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Reply by knotscott

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Posted on Dedicated rip and cross cut blades. Forrest 20,30,60

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knotscott

8121 posts in 3494 days


#1 posted 03-31-2011 10:12 PM

General purpose/combo blades are a compromise by design. Their best asset is versatility, but they’re not known to be strong performers in the extreme ends of the spectrum….thick ripping, and fine crosscuts/ply cuts. Some are better than others at some aspects, but none are the best at everything….nor can they be.

A high quality dedicated 60-80 tooth crosscut blade will certainly make “cleaner” crosscuts than a 30, 40 or 50 tooth general purpose blade of comparable quality. Inversely, a 24 tooth bulk ripper will certainly be more efficient at ripping thick material than the general purpose (GP) style blade, but both types are poor performers outside of their intended operating region. The key to “better” depends on how you define that term. Better performance in one aspect of cutting doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better choice overall. Consider both sides of the equation before making a decision. A valid argument in favor of using one high quality general purpose blade is that the GP blade leaves a cleaner edge than the rip blade, crosscuts faster than a crosscut blade, and does so with the convenience and cost of using one blade. Most higher quality general purpose blades will leave a glue ready edge, which is often as good as it needs to be.

It’s really a matter of preference and expectations.

I’m a fan of the 30T WWII and think more manufacturers should offer something like it. If you’ve got sufficient power, it can come close to replacing a 24T bulk ripper for all but the heaviest duty ripping. It cuts nearly as cleanly as the 40T but is much more efficient at thick ripping….it’s not quite as efficient as a 20T or 24T bulk ripper but it does leave a smoother edge, and is even capable of respectable crosscuts in many situations. It’s a terrific mate to something like 60T WWI Hi-ATB blade or the very similar Infinity 010-060…both of which are strong where the 30T WWII is weak, which is fine crosscuts and plywood. The 60T blades are a bit more versatile than an 80T, and can do excellent general purpose work because they’re also capable of ripping up to an inch or so.

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