Thin Kerf Vs Standard Kerf on a 10" FTG Circular Saw Blade

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Forum topic by rwachtell posted 08-10-2011 09:15 PM 6094 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rwachtell's profile


6 posts in 2720 days

08-10-2011 09:15 PM

I make spline joints on picture frames and this BLOG has been very helpful in providing me info on the type of blade I wish to use for cutting splines.

I need a new blade for my table saw and I have narrowed it down to one of two blades, the Freud 24Tooth FTG standard kerf and the Freud 24Tooth FTG thin kerf. Can anybody tell me the difference in performance in these two blades based on the kerf thickness? I will also be using this blade to rip lots of 5/4 soft maple. Will the thinner kerf hold up to lots of ripping as well as the regular kerf? Which one will rip better? I have a small Makita Table saw that uses a 10” blade.

Thanks in advance.

9 replies so far

View Viktor's profile


466 posts in 3657 days

#1 posted 08-10-2011 11:39 PM

Thin kerf will be better, especially on a small saw. It is noticeably quieter, wastes less material, and the feed rate is greater (potentially less burning). Some people complain about the stability of thin kerf blades, others don’t notice any problems.

It will probably hold up to ripping better than regular kerf. Although you have the same amount of material to be removed per unit width (of the blade), your feed rate is likely to be greater with thin kerf, hence each tooth will be removing thicker shavings. It will also generate less heat.

On the down side it seems to me that thin kerf blades tend to have thinner carbide tips (less room for re-sharpening). Perhaps it was just my impression, because I can’t back it up by any actual data.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2893 days

#2 posted 08-11-2011 12:28 AM

I’ve been using thin kerf rip and crosscut for many years. I use a regular kerf laminate blade for plywood and a regular kerf combo blade once in a great while (once or twice a year).

I have an adjustable blade stabilizer that has been really good a making sure the blade is perfectly aligned. Like Viktor, it is quieter, reduces waste and it reduces the load on your table saw motor.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View acducey's profile


65 posts in 2744 days

#3 posted 08-11-2011 01:05 AM

I recently got a new Freud thin kerf blade for a 1-1/2 HP table saw and couldn’t be happier with the results.

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 3759 days

#4 posted 08-11-2011 02:11 AM

I use the thin-kerf Freud Diablo version of that blade in my Ridgid 4510 jobsite saw and it works very well, indeed. Thin kerf blades are a good idea if you have a portable-type saw that lacks the rotational power of a good contractor or larger saw. I have also used the Freud Industrial thin-kerf ripping blade in it with excellent results as well.

I love those red blades.

Howard Ferstler

View knotscott's profile


8178 posts in 3614 days

#5 posted 08-11-2011 03:11 AM

A 1/8” full kerf blade is 33% wider than a 3/32” thin kerf, and requires more power to make the same cut. If all else is equal, the TK will strain your saw’s motor less. A TK will have more tendency to flex than the full kerf, but it’s rarely much of an issue with a good quality blade like the Freud. The mass of a full kerf blade will usually handle the heat of extended ripping sessions better than the TK.

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

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3162 days

#6 posted 08-11-2011 03:31 AM

I use freud TK’s and am well satisfied. Never had a problem. I use them on a Ridgid 3650.

-- Life is good.

View MontanaBob's profile


843 posts in 2923 days

#7 posted 08-11-2011 03:42 AM

I’ve found that the thin kerf blades work good for cross cutting or ripping….but I think the flex in the thin blade is not good when cutting 45 mitres in a hard wood. (At least I couldn’t find any other reason that the mitres have at times been off way to much) I’ve never had trouble with this problem with a thicker blade….....

View knotscott's profile


8178 posts in 3614 days

#8 posted 08-11-2011 03:44 AM

You could be right MontanaBob, but I wouldn’t automatically attribute your results to the fact that it was a TK. It could have been due to the particular blade you used, as opposed to all TK’s.

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

View mediowoodworker's profile


2 posts in 2505 days

#9 posted 03-12-2012 10:01 PM

The main thing here is that you are using this blade for splines. If you want this blade dedicated for splines only, then regular kerf is better. Splines are usually 1/8”. Thin kerf is narrow so getting thinner wood into the spline joint if tougher.

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