Here’s something way cooler than looking at tree rings with an electron microscope—a close-up look at a table saw blade cutting wood. I’ve spent years of my life operating saws and yet this is the first time I’ve seen the cutting action of saw tips. The video below was produced by Vision Research and is intended to show what their high speed cameras can do. The video cameras most of us own (even high-end DSLRs and Camcorders) can shoot 24, 30, or 60 FPS (frames per second). The camera used to shoot the video below is capable of shooting 150,000 FPS, a frame rate that makes it possible to slow the clip down to the point where you can see how the tips cut. They scrape wood away in very small increments. Look closely and you’ll see that it’s a lot like a snow plow scraping a thin layer of snow off of the street or a hand plane shaving wood off the edge of a board. With a saw blade, though, the cuts are incremental—a whole bunch of tips taking bite after bite at a high rate of speed. Viewed at the normal rate of speed blades look like they’re flying through wood with little or no effort, but when seen in slow-mo it’s clear they’re just plugging away.