|Review by bunkie||posted 12-30-2009 05:03 AM||10090 views||1 time favorited||20 comments|
I’ve been a long-time owner of the thin-kerf Woodworker II blade. That blade changed how I worked. This year I had it sharpened by Forrest and I have been very pleased with the result.
In that time, I have gone through two other stacked dado sets. The first was a 6” non-carbide set that cost about $50. It was awful. A few years ago I bought what I thought would be a good compromise between cost and functionality, a Freud 8” set. This was a big improvement. I still got tearout when cross-cutting plywood, but it wasn’t as bad as with Dado #1. One day I got it out to make some cuts and I happened to notice that some of the teeth were missing and others were broken. I was not pleased. I considered having Forrest sharpen it and replace the teeth, but the cost would have been as much as the original purchase price. Damn.
About three months back, various on-line sites were having a sale on the Dado King. Normally, the 8” version is almost $300 which is a serious chunk of change, almost as much as I paid for the Sears contractor saw that was my workhorse for many years. At $240 with free shipping and no tax, I just couldn’t resist. It came quickly. It’s beautiful. The teeth are works of art, beautifully finished and seriously sharp. I didn’t get a chance to try it until this weekend. In the interim I got a new saw (Grizzley 1023SL) and this weekend I put in some time doing a little fine tuning of the 90 and 45 degree stops with my Wixey angle finder (that’s another seriously cool tool!). I decided it was time to test out the Dado King.
I had some plywood scraps and after one or two test cuts, I was able to dial in the correct width using the excellent magnetic shims supplied with the set. The first thing I noticed was that this is the first Dado I have ever heard which does not make that distinct thrumming sound. It’s incredibly quiet, sounding more like a regular saw blade than a dado.
My first cut was a dado with the grain. The resulting cut was perfect, absolutely perfect. It had a flat bottom and excpetionally clean edges with no tearout whatsoever. The width was perfect. This particular plywood is of the Chinese Big-Box store variety with its patented essence of maple veneer. It tears out at the mention of cutting. So next came the acid test, a cross-grain dado. This was not perfect. The flat bottom was there, but there was some very small tearing of the grain in a few places. But it’s so small as to not be a problem. I’ll try to take some photographs this weekend which I’ll post.
All in all, I regret not investing the money in the first place and I’m exceptionally pleased with the Dado King. It completely lives up to its name. Finally, it feels good to buy a US-made product that is best-in-class. If you appreciate really fine tools, you will love the Dado King.
-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving