|Review by jstewart||posted 02-24-2008 04:00 AM||10411 views||1 time favorited||11 comments|
I’ll start by saying that this is the only dado blade I’ve ever used. So, if you’re expecting a comparison to other dado blades, I’m not the person that can provide that for you.
A good friend of mine loaned his dado set (this one) to cut some channels in some 3/4” MDF. Since I hadn’t used a dado set before I decided to make a number of test cuts first. I had some scrap red oak and yellow pine laying around, so I used that for some practice. The SD208 cut through each of those woods like they were butter. I’m only using a 1 3/4 HP Delta contractor’s saw. So, if my saw can do it with ease, I’m sure most others can as well.
I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth the bottoms of the dadoes came out. The corners were very crisp. I was cutting dadoes in one piece of MDF to insert the other, making a dado joint. The first run didn’t fit quite right. The dadoes were a little narrow. Luckily the SD208 comes with a nice set of shims. They are full-circle shims, not the cool ones you can get from Veritas that are not full-circle, allowing them to be inserted onto the arbor after installing the blades and chippers. So, as long as you’re willing to take your time removing and reinserting chippers and shims, this dado had everything you need. (If you want the cool shims, it’s only another $10.) Once I got the thickness just right, I cut the final dadoes and put the joint together. Because the cuts had such smooth bottoms and crisp edges, the joint came out perfect. I couldn’t have been happier.
The set comes with two outer blades and a good number of chippers, like all dado sets. The chippers are all the same size, so don’t expect a 3/32” chipper that will make it easy to cut plywood thicknesses. For that you have to go with the SD508 from Freud, which is twice as much. I’ll just use a large number of shims to accomplish the widths I need. The carbide on the blades and chippers appeared to be nice and thick, probably allowing for a lot of use before needing any serious maintenance.
I was so pleased with this dado set that when it was time to buy my own set, I got the exact same one. Of course, if you buy blades from Freud, I think it’s hard to go wrong. (I’m sure this will entice a number of “Forrest is better” comments. I would hope Forrest makes better blades since they charge twice the price.)
So, in summary, this is a great dado set for the price you pay. Keep an eye out for sales on Amazon. Mine was 25% off, putting it around the $72 mark. Normally they tend to run about $95.
-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas