You may have heard the term “TCT” being thrown around while browsing for saw blades for your miter or circular saw.
It’s important to understand these terms as a woodworker so that you know whether a certain product is right for your needs or not.
In this post, we will discuss and analyze what TCT circular saw blades are, how they work, and what type of applications they can be useful for.
Make sure to go through the post so that you can identify whether a TCT circular saw blade would work well for your woodworking goals or not.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
What is a TCT Circular Saw Blade?
A TCT circular saw blade refers to a circular saw blade that has Tungsten Carbide Tipped teeth. These teeth have a special coating of this alloy to ensure that the teeth are strong and are durable enough to cut through thicker materials.
TCT circular saw blades can be used to cut through a variety of different materials including:
- Metal tubing
- Titanium-based metal
And much more.
As you can probably tell, this is the type of blade you should get if you intend to work with a lot of metals. The TCT coating not only ensures that the blade will be able to easily cut through these metals but also ensures that the blade lasts you a very long time.
Some great advantages of a TCT circular saw blade include:
- Reduced sawdust production when working with wood.
- Reduced spark production when working with metals.
- Little to no discoloration.
- They typically last up to four times longer than regular blades.
- It tends to avoid overheating issues during cutting.
All these advantages make the cutting process a whole lot smoother and more convenient. You don’t have to worry about a ton of extra factors such as cleaning up sawdust, etc.
What Exactly is Tungsten Carbide?
So we’ve established that the TCT blades have a coating of Tungsten Carbide on their teeth. Tungsten Carbide is a chemical compound that is used in many applications.
When it’s pressed, it becomes two times stiffer than steel. Tools that have been treated with Tungsten Carbide tend to stay sharp for longer, are temperature-resistant and produce better finishes.
Note: Find out how to sharpen a carbide circular saw blade by clicking HERE.
What Applications are Suitable for a TCT Circular Saw Blade?
That’s the great thing about TCT blades: they have an extremely wide variety of applications since they’re extremely versatile.
Do you want to work with wood? No problem. The TCT blade makes short work of both hard and softwoods. Not only that but it creates minimal sawdust and debris during cutting as well.
Do you want to cut down metal? That’s easy as pie. TCT blades can cut through most sheet metal as well as other alloys. Not only that but it creates very few sparks during cutting.
TCT blades can also easily cut through plastics and PVC.
The thing we like most about TCT blades is their resistance to high temperatures.
Naturally, when you are working on long projects, a regular blade can definitely overheat. If that happens, you have to give it some rest which can cause delays. If you choose to just power through it without any rest, the blade can become warped and give you undesirable results.
With a TCT blade, you don’t have to worry about anything of the sort no matter what project you’re working on. The blade will not overheat and since it does not overheat, you won’t have to rest it either. As a result, you’ll face no delays during woodworking projects.
Another thing that adds to the versatility of TCT blades is the fact that they are available in a wide number of sizes as well as varieties.
You can get a TCT circular saw blade in sizes that range from 7.25 inches to 14 inches. Not only that but they can also vary in their tooth count. TCT blades can have teeth ranging from 24 all the way up to 90.
Hence, you can use these blades for ripping and general-purpose use. You can also use them for precise, smooth, and elegant cuts for higher-end projects.
Since TCT blades don’t have a lot of the problems that regular blades have, that also makes them a lot safer.
Just think about it: When you’re a beginner, you can definitely overlook some safety precautions that you should be taking. For example, you may not rest your blade even though it’s overheating.
This can cause serious issues such as warping, tear-out or even kickback. Kickback is when the blade pinches into the material and violently kicks back towards the operator.
Now let’s assume you have a TCT blade instead of a regular blade, it will not even overheat. Hence, even if the “rest your blade when it overheats” routine has slipped your mind, it won’t cause any issues since the blade won’t overheat anyway.
Hence, TCT blades are quite beginner-friendly.
What Are Some Great TCT Blades?
There are some great manufacturers out there that are producing high-quality TCT blades that you can buy for your projects. You can find them at your local hardware store or online.
Some great TCT blades that you can find online include:
OA-BRES 40-Teeth TCT Blades
These blades are highly affordable and you get three of them in one pack. Even a single TCT blade is quite long-lasting and since you get three of them, you know they’ll provide value to you for many years to come.
They have a thin kerf which ensures precise and accurate cutting.
Worx WA5085 24T TCT Blade
Another great option is this 24-teeth TCT blade from Worx. It’s a much smaller circular saw blade and you can use it for a variety of applications.
Not only that but it’s also available to you at an affordable price.
Wrapping Things Up…
We hope you now know what a TCT circular blade is and what kinds of applications it has.
Hopefully, you’ve found a new product that you can use in projects of your own. Try it out and see if it’s for you.
If you have any more questions, please reach out to us in the comments below.
Check out our website for more TCT products.