* Forrest Blades are expensive, but excellent blades. Whether they are a good value and worth the high cost is difficult to say.
* If I had to choose a single Forrest 10 inch general purpose blade for a table saw, I would suggest one of their "modified #6" ATB+R blades:
Full kerf: part number WW10406125, https://www.forrestblades.com/woodworker-ii-modified/
Thin kerf: part number WW10406100, https://www.forrestblades.com/woodworker-ii-thin-kerf/
* If you want a "top quality" general purpose table saw blade for less money, consider the Freud Fusion:
Full kerf: part number P410, https://freudtools.com/products/P410
Thin kerf: part number P410T, https://freudtools.com/products/P410T
* The devil is in the details. See below.
I have two Forrest Woodworker II blades:
* A standard kerf (1/8 inch) Forrest Woodworker II blade. Model: WW10407125
* A thin kerf (3/32 inch) "Modified #6 ATB+R" Woodworker II blade. Model: WW10406100
Here are a few notes and comments:
* I bought the standard kerf Woodworker II blade soon after I bought my first table saw, a jobsite saw. I did not have as much understanding of table saw blades then as I do now. Even so, I was not happy with the free blade that came with the saw, nor the other 10 inch blades I had in the shop, so I decided to order "the best" to see the full potential of my new saw.
* The standard kerf Woodworker II blade is an excellent saw blade. It is very stable and makes very clean cuts. It is far superior to the cheap blades I had before.
* The standard kerf blade is a common alternating top bevel (ATB) blade. It is designed for through cuts. If you try to use it for box joints, it will leave bat's ears and a "bump" (my term). That is true for any ATB blade.
* I spoke with a technical expert at Forrest, who suggested their modified alternating top bevel with raker (ATB+R) Woodworker II blade. ATB+R means angled (slicing) left, right, left, right, and then the fifth tooth is a flat raker tooth. The raker tooth cleans out the "bump", making it a better blade for the occasional box joint. (It still leaves the bat's ears, but it is good enough for me.) In addition, the Forrest expert told me that the raker tooth in the ATB+R configuration would make rip cuts faster, easier, cooler, cleaner, and better, with no major difference for crosscuts. I pointedly asked why people don't buy the modified blades instead of the ATB general purpose blades, and he admitted that he felt the same way, and didn't understand it either. He prefers the ATB+R style of general purpose blade, too. I ordered the thin kerf ATB+R blade.
* I wish I had a full kerf ATB+R blade; perhaps someday.
* I have had the full kerf Woodworker II blade resharpened once by Forrest. They did an excellent job. It cost $35, which is ~1/3 higher than the local resharpeners charge.
* I found an obscure note in the user manual for my table saw, which indicated a maximum blade body thickness of 0.090 inches. Blade body thickness is not available online, so I called Forrest for the information. According to Forrest, the full kerf Forrest Woodworker II blade has a thicker plate body than most blades, 0.095 inches, which exceeded the specification for my jobsite saw. When I measured it with calipers, I got a blade body width of 0.11 inches. I used it in the jobsite saw, anyway.
* I was at the local Rockler store when the Freud representative was there. We talked about my Forrest blades and he compared them with his own. He told me a few things about Forrest and Freud blades. I cannot confirm that they are true, but he convinced me. Keep in mind that Freud is making unsubstantiated claims about their competition Forrest blades. Here are his claims:
+ Forrest blades are no better than other blades. According to the Freud representative, it is Forrest's sharpening that makes them special. The Freud representative claimed that if you take a Forrest blade to an ordinary re-sharpener, you get an ordinary blade. I am not totally convinced of that.
+ Forrest uses good carbide, but does not make it themselves. In contrast, Freud makes its own carbide, and it is superior to other sources of carbide, including the carbide that Forrest uses.
+ The Freud Fusion blade has several tooth geometry and coating features that make it a better general purpose blade than the Forrest Woodworker II.
(As a result, I bought a Freud Fusion blade, but have not opened it yet.)
* Freud Fusion feature claims:
+ High angle ATB slices better. Notes: (1) ATB+R is not available. (2) I wonder whether it wears out and needs sharpening more frequently?
+ Tooth geometry is special. The teeth are angled slightly (axial face grind) and they have a double side grind, which means that back of the tooth is angled away from the cut, reducing side contact area and friction with the wood as it cuts. Less friction means less heat and less expansion of the teeth during the cut.
* Better carbide lasts longer than other brands.
* Coated blade reduces friction and contaminant build-up.
Since then, I replaced the jobsite saw with a cabinet saw and use the same Forrest blades on it. I will let you know when I open the Freud Fusion blade.
I think about buying a "Glue Line Rip Blade" for jointing with the table saw. In the meantime, the Forrest blades produce decent results. They cut very cleanly. I expect the same when I open the Freud Fusion blade.