Questions about 8" dado sets

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Forum topic by groland posted 438 days ago 564 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View groland's profile


117 posts in 2044 days

438 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: dodo sets

I have a Craftsman 8” dado set that I bought a long time ago. It has two outer blades and a set of “chippers” that assemble inside the outer blades to determine the thickness of the dado.

I have never been totally satisfied with it because the chippers are about 1/16-3/32 inch shorter than the outer blades resulting in a high center to the dado that then has to be chiseled, planed or routed out. This seems really inept to me, forcing one to do what the dado saw is supposed to take care of—making a flat-bottomed accurate dado. If this is the best one can do, one may as well use a router from the get-go.

Are all dado sets designed this way?

If there is a set which makes flat-bottomed, accurate dados, what is it?

Many thanks,


9 replies so far

View ajosephg's profile


1850 posts in 2193 days

#1 posted 438 days ago

My Oshlun set does not have that problem.

-- Joe

View kdc68's profile


1964 posts in 908 days

#2 posted 438 days ago

I own a Fulton 8” Dado set and achieve flat bottom dados. I bought from Peachtree Woodworking when they offered a 50% sale price

Here is a forum topic that will interest you…in it offers good advice on Freud and Oshlun dado sets

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1728 posts in 1125 days

#3 posted 438 days ago

The outer blades will have the outside tips a little higher than the teeth on most of the better dado sets, but nothing on the order of 1/16”-3/32”. This is for a more clean cut, particularly on veneers (like hardwood plywood). I have a Freud SD 508 set, and do not have that problem….same with a CMT set I have. That’s not to say the bottoms are always crystal clean, if you cut tenons with a dado set they will need a little clean up. The pic isn’t as clear as I would like, but here’s a pic of 3 dados, one cut by a 12-13 year old Freud 508 set that had just been sharpened, a new 508 set, and a new CMT set. The bottoms of these dados are perfectly flat, other than the voids in the plywood I used for the test cut.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View knotscott's profile


5422 posts in 2007 days

#4 posted 438 days ago

For ~ $100 you can get really good dados.

The best set I know of in the ~$100 range is the Delta/DW7670. The Freud 208, CMT, Irwin Marples, and Oshlun are good performers too for a little less. For much less than that, you take your chances. For $200 you can get stellar cuts from the Infinity Dadonator, Forrest Dado King, Freud 508, Ridge Carbide, and Amana sets.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1728 posts in 1125 days

#5 posted 438 days ago

Scott brought up a good point, the $100 sets are very good. In my pic above the CMT set is one of the ~$100 sets I bought when Lowes was clearing them out for a whole lot less (I paid $36 for that one).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View groland's profile


117 posts in 2044 days

#6 posted 437 days ago

Many thanks to all who replied. I do a lot of work with plywood, so that chiseling/planing flat the bottoms of poorly cut dados is really a pain. It’d be worth it to me to have a decent set of dado blades if I’m going to bother with this technique at all.

The photos are much appreciated, and it is obvious to me now that I can do much better with a different set of blades.

Thank you again!


View mtenterprises's profile


818 posts in 1325 days

#7 posted 437 days ago

A proper jointing and sharpening of your dado set will achieve the same results as buying a new set. Explain exactly what you are looking for to your sharpener. He should be able to joint (sharpen to the same size) the two outside cutters and then joint the center chippers a few thousands smaller. If he cannot properly do this find another sharpener.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View NiteWalker's profile


2709 posts in 1209 days

#8 posted 437 days ago

What knotscott said. I’ve been using that delta/dewalt dado set for a while now and it leaves no bat ears. The cmt set I have does, but clean otherwise.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Sandra's profile


4277 posts in 707 days

#9 posted 437 days ago

I’m very pleased with my Freud set. To be fair, I’ve never tried any others, but if my Freud dado set walked away tomorrow, I’d replace it with the same ones.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

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