I was recently at the Woodworks show in Ontario CA. While wandering around
the small show hoping to see the Lee Valley booth in all its glory (more on
this later), I saw the Ridge Carbide booth. I liked what I saw and picked
up a TS-2000 blade. I had some Walnut to rip so loaded up the TS-2000.
Using it was great. It cut better/smother than my Forrest (freshly
sharpened) and as well as my custom made blade. All-in-all, a very nice
As for Lee Valley, their booth did disappoint me. They had nothing for sale
and delivery on site, only catalog orders with free shipping. But what the
heck, I ordered a router plane and a few other goodies.
Man do I wish Robin would open a store in SoCal! (Maybe he will franchise
on and I'll open it here!)
It was $88.00. Yes, the Forrest was a sharpened at Forrest.
Just for kicks, I pulled a second brand new Forrest WW2 from the shelve,
loaded it up and ripped the same piece. Results were the same. The Ridge
Carbide cut polished clean edge and the WW2 did an very nice job as well.
Under close inspection of both blades, the RC blade does have larger carbide
teeth. This will allow for more sharpening but other than that, they seem
to be of equal quality. However, I returned the RC blade to the saw for
I bought a Ridge Carbide a couple of years ago at a show. They had a very
good deal on the 40T combo and an 8" dado blade. I don't recall the cost,
but it was a saving of well over $50. In comparison tests a few years
back, American Woodworker gave them an Editors Choice.
I am not doubting your conclusions but remember that a blade that is simply
resharpened may not be completely brought back to factory specs. I always
have my blades reflattened when resharpened. If the Forrest is not running
true anymore it could be "out done" by a B&D lifted off the stack of 100 at
I agree. However, it was a factory re-sharpening and I also tested it
against a second, new WW2.
Let me say that I don't know anyone at Ridge Carbide or have an axe to grind
against Forrest. As far as I'm concerened, I just happy to have found
another blade supplier that produces a high quality blade for a reasonable
cost. My custom made blades still do the lion's share of cutting although I
did put the RC blade back into the saw and will give it a long, hard test
First time posting via Google (don't ask), so I don't know if this will
be a bottom or top post. Ah well...
FWIW, I have had a Ridge Carbide blade for about three years and a
Forrest II for about 2 years. They seem to perform the same. Happy
with both. I also bought the RC blade at a woodworking show for about
the same $(I think, poor memory) as Dave.
I've sent the RC blade to Ridge for sharpening but haven't tried it
since I got it back.
Understood, My point was not to condemn your findings and I understand you
feelings. Factory sharpened by Forrest does not necessarily mean that the
blade will be flattened or cut like new. IF the blade is not flat,
resharpening is not going to improve the cut to factory specs regardless of
who resharpens it. IIRC you have to request for the blade to be
reflattened in addition to resharpening or simply ask that the blade be
brought back to factory specs, and hope that UPS does not bend it on the way
Either way I am happy to know about your findings with the Ridge blade in
case I become less enchanted with Forrest.
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