It’s very difficult to choose a 5 1/2 circular saw blade as the market is overflowing with low-quality items by flash-in-the-pan manufacturers that usually don’t even have a website. I faced this problem while shopping for my first set of blades for my Black & Desert Mini. I’ve tested a load of models since then as my projects involve cutting different materials. Now I’m ready to share my knowledge about blades and my reviews of the most reliable products in the category.
Best 5.5 Inch Circular Saw Blade: 7 Most Effective Models
- Best 5.5 Inch Circular Saw Blade: 7 Most Effective Models
- Freud D0518x – Best 5 1/2 Circular Saw Blade With Carbide
- KwikTool USA BB550 C7 Bad Blade – Universal 5.5 Inch Circular Saw Blade
- IRWIN Tools MARATHON Carbide Blade – Ultra-Thin 5 1/2 Saw Blade
- SKILSAW SKIL 95010 – Extra-Durable 5 1/2 Circular Saw Blade
- DEWALT 5-3/8-Inch Circular Saw Blade – Thin-Kerf Cutter for Cordless Tool
- Oshlun SBW-055036 – Best for Finishing & Trimming
- Ryobi D150 Circular Saw Blade – Best for Ryobi Saws and More
- How to Choose the Best 5 ½ inch Circular Saw Blade
- How to Change Circular Saw Blade
- Easy Cut
I decided to write a 5.5-inch circular saw blade review section to let you choose a worthy model for your needs quickly. I tested many more blades, but only these seven items proved high efficiency and good value for money.
Freud D0518x – Best 5 1/2 Circular Saw Blade With Carbide
D0518x (Diablo) is a superior 18-teeth blade designed for wet and dry lumbering works. Each tooth has a high-density carbide tip by TiCo. It provides extra long cutting life. The plate of the blade has six slits that provide extra resistance to metal expanding. Besides, the entire disk is covered in a non-stick coating so that you can work not only with dry but with wet wood too. You can use the blade on any 10-mm arbor.
I recommend this model for fast framing and paneling works with low wasting. Due to the unique stabilization system and protective covering, you can be sure that this blade will serve long with rare sharpenings.
- Extra durable design;
- High-quality carbide;
- Fast & low-waste framing;
- Rare sharpenings required;
- Non-stick covering.
- Too expensive;
KwikTool USA BB550 C7 Bad Blade – Universal 5.5 Inch Circular Saw Blade
The C7 Bad Blade by KwikTool offers true American quality and a surprisingly wide range of capabilities. Although the ⅝” arbor isn’t universal, this blade is really worth an extra device, especially if you’re a professional.
I didn’t believe that it can cut everything until I tried it back in 2008. C7 can easily deal with steel, sheet metal, iron, wood (with/without nails), aluminum, PVC, plastics, and laminate. The good news is that the kickback is almost equal zero due to 36 sharp carbide teeth. I bought my second C7 blade around 3 years, so you can count how durable it is. I recommend you to get this one if you need a rough and universal cutter that will serve really long.
- Tough universal blade;
- 36 Tungsten teeth;
- Durable tip fixation;
- Almost zero kickback.
- ⅝” arbor hole isn’t universal.
IRWIN Tools MARATHON Carbide Blade – Ultra-Thin 5 1/2 Saw Blade
Cordless circular saws sometimes require thinner solutions, and IRWIN MARATHON offers perfect 0.63”- kerf for such saws. The blade has 18 face-ground carbide teeth that provide smooth and clean cutting. At the same time, they’re firm enough for aggressive ripping.
I usually apply this blade for quick dry wood framing works that require some extra precision. Due to the hook angle, you can make cuts really fast, and with low kickback probability.
- Good for dry wood;
- Ultra-thin construction;
- 10mm arbor hole fits most battery-powered saws;
- Low kickback.
- Not the best one for wet wood;
- Not for high RPM.
SKILSAW SKIL 95010 – Extra-Durable 5 1/2 Circular Saw Blade
SKILSAW is an American brand with over 90 years of leading presence on the market. This tool manufacturer was the first to create a portable circular saw that gained popularity in the world. They literally established the entire tool category.
That’s why I expected excellent performance from my SKIL blade, and I received it. It’s an excellent blade that fits ½” and ⅝” arbors. The plate is rather thick, which means lower precision than MARATHON offers, but significantly higher cutting speed and damage resistance.
It can work long on 10,400 RPM and cut both soft and hardwood. I recommend you use it for fast ripping and cross-cutting.
Despite the lower overall accuracy, it lets you cut with more precision than most blades of the same thickness. However, you should remember that it’s too thick for cordless devices.
- Thick blade that cuts clean;
- Excellent heating resistance;
- Compatible with ½” and ⅝” arbors;
- Withstands 10K+ RPM.
- Not for cordless devices.
DEWALT 5-3/8-Inch Circular Saw Blade – Thin-Kerf Cutter for Cordless Tool
DEWALT is one of the oldest American saw manufacturers. Almost 100 years ago, Raymond E. DeWalt invented the world’s first radial-console saw that had been the industry standard for several decades.
The DW9055 blade has 16 teeth with thick carbide tips and an ultra-thin disk that lets you make fast cuts on any wood. Although the blade has thin kerf, it can remain effective on up to 7000 RPM, which makes it an excellent option for fast-cutting cordless tools with a standard 10mm arbor.
The teeth are covered with a patented anti-stick rim that reduces gum-up and friction. If cutting wood is all you need, this blade is great, and it will fit all 5.5” saws with a 10mm arbor.
The downside of the model is that it cannot cut through wood with nails because of the broad gaps between the tips.
- Thin kerf for fast cutting;
- Anti sticking covering of teeth;
- Up to 7000 RPM;
- Excellent for cordless saws;
- Relatively cheap.
- Doesn’t cut wood with nails.
Oshlun SBW-055036 – Best for Finishing & Trimming
Oshlun is a trusted US-based blade manufacturer that offers universal compatibility and patented C-4 Micro Grain Tungsten carbide.
SBW-055036 has 36 teeth that make this blade suitable for precise finishing and trimming works on softwood, plywood, and hardwood. The combination of an aggressive hook angle with ultra-thin kerf lets you use this model on both cordless saws and more powerful devices that can do 11000 RPM. It also fits both 10mm and ½’’ arbors due to the bushings that come along in the package.
You can use it with devices by Makita, Ryobi, Craftsman, Skil, and other brands that offer a compatible arbor diameter. You can also order the same blade with 24 and 18 teeth instead of 36 if you need a high-RPM blade for rougher tasks.
- Universal fit;
- Lightweight & durable;
- Long-lasting micro-grain carbide;
- Precise cutting;
- Compatible with Makita, Craftsman, Skil, and Ryobi.
- Hard to sharpen.
Ryobi D150 Circular Saw Blade – Best for Ryobi Saws and More
Ryobi is a 76-year-old Japanese company based in Hiroshima and Indiana. They produce some of the best blades that I’ve ever used. The D150 blade is a durable and lightweight 18-teeth model that can easily cut all types of wood and provides medium precision at up to 10400 RPM.
- Durable temperature-resistant steel;
- Universal 10mm fit;
- For all woodworks;
- Japanese quality.
- Not the most precise cut.
How to Choose the Best 5 ½ inch Circular Saw Blade
Circular saw blades are available in a variety of sizes from 4.5” to 14” and sometimes even more. However, all of them are designed for different circular saw types and purposes. A 5.5 inch circular saw blade is usually used with handheld saws. Besides, they usually have carbide tips on the teeth for higher cutting ability and rarer sharpening.
Your Right 5 1/2 Saw Blade
Given you are looking for a circular saw 5.5 inch blade, you already know that your saw is compatible with this diameter. You also have to know the RPM of your tool and the arbor diameter to match these features with the blade.
Finally, decide what you need to cut for your project and match the materials with the 5 1/2 inch circular saw blade review descriptions above. Many blades also have this information printed on one of the sides.
How to Change Circular Saw Blade
To change a circular saw blade, you should follow several essential steps. Some aspects of replacing a blade may differ depending on your saw model, but the basic steps are always the same.
- Disable the power source or remove the battery – this obvious step is also the most important. You can google circular saw injuries to understand why it is SO necessary! And don’t forget to wear thick gloves too.
- Buy the right blade – every saw is designed for a particular blade diameter. You can actually put a 5″ saw blade on a 5.5” model, but you cannot use a 5.5” blade on a saw that requires a 5 inch saw blade.
- Lose the arbor nut – usually, circular saws come with a proprietary wrench for this. Use it to lose the nut and remove the blade carefully.
- Replace the blade – place the new blade and make sure that the direction of the sharp tips is the same as it used to be with the old blade.
- Test it – do the test cut to make sure you installed the blade properly.
Here are the answers to the most important and common questions about circular saw blades. Don’t skip this section to avoid typical mistakes and to be able to get the most out of your circular saw.
How to sharpen a circular saw blade?
If you have a standard blade with steel teeth, you can sharpen it yourself without any problems. Preserve the right angle of the file and treat each tooth with 3-4 even strokes until you see clean steel shining.
However, the majority of smaller circular saw blades, including 5.5” models have carbide teeth. They require careful sharpening with a special diamond wheel sharpener. If you’re experienced in doing that by yourself, you should learn how to sharpen both tips and edges of carbide teeth. I don’t like spending so much time and effort, so I bring my blades to the sharpening service for 40 cents per tooth.
Which way does a circular saw blade go?
The majority of blades that I’ve seen have the rotation direction marked on them for convenience. If not, you can figure it out by the placement of teeth tips. The blade should always rotate against the direction you feed in wood or any other material. It also means that the tips should move in the same direction as the motor rotates.
When to replace a circular saw blade?
It’s quite easy to understand when it’s time to replace the blade. Look for broken, chipped, warped, and missing tips (if you use carbide). If you see that the blade cuts worse, but it doesn’t have visible defects, you should sharpen it immediately.
If your circular saw is compatible with 5.5” blades, you can benefit from using them while cutting metals, brick, concrete, wood, and other rough materials. It’s important to choose the best quality for your particular purposes as any blade expands and contracts during use, and you don’t want it to chip in your hands all of a sudden. But even with the best 5 1/2 circular saw blade, you must wear protective gear to minimize risks.
Have you used any 5.5” blades already? Which type do you prefer to use, and what for? You’re welcome to share your experience in the comments and ask me any questions related to 5.5” blades. I’ll answer asap.