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Thread: How many TS blades do I really need??

  1. #1

    How many TS blades do I really need??

    I need help picking/choosing TS blades - I'm a newbie, mostly making shop cabinets and shop tables right now to skill up (workbench, router table, miter saw stand, etc.) so that's mostly fiberboard/plywood.

    I don't want to re-buy blades when I start working with "real wood", but I DO want a dedicated plywood/melamine blade. Ideas?

    Blades I got: the Gen.Purpose junk blade DeWalt sent w/saw, a Freud glue-line rip blade and a Frued dado set(the cheaper one, but not the dial-a-width) received @ Christmas.

    Does the glue line rip blade work as advertised or should I plan on jointing the cuts anyway?

    I'm guessing I need a plywood/melamine blade and some kind of crosscut finish blade? What do I use for box joints - the dado?

    Thanks, and for now budget isn't much of a consideration - I don't want to re-buy the blades later on.

    Montie The Perplexed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Ogden, UT
    I have 4 blades. 24 or 30 tooth glue line rip -- yes set up properly it will give you glue lines, 50 tooth combi, 80 tooth crosscut and a 100 tooth melamine blade.

    The tenryu mel-pro is an awesome blade. Rock solid and true. With time your will see the difference over your freud blades and especially your cheap blades. It will leave you wishing you had more of the tenryu line. At least that is where I stand right now. My other blades are freud and though a good blade, there is a difference.

    The mel-pro is perfect for melamine and veneered plywood. With the right blade height you will get perfect melamine edges. It technically would give you excellent crosscuts too, but there are less expensive blades that will do that.

    Its nice having a combination blade for general wood working where you don't need to change your blade all the time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
    I dunno, I counted a couple of weeks ago when posting in a thread and I quite when I got to 40... I think I have about 60 or so, and this isn't a lifetime collection they are all sharp, all different and most get used and I am not a pro!

    Do as I say not as I do.

    First, the Freud glue line will do the job in a well tuned saw, I find the std kerf does a better job than the TK. For a crosscut I like their LU88 which you can also do more ripping with than you would think that way if you just need a rip or two you don't have to change blades. If you want to spend a little more get the P410 Freud or the Forrest WWII and just use the rip when you have a LOT to rip at one time. I think most people can use a plywood blade, Freud and Forrest both make excellent ply/mel blades. For the easiest and best box joints Freud has a box joint set.

    For me the basic blades would be a heavy duty rip, a highend combo and a plywood blade.

    My favorites are Freud and Forrest but Infinity and Tenryu also make top notch blades.

    One thing I would say is if you plan to cut a lot of MDF I avoid using my best blades since it dulls blades like nothing else.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    The Hartland of Michigan
    The glue-line is good to have for material UP TO 1".
    The junky one that came with the saw can be used for general ripping.
    A good crosscut comes in handy, as does a good combo blade.
    Never, under any circumstances, consume a laxative and sleeping pill, on the same night

  5. #5
    Just 2. Both combination blades. (I like WWII)
    Why 2? So you can use the backup after the SawStop brakes slams into it and ya gotta send it out for repair.....grumble....mumble.....stupid miter gauge.....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Kennesaw, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Penning View Post
    Just 2. Both combination blades. (I like WWII)
    Why 2? So you can use the backup after the SawStop brakes slams into it and ya gotta send it out for repair.....grumble....mumble.....stupid miter gauge.....
    Wouldn't the sawstop feature then be inop until it came back from repair?

  7. #7
    While I do have several types, all but two just hang on the wall gathering dust.

    My primary blade is the Forrest Woodworker 2 (primary and a new spare in the box) and a good dado set; I liked the Forrest so much I shelled out the $$$ for their Dado King 8". Just finished a bathroom vanity and a freestanding storage cabinet. Just those two blades are perfect for "my" needs as I normally only run cabinet grade plywood and hardwood through the saw. Not a fan of the thin-kerf on the TS, too old school and am used to deducting 1/8" so I know what's left to use.

    Naturally if I need to cut rougher type lumber and don't need a smooth cut I'll just blow the dust off one of my freebie blades without worrying about causing any damage to the blade.

    Blades are just like table saws, everyone has an option on what's best. Your best bet is to buy a high quality new combo blade when you need one and build a collection of a few. Always keep that free one that comes with saws; it will cut through a nail just as good as a $100 blade

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Western Maryland
    Listen, you can buy yourself silly with blades. There is a blade for every possible cut. But to answer your question... 1. A good combination blade will do a fantastic job. Will it make the BEST cuts on ALL materials in ANY direction? No. But, it will do all of them nicely. Conversly, you do NOT want to rip with a crosscut blade, and you don't want to crosscut with a rip blade. Neither will do even close to a decent job.

    So that is why my answer is 1. Okay, you could go with 2, if you want to make sure there is no down time when you are getting the first one sharpened.

    That said, you could easily justify a rip blade (1), a crosscut (2), a plywood (3), a melamine (4), and probably a host of others. But you question was how many do you need... to which I say 1.

    THAT said, the only other that I would say would be truly arguably a "need" would be a good dado set. But I'm not sure if that qualifies under your question.
    I drink, therefore I am.

  9. #9
    I use:

    one junk blade to break down questionable lumber

    One good ripping blade

    One good combo blade

    One good dado stack

    As for brand I like Ridge carbide, every bit as good as WWII.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    Hi, I have the following blades

    - 24 Tooth rip

    - 80 tooth crosscut

    - 80 tooth TCG for melamine

    - 50T combo

    - some junk blade for when the kid with the piece of plywood he rescued from a ditch shows up at my house.

    I use the combo for stuff that isn't critical, or thick.

    Once you get into ripping the rip blade sails through the job far better than the combo.

    For crosscutting same deal, if you're doing a lot, or need the finish quality, use the cross cut blade.

    I normally do all my ripping, then cross cutting etc, so stopping to change the blade isn't a big deal.

    I mostly have FS Tools blades............Regards, Rod.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Doylestown, PA
    I like to have one blade with a flat tooth grind. I think the glue-line rip blades are ground ATB, not flat but I don't have one. The flat top grind works great for miter joint keys and "nibbling" a la Norm. There are no v shaped corners to non-through cuts. I don't find that the Freud LM72 rips any better than the Freud F40 at least in material <1" thick though I'm sure it'd be faster in thicker material.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Hi Montie - Everyone's situation and preferences are different, so it's best to get what suits your needs, and your saw. What saw do you have? Read these tips for picking a saw blade.

    The glue line rippers (GLR) will deliver what they promised, but they won't flatten the face of a board so they don't really replace a jointer. They're also fairly limited in their operating range. The GLRs are generally not recommended for material over 1", so you'll still find yourself needing a blade to rip thicker materials. The GLRs are also not known for crosscutting well, so you'll still need some ability to get acceptable crosscuts. Most 30T to 50T general purpose combo blades which will also give glue ready edges, will rip cleanly in thicker material than the GLR (up to 1-1/2" to 2" depending on the blade and the saw), will crosscut well, and offer more versatility. Since the GLRs have a such a limited operating range, I suggest using more of a general purpose type blade for glue line ripping. The triple chip grind of the GLRs does hold up well, so may be a good choice for MDF, high volume ripping, or for other materials known to be extra tough on blades.

    A blade with a Hi-ATB grind (a bevel > 25) will offer the least amount of tearout for plywood and melamine. The same grind also happens to crosscut extremely well, so if you choose well there's really no reason to have a separate plywood and a separate crosscut blade unless you're usage volumes approach commercial quantities. Typically something with 60T to 80T and a Hi-ATB grind will do extremely well in both applications. Examples of top choices: Infinity 010-060 or 010-080, Forrest Duraline, Freud LU80 or LU79 (TK), Amana MB10-800, CMT 210.080.10.

    Without knowing more info, so far I'm hearing two possible blades for you...a good general purpose blade and a plywood/crosscut can always add a ripper later on if necessary. Read the link above before choosing to help you narrow the field.

    You can use your dado set for box joints, but you can also use a router or single don't need a specialty box joint blade.
    Last edited by scott spencer; 02-19-2010 at 10:49 AM.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jardon View Post
    Wouldn't the sawstop feature then be inop until it came back from repair?

    I meant the blade gets sent out for repair. I have an extra SS brake on hand.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Sinking Spring, PA
    I fell in love with my 50T Freud Avanti Combo when I first got it. Was my only blade for ~3 years on a table top saw. Now I have a "big boy" saw, still use the combo, but have added a 24T Freud Avanti ripping blade (for heavy ripping hard maple & oak) and a 60T Freud crosscutter, plus the Ridgid 40T GP blade that came with the saw.

    Use the Combo for rough cuts and most softwood cuts
    Use the Rip for obviously ripping, but mainly for hardwoods
    Use the Crosscut for cutting to final length
    Rarely use the GP, but it's there if I need it

    Also have a brand new 8" Oshlun dado set... LOVE IT so far!

    Only other blade I can think of needing at this point is a box joint blade, either the Freud set or the one from Infinity... Probably will get the Freud set in the near future...

    Oh, and maybe a melamine type blade eventually!
    Last edited by Dave Gaul; 02-19-2010 at 9:43 AM. Reason: added melamine blade

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Hudson Wisconsin
    For the last 15 years I have used one blade Forrest WWII now I have maybe 4 of em and the Forrest dado king set and they all cut so well I never look at any other blades. I get glass smooth cuts in lumber, melamine, mdf and ply so why mess around and bother changing blades. I bought one thin kerf blade by mistake and I was never happy with it,,,it didn't seem to cut as well even with blade stabilizers

    IF I were doing a lot of ripping with a powerfeed or primarly worked with melamine or thick lumber I would consider getting a dedicated blade for that purpose.

    Years ago I was at a wood show and Forrest had a demo with their baldes, the man was making amazingly smooth cuts on a small table saw. I had never heard of Forrest and he asked how many people owned one. About 25 people raised their hands he said he would buy back your blade for what you paid for it if you didn.t like it, not a single person would give up their Forrest blade. So I bought one and never put anything else on a saw.


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