it a point to ensure that the teeth of their blade perform better than virtually anyone else’s.
One of the best features about this product is that the teeth are made of carbide, and the faces of the teeth are finished with a 600 grit texture which allows the blade to sand the cut as it is being made. This prevents burns to the material and sands away any burns caused by the body.
Makita has been manufacturing power tool accessories for nearly as long as they have been making power tools, which is generally longer than many companies have even been in existence. In that time they have made a subtle change to one of the tooth geometries to create their own spin on an older model.
The Makita A-93734 comes has alternate top alternate face tooth geometry, which is actually far more similar to alternate top bevel/raker than it is to alternate top bevel. Regardless, it allows it to function well with a variety of cuts, though it is designed for ultra-fine finish work cut on a sliding compound miter saw.
Within the miter saw blade market, there are a couple of loose categories used to identify what types of cuts the saw blade is designed to make. While this does not necessarily mean that the saw blade can only make these types of cuts, it does mean that you will see better results making that type of cut with that particular saw blade.
One of the primary categories is the “combination” saw blade, and with Freud being one of the biggest manufacturers in the saw blade market, it only makes sense that they would also put forth the best combination miter saw blade that we reviewed.
When it comes to combination miter saw blades, the important thing to remember is that it is all about the teeth–specifically, combination miter saw blades are the most limited in terms of how many teeth qualify the saw blade as a combination saw blade.
In this regard, a combination saw blade can have no more than 60 teeth and no less than 50, with the Freud LU88R010 having 60 teeth exactly.
This means that this product is capable of making both ripping cuts as well as crosscuts, though you should understand that miter saw blades designed and dedicated to those types of cuts specifically will perform better than a combination blade.
That said, the fact that the Freud LU88R010 uses the TiCO patented tooth compound is merely icing on the cake.
Beyond providing one of the better ripping miter saw blades that we saw, the Freud LU88R010 also puts plenty of thought and features into the body of their blade.
For instance, this product comes with a variety of different types of sound dampeners to ensure that you do not have to worry about it making undue noise.
On top of that, this it comes with a Perma Shield coating to keep it clean throughout its use and help prevent the blade from burning or scarring the wood as it cuts.
Out of all the companies on our list, none have been able to withstand the changing demands of the market longer than Hitachi, which can trace its founding back to 1910.
Hitachi actually found its way into the power tool market in much the same way that other Japanese power tool manufacturers have: through electrical motors.
That said, Hitachi has definitively placed itself within the mid-tier of the power tool market, something few companies can consistently manage. Still, this does place Hitachi a bit below some of the other companies on our list–at least in regards to power tool accessories and saw blades in particular.
Easily one of the most defining things about the Hitachi 725206 is that it was designed explicitly to be used on smaller power saws.
This miter saw blade only comes in a single size and it is the smaller of the two general sizes used for the majority of miter saws at 10”. It also uses a ⅝” arbor as opposed to the larger 1” arbor.
This means that the Hitachi 725206 was designed to be used primarily in miter saws that are a bit smaller than the larger options on the market and it is likely to be used with motors that are a touch on the lower end as well–though still strong enough to cut through hardwood.
Though Hitachi may not necessarily set the world on fire when it comes to their innovations in the miter saw blade market, that does not mean that they do not understand what it takes to manufacture a higher end product.
For instance, the Hitachi 725206 is laser cut, so you do not have to worry about the blade’s body warping or bowing, allowing you to make straighter, more accurate cuts.
On top of that, this blade also uses tungsten carbide for the teeth, ensuring that they will remain sharp for a long time and are far less likely to break off than some of the teeth used by lesser manufacturers.
Depending on the situation, there is a good chance that you may not be too concerned about all of the fancy bells and whistles that manufacturers use to entice customers to purchase their miter saw blade.
This is especially true if you expect to give your blade a steady stream of work for months on end. In this case, chances are you simply need a blade that can competently get the job done and will not take too big of a bite out of your budget.
Like many of the other Makita miter saw blades that we saw, the Makita A-93681 singles out the most important quality of a good blade, the teeth, and simply provides one of the best arrangements that is well-suited for a variety of tasks.
The Makita A-93681 has carbide teeth that last significantly longer than some other competitors in terms of needing to be sharpened. This blade will be able to make cuts cleanly as well considering that the tooth faces have a 600 grit texture to smooth and polish the cut after it has been made and help prevent any burns to the wood.
When it comes to the type of cut that a miter saw blade is designed to make, the most important quality to consider is the number of teeth on the blade itself.
his particular model has 80 teeth, which makes ideal for general finish work and cross cuts on hardwood like trim or other more delicate types of cuts. That said, this unit also features the signature
Makita tooth geometry which means that the blade likely has a bit of leg in terms of versatility.
For instance, the alternate top alternate face tooth geometry of the Makita A-93681 makes it capable of handling light ripping duties as well as making solid cuts that require a bit more care and precision.
Frequently asked questions
When it comes to ripping cuts, you will need to have a ripping blade. The choice of blade determines the quality of cuts that you will make.
A blade with more teeth provides a fine and smooth finish on the edges of the wood while producing less dust. There is also minimal material wasted.
You can cut metal using a miter blade if you use the correct blade. Carbide blades are the best for cutting aluminum. However, more wearing out will occur when it is used to cut metals of a large amount.
There are some blades that will work for both circular saws as well as miter saws. However, the circular saw blades are known to provide high speeds and less waste material.