thin kerf blades

Best Thin Kerf Miter Saw Blades

Table saws or radial-arm saws were often used by woodworkers back in the days. They have considered these as accurate machines that could aid them in their work. When miter saws came into the picture, they were considered as crude and weren’t accurate. However, for job site carpentry, miter saws were considered as great time savers. To get most out of this tool, one would need thin-kerf miter saw blades which are now available in the market. 

Nowadays, the modern miter saw has become the go-to tool for jobs such as miter cuts, crosscutting and compound angle cuts. As for the size, according to figures, 12-inch meter saws have now taken over the popularity of 10-inch saws and are considered as the best choice by most professionals. 

Why use a fine finish blade?

With the use of a fine finish blade, you could be assured that you will achieve a smooth miter saw cuts for furniture building, cabinetmaking and even trim work. With the mentioned type of work, you would need a blade that comes with a lot of teeth. Hence, the 12-inch blade is perfect tool as it comes with 32 teeth. 

Limitations of extra-fine tooth thin Kerf Miter Saw Blades

The rule of thumb is if your blade has densely packed teeth, you could be assured that you could make smooth cuts. However, these types of blades are limited to cutting hardwoods that has a thickness of 1-1/2inch or less. 

Why thin Kerf blades?

Though thick blades provide stability in terms of cuts, they are not suited for short on and off cutting action of a miter saw. A lighter blade could provide you speed and allows you to cut faster. Also, aside from that, thin blades use less power while you cut. Due to these advantages, thin kerf miter saw blades became well-know and its popularity is continuously growing. 

The downsides, however, is that these thinner blades could deflect and wander in a cut more easily. It affects negatively bevel cuts. 


If you need to work on solid wood, the best blade design for this is alternate top bevel (ATB). ATB designs come with raker teeth, pointier high-bevel angle teeth or angled face teeth. This could cut the outside edges before it scoops out the middle.  

What is a raker tooth? 

Rakers are flat topped teeth that are symmetrical. They could clean the wood between grooves made by right and left angled teeth. You will find this lower than the angled teeth. They are placed between every set of ATB teeth. 

ATB tooth design is considered as alternative face design. 

It is also known as shear face and its tooth is skewed as well. 

Blade Anatomy

ATB: Alternate Top Bevel

ATB+R: Alternate Top Bevel with Raker 

Hi-ATB: Alternate Top Bevel with High Bevel angle teeth

ATAF: Alternate Top Bevel and Alternate Face angles

All the Blade Angles

Rake or hook angle, top bevel angle and face angle are the most relevant tooth angles. The rake angle is the orientation of the face of the tooth in relation to radial line drawn through the center of the blade. A tooth parallel is 0 degree rake angle. Positive rake angle teeth on the other hand ensures a more aggressive bite. It also cuts faster. 

Negative angle teeth on the other hand does scrap cuts which is slower. Unlike the positive rake angle teeth, the negative angle teeth need feed pressure.

The top bevel angle on the other hand is across the top of a tooth when viewed straight from the front.  They are usually at 30 degrees and are higher than ATB teeth.

Other thin Kerf Blade Features

Blades are mostly about teeth. Though that is the conception, there are other things you would need to consider. For one, the blade coatings. This could be a Teflon, powder coating or chrome. Aside from that, you could also consider noise suppression slots. These are laser-cut zigzags. They are designed to capture vibration and absorb sound of blades. These slots are filled with polymer dampen blades which are more effective. All of these blades, unfortunately could contribute to loss of hearing. Hence, we recommend that you protect yourself by wearing an ear protection. Another disadvantage of slotted blades is; they could not be flattened or tensioned again. 

Testing the Best Thin Kerf Miter Saw Blades

We have tested 12-inch Hitachi C12FDH and we could say this model and brand is amazing. They have gained high marks. Its cut quality is high and we have tested this on different dimensions and thickness. 

Testing Hardwoods

We tested several hardwoods such as maple and cherry which provided fine view of scratch patterns. We also tested white oak which resulted to one of the best evaluations. It ended up with one of the best cuts. Veneer-covered plywood and MDF only the other hand had clean cuts together with Kerf’s top edge. Lacquered beech, maple and Baltic birch plywood had a chipping brittle finished edge. 

Microscopic Inspection

We had done microscopic inspection and took some photos of the sides, faces and top edges. We looked for early wear to use as predictor of longevity. This gave us, instead a preview of individual teeth and brazes. 

Best Thin Kerf Miter Saw Blades Results

Upon our tests, we were able to achieve fine cuts especially from the new blades. Though almost every blade has a dozen sharpening s of carbide, there are some that are not worth the $250 investment. Those that impressed us, however, are the Forrest, Freud and Tenryu blades. They, we could say are smart investments which provides a lasting value especially to serious craftsman. 

  • Set up your saw for success – this starts with your fence. We recommend that you check left and right sections of your fence sections – your coplanar. Take in mind that if it does not have support on both sides, you workpiece will get a lot of vibrations which could lead to unwanted cuts. Also, after checking that, the next thing you would need to check is the fence’s surfaces. Are they perpendicular to your saw’s table? With having a tightened position, ensure that you square the blade to the fence and calibrate to 0-degree marker on your miter scale. Do the same with your bevel setting. 
  • Make a zero clearance cutting surface – to get the smoothest possible cuts, we suggest that you attach strips of hardboard to your fence and to your table with the use of a double sided tape. The downside of this method is that you would need to replace the strips whenever you change your miter angle. 
  • Never let the teeth touch your work twice – whenever you complete a cut, hold you saw head down until it comes to a full stop. This will avoid any part of your saw blade touch your work twice. Then, slide finish cut piece away from your blade. 

Best Thin Kerf Blades Results

CMT Industrial Thin Kerf 

Model: 255.096.12 – this model comes with Hi-ATB blade and offers a very good and affordable price.

  • Noise/vibration suppression
  • Flatness: Very Good
  • Cut quality: Notable scratch lines and some irregular marks on end grain. The irregular marks seem attributable to vibration.
  • Price: $75.32  

Model: D12100X

This is considered as the most aggressive rake angle. It is reliable and its price is considered as one of the lowest. 

  • Flatness: Good (maximum .003” dip near perimeter)
  • Coating: aluminum-based PTFE
  • Noise/vibration suppression: 4 half-filled slots, Good dampening effect
  • Cut quality: Light scratch lines and some irregular marks on end grain, more on miters. The irregular marks seem attributable to vibration.
  • Price: $54   

DeWalt Woodworking 

Model: DW7650

This comes with a classic styled uncoated blade. It has carbide teeth which are thick and tall. The only downside of this product is it is a bit on the expensive side.

  • Noise/vibration suppression: 3 open slots, Very Good dampening effect
  • Cut quality: Light scratch lines on end grain, more on miters
  • Price: $76
  • Flatness: Good (maximum .002″ dip near center)

Forrest Signature Line Chopmaster 

Model: CM12905115

Want a heavy-duty blade which comes with the old school vibe? Go for the Forrest signature line chopmaster. It comes with non-perforated blade plate which could be re-flattened. It comes with a thickness of .095”. 

  • Noise/vibration suppression: None
  • Flatness: Very Good
  • Cut quality: Very smooth. Slight burning on some cherry.
  • Price: $ 207   

Freud Industrial 

Model: LU74R012 

This model comes with amazing features. It has a special side grind and a tiny bumper. Aside from that, it also has edge of tooth which is designed to rub against the edge of the cut.

  • Noise/vibration suppression: 8 half-filled slots, Very Good dampening effect
  • Coating: aluminum-based PTF
  • Flatness: Good (maximum .003” dip near center)
  • Cut quality: Notable scratch lines on end grain
  • Price: $92   

Freud Industrial 

Model: LU79R012 

This model is what we could say as something that would stand out. It comes with high-performance and it has quality features. Its price is also reasonable. 

  • Coating: aluminum-based PTFE
  • Noise/vibration suppression: 8 half-filled slots, Excellent dampening effect with very slight vibration
  • Flatness: Very Good
  • Cut quality: Very light scratch lines on end grain, more on miters
  • Price: $91


Model: 1807385 

This blade could do great things but it is not as competitive as we see it could. 

  • Coating: PTFE with aluminum
  • Noise/vibration suppression: 4 open slots, Poor dampening effect
  • Flatness: Fair (maximum .004” dip near center)
  • Cut quality: Very light scratch lines on end grain, but the blade left burns on the right side of all the miter cuts. The blade also left burns at the top of thick pieces to the left side which I believe is due to rubbing on the incredibly thick printed on labels.
  • Price: $81.71

Tenryu Miter-Pro 

Model: MP-305100AB 

Through this model, you could expect high-tech and high performance. It comes with vibration suppression slots which are filled through with a polymer. This makes it almost vibration free. 

  • Noise/vibration suppression: 5 fully-filled slots, Excellent dampening effect with virtually no vibration
  • Flatness: Fair (maximum .005” dip near center)
  • Cut quality: Very smooth – just the faintest scratch lines on end grain
  • Price: $155

Tenryu Silencer 

Model: SL-305100 

This model is a bit on a pricier side. This blade offers amazing cutting results and high-effective vibration dampening technology. If you are looking for high quality cut, this model is your best bet. 

  • Noise/vibration suppression: 10 fully-filled slots, Excellent dampening effect with virtually no vibration
  • Flatness: Fair (maximum .004” dip near center)
  • Cut quality: Very smooth – just the faintest scratch lines on end grain, and the smoothest miter cuts of all
  • Price: $92.40  


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