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Thread: Do I really need a rip blade?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    907
    90% of my cuts are rip cuts and the other 10% are plywood cross cuts. So given that I mostly use a rip blade and put in a plywood crosscut blade when necessary. The majority of my cross cuts are done on a festool kapex. I started out using combo blades and have most brands. I just dont use them anymore and prefer the blade designed for the operation.

  2. #17
    I'm in the rip blade camp. Favorite as of late is 24T Freud thin kerf. 1.75HP Jet supersaw - like close to 20 yrs old( yes, a saw-stop is near top of wish list!). It struggled in previous location, as they had installed a 208V commercial transformer on that building. You wouldn't believe how your tools suffer from that seemingly minor amount of power reduction, but boy was it evident ripping hardwoods.

    Combo blade- haven't bought one or used one in years. Since getting a CNC almost 10 yrs ago, TS almost never cuts sheet goods = it's 90% ripping hardwoods = rip blade stays on most of the time.
    I do have a miter sled that's used fairly regularly on the TS, and I chuck up a Makita 80 tooth miter saw blade and enjoy dang-near perfection with it on those cuts.

    Not knocking combos - just fortunate to have the variety of tools that the table saw just doesn't need to be the jack of all trades it was when I started woodworking.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,843
    I have two dedicated rip blades. That being said they only come out when I have 10 or more pieces (whole lift of lumber) usually thicker stuff to rip. More lately they just collect dust as my big bandsaw is a lumber ripping beast with less material "consumed with the smaller kerf.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    282
    Blog Entries
    1
    I actually agree with both sides if thatís possible. But Iíll throw in another factor that amazed me and thatís the table saw itself.
    Iím a hobbyist and used an old Craftsman contractor saw (1.5-2 hp ... I donít recall exactly) that I bought new 25+ years ago. With it the thin kerf rip blades were a necessity for thicker hardwoods and even thick softwood. I could get good crosscuts with a higher tooth crosscut blade and would overuse it on rips. A combo blade was also used often to avoid blade changes but it was thin kerf as well. And granted this was when I thought there was no point in paying for an expensive blade. Also, over the years and use my table saw bearings allowed some movement/vibration along with other areas of out of square and such (not badly - it was and still is a very good saw for someone).

    Then I bought my 5 hp industrial Unisaw running at a higher rpm as well as the increased hp. Wow what a difference that made! Then I bought a high end combination blade from Ridge Carbide. The power, speed and precision made nearly perfect cuts as long as I could feed the wood straight through (then I bought the JessEm guides and other items to help with that). It has enough power and speed that it could rip thick hardwoods with the combination blade and literally was like cutting butter. It cut so easily it really took a bit to get over the fear of the power it has (I use the blade guard when possible and other safety items). If I have a lot of rough thicker hardwood to break down I will put a thin kerf rip blade on just to save my combo blade. But the saw itself has no problem with the full kerf combo blade ripping 2-3Ē hardwoods.

    So my take on it is the lower the power and speed the bigger factor the saw blades become as well as the necessity to change blades. Iíll also agree the better blades do make a difference as well with minimal runout and proper tooth grinds as well as big pieces of carbide to resharpen and keep for life (I now have a couple of ridge carbide blades to send one for resharpening).

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    799
    I just built another Roubo bench made out of rough 8/4 soft maple. I got better results with a dedicated rip blade. The quality of the cut was noticeably better/easier than the first bench I made when I used a combination blade

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    2,800
    The Freud Premier Fusion is an excellent combo blade. Even in 8/4 hardwood it cuts almost as well as either of my rip blades. And the cut is extremely smooth. Very good value too. So call me a philistine, but that combo blade probably does 95% of the cutting on my saw.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    825
    When I had a Ridgid TS, I had and used a Freud 30T ripper for anything over 4/4. Now that I have a 3hp SS PCS and a Grizzly BS, I try to do the major ripping on the BS and a "finish" cut on the TS with a WW II combo blade.

  8. #23
    It's worth mentioning that any blade makes any cut well when it's fresh out of the packaging. The real test only comes when the teeth stop being razor sharp and the blades design starts carrying the weight.

  9. #24
    I don’t think it’s been mentioned here that ripping without a rip saw can make heat. That can cause the wood to pinch the saw, then the
    saw will propel the wood forward and above saw table. That will startle even the experienced, and it’s not always the operator who takes the
    hit.

  10. #25
    I use a good quality combination blade for most of my work, switching to a rip blade only when I need to rip big stuff. I take boards that will be glued to the jointer after I cut it and before gluing up a panel.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,975
    So...
    The consensus to Rich's question is yes.
    Or no.
    Or maybe.

    My answer is yes. They rip wood like a hot knife through buttah. If you will then joint that edge, as so many here do, then yes, if you can afford one, get one. And if you do have a jointer, there is no need to spend extra on a 'glue line rip' blade since you will clean up that edge after ripping. But yeah, a good rip blade will cut through 5 or 6 or even 8 quarter hardwood without even blinking.

  12. #27
    I never change blades. Instead I have 1 Unisaw setup with a carbide rip blade and a 2nd Unisaw setup with a carbide combination blade. The rip blade is noticeably faster at ripping than the combination blade, which I often rip with. Also have a contractors saw setup with a carbide 1/2" dado stack that I use for rabbeting.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,825
    So...
    The consensus to Rich's question is yes.
    Or no.
    Or maybe.
    Yep the good old "depends" .

    Since my favorite wood is Cherry - I suppose the best practice would be to continue on using my Glue Line Rip blades - until they dull and begin burning.

    I do believe I'll also invest in a decent combination blade. (I'll start a new thread for that one since it's been some time since there's been a thread about that)
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,153
    I use my Forrest WWII combination blade for almost everything, but I switch to my glue line rip if I'm going to be ripping a lot of hardwood and want an (almost) glue-ready edge.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    Posts
    2,198
    I would still recommend a glue line rip blade dedicated to nothing but ripping. They do give you a glue ready surface as long as your saw is set up properly. I get surfaces ready for the glue all the time, so for me it is worth the time to change over. I use a full kerf (1/8" kerf) blade which I prefer.
    I also use this full kerf blade for grooving.

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