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I have a worm drive circular saw that I have converted to a track saw using the EZSmart system. It's no Festool but it does okay. A few passes with a jointer plane is usually all I need to make a glue-ready surface.

The blade on the circular saw is the stock "Fast Cut Framing" blade. I'm certain this can't be helping the matter. If I upgrade to a finishing blade, will it be enough to cut out the hand plane work?

Also, most 7-1/4" blades don't specify if they are for ripping or crosscutting. Does it not matter with these saws?

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Also, most 7-1/4" blades don't specify if they are for ripping or crosscutting. Does it not matter with these saws?

That's because most people don't want to stop and change blades just because they're cutting in a different direction, and often the wood you cut with a 7 1/4" blade is dimensional lumber, etc., so general purpose combination blades are popular.

But they do make rip and crosscut blades in the 7 1/4" size. As with table saw blades, the differences are mainly the number and shape of the teeth. Crosscut blades have more teeth than rip blades, and they're more likely to have beveled (ATB) teeth where a rip blade is more likely to have flat top (FTG) teeth. That said, there are plenty of ATB blades marked for ripping.

If I upgrade to a finishing blade, will it be enough to cut out the hand plane work?

That depends on what kind of work you're doing, what kind of wood you're working with, and what your standards are. If you're trying to create an invisible seam for, say, a guitar top or a piece of fine furniture, you'll likely still want to take a pass with the plane. Using the right blade for the job should at least improve the cut surface; only you can say whether it improves it enough.

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Yes, your circular saw or track saw can produce a glue-ready surface, as long as you have a high-quality, sharp, carbide-tipped blade installed.

There are definitely different types of blades for circular saws, as with table saws, and the configurations usually fall roughly in these ranges:

  • Rip: 20-30T (around 20-30 teeth)
  • Crosscut/combination: 50-60T

Just as with a table saw, if you use a rip blade for crosscutting, you may be disappointed with the cut quality. Many crosscut blades are actually advertised as finishing or combination blades and work fine for ripping, but take longer to make the same rip cut.

The manufacturer of your blade may give it some other classification, and if it's just a cheap steel blade it probably won't produce glue-ready surfaces (or at least, it won't any more after making a few cuts). The 60T (60-tooth) blade installed in my 7-1/4" circular saw is advertised as an "Ultra Finish" blade, and it produces very smooth cuts that I would consider as good as the cuts made by the "glue-line rip blade" for my table saw.

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