IRWIN Marples Fine Cross-Cutting Circular Saw Blade

A well-made blade that delivers high quality cross-cuts at a bargain basement price

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IRWIN Marples Fine Cross-Cutting Circular Saw Blade



Irwin has recently announced a new line of saw blades that carry the Marples brand name. Unlike the Irwin Marples chisels that I recently reviewed, these blades really don't have much of anything to do with the Marples pedigree, other than to suggest that you can expect them to meet the same high standards that are synonymous with Marples chisels. The saw blades aren't even made in England, nor do they use Sheffield steel. Still, as I found out, they are very good blades that can hold their own against any other brand on the market.
 
The Irwin Marples saw blades are available in 11 configurations - six 10" blades (from a 24-tooth rip blade to an 84-tooth laminate blade, and five 12" blades, from a 40-tooth general purpose blade to a 100-tooth laminate blade. There is also an 8" 12-tooth dado blade on offer.
 
I tested their 10" 60-tooth fine cross-cutting blade (#1853159).


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Alternate top bevel with raker tooth configuration    
                    
The Marples fine cross-cut blade is designed for crosscutting a range of materials, including hard and softwoods, plywood, pressure treated lumber, and composite materials, such as  fiberboard, particleboard, OSB, and MDF.
 
The plate measures .078" (5/64") and it has .094" (3/32") thick teeth. The teeth are ground in a ATB pattern with every third tooth a raker (ground flat). Tooth configuration is fairly typical, with a 15° top bevel, a 15° top clearance bevel, and a 10° hook. This tooth configuration provides a smooth finish when cross-cutting because of the knife-like edges on the beveled teeth, while the raker tooth means you get a flat bottom when cutting grooves. The 10° hook angle makes for an aggressive cut yet allows for a reasonably fast feed rate.


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Noise reduction/expansion regulating and anti-vibration slots         
                    
Like all high quality blades produced today, the Marples fine cross-cut blade has a laser-cut and precision tensioned plate. Some manufacturers coat their blades to reduce friction and heat-build-up, and to reduce the accumulation of resin on the blade. Ostensibly, the coating makes it easier to clean the blade. While the jury is still out on the benefits of blade coating, my experience is that it does offer some protection.
 
The blade has been super slotted, with 12 noise reduction/expansion regulating slots around the rim, and 4 anti-vibration slots cut in the body. Unfortunately my sound meter is broken, so I couldn't measure the decibel level of the blade when cutting stock. It certainly runs quieter than other similar toothed blades I have.


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Polished, C4 micro-grain carbide teeth   
 
The C4 micrograin carbide teeth are .094" (3/32") thick teeth, and approximately 5/16" long. Based on other blades that I have used, I estimate that you should be able to sharpen the teeth from 8 to 10 times, depending of course on how you use - or abuse - your blade.
 
This is an important consideration, at least for me, as it impacts on the overall cost of ownership. The quality of the carbide used is also pretty important, as it affects how long the teeth hold their edge.


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Tri-foil brazing         
                    
All the teeth on this blade were in perfect condition, and nicely polished. Irwin uses a Tri-Foil material to bond the teeth to the plate. It consists of a layer of copper sandwiched between tow layers of a brazing material made of a copper/zinc alloy. The way the teeth are cemented to the plate is important, as the teeth need to be cushioned from the severe stresses they undergo in use.


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Kerfs with clean sides, almost perfectly flat bottoms  
                    
I used the Marples fine cross-cut blade mounted on a 10" 1-1/2 HP saw without blade stiffeners. I tested it by cutting a range of thicknesses in Oak and Maple, and various sheet stock, including 3/4" MDF, melamine faced MDF, and veneer core Birch plywood.


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Very smooth crosscuts      
                    
I was reasonably pleased with the quality of the cuts. They were very smooth, showing minimal teeth marks across the end grain.


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Smooth rip cuts      
        
While the blade is not specifically earmarked for rip cutting, I found it did a commendable job. The finish is as good as I typically achieve with other ATB blades I've used, showing minimal teeth marks. I wouldn't see much of a problem using this blade as a general purpose combination blade.


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High quality cuts at a bargain basement price   
                    
While this blade has a suggested retail price of $73, I've seen it listed online as low as $53, including shipping. This makes it, by far, the best priced 60-tooth cross-cut blade on the market.
 
The Irwin Marples Fine Cross-Cutting Saw Blade is a great choice for both professional and hobbyist woodworkers. It's well-made, with the features that you would expect to find on a premium blade, including high quality C4 micro-grain carbide teeth.
 
If you're looking for a blade that delivers high quality cross-cuts at a bargain basement price, then this Irwin Marples blades should be high up on your list.


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KEY FEATURES:

  • 10" 60-tooth
  • ATB+R (Alternate Top Bevel with Raker)
  • C4 micro-grain carbide
  • Tri-foil brazing
  • Laser-cut plate
  • Heat-resistant non-stick coating
  • Precision tensioned
  • 15° top bevel
  • 15° top clearance bevel
  • 10° hook
  • 5/64" plate
  • 3/32" thick teeth
  • 5/16" teeth length (providing 8 to 10 sharpenings)
  • 12 noise reduction/expansion regulating slots
  • 4 anti-vibration slots

COMPANY:Irwin
MODEL:1853159
PRICE:$73
MADE IN:Italy
SOURCE:Dealer Locator

Carl Duguay, April 2013
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