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Review by Texasgaloot posted 2144 days ago 2294 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
It's worth it. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Over the last decade or so that I’ve owned my Craftsman contractor’s saw, I’ve come to demand the utmost, penultimate level of mediocrity from it while telling myself that the jump from this saw to the Powermatic 66 is sort of like jumping from my $500 Remington 1100 shotgun to a $3000 custom Baretta over-under: the object is to break clay birds, right? And both throw a lot of lead in the air, which is all that counts, right? And yet, I’ve learned to tune my table saw in the dark, I’ve added a 52” Beisemeyer fence, outfeed tables, and even a custom plywood sawdust trap to make dust collection a possibility. I’ve also fed my saw a fairly steady diet of $40 Delta saw blades, usually making Trendlines’ sales years complete (why shouldn’t I feel that important?)
Recently I was prowling eBay, flush with the first half of my first commission, and I ran across the Forrest Woodworker II thin kerf blade, freshly factory sharpened (as Forrest will do for the life of the blade.) Sweet! I promptly set about spending my new soon-to-be-hard-earned money and won the auction. After watching my mailbox taunt me for what was really just a few days, there was the box. It really wasn’t long before it was on the saw, a zero clearance insert fit, and yet another saw tune up done. First off, I admit two things. 1. I was attracted to this auction for a number of reasons, including the fact that this blade had been used by a certain well-known woodworking magazine as a guinea pig, done it’s time, and was given great reviews in the blurb. 2. It was on eBay, so it must be cheaper that at the woodworker’s store, right? One out of two isn’t bad, is it?
Now, I’m not going to say I regret this purchase price, but let’s say it was within a dollar or two of what you can purchase a new one on Forrest’s website. It pays to keep your head about you. On the other hand, I milled up MDF, Baltic Ply, and oak for a Spagnuolo-style assembly table (see TheWoodWhisperer.com) and during my first cut I didn’t realize how much effort I had been expending in using my old blade. We all know that when a blade dulls, it requires more force to get stock through that a fresh blade, but these things sneak up on you, and are inherently dangerous. Praise God that I had gotten greedy when I did…
I would describe cutting with the Forrest blade as… effortless. You sort of think what you want your stock to look like at the end of your cut, set your fence, point the stock in the right direction, and somehow it winds up looking like you wanted it too. The beauty of it is that there is hardly any cleanup necessary, that is as long as I do my part! The blade somehow puts a near-jointer edge on the stock, and at about 20 dB less than my old blade, as well!
I don’t know how long I can go with this blade before it requires sharpening, but I hope it’s long enough that I can save for another Forrest blade to use while this one is being sharpened! I wholeheartedly recommend this blade for any saw, including the mediocre saws that many of us use, for it will turn even a mediocre saw into a runnin’ dude for less than have the cost of a LN or Veritas jointing plane. Five Stars!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...




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Texasgaloot

464 posts in 2202 days



14 comments so far

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2490 days


#1 posted 2144 days ago

They are great blades!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19074 posts in 2353 days


#2 posted 2143 days ago

Thanks.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2324 days


#3 posted 2143 days ago

Nice review. I have Forrest blades on all my saws and couldn’t agree with you more about the quality and effort of the cuts that these blades produce.

Thanks for the review.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2246 days


#4 posted 2143 days ago

Concur. I have 4, two 40 and two 30 tooth blades. That way I have one in use while the other is being sharpened. I have an older Delta contractor saw, and have done the same thing. It has a 2 hp motor, a 32” fence system, cast iron top and wings. It’s as good as a saw as I need and it does what I want it to and no matter how hard I try, I can’t justify upgrading to a cabinet saw.

-- Tim

View alanealane's profile

alanealane

365 posts in 2392 days


#5 posted 2143 days ago

I’m impressed with the mirror-like honing they put on the teeth, and their sharpening service for life!! They are pretty great. IMHO the only company that is worthy of a head-to-head competition with Forrest is FREUD because of the quality and size of their carbide teeth and anti-vibe technology.

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View bobdurnell's profile

bobdurnell

300 posts in 2399 days


#6 posted 2143 days ago

Got a few of these myself, you wonder how long they will last before sharpening. Well, I clean the pitch build up off a few times and when I still see burn on the wood It’s just about time to send them in. They last long enough that I can’t remember when I last had them sharpened, they last a long time.

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View Paul D's profile

Paul D

2122 posts in 2250 days


#7 posted 2143 days ago

I have the Thin Kerf blade and it’s great.

-- Paul D - Lawrenceville, Georgia

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2538 days


#8 posted 2143 days ago

I have two 40’s for the same reason tenontim stated. I quite like them.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Loren's profile

Loren

6762 posts in 2150 days


#9 posted 2143 days ago

Forrest blades are nice… but watch it with dirty wood or
reclaimed timbers – the Forrest carbide is hard and brittle.

View James Early's profile

James Early

48 posts in 2150 days


#10 posted 2143 days ago

Thanks for the review! I just bought my first one from Amazon, and it arrived today. Can’t wait to try it!

-- -- Jim E., Oswego, NY. Create, have fun, and work safely!

View TomK 's profile

TomK

504 posts in 2376 days


#11 posted 2143 days ago

Great review! But, when I bought my Remington Model 1100, it was only $350 ! I can knock down 3 quail from one covey flush. Try doing that with an over/under Beretta!

I like my Ridge Carbide, full kerf.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6642 posts in 2481 days


#12 posted 2142 days ago

Hi Texasgaloot;

We have about ten Forrest blades in the shop, and three non Forrest blades, which only get used if we’re afraid of damaging the “real” blades.

Unless something drastic happens with the competition, this won’t change.

There’s just no comparison

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 2292 days


#13 posted 2142 days ago

I just got my 1st WWII full kerf from Amazon thanks to the post here about the great deal on them.
$77.00 shipped!!!! I can’t wait to try it out.

-- Tony, Ohio

View grovemadman's profile

grovemadman

556 posts in 2273 days


#14 posted 2141 days ago

Tony, $77 shipped is a smokin’ price, you should be excited. I agree with Lee, there simply is no comparison to these blades. I’m not knocking other blades out there either, there are some real good ones. I use an Oldham in my bench saw for trimming out window mouldings and it is a fine blade by any standards. I’ve used the forrest in my little Ryobi benchtop saw and it dramatically improved the saw’s capability. I don’t use the Forrest in it at jobsites simply because it costs about as much as the saw, and should the saw grow legs I’m not out of much. I see saws like this on Craiglist weekly for $ 50 – 60, I’ve yet to see a Forrest blade on any classified list!

-- --Chuck

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