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Saw Tip Grinds

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Saw Tip Grinds

Saw Tip Configurations (also Styles or Grinds)

The overall shape of a saw tip is called the "grind" because it is ground in after the tip is put on the saw body.     

FTG (Flat Top Grind)

Used on rip blades for fast, efficient cuts along the grain.  A square (also Flat or Flat Top) Grind is durable and long lasting.  It is used for ripping and can be used on general purpose, thin kerf saw blades.


Advantages: Strong, straight cutting and easy to maintain

Disadvantages: Takes a lot of force and likely to chip or tearout on exiting cut.  Not a good design for chip removal. 


ATB (Alternate Top Bevel)

The tops of alternating teeth are beveled to one side of the blade or the other at approximately 15 degrees.  This creates a sharp point and a sharper cutting edge for better cut quality without chipping or splinters.  ATB is generally used cross cutting wood, plywood, veneer, hardboard, fiberboard and particle board. 





Advantages: Little or not tearout and easy chip removal

Disadvantages:  Hard to sharpen without expensive equipment, easy to chip and wears rapidly. 

ATBR (ATB with Raker)




High ATB (Alternate Top Bevel with steeper angles)

Steeper bevel than the standard ATB for chip-free cuts on Melamine and plastic laminate without the use of a scoring blade. A High ATB is generally a blade with an angle over 20 degrees. It is used on brittle materials.   





ATAF (Alternate Top Bevel with Alternate Face Bevels)

Besides grinding the top at an angle you can also grind the face at an angle.  When combined into an ATAF (Alternate top –Alternate Face grind) you get a sharper cutting, more pointed edge.  This is used on the most brittle materials.  You start with alternate slants on the tops then grind the faces of the tips so that they slant as well.  Standard face left below and beveled face right.  









Combination Tooth (4&1) - Planer  / Combination

Planer Combination combines 4 Alternate Top Bevel Teeth with 1 raker. The basic function of the raker tooth, which is lower than the tips of the scoring  teeth and narrower.  It removes the V-shaped piece of material left in the center of the cut by the alternating top bevel teeth. This tooth configuration provides a very smooth cut.  Often each group is divided by a large gullet on the saw blade. The design is used on combination blades for ripping and crosscutting.  You can use a simple ATB when you cut clean through but an ATB will leave a ridge down the middle of a groove.  The raker tooth is lower and narrower than the ATB tips and cleans up that ridge.  The raker also helps keep the blade square in the cut and the blade running straight. 






Advantages: Little tear out, good chip removal and straight cutting

Disadvantages:  Hard to sharpen without expensive equipment, easy to chip and wears rapidly.   

Hollow Ground (HG)

Hollow faced grind used for cutting melamine and other challenging materials. Most often used on vertical panel saws.  Here we show three types.  Hollow ground is most commonly the circular shape but not always.  In this case 'hollow ground' refers to the grind on the top of the tip but the face can also be ground in one of these shapes.              





TCG (Triple Chip Grind)

A Triple Chip Grind (TCG) has a trapezoidal tip that cuts a groove with slanting sides.  This is followed up by a square top tip that makes the side of the groove square.  The first tooth, or lead tooth, has a double 45 degree angle corner bevel. This is followed by a flat topped raker tooth ground lower than the lead tooth. The raker tooth removes the corners left on both sides by the beveled lead tooth. Triple Chip Grinds combines a balanced cutting force, low tooth drag and free chip flow. This helps to eliminate chipping in brittle material such as chip board, and laminates.  This divides the chips to achieve smooth cuts in hard materials such as MDF, OSB, and plastics. This tooth design is also used on blades for cutting non-ferrous material.  Use TCG grind when cutting plastics, aluminum, and non ferrous metals.



Advantages: Good wear, straight cutting, Low drag with good chip flow.

Disadvantages:  Hard to maintain without precision equipment.  Tends to produce chip outs. 

California Triple Chip (C-TCG)

Specialty tooth design for miter saws. Used in picture frame shops, window and door manufacturers or anywhere that miter saws are used.          




Solid Surface Scoring Blade

Commonly used when you need clean cuts on both sides of the material.  The scoring blade cuts the underside of the material.  It cuts just ahead of the main blade which cuts from the top.  It must be precisely aligned with the top blade.  It is best if the moan and scoring blades are treated as a set and are both sharpened at the same time.  

Conical scoring tip


There are a great many other grinds and some of them are highly specialized.  In a plant producing MDF or plywood panels the sides of the panel are trimmed after they are pressed and cooked.  One side of the cut is the 4x8 sheet seen by the customer.  The other side is scrap which gets reground.  A saw blade in this application may have all the teeth cutting on one side.