Need help with Choosing TS blade

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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 02-24-2016 04:07 PM 920 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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349 posts in 1580 days

02-24-2016 04:07 PM

I want to upgrade the blade in my old Craftsman TS, it is a really old Diablo blade.
The saw doesn’t have much power like 1 HP and can bog down when cutting thicker hardwood.
I always heard such good things about the Forrest Woodworker II so I was looking at getting the thin kerf but then it seems that the blade stiffener is recommended, so the cost is $127 for the blade and $37.50 for the stiffener which is more than I want to spend. So I found the Freud Premier Fusion for $85 that seems to also get high marks. So I am trying to decide if I should get thin kerf or standard kerf. My understanding is thin kerf will cut easier with an underpowered saw but will deflect more which might make the the cut less clean which is what I am after in the first place. I will also be getting the Leecraft ZCI. Thanks for any advice.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

11 replies so far

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1351 days

#1 posted 02-24-2016 04:13 PM

I have 3 Freud thin kerfs, I dont feel you need the blade stiffners, and yes go with the thin kerf for your HP saw. You will feel a huge difference in power.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3012 days

#2 posted 02-24-2016 04:19 PM

Many good blades to choose from, but definitely the thin kerf.
I am guilty of keeping the 1024 bulk ripping blade on for too many cuts. The Premier Fusion or the Freud Diablo 1040x will probably be my next general purpose blade. I tried the Freud LU84R011 50 tooth industrial full kerf combination blade, but it was just too much for my 1-3/4 hp Jet tablesaw. It is handy to have that full kerf, flat tooth blade for joinery and flat bottom grooves.

Good luck.

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

View rwe2156's profile (online now)


3170 posts in 1680 days

#3 posted 02-24-2016 04:41 PM

I have blades over 20 yrs old so that doesn’t matter. Can you get the blade sharpened?

Definitely thin kerf in that low a powered saw. I don’t use tk blades but what I hear is blade deflection not too much an issue. Personally I wouldn’t put a top end expensive a blade on that TS.

Freud is very good. Also CMT and Amana. I’ve been very satisfied with both of them. I think the CMT rip blades have more carbide (= more sharpenings) and I have the impression they outlast the Freuds. I believe they may tk blades.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View knotscott's profile


8146 posts in 3575 days

#4 posted 02-24-2016 06:26 PM

I’d definitely go with a 3/32” thin kerf. The probability of actual noticeable deflection is very low. On the other hand, being 33% thinner and easier to spin are very noticeable. The cut will often rival that of a full kerf. Also, you shouldn’t need the stabilizer…no real harm done if you get one, but it often benefits the seller more than the buyer.

The Fusion is a very clean cutting general purpose blade…it’s strengths will be clean cutting plywood, fine crosscuts, and clean rips in material up to an inch to 5/4” or so. It’s weaknesses will be more tendency to burn, especially in thicker ripping or materials that are very prone to burning. It has great upside for a general purpose blade, but ismore sensitive to setup, blade height, the material itself, and technique. Same is true of the very similar Infinity Super General. Made in Italy

An excellent alternative that’s a bit less sensitive would be the LU83, LU86, or Infinity Combomax. All are still very good all purpose versatile blades, but don’t have quite that nth degree of potential as the Fusion or SG. Great “set it and forget it” type of blades that will deliver glue ready edges and low tearout. Made in Italy

The Ridge Carbide TS2000 TK is another excellent choice that’s very comparable to the WWII TK. More carbide, a little less expensive. Made in the US

AFAIK, the Tenryu Gold Medal is now available in a 3/32” TK. It’s also very comparable to the WWII, and costs less. Just be sure it’s the 3/32” version not the 0.111” mid kerf. Made in Japan

You might want to consider a separate 24T ripping blade and a 60T or 80T crosscut blade instead of an expensive general purpose blade. Better ripping efficiency from the rip blade, and cleaner crosscuts from the crosscut blade than the general purpose blades. Infinity, Freud Industrial, CMT Industrial, Freud Diablo, and Irwin Marples all offer some great choices in separate task specific blades that shouldn’t give you sticker shock.

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

View Joel_B's profile


349 posts in 1580 days

#5 posted 02-24-2016 06:57 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Decided to go with the Freud Fusion thin kerf. I agonized about the stabilizers but there doesn’t seem seem to be a consensus if they help or not, so simpler is better and save same money. The ZCI should help, will report back after I make some cuts.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View Marlow's profile


178 posts in 2870 days

#6 posted 02-24-2016 07:03 PM

Freud Premier Fusion is an Excellent Blade: although I use the full kerf, I have used thin kerf Freud blades with excellent results. Happy sawing!

View splintergroup's profile


2422 posts in 1421 days

#7 posted 02-24-2016 07:56 PM

You can get a WWII for around $100 if you search and find a sale.
That said, I also use the above mentioned Freud blades and certainly can’t fault their quality.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


7054 posts in 1337 days

#8 posted 02-24-2016 08:22 PM

Both are excellent blades, definitely thin kerf for that saw. I have never used or even had an inkling that I might need stabilizers with my thin kerf blades. Get the blade first and start using it. If you find that you have significant deflection, then you can always add the stabilizers later. Unless there’s some source of excess vibration in your saw or your arbor has runout, I don’t think you’ll see any need for them.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5682 posts in 2608 days

#9 posted 02-25-2016 03:56 AM

I bought the Freud 1040 recently, seems to cut well.

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

View newwoodbutcher's profile


777 posts in 3049 days

#10 posted 02-25-2016 05:03 AM

I’ve had the Forrest Woodworker II thin kerf saw for 20 years, I bought the blade stiffener and used it a few times, I never could never tell the difference between cuts made with it or without it. When I upgraded from a contractors saw to a cabinet saw I made the thin kerf blade my spare whenever the regular blade was in for sharpening. Honestly hardwoods, exotics you name it I can’t tell the difference.

-- Ken

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 1619 days

#11 posted 02-26-2016 04:18 PM

I use nothing but the Freud thin kerf blades in my saw. Ripping, cross cuts, you name it. My saw is an 8” Craftsman “pre civil war” as my granddaughter calls it.

-- Sawdust703

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