There are two types of saw blades: cross-cut and rip-cut blades. If these are misused, the saw will not perform to its full potential and the blade will be damaged.
What is cross-cutting?
Cross-cutting is to cut perpendicularly to the grain pattern of the wood. The blade for cross-cut is made up of two blades, one on each side sharply pointed at both ends like a utility knife. It is designed to cut wood fibers. Since the blade must be pulled as if cutting through the layers of the tree's annual rings, the pull is more responsive.
When cutting at an angle, the cross-cut blade is used because it intersects the wood grain. If a cross-cut blade is used for rip-cutting, it will only cut the fibers even finer and will not be a good cut.
What is rip-cutting?
Rip-cutting is a method of cutting parallel to the wood grain. The blade for rip-cut follows the wood fibers and scrapes them off with the tips of the teeth. The grooves between the teeth serve to carry away sawdust.
It allows larger cuts with a single pulling motion and is easier to cut than cross-cutting. If a rip-cut blade is used for cross-cut, it will get caught in the fibers of the lumber and will not cut smoothly.
SUIZAN's blade for Ryoba
SUIZAN's Ryoba blade can be used as both a cross-cut and rip-cut with a single blade. The blade above the logo is the rip-cut blade, and the blade below the logo is the cross-cut blade. Not only the Ryoba 9.5" (240mm) shown in the photo but also other Ryoba saws are the same. If you look closely at the cutting edges, you can see that the blades are different in fineness and sharpness.
The Dozuki 7" (180 mm) and the Dozuki 9.5" (240 mm) with silver spine allow cross, rip, and diagonal cuts with a single blade. There is no need to worry about the direction of the wood grain and it can be used for a variety of cutting purposes.
Using a Japanese saw properly will prevent damage to the blade and prolong its life. It will also increase the efficiency of cutting, which should make the woodwork more enjoyable!