Worth buying a CHEAP plywood blade for circ. saw?

Through an unexpected turn of events I have recently gone from having no working circular saw to having two. (One fixed, one "inherited") One has a 40 tooth 6.5" blade. The other is "coarser", probably 24 teeth, and 7.25".
Plywood is the most likely material for me to be cutting with a circular saw. I don't have a table saw. I am a weekend home handyman who occasionally makes a "boxy thing with face frame" type of project, or maybe just shelves. My skills are modest, but the uninformed usually find my work quite impressive. ;)
I see that an 80 tooth "plywood" blade can be had very cheaply, for under $10. I have also seen much more expensive ones. Due to an ongoing close relationship with medical care and the bills that accompany it, an expensive one is not in the running right now.
Will a guy like me gain a noticeable improvement with a cheap 80 or 100 or 140 or (jeez) 200 tooth blade, as compared with the 40 tooth I have now? If I get too high a "tooth count", might I just as well use a torch for all the burning I'll do??
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It depends on that you want to cut with it and how you use it. A cheap 80 tooth blade may make very fine cuts for you, but it's sharpness will probably be short lived. It also may not be capable of being resharpened effectively like an 80 tooth carbide tipped blade. As well, good quality 80 tooth blades are commonly used for cross cutting veneered plywood and quality hardwoods in table saws. They're not commonly designed for circular saws which commonly use blades in the range of 7.25 inches. In fact, I've never seen an 80 tooth blade for a circular saw. The teeth would have to be very close together to fit them all in.
=Cheap blades advertised with some "super titanium tipped coating" or some other attention getting ad, are still cheap blades. For me, I'd treat them as soon to be replaced items in the unlikely event I may even have one.
So, my answer would be "no", you'd just be wasting your money using such a blade in your circular saw. I understand that money is tight for you, but should you (when you) graduate to a table saw, even a cheaper one that's properly aligned, you'll immediately see a major increase in the quality of your saw cuts, introducing you to a whole new level of woodworking.
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Upscale wrote:

Right. The inches are smaller on a 7.25" blade than on a 10" blade.
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http://www.freudtools.com/p-16-thin-kerf-ultimate-plywood-melamine.aspx
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Disregard.

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I didn't say they didn't exist, just that I've never seen one in person. :) And if I read the specs in your link correctly, the 80 tooth version is for a 20mm arbor, such as a Festool plunge saw. The regular, everyday 7" circular saw version which the OP has would likely use the 60 tooth version of the Freud and only if it has a 5/8" arbor which.
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wrote in message

That's why I said to disregard.
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Yup. I was busily crafting my reply when you posted, so I didn't see it in time. No problem. As an aside, I bought a 48 tooth Festool manufactured blade for my TS55 which I have yet to try out. I'll be interested to read any observations on how other 20mm blades stack up against it considering the reputation that Festool has with its products.
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*snip*

I bought a cheap ($4) plywood blade for a circular saw once. It came off the saw the same day it went on, and never got reinstalled. I got better cuts with a standard Irwin Marathon blade. (They're less than $10 each as well, so it's worth buying one to try.)
Puckdropper
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Never teach your apprentice everything you know.

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On 9/30/10 9:40 PM, snipped-for-privacy@risky-biz.com wrote:

Don't but one of those cheap, thin, (Olson?) plywood blades.
They flex too much and you get a jig saw effect.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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Personally, I have had tremendous success with the Freud line of saw blades. They are the bright red ones you see at Home Depot. I have used the 16 and 24 tooth blades and they are outstanding. They are now all I buy.
Scroll down this page and you will see they are VERY affordable even in the high tooth count blades:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/35tob3m
The key to a long lasting blade is to cut straight, and for most that means using a guide. Cutting off the line means you have to wrestle the saw back to it, and cutting with the sides of the teeth when you wrack the saw is what builds up heat. Heat helps resin (or in the case of plywood adhesive) buildup, and more resin equals more heat.
The more heat you generate, the more your blade distorts, and then the worse your cut becomes. Additional heat also burns up the blade teeth as well.
There are plenty of plans and ideas floating around if you don't want to make your own saw guides. They sell a Johnson branded aluminum channel guide at some of the box stores that actually do a good job

well. It sure isn't fast, but if a circular saw is what you have, it work fine for long rips and crosscuts.
Also, you can do a Google search for "circular saw guide" and you will find a lot of home shop info as well as plans for building your own.
A so/so blade will perform very well in the hands of an experienced saw man because he can cut straight. I great blade will perform poorly in the hands of a less skilled individual. The point being you don't have to spend a fortune on saw blades to get really good cuts.
No matter what happens, do not let Leon, Robatoy, or Swingman talk you into a Festool TS 75. Even if they do have a special now that will include a free cap if you buy their saw!
Robert
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Snip

But, but, but, it's a $500 cap!
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On 10/1/2010 7:09 AM, Leon wrote:

AND ... it increases efficiency, thereby saving time, and time is $$$$$$.0$!
That's what I always say ... to the wallet crowbar.
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wrote:

Interesting. Can someone tell me about the oddly shaped teeth? What's the purpose of the rounded bump that follows each cutting tooth?

I'm certainly in that category. I see Tom Silva on TOH make cuts using a hand-held speed square as a guide, but I need something more solid.

I don't remember who makes it, but I have a two-piece aluminum guide (there's a "joining" piece that makes the guide 8' long) that I use with spring clamps.

Despite my modest needs and skills, I like tools. Even in more flush times I set a personal rule for myself: Only buy things you have a need for. Nevertheless, over the years a startling number and wide variety of tools have crept into my garage, some of which have been used exactly once. I have a really beautiful basin wrench with barely a mark on it, for instance.
I've seen the Festool stuff online. Looks great. But while sometimes it can be the tool, I have the same philosophy I've always had about cameras. I like them too, and my shots are pretty decent . (They impress my friends too). But I doubt that that the difference between me and say, Ansel Adams, is that my cameras aren't good enough.
Thanks to all.
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Another superb post by Robert. My experience with Freud mirrors his.
Max
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net says...

FWIW, I found myself cutting up a lot of sheet goods recently and got a 60 tooth Freud for my circular saw (I already had an 80 tooth that went in the table saw for this) and the cut quality is about as good as you're going to get on MDF or plywood I think. Still needs some sanding, but not much. The cut is noticeable cleaner than using my Oldham combo blade, which is itself good enough that I've never been tempted by a WWII.
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On Thu, 30 Sep 2010 19:40:41 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@risky-biz.com"

Goodonya, mate.

With a circular saw, I got a much flakier cut from a new HSS plywood blade than I did with a nice, fresh, sharp, carbide, cheapie blade with 1/3 the teeth. I won't use a plywood blade on a piece of hardwood ply. It's too expensive to screw up.
-- Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive... then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -- Howard Thurman
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