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Harbor Freight Dado Set

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Forum topic by yermom posted 02-16-2009 09:24 PM 13617 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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yermom

3 posts in 2846 days


02-16-2009 09:24 PM

hi everybody!

i’m new here, and i have a quick question. i needed to get a dado set, and i didn’t want to spend a ton on it. i’ve heard the harbor freight ones are actually pretty decent. i picked up the “Lifetime Carbide” 8” set the other day for $30, but i’m worried about the fine print. it says:

Caution: Never use this dado stack set on table top saws. These saws do not have adequate arbor shaft lengths, run at too high RPM speeds and lack the required horsepower to pull a dado stack set.

i bought the set specifically to use on my table saw (Bosch 4100-09). from what i can gather the rpms are around 3650. i haven’t tried to fit the blade on the arbor yet.

is this safe to use?

also, how much arbor thread should be left at minimum after installing the blade?

what does everybody think?

thanks!


31 replies so far

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

1789 posts in 3450 days


#1 posted 02-16-2009 09:46 PM

You should be OK as it’s a “stacked set”. Wobble dado sets are pure danger in a box! I’ve bought an 8” Irwin stacked set and use it on a Craftsman TS with no problem. My saw comes with removable spacers on the arbor so I can accommodate a full set. If you have 1/4” threaded shaft remaining then you’ll be able to get the nut on fully and should be OK. Just be sure to use push blocks and feather boards…and feed slowly. Dado’s cause some of the worst TS accidents.

The warnings I’ve seen relate to Radial Arm saws (table top saws)...but hey! Norm does it! Why can’t we?

Wood mag recently did an article on getting a real tight fitting Dado using the provided shims. Check it out!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3678 days


#2 posted 02-16-2009 09:49 PM

I think you would be within the RPM limits they are talking about, and as long as the blade fits on the arbor with plenty enough threads exposed to secure the nut, I think you are okay there also.

Having said that, though, I personally would not use a $30 dado set out of fear that something might come flying off at high speed. I’m not against using cheap stuff from HF sometimes, but not when it is the kind of tool where a manufacturing defect could be downright dangerous.

Busting my knuckles because a cheap pipe wrench broke is one thing. Picking carbide tips out of my forehead is something else entirely.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View juniorjock's profile

juniorjock

1930 posts in 3225 days


#3 posted 02-16-2009 10:01 PM

Charlie and Dadoo have some good advice. I’ve got a Grizzly 8” dado set that does great. I think I paid around $50 for it.
- JJ

View bsherman's profile

bsherman

76 posts in 2987 days


#4 posted 02-16-2009 10:03 PM

I tried that HF and the bottoms were not smooth, so I returned it.

-- Brian

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8iowa

1546 posts in 3221 days


#5 posted 02-16-2009 10:25 PM

I just purchased my second dado set for my “Workshop in the Woods”in the U.P. Once again I bought a 6” Oshlun carbide stacked set from Rockler for around $65 including shipping. They have 20% off one item thru 2/21.

This is a very high quality set that includes metal spacers. It is capable of being set to the “undersized” plywood dimensions. Not all dado sets are. I use it on my table saw without any problem.

Basically the choice between 6” and 8” boils down to the power of your saw, ie: the amount of cutting torque that can be produced at 6” and 8”. If you have a saw that operates on a 120V 15 amp circuit you might be better served with the 6” set.

Take the HF set back for a refund.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

938 posts in 2853 days


#6 posted 02-16-2009 10:38 PM

I have this S E T from Freud for sale…....$70 near new. shipping included.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

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yermom

3 posts in 2846 days


#7 posted 02-17-2009 01:47 AM

thanks everybody! i appreciate the input!

View FEDSAWDAVE's profile

FEDSAWDAVE

293 posts in 2891 days


#8 posted 02-17-2009 04:10 AM

“Lifetime Carbide?” Whos lifetime?

-- David, Tools4solidsurface.com

View Lenny101's profile

Lenny101

22 posts in 2897 days


#9 posted 02-17-2009 04:49 AM

HF hmmmm don’t waste your money good rule of thumb if its too good to be true OR CHEAP than its most likely not worth it watch out those blades will throw teeth if they get too hot!!! buy a nice set of anything but HF..

-- cut it twice and its still too short

View pitchnsplinters's profile

pitchnsplinters

262 posts in 2897 days


#10 posted 02-17-2009 04:53 AM

Don’t expect much. Nice that they sell a product that they disclaimer the crap out of. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

View Lenny101's profile

Lenny101

22 posts in 2897 days


#11 posted 02-17-2009 04:58 AM

nice to se lemmy is here!! :) good advice

-- cut it twice and its still too short

View pitchnsplinters's profile

pitchnsplinters

262 posts in 2897 days


#12 posted 02-17-2009 04:59 AM

And Lenny.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

View Gary's profile

Gary

8968 posts in 2892 days


#13 posted 02-17-2009 05:25 AM

Pitchnsplinters is right. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Problem is, sometimes you pay for what you get.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View yermom's profile

yermom

3 posts in 2846 days


#14 posted 02-17-2009 07:58 AM

thanks again for the advice everybody!

so i ended up going with a mibro dado set:
http://www.amazon.com/Mibro-416371-8-Inch-Stacking-Blade/dp/B000HE87VI

$45 at lowes. sorry doubthead, i need to get started tomorrow. i think this will suit my needs, and it fits nicely in my budget. i can’t quite justify the freud set…....yet….

in the end i didn’t like even the possibility of carbide tips flying at my head. back to the store with the HF set!

quick question though -

if i’m only cutting out 1/4”, do i need only one spacer between the blades?

thanks!

View juniorjock's profile

juniorjock

1930 posts in 3225 days


#15 posted 02-17-2009 01:37 PM

I had the same Milbro set. You’ll wish you got the Grizzly set (only 5 bucks more).
- JJ

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