Table Saw Blade Direction Guide

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The direction of the teeth of your table saw blade plays a vital role in determining your project’s quality and safety. With the teeth facing the right direction, you will have effective woodworking with plausible results. So, which way do the blade teeth go on a table saw? 

You have to set the teeth so that it pushes into the wood and down. If you look closely at your blade, you will notice that every tooth has a blunt backside, but the front is sharp. So when placing the blade on your table saw, ensure that it rotates with the pointed side coming towards you. 

Man measuring his table saw blades

Why Is It Important to Have Your Blade Face the Right Direction?

Having your cabinet table saw face the wrong direction could lead to fatal workshop accidents. According to Government estimates, there are over 67,000 reported table saw injuries per year and most of these come from improper use and set-up. 

One common thing about table saw teeth is that they are sharp and dangerous. Therefore, we recommend that you take the utmost precaution to ensure that the blade is always set in the right direction. 

How to Correctly Change a Table Saw Blade 

Saw blades vary in size, color, and the number of teeth. However, they all have protective coats that minimize their chances of overheating and rusting. Depending on your blade, you can either have gold titanium (yellow non-slip coating) or a red Teflon coating. 

The number of teeth you have on your blade, the finer the cut it will give. For example, a 24-teeth blade is ideal for cutting framing timber while a 36-teeth blade is suitable for finishing cuts in woods. 

The following process will help you change your table saw effectively, 

1. Pick The Right Table Saw Blade 

Before buying a good table saw blade, it is crucial to consider two factors, the kind of project you want to work on and the size of blade you want. The two correlate and affect each other as follows. 

Table saw with blade guard

2. Access the Arbor Nuts and Shaft 

First, ensure that you unplug your table saw to avoid any electrocution in the process. After that, remove the through-plate and the blade guard to access the blade. You can see the shaft and the arbor nut that mounts your blade to the device with the through-plate and the blade guard removed. 

Next, raise your blade to its highest point. 

3. Remove the Old Blade 

Here you can use a set of adjustable wrenches or open-ended wrenches. Stand on the operator and use one of the wrenches to hold and secure the arbor nut (the nut or bolt holding the blade attached to the table saw) to the left side. Use the other wrench on your right hand to loosen the arbor nut 

Some table saws come with arbor locks to help you hold the blade in place when loosening the nut, so you don’t need two wrenches. You only need to push the lock and loosen the arbor nut.

You can also use a benchtop blade lock to hold the blade in place as you remove the nut. Remove the bolt plus the washers and finally the blade. 

4. Install the New Blade 

Ensure that the blade teeth are pointing towards and downwards you as you attach it to the arbor shaft. Then, replace the washers and the nuts and use the same methods you used to loosen the arbor nuts to tighten them. Apply it in opposite directions. 

After that, replace your guard system, install your through-plate, and plug back your table saw. Your blade should be able to work correctly if you correctly followed our steps.

Table Saw Safety Measures 

Using a table saw poses a danger to the operator even with your blade facing the right direction. Here are some precautions you should keep in mind. 

Person shows which way do the blade teeth go on a table saw

Proper Blade Orientation

The first precautionary measure is to ensure that the table saw blades are facing downward and rotating clockwise as you feed it with wood. That way, you stabilize the wood and prevent it from flying away due to cutting pressure. 

Protective Gear

Another way that you can ensure your safety with table saws is by wearing protective glasses and gear. This is because as much as you apply the right procedures, certain things like kickbacks tend to happen and may cause a lot of damages and harm. 

What Direction Should My Table Saw Blade Rotate? 

Your table saw blade should rotate in a counter-clockwise direction with the teeth facing downwards at the front of the saw. That way, it puts downward pressure on the wood as you feed it and spills the wood pieces toward the floor and away from you. 

How Should I Feed My Piece of Wood to the Table Saw Blade? 

For rip cuts, you should let the blade cut along the wood grain. However, for crosscuts, you do not need any particular direction to feed it. In both cases, you will need to protect the wood with rip fence and miter gauge, respectively, for accurate and precise cuts. 

Bottom Line 

A table saw could be very dangerous if the blade teeth face the wrong direction. It is, therefore, essential that you get the right blade teeth orientation to protect both yourself and the piece of wood you are working on.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.