One of the specs listed on saw blades is the hook angle. What does this mean, and when would you choose one over the other?
The hook angle refers to the angle at which the teeth will engage the material being cut. A high or positive hook angle means the outermost tip of each tooth will engage very aggressively, whereas a low or negative hook angle causes each tooth to take a less aggressive bite.
How do I choose a blade based on hook angle?
Use a blade with a negative hook angle for tools that make climb cuts, such as radial arm saws. A radial arm saw is more difficult to control and will try to cut faster than you want it to, if the installed blade has a positive hook angle. A negative hook angle is also useful for cutting certain materials such as metal on a table saw.
Use a blade with a positive hook angle for faster, more aggressive cuts, such as ripping boards on a table saw.