Slitting Saw–6 Tips for Selecting the Correct Slitting Saw


Slitting saws have been in use for a long time and are popular among users looking to make narrow or deep cuts in metal. However, a common problem is knowing which slitting saw will make the perfect fit for the respective applications.

Manufacturers have catalogs of different slitting saws with various peculiarities for different jobs. This article will help you with tips to find the best slitting saws for your application.

Table of Contents

Slitting Saw
Figure 1: Slitting Saw

1. Saw Arbor

Slitting saws design requires that there is support for the blade to connect it with the slitting saws assembly. The saw arbor is the shaft that extends from the slitting saw assembly to the blade. It is this shaft that the slitting saw motor drives to rotate the saw blade safely.

It should be evident now that the shaft diameter is an essential factor when choosing a slitting saw arbor. The hole that the shaft connects to within the blade is the arbor hole. Both the arbor hole and the arbor must be a perfect fit for smooth and effective cutting.

The arbor hole is directly proportional to the slitting saw blade’s outside diameter. As the outer diameter increases, the same goes for the arbor hole. As a general standard by most manufacturers, blade diameters in the range of 8″-10″ have an arbor hole of 5/8″. Ultimately you must check the manufacturer’s catalog to know which arbor hole suits which blade diameter.

Now, if your job description demands that you cut a material you hold with a vice, you might need a different type of slitting saw assembly. In such peculiar cases, you will find a customized saw assembly with an arbor and deep cap.

2. Number of Teeth

The correct tooth count is essential for an effective cut for any project. Depending on some special applications, like those demanding a fine cut, you will need a slitting saws blade with a higher tooth count. When it comes to tooth count for slitting saws, there are two major types, namely;

  1. Standard Tooth Slitting Saw blades.

2. Coarse Tooth Slitting Saw blades

Standard Tooth Slitting Saws Blades: are slender with a higher number of teeth than their coarse blade. You will need this tooth count when your job description demands a smoother finish. Since more teeth are available, the feed rate can be higher than that of the coarse tooth saw blades. The only downside to using the Standard tooth saw blade is the cost price, which is considerably higher than the coarse saw blade. It is understandable because of its tooth count.

Coarse Tooth Slitting Saw blades are scanty slitting saws with less tooth count than the standard tooth blade. Famous for their simple and basic cutting, they are mostly applicable for large-scale cutting with no attention to finish. The coarse tooth-slitting saw blades have more prominent flutes than the standard tooth rendition. These flutes enable the blade to remove more chips. The coarse tooth saws are usually cheaper than the standard tooth saw blades because of the lesser tooth count.

In the end, the slitting saw blade with more tooth count would cut cleaner than with a lesser tooth count.

Slitting Saw Blade Teeth
Figure: Slitting Saw Blade Teeth

3. Type of Blade Material

Slitting saw blades often come in different material composition types, and there is a good reason for these varieties. Frequently, users have to cut various metals with different properties, strengths, and compositions. Due to this, users consider many factors before choosing the best slitting saw blade for their application. They consider things like cost, blade life, blade strength, etc. Hitherto, manufacturers have succeeded in having just two variations for the slitting saw blade material, namely;

1. Carbide-Tipped Saw Blade

Making blade tips with tungsten carbide is not a new practice for manufacturers. They are popular in use for most cutting tools. Tungsten carbide comprises metal joined with carbon with a Mohs Scale rating of about 8 and 9. With a carbide-tipped saw blade, manufacturers often tend to make the body structure composed of steel. They mostly braze carbide tips onto the steel body to make the carbide-tipped slitting saw blade. A decent carbide tip can last up to ten times longer than the HSS slitting saw blade.

Most slitting saw blades aren’t made entirely of carbide purely because it is a more economical perspective. For this reason, manufacturers stick with using steel as the body because of its superior strength and durability.

Carbide-tipped Sawblade

Figure: Carbide-tipped Sawblade

2. HSS cutting blades

High-Speed Steel (HSS) means treated steel. The steel improves its strength, toughness, and durability during the treatment process. Quality HSS slitting saws blades can cut metal cylinders, auxiliary and strong metallic sections.

The HSS slitting saws blade consists of tungsten and molybdenum. After heat treatment of the steel, the tungsten and molybdenum help to improve hardness and sufficient durability. A specific level of tungsten in the blade is necessary for the right amount to create wear-resistant carbides. The tungsten also helps improve the mechanical endurance of the HSS slitting saws blade.

HSS saw blade
Figure: HSS saw blade

4. Slitting Saw Blade Thickness

Slitting saws blade thickness is critical as it determines the type of material you can cut. Most blade plate thickness manufacturing standards are within 1/8 -1/4 inches. Thinner blades, however, have their advantages with lesser waste by-products. They are prone to wobbling and sometimes overheating. On the other hand, the thicker blade has a firmer grip on the material, providing more stability when cutting.

5. Slitting Saw Blade Size (Diameter)

The blade diameter is the length of the line between the tips of two of the blade’s opposite teeth, which follows through the blade’s center. The blade diameter is also the size of the blade. All other blade segments are aligned with the blade’s width. Ordinarily, you can only use specific blade diameters for particular applications. Attempting to use a bigger blade diameter for a smaller application will tie up the saw.

Until recently, the most well-known blade diameters from different manufacturers are in the range of 6-1/2″, 7-1/4″, 10″, and 12″. It is also important to note that you can only use slitting saw blades with a smaller diameter for saw operations. In contrast, bigger-diameter blades are famous for their fixed saw application. Blades with smaller diameters are useful for faster cuts and simpler and thinner metals. Manufacturers have also stated that the cutting ratio of the blade diameter is 0.3.

6. Kerf Width

The width of the slitting saws blade kerf is the widest of the blade tooth. The kerf or blade thickness is an essential part of the slitting saws blade as it is the segment that cuts in the material. It is vital to have wider kerfs for more effective cutting for cutting metals with slitting saw blades. A blade with a thinner kerf might have complications like wobbling and sometimes complete breakage. However, the blade kerf width does not stand alone as it is directly related to the blade thickness.

Blade Kerf
Figure: Blade Kerf


A slitting saw is a cutting tool popular among professional, skilled, and unskilled users. The slitting saw perfectly fits the different materials you can imagine cutting.

Manufacturers have provided different varieties to cater to the demands of different material properties. This article lists the tips you will find very useful when buying a slitting saw.

In conclusion, therefore, as you continue to look out for helpful tips to help maximize the use of your slitting saws, look no further. NCCuttingtools has got you covered. Click for a video with up-to-date information about how to use your slitting saw.

Leave a Comment

Need a buying guide?