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Comparing Dado Blades

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 09-10-2014 11:27 PM 3305 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


09-10-2014 11:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question dado

I bought an Amana 6” dado blade on CL a couple of years ago, and I’ve never been totally happy with it. The bottom of the cut is often a bit uneven, and it is a pain to use all the shims for standard dado sizes. After reading that someone on LJ bought an inexpensive Oshlun dado blade set, I decided to try it. Here’s what I learned today in comparing them.

The Oshlun comes in a handsome aluminum compact case.

The construction of the two sets is very different. The Amana, although clearly used at this point, looks to be far more robustly constructed. The Amana has large carbide teeth and two-tooth chippers. The Oshlun uses round chippers with 4 teeth.

Setting them for a 3/4” dado is a very different experience. The Amana requires the use of 4 spacers in addition to 3 chippers, and I found it difficult today to get it down to 3/4” (was 1/32” over)—probably due to one of the spacers getting caught up on the threads of the arbor somewhere.

The Oshlun was far easier to setup. All the standard sizes use some combination of the chippers—the shims are there to fine tune. On the other hand, when I did the standard 3/4” setup, it was about 1/32” short of 3/4”—meaning that I’d need to fine tine with the shims to get it exactly right. The Oshlun comes with stainless shims instead of plastic.

The two stacks look very different when installed:

So, I cut a dado in scrap cherry and plywood. Often I get a somewhat uneven cut with the Amana, but today the Amana cut was very nice, and the new Oshlun was a bit uneven. The Amana is on the right, Oshlun on left.

The Amana cut in the plywood was almost flawless, the Oshlun pretty good.

I was hoping that the new set would be clearly superior to the old. That is not the case. I think the Oshlun is more user-friendly, the Amana the higher quality set. Now to figure out which one to go with. Thoughts?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson


11 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1196 days


#1 posted 09-11-2014 12:39 AM

I purchased my dado set in the mid 80’s. I think it is Amana, if they were in business back then. I got an extra 1/16” chipper because I was doing something 7/8” and wanted to do it in one pass.
When I set up to do 3/4”. I use the 2 outside blades, one 1/4”, one 1/8” and one 1/16” chippers. I then add shims, about 1/32” thick to get the desired thickness for hardwood plywoods. I have never had the uneven bottom problem you had, but have seen it on other saws.
The design of the outer blades score the edges of your dado. I don’t think having a couple extra teeth on the chippers really make a difference. That said, your presentation should be educational for people who haven’t gotten or worked with dados yet. Thanks. ............ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#2 posted 09-11-2014 12:51 AM

Thanks, Jerry. I went against my instincts and spent time doing this instead of just cutting away from the beginning.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#3 posted 09-11-2014 01:09 AM

I had the same problem, but mine was because my arbor was threaded almost all the way the the flange.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#4 posted 09-11-2014 01:12 AM

Fridge, can you say more?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#5 posted 09-11-2014 01:20 AM

I put on a 3/4” stack and 5/8” of it was on the arbors threads and somewhat loose.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#6 posted 09-11-2014 01:21 AM

gotcha.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#7 posted 09-11-2014 02:56 AM

Apparently that 1/32” variNce is a feature, not a flaw, so it fits plywood with lots of shimming.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2279 days


#8 posted 09-11-2014 06:24 AM

Wow Charles, I must say those cross grain cuts really chipped out the plywood. I have the low-end Freud dado set, and I have never experienced tearout like that. I can usually live with the little scoring lines created in the bottom of the groove, but tearout on the surface would be tough to fix.
Is that typical of the cuts you have experienced with these two brands?

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

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#9 posted 09-11-2014 10:18 AM

I’d be tempted to have the Amana set sharpened…..it’s got so much life left in those huge carbide teeth. Or sell both sets and pick up the DeWalt/Delta 7670, or better yet, the Infinity Dadonator…..both better performers IMO (for more money of course!).

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

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#10 posted 09-29-2014 09:01 PM

So, I took Knotscott’s advice and got the Amana set sharpened. Oh my. See the difference:


-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 890 days


#11 posted 09-29-2014 09:48 PM

Every dado set I have ever owned, I have had to have custom shims made to get the dimensions I need. Just fortunate to have a machinist friend.

I am very happy with my Freud 8” set. Used it this weekend to make some clamp racks. Very clean cuts in plywood at the bottom.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

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