Dado Set Comparison(HF and Forrest)

There seems to have been a lot of interest lately in the Harbor Freight#44566 I mentioned here a while ago. I did a little more experimenting and updated my site to include this set. I am a little chagrined at my earlier, somewhat glowing, comments because I found the HF set to be considerably poorer than the Forrest. One picture shows the HF to have a lot of tearout and one of the chippers was cut too large in diameter. The HF is on the left and Forrest on the right.
http://home.mchsi.com/%7Elarrylhote/dadocomp/dado9big.jpg
For the whole enchilada see http://home.mchsi.com/%7Elarrylhote/dadocomp/dadocomp.htm
Larry
--
Lawrence L'Hote
Columbia, MO
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
To add my voice to your Forrest chorus ... I just built shop cabinets and cut ... hmmm 4*2*5 upper and 4*2*4 is 72 rabbets and dados in_melamine_ No prescribing, no taping, just a zero clearance insert and no chipout at all. That impressed me, saved me the expense of a special melamine blade, and this was by no means a new dado set either. I'm hoping I didn't take too much life off the Forrest set, but the last dado was as clean as the first.
-- Bill Pounds http://www.billpounds.com/woodshop

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I bought a HF dado a while back, none of the blades and chippers were the same size!! It looked like I cut the dado with multipe passes, adjusting the hight every pass. Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mmmm. Well, this is more like the usual Harbor Freight comments. I was hoping for a miracle.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I checked with a local sharpening shop today. It may be a dumb idea, but the gent said he would charge $15 to measure all the blades/chippers and grind them all to one diameter. I think I will give it a try. I am not going to buy a $200+ Forest, and the $100 Freud may find it self a hame with me, but in the mean time I think I will toss $15 more into the HF dado and see what happens! I should just return it, but I have had it way over their return policy. Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The $15 sharpening job on my HF el-cheapo ($5 on sale) saw blade made it a very nice cutting blade. Still not as good as a real blade, but it does a decent job for most work. If your local sharpening shop can get it concentric and you don't mind messing with oddball widths it sounds to me like a winning solution. Of course I'm using the old Craftsman Kromedge dado set I got from my dad that he bought back in the 1970's.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I just used mine today before I read this. Here's my experience with some covered particle board. I think with HF there's a certain luck of the draw when you buy stuff. As far as I can tell all the chippers on mine are just right. Dados I've cut in regular 2x4s are dead flat across the bottom as well. The groove in the picture is 3/4" so all the chippers but the thin one are on the stack.
http://www.avercy.com/knothole/dado/dado.htm
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Someone was actually trying to compare HF to Forrest? Seriously I thought it was a joke thread until I read it.
Jim

HF
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Kountz responds:

It wasn't? My first impulse was to answer, "There is none." So was my second impulse.
Charlie Self "It is not strange... to mistake change for progress." Millard Fillmore
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In rec.woodworking snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

What a couple of jerks. Either that or idiots. When Forrest has the nerve to charge #250 for a dado that can be had for HF for $20 on sale, it is a perfectly valid and intelligent question to ask, "What is my money getting me for 12X as much?"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

<cut n' paste...>

Depends. If $250 is pocket change to you, then it may be valid but certainly not intelligent.

Maybe they're not looking to optimize cost in this equation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Man, it looks like the experiences are all over the map!!!
If you got yours for $20, could you give me the catalog number for your #44566? Harbor Freight has different prices for the same thing. They use catalog part numbers to differentiate the sales price from the standard price.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

FWIW I believe the slightly larger size of the one chipper I used in my testing can be 'adjusted' with a little judicious abrading. True, buying from Harbor Freight is somewhat of a crapshoot. I've returned stuff..like a $200 sheet metal brake that had been dropped....they seem very willing to take stuff back. Sorry, I don't know the sale number for the #44566(sale price $40) but I'm sure , if you've ordered from HF before, a catalog will come your way with the thing on sale again. Larry http://home.mchsi.com/~larrylhote
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Regarding the chippers for the HF (and other dado sets) not leaving a flat-bottomed groove: It may be the saw. On mine, the threaded portion of the arbor is *ever so slightly* smaller in diameter than the spot where the normal blade seats. So I sometimes have trouble with the bottoms of dados cut with a stacked set.
I can tell it's the arbor, because the first blade goes onto its seat with essentially no perceptible play whatsoever. The chippers, and outside blade, which sit on the threaded portion of the arbor, have a barely perceptible play when I'm putting them on. Swapping them one at a time for the inner blade proves the problem is the arbor, not the holes in the chippers and outside blade.
I suppose I could pull the arbor, and either have somebody make a new one, or weld some metal onto this one and re-machine, but so far, I've been able to live with it.
YMMV, HB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have a Delta contractos TS, the arbor threads are flat on the top, same size all the way across. The blades and chippers fit tight over the threads, barely able to get them on and off! It is the dado set! Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR WITH HF!!!!
I tried out for the first time a set of non-wobble HF dados and really felt screwed. The bottoms of my cuts were worst than your photos with respect to different sized chippers but the most frustrating part was to have to use a 0.020 shim in the set up to get a 3/4 dado. I checked the width of the cutting teeth and the width of each individual blade and found differences of up to 0.010 for each blade. The whole set ended up in the trash can. They would have gone back but I couldn't find the receipt and the local HF store has a no receipt no return policy. Back to my Fruend's we go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The Freud SD208 is a great all around dado set. For hard and softwood (not ply or manufactured products), the SD308 is best. I bought one at Freud's suggestion for the problem of blowing out splinters when you exit in crosscut. The SD208 (because of the negative hook) pushes the back out (blows it out). The positive hook SD308 slices the back and does not blow it out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a question for those who have purchased the HF dado set. Hav
any of you had it re-sharpened at a saw shop? I ask because I use dado set in my shop that is 60 years old (it belonged to m grandfather, and he bought it in the early 1940's). When I have thi set sharpened, I'm always asked if I want it sharpened for a fla bottom or glue line. With the glue line set, it leaves very smal ridges in the bottom of the dado, which, I presume, increases surfac area for gluing
-- makesawdust
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What the glue line sharpening refers to is a way of sharpening blades as to leave a small chase for glue to squeeze out of when clamping up . The outside blades are a hair taller than the chippers as to leave a small vee on the outside edges of the dado that the glue can flow out of.
Chris Melanson BLH Millwork LTD.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.