|Review by knotscott||posted 03-13-2009 08:02 PM||4544 views||0 times favorited||11 comments|
As a long time satisfied owner of the 40T WWII, the lesser known 30T WWII is a blade that I’ve wanted to try for quite a while. A rare sale price of $64 shipped was all the encouragement I needed. It’s 40T big brother is more popular and very highly rated across the industry, but we hear very little about this extremely capable 30T version. As far as I’m concerned, the silence should end…this is a terrific blade! The WW10307100 features the same geometry, materials of construction, and precision manufacturing that the 40T does….20 degree positive hook angle for a good feedrate while ripping thicker materials, a 15 degree alternate top bevel (ATB) tooth grind for slicing fibers cleanly, low side clearance for polished edges, and C4 micrograin carbide for a very sharp edge and long edge life. Like the 40T WWII, it’s available in both a 3/32” (0.100”) thin kerf (TK) and a 1/8” (0.125”) full kerf. Both blades are manufactured in the USA.
The 30T WWII has 25% fewer teeth than it’s 40T counterpart. From a theoretical perspective, fewer teeth means faster ripping and rougher cut if all else is equal, and in this case, all else is exactly equal. The inverse is also true…more teeth means a finer cut but slower feed rates and more tendency to tax the saw and burn wood. There’s always a tradeoff for every different design element. The logical concern for a discerning woodworker would be how much rougher the cut really is with the 30T Forrest. My answer is a resounding “not much”! I own and have tried several top notch general purpose and combination blades…prboably approaching “most” by now (as well as several dedicated rip and crosscut blades), and had the opportunity to compare the 30T WWII directly to a fairly new 40T WWII, a nearly new Infinity 50T, and a fairly new Freud LU88 60T, all in excellent shape. I’m pleased to report that the cut quality of the 30T Forrest doesn’t lag far behind ….even without the use of a stabilizer, which Forrest suggests. (I’ve never noticed an improvement from one, so I’ll suggest saving your money unless you’ve got unacceptable runout in your setup.) After marking, crosscutting, and ripping several tests pieces of red oak, birch plywood, cedar, walnut, and cherry, I found it a little difficult to distinguish between the cuts between the various blades. I didn’t perform a “statistically significant” number of cuts, but some patterns did tend to show up over time, and on the whole, things fell mostly into a predictable pattern of results, with finer tooth marks from the higher count blades, and easier feedrate and more visible saw marks from the lower tooth blades….I do want to reiterate that the differences in cut quality are not significant and are somewhat difficult to discern. In thick materials however, the performance ratings reverse themselves, and some things became more noticeable. The easy feed rate of the WWII 30T is readily noticeable in thicker ripping. As the 60T LU88 starts to bog down and causes burns in 2” walnut, the 30T WWII loafs right through it and still leaves an acceptably clean glue line cut. Combine the cut quality and reduced feed pressure of the thin kerf 30T WWII, which takes 25% less material than the full kerf, and you’ve got yourself a clean cutting remedy to ripping thicker materials on an underpowered saw. It performs very closely to the 40T WWII but feels like I’ve upgraded the motor. I can also envision the 30T WWII being invaluable for ripping thick exotic hardwoods where cut quality matters, burning is a problem, and material cost is a factor. The 30T WWII starts to show it’s limitations on ultrafine crosscuts and veneered plywoods, where a specialty blade would be better suited. It crosscuts pretty well most of the time for less critical applications, but is not quite as adept where the smoothest fine crosscuts are required…but neither are most 40T or 50T general purpose blades, so you actually lose very little capability vs more traditional general purpose blades with the 30T. The 30T WWII is a terrific mate to a blade like the 60T Infinity 010-060 Hi-ATB blade, WWI, or Freud LU88, but should impress in the majority of applications all by itself. The 30T WWII is also a much more versatile choice than a GLR 30T ripper like the Freud LM74 or CMT 203.030.10….it gives glue ready cuts, rips efficiently in much thicker materials, and can handle an occasional crosscuts.
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