If a saw cut a line the same thickness as the saw blade, you can imagine that the blade would soon start jamming.
So the cut has to be wider than the blade - how's that bit of magic done?
Simple - the teeth are bent out sideways a bit, alternately they are bent out one to the right and one to the left - this is called the 'set'.
Looking down on top of the teeth the set appears like this, can you see how the teeth are now wider than the blade?
OK, so all saw teeth require a set, but how wide? Well, it depends on the type of tooth and the materials it is designed to cut. Cutting live or damp timber is going to need much more clearance to keep the blade free than cutting dry floor boards for example.
Most non-specialist saws are designed to cut a variety of materials, so the set is balanced against the tooth type to give the best all round performance.
So how do you choose a general saw?
When choosing a general saw it's important that the set is well balanced and the same depth on either side of the saw. If there is more set on one side, the cut will tend to veer away from straight.
It's also important to choose a saw who's set isn't too wide. The wider the set means the wider the cut and a wide cut means more sawdust and more effort.
C.K Sabretooth™ saws, whilst outperforming all other leading brands in terms of cutting speed, also have the smallest set, giving the narrowest cut, least wastage and least effort.