Dado Blades

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Blog entry by Al posted 02-15-2009 12:50 AM 2443 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Greetings…....Need some basic advise. I have a 10” table saw and need to buy a dado blade. If I only need to make 1/2’’ groove, (and is there ever a real need to go that much deeper) is a 6” blade acceptable or should I get an 8” blade? Thanks. Al

-- Al Meriden, Connecticut

7 comments so far

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3790 days

#1 posted 02-15-2009 01:03 AM


Table saw manufacturers basically consider a table saw that runs on a 120V 15 amp circuit as being in the “underpowered” category. If this is your situation, you might consider a 6” dado instead of 8”. It’s all a matter of how much cutting torque your saw can produce at 6” and 8”.

For this same reason manufacturers recommend a thin kerf blade for the above defined “underpowered” saws. I have had great results with a 6” Oshlun dado blade set that I purchased from Rockler for around $70.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4224 days

#2 posted 02-15-2009 01:27 AM

For years I used a 6” set on my old 10er shopsmith with great results. I’ve also used a 7 1/4” “wobble” blade (ok if you don’t mind “domed” dados) and now have an 8” stack. The old 6” set got lost in a move.
I guess I feel the 6” set worked as well as any and I’d have bought another if the store would have had one.
If 6’ gives you all the depth you need, I wouldn’t spend more money on a larger set. (of course, I’m cheap)-SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3625 days

#3 posted 02-15-2009 01:31 AM

a 6 inch is good enough. I have one as well. Just waiting to get my throat plate to be able to use it.

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3775 days

#4 posted 02-15-2009 01:46 AM

I concur with the above poster’s comments relating to “underpowered”.

However, I routinely use an 8” dado stack on contractor style saws of several flavors and as long as you are mindful of the feed rate and don’t run them at the end of a 100’ 14 gauge extension cord you will should be good to go. A light touch and a pair of ears tuned to the labors at hand should suffice.

I’ve used several manufacturers heads over the years, Freud, Oldham, Brand X mystery metal, and for my money nothing tops the Infinity Dadonator

Despite its’ sophomoric moniker it is awesome. Produces perfectly flat bottomed dados without the “horns” that a lot of blades lacking raker teeth leave. Additionally it has six fingered chippers instead of the more common two like the Freud, so this increases the cut rate. It also increases the rotating mass so if your saw is REALLY underpowered you’ll probably become familiar with either the route to your breaker panel or the repair center for your saw.

It is often offered as a package deal with other blades like a ripper and a crosscut and if purchased this way can save you a bit of jack. This is one of those item that I wish everyone could have the chance to use set up on the same saw as the competitors and make their own decision. It’s hands down better than anything else I’ve used.

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3811 days

#5 posted 02-15-2009 02:08 AM

Grumpy, you made me go check, freud’s dado sd500 series has 4 tooth chippers. That’s the one I’ve had for years & I have had no problems. Freud also sells a “pro” & 300/400 series that have the 2 tooth chippers. At half the cost of the Sd500 or the Dadonator, they may be fine for someone not planning on running 100’s of feet of dados. Stick with the 6” unless you have a 3hp, 220 saw or larger.


View James Lango's profile

James Lango

186 posts in 3563 days

#6 posted 02-15-2009 06:35 PM

I use a “avenger” 8” stacked dado cutter. I was a little skeptical bacause it’s a cheaper name brand $55 new) It really proved itself, cuts very well and remains sharp even after 4yrs of use. Counldn’t imagine running a 6” instead of an 8. (depth of cut for certain things). I also agree with Iowa about the power factor. Depends on what your typically calling for from that saw.


View pitchnsplinters's profile


262 posts in 3467 days

#7 posted 02-15-2009 06:53 PM

If that’s truly all you ever want to cut then I would save the money and buy the 6”. As far as HP v. blade diameter, I have a 10” Delta Contractor’s Saw and my 8” Freud dado set up for 3/4” dados has never been a problem.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

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