Which do you prefer 50T Combo or 40T General Purpose Blade

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Forum topic by patcollins posted 12-21-2013 03:44 PM 4289 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1685 posts in 2859 days

12-21-2013 03:44 PM

If you were at the store staring at blades and you just wanted to buy one for general purpose work for the table saw would you grab the 40T general purpose or the 50T combo blade?

24 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2032 days

#1 posted 12-21-2013 03:46 PM

Is that a 40T Freud and a 50T Fischer-Price, or a 50T Tenryu vs a 40T Harbor Freight? Or ??

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View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4928 posts in 3954 days

#2 posted 12-21-2013 04:08 PM

50t full kerf Freud stays on the saw the most, but for a lot of ripping or cross cutting fine work I change to the appropriate blade.


View David Dean's profile

David Dean

608 posts in 2892 days

#3 posted 12-21-2013 04:10 PM

Diablo works good for me and I work with a lote of oak. I use the 50T combo blade.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2242 days

#4 posted 12-21-2013 04:11 PM

This entirely depends on what you are buying and what you are cutting. For aguements sake I am going to assume you are referring to premium segment blades (Forrest, Tenryu, Infinity, Freud Premiere). The same results are not typical with the bargain segment blades (diablo, dewalt, etc)

A 40 tooth general purpose blade is going to give the best compromise. Good finish on your rip cuts but not as efficient as a 24 tooth blade. Cross cuts and cuts in vennered plywood would be acceptable.

A 50 tooth combo blade (like the infinity combo max) will give you better quality cross cuts and less chip out in veneered plywood. Rip cuts will have a nice finish but it will burn more, complain about thicker material more than a 40 tooth GP and may require more effort to push through the saw.

So, you need to ask yourself:

What kind of material do I work with the most (solid, veneered ply, etc)?
How thick is the material I work with?
What type of cutting operation do I do the most on the TS (rip, crosscut)?


View waho6o9's profile


8187 posts in 2570 days

#5 posted 12-21-2013 04:17 PM

I no longer use combo blades as I find using a rip blade more efficient.

Faced with those 2 choices I’d take the 40 tooth.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7754 posts in 2907 days

#6 posted 12-21-2013 04:20 PM

I have the 50T Freud combo. Next one will probably be the 40T. FWIW, my 24T Freud ICE RIP blade cuts so well that many times I don’t bother to swap blades for most crosscuts. That said, I can see the 40T to be a good choice. My 2-cents…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View knotscott's profile


8006 posts in 3369 days

#7 posted 12-21-2013 04:23 PM

Either/or can be very suitable for glue ready joints right off the saw in most materials. As JustJoe points out, there are good and poor examples of each. Over years I’ve tested many of both types, and have made some general observations that the best of the 40T examples tend to leave fewer saw marks and rip more efficiently than 50T ATB/R blades….a finding that Wood Mag also noted in one of the saw blade comparisons a couple of years ago. I also noticed that many of the 50T ATB/R blades are extremely easy to get good results with…. even though they leave slightly more pronounced saw marks, they’re still glue ready right off the saw, and are less prone to burning due to having more side clearance.

If you have a saw that’s extremely well set up, keep the blade very clean, and you demand the highest standards from a general purpose blade, a blade like the 40T Hi-ATB Infinity Super General, very similar Freud Fusion, or the new Forrest WWII 48T are pretty much the top of the heap IMO….as general purpose blades go, they’re excellent and fine crosscuts, ply cuts, and leave very highly polished edges on rip cuts up to ~ 6/4”. Depending on the material and saw, they can be a bit less efficient at thick ripping and slightly more prone to burning than standard ATB 40T blades like the WWII, Tenyru Gold Medal, and Ridge Carbide TS2000, so if you tend to rip more moderately thick hardwoods, one of these 40T options could make for a better choice. The DW/Delta 7657 is a terrific bargain that rivals many of the best full kerf 40T ATB blades at < $30.

If your saw isn’t quite perfectly optimized, and/or you prefer a set it and forget type blade, one of the better 50T ATB/R blades are more forgiving of setup, less prone to burning, and quite frankly I think the configuration just looks cooler! The Infinity Combomax has unique chamfered raker that sits in the middle of the 5-tooth grouping as opposed to the front of the grouping, and has some performance advantages IME. The Freud LU83, LU84, Diablo D1050, Irwin Marples, CMT 215.050.10/216.050.10, DeWalt/Delta 35-7640, DW Precision Trim 7150PT, Tenryu RS25550, and Amana Tools 610504 are all excellent examples of this type of blade.

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View patcollins's profile


1685 posts in 2859 days

#8 posted 12-21-2013 04:40 PM

I am assuming that the blades are the same manufacture and series. Lets assume nothing premium, just good solid ones like the Diablo or Marples series.

I had a 50T CMT that was ok until I decided that it was cheap enough to use to cut the Pergo flooring I put down, now it won’t even cut pine without effort now.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5653 posts in 2807 days

#9 posted 12-21-2013 05:57 PM

1+ with Waho and Mike above, the 1024 rip blade is pretty impressive on my 1-1/2 hp contractors saw. I use the Diablo 1024 thin kerf blade most. I have a 50 tooth Freud industrial combination blade (full kerf) that only gets used for joinery work like cutting flat-bottomed grooves. It cuts too slowly on my saw to handle 1-2” stock without burning.

However, these are the reasons I can get away with using a rip blade for most work…
1. I often use frame and panel construction, so the edge cuts of the panel are hidden.
2. I ease the edges or use a 1/8” roundover bit on tabletops etc. so any imperfections in the edge are erased.
3. I trim parts to length with a repeater at the miter saw. Once tenons are cut, it is the dado blade that does the visible crosscutting, rather than my 10” TS blade.
4. My jointer always has the last word for dressing boards for glueups.

Best of luck.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Woodbum's profile


812 posts in 3059 days

#10 posted 12-21-2013 06:17 PM

40 for a combo blade

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2039 days

#11 posted 12-21-2013 08:43 PM

The same dilemma I had a year ago. I chose the 50T (Diablo D1050X) because it has the raker tooth, and I was hoping to not have to swap out blades when cutting cabinetry door parts. The prospect of a flat bottom cut (in practice, not really…) was important (enough) to me to drive my decision that way.

-- paxorion

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2915 days

#12 posted 12-21-2013 10:13 PM

I only use my table saw for rip or resaw cuts so I use a 24 teeth blade. Diablo thin kerf.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2963 days

#13 posted 12-21-2013 11:27 PM

A factor in cut quality that no-one has mentioned here is how high you set the blade. If you go at your work with any blade at full height you will have saw marks. Lower the blade so only 3 teeth are above the workpiece and you will get a much cleaner cut.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1831 posts in 1963 days

#14 posted 12-21-2013 11:34 PM

I find that the irwin marples 50 tooth gives a much better cut quality than the 40 tooth freud

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2039 days

#15 posted 12-21-2013 11:52 PM

I wonder if the reverse (Freud Diablo D1050X vs Irwin Marples 40T) would tell us more, that is brand vs brand or tooth count/design superiority for general purpose…

-- paxorion

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