|Review by Billy E||posted 05-30-2014 02:36 PM||3708 views||0 times favorited||1 comment|
This review is for the 10-inch, 48-tooth, ultra thin kerf (5/64”) version of the TS2000 blade.
I have used a number of different blades including cross cutting blades up to 96 tooth and ripping blades down to 24 tooth. Most are freud, some are dewalt,one delta, etc… This is my first Ridge Carbide blade. I got the 5/64” version because I am using a fairly underpowered Ridgid TS3650 contractor saw. I’ve always used thin kerf (3/32” or thereabout) with the saw and it has performed well for the most part, except when ripping thick stock.
This blade comes with two 5” stabilizers to eliminate flex. Just looking at the blade and comparing it with TK blades, it feels quite substantial, despite the UTK design. I am not sold on the idea that it really “needs” these stabilizers, but I used them nonetheless. Construction quality looks very similar to the old DELTA/Dewalt 80-series blades that also sport some huge carbide. I had to get a new zero clearance insert for my saw since the arbor-side stabilizer spaces the blade out, plus the thinner kerf will cut a smaller hole. Some people take their insert out and spin it around so they have a slot on each side. I opted not to do this because then you don’t have the rear tab that acts as a safety in case the blade binds and tries to lift the spacer.
One everything was together and the zero clearance insert set up and cut, I tried several cuts on poplar and red oak. I observed some slight marks on crosscutting thick poplar (2”). It was really not much, but I had expected near perfection based on reviews. I took the blade out and made sure it was really clean and reassembled everything and this time (and all future cuts) I could see absolutely no markings on either side of the cut. All I can figure is that I had gotten enough dust in between the stabilizers and the blade that it caused a slight unevenness. That’s all I can guess. Or possibly there is an imperfection on my arbor that lined up wrong. Whatever the case, I learned that when installing a blade, especially one like this with two stabilizers, make a test cut to confirm there’s no immeasurable misalignment. I can very confidently say that this blade makes as good or better cross cuts than any blade I’ve used, including Freud 96-tooth and Dewalt 80-tooth. There is no tearout on the bottom of the cut (against the zero clearance insert) and some feathery tearout in poplar on the back of the cut. This is brought to a minimum if you raise the blade high enough that the blade is pushing down on the cut, rather than back.
I also tried some rip cuts and found that the blade makes a decent glue line ripping blade. It feeds as well as my 30-tooth Freud glue line rip (TK) but the cut is even cleaner. This blade has a quality I haven’t noticed with other blades, in that the faster you feed it, the more it tends to “pull”. Ripping blades sometimes do this a bit, but the sensation was just different for this blade. Whether I fed it fast or slow, the cut quality was always as perfect as I could imagine. So for the most part, i can say this blade has replaced my 30-tooth through my 96 tooth specialized blades. I say for the most part due to one caveat. Using the stabilizers and a zero clearance insert limits the maximum height you can raise the blade to a little more than 2”. Of course that’s a 90 degree cut; anything else will have to be even thinner. From a practical perspective, this blade setup as I am using it is limited to about 1.5-2” stock. Two inches is pushing it, but it will work. For anything greater than 1.5”, I would rather switch to a specialized blade without stabilizers.
That’s a lot about what it will do. What it won’t do is rip like a 24 FTG ripping blade. Not even competitive in this regard. If I’ve got to rip a bunch of 2x boards, I’ll be switching blades. Overall though for my purposes this Ridge Carbide blade is the preferable blade for almost everything I do. One note: the blade is roughy as loud as any other blade I’ve used. I’ve seen many comments about certain high-end blades being very quiet. I didn’t have that experience with this one. It’s not a problem for me, but don’t go buying a blade like this trying to quite down your saw.
(the picture is just off their website. I’ll try to get better pictures later)
-- Billy, Florence SC