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Freud SD606 Dado set - Tradeoffs

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Review by richgreer posted 1664 days ago 4080 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Freud SD606 Dado set - Tradeoffs No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This dado set is the 6 inch version of Freud’s dial-a-width model. There are several things I like about it but, as is often the case, there are trade-offs.

The dial-a-width concept means that you do not need any shims. The outer cutter has a mechanism that, effectively, causes the width of that cutter to expand up to 7/64 of an inch in increments of 1/256 of an inch. Using the dial-a-width mechanism in lieu of shims is very convenient. Me and those shims never got along very well.

This is a top-of-the-line, high quality dado set. It produces smooth, flat bottoms and I have yet to see any tear-out. You can set the width of the cut from 7/32 to 3/4 of an inch to the nearest 1/256 of an inch. If you read the specifications it will say that it will go up to 29/32. In theory, it will, but not on my saw. When you go beyond 3/4 of an inch, you do not have (in my opinion) enough thread left on the arbor to safely secure the dado in place. That’s one of those trade-offs.

In the picture you will see the light gray apparatus that is the dial-a-width mechanism. You will see a recess that the arbor nut sets into. However, in that recess, this cutter is still 3/8 of an inch thick when the dial-a-width is at its narrowest setting. The dial-a- width mechanism is taking an additional 1/4 inch of arbor length. With my saw (and I think with most saws) that limits the width of the dado cut you can safely mount on your arbor to about 3/4 of an inch.

That recess creates another problem. You can’t use a regular wrench to loosen and tighten the arbor nut because the nut is down in the recess. Freud provides a special wrench with the dado set (see picture). When I received this dado set, that wrench had a little lip on the inside of all 6 sides and I could not put it on the arbor nut. I spent over an hour with a dremel and a small grinding wheel making this wrench usable.

The dial-a-width mechanism has a diameter of 3.5”. That limits the depth of a dado cut cut to no more than 1.25”. In my case that is acceptable because I never need to make a dado cut deeper than that. However, for some people, that may be a concern. 6 inch dados already have less depth of cut than 8 inch dados and this model has even less than other 6 inch dados.

I really like the convenience of the dial-a-width mechanism and I really like the quality of the cutting. However, the dial-a-width concept limits the available width and the available depth of cut. That is a trade off I am willing to make. Others will have to decide for themselves.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.




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richgreer

4522 posts in 1677 days



8 comments so far

View hootr's profile

hootr

183 posts in 1949 days


#1 posted 1663 days ago

thanks for the info
i’ve been drooling over these for a while and watching for a review
i don’t trust the ones posted by the dealers

-- Ron, Missouri

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2251 days


#2 posted 1663 days ago

looks very convenient. how is the outer cutter change it’s width? is it using a wobble dado concept? or does it have interlocking teeth with it’s neighboring cutter blades that make the cutting area wider/narrower when moved sideways?

thanks for the post.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1677 days


#3 posted 1663 days ago

It has sufficient overlap with the neighboring cutter it expands by a plate on the inside of the cutter progressing outward. It is as if you were using shims and placing all of the shims between the outer cutter and the one next to it.

I’ve never expanded the dial-a-width beyond 22 clicks (there are 28 clicks to get to the limit). I have never seen any gap develop.

b.t.w – Many years ago I had that wobbler dado blade. It was a pain.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile

Routerisstillmyname

679 posts in 2111 days


#4 posted 1663 days ago

Thanks for posting.
So, is there any way to cut a dados for 1/4” ply which is 7/32” actual size ?

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1677 days


#5 posted 1663 days ago

Yea, this dado set will cut a minimum size of 7/32 of an inch. You use the inner cutter, the outer cutter and zero clicks on the dial-a-width.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile

Routerisstillmyname

679 posts in 2111 days


#6 posted 1663 days ago

Thanks Rich. Freud’s quality can’t be beat. the only blades I use.

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1677 days


#7 posted 1663 days ago

I will agree that the best blades have a name that begins with “F”. Some will say “Forest” and others will say “Freud”. They are both very good but I am not willing to say which of the 2 is the best.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5369 posts in 1978 days


#8 posted 1662 days ago

Rich – Congrats on your new dado set, and thanks for a really well written and objective review. I much prefer reading about the realistic strengths and weaknesses that all products have, as opposed to just hearing how much you love it. I love my tools too (and my wife & family), but none of that is very helpful to any of you! There are realistic tradeoffs with every design, and it’s helpful to others to hear about them. Great job!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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