Disappointed with Forrest Saw Blades

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Forum topic by JJackson posted 08-07-2009 04:02 PM 4696 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JJackson's profile


104 posts in 4256 days

08-07-2009 04:02 PM

I had a WWII that for some reason kept hitting my zero clearance insert in my tablesaw on start-up and shutdown. I checked the arbor and trunnion and everything was good. I put 2 different blades on the saw and they did not hit the insert one bit. So, through the process of elimination I came to the conclusion that the blades was bent somehow??

I called Forrest and they said to send it back and they would look at it. Cool! I took it to Woodcraft, (where I bought it) and they sent it back to Forrest. I got the blade back from Forrest and on the ticket it said “sharpened and test cutted, blade checked ok.” Well, I thought they had fixed the problem so I took it home and mounted it on the saw and it still does the same thing! Not only does it hit the zero clearance insert, but it throws a rooster tail of sawdust back at me! (no, the fence is dead on, cause that’s what I thought too.)

Two weeks ago I sent Forrest an email asking them how I should proceed. I told them that with shipping and sharpening I am rapidly approaching the price of a new blade if I send it back again. I asked them if I should just throw it in the trash and buy another one or if they wanted to look at it again. Well, its been two weeks and I have not received any response from them. I am very disappointed that I have not gotten a response of any kind from them. I think I am going to look at a Tenryu Gold Blade today at lunch. Very unfortunate.


-- Jeff, Indiana

50 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3822 days

#1 posted 08-07-2009 04:20 PM

1. I wouldn’t wait that long for a response – they should have a CS phone number for a more immediate response.

2. just a thought – but WWII are thicker than some other blades – if you created your ZCI for the WWII and then tried it with another thinner blade – it is very likely that the 2nd blade wouldn’t hit the ZCI as it’s too narrow to reach it- even if your arbor DOES have runout… did you try the same ‘test’ with another blade and a different ZCI for that 2nd blade?

3. it is indeed possible that the blade has some defect… in which case, I would try to resolve this with Forrest as you’ve been doing.

Thanks for reminding us all that nobody/nothing is perfect.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4392 days

#2 posted 08-07-2009 04:27 PM

I had the same issue when I purchased a WWII. I believe Purp is right that they must be a hair thicker than some other blades. I suspect there is just a bit of vibration in my Ridgid TS3660 that was causing the thicker Forrest blade to scrape the zero clearance insert slightly on start-up and slow-down. The good news is that, although it took a month or so of use, the insert eventually adjusted itself to the new blade, and I no longer get the scraping.

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

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3654 days

#3 posted 08-07-2009 04:31 PM

Thats not good if they arent responding to you. Like PurpLev said, I would be calling them. I would think though if the blade is bent, you would see that during rotation, or it would cause a vibration. Something doesnt sound right. Also, once the blade comes up to speed, bent or not, I would think it would cut out your ZCI so that it wouldnt hit it anymore. It almost sounds like the blade or arbor are moving or something is loose.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3902 days

#4 posted 08-07-2009 04:38 PM

Forrest is old school. You will get much better responses by phone.

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3822 days

#5 posted 08-07-2009 04:40 PM

Just to chime in again – I use a WWII on my ridgid TS with a ZCI made for that blade, and it does scrape the edge of the ZCI since the fit is perfect – that’s how its supposed to work – its rubbing against the ZCI but doesn’t ‘hit’ it (get stuck in it), also the sawdust is caused since the dust above the blade doesn’t have anywhere else to go – meaning your ZCI is doing it’s job! how high do you have your blade set above the piece you are cutting? that also makes a difference in the sawdust generation – I only keep it 1 tooth above wood height, this helps keep the dust going UNDER the table and minimizes dust above the table (although not 100%).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3606 days

#6 posted 08-07-2009 04:45 PM

I too had the same problem with a WW II. I didn’t trust myself, so I had a cabinet maker friend come over and look at it. Same thing…hit the ZCI – I enlarged it and still had problems (blade is less than 1 yr old). We tried another blade and established that it was the WW II and not the fence, arbor or anything else. I called Forrest, sent the blade back to them for straighten/sharpen over 2 wks ago. I called them 2 days ago and they were very nice (cust serv) and told me that they had to straighten it, sharpen it and replace 2 teeth! That + shipping back and forth is approaching the cost of a new blade. I DO NOT abuse my tools! I am a little surprised but I know it is a thinner blade than my Freud and maybe it is a little “touchier” than the thicker blade. Interesting to see someone else with this issue!
Also…they tend to slow down production/repairs for the summer (according to CS) so it takes longer to do things. I’m glad I wasn’t waiting with baited breath for it!!!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 3623 days

#7 posted 08-07-2009 05:02 PM

What I don’t understand is if there is a defect in the blade why does Forrest charge anything to correct the problem?

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3996 days

#8 posted 08-07-2009 05:06 PM

My experience with Forrest is that when you call them you get routed to voice mail and they don’t return calls. The one time that I did reach a live person (out of 4 calls) he seemed to be in a hurry to get me off the phone and the standard answer was “send the set in and we will take a look at it”.

But I can’t really complain about their customer service too much though. I mailed a dado set in for repair and sharpening. After two weeks I left an voice mail message requesting an update on the status and requested that once the dado set was ready to ship a set of magnetic shims with the order. I received the dado set and the shims the next day via UPS. But Forrest never did return my call.

Will I continue to use Forrest? The answer is yes both for blades and sharpening. But I do not expect them to improved on their customer service or lack thereof.

It would be nice if they would take lessons from Ron Hock, President of Hock Tools. Ron answers the phone personally and is more than willing to listen to your problem.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View JJackson's profile


104 posts in 4256 days

#9 posted 08-07-2009 05:24 PM

These days with time being short, I think I will probably throw that blade on the shelf and call it good. I really don’t want to get into sending the blade back again cause I am reaching the new price of a Tenryu Gold blade that Hal Taylor uses. I just know I won’t be buying Forrest anymore.

I only raise the blade 1 tooth above the board I am cutting. I made my zero clearance insert by raising the WWII up through it and it has never hit the ZCI before. Who knows, I don’t, but I will just mark them off the list of manufacturers I buy from. But the good news is, the good Lord let me wake up this morning and its a gorgeous sunny day out!!!


-- Jeff, Indiana

View bobdurnell's profile


315 posts in 4071 days

#10 posted 08-07-2009 06:17 PM

To JJackson— Sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve had with the Forrest blades. In all the blogs I didn’t hear anything about the blade stabilizers that you kinda use with all the Forrest blades. I have one on my rad saw, and my contractors saw, but not with the chopmaster on my sliding Makita miter saw. I do believe that the stabilizers help. I have had all of my Forrest blades sharped twice and not a problem.

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View knotscott's profile


8140 posts in 3549 days

#11 posted 08-07-2009 06:30 PM

Blade thickness difference could indeed account for a mismatch with the ZCI, but it should eventually clear it’s own path. The thinner blade will naturally have less contact with the ZCI, so comparing one blade to another with regards to clearance in the ZCI is unproductive. Ideally, each blade should have it’s own custom insert.

If there’s truly a defect, I’d expect Forrest to fix it, but it’s worth taking the time to really isolate the cause before crying foul on Forrest. Typically their blades are excellent and are made to tighter tolerances than the masses. The Tenryu Gold Medal you mentioned is very comparable to the WWII, but it’s made in Japan vs the USA, and is only available in one kerf width of 0.111” vs the standard full kerf of 0.125” or 0.98” of most thin kerfs.

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

View thiel's profile


392 posts in 3466 days

#12 posted 08-08-2009 05:35 AM

I had a similar problem with a warped wwii and Forrest replaced it no problem. They are definitley old school and you should call them. I spoke with Tony F and he could not have been more helpful or more customer focused. PM me for contact info. They replaced my blade no charge and I was out of warranty!

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View MrRon's profile


10 posts in 3417 days

#13 posted 08-08-2009 11:23 PM

Aside from the blade hitting the ZCI, how does the blade cut a piece of wood? Have you checked the wood with a square to see if the cut is square? How is tearout on the wood? Try cutting a piece of plywood to check tearout. Does the ZCI fit tightly in the table or does it have any play? Did you use a dial indicator to check for runout of the arbor and blade? I seem to think you have not given us all the facts.

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3792 days

#14 posted 08-09-2009 12:04 AM

The blade is one issue but the poor customer service is what concerns me. I’ll be waiting to see how this ends before purchasing that Forrest Chopmaster….......

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View JJackson's profile


104 posts in 4256 days

#15 posted 08-09-2009 01:19 AM


Been working wood for about 12 years now, and have checked all the possibilities with the table saw. The saw is a 5HP Shop Fox and runs very well. I checked the runout on the arbor and also the runout on the fence. Everything is good to go. Plus, when I install other blades in the saw, the problem goes away. I will probably just throw the blade on the shelf and move on.

My issue is I paid $100 for the blade, paid to ship it back, paid to have it sharpened and paid to have it shipped back after being “repaired”. If I ship it back again and have it “repaired” again and have it shipped back, I am rapidly approaching the cost of new. I am VERY easy to get along with. They could have sent me an email that said, “your blade is junk, buy another one” and I would be completely fine with it. All I ask for is a response. Why list an email address for customer service when you don’t answer them??

-- Jeff, Indiana

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