The double-sided melamine blade from Amana Tool®, and sold through Toolstoday.com. It is seriously…..blue.
Quite a stunning looking blade, but we will get to its looks later. Function is much more important than looks! Good thing this blade has both!
The double-sided melamine saw blade is an 80 tooth, 10″ (250mm), with a 5/8″ bore. That is what suits my saw, they also have 30mm bore, and sizes from 200 – 400mm diameter.
It has 4 straight expansion slots to minimise heat distortion, with copper plugs. The copper plugs are used as a vibration absorption, and to block up the holes at the end of the expansion slots – both of which in turn decreases operational noise. The holes themselves are used as a crack-arrestor as they reduce the stress at the end of each slot. The straighter the blade, (in how it is manufactured, in how accurate the teeth are ground, and the less warping/distortion caused by heat), the better the cut. This combined with a tooth profile especially designed for melamine results is a remarkable cut.
The edge, on both sides of the melamine, is as clean in closeup as it appears in the above-photo. It is a beautiful cut, and that aptly demonstrates the quality of the blade. Getting this sort of result on both the top and underside of the cut is remarkable, and takes a special blade to achieve this.
The blade is also very good for crosscutting, whether that be soft or hardwood. The finish is near shiny, and showed negligible to no breakout of fibres at the back of the cut.
Ripping was harder – being an 80 tooth blade there is only a small gullet between teeth, and where that is fine for crosscutting, is insufficient for clearing waste and the long fibres created during a rip cut. It is still achievable, but you have to cut slow (risking burning the timber, overheating and distortion in the blade). Even so, a shiny cut was the result! Good enough to go straight to a finish, or one final light sand.
But why is it blue? The blade is finished with a new process, called electro-bluing. It is a smooth coating for the blade, replacing the teflon-like finishes of other blades. It has only been available since September 2012! This micron-thin coating is claimed to reduce heat buildup, and the accumulation of resin. The coating includes the teeth of the blade. It will be very interesting to see how durable the coating is!
It is also promoted as being an environmentally friendly coating. If that is a feature you need, this blade (and this coating) offers that, which differs from many other, more traditional coatings.