Circular Saw Blade Tip Speed

Recently, I did some web research about the typically accepted range for router bit tip speeds so I could construct my own table for safe operating ranges of router bits of various sizes in a variable speed router. I found the speed range was between 100 and 150km/hr.

That has lead to another question that I’ve been asked: what is the normal tip speed of a circular saw, and do manufacturers make their small saws run faster to obtain a similar tip speed on their 7 1/4″ (185mm) model(s) versus their 9 1/4″ (235mm) model(s)?

This is comparing no-load speeds (Note, where there wasn’t a 235mm model, I’ve taken the next size down)

So just had a quick look, at 5 different company’s products, and calculated tip speed in each case and this is what I got:

Triton 235mm 4100RPM 181 km/hr 2400W

Triton 185mm 5000RPM 174 km/hr 2000W

Makita 235mm 4100RPM 181 km/hr 2000W

Makita 185mm 4700RPM 164 km/hr 1050W

GMC 235mm 4500RPM 199 km/hr 2300W

GMC 185mm 4700RPM 164 km/hr 1800W

GMC 185mm 5000RPM 174 km/hr 1200W

Dewalt 185mm 5800RPM 202 km/hr 2200W

Dewalt 210mm 5800RPM 230 km/hr 2075W

Hitachi 235mm 5000RPM 221 km/hr 2000W

Hitachi 185mm 5800RPM 202 km/hr 1710W

Gives one a real appreciation how fast a kickback from one of these things is……..

4 Responses

  1. Good Grief- look at that Dewalt! Do you think there’s an advantage in performance at the faster speed? That’s a substantial difference…

  2. Yes and no – in general I’d rather a moderate speed with plenty of power – anything over 175km/hr is more than enough. The faster it is, the more cuts/minute, but then other factors come into play – and a big one is how good is your blade? How good is the brazing of the teeth? How in-balance is it?

    To use an analogy, there are different ratings for tyres for cars – do I need a tyre capable of 250km/hr? Me – no, but then I wouldn’t put a standard road tyre on a racing car because they will self-destruct. Get a saw running faster than the quality of the blade, and you’d better think about ducking!

    There’s a 25% difference in tip speed there, so to my thinking, the blade needs to be 25% better!

  3. Hi, I’m building a cross cut ‘drop saw’ in New Zealand to cut Oregon (Douglas Fir) 8″ round logs to length to build a log house. I have a 22″ non TCT blade-Please can you advise approx speed and HP required-Thank you. Pete.

    • Peter Did you ever find out theHP requirement for your saw and did you construct it .I am thinking of building a drop saw for firewood cutting,aussie hardwood ,and would like to know how you rigged it up .and your overall thoughts on it ,Thanks Dave

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