If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.
Knowing the thickness of your circular saw blade is imperative for understanding your cutting requirements and the results better. A mismatched blade thickness and material to be cut will lead to lousy end jobs. Therefore, we bring you the ultimate guide on how thick a circular saw blade is to clarify your doubts and help you achieve accurate cuts.
How Thick Is a Circular Saw Blade?
The “kerf” is what defines the thickness of a circular saw blade. Thinner kerfs denote less thickness of the blade, and hence, sharper and more precise cuts, and vice-versa.
What is a Kerf?
“Kerf” is the width of the blade’s tooth tip or the breadth of the slot which the circular saw blade cuts in the material.
It is also the widest point on the blade and hence thicker than the blade plate or body. This thickness is what decides your blade’s cost and its cutting capacity.
It also denotes how much power it requires to make the cut and the amount of material wasted at the end of the cutting process.
The unit of measurement of a kerf is thousandths of an inch.
Types of Kerf
Circular saw blades come with two general categories of kerfs- thin kerf and full kerf.
#1 Thin Kerf
When the saw blade teeth are 3/32 inches wide, the blade falls under the category of having a thin kerf.
The added benefits to such blades are minimal material wastage or sawdust (in wood) and low power consumption.
#2 Full Kerf
When the saw blade teeth are 1/32 inches wide, the circular saw blade is known to have a thicker kerf.
You can achieve precision with these blades to some extent, but not that good as those with thinner kerf.
If you want to cut quickly, and it doesn’t matter if the edges are refined or not, then full kerf blades are an ideal choice.
But, they consume more power, put a lot of strain on the motor, and produce a lot of waste material.
If you’re confused regarding which blade kerf is ideal for your work requirement, then watch this video.
Factors Affecting a Blade’s Kerf
Many factors decide the circular saw blade’s kerf or thickness. These are:
#1 “Set” of the Teeth
“Set” of the teeth refers to the angle from the vertical at which each tooth is attached to the blade. The angle remains the same for each tooth but different for various blades.
The larger the angle set, the rougher the cuts will be. This is evident when you look at carbide-tipped construction blades. These blades have more kerf and hence are thicker. Their results are broader, quicker, and coarser cuts.
On the contrary, when the angle set is reduced, the teeth attached are less inclined to the blade plate. It helps in decreasing the kerf and thinning of the blade’s edge.
Such blades have applications in projects that require more precision and finer cuttings.
#2 The Flatness of the Blade
If the blade plate or body is extremely thin, then surprisingly, the kerf or the blade’s thickness will be more.
The reason behind this phenomenon is that increased flatness causes the blade plate to become more warped. Consequently, the blade’s teeth are no longer aligned, but rather the perimeter of the blade becomes zig-zagged.
Hence, when out of line, these teeth remove more material while cutting, which, in other words, reflects an increased kerf.
Therefore, if you want to achieve more accuracy and sharpness in your cuts, ensure your blade teeth are correctly aligned and do not wobble.
Blades having thinner plates are highly susceptible to faster heating. Therefore, it’s imperative to keep track of how long the circular saw is powered to avoid excessive heating and damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Usual Kerf Width?
For an entire kerf blade, the usual kerf is approximately 1.110 inches. On the other hand, the typical kerf for a thin kerf blade falls around 0.091 inches.
Thin kerf blades are 25% thinner than the full kerf blades, to put it relatively.
Why Is it Necessary to Keep Your Circular Saw Blade Kerf Sharpened?
Both thin and full kerf blades lose their sharpness with usage and experience wear and tear. The dullness in their edges can lead to uneven or undesired cuts and ruin your project altogether.
Therefore, it is necessary to maintain the original kerf of the blade by sharpening it regularly. In case the condition of the circular saw blade is beyond repairable, it is recommended to replace it with a new one.
The question “how thick is a circular saw blade” does not have any immediate answer. It depends on numerous factors like the flatness of your blade, set of teeth, the wobble of the blade, etc.
There may be general figures for both the categories of kerfs (thin and full), but if you want an exact number of your blade’s thickness, then you need to measure the kerf.