12-inch Oldham blade: 120C480. Good/bad?

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Forum topic by ferstler posted 02-04-2011 11:47 PM 3503 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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342 posts in 3718 days

02-04-2011 11:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question blade

I was looking through my Grizzly catalog and saw an entry for an Oldham 12-inch crosscut blade, model number 120C480. This seems to be their premium thin-kerf crosscut blade. I tried looking on the internet for some reviews and comments, but there were none, beyond some vague specifications from various sales sites. Nothing about hook angle (important with a sliding saw, which is what I have) or even the specific kerf size. Oldham seems to work this way, which makes me suspicious.

Still, there is the price issue. I think this is a fairly new blade. Amazon sells it for about $46 (indicating a list price of $86), and a few other sites have it at around $32. Grizzly sells it for $30, and so if it is decent and the list price really is $86 bucks that would be a great deal.

However, it may be a dog, and I do not care to pay for a dog of a blade. I already have a superb Freud Industrial LU91 for more precision and detailed work with my sliding miter saw (a Ridgid MS1290), and also have the borderline decent Ridgid blade that came with the saw for use with rough and tumble and risky wood work. However, I would like to have a somewhat better blade than the Ridgid blade, even if the additional blade is not quite as good as the Freud. The Oldham might be fine for work that does not require absolute precision, and this would save wear and tear on the Freud.

Any help would be appreciated.

Howard Ferstler

10 replies so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3372 days

#1 posted 02-04-2011 11:53 PM

The Freud and the Forrest Woodworker I are probably the best blades for this application.

I hear good things about the products from Ridge Carbide and Systimatic, too, but … being in the same position, and needing an 8” for my RAS … my little sliver of research led me to the Forrest and the Freud, first.

-- -- Neil

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 3718 days

#2 posted 02-05-2011 12:13 AM

No doubt they are the best, and if my Freud LU91 runs into trouble down the line that cannot be fixed by a simple resharpening job I will consider opting for the proper, premium-grade replacement. However, what I was asking was whether a blade for decent general-purpose work that costs a lot less than either of those would be worth the money.

Howard Ferstler

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3886 days

#3 posted 02-05-2011 12:21 AM

I believe that “knotscott” is our resident blade expert here on LJ….give him a shout : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3430 days

#4 posted 02-05-2011 12:22 AM

Mind you, I am a huge bang for the buck kind of guy, but aside from my cement fiber cutting blade for my circ saw, I haven’t owned an Oldham blade yet that I liked…

If you are wanting a lower dollar 12” blade, you might consider the Diablo line from Freud. I have the D1280X in my 12” slider, and a D1040A, and D1080X for my table saw. (I also have a D1084L in my non slide 10” CMS). The results have been fantastic out of each of these blades, and the price points are well within reason…

The D1280X runs $54.95 regular price, but I have seen them go on sale every once in a blue moon…

Not sure which series, but I have heard good things about the DeWalt blades as well…

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View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3372 days

#5 posted 02-05-2011 01:06 AM

What about the Freud D1296N ?

-- -- Neil

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2883 days

#6 posted 02-05-2011 01:32 AM

I can’t speak for Oldham’s 12” blades but they are my blade of choice for my table saw in the 10” variety. They are the “energizer bunny” and I used to be able to get them at HD at under $20. I refuse to pay $100 for a saw blade when it only amounts to 1/64th vs 1/128th precision.

I have a 12” Dewalt miter saw (10 years now) and am still on the same OEM blade (although I just finished 500 sq ft of composite flooring and as I move back to trim work I think it is finally time to get a new one). I’m going to get another Dewalt.

View knotscott's profile


8146 posts in 3574 days

#7 posted 02-05-2011 06:17 AM

I’ve heard that Oldham’s Signature series is pretty respectable, but have never been motived to try that line ever since being totally disgusted with the performance and longevity of one of the Oldham 60T industrial blades from HD. There are so many excellent choices available…I’d pass on this Oldham and would stick with a proven choice from Infinity, Freud’s Industrial line, CMT’s Orange line, Forrest, Ridge Carbide, Tenryu, or the former DeWalt series 60. If those choices are more than you want to spend, I’d look to the Oshlun line for good value in a full kerf blade….Holbren has good pricing and cheap shipping (use “BT310” code for 10% off).

A 12” span is pretty large for a thin kerf blade, and crosscutting requires less power, so there’s really little incentive to use a TK on a 12” crosscut application.

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

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3334 days

#8 posted 02-05-2011 06:30 AM

I had Oldham for my circular saw, it had a shorter than normal life, so not being thrilled about them I never bought another one …

-- Rick

View cabmaker's profile


1740 posts in 3007 days

#9 posted 02-05-2011 06:41 AM

The price is attractive and that is the stratagey. That blade will be very shortlived with anything beyond occasional use. I can say that because I tried to escape the price of premium blades too with that blade. I didnt make it.

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 3718 days

#10 posted 02-05-2011 11:16 PM

I appreciate all the input. My local HD has the Freud Diablo models, of course, and I will look into them. Seems like a good compromise, especially since I am impressed with my thin-kerf Freud Industrial LU91. In any case, I think that the Oldham is officially off my list.

Note that Lowe’s is now selling the grey-finish CMT blades, and they seem to be in the same price class as the Diablo line. How about that CMT model? Is it basically the TK version of the orange-finish versions? Any opinions on performance quality in relation to the Diablo versions?

As for the limitations of a thin-kerf blade in a 12-inch configuration, well, I can see the point. However, knotscott also noted that there is less work for a crosscutting blade to do, so I would imagine that the stresses that normally try to cause a blade to warp somewhat while cutting would be less also. Less blade strength with TK, but also less stress on the blade to begin with. Consequently, maybe there is a strength vs stress tradeoff that ends up with a TK blade doing just fine with crosscutting.

Howard Ferstler

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