Is there a way to visually inspect the blade of a miter saw and know if it
needs replacement? Do the carbide tips of the blade change in appearance
when the blade becomes dull? How do you tell when you need a new blade?
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If any of the carbide teeth are missing, it should be repaired or replaced.
If it is not cutting well, is should be sharpened or replaced. A good blade
is worth paying $25 or so to have sharpened. Good blades cost from $50 to
$150. Good blades make for a smooth cut, no chip out. Some of the best
are Forrest, Freud. Avoid cheap brands like Vermont American except for the
roughest of cutting.
If you have to ask, you probably need a new blade.
The easiest thing to do is to go buy a new blade. Before you
install it, make a cut with the old one. Install new blade make a
similar cut on the same board. If you feel a difference, you need a
new blade. If there is no difference, put the old one back on and
keep the new one until the old one gives out.
Keeping the blade sharp will prolong the life of the saw.
It's worth the money to change the blade often.
You can tell by the feel of the cut. If your cut is smooth and easy,
it's fine. I use several different blades depending on rough or
finish work, and a dull coarser blade will cut a 2x4 with similar
resitance to a new 80 tooth blade.
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