Thin-Kerf Blades

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I was at my least favorite store today - the orange one. They have 10" TS saw blades, and some say "thin kerf".
But are they realy thin kerf, or is that just marketing hype? None of them list their actual thickness, so I am little skeptical about buying one unless I know that it really thin kerf. When I stack one against a regular blade, they seem pretty much the same to me.
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IMHO Thin kerf is NOT a desirable feature. Typically a thin kerf blade is one that is narrower than 1/8" thick. Think kerf blades are inherently less stable than a regular kerf blades. The ONLY advantage to a thin kerf blade is that it requires less power to cut with. That is not necessarily a reason to buy thin kerf. I bought my last thin kerf blade over 20 years ago and it shall remain that way.
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I have a Freud Diablo on my table saw. All these Diablo blades are painted red. It has a noticeably thinner kerf.
I don't know if it would meet the standard that Leon needs, but I think there's been an improvement since the one he tried.
Unless someone here can recommend a better blade in the same price range, I'll get one for the RAS next time it needs one (or next time I find an excuse to just get one). Some of them are pricey. I think I paid about $30 a few years ago.
I use blade stabilizers on both machines.
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A standard blade is 1/8" (usually), and a thin-kerf is 3/32" (usually).
The latest issue of Fine Woodworking has a good article on thin-kerf blades, and they generally approve of them.
They're good for lower-powered saws, and good for wasting less wood when you're doing multiple rips on the same piece of stock and, according to the writer of the article, they don't seem to have any bad habits.
Tom Dacon
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Tom Dacon wrote:

Fine Woodworking also said that the quality of cut depends on the general quality of brand. Thus, I would expect a Forrest blade would yield better results than those sold at the "orange" store. Given that, the thin-kerf blades are a good option for the huge population of us wood-butchers that haven't been able to afford expensive cabinet saws.
Scritch
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Actually you do not need a cabinet saw to get better results from a regular kerf blade. I used thin kerf up until about 1988 on a 1 hp Craftsman TS. I was not very happy with the flatness of the cuts that I was getting and I was getting burn marks on some cuts. My local sharpening service suggested switching to a Systematic regular kerf combo blade. I was very skeptical but he promised that I would not be disappointed. I never looked back. I continued to use "that" regular kerf blade until I upgraded to a cabinet saw about 12 years later.
With all this in mind and with any blade, proper saw set up is essential to good results.
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On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 10:11:05 -0600, Leon wrote:

I recently put a Freud Fusion blade on my antique Delta saw. I was impressed. Crosscuts look like they've been polished and plywood cuts have no splintering. Haven't done any ripping yet, but if it turns out bad I'll post that info.
Freud claims the Fusion blade is as good or better than the Forrest. So far, I haven't seen any evidence to disprove that claim.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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My problem was not so much with a rough or unsmooth cut when using a thin kerf. The problem I had was mostly from the blade flexing and not making a "flat" cut. If your stock is not perfectly straight a board van cause a think kerf to not spin true when ripping.
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I have a nice set as well. Lets look at the design
For a given motor system (saw) a given blade if rigid will provide back pressure (resistance) in the process of cutting. The motor is turning the face of the cutter as hard as it can. If the same motor has 1/2 the area to cut, the cut will be clean and better than the wider blade.
It is like driving a small diameter sharp nail into a board. Then take a nail of 2x diameter and drive it.
The larger one will likely chip and compress. The small one shears.
Martin
Larry Blanchard wrote:

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Consider however that both will make the same amount of contact with the remaining wood, given both are of the same grind, sharpness and tooth count. The wider kerf blade may infact compress 1/3 more material however that will be only on the waste material. The solution is simply to push slower with the wider kerf blade. That will effectively make the blade, any blade, cut as though it had more teeth and naturally produce a smoother cut.
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But can cause increased burning in some wood.
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That is true.
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On my delta contract saw with forest blade, besides adding link belt I wired it for 220 and made all the difference in the world ripping think hardwood. No more blown circuits etc.
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My 12+ year old JET contractor began popping the reset button on the motor even when cutting plywood, much more so ripping 2Xs. After 12 years of running it on 115v I finally wired it for 240v. It hasn't tripped since. Additionally, I put the 24t thin-kerf rip blade back (vs. the Jesada 50t General) on (sans stabilizers) just to rip a bunch of 2X.. The lack of stabilizers was noticeable in the cut quality.
Dave in Houston
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Could it be that the windings that were used at 120V were damaged from 12 years of use and the windings used ay 240V are still good? IMO, there is no doubt that then kerf blade uses less energy. Also, my experience is that a rip blade uses less energy than my WWII. I carelessly let sawdust plug the ventilation slots on my motor and while ripping the posts on a pencil post bed, damaged my motor. Maybe I will put it back to 120V to see if it makes a difference. I'm thinking about putting a 2hp motor I salvaged from a compressor that I had and see how it runs on my Delta CS.
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I hope not. I took the motor to a small electric motor shop here in northwest Houston to have him go through it.
Dave in Houston
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cleaned the bearings and got the sawdust out of the fan. might have changed the bearings from open to closed just so you don't come back with a new problem.
The 120 winding is two windings in parallel. In 220, the windings are in series.
Martin
Dave in Houston wrote:

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Resistance will vary with design and sharpness of blade.
The motor is turning the face of the cutter

Not necessarily, this doesn't happen unless feed rate is high enough to bog down the saw.
If the same motor has 1/2 the area

Why is that? What is the reasoning behind this assertion?

OK then, how about a 2" long 18 gauge brad compared to a 2" long 15 gauge finish nail? If driven with a hammer, which is more likely to go straight into the wood?

All that aside, my own experience with a 1.5hp contractor saw (Delta) is better cuts with a regular than a thin kerf blade. However, for me, the biggest attaction of a regular kerf blade is simply that the cut is 1/8" wide instead of 3/32 or some metric or arbitrary fraction as some I've seen.
--
There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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I had the same exerience when I had a craftsmen, and found getting rid of the stabalizers and going with a better blade, also a systematic cured a lot of problems especially after a tune up. If the blade isn't perfect the stabilizers when torqued down may make it worse.
Mike M
On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 10:11:05 -0600, "Leon"

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Yes, that's why I started looking into them. I have an under-powered TS.
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