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Construction-grade saw blades (Avanti Pro & Dewalt Construction series)?

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Forum topic by paxorion posted 301 days ago 1321 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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paxorion

539 posts in 649 days


301 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: saw blade

When I discovered Lumberjocks a year ago, I found myself quickly adopting the mindset that the big box stores sell mostly junk for the purpose of woodworking. However this view began getting cast into doubt when I noticed that Steve Ramsey appears to be using Dewalt Construction series blades. This led me to pull the trigger on a BOGO Avanti Pro 60T for $25 and installed it into my miter saw a few months ago. So far, I can’t say that I’ve noticed any glaring (performance) issues with it when cross-cutting material, as long as I back up my cuts and take it slow. In addition, it looks like Woodcraft has started stocking Avanti Pro blades online this month.

As an engineer, I do understand that the physics behind saw blade design and construction plays a heavy part in it’s performance. However if I were only working with very cheap material (mdf, pine, poplar), would a better blade offer sufficient advantages to warrant the extra expense over buying a whole bunch of throw-away construction-grade blades (this question would be moot if I moved up to more expensive hardwoods)? For example, points of concern could be…

1 – Cut Quality – Would there be that noticeable a drop in cut quality in cheap material (mdf, pine, poplar), assuming I properly back up cuts (i.e. using a ZCI)
2 – Durability and long-term cost – If the saw blade costs say 1/4 of that of a better blade (I effectively paid $12.50 per blade), and stays sharp 1/2 as long, I would in theory get 2x the cuts for the same price. Is there anything that could argue against the cost advantage of going for throw-away blades? For example, does anyone have any experience or references to durability of the teeth and cut quality for different saw blades over the course of usage?

-- paxorion


15 replies so far

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patcollins

966 posts in 1469 days


#1 posted 301 days ago

You have to be careful with Avanti, there use to be a line made by Freud that were called Avanti that were fairly good, now there is a line at Home Depot also called Avanti that are made in China by god knows who and they simply are not.

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jmartel

1646 posts in 754 days


#2 posted 301 days ago

Personally, I like the Freud Diablo lines. Great performance, marginally more expensive than the blades you got, and still available at any Home Depot. I have a 60T and a 24T.

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patcollins

966 posts in 1469 days


#3 posted 301 days ago

I second that, I have the Diablo 60T in my miter saw for woodworking, I put in the cheap 40T general purpose blade that it came with when I do construction type cuts with it though.

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Rick M.

3788 posts in 984 days


#4 posted 301 days ago

I have always used Freud blades but I bought a set of Dewalt blades awhile back and have been impressed with them. They cut very nearly as well as my Freuds at half the price.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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CharlesA

1113 posts in 401 days


#5 posted 301 days ago

My understanding is that my DeWalt blade is made in the U.S., and my Freud blade is made in Italy, but the dampening slots look like they were made at the same factory.

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paxorion

539 posts in 649 days


#6 posted 301 days ago

pattcollins, I am referring to the made in China Avanti’s. And I’m not excluding the Freud Diablo, as I have the 50T combination for my table saw. In fact, every circular saw blade I use is a Freud Diablo except for the Avanti Pro’s that I eluded to in my post. I was also ready to splurge for the Freud Diablo 60T ($40) or 80T ($50) for my miter saw when I saw the BOGO on the Avanti Pro for half the price (effectively 3-4 saw blades vs 1 Freud Diablo), I thought the price was OK for an experiment. From my current perspective, the Avanti Pro’s cost advantage has not been out-weighted by the quality disadvantage.

What I am hoping to hear from the LJ community isn’t just a “bad move”, “you’ll regret it”, or “reconsider next time”, but rather a “why” explanation. Personal experience, articles showing test results, or anything that has some quantifiable explanation as to why I made the wrong call. However, if I happen to be the first person crazy (stupid) enough to waste my money on this experiment, I will be more than happen to start a blog about my experience.

-- paxorion

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paxorion

539 posts in 649 days


#7 posted 301 days ago

Rick – Which Dewalt blade did you buy? The construction grade or the precision trim?

The construction grade would be in line with what I am asking about, and the Precision Trim more in line with the Freud Diablo and Irwin Marples

-- paxorion

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Jokker78

135 posts in 301 days


#8 posted 301 days ago

I use the precision trim on my table saw, it is the 60t I think. it rips plywood very well. my saw is a little under power and it doesn’t rip oak very well. good cross cuts

-- Measure once, cut , measure again, cut and damn its still to short

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patcollins

966 posts in 1469 days


#9 posted 301 days ago

I wouldn’t rip hardwood with anything more than a 40T blade

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3788 posts in 984 days


#10 posted 301 days ago

Pax, the construction grade. Bought the same set in your link but I got them on sale. I had planned on cutting up some reclaimed lumber and didn’t want to use my good blades just in case I missed a screw or something.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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paxorion

539 posts in 649 days


#11 posted 301 days ago

I just recently re-read knotscott’s post about saw blades, and was clued in on looking at the brazing (how the carbide teeth are joined to the blade body). I suppose the reason why the blue coating covers both the carbide teeth and the rim of the blade, is meant to hide poor brazing, and I have very little reason to doubt that the brazing is of a lower quality on the Avanti Pro, and suspect it could lead to a shorter blade life or higher probability of damage to the carbide teeth. However, I have not seen a reduction in cut quality yet.

-- paxorion

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tefinn

1200 posts in 1040 days


#12 posted 300 days ago

I bought a set of those BOGO Avanti Pro blades about a year ago. I didn’t realize at the time they weren’t the Freud versions. I find that they aren’t that bad for the money, but I won’t buy them again. Too much burning and I can’t run as much wood through them before they dull. I save them for when I don’t want to run a good blade in reclaimed wood.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

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knotscott

5371 posts in 1979 days


#13 posted 300 days ago

If you scout around, there are often great closeout deals going on very nice blades, so I don’t see the need to spend money on lesser blades. Even at regular price, the Freud Diablo, DW Precision Trim, CMT ITK Plus, and Irwin Marpes are usually excellent value…..better carbide, better construction, larger carbide, better design, better sharpening, none are made in China….definitely recommended over a construction series blade. I’d avoid Avanti/Avanti Pro, Irwin Marathon, Oldham contractor , DW construction, Skil, Vermont American, HF, Ryobi, Workforce, and other off-name, low end stuff. IMHO, in most cases it’s better to get one good blade than a multi pack of lesser blades.

Check some of these deals out….
Current Saw Blade Bargains

As an example from the bargain list, you can buy a full kerf 40T ATB general purpose blade made in the USA for $18 that’ll give a WWII a run for the money, and a full kerf 24T rip blade made in the USA for $14…..Cripe combines s/h, so for ~ $20 per blade you get two really good blades…..well worth a little premium IMO vs a cheap knockoff.

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

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paxorion

539 posts in 649 days


#14 posted 300 days ago

tefinn – I have a hunch that I haven’t run as much stock through the set I bought as you may have (it’s dedicated to my miter saw only). Burning sounds like points off for cut quality and dullness is the durability point. It also sounds like you installed the ones you have into a table saw?

knotscott – thanks for chiming in. you raise a good point on shopping around to find more competitive pricing which reduces perceived price advantage. In addition, I just thought about the unspoken “cost” of time spent swapping blades or stepping out to buy new blades.

-- paxorion

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3788 posts in 984 days


#15 posted 300 days ago

nm, found them

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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