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?
2Just a small aside which may help more people find this question - the "hook angle" as you call it is sometimes also referred to (at least here in the UK and I believe in the rest of Europe) as the "rake angle".– WhatEvilJul 26, 2018 at 23:33
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.