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Thread: Dispoz-a-Blade Review

  1. #1

    Dispoz-a-Blade Review

    A couple weeks ago, I bit the bullet and called Esta USA to order a Dispoz-a-Blade set for my 6” jointer (Delta 37-190).

    I needed a new set of blades anyway, and had long been intrigued by the Esta ads. The very courteous lady who answered the phone told me that they’re having a special this month (December) that includes an extra set of blades with the initial purchase, so I’d be getting four sets of edges (two per blade set) instead of the usual two.

    I placed the order on a Tuesday morning, and had the blade setup by Thursday afternoon (NY to Ohio, via UPS).

    As advertised by Esta, installation took about ten minutes. The Dispoz-a-Blade setup for 6” and 8” jointers is a bit different than the sets for larger machines. It has little tabs that butt against the top of the blade channel. They work with any jointer head that’s perfectly round (no ledges or indentations at the back of the blade channels). Just drop them in and tighten the gibs. That’s all there is to it.

    The Esta knives did sit a few thousandths higher than I’d had the original blades set, so I had to raise the outfeed table a bit. Getting that right took maybe two minutes, and three or four test cuts. After that, the first board thru the jointer was perfect. No indications of a misaligned knife, just a perfectly smooth cut.

    Since then, I’ve run quite a bit of walnut, cherry, and poplar – and even some pine – over those blades, with no evidence of dulling yet. With multiple passes per board, I’d guess five or six hundred lineal feet of cutting so far.

    Now for the ‘bad news:’ Cost for the knife holders and ‘four edges’ was $169.00 – so it was about $42.50 per set of edges. That’s quite a bit more than just buying four sets of conventional blades, or two sets and having them resharpened a couple times, but there’s a lot to be said for the convenience involved. Also, when I do eventually need new blades, they’ll only cost $24.00 for a double-edged set (two sets of edges), so that will make future blade changes a lot more economical.

    BTW, the initial setup for 8” jointers is about $215.00.

    All-in-all, I’m very satisfied with the quality and service from Esta USA. In fact, I like the blades so well that I’m going to buy a set for my 15” planer, too.

    If anybody’s interested, there’s more info at: http://www.dispozablade.com

    Standard disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Esta USA other than being a very satisfied customer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Griswold Connecticut
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    Thanks for the initial revew Jim. I am needing to replace the knives on both my planer and jointer, and was considering this system.
    I'm still on the fence, but I know I want to go to something other than the stock Jet replacement blades for both.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Nice review! I believe those little installation tabs may be a new feature that greatly reduces the initial installation time...as proven by you. And even if the cost per edge is ultimately a little more than the OEM knives, you're going to be way ahead when you account for your time. The knives will always be perfect with each other, too...no frustrating adjustments. My J/P also uses a disposable system (Tersa) and that capablity is really worth it, IMHO.
    --

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

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker
    ...I believe those little installation tabs may be a new feature that greatly reduces the initial installation time...as proven by you. And even if the cost per edge is ultimately a little more than the OEM knives, you're going to be way ahead when you account for your time. The knives will always be perfect with each other, too...no frustrating adjustments...
    Yeah, the 'little tab' system is new. The older system used either the jointer's original jackscrews, or a small spacer under the blades. With the new system, the blade holders index off the top edge of the cutter head. Very precise, from all indications.

    And yeah again - the real savings is in the time saved. Plus, it taks all the 'trial and error' frustration away.

    As for the cost per edge, if I go through about six edges, the total cost will be about the same as six new sets of conventional blades. After that, the Dispoz-a-Blade system will actually turn out to be cheaper. Of course, that doesn't take the resharpening cost savings into account, but again, there's a big time savings in not having to take the dull blades to a shop or retrieve them after sharpening.

    Costwise, at 75¢ per inch, sharpening three 6" blades would be $13.50, so two sharpenings would be $27.00. A new set of Dispoz-a-Blades with two edges is about $25.00, so in the long run, they're cheaper than sharpening.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Jim, one other advantage of "quick change" knife systems like this is the ablity to use different formula metals for different kinds of jobs...or to put an older set back in when you need to do the "initial clean off" of some nasty rough lumber. Since everything is indexed...you drop them in and go. Changing knives only takes a minute or so...faster if you don't mind blood on your jointer...
    --

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, WA
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    I looked at their web site but wasn't able to find what brands of planers they have blade systems for. I'll be bringing my Dad's Foley Bellsaw 12" 5 Hp planer Molder home one of these days & would like to know if I can get the blade system for it. I am not worried about my Craftsman jointer or Grizzly portable planer with the spring compression systems they have always worked fine.
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

    My web page has a pop up. It is a free site, just close the pop up on the right side of the screen

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bart Leetch
    I looked at their web site but wasn't able to find what brands of planers they have blade systems for. I'll be bringing my Dad's Foley Bellsaw 12" 5 Hp planer Molder home one of these days & would like to know if I can get the blade system for it...
    Somewhere on their website they mention the various thicknesses and widths that they make replacement holders for. They also mention that they make lengths for something like 2½" thru 48".

    Call them. Their techs can tell you if they have a type/size for the Foley-Belsaw.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    South West Flroida
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    312
    Thanks for the review Jim,

    New jointer blades are something I want to look at in the near future before I actually need them...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Shohola, PA Pocono Mountains
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    Just found this on a search... My Neighbor..

    I will be fitting my equipment with this soon.

    AL
    1 Laser, 4 CarveWrights, Star 912 Rotary, CLTT, Sublimation, FC7000 Vinyl, 911 Signs, Street Signs, Tourist Products and more.
    Home of the Fire Department "Epoxy Dome Accountability Tag and Accountability Boards".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    black river falls wisconsin
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    Put the system in my 16" jointer 3 years in April and just getting time to get out the second set of blades. No complaints here.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKinney, TX
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    I've had the system in my 16" jointer for years and love it. A few months ago I was jointing some Makore and the knives are dulling really fast. Like one board and move the fence. Must have a very high silica content. Anyway I called esta and they recommended using their kobalt knives. I got a set and finished the whole job withe the one set and they were still sharp. I found that the standard knives in normal use stayed sharp longer than the old steel knives I originally had when I bought the jointer.
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    9,565
    Nice review Jim.

    I use the Cobalt knives in my Hammer jointer/planer. They last a long time and take a few minutes to replace with no adjustment required........Rod.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,503
    Last year I bought an Invicta 12" jointer which came already set up with the Dispoz-a-blade system, along with a lifetime supply of knives. Apparently the shop foreman thought he was ordering seven sets of replacement knives when he was really ordering seven cartons of knives, with (I think) 12 double edged knives per carton. At any rate, I doubt if I will ever use them all up. I have the older system that uses the magnets in the knife pocket. It's somewhat fiddly, but much easier than setting conventional knives. That being said, if I win the lottery I will probably replace the head with a Byrd.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rochester, Minn
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    108
    I put them on my planer 2 years ago and have no complaints. The planer is a 12" Solem (1920s) bought from the Minneapolis school system; I can guarrantee you that it is not in anyone's catalog! They asked for the head length and the current blade thickness and we were good to go. The arrangment of that particular planer is such that setting standard knives was a pain due to tight quarters. (There are pictures of the planer on vingtagemachinery.org if anyone's curious. The base of for the machine is a separate cast iron "skirt" that weighs 200 lbs on its own -- no sheet metal here!)

  15. #15
    Thanks for the review Jim! Ive bookmarked it for future reference.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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