Full kerf or thin on 3HP

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Forum topic by agallant posted 12-31-2011 01:27 AM 1398 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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489 posts in 1704 days

12-31-2011 01:27 AM

I just bought a 3HP unisaw. I have a thin kerf and a full kerf WWII. Which one should I use? Does it matter?

11 replies so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1927 days

#1 posted 12-31-2011 01:43 AM

From what I have read, thin kerf saw blades are more useful for saws lacking in horse (1.5 or under) and that on higher power saws they can take a bit of a hit on stability.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2466 days

#2 posted 12-31-2011 01:46 AM

Full, unless you want to save wood loss. Thin kerf requires less
power, not a problem usually with a 3HP saw. Thin kerf blades
flutter in some cuts. Full kerf blades it is much less often a problem.


View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 1828 days

#3 posted 12-31-2011 01:46 AM

I prefer to stick with full kerf blades, since full kerf are generally the same across manufacturers (.126 or just a thou over 1/8”). This keeps all my zero-clearance fences/sleds as zero-clearance. Everyone’s thin kerf is just a bit different.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View jusfine's profile


2311 posts in 1744 days

#4 posted 12-31-2011 02:25 AM

I have the same saw, and switch between blades alot, using thin kerf and full kerf. As was said, saving material is a primary use for thin kerf. Not a worry with your saw.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View hokieman's profile


168 posts in 2572 days

#5 posted 12-31-2011 02:51 AM

Full kerf. Less blade wobble with a full kerf and if you you have the horsepower then go with the full.

View crank49's profile


3683 posts in 1789 days

#6 posted 12-31-2011 04:34 AM

Apparently nobody uses a splitter or riving knife.
Haven’t seen one mention of it in this discussion.

-- Michael :-{| Don't anthropomorphise your tools, they hate it when you do that.

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5898 posts in 2194 days

#7 posted 12-31-2011 05:46 AM

With that much power I’d use full kerf unless I had lots of expensive wood to cut. Thin kerf is easier for a smaller saw to spin.

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

View richgreer's profile


4540 posts in 1892 days

#8 posted 12-31-2011 06:03 AM

I use a thin kerf blade with a stabilizer. On very rare occasions, the stabilizer gets in the way and I remove it.

I have a 2 hp motor on my ts. Even if I had a more powerful saw, I would probably stick with a thin kerf and a stabilizer. Why waste the wood and create more sawdust?

In my opinion, the stabilizer compensates for almost all of the extra wobble in a thin kerf blade.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Cato's profile


641 posts in 2130 days

#9 posted 12-31-2011 03:43 PM

I have both kerf sizes and for some reason just seem to use my full kerf more often. Mine is one a 1.5hp hybrid saw and I have not had any trouble ripping 5/4 hardwood.

View TJU's profile


72 posts in 1474 days

#10 posted 12-31-2011 09:45 PM

I don’t think it matters most of the time. My standard kerf blad is nicer (WWII) so I use that. My saw came with 2 riving knifes so I can use both standard and thin.

-- Although the voices aren't real they have some pretty good ideas.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2298 days

#11 posted 01-01-2012 12:38 AM

I do the same as Rich. I have a 3 HP saw and I use the thin kerf blade with the stabilizer. I like the way it cuts (I actually think it cuts faster) and like Rich said I probably would stick with it no matter what the HP.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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