Robby W

Forrest Woodworker II Option 1 Blade

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I thought I would add this review of a blade I bought just to see what it was about and very happy I did. I have owned a couple of Woodworker II 40 tooth blades for many years - bought the first one in the 1980's when Wally Kunkel was on the show circuit. I had two so one could be out for sharpening without me being down. I also own several Freud blades. I started out with a Freud 50 tooth combo blade 'way back when, but wasn't happy with it for crosscuts - it left a ragged cut, especially on the exit and bottom of the cut, even though I routinely use a zero clearance insert.

The Woodworker II's are a good general purpose blade and when sharp and clean, deliver excellent all around results. But I didn't like that the kerfs weren't flat bottomed because I frequently use it to cut grooves for dividers, shoulders on tenons and such. I also wasn't thrilled with rips as they tend to be slow and load my table saw heavily, especially when cutting 8/4 stock.

I was browsing Forrest's website one day and came across the Woodworker II Option 1 blade. It is similar to the standard WWII in having 40 teeth, but they changed the grind so that some of the teeth have a flat top with a clipped corner. This feature gives a flat bottom cut. So I ordered one and have been happily using it for several years now. Crosscuts are about 95% of the quality of a standard WWII blade with minimal tear out and rips are much better and faster. With this blade, I routinely go straight to glue-up when joining panels. Thick stock is not an issue, especially if you clean the blade once in awhile, something I routinely forget to do. Cuts on sheet goods can be very good if you don't hurry things, but push it through fast and you will get some chip out of veneers and laminates.

 

This blade isn't free, but I highly recommend it. I have found it to be a very good combination blade. I love the flat bottom cuts and the better rip performance. This is now my go-to blade and lives on my saw for everything but extended heavy duty ripping (I use my Freud 24 tooth rip blade for this) and sheet goods when I have to cut more than a little bit. I go to my Forrest Hi-A/T blade for this.

 

You may have to call Forrest to order this blade. I noticed it isn't on their website, although they now have a WWII Modified version with one flat raker tooth.

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Thanks for a good nice review! I didn't even know they offered this blade. I need to get another for the same reason and will definitely look into the Option 1.

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==>I didn't even know they offered this blade.

Just call them -- they'll make whatever you want... Forrest staffs application specialists to help you get the right blade for your application... They are very helpful...

The application charts use the the underlying Forrest grind numbers (#1 through #11)... I looked for a link, but it doesn't seem to be on their website... I'll see if I can find my copy and post it in the reference section... But off the top of my head:

The WWII #1 grind (FTG) - joinery and ripping, but less efficient for general use.

The WWII #2 grind (TCG)

The WWII #4 grind (PF)

The WWII #6 grind (Modified ATBR) - general purpose combo -- rips better than the #7 -- my goto blade.

The WWII #7 grind (ATB) is their general purpose blade... When you order a 'standard' WWII, this is what you get...

The WWII #11 grind (Modified TCG)

I forget the rest...

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Google is your friend... Industry standard abbreviations for grinding patterns...

FTG = Flat Top Grind... The top of the chip is ground flat -- go figure... :)

 

You can google the rest...

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