50T Combo vs. 40T all purpose - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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50T Combo vs. 40T all purpose

Got two questions for you folks. I have a Ridgid 3660 TS and I currently have a couple of budget blades. I am on a budget as this is a hobby for me, not a profession. I have the Ridgid 50T combo, a Hitachi 40T and Ridgid 40T all purpose and a 60T Freud for my miter saw. I like the 50T blade but have found I tend to get burns with it but not with my 40T blades. It is probably my feed rate, but I am not seeing an advantage on my crosscuts with the 50T. As a result it is hanging and I am using my cheapo Ridgid that came with it or my cheapo Hitachi blade. I would like to upgrade to a blade in the 50-75 dollar range. Does anyone else prefer a 40T over a 50T combo? Am I wrong here? I don't have a dial indicator to check my TS, but I square it up with a good combo square and I believe it is keyed in good. My other part to this is a sharpening question. These budget Freud and Ridgid blades have the carbide teeth. When they dull are they able to be sharpened? Or maybe more accurately are they worth sharpening over just getting a new one? Thanks for any input.
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 01:49 PM
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Don't know

I was at a woodcraft store yesterday and seen a Forrest woodworkerII blade, for $75.00 but only had 20T, but the teeth are C4 carbide. I had a forrest blade on my old TS and loved it. But 20T ?????? might get some feedback on this blade on how it performs, or go online and check out some reviews. As far as quality i think forrest is top notch blades. If your feedback is on the positive side i will probably go over the pick-up the blade i just mentioned. OMT the forrestblades are not a blade you just take anywere to have sharpened, forrest recommends you send them back to them to sharpen.

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post #3 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 03:40 PM
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At the risk of oversimplfying

Here's my opinion: 20T -30T is for ripping....40T -50T general purpose and combination when only one blade will do.... 60T-80T and more for crosscuts with table saws and miter saws and laminates.
I found the best bang for the buck is a $30.00 40T Freud Diablo from the HD. Cuts clean fast and easy, with a thin kerf. I bought 2 because I couldn't believe the first one cut so well. I'll leave it on until it wears out or begins to change it's performance.
I have all sorts of other blades from $120 WW2 to the Irwin contractor 40T, but for the money this is a great blade. bill
knotscott is the Blade Master and I'm sure he will post a lengthy and informative dissertation of this....scott?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-14-2009 at 03:42 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 04:47 PM
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Adam - I've got both 40T ATB general purpose blades and 50T ATB/R combo blades that are pretty much intended for the same range. Number of teeth is only one factor, but in general, I do find that the best of the 40T blades tend to leave a slightly cleaner cut and rip more efficiently than my 50T ATB/R blades but there are exceptions galore, so you can't make the generalization that 40T blades are better than 50T. All blades are not created equal, and a lot of it's subjective...there is no "Best" for everyone and every situation.

The burning could be cause by a dirty blade, too many teeth for the task, too slow a feedrate, a dull blade, and some woods just burn more easily than others. Some blades have a tighter side clearance angle too, which gives a more polished edge but can also have a greater tendency to burn. You can try raising the blade just a bit higher to help reduce burning. Higher quality blades are definitely worth sharpening. Keep them all clean.

My Infinity 50T is the cleanest cutting of any of the 50T blades I've tried and it's an easy blade to get good results with. It's as good or better IMHO than many of the better 40T blades, and just a is tad shy of the more expensive premium 40T blades like the Forrest WWII, Infinity Super General, Ridge Carbide TS2000, and Tenryu Gold Medal. My DeWalt/Delta 7640 50T is very good too. Is your Ridgid blade the Titanium series made by Freud (gold tone)? If so, that should be a good blade that's very similar to the Freud 50T combo blades, but it's not made for ripping thick hardwoods over 6/4". As Bill mentioned, a good 20T to 30T ripping blade will be more efficient. If all other parameters are equal (they rarely are!), more teeth tends to yield a cleaner cut, but poses more resistance to the saw, a slower cut, and a higher tendency to burn, therefore a high tooth count blade isn't good for thick ripping. A lower tooth count blade tends to not leave as clean of a cut but can rip through thicker materials very efficiently. The better 24T FTG rippers can still leave a glue ready edge, but they don't crosscut well so are generally limited to bulk ripping....one notable exception is the 30T Forrest WWII....it's got the same configuration as their 40T but with fewer teeth. It's hard to tell the cuts apart, but it's noticeably more efficient in thick materials, and even leaves acceptable crosscuts in most situations. It's a very versatile blade and is an excellent choice for a one blade arsenal used on a smaller saw for cutting thicker hardwoods. You don't need to spend a $100 on a good blade, but it improves your odds of getting a good one....just avoid the lower end stuff regardless of brand, and know what quality level you're buying and what the blade's characteristics are. Watch sales and deal alerts for killer bargains.

some good reading ...more reading

Last edited by knotscott; 10-14-2009 at 06:41 PM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I found the best bang for the buck is a $30.00 40T Freud Diablo from the HD. Cuts clean fast and easy, with a thin kerf. I bought 2 because I couldn't believe the first one cut so well.
I totally agree with woodenthings on this. I have had my $39.95 Diablo blade for two years (granted I do not do the wood working day in and day out) and it still cuts pretty damn nice and clean. Very little tear out when cross cutting regardless of what material I am cutting. I don't even remember getting a burn mark and as for leaving any saw marks; there is next to nothing to sand or plane away when you've done. I used it recently to re-saw a bunch of 2-1/4 thick mahogany and it performed flawlessly and the finish cut is remarkable. I think if you try it, especially for the hobbyist, you will be amazed. If you used it for a commercial application Im sure the blades limits would soon be tested, so Im not promoting it as the Shangri La of saw blades, but for under $50.00 I know I have never owned a better blade.


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post #6 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 07:06 PM
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The tooth count on a blade is not as important as the types of the teeth on the blade.

For a rip cut (Parallel to the grain.) a blade with large gullets and flat topped teeth is best. (Raker teeth)

For a cross cut (Perpendicular to the grain.) a blade with alternating bevels on the tops of the teeth is best. (ATB Teeth)

Some manufacturers make a "General Purpose" blade of the ATB design. Usually these blades have high angle ATB teeth. These are rather good for cross cutting and not bad for ripping.

Some manufacturers make a "Combination" blade that incorporates ATB and Raker teeth. These are good for cross cutting and good for rip cutting. The Combination blade usually comes in a tooth combination of four ATB teeth and one Raker tooth. The most popular configuration for a 10 inch saw blade is 40 teeth with the next most popular is probably 50 teeth.

There are blades that are designed to perform specific tasks like cutting plywood or cutting laminates.

The combination blade is my preference for most tasks on the table saw. You will notice that a general purpose blade seems to be a bit tougher feeding than a combination when doing a rip cut.

On a contractor saw, the thin kerf blades will make a noticeable difference in performance due to removing less material during the cut. (About 1/32" less) HOWEVER some of the safety devices for the saw require a full kerf, 1/8" wide cut.

The bottom line is that almost any blade can be used for any purpose, it's just that some blades will work easier than others or give a smoother cut than the others. It is best to use the appropriate blade for the type of cut that you are making.

There is one, seldom discussed advantage to using a combination blade. The advantage is when making a non through cut. (i.e. Dado cut) You can make a series of cuts to create a dado with a combination blade. I'm not talking fine furniture dados but rather shop benches. Not perfectly flat dado bottoms but good enough for the shop.

Use the right tool for the job.

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post #7 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the lengthy responses and information. One thing I like about this site so much is the full answers that you guys are kind enough to provide. I have seen those 40T Freud's at HD, and I almost got it but decided to try the 50T Ridgid blade. It is the T3 coated gold one. I like it ok, but the rips seem to give me some issues that I don't experience with 40T's. For my price range and the things I have heard here and elsewhere I think I will give them a try. I know the 60T on my miter saw works exceptionally. Maybe for Christmas I can save up enough loot to get a really high quality blade. Again, thanks for the responses.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 09:48 PM
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I agree with Woodnthings about the Freud. And The Everyman Show pretty much took the words out of my mouth.
I was resawing 6x6" hard maple just yesterday with that blade (saw and flip), and then laid the face on my jointer. I could barely tell it wasn't jointed yet... honest engine. No burns, no fuzz, and square as can be.
I got my Freud nearly 2 years ago at my local mill, on sale for $35. I should have picked up 3.
Keep it clean and away from metal, should last a long time.

Oh, and thanks for the info, guys. I never realized Freud made a blade for Rigid.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by clarionflyer View Post
...Oh, and thanks for the info, guys. I never realized Freud made a blade for Rigid.
Freud won't confirm or deny, so it's really rational speculation, but the packaging is the same, many of the features are the same, the country of origin is the same, etc, plus others have said they've gotten confirmation.

Freud puts their name on the Industrial line and the Diablo line, but they've discontinued the TK/Avanti line as of June 2009. I believe they also make some of the Craftsman Pro line (32808, 32809, 32810, among others, but this is also speculution). To add to the confusion, HD recently came out with an "Avanti" and "Avanti Pro" line that are made in China, are not made by Freud, do not bear the Freud name, or mediocre quality, and appear to be nearly identical to the Oldham contractor and DeWalt construcion blades...both of which are now owned by B&D, and neither of which are suitable for fine wwing IMHO.

Check it out these 60T blades that I believe are all from Freud:
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The Diablo and former TK/Avanti series are supposedly made from the same materials on the same equipment as their industrial line. The carbide is thicker on the Industrial line, and sometimes the laser slot patterns are more intricate on the Industrial line. So if you like the Diablo, you'd like the Freud TK/Avanti, and you should like the Industrial version at least as much.
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