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post #1 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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without starting a war...

I'd like to ask some opinions of TS blades...I know saw to saw, user by user, and materials all things consider into effect but i'd like to hear from some guys who have had both freud and forrestt blades and which they may like better or another brand? if they have been great blades. I have freud blades now but am in the midst of selling saw and probably some blades but will be looking to replace. namely i'm looking for a dedicated crosscut and dedicated rip blade. i ask about forrest because the more i read about them i really like, however they are pricey... just interested if they are worth the $
thank you-
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 04:42 PM
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I looked at a Forrest Woodworker II at the woodworking show and listened to the guy's pitch. He promised crosscuts with no fuzzy edges or tearout and rips smoother than from a jointer, though feed speed would be a little slower than with a dedicated rip blade. All from a single blade. I bought the pitch and bought the blade. The sales pitch was true. Rips are a bit slower, but nearly glass smooth. Crosscuts are fuzz free. The only thing I don't like about the blade is that it's so nice, I change to another blade when I'm sawing up junk lumber or 2X4's that might have nails to avoid messing up the blade. It's a small price to pay.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 04:59 PM
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I have used Forrest, Ridge Carbide and Freud

A challenge asking about Freud is that they have MANY different blades. Some are designed for the big box store price point, others are at the high end, similar price to Forrest.

I have the Forrest WWII normal and thin kerf and it does provide a very smooth finish with minimal tear out, although I am using it with a zero clearance insert. I would expect some tearout with the as-provided insert which is almost 1/2in wide slot.

I am presently using my Ridge Carbide blade normal kerf. I also have the thin kerf. It is the one for the table saw. This is almost as smooth as the Forrest. It has a raker tooth every 5 teeth so make a flat bottom cut, which I prefer. It also has thinner steel which means a tab more clearance and in some species less heat, resulting in less burning, e.g., cherry and maple.

I used to have a mid-price range Freud, LK8 something. I gave this away. It did not match my thin kerf Forrest or Ridge.

I forget the name of the most expensive Freud model but I have read that people feel it is on par with Forrest for cutting.

My blade gets used to cut a number of different woods, from soft wood like lacewood through hickory, walnut, cherry, to maple, and recently even more dense woods like purpleheart, brazilian cherry (aka Jatoba) to bubinga. The Ridge blade handles them all.

I do have a 3HP motor on the saw, which really helps for the dense woods.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-30-2012, 05:36 PM
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I have a Freud F410 (40 tooth), which at the time was considered their top combo blade, and I also have a 40 tooth WWII. I see little difference between the two in terms of cut quality, although the Freud might leave a little smoother rip cut....not sure how to measure that.

"I long for the days when coke was a cola and a joint was a bad place to be" (Merle Haggard)
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-31-2012, 08:29 AM
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The Forrest blades WW1 & WW2 are combination blades, although, they do make a dedicated miter saw blade. Their thin kerf blades require blade stiffeners, a good idea with any thin kerf. Compared to many other blade choices, Forrest are expensive, very good blades but there are plenty of equal/better choices for less money and you can get excellent blades designed for specific purposes from other manufacturers. If you are using a cabinet saw, stay with full kerf industrial level blades. You will get many sharpenings from quality blades and they will last for years. Freud blades are widely available and you can often find pricing specials. That makes them a great choice with a large selection of types. Some combination blades are very good but excellent is another level when you can appreciate that difference.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-31-2012, 09:12 AM
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There have been a lot of discussions on saw blades. I used to have some Forrest blades years ago. I just remember they were expensive. I don't remember being all that impressed with them otherwise.

I've have been buying the Frued Diablo blades at HD because they are cheap, $40 for a 10" 60t ATB thin kerf. These are great blades which I use for ripping and cross cutting. I have no reason to buy a more expensive blade, these do what I ask of them and more.

One of the few things you can buy that are cheap and good.

Bret
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-31-2012, 09:39 AM
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I stumbled on Tenryu blades several years ago. I was in a mom and pop tool store and the owner said that all his builder customers used them because they lasted so long. The first one I bought was for my Skil saw. I was so impressed I bought a rip blade and a crosscut blade, then a plywood blade and, finally a miter saw blade.
They are not as cheap as the big box Freuds and not as expensive as the WWll.
Good carbide, stay sharp a lot longer than the Freuds they replaced.
During the recent economic down turn, that tool store closed up so, I now buy mine from the guy that sharpens my blades. He HIGHLY recommends them too, and he sells several different brands.

Gene
The Patriot Woodworker

'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

Last edited by Gene Howe; 05-31-2012 at 09:44 AM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-31-2012, 12:07 PM
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Wow really, our blade expert Knotscott hasn't chimed in here yet?


I have the Higher end Freud blades a little more then the Diablo line but not quite as expensive as the WWII blade. Well the Premier Fusion is pretty close.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-31-2012, 02:50 PM
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More Important Than Brand

What are you cutting? How are you cutting? Are your blades clean and sharp?

Are all your cuts rip cuts? Are you in a production environment? Then probably a rip blade with 24 raker teeth and large gullets is the best way to go.

Are all of your cuts cross grain? Then a cross cut blade would be the best.

If you are like most of us your answer to the two above questions is "ALL of my cuts are not. . . . ."

What you need is a combination or general purpose blade. We're not going to cut any reclaimed wood with either of these blades. (The nail finder blade discussion is below.)

Most people assume that a combination and a general purpose blade are the same thing. These blades provide similar results but they are not the same.

A general purpose blade (Like a Forrest Woodworker) looks like a cross cut blade but there are subtle differences. The GP blade has an Alternating Top Bevel tooth configuration. When looking at the blade the teeth sort of point away and over the side of the blade in an alternating pattern. Just like a cross cut blade you say. Well, almost. The ATB teeth of a GP blade point a bit more away and over the side of the blade. The outside edge of the tooth is angled a bit more than a cross cut tooth. The top of the ATB tooth has a more acute angle than most cross cut blades AND the angle of the face of the tooth has a more acute angle. This tooth geometry helps to clear the sawdust from the kerf and makes for a very clean cut. (The complexity of this tooth geometry almost always requires that the blade be returned to the manufacturer for sharpening.) Unfortunately as the thickness of the wood increases, the effort to cut increases significantly. After trying to cut a 2 inch thick piece of oak with this type of blade for the first time, you will wax your table saw before the next cut. And then discover that the saw did not need to be waxed. It's just the way that this type of blade works. The thicker the wood being cut, the more difficult the cutting process. (Note that at some of the woodworking shows, this blade is called a combination blade, which it is not.)

A combination blade has two different styles of teeth, ATB and Raker. The raker tooth is a flat top tooth AND has a much larger gullet in the blade disk. The purpose of the larger gullet is to clean out the longer strands of saw dust during a rip cut. This blade works very well even as the thickness of the wood increases. For a 10" saw blade, combination blades are generally 40 or 50 teeth. The teeth are in 8 or 10 groups of 5 with each group containing 4 ATB and 1 Raker. Sometimes these blades are called ATB-R tooth configuration.

Both types of blades give excellent cuts with a slight edge given to the more expensive brands of the general purpose blades.

Because I do cut thicker lumber, I prefer a combination blade. I have tried to use a good general purpose to cut 10/4 lumber and had the contractor saw stop in the middle of the cut due to thermal overload.

There are other blades that can be used for special purposes.

If you are cutting a lot of plywood, by all means use a plywood blade. (ATB with a lot to teeth)

If you are cutting laminate (Formica etc.) by itself or on a substrate use a triple tooth grind blade. Although a good (Sharp and clean) general purpose blade will work very well.

If you are cutting melamine on a particle board substrate, the triple chip grind, general purpose or combination blades are very good to good in that order.

As for blade brands, most of my more recent blade purchases are not branded and are what my sharpening service sells. I trust the sharpening service more than the sales people at the woodworking show. The blades from the sharpening service are superior to most of the blades I've purchased at any of the shows.

I think that it is more important to select a blade based upon how you intend to use the blade rather than by brand.

Finally, cutting recycled or reclaimed wood or back yard cut down wood.

The blade doesn't matter, only cost is important. Buy the cheapest blades that you can find. Then rough cut your wood. When you cut through the nail, screw, spike or bullet you'll just laugh. A $10 blade from Harbor Freight will cut the nails just as good a that $150 special blade from a woodworking show. After rough cutting your recycled lumber and half the teeth on the cheap blade are destroyed, you'll laugh as you throw the $10 blade in the trash.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
Huntington Beach, California
Remember that when we have the "BIG ONE" everything east of the Rockies falls into the ocean.
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