I’ve bought lots of tablesaw blades over the years, but never noticed the term “hook” until recently. What does It mean?

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You can see from these illustrations that a blade with positive hook angle is designed to slice aggressively into a workpiece. By comparison, the blade with negative hook angle tends to ease into each cut

Q:

I've bought lots of tablesaw blades over the years, but never noticed the term "hook" until recently. What does It mean, and how does it affect my blade choices?
—Greg Fowl, Prattville, Ala.

A.

Lay a saw blade on your workbench, Greg, place a straightedge across the center of the arbor hole to define the blade centerline, and you can see what hook is all about. A tooth with positive hook leans toward the centerline. A tooth leaning back from that line has negative hook.

A tooth with a positive hook angle cuts more aggressively, allowing you to rip and crosscut wood quickly. One with a negative hook angle cuts more slowly, giving you a more controlled cut, less tear-out, and smoother results on brittle materials, such as plywood and plastic. Also, use a negative-hook blade on radial-arm saws and sliding mitersaws to help maintain control as you cuI.