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Thread: combo blade vs rip or cross cut blade on the TS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Greater Manor Metroplex, TX
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    225

    combo blade vs rip or cross cut blade on the TS

    Sicne I got my big boy table saw, I have just been using my WWII combo blade (and still love it), but recently I picked up a dedicate rip blade and a dedicate cross cut blade (the ones that Jothn Katz-Moses recently reviewed).

    This afternoon was the first time that I used either--I had to do some cross cuts and was changing over from a dado stack, so I decided to give the new cross cut blade a try. I was pretty impressed. It may be that it is a new blade or it could be that I was using the right tool for the right job versus a general purpose one.

    So my question for the group, setting aside the dado stack, how often do you use a cross cut or rip blade vs a combo blade? If so why and when?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Todd, I usually have a combo blade on my PCS 1.75 but for deep rips, I use a dedicated rip blade, a freud 24 tooth. I don't use a crosscut blade.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    1,845
    Usually, a purpose built tool will out perform a "one tool does many things" type. I believe that this holds true for saw blades, albeit in a fairly subtle fashion. Quality combo blades do tend to perform pretty well in both ripping and cross cutting. My saw tends to have a 24t FTG rip blade (older Freud) on it all the time until such time that I need to get into hardwood plywood. The purpose built rip blade does what I need it to do 99% of the time. Like many others (I imagine), I started out with a combo blade, then went to separate blades. As time went on, I found I was not swapping out the blades as diligently as I was when first starting out. I will repeat, my 24t rip blade, unless it is dull-dull-dull, does a very good job at cross cutting. I find that the rip blade excels much more at ripping than a cross cut blade excels at cross cutting when compared to a combo blade.
    David

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Posts
    308
    Rip blade on my SawStop ICS unless the dadoo is on it.
    60-80 tooth crosscut on Radial Arm Saws unless dadoo is on it
    Ron

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    809
    If I know I have about 5 or 6 boards to rip, I put my 20T Forrest 3/32" Rip blade on.

    Takes me about 90 seconds to switch. i like the ease of which it cuts and the results.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,608
    What David said. I have a 24T thin kerf Freud ripping blade on my TS 90% of the time. I haven't used a combi blade in years. Might be OK with a more powerful saw, but with my 1.5 HP Unisaw a combi blade won't handle 8/4 stock. Surprisingly, the thin kerf rip blade cuts plywood surprisingly well, even crosscuts, so for rough work I just leave it on. For gotta be as perfect as possible crosscuts, however, I switch to a HiATB full kerf blade, with a ZCI.

    John

  7. #7
    I don't do combo blades. Changing blades takes so little, it's just not worth the effort of dealing with any poor cuts of I don't have to.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    9,151
    I use a combo blade almost all the time. I don't see much improvement with a rip or a combo.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Posts
    185
    When I had an under-powered Craftsman TS, I switched between combo and a thin kerf rip blade, especially to rip >4/4 stock.

    Then I got a new 3HP Unisaw (almost 30 years ago), and I have rarely used the rip blade since.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    20,246
    Blade changes are so fast that unless Iím just doing something quick I switch to a task specific blade. I use a 40 tooth general purpose blade more than others because I use it for rough sizing of milled stock. You can get a lot closer to final size with a dedicated rip or a dedicated cross cut as appropriate. Proper tool for the job equals better results.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    772
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    I use a combo blade almost all the time. I don't see much improvement with a rip or a combo.

    Same here.
    David

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Spring Hill FL.
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    I tend to use all three. When I start milling rough lumber for a project I will put a dedicated rip blade on the saw, as the project progresses to the point that I start needing to crosscut, I switch to a combo blade. For veneered sheet goods or precise miters I switch to a high tooth count high ATB blade. I learned a lot about the importance of order of operation for efficiency while working in a production cabinet shop. Even though my personal projects are nowhere near as big as an entire restaurant interior, I find myself planning out my projects with the same principals in mind. It has definitely come in handy during my current kitchen remodel. I also find thinking about this process during the design and material planning phase helps me more accurately build a material list and reduces the number of trips I have to make to the lumber yard or hardware store. And if I'm bidding a job, It makes my estimate more accurate.

    This all assumes that the project is bigger than a bread box.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    52,851
    As has been stated, a "designed for purpose" blade will excel in that operation over something that's designed to fulfill multiple needs. But a sharp combo of good design, like the WW-II or similar, remains a good option for many of us where our cutting isn't in big batches and flips back and forth between ripping and crosscutting. That's why I leave a WW-II on my saw 99% of the time since I have one saw and the work varies so much over short period of time. I do have a dedicated ripping blade for "gnarly" product, but honestly haven't used it for a long time. I'm actually ripping that kind of stuff on the bandsaw at this point.

    If you don't mind making blade changes...dedicated purpose blades will do the work they are asked to do optimally.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    242
    I keep a 40-tooth combination blade (currently a Ridge Carbide TS2000 full-kerf blade) in my saw for 90% of my work. A lot of dedicated rips and I will switch to a 30-tooth Freud glue-line rip blade. I do have an 80-tooth fine crosscut blade but it's rarely used as I don't make a lot of crosscuts with the table saw.
    Jon Endres
    Killing Trees Since 1983

  15. #15
    I have used planer (combo), rip/glue, cross cut and dedicated material-specific blades as in a dedicated blade for plastic with the proper geometry for that material. It goes without saying that a blade must be sharp. The combo blades have spent the most time on my saws but when I have any significant quantity of ripping or crosscutting of finished panels to do I put on the dedicated blade. It takes little time, always gives superior results over the combo and the tool change allows me to run over and review the upcoming process before I light up the saw. Most folks could get by with having two combo blades in their shop no doubt, one on the saw and one freshly sharpened to swap out.

    But ripping with a dedicated rip blade... Ahhhhh.

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