Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
161 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best metal-cutting circular saw blades

A metal-cutting blade in a circular saw can make short work of all kinds of jobs, from light-duty tasks like trimming pipework or aluminum siding to heavy-duty cutting of angle iron or steel framework.

There are numerous different devices for doing these jobs, too, from handheld multi-tools to benchtop chop saws, so the range of metal-cutting circular saw blades is extensive, and that’s before you start looking at blade materials, the type of metals they’re designed to cut, or the number and profile of the teeth.

Choosing the right blade for the job is far from straightforward and getting it wrong can result in poor performance at best and the possibility of your work being ruined at worst. Here at BestReviews, it’s our job to help you avoid those problems by giving you well-researched buying advice. 

Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.
I1 
Diameter is important when choosing a blade to fit your saw, but don’t forget the size of the arbor — the spindle the blade fits over. That has to be right, too.

Key considerations

Size

Metal-cutting circular saw blades vary from 2-inch diameter blades used by jewelers and precision engineers, to 14-inch monsters used for heavy-duty work. It should go without saying that these diameters are critical, as is the size of the hole in the middle that fits on your saw’s arbor (spindle). There is no leeway — the blade fits or it doesn’t — so always double-check before ordering.

Materials

The type of metal you can cut depends to some extent on the capabilities of your saw, but more important is how the metal-cutting saw blade is constructed.

HSS: The cheapest blades are made from high-speed steel (HSS), which is also called tool steel. Typically, you’ll see this used in low-cost drill bits, and for woodcutting blades it’s excellent, but metals are much harder. It’s adequate for cutting softer metals like aluminum or copper in thin sheets or pipework, but it’s not really hard enough to cut steel and certainly not cast iron. If you need to save money, and you’re only working with thin, nonferrous metals, an HSS metal-cutting circular saw blade will probably do the job.

Carbide: For those tougher materials, you need teeth that are harder and stay sharper for longer. HSS is still used as the main body of the saw blade, but tungsten carbide or titanium carbide tips are applied and ground to shape. Tungsten is a little harder than titanium, but the difference is minimal. If you’re looking for an all-purpose blade, choose one tipped in tungsten or titanium carbide.

Teeth

Number: The number of teeth makes a considerable difference in how efficiently the blade cuts particular materials and the smoothness of the finish. Good manufacturers provide charts to help you choose (a maximum revolutions per minute may also be suggested). In general, fewer teeth mean faster cutting while more teeth mean a smoother cut.

You don’t want too many teeth, though, because that can make it difficult to clear the waste. It can result in the blade overheating or even jamming in the workpiece. Blades for rapid cutting of nonferrous metals might have as few as 30 teeth, but general-purpose models likely have in the 60 to 80 range.

Profile: Tooth profile can also improve cutting performance. A triple chip grind (TCG) is popular for thicker nonferrous metals. The blade has a different shape for alternate teeth, first an angled tooth for the initial cut, then a flat-topped tooth to clean away waste and provide a smooth finish.

Width: Heavy-duty blades usually have wider teeth, thus removing more material (the width of the cut is called the kerf). If you’re working to tight tolerances, the amount removed may have an impact, so it’s another thing worth checking.

Hook angle: Much is sometimes made of the hook angle (or claw shape), but it makes more difference in wood than metal. In the former, it can be quite aggressive, as much as 20° for cutting softwood, but blades don’t rip through steel in the same way, so the hook angle is usually just 1° or 2°, and it can be negative, sloping slightly away from the material. This provides additional safety because the bottom edge of the tooth helps hold the work down as it cuts.

Dyk1 
Did You Know?
Ferrous metals contain iron, such as all types of steel. Nonferrous metals are softer. Common examples are aluminum, brass, copper, tin, gold, and silver.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Additional information

It’s always worth looking at the surface of the blade. Often it doesn’t tell you much, but some manufacturers provide extensive information about the blade’s material-cutting capabilities and even the kind of tool it’s designed to be used with.

Gullets

You’ll frequently find that metal-cutting circular saw blades have occasional gaps between sets of teeth. These slots and holes extend toward the middle and at first glance appear to be a weakness. In fact, these spaces, called gullets, are designed to allow for expansion as the blade gets hot and prevent the blade from distorting. They are there to maintain performance and kerf width.

Diamond edge

If you’re using an angle grinder, there’s an alternative to the normal abrasive disks which are effective but wear down quickly. You can get metal-cutting blades that look much like those for circular saws, but instead of tungsten-tipped teeth, they have diamond-encrusted edges. They’re great for quickly chopping through things like rebar and bolts.

Carbide-tipped blades are also called tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blades. It’s just a slightly different name for the same thing.

Staff
BestReviews

Accessories

Face shield: Lincoln Electric OMNIShield
Specifically designed for metalworking, this polycarbonate lens is almost twice as thick as standard models, offering both excellent clarity and high-impact protection. The headband has lots of adjustment, with padding for comfort, and the face shield can also be adapted to work with most hard hats (adapters are extra).

Shop coat: Red Kap Men’s Shop Coat
A shop coat protects you and your clothing from hot metal particles (swarf) and provides useful pockets for pencils and tools. The Red Kap is made from a hard-wearing yet a comfortable combination of polyester and cotton, with hidden closures that won’t snag as you work. It’s vented to keep you cool, too.

Metal-cutting circular saw blade prices

Inexpensive: Cheap metal-cutting circular saw blades start at around $12 to $15 for a 7.5-inch model, but these are only hardened steel. They will cut aluminum sheet and other nonferrous metals of modest thickness, but not steel.

Mid-range: There’s a good choice of general-purpose blades between $35 and $60. These are carbide tipped, so they’ll handle steel sheet, rebar, and pipework with relative ease. Small jewelers’ saw blades and those for rotary tools usually fall into this price bracket.

Expensive: Blades (12- and 14-inch diameter) designed for heavy-gauge ferrous metals and tough materials like angle iron can cost anywhere from $80 to $150.

Caution2
Caution
Metal cut with a circular saw blade frequently has jagged edges that can easily cut you. It’s a good idea to use a hand file to remove sharp burrs before handling the metal further.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Double-check the blade. Before you start cutting metal, make sure that you’ve fitted the correct blade. If you have several metal-cutting circular saw blades for different tasks, it’s easy to make a mistake.
  • Wear protective gear. Metal chips and shavings (swarf) can be very hot and are usually sharp. A face shield is a good investment, but at the very least wear some kind of eye protection and ear protection — metal cutting is loud! Sleeves should be long to protect your forearms. Overalls or a shop coat are a good idea, as are gloves where practical.
  • Remove flammable items. Make sure there’s nothing flammable nearby, particularly in home workshops where you also do woodworking. Sweep and clear up before you start.
  • Clamp the work securely. Also allow the workpiece to cool down before moving it.
  • Check that you have complete freedom of movement. If you’re using a handheld circular saw, make sure you can move freely enough to complete the cut, and beware of the cable snagging.
  • Keep children and pets away from the work area.
I2 
While it’s possible to fit a metal-cutting circular saw blade to a woodworking miter saw, it’s a risky operation. Wood chips and sawdust have little potential for harm, but metal swarf can cause permanent damage to the motor or bearings. Metal-cutting circular saws have shielding to prevent this.

FAQ

Q. Can I use a metal-cutting blade in a table saw?

A. Is it technically possible? Yes. Is it advisable? Probably not. A specialist metal-cutting chop saw is the best tool, or a handheld circular saw if the job allows. In both of these cases, you clamp the material firmly before cutting and control the progress of the blade. When using a table saw, you’re moving the material into the blade. That may be okay on thin sheet metal, but not on thicker stock. Kickback could send your metal workpiece flying through the air and would be seriously dangerous.

Q. Can I resharpen a metal-cutting circular saw blade myself?

A. You can with cheap HSS blades used for thin, nonferrous metals: just use a hand file. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to sharpen carbide-tipped blades. Most people don’t have the necessary equipment. The carbide tips are extremely hard and can only be sharpened with a diamond wheel. Added to that, the grind angle needs to be very precise. It’s a job for a professional regrinding service. Check around and get several quotes. Depending on the blade, prices can be two or three bucks per tooth, so it might just be cheaper to buy a new blade.

Q. Will an abrasive wheel in an angle grinder do the same job as a circular saw?

A. In terms of its ability to cut similar metals, yes. However, it’s more a question of using the right tool for the job. An angle grinder is very portable, and it’s great for quick and dirty metal cutting, especially in hard to reach places. A circular saw gives you precision so you can cut accurately to size and at various angles.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks