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Forum topic by RogerInColorado posted 05-30-2014 05:25 AM 1251 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RogerInColorado

321 posts in 1422 days


05-30-2014 05:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: thin kerf blades

I get the American Woodworker e-newsletter. In today’s issue there was a review of a couple new blades from Freud. An excerpt follows (this is a copy-paste, so the misspelling isn’t mine):

“The D1090X (which Freud calls its “Ultimate Flawless Finish” blade) also has the faces of the teeth ground at an angle. Freud calls this the Axial Shear Face Grind (ASFG), which accentuates the shearing action and produces a glassy-smooth surface with no tear-out. This blade works well in hard and soft woods, but shines when cutting veneered surfaces.

Its kerf is only .084″, so you’ll squeeze more pieces out of that stick of moulding. And the ASFG produces a flawless finish cut that needs no touching up. You can easily cut finished moulding without fear of tearing out.

The D1040X is a general-purpose blade with a .097″ kerf that leaves a surprisingly smooth crosscut surface, given that it only has 40 teeth. For general hardwood and softwood work, this blade is a winner.”{

Here’s my question; my splitter measures 0.090”, putting one of these blades on my Table Saw would be an alignment challenge in the case of the 0.097 kerf, and impossible in the case of the 0.084 kerf blade. Is the splitter on my 1023SLZ Grizzly abnormally thick?

Thin kerf blades, I know, are promoted as being better for saws that are a little underpowered, but this review touts the savings for wasting less wood in the cut. Given a kerf delta of 0.125” minus 0.097 = 0.028”, not very much wasted material, I am really questioning the value of thin kerf blades.

Please share your wisdom on the subject.


9 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7225 posts in 2843 days


#1 posted 05-30-2014 10:05 AM

Wood savings won’t mean much to most weekend warriors, unless they work with a lot of expensive exotic woods. Obviously the wood savings for a high volume commercial shop can be much more significant. The benefit generally comes from the lower resistance to the saw motor. Even though a standard 1/8” blade is only 1/32” wider than a typical 3/32” thin kerf blade, that’s 33% more material being remove and simply requires more power to make the same cut….on smaller saws it’s especially noticeable when ripping thicker materials. An “ultra” thin kerf blade with a 1/16” kerf poses even less resistance than even a typical 3/32” TK. Another benefit is lower noise and less saw dust. The most obvious downside to TK’s is the chance of deflection.

As long as the the blade is wider than the splitter or riving knife, it should work ok. There’s always minuscule amounts of runout from the blade, flange, and arbor that should create enough overall clearance. The ultra thin kerf blades will require a special narrow splitter, or in many cases operators simply remove them altogether….one of the reasons I’m not in favor of substituting extra thin 7-1/4” blades for typical 10” blades (they’re narrower than most splitters).

Thin kerf blades have their place, but it’s important to maintain good quality standards (true of full kerf blades too, but even more important for TKs) ....they’re not all created equal. When I had saws with motors under 2hp, good TK blades were a Godsend (Forrest, Infinity, Freud, CMT, Ridge Carbide, Leitz, etc – the Marples line wasn’t around then). The better TK’s cut extremely well, and helped the saw plow through tough cuts more easily. Once I got a 3hp cabinet saw, there was less incentive to use TKs, and I eventually switched my fleet over to full kerf, but I still have a handful of a good TKs that see some action.

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

View woodchuckerNJ's profile

woodchuckerNJ

1154 posts in 1102 days


#2 posted 05-30-2014 10:58 AM

I own a Forrest WWII thin kerf, I also own a Thin Kerf Freud.

I would not buy a thin kerf again for a TS. The deflection on them is too great when tapering legs, or when cutting bevels.

I do notice a slight diff between the amount of force required from a regular kerf blade, but my regular kerfs are not up to the Forrest’s quality.. so it could be the blade.

-- Jeff NJ

View woodchuckerNJ's profile

woodchuckerNJ

1154 posts in 1102 days


#3 posted 05-30-2014 10:58 AM

I own a Forrest WWII thin kerf, I also own a Thin Kerf Freud.

I would not buy a thin kerf again for a TS. The deflection on them is too great when tapering legs, or when cutting bevels.

I do notice a slight diff between the amount of force required from a regular kerf blade, but my regular kerfs are not up to the Forrest’s quality.. so it could be the blade.

-- Jeff NJ

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1964 posts in 1456 days


#4 posted 05-30-2014 11:52 AM

I have several Freud thin kerf blades and do not notice any deflection at all in the blades no matter what I am cutting. Even with bevels, I do not see any deflection. Deflection of the blade will happen when you put a sideways force on the blade or the blade is bogging down. This is just my experience in cutting everything from pine to hard maple.

My saw is a 3 hp cabinet saw so could use the full kerf and the next blade will likely be a full kerf blade but will need to make certain it is really worth the extra dollars.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1188 days


#5 posted 05-30-2014 12:54 PM

I have several Freud D1040A thin kerf 40T blades and they do very well as a combination blade. They also do very well when ripping dense 12/4 stock. I have noticed deflection issues when trying to just shave a few thousands off whatever I’m cutting, not bad on thin stock, but frustrating on thicker stock.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2535 days


#6 posted 05-30-2014 02:09 PM

I had a couple Thin kerf’s. I used the WWII and it was a good blade, but I don’t know it saves all that much, and that was the main selling point and why I went for it.

I had to use a special splitter (microjig setup). I had no issues using it like that but when I upgraded my TS to the Sawstop, I went back to regular kerfs. One, because the SS splitters won’t support it, but I’d made the decision not to do it again anyway. I sold all my old blades on Ebay as a set and used that to get the regular WWII. That’s my 2 cents worth.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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Redoak49

1964 posts in 1456 days


#7 posted 05-30-2014 09:11 PM

I am not certain where the idea that the SawStop can not use a thin kerf blade. The splitter on my SawStop PCS says it is 0.090” and kerfs of 0.090 – 0.138”. The kerf from a Freud thin kerf is about 0.094”.

From the SawStop website – “The SawStop safety system is designed for use with standard 10” blades with kerfs from 3/32” to 3/16”. Blades with kerfs much thinner than 3/32” should not be used because those blades might not be strong enough to withstand the force applied by the brake when it activates.”

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bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2535 days


#8 posted 05-30-2014 09:45 PM

The idea came from using my blades in my ICS. I tried my thin-kerf and it bound on the backfeed side. I could put some oomph on it and force it, but did not like that at all. I called and was told they use to offer a thin and thick splitter but stopped some time ago and recommended full kerf blades. So, with what I got from the sale of my thin kerf’s I added a tiny bit and got a reg kerf. Hope that explains it.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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Redoak49

1964 posts in 1456 days


#9 posted 05-30-2014 09:57 PM

That is interesting that someone at SawStop would say that as it is in contradiction with what is on their website under FAQ and what I was told when I called them. Maybe, that is what they used to recommend.

It is also interesting that Amazon actually has the thin kerf version slightly cheaper than the full kerf. If I was buying one today, I probably would buy the full kerf given the price.

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