A table saw is an incredible piece of equipment vital in any workspace, and many people use it because of its versatility and flexibility. Making sure you are using it properly is in your best interest. So, which way does a table saw blade go?
The teeth of the table saw’s blade should be facing downward so that when the blade rotates in a counterclockwise direction, it is facing its user. There’s a reason why you should place the blade in that manner. You might also be interested to learn about the different types of table saw blades and how to replace them if need be. This article covers all of this information.
Which Way Does a Table Saw Blade Go?
Placing your table saw blade properly goes a long way in ensuring your project turns out right, and you are never at a risk. With your table blade saw facing the right direction and spinning to the right, you are set to properly apply the machine to the material.
Which way does a table saw blade face?
A table saw blade should rotate from the back of the saw to the front, facing you. Each tooth on the blade has a sharp front and blunt backside. Therefore, the teeth of the table saw’s blade should be pointing down so it can dig into the material.
Luckily, most blades are marked with an arrow pointing to the direction they should be rotating toward. You should probably follow the arrow if you are new to using a table saw.
Which way does a table saw blade spin?
A table saw blade should spin counterclockwise. Therefore, you should make sure the teeth of the blade are moving forward (towards you) and cutting downward.
When you set your blade up in this way, it is easier for you to push the object towards the blade and cut effectively. Hence, you have better control over the saw and the timber.
Wrongly setting up your blade can lead to you hurting yourself and ruining your material. Just imagine a scenario where the teeth of the blade do not spin facing you. Initially, you might be able to direct it somewhat, but when your saw hits a harder part, you might damage your material, machine, or self.
Therefore, ensure your blade spins counterclockwise with the teeth facing you. When your blade can easily cut downwards into the material, you make your workspace safer and your working experience better.
Types of Table Saw Blades
You can use a table saw to cut various types of materials. Due to this versatility, a table saw can make cutting through even the toughest stuff easy. Hence, a table saw requires different types and sizes of blades. They also have varying numbers of teeth. The more teeth your blade has, the finer your cut will be.
Furthermore, they come with a protective coat to ensure their longevity. Your blade can either have red Telfon or gold titanium coating. These various blades have different cuts but work effectively on the suitable material. Some of these blades include crosscut blades, combination saw blades, and rip blades.
Regardless of the blade, you are using, you must make sure its teeth rotate counterclockwise, downwards, and towards you. You might get confused when you look at the teeth of a metal saw blade because their size and number differ from other blades. However, the blades should still face the same direction as the other tools.
Other kinds of blades you should consider are abrasive blades. They are used to cut hard materials like tile and concrete. These kinds of saw blades have no teeth. Rather, the blade will be made of a sturdier material. In that case, look at the directional arrows on the label of the blade. This label will inform you how to install the blade and what direction it should spin in.
Picking the right blade as a beginner might be challenging, but it is essential to ensure you get the job done efficiently and your blade lasts. Although these table saw blades differ, they all have one thing in common: the counterclockwise direction in which they turn.
How to Change a Table Saw Blade
You can use a table saw to cut different materials. However, these materials require different blades. So, whenever switching things up, you need to change your blade too. Here’s how:
1. Selecting the right blade
Before settling on the right table saw blade, you need to consider two things. First, you need to determine what you are trying to achieve with the blade and its size. Each factor heavily affects the other.
- You can use ferrous blades for cutting metals containing iron like stainless steel. Alternatively, you can use non-ferrous blades for softer metals like copper. Try and buy one with 40 teeth and above.
- For plastic laminate, you can use an 80-tooth saw blade.
- If you want to do some crosscutting or ripping, you should go with 10-inch titanium saw blade with between 40-80 teeth.
- For cutting timber like veneered plywood, you can use a 90-teeth table saw blade. Plywood is quite delicate, so this blade will help minimize its chipping.
- For polished crosscuts, opt for a 60-teeth blade. You can use the blade for ripping cuts, but be careful not to char your wood.
- A black blade hybrid table saw is optimal for cutting wide grooves.
2. Removing the throat plate and blade guard
Before proceeding, turn off and unplug your table saw to avoid electrocution or something worse. When that’s done, access the blade by removing the blade guard and throat plate. Remember that table saws differ, so you might need to read the instruction before meddling with it.
Now, raise your blade. Ensure you raise it to its maximum point. Do this to create easy access to the blade as you try to remove it.
3. Loosening the arbor nut
When you remove the throat plate and blade guard, you should see the arbor. It is there to hold the blade in place. To remove the arbor, you must first loosen the arbor nut.
You do this with a pair of wrenches, and the wrenches should have come with your table saw. You use one wrench to hold the blade in place while you use the other to turn the arbor nut.
However, some table saws come with arbor locks. When you push down on this lock, it helps hold the blade in place while you loosen the nut. This means you don’t need two wrenches.
4. Removing the arbor nut
Once you have loosened the nut, you need to unscrew and remove it with your hand. Be careful not to let the nut fall into the table saw. After removing the arbor nut, remove the washer.
5. Replacing the blade
Now that you have removed the arbor nut and washer, replace the blade with the new one. Ensure to place the blade properly. Its teeth should be downwards and pointing towards you.
After placing the blade on the arbor in the right direction, it’s time to replace the washer and the arbor nut. When replacing the arbor, ensure you use the same method you did to remove it. So, If you used two wrenches earlier, do the same, but this time tighten the nut. The same rule applies if you used the arbor lock.
Now, replace the throat plate and blade guard. With this final adjustment, you have installed your new blade.
Safety Measures When Using a Table Saw
Using a table saw can be dangerous, even when you place the blade in the right direction. Luckily, there are certain measures you can take to keep yourself safe.
Wear protective gear
Besides installing your blade correctly, wearing the right gear can keep you safe as you work. It would be best if you endeavored to wear protective goggles, a mask, gloves, and hearing protection. You should wear them because you can never tell when a kickback might happen, and when it does, it can cause a lot of damage. Also, do not wear jewelry or loose-fitting clothes as you work.
Check the safety features
Before working with your table saw, ensure all safety features are set and working properly. These features include the saw blade guard, anti-kickback pawls, and riving knife. Make sure they are all working well before turning on the table saw.
Keep your area clean
Materials like cutoffs, stock, and excess sawdust can significantly affect your ability to make safe and clean cuts. For example, a piece of stock can become a dangerous projectile if it touches the blade as it moves. Therefore, you should clean your workspace as best you can.
We’ve covered the proper direction your table saw blade needs to follow, the types of table saw blades, and even what to do when you need to replace a blade. In practice, ensure to follow the safety measures when working or when replacing the blade. If you follow our guide, you should be able to cut your material adequately and stay safe while you are at it.