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Review by pintodeluxe posted 03-11-2016 05:11 PM 3533 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This is a review of the LU86 thin kerf 40 tooth general purpose blade. I have been using this blade for all rips and crosscuts, and I must say I’m quite impressed. For ripping I was mentally comparing it to my Freud 24 tooth dedicated ripping blade. It seemed to rip 13/16” stock just as effortlessly as the 24 tooth ripper, but with a cleaner edge. There was no chipout at all with the use of a ZCI. My ripper often chips out the underside of hardwood cuts.

I also look for a blades tendency to burn. The LU86 did not burn any of my white oak boards. I even stopped in the middle of a cut intentionally to see if it would burn, and it didn’t.

For crosscutting panels I look at how clean the cut is, and to what degree it splinters. The LU86 crosscuts very cleanly, with no splintering. It leaves what I would describe as a tiny bit of fuzz on the bottom of the cut. This is really insignificant because my normal sanding routing easily takes care of this. I can compare the LU86 thin kerf to my Freud 50 tooth combination blade (full kerf) for crosscuts. The LU86 requires less force to crosscut panels, and does not have a tendency to burn in my 1-3/4 hp contractors saw. The 50 tooth full kerf would burn a little if feed rate was too slow (kind of a vicious cycle with full kerf blades and underpowered saws).

This blade is often described as general purpose, that can do most common tasks well. Sometimes tools that fall into the “Jack of all trades” description don’t do any one task exceptionally well. I think the LU86 is an exception to that rule. It rips well. It crosscuts well. It doesn’t burn. It doesn’t slow my motor down. Cuts are accurate and crisp.

I still use a full kerf combination blade to cut centered grooves for joinery, and I use a dado blade quite often. However for ripping and crosscutting tasks, this is my go-to blade.
The absolute icing on the cake is the quite reasonable price of $39. As of this posting other premium blades can run $109 and up. I haven’t used a Forrest WWII, Infinity Super General, or Freud Premier Fusion and honestly I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I am just really pleased with this blade. A hearty thanks goes out to fellow LJ member Knotscott for the recommendation.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush




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pintodeluxe

5756 posts in 2955 days



9 comments so far

View WhattheChuck's profile

WhattheChuck

336 posts in 3702 days


#1 posted 03-11-2016 05:51 PM

I have a collection of Freud blades, PD, and really like them. I also recommend their ripping/hollow-ground planer. Changing blades can be a pain—but this one is worth it.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

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Roger

20948 posts in 2946 days


#2 posted 03-11-2016 09:49 PM

Thnx for your review. I luv Freud blades

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

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rodneyh

147 posts in 2806 days


#3 posted 03-12-2016 07:36 AM

Thanks for the great review. I’m currently using a Freud glue line rip thin kerf, and a Freud 80 tooth crosscut blade normal kerf. 1.75 hp saw. Both blades are pretty hammered, so I think I’ll give this blade a try for a while.

I’ve never used a ZCI. Is that a night & day improvement in cut quality sort of thing that I should get before bothering with a new blade?

Thanks

View GFactor's profile

GFactor

80 posts in 1741 days


#4 posted 03-12-2016 02:41 PM


Thanks for the great review. I m currently using a Freud glue line rip thin kerf, and a Freud 80 tooth crosscut blade normal kerf. 1.75 hp saw. Both blades are pretty hammered, so I think I ll give this blade a try for a while.

I ve never used a ZCI. Is that a night & day improvement in cut quality sort of thing that I should get before bothering with a new blade?

Thanks

- rodneyh

Here is an EXCELLENT post from Knotscott EVERY LJ Member should read:

http://lumberjocks.com/knotscott/blog/12395

Cheers!

-- To Steal Ideas From One Person is Plagiarism; to Steal From Many is Research…

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pintodeluxe

5756 posts in 2955 days


#5 posted 03-13-2016 01:16 AM

Rodneyh,
No I don’t think a ZCI would give you “Ooohs and Ahhs” in the performance department. It might help reduce chipout on the bottom of the cut, but beyond that it is really a safety thing. It prevents thin strips from getting trapped between the blade and insert. I always use one, and have several for different blades and dado setups.

A good blade makes all the difference though.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5559 posts in 2551 days


#6 posted 03-14-2016 04:04 AM

I just got this same blade recently, works well. Been cutting alot of hardwoods doing some turning glue ups no issues and cuts sweet.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

17575 posts in 3330 days


#7 posted 03-15-2016 08:49 PM

Great blade for the price have a bunch of Reds in the shop. Although my go to blade is the Woodworker II, is truly a good blade…. Not knocking this one, but there is a difference.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Timberwolf323's profile

Timberwolf323

69 posts in 985 days


#8 posted 03-17-2016 04:31 AM



Rodneyh,
No I don t think a ZCI would give you “Ooohs and Ahhs” in the performance department. It might help reduce chipout on the bottom of the cut, but beyond that it is really a safety thing. It prevents thin strips from getting trapped between the blade and insert. I always use one, and have several for different blades and dado setups.

A good blade makes all the difference though.

- pintodeluxe

Yes and don’t forget those strips have a tendency to fire at you like rockets. (Yes I’ve personally experienced this.). Left a nick in my safety glasses. Haha.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile

RibsBrisket4me

1554 posts in 2647 days


#9 posted 03-22-2016 02:02 PM

The Freud LU86 is my most used blade. I’ve had several over the years and just get them resharpened.

A few years ago they were for sale on Amazon for $36, and I bought three.

The thickness of the carbide is really great for the price, and it cuts really great for a combo blade.

I have a Woodworker II, but the value of the LU86 can’t be beat.

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