Bought a new saw blade, most expensive one I've seen and it still burns the wood and takes some pushing to get through. I am ripping 1 3/4 thick oak with the grain. Blade is Orange Chrome Heavy Duty Multi Purpose Carbide 10" x 0.126" 60 TCG

Am I expecting too much? Wrong type of blade? Bad blade?

  • 4
    Did you wax the blade? Ripping separates the internal stresses in the wood into two parts, which may no longer balance each other -- ie, the boards warp, causing binding and burning. Wax will lube the blade. Keep the wood moving.
    – amI
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 22:56
  • What kind of wax does one use? Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 23:53
  • 2
    Not to ignore the obvious, but do you have the blade in correct position for proper rotation? The teeth should be cutting on the downstroke.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 0:27
  • 1
    Waxing the table surfaces and the fence is great, but wax on the blade is not going to improve the cut on a table saw.
    – JayL
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 4:25
  • 3
    Is the fence exactly parallel to the blade? Which side of the cut is burned? Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 5:19

4 Answers 4


High tooth count will give smooth results in most cases, but they can heat up in hard wood. More teeth leads to more friction. It's probably a fine all purpose blade, but ripping a hardwood like oak, especially very thick boards, is probably a reason to use a dedicated ripping blade.

Ripping blades have 24-30 teeth, and the tooth profile is flat on top. Some may have a slightly thicker kerf to avoid binding if the board twists or pinches when it's cut. Each tooth takes a bigger bite, but when you're going with the grain, you can afford to do that. Fewer teeth means less friction and heat.

  • 1
    Yeah, we'd often switch to the modern crop of circular saw blades to rip hardwood on a table saw. They're half as thick.
    – isherwood
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 20:03
  • 2
    There are other good points being made (check the blade is not backwards, alignment, consider thin kerf blade if saw is underpowered) but there is no question that the blade chosen is the wrong one for the job.
    – JayL
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 4:16
  • When you retry your cut with a ripping blade, I think you will be amazed in the difference in effort it takes to push the board through.
    – JayL
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 4:32

Check that your rip fence is parallel to the blade. If not, you could be forcing the workpiece into the blade as you feed.

  • 1
    This is a good point. When I bought my (used) table saw, the blade was not straight and caused me problems until I decided to check it one day.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 20:39
  • 3
    Not to be pedantic, but usually the fence should be adjusted to match the blade. There's not usually any means of actually adjusting the blade.
    – isherwood
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 20:54
  • 2
    Blade needs to be parallel with the miter gauge grooves on the table, and the fence needs to be in that same plane. I'm sure there are saws that don't have a blade adjustment like you say tho.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 21:11

Rip cutting a length of hardwood like oak is a much tougher job than cross cutting and you're trying to cut through a very thick piece. Note this is dangerous on a table saw, and especially if there's high feed resistance. Do not push harder to feed faster hoping to avoid the burn marks! Instead, you have to avoid the situation that is overworking your blade and/or motor.

You say it's a new blade so it's probably not gummed up with pitch yet and it hopefully is still sharp. Many hardwood species will burn (get the black scorch marks) if the blade is binding and cutting too slowly or if your feed rate is too slow. Species like cherry are very susceptible to this.

You say it's hard to feed, so you likely have one or more of these situations, some of which have already been mentioned:

  • Not the best blade for this job. A dedicated carbide rip blade will do better. If you really want an all-purpose table saw blade, the Forrest Woodworker II series are fantastic. Their performance and incredible support made it worth every penny.
  • Not enough power in the saw motor, so it is bogging down and the blade isn't running full speed. What is your saw model?
  • The wood is binding, which can get pinched between the fence and blade or between fence and guard splitter if they aren't aligned right
  • The wood may be pinching the blade itself if it isn't properly seasoned or has warp stress being released by the cut.
  • Make sure the blade isn't warped, damaged, or dull.
  • Make sure the saw itself isn't vibrating excessively.

Assuming you have already thickness-planed the oak, one way to do this kind of cut is to set your blade height to just barely more than half the thickness and run it through once on each side. This is easier for any blade and table saw to handle. Note that for the FIRST pass you have to have most types of blade guards removed (but it's an embedded cut), but you should still replace the guard before the flip cut since it can pass the splitter.

By the way, although it is certainly feasible to make that cut on most table saws with the right blade, it would be vastly easier and also far safer to make thick rip cuts like that on a band saw.


you have the wrong blade. 24tooth ripping blade is what you want. please have someone with experience show you how to use the digit cut off tool. I say this because the RED FLAG that popped up when you stated "it takes some pushing to get through". That's a no no, let the blade do the work and you should never have to force lumber to cut it. fyi fingers n thumbs don't grow back and table saw will remove then in a blink of a eye.

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