CMT ITK Plus Think Kerf Finishing Blade Review
There’s nothing like a project to introduce you to new and interesting power tool blades. This time we were readying our new video set and needed to cut three 4 x 8 sheets of Melamine into about 32 pieces per sheet. That’s a lot of cuts, and we weren’t about to use a standard multi-purpose blade to do it as it would create rough, explosive edges along each side of the Melamine. To give us a fighting chance at cutting this material once and not having to sand every single edge, we picked up the CMT ITK Plus Finishing Blade. This is a 6-1/2″ blade that is specifically made for cordless circular saws.
CMT ITK Plus Think Kerf Finishing Blade Features
The CMT ITK Plus Think Kerf Finishing Blade has 36 teeth and has some pretty standard features for saw blades of this type, including a 5/8″ arbor, hardened steel composition, and laser cut sound dampening channels. The blade itself is actually made in Italy from German steel – how’s that for international manufacturing technology! The kerf of this saw blade is extremely thin. Looking at it next to a standard DeWalt blade, you can see the difference. That plus the 36 teeth yields a smoother cut than a standard 24-tooth carbide blade.
The CMT ITK Plus cuts both hard and soft woods as well as plywood and, as we found, Melamine. It works with any saw that can support a 5/8″ arbor and a 6-1/2″ blade. We loaded the blade into a Milwaukee M18 Cordless Circular Saw and quickly realized that in order to get the blade rotation correct, the blade needed to be mounted with the writing inward.
As we used the saw, we found it to cut extremely well. There was very little resistance, partly thanks to the thin kerf, and partly due to the number of teeth and the reduced depth of the grooves in between. This made it super easy to cut through our work material, even though we had dozens of cuts to make per sheet. From start to finish, the CMT ITK Plus blade made quick work out of our material and, even when we were finished, the blades still looked ready to cut a lot more material. This is a blade you’ll likely get a lot of use out of if you are sure to remove it when you go back to cutting dimensional lumber or anything that doesn’t specifically require a finishing blade.