Generally, metallurgists use the highest grade of steel to make table saw blades. Steel needs to be hard enough to cut through things like tree trunks. To cut through things, the hardness of the saw blade will play a pivotal role.
Table saw blades are hardened to ensure that they cut through things with relative ease. You can make the table saw edges using various kinds of steel. The cut, hardening process, and straightening of the saw blade came together to form a table saw blade.
Hardened table saw blades also need to be flexible and pliant enough to slice through other hardened and coarse materials. Achieving this is only possible through a unique process that allows the blade’s hardening and makes it flexible simultaneously. In this article, you will learn about the hardening of the table saw blades and the process that they undergo.
What Is Involved in the Hardening Process?
During the hardening process, the table saw blade’s steel goes through an extreme temperature change in rapid succession. The steel is treated to scorching temperature first and given a cold treatment immediately after that.
Treating the steel in this way makes it stronger and more hardened. Think of it as a method of weatherproofing the steel, but what happens is that the metal, in this case, the steel, becomes more vital in the process and can withstand rough use that it will eventually have to fight.
Different Steel Types Used to Make Table Saw Blades
There are different kinds of steel types for making table saw blades. You will choose the type of steel based on the function you would like to derive from it and the type of blade you want to create. While it may not seem to be outrightly apparent, this is a crucial factor in understanding why people choose to harden table saw blades.
Here is a list of the different kinds of steel that helps build table saw blades and the purpose for which it is most suited:
440B Stainless steel
This steel is most suitable for saws limited to simple household chores. They are relatively softer than the other kinds of steel and are useful for simple activities around the house.
The 80CrV2 is high carbon steel that gets added to vanadium. Due to this steel’s strength, it makes large and crack-resistant blades.
A close cousin of the 80CrV2, the chrome vanadium steel comes in handy to make friction saw blades. The blades form a part of the motor that rotates the blade at a very high speed, and the increased friction speed generated in the process allows the saw blade to work its way through the material.
This steel is used specifically for making HSS saws. HSS is the abbreviation for High-Speed Steel. The primary purpose is to cut through a material with the help of its high-speed action. This 10″ HSS Circular Cold Saw Blade can cut through stainless steel tubes, aluminum, copper, and other metals. (Check the price on Amazon Here)
1075 Cr1 is high carbon steel and is used to make saws tipped with tungsten carbide. The steel’s high strength is useful for cutting through other metals and other rigid materials.
As can be seen, there is a variety of steel available, and each is of different strength and grade. Not all of these steels need to be necessarily hardened. Only the ones that are useful for cutting rigid materials need to become hardened to become more efficient. Table saw blades fall under hardened tools because they cut through a host of wooden materials.
How Is a Table Saw Blade Made?
There are many different ways to make a table saw blade, but if one were to break it down, there are six distinct steps for creating a table saw blade. Here is a quick run-through of the process:
- Cut the steel: The very first stage required you to cut the steel. With modern technology, you can easily access and use laser machines to cut the steel for you quickly and with precision.
- Hardening: In this stage, the steel is weatherproofed by undergoing the hardening process. In short, this process entails treating the steel to too high temperatures and then immediately cooling it down.
- Tempering: Tempering is that stage where you straighten the blade either by using a sledgehammer during the hardening process itself. The Wilton 21436 is a great option; it is a shatterproof and extremely durable sledgehammer made using modern technology and design. (You can check it out on Amazon here)
- Polish the blade: At this stage, you polish the blade to see that the thickness is even throughout the edge and give it that aesthetic sheen.
- Coat the steel: You coat the steel’s surface to ensure no oxidation, and the steel remains wholly sealed.
- Sharpen the blade: This is the final stage to ensure that the edges are sharp enough to cut things. Doing this also enhances the durability of the blade.
The Importance of the Hardening Process
The steel has specific tensile properties and even aesthetics unevenly distributed on its surface. During the hardening process, you can make these attributes more uniformly spread across the steel.
The heat that the steel faces during the hardening process also helps make the steel more robust and more resilient against large, more massive objects that the steel blades will eventually encounter.
Different Steps Involved in Hardening the Table Saw Blade
In a nutshell, the hardening process involves exposing the steel to extreme temperatures. First, the blades heat up to a very high temperature ranging between 860 °C to 1100°C (1580 °F to 2012°F).
The immediate next step is to cool down the blade rapidly while the blade is still red hot. Cooling it down adds further strength to the steel and makes it hard. Once it has cooled down, you will take the blades and heat it slowly until it reaches 350°C to 550°C (662°F to 1022°F), and then cool it down slowly.
- Can an old table saw be hardened after a certain length of time? A steel piece doesn’t need to become hardened only when it is forging to the blade. You can harden an old forgotten blade after a certain length of time has passed. You could do this even if you already have a hardened blade.
- Is hardening as important as flexibility in the table saw blade? Hardening is just as significant as flexibility in a table saw blade. Flexibility allows the blade to be pliant and enter into nooks and crannies of odd, misshapen things to cut through them, but hardening is just as significant. Without hardening, the blade will be no match against the massive object’s force that it has to slice through.
- Does polishing the blade weaken a hardened table saw blade? It may seem that polishing is done merely for the blade’s aesthetic beauty, but that is not the case. Polishing makes the blade’s surface even harder, thereby increasing the efficiency of the blade manifold. If anything, polishing complements a hardened table saw blade.
The best thing about table saw blades is that you can still restore them by giving them a clean wipe and a renewed hardening session even after a long time. Traditional table saw blades undergo heating followed immediately by rapid cooling, which makes the metal hard. It is vital to have them hardened so that you can use the table saw effectively.