Which table saw insert is better for using a dado blade

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Forum topic by BillHall posted 09-26-2016 01:41 PM 214 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 351 days

09-26-2016 01:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw joining

Hi guys,
I want to do some dados on my table saw but was wondering about the saw insert. Is it better (safer) to use the dado insert or a zero clearance insert? Thanks for your feedback

4 replies so far

View mike02130's profile


58 posts in 94 days

#1 posted 09-26-2016 02:32 PM

Trace the insert on a piece of plywood or poplar and use that. Lower the blade and slowly raise it up. Zero clearance. Just make sure you hold the insert down when you’re raising the blade.

-- If the tool was invented after the Depression, I don't need it.

View brtech's profile


883 posts in 2344 days

#2 posted 09-26-2016 02:50 PM

The smaller the gap between the blade and the insert, the safer, but the real reason for a zero clearance insert is to support the fibers of the wood to get less tear-out.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4825 posts in 2235 days

#3 posted 09-26-2016 03:03 PM

Make or buy a ZCI for the specific dado width you plan to make. While you’re at it, make one for each common size including a 3/4” stack. That is the size I use most frequently.

I prefer MDF for making ZCI’s, or better yet MDF covered with Formica.

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

View BillHall's profile


3 posts in 351 days

#4 posted 09-26-2016 05:24 PM

Great advice, guys. Thanks very much.

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