7-1/4 Inch Framing Saw Blade Testing | 2022
After many of you commented on accessory testing, we came up with the idea to use the circular saw Head-2-Head test-rig to put some 7-1/4 framing blades to the test.
Saw blades come in a variety of designs, primarily revolving around the number of teeth. Blades with more teeth yield a smoother cut, and blades with fewer teeth remove material faster.
We decided to test 7 common $10-$12 dollar framing blades and see how they held up under extreme cutting conditions.
Standard 7-1/4 framing blades have 24 teeth and are effective for rough carpentry, where speed is prioritized over an ultra-smooth cut.
The blades were:
• Crescent Nail
• Diablo Framing
• Irwin Marathon
• Makita Ultra-Thin Kerf
• Spyder Tarantula
Blade Performance Test
The speed at which a circular saw can cut through a particular material is a factor of the blade shape (width, diameter, tooth count, and tooth shape), blade rotational speed, and horizontal force applied. We wanted to accelerate the wear and tear stress on these blades, so we designed a brutal 8-foot nail-embedded lumber rip-cut.3 cuts were performed, and the time was averaged. We used 3 new 6Ah Flexvolt batteries, and 3 new blades for this 3-cut test.
For cutting material, we used an 8-foot 2×10 KD with 16 penny nails embedded every 1 inch. The material was pre-drilled along the center axis to reduce splitting. We installed the16D nails by hand, resulting in 94 nails in 8-feet.
Circular Saw Variables
For our test saw, we chose to use the winner of our Head-to-Head test, the Dewalt FlexVolt model # DCS5781 circular saw.
For every test, we used a fully charged, ambient temperature battery in the Dewalt saw. After each test, the saw was allowed to rest for 5 minutes and cooled with compressed air through the vent slots.
We did not experience any electronic or battery overload issues during this testing.
Controlling Cutting Variables
To test the longevity and cutting power of these saw blades the TBB crew needed to control cutting variables. We achieved this by using the same circular saw and same cut board and nails for each cut. A drop-weight pulley system and low friction saw sled rig was used to achieve a repeatable constant force cut.
For our cutting sled, we used a Kreg Accu-cut track system, secured to our testing rig, and an 8-foot section of 2×10 KD lumber was indexed underneath.
The Accu-cut sled was pulled by a line, and a series of low friction pullies and attached to an 11 lb. weight which provided a consistent 11lb horizontal force to pull the saw through the cut.
After each cut, the sled and track were cleaned of all sawdust and debris. Before the first run of each saw the sled was lubricated with silicone spray and inspected to ensure a smooth low friction cut.
Controlling Timing Variables
Electro-mechanical micro-switches were secured to the start and stop sections of the cutting rig.
The time automatically started as the saw began its cut and again automatically stopped as the sled reached the far end, and the cut was finished. If a blade was unable to complete the full cut before the blade deteriorated to a point where smoking or safety became a concern the timer was manually stopped, and the length of cut was noted.
Nails Cut Results – Winner Diablo
We used “nails cut” vs. “time cut” as a scoring variable. As a remodeling contractor, I’d much rather have a blade last longer than cut faster and wear out sooner.
The winner of the test was the Diablo Framing blade which cut 94 nails in 34-seconds. It was also the only saw to complete the full rip cut and clearly had more life in the blade to cut additional material.
Second place went to the Crescent Nail Slicer cutting a total of 91 nails in 54 seconds before the blade was unable to continue cutting.
Third place was a tie between the Dewalt [87 nails in 67 seconds] and Milwaukee framing blades [87 nails in 80 seconds]
The Spyder Tarantula blade came one nail short at 86 nails in 32 seconds. It cut almost as fast as the Diablo blade but the cutting capacity diminished and the saw stopped cutting.
Note – Many of these saw blades stopped on the track but could be manually pushed thru additional nails [with more pushing force] but we did not record that.
This test had some impressive results and proved to us that a 10-12 dollar blade can be successful and productive in a framing and remodeling environment when cutting nail-embedded wood.
#FramingBlade #SawBladeTest #HeadToHead #ToolTest
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