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Thin Kerf vs. Full Kerf

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Forum topic by buckbuster31 posted 08-17-2017 06:03 PM 566 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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buckbuster31

178 posts in 267 days


08-17-2017 06:03 PM

What is everyone’s thought on this. What do you all like better?


14 replies so far

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Madmark2

332 posts in 340 days


#1 posted 08-17-2017 06:12 PM

TK blades rule! They cut faster and produce 25% less sawdust and increased yeild.

Freud LU83 thin kerf blade is what I use to good effect.

M

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newwoodbutcher

654 posts in 2602 days


#2 posted 08-17-2017 06:15 PM

I have both they are Forrest WWII blades. I bought the thin kerf one for my original contractor saw. When I upgraded to a cabinet saw I got a full kerf blade to go with it. I switch blades when one is in for sharpening, honestly, on the cabinet saw, I can’t tell the difference between the two blades.

-- Ken

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greenacres2

304 posts in 1919 days


#3 posted 08-17-2017 06:18 PM

Not to be a smart-aleck, but….Yes.

I like both depending on what wood/material i’m cutting, direction of cut (cross, rip, angle), whether or not through cut, likelihood of wood closing on the rip, etc. With the variety available at prices that are not unreasonable, my preference is to change to the blade that the cut is calling for. (last week I used a very thin 7.25” blade on my TS to cut the grooves to put a Celtic knot in a pen blank—less than 1/16” and it looks huge on the pen!!)

earl

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TheFridge

7699 posts in 1237 days


#4 posted 08-17-2017 06:52 PM

I like full because deflection is less.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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buckbuster31

178 posts in 267 days


#5 posted 08-17-2017 07:08 PM

that was my thought too, fridge. I have never used full kerf. I was thinking maybe a blade stiffener with thin kerf.

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knotscott

7707 posts in 3127 days


#6 posted 08-17-2017 11:16 PM

If all else is equal (an important variable), full kerf has the advantage of better stability and better heat dissipation. However, a 1/8” full kerf blade is 33% wider than a 3/32” TK blade, and it takes proportionately more power to spin it. Kerf width is only only one aspect of the overall equation. Good design and high quality are important in order for both types to perform well, and there are good and bad examples of both, but in this day and age it’s harder to find full kerf examples at the lowest end of the spectrum. There are pros and cons with each, and I’ve gotten pretty comparable cutting results with both types. TK tends to make less noise, less saw dust, and less waste, but the waste is a very minor factor unless you’re doing high volumes of expensive woods.

If you have ample power (> 2hp that requires 220v), full kerf is what I’d recommend. If not, my 120v contractor and hybrid saws had a much easier time spinning a good TK even when powered with 220v, so that’s the way I’d go with a smaller saw. I pretty much used TK blades exclusively until I got a 3hp cabinet saw…now I use mainly full kerf blades.

Regardless of which you use, the proper blade for the task is important, a well tuned saw works better, and flat straight lumber makes better cuts.

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

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Carloz

716 posts in 343 days


#7 posted 08-18-2017 08:35 PM

The only case I know where standard kerf outperforms is when cutting off very thin amount of material less than the width of the kerf from a thick piece of wood. I find that a thin kerf blade in this case deflects enough to leave noticeable marks.

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Ripper70

419 posts in 660 days


#8 posted 08-18-2017 08:43 PM


If you have ample power (> 2hp that requires 220v), full kerf is what I d recommend. If not, my 120v contractor and hybrid saws had a much easier time spinning a good TK even when powered with 220v, so that s the way I d go with a smaller saw. I pretty much used TK blades exclusively until I got a 3hp cabinet saw…now I use mainly full kerf blades.

- knotscott

Agreed. I’ve only ever used a full kerf blade. But when I went from a 1.5 h.p. 110v to a 2 h.p. 220v saw, the difference was quite noticeable. The full kerf blades I use (Freud) cut like a hot knife through butter on just about anything I’ve thrown at them.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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Carloz

716 posts in 343 days


#9 posted 08-18-2017 08:49 PM

One more thing is that with a standard kerf blade you have more chance of a kickback. I do not have however facts to support this. Just think that a thin kerf grabs less material and is more likely to deflect than pinch the wood when pushed from the side.

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jbay

1655 posts in 651 days


#10 posted 08-18-2017 09:12 PM


One more thing is that with a standard kerf blade you have more chance of a kickback. I do not have however facts to support this. Just think that a thin kerf grabs less material and is more likely to deflect than pinch the wood when pushed from the side.

- Carloz

I agree.
————————————————————————————-
I would think it would be just the opposite. Kickback is Normally caused by the wood being pinched, therefore it wouldn’t matter whether it was a thick or thin kerf. A thin kerf has more chance to wobble or deflect causing it to realease and then pinch, so I would think the chances of kickback are increased.

(But then, IDK, I haven’t had a kickback in over 20 years and I rarely use thin kerf blades.)

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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JackDuren

313 posts in 711 days


#11 posted 08-18-2017 10:10 PM

I got no use for thin kerf. All my setups are full so why throw a wrench in…

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BenjaminNY

114 posts in 1154 days


#12 posted 08-18-2017 11:01 PM

My cabinet saw has plenty of power but I still use a thin kerf blade. Only time I use a full kerf is when I use a flat top grind blade for joinery.

Using a full kerf blade just wastes wood. There is no reason to use them unless you already have them and don’t want to buy a new blade yet.

I really don’t buy the whole “FK is more stable” thing. If you have to push the wood so hard it’s making your blade deflect then your blade is dull or something else is FUBAR.

Roland Johnson from FWW did an article on this a few years ago. I believe he found no difference in terms of deflection between thin and full kerf blades.

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JackDuren

313 posts in 711 days


#13 posted 08-18-2017 11:26 PM


My cabinet saw has plenty of power but I still use a thin kerf blade. Only time I use a full kerf is when I use a flat top grind blade for joinery.

Using a full kerf blade just wastes wood. There is no reason to use them unless you already have them and don t want to buy a new blade yet.

I really don t buy the whole “FK is more stable” thing. If you have to push the wood so hard it s making your blade deflect then your blade is dull or something else is FUBAR.

Roland Johnson from FWW did an article on this a few years ago. I believe he found no difference in terms of deflection between thin and full kerf blades.

- BenjaminNY

I do…..Seen a lot of warped blades thin and full….

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EricLew

160 posts in 1118 days


#14 posted 08-20-2017 05:15 PM

I have the Delta contractor saw, often talked about on this site, and only use full kerf blades, and have never had any issues. The riving knife on that saw is wider than the thin kerf blades, so that’s what I have always bought. As a hobbyist I’m not running the saw all day long, nor do I go through enough material for the small amount of additional waste to make any difference.

-- I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and sawdust in the afternoon

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