Circular saw blades look pretty similar on the surface, although each type is intended for a different purpose. If that’s the case, then what is the best circular saw blade for plywood?
Plywood is a soft material. It splinters easily, and only a fine cut produces the best results. Therefore, the kind of circular saw blade you need to work with plywood should have the following specifications:
At Least 60 Teeth
The number of teeth on a circular blade determines how fast it cuts, the type of cuts it can make, and most importantly, the finish of the cut.
Framing blades have around 24 teeth because they need to be cut aggressively. These blades make rough cuts through thick chunks of wood, but they do it quickly. On the other hand, Plywood blades have between 60 – 100 teeth, which enables them to cut through pinewood quickly but without splintering the delicate material.
Blades with more teeth create a more refined finish, which is precisely what you need when cutting plywood.
Blades heat up and expand while cutting, then contract when they cool off. This constant expansion and contraction can cause the blade to warp, which is why an expansion slot is a must-have feature if you want your blades to have a long life.
Expansion slots also help the blade to make straighter cuts by reducing vibration as it spins. When it comes to cutting plywood, expansion slots are more valuable than you might think.
Narrow Cut Thickness
You’ll find the thickness of a blade’s cut—the kerf—printed on its face. The kerf of circular plywood saw blades should ideally be very narrow. A blade with a thin profile can cut through plywood faster and with less friction. The narrower your cuts are, the more likely you are to reduce material waste.
Fits Your Saw
Circular saw blades vary widely in diameter. It goes without saying that you should shop according to your saw’s specifications. What is the right blade diameter for you?
A handheld circular saw is compatible with blades as small as 4 ½ inches – 7 ¼ inches, usually having carbide tips. But, if you’re working with a table saw, or a miter saw, only consider blades with a diameter of 10 inches – 12 inches. These larger blades also have carbide tips for better cutting efficiency.
Before you dive into the sea of circular saw blades for sale online, you can check out our latest list of circular saw blades for cutting plywood. Quality blades don’t go unnoticed, and based on our research, these are the top picks in this category.
Freud LU80 Ultimate 10-inch 80T Plywood and Melamine Blade
Miter and circular saw owners can trust the Freud Ultimate to make fine finishes on plywood (and melamine). Standing at 10 inches in diameter and equipped with 80 teeth, each at a 2-degree angle, this Hi-ATB Grind plywood blade can achieve a maximum RPM of 7,000.
The straightness of your cuts is a guarantee, thanks to laser-cut expansion slots on the blade. These “Anti-Vibration” slots also stop the edge from moving sideways while cutting, allowing them to create crisp, splinter-free finishes consistently.
The crispness of the cut is never in doubt, not with the blade’s Hi-Density TiCo carbide tips, which stay sharp much longer than metal. That ensures a long life for your plywood blades or less time spent dealing with dull blades.
To top it off, the Freud Ultimate sports a non-stick “Perma-Shield” coating, a deterrent to corrosion, pitch, and blade drag.
Freud Diablo 7 ¼-inch 60T Ultra-Fine Finish Circular Saw Blade
This is the best-selling handheld circular saw blade for cutting plywood, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a carbide-tipped plywood-cutting monster with a 5/8-inch Diamond Knockout arbour (0.059”) and 60 teeth, all angled at 2 degrees for a faster, smoother cut.
It shares several similarities with the Freud Ultimate, right down to the laser-cut expansion slots and the Perma-Shield coating. Therefore, it cuts with reduced vibration, giving you smoother finishes all the way. What’s more, the anti-corrosion coating doesn’t just stop rust. It also reduces friction—blade drag, to be precise—and you’ll appreciate how easily it cuts when using a handheld saw.
Your options aren’t limited to circular saws, though. Thanks to its arbour, this saw blade is compatible with miter saws and table saws too. With a maximum RPM of 8,000, the Diablo cuts through plywood quickly but finely and produces straight, smooth cuts without damaging your material.
DeWalt 7 ¼-inch Circular Saw Blade 140T for Hollow Ground Plywood
You can trust DeWalt to produce quality industrial-grade saw blades, which they deliver abundantly with this 7 ¼-inch circular saw blade. This one’s specially built for hollow ground plywood. That’s why it has 140 teeth—far more than the 100 recommended for plywood. But since hollow plywood is more delicate, it warrants a blade that can cut finely without causing it to splinter.
The teeth are precision-sharpened, which results in smoother operation all round. The saw’s body is a bit thicker, but that makes it better-suited for heavy-duty applications. Durability is an excellent attribute for your saw blade to have, which is why this hollow ground saw blade also features a coating to protect it from corrosion.
It lacks expansion slots, but it is not likely to warp or bind with prolonged use since its body is made of hardened steel. In summary, his circular saw blade is perfect for working with fragile pieces of engineered wood.
Porter-Cable (12057) 4 ½-inch 120T Circular Saw Plywood Blade
This Porter-Cable circular saw blade for plywood fits 5/8” arbour saws and can handle a maximum RPM of 7,500. With 120 teeth, it glides through soft plywood to create sharp edges and crisp lines. It cuts just as rapidly through materials of similar thickness as plywood, and because it has so many teeth, you’ll rarely have to sand down your finishes.
The USA-made plywood blade is built from durable metal with an anti-corrosion coating. It’s also very affordable. It offers the best value for money if you need an emergency blade or quickly wants to replace a dulled-out blade.