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Irwin Marples vs Freud Diablo 24 tooth Rip blade

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I posted this review on another forum, so I'm sorry if you have seen it already. I am a huge fan of Freud. They are one of the only companies that have never let me down. It's really tough to admit it, but in the budget blade market, I think Irwin currently has the best product. I've been sitting on these blades for a while as I have been quite busy. Brand new in the package I have a 24 tooth Diablo rip blade, and a 24 tooth Irwin Marples rip blade. I did a comparison of the diablo/Marples 50 tooth blades, but the Diablo I had was used a few times. This time for comparisons sake, both are brand spankin new.

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Note: All cuts were performed on a perfectly tuned Ridgid R4512 using a zero clearance throat plate

First impressions

Like the 50 tooth combo blade, the Irwin felt heavier. Sure enough, it weighs half an ounce more:

Irwin at an even 24 oz

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Freud Diablo at 23.5 oz

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Again, Irwin is really touting how much carbide their blades have. With the 50 tooth combo blade, it is a slight difference to the Diablo. With the 24 tooth rip blade, the difference is very apparent, and that is probably where that .5oz weight difference comes from:

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Use

Freud Diablo

First up was the Diablo. Today I made a new cutting board and ripped some 5/4 (actual thickness at the table saw was 1 1/8”) cherry, hard maple, and Walnut.

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The first thing I noticed when I turned the saw on was the sound. It sounded like a completely different saw. The diablo made quite a “whirring” noise. After getting everything lined up, the cherry went through. The diablo cut pretty well for a 27$ blade! I could feed the stock quickly and there was not much complaining from the saw. Something I wasn’t used to was chips being ejected toward me instead of the usual sawdust. The cut in the cherry was pretty clean. It’s tough to tell from the picture, but this will need to be sanded before it gets any glue:

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Next was hard maple. A lot harder to cut, and a lot more chips than the cherry. It did it though with a lot less effort than a combo blade would have required. Again the cut was fairly smooth, but not glue-line:

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Now the walnut. This really chipped up with the freud blade. It was the easiest to cut, effort-wise, but the ugliest finish. This could use some 80 grit. Again I apologize for the crappy pictures, I need a new camera.

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Irwin

I changed blades and finished ripping my wood into strips. When the saw fired up with the Irwin, it had a slightly lower pitch to it. The first cut again was in cherry. The wood flew right through the blade, similar to the Diablo. No better or no worse. The cut quality however was much nicer. I definitely would slap some glue on this and call it a day:

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It’s pretty smooth. Not as smooth as a combo blade, but pretty close. Also during the cut I didn’t notice the chips being tossed at me like with the Freud. There was a lot more dust on top of the table though.

On to the hard maple. I was impressed here. As you can see by the pic I went right through a knot. I was expecting resistance but got none at all. No burning either:

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And that walnut that the Diablo sailed through but kind of chewed up? Not a problem here. Again ready for some glue and clamps:

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I even went on to rip some purple heart. I was going to use a combo blade because this stuff tears out so bad, but it did a really nice job:

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Summary and overall Observations

Having a 24 tooth rip blade made my saw feel like it had an extra horsepower over a general purpose or combination blade. The trade off is smoothness of cut. The Irwin did a fantastic job there.The cuts were effortless and while they weren’t mirror smooth, they were good enough for me to leave alone and glue away. I would not (and did not) have done the same with the rip cuts made by the diablo 24 tooth.

If you have an underpowered saw and need some mechanical advantage when breaking down thick or hard/dense stock, please go out and grab the Irwin Marples 24 tooth rip blade. The quality of cut and efficiency of cut is excellent. I will be using this blade a lot more than I thought I would. It is a very welcomed addition to my collection. Like with the 50 tooth combo blade I feel again that Irwin has bested the mighty tried and true bright red diablo.

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I have a bunch of specialized blades, but I'm lazy. I use the Freud Fusion blade all the time.

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Vic, I've collected many saw blades in my short time as a woodworker thus far. For some odd reason I have a fascination with blades. The Freud Premier Fusion was the greatest blade disappointment I have ever owned. I know a lot of people absolutely love them, but this blade gave me grief on almost every cut. Anything over 4/4 was burn city. I sold that on craigslist after I gave up on it. I am such a Freud fan that I refused to believe it was the blade. I spent a few hours with dial indicators and starrett machinist squares making sure everything was true (which it ultimately was).

My arbor wrenches are right up there on the list of most used tools in the shop, however when I get lazy the Infinity combo-max is my weapon of choice at the moment.

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