Some time ago I asked if any of you were in a position to try a comparison
between the Forrest WoodWorker II and the Harbor Frieght blade (SKU 46231)
Harbor Freight having the reputation they do for selling cheap tools, I got
no takers, and was not overly surprised.
SWMBO, gave me a "US Grant" for Father's Day and I put it back in the
deepest recesses of the wallet. Finally, I decided to take the plunge and
buy a Forrest WoodWorker II (40tooth, 1/8" kerf). So shopping around I
found it on Amazon for $107.00 and hit the "Order" button. The package
arrived today and, of course, I had to check it out.
After peeling the protective coating off it, I mounted it in my Ridgid 3650
tablesaw and made a couple of test cuts. I stepped back, scratched my head
and said, "Hmmmmmm." So, I got a fresh HF 46231, mounted it and made a
couple of test cuts. Then I remounted the Forrest WWII, got a 7/4 piece of
Southern Red Oak and did an an crosscut and an rip cut. Swapped out the
Forrest for the HF blade and made the crosscut and rip on the other end and
side of the same pieces of red oad.
Bottom line, the Forrest is going back. There was very little, if any
noticable difference. If there was a difference the HF blade gave the
better cut. On the first pass in the rip cut with the Forrest, I noticed a
tooth mark, rather severe, so I moved the rip fence over 1/4" and recut. It
had the same thing, in the same place.
The HF blade is only C3, so it will need to be sharpened a bit more often,
but at $19.50, you can almost get a new blade rather than have it sharpened.
To be very honest, I was extremely surprised. But, it is what it is.
As a disclaimer, the ONLY HF blade I would use is the 46231. My bandsaw
blades are Woodslicers, my router bits are all name brand. In other words,
I do want quality.
What I would really like to see is a lab test between these two. But for my
test, on my saw, in my shop, there is no justification in paying six times
the cost of the HF for the Forrest.