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I bought a miter saw about six years ago, and haven't used it that much over the years - however, I have worn all of the labeling off of the blade, leaving no trace of the manufacturer, blade type, or whether or not it is carbide tipped or not.

I now have a need to cut aluminum, which necessitates the use of a carbide tipped blade. Is there any way I can determine by looking at the blade itself if it is a carbide tipped blade, i.e. are all carbide tipped blades in a special shape or color or something like that?

  • If the blade is carbide-tipped, each tooth will have a piece of carbide brazed/welded to the point of the tooth. That should be distinguishable to the naked eye, or with a magnifying glass if you're one of us whose close focus is no longer very good. – keshlam Jul 13 '16 at 20:06
  • look at this link if you are not sure see the shiny piece at the leading edge of each tooth that's the carbide. also they are wider than the steel portion of the blade. pic of carbide blade. – Ed Beal Jul 13 '16 at 20:15
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    What they said, but be gentle when you cut the aluminum. Typical woodworking blades have a positive hook angle, which can be grabby. If you bought a blade specifically for aluminum, you'd see it has a negative hook angle. More here: carbideprocessors.com/pages/saw-blades/saw-tip-angles.html – Aloysius Defenestrate Jul 14 '16 at 3:35
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    Carbide will generally last longer, but the blanket statement "to cut aluminum... necessitates the use of a carbide tipped blade" is false. I cut thousands and thousands of pieces of thin aluminum stock with a plain old thin-rim plywood blade. – Jimmy Fix-it Jul 14 '16 at 4:21
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Is there any way I can determine by looking at the blade itself if it is a carbide tipped blade

As keshlam pointed out

If the blade is carbide-tipped, each tooth will have a piece of carbide brazed/welded to the point of the tooth. That should be distinguishable to the naked eye, or with a magnifying glass if you're one of us whose close focus is no longer very good.

enter image description here

At date of writing, I do not know of any other commonly-encountered type of blade that could be easily confused with this.


This answer Community Wiki as it is based on other people's comments

  • I didn't have a picture handy, and I'm really not playing the point game. If you see a comment of mine that you think should be an answer, please feel free to quote it; if I objected to that I wouldn't have posted the comment. – keshlam Jul 14 '16 at 16:25

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