Exotic hardwood ripping blade advice

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Forum topic by jeness posted 12-31-2015 07:26 PM 1655 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jeness's profile


2 posts in 876 days

12-31-2015 07:26 PM

Hello everyone!

I need some advice on ripping real hard exotic woods on the tablesaw (desert ironwood, cocobolo, african blackwood, etc.).

This is the tablesaw I will be using:

The woods I am cutting are around 6” long, and 1 to 1-1/2” square, and I want to cut them into 1/8” strips. I would like to cut up the wood with the least possible waste, and hopefully with the least sanding required after cutting.

As I have read here a lot, I am best off with the ultra thin 7-1/4 size Freud Diablo blades or something similar, but I am a bit concerned what tooth count I should use for that size, 24T or 40T?

What kind of finish does a 24 tooth and a 40 tooth tablesaw blade leave on such hardwoods?

If a 40T would rip fairly nice without burning and bogging with good speed, than there would be the added benefit for crosscuts too, not just ripping.

Thank you a lot in advance for your help, I am open to any suggestions.

12 replies so far

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

940 posts in 2233 days

#1 posted 12-31-2015 07:42 PM

I used a Freud rip blade on Ipe. it cut just fine. I only cut two three foot strips. Your saw is 8” and I do not know how powerful it is. My saw is a 3 hp cabinet saw. I would stick with 24t/in. The cuts I had were very smooth with that tooth count.

-- Jerry

View eflanders's profile


299 posts in 1849 days

#2 posted 12-31-2015 11:12 PM

Use a 24 tooth blade for the fastest cut. For a smoother cut, use the 40 tooth blade. Both blades will work

View eflanders's profile


299 posts in 1849 days

#3 posted 12-31-2015 11:12 PM

Use a 24 tooth blade for the fastest cut. For a smoother cut, use the 40 tooth blade. Both blades will work and I prefer the Diablo blades over most others.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1451 days

#4 posted 12-31-2015 11:39 PM

I’m doing a kitchen in jatoba and I use a Freud 40T LU83 10” thin kerf blade with excellent results both ripping and crosscutting. On really hard woods, say snakewood, it leaves almost a polished face


-- Madmark -

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2182 days

#5 posted 12-31-2015 11:47 PM

I don’t know what the amp draw on that tablesaw is, but it looks like a light-duty jobsite saw. 1.5” thick very hard wood is not going to be super easy to cut with that motor. At the very least, you’ll need to cut the feed-rate down a lot to prevent binding, burning, etc. Even with a thin-kerf blade, at 1/8” strips you’re losing about half of the wood just to the kerf.

What you really should be using is a bandsaw to cut these strips.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View roha2236's profile


42 posts in 964 days

#6 posted 12-31-2015 11:52 PM

The thin kerf Freud premier fusion (40T) and the Freud glue line rip (30T) are other options, although I’m not sure if they come in 8”. I have the full kerf premier fusion and am very pleased with it.

Might also want to consider the micro-jig GRRipper…out of the box you can safely cut 1/4” strips, and you can add-on a piece to cut 1/8” strips safely.

-- Roman

View patcollins's profile


1685 posts in 2863 days

#7 posted 12-31-2015 11:55 PM

I like their Demo Demon for ripping, its a TCG grind and very similar to their 10” Glue Line Rip blade.

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2350 days

#8 posted 01-01-2016 12:32 AM

Freud thin kerf glue line rip.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View knotscott's profile


8014 posts in 3374 days

#9 posted 01-01-2016 12:52 AM

Tooth count by itself is only part of the equation….the blade diameter needs to be taken into consideration for an accurate extrapolation of tooth performance for a given task. If all else is equal, a 10 inch 24T blade will behave differently than a 7-1/4 inch 24T blade, as in the 7-1/4” will behave as if it has more teeth than the 10”. If you plan to use the splitter/riving knife on the saw while ripping (recommended), it’s critical that the kerf of the blade is not narrower than the splitter blade, or it’ll bind…that’s one of the biggest disadvantages of using a smaller blade.

The task at hand is likely to be handful for that saw, so I’d use a good quality sharp, clean blade with the fewest teeth and narrowest kerf that will safely clear the riving knife. It may leave some saw marks, but those can be sanded out if necessary….much easier than burning out a motor! It’ll also help of the boards are flattened and straightened prior to cutting.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2529 days

#10 posted 01-01-2016 01:05 AM

Any chance you have access to a bandsaw? Much better suited to cutting thin strips with minimal waste.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Aj2's profile


1389 posts in 1796 days

#11 posted 01-01-2016 04:36 AM

Squaring small piece of exocits are a pain in the ass.Hopfully your getting the pieces prepared or you are cutting them down from long sticks.It really won’t matter much what blade you use if your pieces are not straight and square from the gate.

-- Aj

View jeness's profile


2 posts in 876 days

#12 posted 01-01-2016 01:08 PM

Wow, that was fast :) I will try to answer all the questions:

I did it with a bandsaw till now, but I am fed up with it. Locally I can’t buy good blades for my bandsaw, so it takes always a lot of time to adjust it, and even than I can cut only 50-100 strips with one 15$ blade comfortably till it starts to wander in the cut no matter what I do. (sadly I have only a small bandsaw) But the biggest problem for me is, that the bandsaw leaves really rough saw marks, which take a lot of time to level out with sanding. I don’t have any equipment to plane those pieces nicely and safely, so I would be happier with a nice surface that tablesaws leave. Not to mention that I always wanted to buy a tablesaw too :)

I will make a zero clearance insert for it, and a “custom” thin riving knife specifically for the blade I will be using.

I was looking at the bigger 2hp 10” tablesaws too, but I thought smaller will be better for me. Maybe I have to consider buying a bigger one :)

And of course I wanted to use those 7-1/4 ultra thin freud blades, but they come with a 5/8” hole for mounting, and all 10” tablesaws use 30mm bore blades here. Can I mount the small blades somehow on those saws?

I can’t buy Freud blades locally, just CMT ITK blades, a 10” CMT ultra thin blade costs around 45$ (24T), 60$ (42T), and these are 1/16 kerf and 30mm bore:

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