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First Try of Freud Premier Fusion General Purpose Blade

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Review by BrockF posted 03-13-2018 03:24 AM 1848 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
First Try of Freud Premier Fusion General Purpose Blade No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

For my ongoing house renovation project I have A LOT of custom trim to do, including all the door and window casings. I chose poplar instead of pine because it machines so well. Additionally I have a lot of cabinetry work to do using maple. The combination blade on my table saw is about ten years old and I started thinking about replacing it.

While at my local Rockler store in Schaumburg, Illinois, I asked the associate his opinion on the new fusion blades. I never spent more than $40 on a blade before so this would be a decent investment. He told me he uses it in his own shop and loves them. Also he said it was resharpenable. Well, that was a great endorsement but I remained somewhat skeptical. After all, his job is to sell blades. But Freud has a very good reputation so I decided to take the plunge.

I purchased the blade and took it home to the shop. I inspected it after opening the package and I could see the extremely clean braising where the carbide teeth attaches to the body of the blade. Visually you can see a lot is going on with those special cuts to reduce vibration and that beautiful red non stick coating. I have the big catalouge and they go into great detail about all the features.

That being said, my saw is a 15 year old Craftsman. Not a bad saw at all, but the motor might be slightly under-powered by some woodworkers standards. Most of my experience was in pine, MDF and plywood. I had noticed it struggling a bit during long rip cuts in poplar, and more so in maple and oak. My biggest issue was that I often got burning and frankly those long rip cuts tended to freak me out. Also it is not quiet, particularly when slowing down.

In the end the proof is in the cutting. Out went the old blade. In, carefully, went the Freud. I replaced the ZCI, raised the blade a bit and turned on the saw.

The first surprise was how quiet it is. Not much more than a loud hum. No warble, or high pitched noise. More like the sound it made was mostly a product of how cleanly it cut the air as it turned. My experience is that very good blades sound smooth. If they sound smooth it is because they are very flat and stable and balanced and this is what you want for smooth cuts. I filmed the experience so you could hear it for yourself.

https://youtu.be/w4yvRtBWY7Q

Then I ripped a poplar board. It was like a hot knife cutting through butter. The board fed easily and smoothly. There was no appreciable motor strain. I shut off the saw and looked at the beautiful cut. No burning, no tear out. Glue line ready without a doubt.

I now understand what that sales associate was talking about. Rip cuts are a pleasure. Crosscuts are a pleasure. In just a short time working on the table saw has become enjoyable again.

This is a beautiful product. The folks at Freud should be proud of themselves for putting so much love into a blade at this price point. It is my first experience with fine Italian engineering and I am a convert.

Thank you again Freud and keep up the great work!

Sincerely,

Brock Friedman, a happy Freud customer.




View BrockF's profile

BrockF

34 posts in 1515 days



11 comments so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

3646 posts in 731 days


#1 posted 03-13-2018 04:45 AM

Thanks for the great review. I’m a fan of Freud blades and will probably grab one of those next time I’m in the market for one.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View BenjaminNY's profile

BenjaminNY

131 posts in 1544 days


#2 posted 03-13-2018 09:20 AM

This is my favorite blade right now most cuts on the table saw. For the price it is amazing.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3520 posts in 2130 days


#3 posted 03-13-2018 11:15 AM

I really like mine especially with plywood and cross cuts. It does pretty good with rips but does tend to burn a little with some woods.

View mnguy's profile

mnguy

194 posts in 3540 days


#4 posted 03-13-2018 01:27 PM

I have used this blade for over 3 years, and it never disappoints. I occasionally change it out for a Freud glue line rip blade when I have a lot of stock to rip, especially thicker stock. But the Premier Fusion goes right back in. Great blade and a major upgrade over my old Delta combination blade.

View garageking's profile

garageking

35 posts in 592 days


#5 posted 03-13-2018 04:42 PM

Check out the last issue of FWW. They rated this as the best combo blade, even higher than the Forrest WW2 blade that I have on my little Rybobi BT 3000. I recently bought the $80-90 Freud blade for my sliding compound miter saw. Freud router bits are great as well. They pay attention to detail. Great review!

-- David, Kentucky

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

442 posts in 2111 days


#6 posted 03-13-2018 04:42 PM

I use Freud Diablo saw blades. I have no complaints.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2810 posts in 3579 days


#7 posted 03-13-2018 05:59 PM

I tried their thin kerf blade and found that it didn’t last long before needing sharpening. Later on I bought one of their Ice rip blades. After research I found out that a glue line is possible with fewer teeth in a rip blade because the teeth aren’t offset much for ripping and fewer teeth are better as the larger spaces between the teeth allow for low buildup of sawdust and cleaner cuts. The blade has massive carbide teeth on it, has lasted a long time, and will be able to be sharpened many times. I’m very satisfied with it. I glue up directly from it. I even cut off my jointer edge with it because it is better. The blade says ‘glue line joints’ on it and it does consistently.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12369 posts in 2522 days


#8 posted 03-13-2018 06:24 PM

I would be interested in seeing close up pics of the cut quality. I bought 3 Freud blades last year, 2 were defective and sent back. 3rd was a Fusion. It is a good blade for the price but performance didn’t equal marketing claims. For example I cannot get chip free cuts in melamine. Rip cuts are good enough for gluing but just barely, not as good as older Freud rip blades but better than new Freud Glue Line blades. Crosscut are adequate. The blade is quiet, and very sharp.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Rich's profile

Rich

3646 posts in 731 days


#9 posted 03-13-2018 06:56 PM


For example I cannot get chip free cuts in melamine.

- Woodknack

You won’t get clean cuts on melamine without a specialized blade. My Amana melamine blade has a -6º hook angle on the teeth. That’s the trick. It makes such a clean cut that you have to be careful handling the board or it’ll slice your hand like a knife. It’s so clean you don’t even feel it, but all of a sudden there’s blood smeared around.

If you can handle a good edge on one side and a pretty decent edge on the other, run masking tape along the cut line before you cut and keep the good side up. Either that, or get a melamine blade.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View BrockF's profile

BrockF

34 posts in 1515 days


#10 posted 03-13-2018 06:56 PM

Thanks for the kind responses. I will see if I can get some pictures posted of cut quality later today.

View fivecodys's profile

fivecodys

1162 posts in 1778 days


#11 posted 03-16-2018 08:03 PM



This is my favorite blade right now most cuts on the table saw. For the price it is amazing.

- BenjaminNY

X2

-- I always knew I would grow old, But I expected it to take longer!

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