Researching Beyond German Steel Blades

Jun 06, 2018

Finding the best saw blades for your projects is a key to more reliable, quality work. The term "German steel" is a somewhat generic term that refers to high quality steel, although it generally means steel the originated from Germany. Here is what you need to know about saw blades in general, as well as German steel blades.

Emphasis on German Steel

Germany is currently the European Union's largest exporter of steel and is the world's seventh largest overall. Before buying anything that is marked as "German steel", be sure to read the saw manufacturer's manual and stick with the brands and types of recommendations listed. 

One of the reasons the term "German steel blades" is synonymous with strength and durability is because Germany was a major center for steel manufacturing during the early period of the mid-nineteenth century. Germany and France contributed to the more modern version of the manufacturing process, known as open-hearth steelmaking. This process increased with the expansion of steel rails, engines, and cars.

By the late nineteenth century, Germany had become Europe's leading steel exporter. Following World War II, Germany modernized its steel plants and began producing exponentially more steel. Over time, the image of Germany's identity has been closely associated with steel. The definition of the term "German steel blades," however, has widened over the years to include steel blades made from formulas that originated in Germany. In this sense, they can be made in any country.

Best Blades for Cutting

When choosing saw blades, it's imperative to know the specifications determined by the saw manufacturer and not to fall for questionable marketing slogans such as "German steel blades." Regardless of where the blade is manufactured, it must have the characteristics that the saw calls for. A major factor for blade selection depends on the type of project.

For clean, smooth cuts from a table saw, the blade needs about 50 to 80 teeth. A 40-60 tooth blade works well for cross-cutting. A low tooth count of 24-30 will yield rough cuts. The more teeth on a blade, the more heat produced, which raises safety issues. Rip cuts that go with the grain of wood work better with low tooth blades, while cross-cuts work better with high tooth blades. Some professional cutters simply don't have time to keep changing blades according to the activity, so they use 40-50 tooth blades for most of their projects. 

When it comes to circular saws, it's important to take into account the blade diameter. You should also check the rounds per minute (rpm) rating of the blade to make sure it can be used with the saw, according to the manufacturer's specifications. 


Don't choose just any reference to "German steel blades" when searching for replacement blades for your tool. To learn more about proper selection of steel blades, contact Echols Saw and Supply at 602-278-3918 and we'll be glad to answer your questions.