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KnotWoodworking

Table saw Blade recommendation

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First, thank you for any comments and feedback on this, it is always appreciated. 

I am a proud owner of a new table saw and it did not come with a bade. So i am looking for recommendations on blades that are, for the most part, general purpose blade. I have borrowed my father in laws CMT blade and it is pretty darn good giving me a nice clean cut with minimal to no tear out. I have been told that forrest blades are pretty much the best and to go with the woodworker II. Looking at the price i almost fell over. I am glad to buy good quality tools, but the 40 tooth one is around 150$. Just wanted to know what others were using  with good results and dont lose their edge to quickly. 

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Many, many people love the WWII.  I found it so-so for the price.  Things you want to tell us:

- Horse power of your saw.

- What you do with it.

This may seem basic but, you will find woodworkers fall into many categories.  One may put a 40 tooth WWII on the saw and run it till its dead and do just fine.  Another may wonder why anything other than a Freud Fusion is required.  Others have many blades for specific purposes.  It will all vary with what you do and how you do it.

I do a lot of joinery at the tablesaw and so use a lot of jigs and fixtures on that machine.  Having a consistent kerf width on all my blades made sense for me so I have them all made to .125" (an 1/8" kerf).  This means that all of my jigs work the same and my scale does not have to be recalibrated when I change from say a thin kerf rip to a .140" kerf combo blade.  Your requirements will undoubtedly differ.

Just for an example of someone who is far off to one side of the methods and options, I run a 24 tooth TCG (triple chip grind) rip, a 30 tooth FTG (flat top grind), a 50 tooth FTG, a 40 tooth ATB (alternate top bevel), a 55 tooth plywood blade, a 60 tooth ATB cross cut and an 80 tooth ATB cross cut.  These are mostly, if not all, cermet II as opposed to carbide and the tip life is quite impressive.  Along with a couple of dado stacks, these have met all my needs and have been sharpened many times over the years. 

It of course, took some time to get to this point as what I do and how I do it evolved.. When I started out I grabbed a thin kerf 40 tooth WWII and ran it for a long time. Someone else will use a combo blade or two (one to have on hand while the other is being sharpened) and do just fine.  there is not right answer, just an answer that is more-right for you.

P.s. The folks at Carbide Processors are very knowledgeable and helpful if you give them a call.  There are several other really good makers in the range of Forrest blades.  We all seem to find a favorite.

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8 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

Many, many people love the WWII.  I found it so-so for the price.  Things you want to tell us:

- Horse power of your saw.

- What you do with it.

This may seem basic but, you will find woodworkers fall into many categories.  One may put a 40 tooth WWII on the saw and run it till its dead and do just fine.  Another may wonder why anything other than a Freud Fusion is required.  Others have many blades for specific purposes.  It will all vary with what you do and how you do it.

Gee, 

For the most part, at least right now, its going to be alot of plywood. But i am looking to start working with some harder woods, like maple and walnut for some smaller projects. Also i have a 1.75 HP powermatic. 

 

I was looking at freud but some of my woodworking friends have told me to not go that route as they have not had good experience with them. Mostly not keeping a sharp blade and needing to sharpen them alot more than expected. 

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I have a Forrest WWII 20T thin kerf blade, it's ok and developed a wobble quickly. As a result of the wobble the quality of cut decreased and i only use it on dirty junky lumber. I have a full kerf Freud Industrial 24T ripping blade, and a 50T full ker Freud Industrial combination blade. These two blades are my primary blades for either cross cuts or ripping. If I need to rip some material that is 5/8" or thinner i use the combination anything thicker i use the ripping blade.

The Forrest was a good blade before it developed the wobble. To be fair to Forrest the wobble is a result of it being thin kerf. I've had other thin kerf blades develop a wobble. The trouble is the thinner saw plate heats up faster than the thicker plate of a full kerf blade, because of science reasons they heat up unevenly and warp. My one gripe with Forrest is they don't cut in anti vibration relief and the blades are LOUD. I also personally think these vibration cuts help prevent the saw plate from warping. I also like the coating on the Freud Industrial blades as it makes removing pitch and resin faster and easier. The coating helps reduce heat build up as well but wood shouldn't be contacting the saw plate

I find it interesting that the people you talked to didn't like Freud. I've never heard a complaint with the Freud Industrial line. The diablo line a few people have said aren't as good but by no means said they were bad. I own a pm1000 and have ran probably 7-10 different blades on it and have settled with the 2 Freud industrial as mentioned above, the big thing is get a blade that can be sharpened. The right blade is a clean sharp blade with the right tooth count for the cut. For rips you need to run something like 24T or 20T, for cross cuts you can run a 50T or 80T.  I run about 250-300 BF through my shop a year and sharpen about once every 18 months.

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My saw came with the WWII when I bought it and it works great. One thing I've learned as a beginner is I'm glad I have a combo blade. I find myself frequently going from rip to crosscut because I don't have enough experience to do all of one and then the other. It doesn't take long to switch blades, but I don't get much time in the shop either.

As someone above already said, spending more but being able to get a blade sharpened will pay off over the long run compared to buying and throwing away cheap blades.

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41 minutes ago, drzaius said:

I honestly don't think you can do better for the money than a Freud Premier Fusion combination blade. Very smooth cuts, very little tear out. The performance & quality of cut is only just a small notch below a good dedicated rip or crosscut blade. I'd start with that one. Given the your saw is only 1.75 HP,  you may want to go thin kerf.

Thanks for the feedback. I will probably be picking one up. Good place to start from and add as i need and get more experience. 

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1 hour ago, drzaius said:

I honestly don't think you can do better for the money than a Freud Premier Fusion combination blade. Very smooth cuts, very little tear out. The performance & quality of cut is only just a small notch below a good dedicated rip or crosscut blade. I'd start with that one. Given the your saw is only 1.75 HP,  you may want to go thin kerf.

I have bad luck with thin kerf blades becoming warped and recommend getting a full kerf blade. I have a PM1000 and the saw has more than enough power to cut if you use a blade with an appropriate tooth count. I find that a full kerf lower tooth count gets me far better results.

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Whatever you do, it's worth having a dedicated rip blade for wood that's over an inch or so. Because they have fewer teeth, you'll find they're cheaper anyway. I've got a couple blades from Dimar that are in the $60-$75 range that I use, a combo and a rip.

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19 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

I have bad luck with thin kerf blades becoming warped and recommend getting a full kerf blade. I have a PM1000 and the saw has more than enough power to cut if you use a blade with an appropriate tooth count. I find that a full kerf lower tooth count gets me far better results.

That's interesting - I had a warp happen with a Freud thin kerf Diablo blade, but not with the ones I currently use. The difference might be that these are 0.110" kerf, so they're halfway between the really thin kerf blades (ie: Freud) at 0.90" and full kerf at 0.125". I picked these in part so they would work with my riving knife, which is too thick for the Freud blades.

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The Freud Industrial blades seem to be a good balance of cost and quality. I have a couple Diablo thin kerf blades (40t combo, 80t for ply) and a couple Freud industrial full kerf blades (24t FTG and Glue Line Rip).

I’ve had the thin kerf diablos for about 3yrs and both have more than a few teeth chipped or missing. I use the stock blade for construction lumber and questionable things so I’m not sure how they were damaged. I’ve had the GLR for about a year and 6-9mo on the FTG.  I’ve loved the Freud Industrial blades. I haven’t sent off any of my blades for sharpening but do clean them occasionally, which helps.

I have used a WWII blade on a friend’s saw, but only briefly so I can’t give a true comparison.

I used to use the combo blade for everything, but now that I’ve used a proper rip blade I don’t mind switching blades. I have limited time in the shop but it’s worth the minute to switch. 

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2 hours ago, SawDustB said:

That's interesting - I had a warp happen with a Freud thin kerf Diablo blade, but not with the ones I currently use. The difference might be that these are 0.110" kerf, so they're halfway between the really thin kerf blades (ie: Freud) at 0.90" and full kerf at 0.125". I picked these in part so they would work with my riving knife, which is too thick for the Freud blades.

I had a thin kerf industrial blade warp (probably my fault as i was ripping 1.25" material with a 40T blade) and the forrest WW II was one of those 0.90" kerf blades also warped.

I think there are a lot of good brands out there. Ridge Carbide (holy $$$$), Infinity cutting tools, CMT Industrial line I've heard good things about too.

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I have a couple of standard WWII and an option 1 WWII that.libes in my saw most of the time. It has a modified grind that gives a flat bottom cut and rips much better than a standard WWII. Crosscuts aren't quite as nice though. By the way, my saw is a 2hp saw and I only use full kerf blades. Never had a problem with then.

I think it is important to use the proper blade for what you are doing. When I rip thick stock, I use a 30 tooth rip blade. When I am cutting plywood or melamine, I use an 80 tooth hi-ATB blade made for the job. 

Get one of the recommended blades for your first blade, but collect others as you have a need for them. I would stick with full kerf blades. Just match your feed rate to what the motor will take. And spend some time aligning your saw correctly. That will do almost as much for a clean cut as a new blade.

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If your looking for an all purpose blade the Woodworker II is hard to beat if you use separates (I do) Frued are my go to blades. I do keep a couple WWII's for sheet goods and also use their dado stack.

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I also use separate blades for cross cut and rip and I use Frued (not the Diablo line) and like Cooper said keep them clean,  I just use un-deluted Simple Green and a toothbrush.  

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10 hours ago, KnotWoodworking said:

I was looking at freud but some of my woodworking friends have told me to not go that route as they have not had good experience with them. Mostly not keeping a sharp blade and needing to sharpen them alot more than expected. 

This is interesting.  I have some Freud blades and they stay sharp much longer than my WWII ever did (I finally gave it away after getting little improvement after a sharpening).  I wonder if they are using BORG-type Freud blades like Diablo.  The Freud Industrial line of blades is pretty nice.  I will comment that the number of folks that use the wrong blade for the job is staggeringly high :o and this can contribute to shorter life.  You see this on bandsaws as well. 

HOWEVER, just as my experience with Freuds differs from your friends, my experience with Forrest differs from most other woodworkers you will hear from.  +1 on keeping things clean.  I use L.A.Awesome which is super inexpensive and cleans things up fast.  There are many good products for cleaning blades, almost none of them are sold as such :D.

Higher tooth count blades do better on plywood but, the high tooth count can lead to slow feeding and early wear on the teeth.  This is why you will find 50 and 55 tooth plywood blades offered.  It is a trade off in quality of cut over speed and longevity.  You will find your balance spot.  The good news is that the better quality blades will do well in ply even at 40 tooth count cutters.

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20 hours ago, KnotWoodworking said:

I was looking at freud but some of my woodworking friends have told me to not go that route as they have not had good experience with them. Mostly not keeping a sharp blade and needing to sharpen them alot more than expected.

This does not compute. Unless as @gee-dub suggested, they were using the cheaper line of Freud blades or using the wrong blade for the job.

One thing I will say about the Premier Fusion blade is that it will not take well to cutting nails. :( It has a high angle grind, which contributes to the clean cut with less tear out, but also makes it more fragile.

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15 hours ago, gee-dub said:

This is interesting.  I have some Freud blades and they stay sharp much longer than my WWII ever did (I finally gave it away after getting little improvement after a sharpening).  I wonder if they are using BORG-type Freud blades like Diablo.  The Freud Industrial line of blades is pretty nice.  I will comment that the number of folks that use the wrong blade for the job is staggeringly high :o and this can contribute to shorter life.  You see this on bandsaws as well. 

HOWEVER, just as my experience with Freuds differs from your friends, my experience with Forrest differs from most other woodworkers you will hear from.  +1 on keeping things clean.  I use L.A.Awesome which is super inexpensive and cleans things up fast.  There are many good products for cleaning blades, almost none of them are sold as such :D.

Higher tooth count blades do better on plywood but, the high tooth count can lead to slow feeding and early wear on the teeth.  This is why you will find 50 and 55 tooth plywood blades offered.  It is a trade off in quality of cut over speed and longevity.  You will find your balance spot.  The good news is that the better quality blades will do well in ply even at 40 tooth count cutters.

Went to my local woodworking store and picked up two Freud blades. One for ripping, 25T, and a fusion combo blade. THey were on sale for 20% off so i couldn't not buy them lol. I think this should cover most of the types of work i want to work on currently. But i do need to pick up a 80T blade sometime soon as i am going to be working with Plywood alot as well. Thanks for the advice. I am thinking that the freud should be more than enough for the types of work i am going to be doing. No super fine woodworking right now. 

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On 9/23/2019 at 6:57 PM, Chestnut said:

I had a thin kerf industrial blade warp (probably my fault as i was ripping 1.25" material with a 40T blade) and the forrest WW II was one of those 0.90" kerf blades also warped.

I think there are a lot of good brands out there. Ridge Carbide (holy $$$$), Infinity cutting tools, CMT Industrial line I've heard good things about too.

Hey i got the rigid carbide blade at a wood working show for $70, fantastic buy i love it.

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From the novice point of view ...

I have a Freud Industrial thin kerf blade. Its main use is for plywood edges and slots for plastic t-molding.

The rest of the time just two. One 24-tooth because sometimes you just need to rip something. One 40-tooth for a clean and fast cut.

Just keep them clean and the carbide will (seems to) stay sharp longer.

I've a few others on the shelf just because (they came from estate sales). A nifty 200-tooth blade. Just because it's there.

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I change blades a lot.  There are even several cheap Irwins for stuff I don't want to run a good blade through.  They're actually better than you might think.

I don't know what the deal is with the warping blades.  One thin 20t Forrest rip blade gets used a lot.  It ran through 10,000 lineal feet of Cypress for ripping the sapwood off of the boards by eye, without a fence, and still gets used for deep cuts such as taking most of the wood off for raised panels.  It's never warped, but I use one of the Irwins for running through old, thick, dry stuff that might have a lot of stress in it.

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My goto blade for years was a Systimatic 40T 4ATB+R until the saw shop ground the rakers to oblivion. Needing a blade fast I ended up with a Tenryu of the same geometry. Nothing special there; it will be replaced soon, probably with a Freud if I can't get something better. Forrest maybe -- if I feel rich.

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