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Why do they make thin kerf blades ?

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Forum topic by Karamba posted 11-09-2015 04:44 AM 1167 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Karamba

116 posts in 401 days


11-09-2015 04:44 AM

I was surprised to learn that very few table saws take thin kerf blades. Actually the only saw I know is Grizzly’s 0771 hybrid. I am sure there are others though. Apparently manufacturers are concerned about the strength of the riving knife that thin so are unwilling to take responsibility for their failures. Does it mean that thin kerf blades can only be used on low power bench saws ?
Do for example Grizzly 0715p or G1023 owners still use 0.098” blades despite manufacturer warnings not to use them ( presumable after perfectly aligning the riving knife ) ?


25 replies so far

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3360 days


#1 posted 11-09-2015 05:07 AM

I use a thin kerf blade on my SS – but like you say – you can’t use the riving knife that comes with the saw – it’s too thick. I plan to make a after-marked plate to add a little safety using the blade. I do find it hard to imagine not being able to make a riving knife thin enough with all the materials available to manufacturers these days. I use the thin kerf a lot more these days than I used to so I really need to get that plate made.

I’m not sure if they are unwilling to make the thinner knife, but if they are – it may just be that there’s not been enough call for it from woodworkers. They have enough lawyers to see their way through the responsibility factor most times I think.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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MrUnix

4226 posts in 1663 days


#2 posted 11-09-2015 05:11 AM

That’s a new one to me… all table saws that I know of can take a thin kerf blade. The G1023 you mention even has this to say in the manual:

Thin-kerf:
Most types of saw blades are available in a thin-kerf style. Used primarily to minimize stock wastage. It is recommended thin-kerf blades be used in conjunction with a blade stabilizer to reduce blade wobble.

Note:
Most blade guards/splitters are thicker than most thin-kerf blades. Make sure the stock will pass by the guard/splitter before beginning a cut.

The manual for your 771 states that it can take a blade with a body as thin as 0.06” with a kerf of 0.094”

Can you point to where a manufacturer warns about thin kerf blades?

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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Karamba

116 posts in 401 days


#3 posted 11-09-2015 05:27 AM


That s a new one to me… all table saws that I know of can take a thin kerf blade. The G1023 you mention even has this to say in the manual:
..../

Can you point to where a manufacturer warns about think kerf blades?

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

https://d27ewrs9ow50op.cloudfront.net/specsheets/g1023rl_ds.pdf
required blade kerf rhickness 0.122

as for your note about 0771 I already mentioned that it does take thin kerf.

And here is a letter from Grizzly I received on my question:
———
The G0715P Hybrid Table Saw does not include a thin kerf riving knife or blade guard with splitter, nor are either offered in thin kerf. We do not recommend the use of thin kerf blades on this saw as the safety equipment could not be used with it.
————-

Even Delta sold at Lowes does not like thin kerf
http://www.deltamachinery.com/downloads/manuals/table_saws/36-725/DELTA_36-725_Contractor_Table_Saw_Manual_Eng.pdf
page 17

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Karamba

116 posts in 401 days


#4 posted 11-09-2015 05:28 AM

.

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MrUnix

4226 posts in 1663 days


#5 posted 11-09-2015 05:44 AM

Well, the ‘data sheet’ you point to has different numbers from that of the manual… and not just on blade size!

I suspect the only reason for the stated minimum size is due to the width of the supplied riving knife… a thin kerf blade won’t work with them. As mentioned in that Delta manual: Riving knives must be matched to saw blade
dimensions in order to function effectively.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Karamba's profile

Karamba

116 posts in 401 days


#6 posted 11-09-2015 05:49 AM

That “data sheet” is l from Grizzly website.
The data is the same as in the manual http://cdn0.grizzly.com/manuals/g1023rl_m.pdf
page 29.
Whatever is the reason most of the saw do not work with thin kerf blades according to the manuals. Not sure about the real life use.

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MrUnix

4226 posts in 1663 days


#7 posted 11-09-2015 06:03 AM

Whatever is the reason [...]

Grizzly already told you the reason…

We do not recommend the use of thin kerf blades on this saw as the safety equipment could not be used with it.

They don’t offer a thin kerf riving knife, so you would need to remove it to use a thin kerf blade (or get an aftermarket one that works from someone besides Grizzly). ‘Nuff said.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 906 days


#8 posted 11-09-2015 06:54 AM

It’s not that the saws don’t work with thin-kerf blades (they all will)—-it’s that the riving knife/splitter won’t.

So if you want to use a TK blade you need to modify your set-up accordingly (thinner, perhaps custom-made riving knife/splitter, after-market splitter—like a Micro-Jig, no splitter, ....)

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1951 posts in 1453 days


#9 posted 11-09-2015 12:21 PM

I use both thin and full kerf blades on my Sawstop PCS without problems. The riving knife is 0.083” thick.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1041 days


#10 posted 11-09-2015 01:07 PM

I have the blue marples combo on my 1023 grizzly, i don’t think it’s thin kerf but don’t think it’s full kerf either because I bought the freud glue line rip and it’s full kerf and noticeably bigger than the marples but I have a thin kerf that I haven’t used on it but it’s smaller than both. I’m hoping my riving knife is the right size for my full kerf, would assume it is but it works just fine with the marples blade.

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

732 posts in 2530 days


#11 posted 11-09-2015 01:28 PM

It sounds pretty simple to me. If you want to use a thin kerf blade, then take off your riving knife and operate the saw as normal, the same way woodworkers did pre-riving knives. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, then use a full kerf blade. My 1023 is a pre riving knife model and I use a Forrest Woodworker II full kerf and Freud Thin Kerf Glue Joint Rip blade. Both work fine. It is old school, but it is the way we did it for years. A riving knife is one of the best additions to saw technology in years, but you CAN do without it if you have to.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1194 days


#12 posted 11-09-2015 01:51 PM

karamba, when you go to purchase your wood, get an extra piece to compensate for the extra 1/32nd” you would lose with the normal .125 blade. Thin kerf blades do wobble, and what you thought you saved by using one will be lost when you have to clean up the wavy edge. ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1602 posts in 2418 days


#13 posted 11-09-2015 02:21 PM

Well, there are many reasons for using a thinner blade. a) it takes less HP to cut through thick or difficult wood, hence it takes less effort to force it through the saw. b) wastage is a genuine factor when using particularly pricy wood like ebony, holly, olive, etc. If you are cutting 3/16 thick tray sides for a box, the 1/8 blade produces 66% waste!

The choices we make depend a lot on what we’re making.

I regularly use a 7 1/4” Diablo blade on my Unisaw (with an Incra LS fence) for precise work like boxes. It has a 1/16” kerf and is the thinnest I know of with a 5/8” arbor. I picked this up from Steve Latta for slicing off decorative banding from the glued up pack. Waste IS a big deal after you’ve gone to all the trouble and expense to lay up a complex banding, and this blade nearly doubles your output.

But then, with this setup, I seldom use a splitter. I do use one for long rips or working with thick or difficult wood in heavier pieces using a 1/8” rip blade (usually a shop made insert with a 1/8 ply splitter). My general go-to blade though is a thin kerf Forrest 10” with a stabilizer. Let me emphasize here that I’m not advocating unsafe practices. But the key is to know the wood you’re working with, as well as your saw and fence.

Remember: wiser men than me have said: “if you’re not comfortable with a cut or a procedure, DON’T DO IT!” It’s the main reason I still have all my fingers.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1637 days


#14 posted 11-09-2015 02:36 PM

I have a sawstop to use thin kerf blades just needed to get a riving knife that was the correct thickness for the blade.
Thin kerjs will work on all saw just need to get the correct thickness riving knife or splitter.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2708 days


#15 posted 11-09-2015 04:12 PM


regularly use a 7 1/4” Diablo blade on my Unisaw (with an Incra LS fence) for precise work like boxes. It has a 1/16” kerf and is the thinnest I know of with a 5/8” arbor. I picked this up from Steve Latta for slicing off decorative banding from the glued up pack. Waste IS a big deal after you ve gone to all the trouble and expense to lay up a complex banding, and this blade nearly doubles your output
- RogerBean

I build scale models and use a 7-1/4” blade all the time on my 10” cabinet saw. It is much more manageable for precise cuts. My zero insert has a kerf in it for both full kerf and thin kerf blades. I just turn the insert around to match kerfs.

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