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Has anyone bought the new 48 tooth Forrest Woodworker II 10 inch saw blade? I have used the 40 tooth blade for several years and never had any problems with them. The cuts are very smooth when ripping or crosscutting. The new 48 tooth is supposed to be a better dual purpose blade. If you have tried one, please let me know your opinion and if you can tell any difference in the quality of the cut. Thanks for your opinion.

James in Huntsville, Tx.
 

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James - I have not tried one yet, b/c they're pricey, but I suspect it was introduced to compete with the Infinity Super General and Freud Fusion. The SG and Fusion are unique, in that they offer a 30° Hi-ATB top grind, which has better slicing characteristics for fine crosscuts/ply/sheetgoods, etc., than a standard 15° ATB grind. The SG and the Fusion also have a double side grind which effectively applies more carbide tooth edge to the side of the board, leaving a more highly polished cut....it has a similar effect as using more teeth but retains the larger gullet space. The Super General and Fusion were eclipsing the standard 40T WWII in saw blade comparisons in the areas mentioned above. In theory, the 48T WWII has a 25° top bevel, more teeth, and should have very similar strengths and weaknesses as the SG and Fusion.....excellent fine crosscut and ply characteristics, highly polished edges on rip cuts, more prone to burning in thicker materials that are susceptible to burning relative to standard 40T general purpose blades. No single blade is better in every way...for every advantage there's nearly always a disadvantage, which the manufacturers tend not to mention!

HTH
 

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My experience with the Woodworker II series of blades has been below my expectations.

The woodworker II is a great blade when cutting up to about 3/4" thick. It seems that anything thicker than 3/4 the cut bogs down.

I have found that most combination blades yield excellent cuts and are much easier to push the wood through the saw.

If the new 48 tooth blade is an ATB blade, I would avoid the blade. I would almost guess that the blade is really intended for chop saw or miter saw usage. I think that you would really struggle trying to use that blade in a table saw. The way to tell is the "hook" angle. If the angle is positive 1° or 2° to about negative 7°, the blade is intended for a radial arm, miter or chop saw. Table saws like blades that are positive 7° an up. (I've seen some table saw blades with as much as a 30° positive hook angle.)

As simply a possible:

ATB - Alternating Top Bevel teeth
R - Raker tooth

The ATB has teeth sharpened to a sharp point and beveled. The sharp point slices the wood fiber and the bevel tends to clear out the remaining part of the kerf. This type of blade is best for cross cutting. The kerf looks sort of like bat ears. (Think batman's hood.)

The R tooth is flat on the top. This tooth just claws out the material in the kerf. The kerf looks like a flat bottom dado. This blade has fewer teeth and larger gullets than the ATB blades. The larger gullets clear out the longer pieces of sawdust. If this blade is used for cross cutting, the resultant cut is rather rough because there is nothing to slice the fibers or grain.

There are ATB blades that have some relief on the side of the teeth. These blades tend to do a better job of clearing the saw dust out of the kerf, especially during a rip cut. Better but not great. This blade may be called "combination" but it really is a general purpose blade.

In a perfect world we would have two table saws, one with an ATB or cross cut blade and one with a raker blade for rip cuts. But this is not a perfect world.

The solution is to obtain a COMBINATION blade. These blades have groups of teeth, usually 4 ATB and 1 Raker. On a 10" blade there are usually 8 or 10 groups of teeth giving a total tooth count of 40 or 50 teeth. As much as I hate to recommend brands, three good ones come to mind, in alphabetical order, Freud, Infinity, Marples. Available at HD, on-line, Lowes, respectively.

One important note, the Marples blades are available only in thin kerf. If you have a standard splitter or riving knife on your table saw, avoid thin kerf blades. Thin kerf blades are usually 3/32" while normal kerf blades are 1/8". And yes, it makes a huge difference. Using a thin kerf blade with a full kerf splitter can be dangerous. A full kerf splitter used with a thin kerf blade will require significantly more effort to feed the wood through the cut. Freud has some full kerf blades but not all HD stock them.

One other bit of TMI but very important.

It is possible and safe to use RAS, chop or miter saw blades in a table saw. However using a table saw blade in a RAS, chop or miter saw is an invitation to visit the emergency room and dangerous as H***.
 
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