Can I Use a Smaller Blade on My Circular Saw?

Published on: June 13, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

If you work with various types of saws, you are familiar with circular saws. When using a circular saw, many people ask, “can I use a smaller blade on my circular saw?”.

It’s because finding a blade of the right size for your circular saw can sometimes be a bothersome task. As a result, many people try to use a smaller-sized blade on a circular saw.

can i use a smaller blade on my circular saw

Now, to answer whether you can use a large-sized blade on a circular saw, we need to explain a few more different things. To understand the implications of using a smaller blade size than recommended, we will need to discuss the ins and outs of a circular saw blade.

Luckily for you, we have covered it all right here. So, let’s dive in and find out if we can indeed use a smaller-sized blade.

What Type of Blade Should Be Used in a Circular Saw

The type of blade used in a circular saw depends on the material you are cutting. For wood, use a carbide-tipped or high-speed steel blade. For metal, use a carbide-tipped blade designed for metal. For laminate flooring, use a blade with a diamond-tipped edge.

Is It Possible to Use a 7-in Blade on a 6.5-in Circular Saw?

In simple terms, you can’t use a 7-in blade in a 6.5-in circular saw. It’s because a 6.5-in circular saw will have a housing that is only spacious enough to hold a blade of up to 6.5 in diameter. And, it would be practically impossible to install a larger blade than that.

That’s why it is not realistic to think of installing a 7-in blade on a 6.5-in circular saw. This rule doesn’t only apply to this particular size of the blade. You need to understand that you cannot ever use a larger blade than a recommended size.

Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to use a smaller-sized blade. But, it is completely impossible to install a larger-sized blade on a circular saw.

Now, if you are an exceptional specialist who has huge expertise in circular saws, you might be able to modify the circular saws to facilitate the housing large enough to hold a 7-in blade. But, then again, that is an exceptional case.

Can I Use a 7-inch Blade in a 10-inch Table Saw?

Answered, yes. Using a 7-in blade in a 10-in table saw is perfectly fine. Although it is quite impossible to fit a larger-sized blade into a smaller table, it is quite normal to fit a smaller-sized blade into a large table saw. It’s because a 10-in table saw will have more than enough housing to hold a 7-in blade.

Now, if you use a 7-in blade instead of a 10-in one, You’ll have a lower depth of cut. Also, you may face slightly reduced rim speed as well. On top of that, the RPM of the blade might be slightly encased. And, the likelihood of tear-outs might be increased as well. 

Although these changes might seem very massive, they are indeed negotiable. If you are careful enough to handle the table saw correctly, you should have no problem adjusting yourself to these subtle changes.

Are Circular Saws Compatible With Any Blade?

No, they are not. Usually, the circular saws are fully compatible with smaller blades than their recommended blade size. It’s because smaller plates are easy to fit and don’t apply larger strain on the saw’s motor.

On the flip side, if you want to install a blade with a larger diameter, it is fully impossible. The circular saws are created with a definite space to house a blade. For example, in a 10-in circular saw, you can never use a 12-in blade. 

It’s because the housing of the circular saw only allows a 10-in diameter blade to be installed. Any larger than that, it becomes impossible to install. That’s why it is safe to say that circular saws are not fully compatible with any blades.

Now, you might ask, “Which size of the blade is the most compatible with a circular saw?”. The most compatible blade size is the recommended size by the manufacturer. For instance, if your manufacturer recommends a 7-in blade in your circular saw, it is best to use a 7-in blade. In this way, no extra strain is put on the motor. As a result, the circular saw can sustain a long life.

Is It Possible to Use a Smaller Blade on Chop Saws?

Yes, it is possible. You can indeed use smaller blades on chop saws. The main difference you will face when using a smaller blade on a chop saw is that you’ll have a lower cutting depth.

Other than that, you may also face higher RPM in the motor and a decreased rim speed in the blade. Also, the motors can boost performance because smaller blades tend to be more lightweight than the original recommended size. That’s why, in a sense, using a smaller blade on chop saws is recommended indeed.

That, in turn, can make the chop saw generate more sound and vibration at the time of performance. Therefore, if you are using a smaller blade in your chop saw, we recommend that you hold that chop saw with your hand in a steady position. It’s because unless you stably hold the job saw, it might create accidental cuts due to overperformance.

What Should Consider Choosing a Small Blade on a Circular Saw?

Using a circular saw is dangerous, and that’s because of the fine control a blade has over the saw’s blade. If you use a blade of the correct size, you can achieve a degree of control over the saw that allows you to cut safely.

Small Blade Cutting in Depth

The biggest effect of using the small blade on a circular saw is decreasing the cutting depth. Make sure to use the perfect size blade on your saw. If your saw is 7 1/4 inches, you must use a 7-inch blade. Or, if your saw is 10 inches, you have to choose a 9-inch blade. Otherwise, you can’t cut your workpieces.

Consideration of Blade Geometry

Don’t try to skip the saw blade geometry. It is very important because it refers to the blade’s shape of teeth, kerf, angle, and materials. So you have to match the blade geometry to your blade fully, and the saw which one you want to use. 

Example: Miter saw blades generally come with low tooth angles. Which one gives you too fast feed and a non-aggressive cut. On the other hand, circular saw or table saw come with high tooth angles. That result gets fast feed and aggressive cuts.

Rotation of the Speed

This term is another most important to consider choosing a small blade. So make sure the saw generates max RPM on the blade. Small blades are less distance per revelation than the larger blade. When you use a 12-inch blade, the rotation speed needs to be 5,500 RPM, and a 6 1/2 inch blade needs to rotate at a speed of 10,000 RPM.

What is the Best Way to Ensure a Straight Cut With a Circular Saw

The best way to ensure a straight cut with a circular saw is to use a straight edge or guide as a reference. This will provide a stable surface for the saw to follow when making the cut. Also, make sure to use sharp blades and check for binding or drag that could cause the saw to veer off course. Finally, keep the saw in line with the guide and use a steady, even speed when making the cut.

Finishing Words

So, what do you think? Can you use a smaller blade on my chop saw? The answer is that you can. But, since you are not using a blade of native diameter, you need to be extra careful. Also, you need to be mindful of the changes in machine performance (due to the installation of a smaller sized blade) 

However, no matter which blade you use (small or large), we hope you can take full advantage of your saws. Best of luck to you.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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