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OT (wood) Saw Blades

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  • OT (wood) Saw Blades

    I know quite a few of you also make sawdust as well as metal chips.
    I was wondering if any of you have some recommendations for a good 10" rip blade? (brand or otherwise)

    Any opinions on the thin kerf blades.

    I have 5 or 6 blades, including 3 carbide combination blades, which don't seem to do a particularly good job of ripping. In fact my best ripping experiences are usually with a new or newly sharpened steel tooth blade, but they just dull too quickly to suit me.
    Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

  • #2
    What problems are you having?


    • #3
      the best ripping(thin kerf) blades I have found are Tenyru. they run cooler, less burning, I also run blade stiffeners. I have used just every blade available in my cabinet shop. good luck


      • #4
        Wood saw blades

        Craftsman used to put their steel saw blades on sale in a three blade set. I bought a lot of these over time. I also liked their carbide blades back then. There was a small mom & pops blade sharpening business in the next small town. He made the pick up and deliveries. His wife did the sharpening. I was next to a cabinet shop that he called on about once a week. I also liked the corse toothed steel blades for ripping. On the steel blades I think they just put a little more set in the teeth. At any rate they could tweek things a little to achieve the desired results. The friend with the cabinet shop supplies my blades now don't remember the brand. My wifes handy man steals more blades than I now dull. The part that Pisses me off is that I gave him a good Radial Arm and a good Table saw with new 80 tooth carbide blades and he helps himself to my stash of extry blades. " Excuse my rant"

        A good sharpening service is worth the trouble to look it up. Your local cabinet shops can usally supply this type information.
        Byron Boucher
        Burnet, TX


        • #5
          I'm seeing new blades these days where the teeth are not properly aligned to the blank. Some of these are on the more expensive side as well. I've used a couple different Freud blades lately and they seem to still be good. One was the most expensive blade I've ever bought for the skil type saw, and it works well. I now use it on my table saw. Some of the older blades I have are good as well, and of course they do need to be properly sharpened. I can't offer those brand names since I have no idea if they're still any good. I have actually bought some old blades of reputable manufacture and had them sharpened and those seem to be good still.

          One company we have used for blade sharpening won't accept certain brands to sharpen, mostly the newer unknown names, so that may be an avenue to gain some info- ask a local sharpener and you'll probably get some good advice on what to buy and use.

          The only thin kerf blade I've been happy with is the 7 1/4 inch freud for the skil type saw. I would rather use the thicker blades (and the stabilizers) to get a good consistent kerf width even if it means removing more material, since I get better cut edges. That's usually what matters to me. Only with relatively thick pvc do I prefer the thin kerf, and that's because it's less power hungry.

          I'm not a brand name fan, but in every application lately the best working blades have been Freuds. I think if you chose one of theirs that's intended for ripping you'd be happy. Get a confirmation from your supplier that if you aren't happy with the blade you can return it- and ensure that you aren't stuck with the 'can't give money back, only replace product' ripoff.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


          • #6
            Combination blades, are just that, a design trade off that means they are not "perfect" at either crosscut or rip. A sort of "jobsite generalist" blade.

            The best theory answer depends on your saw and the type of wood you are cutting.

            If you saw is a "bench top" then it doesn't matter how much hp the seller claims, the saw is underpowered, and any 10" rip blade is going to give a poor cut in 2" thick hard maple.

            If your saw motor is <3hp than a thin kerf rip blade with stiffeners is something to consider. With a thin kerf blade there is less wood removed and the saw doesn't slow (or stall) as much. The stiffeners will limit the thickness of wood you can cut. When you are ripping bevels a thin kerf blade may not be stiff enough to "cut true".

            If your saw is >3hp than the main advantage of a thin kerf with stiffeners is that you don't "covert" as much "good" wood to saw dust.

            A "standard" kerf blade is usually better for cuts other than 90* to the table, with "thicker" wood (max cut), and crosscutting.

            Without getting to which brand is better shouting match, you don't find the "best" blades at the BORGs.
            Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."


            • #7
              Tenyru or Freud are both great blades. Stay away from $20 cheapo blades. A good blade will cost $80 or more, but is well worh it. Find a good comercial woodworking store in your area and shop there. You will have the best luck if you buy purpose built blades and not combo blades. A good fence and outfeed table also makes a big difference in preventing the work from binding on the blade.


              • #8
                I run the Freud master combination blade as standard in a 3hp cabinet saw and have for years now.There's no difference in feedrate and lost time swapping blades back and forth.Freud's LU84R is a hard blade to beat.

                I've also ran thin kerf-rip and they do run good,but as Dave already mentioned don't even consider it without a set of stabilizers.
                I just need one more tool,just one!


                • #9
                  Forrest blades

                  If you are willing to pay $70-100 for a blade check out Forrest. I recently ripped beech "butcher block" counter top material on my 10" contractor saw with a 80 tooth Forrest woodworker blade. It was quick, easy and quiet and the cut faces only needed light sanding and beveling the corners. I also bought a Forrest blade for my 7-1/4'" cutoff saw and my 5-3/8" Dewalt cordless. Cuts are quick, easy and true. I do use a stiffner for the 10". I have never found any other blades as good



                  • #10
                    Forrest &amp; Freud

                    These are both excellent brands. I have used a Forrest thin kerf combination blade for years with good results. Forrest blades are alternate top bevel and leave a rabbit ear pattern at the top of the kerf if you're not making a through cut. If I want a rectangular kerf(for comb joints) I use a 24 tooth Freud rip blade. I have a 1950's Atlas cabinet saw w/a 2HP motor that works really well w/the Forrest. Contrary to other's experience w/blade stabilizers I saw no difference on the four table saws that I've owned.
                    Larry on Lake Superior


                    • #11
                      I too have had good luck with freud blades, I changed my table and skil saws to freud and really like them.
                      san jose, ca. usa


                      • #12
                        The problems I've had are 1) poor/slow ripping in hard woods; 2) smoking/burning; 3) very fine sawdust; and 4) generally unhappy, joyless ripping experiences

                        I recently tried to rip through a short piece of very dry black locust (3 or 4" thick) , and the only way I could get thru it was kerf it on both sides and finish up with a bandsaw. And even then the smoke was so thick I was looking for "...what's on fire?" Admittedly that was a pretty extreme demand, but anything over an inch in oak or maple, etc. has a similar result.

                        This is with a cabinet type table saw (Grizzly), 3hp or maybe it's 5hp ...I've forgotten. It's an older saw, so probably 3hp.

                        As for the stiffeners/stablilizers, I've used those before (I think I have a set around here somewhere), but never noticed much, if any, difference. Tho that was not with any thin blades.

                        Right now I'm starting a project (sewing desk for my daughter) that will entail ripping some 2.5" (almost) rough walnut for the legs. I only have one big clear plank of it and don't want to mess any of it up.
                        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                        • #13
                          Lynnl: very fine sawdust usually means a dull blade. Enen the Forrest and Freud blades need to be resharpened periodically.
                          John Burchett
                          in Byng OK


                          • #14
                            I have never tried a thin kerf blade but the price of wood and the difficulty of getting it I would like to get one someday I have aopile of blades some cheap and some expensive many or any of the named variety will cut good the cheap ones surprisingly are also quite good for the odd occasion not much good for running eight hours a day *I suspect.kindest regards aLISTAIR
                            Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease