I have two different blades (which are almost new) for my mitre saw. One has 24 teeth, the other has 48 teeth.

Which blade should I be using to cut oak floor boards?

3 Answers 3


I'd use the 24 tooth blade, but be sure it is a carbide type and sharp. Since all your cuts are end cuts and will be covered with baseboard trim, so getting an ultra smooth cut is not that important. Obviously, you don't want to see any large chips on the cut edge, so do your cuts slowly and smoothly. Save your 48 blade for visible finish cuts on softer wood. If you do plan to do any precise finish work, moldings etc, consider investing in an 80 tooth blade for that type of work. Good Luck.

  • 1
    Also, remember to cut into the good side of the wood. Tear out usually happens on the bottom edge. So finish side up. Commented May 23, 2014 at 12:42
  • You are assuming that the person will not have to cut the planks unless at the end of the row. Often, with red oak # 2, you need to cut bad parts out, and it would be very important to get that finish smooth so it joins up properly with the board next in the row.
    – cryptic0
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 22:14

Sorry I am going to disagree somewhat with "shirlock homes" answer.

Given the choice between a 24T & 48T saw blade to perform the task (cross-cutting oak floorboards), I would most definitely go with the 48T blade, you will get a much cleaner cut (& less tear-out on the underside).

I would use the 24T blade on softwood (especially framing timber), mainly where you will be hiding the softwood behind something else.

Totally agree with "shirlock homes" on getting yourself an 80T (or even an 100T) blade for really precise finish work and making sure you use (sharp) carbide type tooth blades.

Below is a handy reference for helping someone select the right saw blade (well worth a read IMHO):

If you read the above referenced document, you will see a 24T or 48T blade could be used for cross-cutting hardwood floorboards. I would just rather go with the 48T given the choice between the two.

  • 2
    I have found that fine blades tend to burn up on 3/4' oak hardwood. You rarely will see any chipping or tear-out on the top of the plank unless you bull it too fast. Any tear-out will be on the bottom out of site and under the baseboards anyway. Just be sure the saw is up to speed and go smooth and slow. Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 20:30
  • @shirlock homes, I have experienced the exact opposite of you, never experienced "burn" problems with higher teeth count blades when used on types of projects the question is referring to, plus 3/4inch isn't that thick to cut with a good quality miter-saw & blade. I have never been lucky enough to be able to hide every single cut I've had to make under the skirting (base) board. Agree with the tear-out being on the bottom of the board when using a mitre-saw (due to direction of spinning blade).
    – Mike Perry
    Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 20:58
  • I'm with Shirlock.
    – Bob
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 1:32
  • I'm going to have to disagree with you. Shirlock is right in that finer blades (including 48T) leave burn marks on oak and 24T will do the job here in a more than satisfactory manner
    – user2059
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 13:53
  • Well, I guess the down-voters/commenters & I are going to have to "agree to disagree" on this :)
    – Mike Perry
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 14:14

I am a refinisher and installer by trade. I never use anything higher than 48 tooth and often lower when working red oak. If you are not hiding all your cut ends under baseboard or in some cases shoe or quarter round, you are not doing your job right. The "burning" comes from heat and dulling of the blade. You will experience more heat with more teeth.

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