Table saw 10" blade kerf, 1/8" or 3/32" ?

I am planning to get a new 10" table saw blade (probably a Forrest Woodworker II). Should I get the 1/8" or 3/32" kerf? What are the pros and cons? (wood waste, kickback, blade stability, sharpening, etc.) What do most woodworker's have? Thanks
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What saw do you have? With a strong saw, I'd say, that, at least for the types of work I do, the reasons for a thin kerf blade are efffectively removed. A full kerf blade is thicker, stiffer, and more stable in every condition of which I can conceive. Miter cuts, compound cuts, anything with side forces on the blade will be more predictable.
But if you're trying to cut 8/4 maple or oak on a Shopsmith, or something else underpowered, that thin kerf might actually make it possible to complete the cut.
I've used a WWII (1/8" kerf), on an older Unisaw at the adult ed shop. I don't think that the cuts were any better than those on my Unisaw at home, with good blades from FS Tools, Oldham Signature, Freud or other premium brands. Everything is better when the blades were clean and sharp, the saw well tuned, and the operator was paying close attention to detail.
That's my $.02. But it's your $100.
Patriarch
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On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 22:17:19 GMT, patriarch

I have a Powermatic 66 with a 3HP motor (240v). Not sure if this is a "strong" saw, but logic says a thicker blade needs little more power and has more stability. Thanks Patriarch.
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With that saw, and the 1/8" kerf blade, 40 tooth you can rip 3" deep into Ipe, "an Ironwood", with absolutely no problem at all. I do this frequently.
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<snip>

That saw will take almost any blade you can reasonably purchase. It's a fine piece of equipment.
Patriarch
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that's plenty of saw for a full kerf blade.
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I like the 1/8 in. It makes figuring easier for me. I can divide in 8ths, but dividing by 3/32nds gives me a headache. I believe the heavier plate will be a little truer without a stabilizer. I don't know if the tips last any longer or not since the full edge cuts on either. I have enough HP that it doesn't really matter.
--
Ross
www.myoldtools.com
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With the thin kerf you can save enough on wood to put the grandkids through college. Maybe not Ivy League stuff, but a modest state school.
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I just cannot agree with you on this one Ed. I own a shop where we go through a couple of thousand Bf a week and the thin kerf blades make absolutely no difference in the over all waste. If anything they cause more problems than they are worth IE having to joint off more wood because of blade twist while under load. The only advantage I see with them is if you are doing a curved lamination for a stair case or any type of radius where you are keeping the cuts in sequence for over all appearance and even at that 9 out of ten people will not see the difference at all.
Chris

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I think you should re-read what I wrote, but a little less serious frame of mind.
If you were cutting 12" wide boards you'd have to make 384 cuts to save a board foot of material. Assuming that you were to utilize 100% of your cutoffs (probably more like 2%) you'd save maybe $4 every 384 cuts. College tuition being about $15,000 a year you'd have to save 3750 board feet of wood or 1.440.000 cuts of that 12" board.
Next time you read the ads for thin kerf blades saving wood, think about those numbers. Ed
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Ok.
Chris

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Sometimes, but only sometimes, Ed's tongue gets stuck so firmly in his cheek, that what he says is misunderstood. ;-)
Patriarch
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Depends on what you're doing--if you're resawing it can make the difference between getting two useable thin pieces out of a thick piece or just one.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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Saving that wood 1/32 inch at a time? You must cut a lot more wood than I do. I also didn't mention but can identify with the comment about being easier to calculate the 1/8 inch. Although after about ten years with the 3/32 I'm getting used to it.
Bob G.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Snip
I also didn't mention but can identify with the comment about

After only 10 years.... Hummm.. LOL
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Even on my old 1 hp Craftsman I was sold on 1/8" kerf. I use the WWII 40 tooth 1/8" kerf on my Cabinet saw. The thin kerf does not save wood 99.9% of the time unless the last piece of every board that you cut ends up being 1/32" too short. You would have to cut a board 32 times to loose an inch over a 1/8" kerf blade.
If you have 1 hp or more you do not need the thin kerf. The Forrest WWII cuts so much better than a cheaper carbide blade that it may cut faster with the 1/8" kerf than the cheapie with 3/32" kerf. I found that out about 15 years ago. The thin kerf blade is more likely to deflect under a load and thicker boards. Get the 40 tooth blade if cutting "mostly" 2" and thinner stock.
Again, the thin kerf is not going to save you money with less waste. Consider also that if the thin kerf blade deflects and you ruin a piece, you maybe have wasted far more than that 1/32" . Kickback, IMHO equally possible with both kerfs. Stability greater with the 1/8" kerf with out the need of stabilizers.

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Over the years it adds up. I've gone thin kerf and haven't looked back.
Brian.
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Over 15 years it has added up to nada. You have to save every scrap and use it for it to add up.

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Have the WWII 3/32. Use it on a Jet Contractor. I got the 3/32 because I'd read a number of places that that matched the 1 1/2 HP motor on a contractor better than the 1/8. Making furniture, I never come close to using the HP of the motor. If I were ripping many many board feet for making trim or something, would be different. I think I'd go with the 1/8 for one reason. Two passes will make a 1/4 groove. Not having used the 1/8, can't say for sure until I've tried it. Just $.02 worth.
Bob G.
Phisherman wrote:

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of drawers and used the 1/8 blade to make two passes to get a 1/4 groove for the drawer bottoms.
Wayne
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