|Review by paxorion||posted 08-19-2014 07:27 PM||6270 views||2 times favorited||13 comments|
I’m a firm believer that tool ratings should come with caveats and comparison. I have been using the (new-ish) Irwin Marples 40T general purpose blade in my Dewalt DWE7491 table saw for a few months now and can confidently say that it is an incredible value (dollar to performance ratio). It won’t go outshining premium blades, and my only premium blade comparison is a full kerf Freud Premier Fusion, which performed better (rips faster, and easier to get clean crosscuts). Key highlights of my experience are below.
Rip Cuts – I don’t slam dense hardwoods through this saw much but I can happily report that I had no trouble ripping 4/4 white oak, leaving very smooth finish. It also cut more efficiently than the other blade I have used in the saw (a Freud Diablo 50T combination). I did had to slow down my feed rate when I was ripping some 1.5” Hem Fir boards that I got from Lowes, which might I add pinched on the riving knife as the rip was being completed (and this is why I am a big proponent of a splitter/riving knife)
Crosscuts – The story gets more complicated with crosscuts. Any general purpose or combination blade is a trade-off for rip and cross-cut performance. Given the right conditions (I set the blade height for a single tooth above the wood and moved VERY slowly through the saw), I have been able to repeatedly get clean (no perceivable tear-out) crosscuts with this saw and blade, even on big box store plywood (Home Depot Columbia forest products C-3 birch plywood) and without a ZCI. It does take more intentional (be patient in feeding the work through) effort to get a clean cut (what do you expect for the price and type of saw blade).
Out of curiousity, I slapped the saw into a Delta Unisaw to compare it’s performance to a Freud Premier Fusion (FK) and noticed a minor difference in the rip cut feed rate I could get away with. Not a deal-breaker but it could impact your flow if you had to run a lot of material through. I was also able to crosscut cleanly with less effort. Not to say that you can’t get a clean cut with the Irwin Marples, but it does require more effort to pull it off. So will this saw perform better (under heavy use) than a premium blade? No. But with a little more intentionality in cuts and for the money, I think this saw blade will do just fine as a mainstay on my Dewalt.