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Can I use a table saw blade in my miter saw?

Q:

Is it okay to use the old tablesaw blade—which was fairly new itself—to replace my worn out mitersaw blade? It appears to fit, but I don’t want to do anything unsafe.
—John Green, Russellville, Ky.

A:

Check the old blade or packaging for the words “tooth count,”  and “hook angle,” and “kerf thickness,” John. These will determine whether your blade can safely make the switch between jobs.

The first thing to check is the tooth-count. A 24-tooth ripping blade powers through rip cuts, but tends to shred or tear out on the crosscut. Even a 40- or 50- tooth combination blade can be too aggressive for a mitersaw. But a blade with 60 teeth or more will make finer, smoother cuts.

Hook angle describes the tooth’s angle of attack and aggressiveness. Ripping blades typically have an aggressive, forward-leaning hook angle. But on a mitersaw—especially a sliding mitersaw—the aggressiveness could dangerously lift the workpiece or yank the blade through the wood too fast. Crosscutting blades, on the other hand, use a less-aggressive hook angle, sometimes even a backward-leaning (or negative) hook angle. As a rule of thumb, a blade with a hook angle less than 7° can be used on your mitersaw. 

Finally, because your mitersaw has less power than your tablesaw, kerf thickness is going to be a factor. Many mitersaws bog down with a full-kerf (18 ") blade. So take this into consideration as well.

Your best bet: Contact the blade and mitersaw manufacturers. If either recommends against using the blade in a mitersaw, follow their suggestions. Store the blade and use it for rough-cutting tablesaw jobs. Then buy a fresh mitersaw blade or have your old one sharpened.

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