Q: Why are some saw blades “carbide-tipped”?
A: Carbide (specifically tungsten carbide and titanium carbide) is a common material used for cutting tools such as saw blades, drill bits, router bits and lathe bits. Carbide is used for the cutting edge because it stays sharper longer than most other materials and can hold an edge ten to twenty times longer than steel. With a carbide-tipped saw blade, the main body of the blade is made of steel, and the carbide tips are brazed onto the body. The blades aren’t made entirely of carbide because it would be very expensive, but also because the body would be very brittle, and steel is less likely to crack or shatter.