Mike from National Carbide & Tool stopped by the shop today with two pair of
radial arm saw blades. I had mentioned to him that I wasn't satisfied with
the blades I've used - eveything I tried either was too aggresive, or didn't
cut pretty, or wore too fast. My saw is an old 9" DeWalt, so Mike made up
two each 20 tooth 2 degree negative rake and 40 tooth negative rake CobraCut
blades for the saw. He went on about the advantages of the 2 degree
negative rake over 5 degree negative rake, the radial angle, the extra bevel
on the tips, why the big name blades are no good, etc., but mostly that went
over my head. I will say the 20 tooth was able to saw 8/4 oak effortlessly
and with a super clean polished cut with no tear out on the edge. Next we
put in one of the 40 tooth blades and I was able to get a super clean cut
with no tear-out on walnut veneer. Later I was cutting some 1/2" thick
basswood and just zipping through it fast as can be. Of course, basswood is
super light, but still the blades didn't want to self feed no matter how
fast I went.
Sweet blades. Just thought I'd give Mike a plug; I've got quite a few of
his blades now, and I'm real happy with the performance of all of them.
What you have there is the sawblade version of a Nascar stock car.
Retail saw blades are like showroom cars. They are made to be good at
a low price and appeal to a broad audience. We supply technology to
top end saw builders and all the retailers talk about is price. On the
industrial side it is a different story. In a sawmill a difference in
true kerf of .002" can mean $100,000 a year so the blades are tuned
You have a blade built for performance . My guess is that all the
teeth are straight and square. The grinding was done with a finer grit
wheel and more passes than on a retail blade. I would also guess
that the flatness is somewhere around .001" instead of .002" or
.003" and that the grind tolerances are under .001".
A good custom shop will give you much better design but also, and maybe
more importantly, much better execution of that design.
Yeah, that sounds about right. Mike was telling me about how he can grind
to closer tolerances than the production blade companies. He was saying
that he has some improvements to the various tooth angles that increase
blade life, & why production blade companies can't do this, but he was
getting over my head with a technical discussion of what the machines are
capable of grinding etc.
Of course what you really can't get from a mass-produced blade sold through
a catalog or a website, is the owner of the company coming to your shop,
discussing your saw needs, designing the best blades for your use, grinding
them himself, and them hand delivering them and insisting you try them out
right away to make sure you're 100% satisfied! For a small business owner
such as myself, that saves me time and money, + I get the best possible tool
for the money.
I guess they don't have a website - they should.
National Carbide Saw & Tool
7353 State Road
Philadelphia, Penna 19136
contact: Mike Santarone
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