WWII 30T vs Amana 40T - Blade Test

In one of the mag's I read about a comparison of table saw blades and the bottom line was that the Amana Prestige 40T (H-ATB) model PR1040 was as good or better than a Forrest WWII. I was at a local dealers yesterday and sure enough, he had a sign on the Amana blade display touting this same claim.
I just happen to be looking for a new blade for an upcoming project so I picked it up. I also own a WWII 30T rip blade which is one sweet blade so I was certainly interested in doing a comparison test.
I checked out my tablesaw alignment using a TS-Aligner JR (oh yeah - thanks for the DVD Ed....) and everything was spot on. Picked a board, jointed / planed it and ready for the test cuts. I made test cuts using the same board with both the WWII and the Amana blade using the same technique etc. Made cuts with and without a 5" stiffener. Both blades are 1/8" kerf blades.
The WWII blade is 3 years old and has not been sharpened yet. Amana blade is spankin' new......
Test Results:
1. The Amana 40T blade is noticeably inferior (using just the naked eye) with it leaving swirl marks that are far from being glue-joint ready and would need to be sanded considerably to get rid of the swirl marks from the blade. I repeated this test six times, with and without a stiffener.
2. Did the same testing with the WWII 30T blade and it takes a magnifying glass to see any saw marks at all. With the naked eye, it looks like the edge just came off the jointer - flat and clean.
Okay - maybe I got a bad blade. Did some cursory checks of the blade and found some carbide teeth that are +/- .003" from a reference tooth. The WWII teeth measured a +/- of .0015 max. Runout of both blades was ~.002" max. Only thing I can see is that the High-ATB cut may be causing the problem.
Back to the dealer with test cuts in-hand. He agreed the blade must be defective and gave me a new blade from a different batch he just received.
3. Repeated the same tests and got the same results. No improvement on the Amana whatsoever.
I'm now headed back to the dealer - again with the test cuts in-hand and see if he can order me a WWII 40T. Yep, I know I can order it for less on-line but he's a local business and if we don't buy locally, he may not be so local after awhile....
Does anyone remember what magazine that blade comparison was done in?
Thanks,
Bob S.
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Snip

Thanks for the review Bob and the answer to your question is probably the May 2008 Issue 183 of Wood Magazine. On page 44 starts the article, "Saw Blades II" The Retest.
I saw different results however. Looking at the Full kerf Blades, "The Top Tool" award was given to the Forrest WW10407125, the Freud P410, and the Indinity 010-044.
Top "Value" was given to the Amana 610400, and the Systematic S1821.
Looking on the chart, The Freud and Infinity did better than the Forrest where chip out is concerned when cutting 3/4" Melamine.
Either way, I agree that the Forrest is hard to beat and is a constant in my shop.
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Leon,
Thanks - I'll pick up the new issue (May 2008). Right now, the dealer I purchased the blade from is not a happy camper after seeing the results of the second series of test cuts. He just got a box of 10 blades in yesterday.....
I even took my WWII with me just in case he wanted to test the blades to confirm the test results. He just said he'll give me refund.....
So the lesson being...you can't get the same quality cut for 1/2 the price....as was being touted - not even close.
If the cuts I saw is the best that Amana PR1040 blade can do - then it's in really sad shape and something in production must have changed. I did call Amana today and tried to talk to their tech support staff. Now a company as large as Amana - you would expect they would have more than one individual on their technical staff, right? Wrong and he was not available today. Gotta love it.
I'll stick to my Freud 80T for crosscuts and the WWII 30T for ripping the good stuff although it does an excellent job of cross-cutting too.
Bob S.
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A little food for thought concerning purchasing blades locally. I am all for that way of buying blades. If you have ever done any shipping and receiving the smaller single packages tend to be the ones that get damaged the most. Since most good blades are flat to with in .005" and better, proper care and handling is a must. Proper care and handling has to start from the factory. Unfortunately it is often that this falls short during delivery, right Frank? '~) A dealer typically orders several blades and typically multiple quantities are better packed and less prone to be compromised than the single blade sent to you from another vendor or supplier. IMHO the local dealers stock has probably been treated with a little more TLC than the odd blade floating around in the back of a USPS, UPS, or FedExress truck. Additionally this is like every thing in life, not guaranteed, but I believe that your chances of getting a blade that is closer to factory tolerances will probably come from your local dealer vs. the single that arrives at your door step. Just my 2 cents.
I am not using this as an excuse for Amana as you did buy it from the dealer.
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BobS wrote:

Don't worry about him. There is still a market for $45 blades, even when they don't cut as well as a $90 blade.
My dealer proudly displays $20 to $100 table saw blades side by side.
Lots of average magazine readers are going to read the article, buy the Amana, be happy, as the Amana will be better than what they had. <G>
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Absolutely true. If the saw cannot perform to the same level as a WWII it may be hard to distinguish between the WWII and the Amana. And the cheaper blades are good for construction grade lumber.
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"Leon" wrote

Did you get a closer look at the "new" WWII with the raked teeth at the ww show?
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No. Do we need to go back and take another look? We have tickets for all 3 days. ;~)
What's up with the new blade? Flatter bottoms?
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"Leon" wrote in message

ww
all
I don't know ... they had a sign that said proclaimed "NEW" .... "WWII with every 5th tooth raked".
They were marked $100 even, IIRC, as opposed to the "old" which were 89.95 show price.
Both were side by side on a table upfront by the familiar bench mounted table saw that is part and parcel of Forrest's display.
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Looking at the Forrest site, I see a couple of special WWII for flat bottom grooves and for cutting box joints.
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Leon wrote:

The only new blade they have listed is their "FORREST MITER MASTER SAW BLADES" which is "specially designed for miter saws. It looks like the #6 tooth style every 5th tooth raked.
http://www.forrestblades.com/mitermaster.htm
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"Nova" wrote

I didn't get the impression that it was a miter saw blade as it distinctly said WWII and, IIRC, had three different kerf sizes ... maybe I just dreamed it?
Leon, maybe we better go back, eh? :)
Besides that, I couldn't find the "Universal" Magswitch feather board at Rockler, or anywhere else locally except for the ww show. Even though Rockler shows it in their catalog, they act like the never heard of it.
Yeah, right ... 20% off EVERYTHING (but Leigh jigs, power tools, hand tools, etc,etc,etc, ....)
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#6
dreamed
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pQ660&cat=1,41080,41165&ap=1
Sounds like you're talking about these ones that have three different kerf sizes and also three different diameters.
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Well we can do that, call me if you want to.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId051&langId=-1&catalogId053&productId0618240
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I have one of these "special" Forrest box joint blades and I LOVE it. Flat bottom kerfs and baby butt smooth cuts, and this is on my Craftsman saw. I use it for just about everything when working with hardwoods. Rips are, of course, quite a bit slower but I still get that baby-butt smooth edge. I certainly change it when I have to rip some pine or some other crap wood.
Wayne
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I use Forrest and occasionally Freud. Using proper positioning, blade lowered till bottom of sharpened tooth edge is just slightly higher than top of material. Always use a dampener/ stiffener. I then use a motorized sliding table to control feed. Any stalling while the blade is in the wood can cause side scoring. With this setup I rarely need to sand and get a better finish than sanded. Trying to achieve exact tolerances is much more difficult sanding or scraping. Blades won't last long and need to be rotated out to chopsaw or prep table saw. The blades are still plenty sharp for scrap cutting and I prefer getting a little more life from them before sending in for re- sharpening. I don't doubt other brands/models may perform in a well tune setup, but I don't have time to personally test. A little attention payed during shopping makes this setup cost-effective overall. Time sanding vs. money on blades and re-sharpening. I would use waterjet if I could afford it for veneer thin cuts. I've seen the results and they are impressive but results are mixed on thicker pieces and decent waterjets are still around $25k+. You can however cut glass and stone in addition to wood without changing blades.
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